Saturday, August 6, 2016

Five Fears: Thirty Day Writing Challenge Day 19

Oof. I'll be honest - I'm not all that excited about writing this post. Who wants to write about their fears? Me? Not so much. My fellow author - and good friend - A.K. Lawrence wrote a post that could've been mine. I'll link it for you here so you can read it. This daily blog challenge has made me realize that she and I actually have a lot in common. (I rolled a car three times as well, A.K. On the way back from our honeymoon, no less.) Yikes. 

I digress. But only a little.

Fears. Yes, I have them, just like any normal human being. Usually I try not to think about them too much, but, well, here we go.


I can't even. I hate them so much ... and I'm absolutely terrified of them. Once my husband told me a story about a snake right before bed and I couldn't sleep. I had to get up and go read a book - take my mind off of it. (In his defense, he wasn't trying to freak me out. He felt horrible about it.) I have my reasons, and I'm going to share this story just so you all know what's behind my fear. Call me a wuss if you want. The fear is real, y'all.

When I was ten, I went on a big camping trip with my dad. We were on our way to Houston to visit my grandfather, camping along the way. One early morning I awoke to a rustling in my sleeping bag. I felt something move up my leg, but I was too sleepy to be afraid. I continued to feel something move upward, and when I lifted the bag to peer inside, I saw that there was a snake on my chest. I thought it was huge ... but I was small ... and it was a snake, for crying out loud. In my head it was a python.

I heard my dad's voice telling me to lie perfectly still - which was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. Feeling it, watching it move closer to my face was so scary. I wanted to screw my eyes shut tight, but I couldn't not know where it was.

I did what my dad told me to do and that damn snake took his time slithering over my chest, then my shoulder and past my head. When I went to move, my dad told me again to stop. After what seemed to be about ten or fifteen years - but was less than thirty seconds - the snake disappeared into some bushes. I don't know if the snake was a rattler, or if it was harmless. I overheard my dad tell the story several times over the years. He told some people it was a rattler, but he embellished a lot, especially when he drank. All I know is that the experience scared me so much that I couldn't sleep - not even in a normal bed - for years without thoroughly checking beneath my sheets.

The snake thing might be more than a fear. It might be a full-blown phobia.

Harm Coming to My Kids

It makes me physically ill to even think about something happening to my children. I'm not sure what else to say about this. There are so many things that could happen; accidents, illness ... I hate to think about any of it. This fear sometimes keeps me awake at night.

Something Happening to One of My Loved Ones

So much can happen. My mother-in-law died of cancer. My grandmother got dementia and then died of Alzheimer's. People get sick. Accidents happen. I'm always afraid that someone I love will be taken away from me. I also fear that I won't be able to adequately show them how much I care about them before hand.

That My Dad Was Right About Me After All

This isn't as big a fear now as it was while I was growing up. He used to tell me that I wouldn't amount to anything ... that I was too meek, I was ugly, that I would always be a failure. My dad was a world-class jerk. I know now that he was a very insecure man. He had a really crappy childhood, and in turn, he was a really crappy father. I know he tore people down in order to build himself up. He didn't like anything about me. I had no hope of ever winning him over. He may not have liked me, but I like myself. I like the woman I've become. I'm forty-five years old now. I understand the nature of the relationship he and I shared, and I see it for what it was. Still, parents hold a tremendous amount of power ... even after their children become adults, and the things he said to me growing up continue to haunt me in many ways.

That I Will Get Sick

I have a huge fear that I will get a disease, or that something will happen to me that will make it difficult or impossible for me to take care of my family. Not being able to take care of the people I love scares me more than I can express.

Wow. That was a rough blog post. Write about what hurts. Well, there it is.