Thursday, March 27, 2008

Contemplating Fear

I used to pretend that I wasn't scared of anything. I thought it was brave, to never show fear or react to scary situations. As a little girl, as silly as it sounds now, I wanted to be a pirate. I devoured any book, movie or TV show that advrtized or starred pirates. I wanted to be a pirate because they fought in battles, they dealt with imnpossible situations, they overcame everything. Pirates were brave.

Then one day, when I was 16, a lot of things fell apart for me. And ever since then I've been learning that to fear isn't to be a coward. A brave person isn't a person who never gets scared. Real bravery is taking in a frightening situation, admitting that you're terrified, and then dealing with it anyway. Real bravery is fighting DESPITE being scared. Real bravery is admitting your fears to other people, and being vulnerable to them.

So, these are some of the things that I'm afraid of:

1. Creaks in the dark.
2. Being alone, forever.
3. The world forgetting about me.
4. Not making my parents proud.
5. Frogs and toads.
6. Being robbed.
7. Demons and spirits.
8. Living.
9. Hurting my friends.
10. Judgement day.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Waiting For Morning

When I was a little girl, I used to get really bad nightmares. Every time I had one I would wake up and cry out for my Mom. Some nights she would wake up right away and come to me, telling me everything was okay. Other nights it would take longer, but she always eventually came.

I only remember one night that she didn’t come. I woke up from a nightmare and I was so frightened that when I tried to shout, I couldn’t find my voice. I tried and tried, and no sound would come out. I had literally been scared into silence. There was no way I was going to get out of bed to find my Mom, because there was no way I was going to make myself vulnerable to the darkness, and so I huddled right down in my bed, under the duvet, switched on my flashlight and waited for morning. Every sound, every chirp and squeak and creak, had me jumping out of my skin. I was absolutely terrified. I didn’t sleep the rest of that night.

The thing is, when I think back to that night now, I don’t remember the terror as it was that night. I don’t even remember what the dream was about. I just have a distant memory that something scared and upset me. I keep waiting and hoping for this to reveal itself to be just the same; that this period in my life that has got me so terrified and alone, this is just me hiding under the duvet with my flashlight. I’m just waiting for morning. And one day, I’m going to look back on this and not even remember what it was all about.