What Do You Fear?

My reading has sparked interesting self-introspection, but I’ve decided I need to face my fears.

When I was an eight-year-old child, I came home and found my dog had hung himself. (He was a fence climber, so we had tied him inside the enclosure.) I tried to get him down, but he was already stiff. I must have been in a formative development stage because this has haunted me and shaped me in uncomfortable ways. But I’ve come to the conclusion this morning that I WANTED it to.

This makes me squirm. Why do I cling to this agonizing fear of loss? So much so, that I made it my hero’s main flaw. This is not who I am! What’s worse, it has taken me over so much that there are days I find it hard to operate because of the what ifs. Part of me shrugs and says “What ifs are a part writing, therefore, your fear has made you a writer. Don’t knock it.” I choose not to believe that. God made me a writer.

I must find a way out my self-made fear of losing loved ones before I am undone, but I know I am not alone in using my fears as a crutch or as a resource.

Today’s homespun therapy question is: What do you fear and how do you use it?

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11 Responses to β€œWhat Do You Fear?”

  1. Sandy Shin says:

    I have never consciously thought about this until now, but I am terrified of failures – perhaps because I never had to experience it during my childhood and teenage years. I am scared of taking chances, and operate under the assumption that if I never try, I will never fail. This shows in my main characters, who are just as wary of taking chances as I am.

  2. Victoria Dixon says:

    Ah, but I commend you because even though you may well be scared, you're not letting it get the best of you! If you had, you wouldn't be out here, talking about yourself, your writing and revealing yourself like this. You wouldn't be writing at all. That takes courage and fortitude.

    BTW, the book I'm reading is called "The Destiny Switch" and the author talks about ways to put aside our fears and not allow them to control us. To make our desires reality. I recommend it. It's guaranteed to spark introspection if nothing else. LOL

  3. Natalie Aguirre says:

    I am also afraid of the loss of loved ones. My sister died of cancer two years ago and my husband has a chronic lung disease that very well could kill him. I see my family shrinking and it's scary. On my good days, I have faith in life and know that I will be able to handle it when this comes. I do get depressed about it on bad days, but try to remember they will pass.
    There was a song about fear on one of my daughter's music tapes when she was much younger that talked about facing the fear door and walking right in. I try to remember this when I am in fearful situations like when I had to do my first oral argument at the Court of Appeals this summer and was terrified. It does help.

  4. Dara says:

    I'm afraid of loss as well. I can't help but let my mind stray into thinking about what if I were to lose my husband in a motorcycle accident, or my beloved sister to something equally as tragic…or my parents, in-laws…the list goes on.

    I have to tell myself not to fear, for whatever happens, God will be there to comfort me. But it does get hard sometimes when all your mind wants to think about is the irrational.

  5. Victoria Dixon says:

    Natalie, I'm so sorry about your sister! I wish it was something none of us had to endure. Hopefully your husband's condition will meet up with modern medicine and lose. πŸ™‚
    It's funny you mentioned those lyrics as I used to (as a teen) walk through our front door with my key between my knuckles. I'd check each room in the house, back to a wall, before I'd sit down and relax. When my nightmares got worse, I realized I was the cause and I made myself put the key away, walk in and sit down in front of the boob tube. It was one of the hardest things I'd done in my life up to that point, but it took care of the nightmares.

    Yes! Exactly, Dara. I go into something akin to flashbacks – expectations of finding someone I love dead. It helps I can hear myself narrating them! Then I know they're not real and I **** slap myself out of it, but I hope to find a way to stop these visions altogether. They're counter productive. If I can find out why I do them, maybe I can address the root cause, walk through that door and become healthier altogether. I hope so!

  6. Jeannie Lin says:

    I've always has a fear of being in the spotlight. I always wanted to disappear into the back of the room in school and I'm quite nervous about public speaking and being in front of a crowd. My characters are overwhelmingly very confident though. Maybe I'm overcompensating?

  7. Victoria Dixon says:

    Or maybe you're an extreme introvert (like moi) whose confidence doesn't reach to public appearance. That's a problem I have, though I can't claim to be "overwhelmingly" confident in other areas of my life. ;D I'm confident in me and my abilities – not in others' reactions. Does that make sense?
    So what makes you so afraid, Jeannie? Your confidence has always shown through, btw.

  8. TK Richardson says:

    Hi Victoria, I've 'tagged' your blog! Pop over to my blog to see what I mean. πŸ™‚

  9. mitchellattwood says:

    nice job! waiting for your new artical...................................................

  10. Lisa Cindrich says:

    Well, we talked about how I had the same experience of coming home from school to find our dog hanged on the tether that kept him from destroying the house while we were gone. I don't think it's had the same huge overall effect on me (that is, I don't think about it a lot at this point), but still feel sick and guilty when it does come to mind.
    Loss in all its forms has to be the biggie for most people. Loss of loved ones especially, but also loss of home, income, health…it goes on and on. In fact, I woke up after midnight last night and then couldn't fall back asleep because I was trying to figure out all the things I would have to cope with if my husband suddenly died. So you're not the only one! I suspect this is pretty much the human condition although probably amplified in my case by my parents' divorcing when I was in grade school and my subsequent move halfway across the country with my father. It's a lot better than having a parent die, but still feels like a huge loss that has a lot of ramifications over the years.
    Don't know how this has affected my writing for sure although I probably have had a lot of characters who have some sort of disconnection or separation from a parent or parents and who yearn for that re-connection.

  11. Lisa Cindrich says:

    BTW, your post reminds me of an Elizabeth Bishop poem. I think it's called The Art of Losing. Anyway, the first line goes: The art of losing isn't hard to master.

    Goes on about the losses mount up and speed up as one ages. Cheerful stuff.

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