Day 2: Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.
This required a lot of thought. Every fear that I could think of that I have boils down to one big legitimate fear…The fear of not being in control. I am not sure why I feel like I need to be in control all of the time or why I feel responsible for things that happen that are beyond my control. I think that I have some basic trust issues. For a long time it seemed like my life was ordered by chaos. It suffocated me. I tried everything to feel like I had some iota of control. I wanted to force change and be the magnet that forces the pendulum to swing in the other direction.
I have a fear of driving. For a period of time, I took medication to face this fear. I refused to stay at home to hide from this fear. I feared being trapped in my car which would bring on panic. If concrete construction barriers or bridges lock me in, I feel afraid. For awhile, I expended a lot of energy trying to be the perfect driver. I kept my car exactly in the middle of the white lines. There also was a period of time that I avoided the highway altogether. This was difficult because it was slow going the back way and I like to drive fast. Highway driving is boring, when I’m not anxious I fear falling asleep or not having a quick enough response if there is an emergency. Again, this boils down to not feeling like I have control. I can’t control the other drivers on the road. I feel afraid that I can’t guarantee that I will be able to keep my passengers or myself safe. Long road trips where I am the driver scares me. I haven’t totally gotten over this fear, but I won’t let it control me. Again, control.
I am afraid of flying which is difficult since I love traveling. I don’t have control over, or even know, the person flying the plane. Again, flying sometimes requires meds to prevent me from panicking. Taking meds is a struggle because it makes me feel like I can’t control my fear. I think the fear of flying stems a little from my dad being a pilot as a hobby. For most of my childhood, he was in charge of a civilian based group that would search for downed planes. He often would take calls in the middle of the night to get search teams together. It made me think that flying was not safe.
I am afraid of death. When my dad was in the Vietnam War, he thought that he wouldn’t die there because he could foresee his future death. He said that he would die on Christmas Eve of 2011. That day came and past and he is still here. Having a future death date had one purpose. It took away his fear of death in Vietnam when his friends were dying.
I tell everyone that I am going to die of dementia like others in my family did. I dream of not knowing that I am dying. Will the heaven that I believe in really be there? Or will life end in an empty meaningless void like it did before I existed? Will it hurt to take my dying breath? Part of the reason why I am a fitness fanatic is that it makes me feel like I have some control over time. Exercise will make me live longer. Cancer doesn’t run in the family. I have low blood pressure and cholesterol, so I ruled out heart disease as my demise. Thinking that I won’t know that I am dying takes the sting out of it. Death is something I have no control over. Will it be tomorrow, next year, or decades from now? It scares me to death.
Not only do I fear death, but I also fear that my loved ones will die or be in incredible pain. I try to control this by giving unsolicited advice. Don’t drink too much! Wear your seat belt! The more I push, the more they pull away. I would rather be in pain than see the people I love suffer. I want to be in control of their change.
I am afraid that my life partner will die before we do everything we planned.
I have to always have control over myself. I have to control my emotional response. I’m stoic. I fear things that could cause an outburst of emotion. I fear inappropriate laughter. I am afraid I won’t have complete control over my mind or body if I let go. This frightens me. Fear stops me from relaxing.
I have to double check the oven and coffee pot because it gives me a false control that my house will be safe when I am gone. I have to be the last one to leave the house. I am afraid that if I don’t have things under control, the house will burn down. I also am afraid that my cat will get caught in the blind cords and die if I leave him alone for the weekend. I am afraid to be the first person back in the house when we return.
I can’t stand being controlled by my circumstances, of being physically or emotionally trapped in situations I can’t control.
I am more fearful of the weather controlling my comings and goings instead of the storm itself. No control over the weather.
I am afraid that I will get sick and have to change my plans. No control over my body.
I have to be the last one to bed and the first one up in a group setting. I feel like I have to be ready to step in and control how people get along. I hover. Watching. Waiting. Taking control of the situation, problem solving in my mind.
Staying up until the last kid gets home makes me feel like I have control.
I guess I am a control freak because the thought of not being in control freaks me out!
I try incredibly hard to not let any of this fear control my life…
On the plus side, I am not afraid of spiders, water, snakes, scary clowns, or public speaking.