Monday, January 22, 2007


What am I afraid of?

When I was young, there was a time when I was very afraid of the dark. Sometimes I could even seem to see things in it. The closet was a worry, too, in the dark, at least when it was left open.

Oddly enough, I don't seem to recall being afraid of the dark when I was very young. The memories I have of this are from later childhood.

I don't have a fear of clowns, though I know they can be somewhat disturbing at times. I recently wrote about a problem that developed with a Clarabell Clown doll that I had (Clarabell was a character on the Howdy Doody TV show).

I don't have a fear of cloth in my mouth. Indeed, I seem to remember chewing my shirt and chewing the sheet on my bed. They both tasted pretty good.

I used to be afraid of bugs, spiders and praying mantises in particular. I'm still wary of some spiders, but this is only common sense. I don't like bugs touching me, though. Or me touching them.

I used to be afraid of change. I wanted things to always be the same. Some of that is still with me.

I used to be afraid of meeting new people and doing new things. This faded fairly quickly, of necessity, but an aversion remains. In other words, I am more reluctant than afraid, though something of the fear still exists. I can be difficult to know on a personal basis.

I have gone through times when I did a lot of checking locks and things. To some extent it seems to go in cycles, perhaps influenced to some extent by events.

I used to be afraid of heights. It was a fear of falling, of somehow being almost pulled off the edge by the distance. It called out to me in some way, and reached out for me. I had to resist that call, and was afraid to go too close to the edge, or of being in a position where there was an edge.

Somewhere in childhood I developed a fear of failing, of somehow, and maybe in spite of all appearances, not being good enough. Some of that remains, though it is somewhat muted now with time and experience. Still, there is a concern that I could have made or could make a difference. Depending on what I do or don't do, things could go a different way.

I used to be afraid of the Biblical End-of the-World, and of somehow not being Saved. With time, though, I came to a less-than-traditional view of such things. Though I still consider myself a Christian, I do not subscribe to a fundamentalist viewpoint, and many Christians would, in fact, probably disown me.

I used to be afraid of growing up. I could see the future ahead of me, the years stretching away, and it would never be as good as it was before. I also knew that the best times had, in fact, already passed, as my life before I entered school contained the best times I would ever know.

I developed a tendency to worry about the future to the extent that the present could not be sufficiently enjoyed. I used to look forward to getting out for school for the summer. Then I started worrying earlier and earlier in the summer break about returning to school when it was over. Eventually, I started worrying about returning to school before the break even started.

Time changes things. I am over 50 years old, and some of the worries are more distant, now. I'm not afraid of the dark anymore. Too much has happened over the years. The dark can contain dangers, but it seems less important in the face of what has already happened. Changes and new things can also hold dangers, but I am less afraid of them, though I do retain, at times, a suspicion of them and even an aversion to them.

But things are not as bad as they were, or as they could be.

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Blogger pkm said...

Ah,yes. You weren't alone. We had fears instilled in us.

6:54 PM, July 30, 2011  

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