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Fear of Nothing

I’ve only been writing this blog for three days, and I’m already starting to repeat myself.

But one of the things that I struggle with and that I completely don’t understand is: what am I so afraid of?

I mentioned yesterday that I didn’t want to admit that my son was hurt, because I didn’t want to deal with doctors and nurses at the hospital. A more honest way of putting that is that I am afraid of dealing with doctors and nurses at the hospital.

What am I afraid of? What do I think is going to happen?

Nothing.

That’s what makes it so strange. Even when I know, absolutely know that there is nothing bad that could happen, that there is no unpleasant outcome to fear, that there are no repurcussions… in short that there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of… I’m still scared. And not just a little bit – I’m paralyzed with fear.

Why?

What am I so damned afraid of?

I really don’t know. I think that if I did, I wouldn’t have such a problem. How do you overcome a fear when you don’t even really know what you’re afraid of?

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  1. TerrifiedTabetic
    August 10, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Well, that’s the rub, no? Introspection isn’t easy or you’d have done it successfully already. Traditional Freudian analysis may be out of fashion (for many good reasons) but the idea of the unconscious mind affecting behavior is pretty much with us, and seems to correspond to reality. While it may not be clear how well we need to understand the unconscious in order to change behaviors and feelings (i.e., psychodynamic therapy, vs CBT vs drugs), the phenomenon is pretty important.

  2. Mara
    August 10, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Yup. Why am I afraid to call a friend just to say hi? What’s the worst that can happen? They’re busy? Are they suddenly going to decide they hate me because I wanted to say hello? (“They might!” my hindbrain insists.)

    I will say after some therapy that I’m starting to get a handle on what I’m afraid of. It takes time and a lot of courage, but I’m starting to see that I’m afraid that I’m imposing on people and that I’ll look foolish. My fear of embarrassment is overwhelming.

  3. Anon
    August 23, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    I experience something like this at times, over really small things, but mainly about phone calls. I left a phone charger behind at a small b&b on a recent trip. The proprietor was very friendly and I am sure if I called him up he would tell me he found it, hold it for my next trip or mail it to me. I just can’t make myself call. I would rather go purchase a new one. There are certain kinds of phone calls, regarding requests for certain kinds of information or asking someone to do something for me, that just paralyze me. If I could walk or drive over to the b&b I could ask the person for the phone cord, but because I have to call I am stuck. I have trouble making doctor appointments for myself, and doing other phone related things. It’s agonizing.

    But I do not think you are a monster, for the very good reasons people have expressed above. Monsters are people who don’t care and don’t self-reflect. You don’t fit that description at all. But I know how it feels – I am not an idiot, but I feel like a complete idiot because of my phone reluctance.

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