Conquering fear


Well God, or love, or kindness, or just another part of me that’s too ornery to die, if the goal of living this delusion called life is to overcome my fear I’m doing a piss-poor job of it.

I want you to close your door, close your eyes and take a good look at where you are now and why.

The first thing I want to know is the question that’s been plaguing me for decades.  When I was very young, I was allergic to cow’s milk and wheat.  The colic was so bad that my mother had to take me to the doctor to find out why I was screaming all the time.  He put me on goat’s milk and it solved the problem.  Then, before I could talk, I would scream because I didn’t want to be in a room alone.  That, I don’t remember and I’m relaying what my mother told me.  But I do remember the dinosaurs, the giant turtles, and worst of all, the man in the diaper-like thing that had his head severed.  He was so skinny!  He sat cross-legged next to my bedroom door and he leaned toward me with no head.  His neck looked like it was exploded off or severed with a dull knife.  How does a child who has never seen any of these things before see this kind of stuff?

It was mostly animals, with the exception of the man.  You have your own theories about that.

Having a theory doesn’t make it right.  When I was a kid, dinosaurs were old and slow according to the scientific knowledge of the day.  We now know that isn’t true.  How can I trust science if science is wrong so much of the time?  If spiritual people are wrong, science won’t let us forget it. But when science is wrong it’s, “Oh well, we’re right this time.”

We were talking about overcoming fear.  You’re in a dark room and you used to be petrified of the dark.  You’re typing out your thoughts and now enjoy sitting in the dark because it’s peaceful for you.

My husband is in the house and there are 5 dogs in here, too.  If I was all alone with no one else around, I would still be petrified.

A person with a missing leg has a prosthetic or learns how to cope without the missing part.    You have found the prosthetic to cope with those parts of you that are missing.

Why can’t I overcome my fears?  I mean, really overcome them and not just find a band-aid that covers the eyesore?

You’ve watched too many action movies in your lifetime.  No one goes into a battle without fear.  Life isn’t like the movies where you know in the end that the good guy is going to win out no matter how contrived the story line has to be in order to make it so.

I’m worried about my daughter.  I’m afraid that I’ll go to my children’s funerals.  I’m frightened that my husband is going to die before me and I’ll have to move in with my sister in California.  California terrifies me—after all, I am very conservative and remember that the US Constitution is the law of the land. It’s not that I hate California as a land mass, I despise the Nancy Pelosi mentality.

Let’s look at each of your fears.  There isn’t a loving parent alive who isn’t worried that they’ll be at their child’s funeral.

But my daughter has so many physical problems.  She’s my angel, the best part of me.  I’ll call my daughter for advice.  That’s how much I respect her.   How many parents call their children for advice?  My son is in great physical shape and he’s too much like me—he’s too ornery to die.  I’m afraid that my daughter is giving up on life.

She has a lot on her shoulders you don’t know about, not will she tell you.  She worries about you the same way you worry about her.

But what if she doesn’t lose weight?  What if her heart gives out?  What is her family going to do?  She’s just adopted her husband’s children.  I have 2 new grandchildren and now I’m worried she’s not going to be there to see them graduate.  What if something happens to Lydia and to her husband and my new grandchildren are forced to live with their druggie “egg donor?’ 

Why don’t you call your daughter and discuss it with her?

When she was a child, she used to tell me, “I do it my own ‘elf.”  I’ll get nowhere with it and she’ll tell me there’s nothing to worry about.  That’s when I’ll worry even more.

Turn on the light and take a minute to wipe your face.  The tears are running down your nightshirt.

I’ll have to change it anyway.  And anyway, I don’t care about the fractalling nightshirt!  How do I express to her how much she means to me?

What is she going to do if stress kills her mother?  Do you think that your death is going to make her feel any better?

The only person death relieves is the person who took out the million dollar life insurance policy out on their spouse hoping it would happen. 

Your daughter has her own fears to overcome.  You have yours.  Neither of you can help the other overcome your personal journey in life.

It feels so much better to have you to talk to about it.  You’re not always kind to me, but you ARE always there.

It is kinder to be blunt and hurt someone’s feelings than to say nothing and wish you had.

I have one more question before I go.  Why do I dislike being touched by other people?  It seems to get worse as the years pass by.

Do you remember what you were like before your mother put the gymnastic rings over the concrete driveway?

I don’t remember hanging upside down and falling on my occipital area.  My sister remembers it, though.

Before that time, you saw the dinosaurs, the swami, and you looked outside your parents window and saw an entire train yard in the vacant lot next to your home.

You’re correct, I don’t remember seeing those things as much or as clearly after that time.  But then again, it could be that overactive imagination that is both my curse and my blessing.

You were already a strange child before you fell on your head.  What makes you think that you liked being touched as a small child?

I never thought of that.  Are you saying that I am becoming what I would have been if I hadn’t fallen on my head?  If so, the universe really does have a sick sense of humor. 

That greatly depends upon your perspective.

Why do people have to insist on hugging me when I’ve told them time and time again that I don’t like to be touched?

Why do you like holding onto your husband’s arm when you go places?

I like the fact that I can close my eyes and give them a well-needed rest.  And I know the touch is coming.  I despise it when people reach out and touch me as if that kind of aversion therapy is going to work.  It just makes me want to be touched even less and then I’m always anxious all the time that I’ll be touched again.  Some days it’s like an electric shock. Other days, it’s simply uncomfortable.

You have to continue to tell people.  You can’t continue to be polite and ignore the intrusions.  Be blunt.  Be firm.  If they continue to think you’re going to change if they keep touching you, then order them to stop.   If a person is worth your friendship, s/he’ll understand. 

Thanks for helping me feel better.

Get some sleep, enjoy the pleasant dreams I’ll be giving you this morning, and know that I am here for you always.