Fear

Thursday. I haven’t managed to get much done in the first two hours of work other than run around and take care of fires as they flare up. I have to dedicate most of my day to payroll so I’m sort of procrastinating. I know it will only get worse the more I put it off but *yawn* it is just not very exciting.

Both of my bosses are at the other site today (all day!!) so I’m feeling pretty good. I won’t have many interruptions today. Yaaaay.

Update on my leg. The physio is helping dramatically and the pain is receding quickly. I love these mechanical issues that can be resolved…it make me feel so powerful somehow. Same with the cold..one day spent in bed nurturing myself and I’m back at 85% already, two days later. My body is pretty awesome when it comes to healing. If only it could heal the rest of me.

I want to explore a reaction of mine that seems completely irrational from the outside, but is a huge, hurricane of emotion on the inside. This side of me doesn’t get shown to anyone, in fact, there are only four people who have ever seen it and only one who is willing to put up with it. Two of them are my foster parents (enough said), the other two are Mike and Dayne.

I have a very intense fear of life that burns deep inside me at all times. The fear bleeds into all the little cracks and fills up all areas of my life. I’m afraid to be loved. Sometimes, I’m afraid to be touched. I panic when I make someone angry and if I am not loved by any person in particular, I quickly assume it’s because I’m not worth it. When I mess up on a personal level I shut down, freak out, scramble to find my footing again. It’s not so much that I mindlessly believe every word they say about me, it’s that I struggle to identify that part of me in their perceptions. I am self aware enough to realize that what I am putting out, intentionally or otherwise, is going to have everything to do with who I am. If people see those sides of me, the ones I don’t want to share, an automatic inventory goes on him my head and I start internally analyzing my choices, words, emotions and attitudes. I carefully re-craft myself to present without whatever part of my fear leaked out. Fear is not attractive. Fear is not faith inspiring or confidence building. Fear makes you appear weak and less resilient than others. Fear does not make people want to be around you or follow you…it makes them wonder what it is you have to be so afraid of. Who can explain that though.

So where was this fear born? With me, I think. I was born fighting for my life and then after losing my parents I was forced to cope without any sort of sense of belonging, safety or home. The abuse began when I was so little (five years is the first I remember) it confirmed for my brain that there was always something to fear. When it didn’t stop, the fear grew and when I was finally rejected and sent packing at 15 years old it exploded into fireworks inside me. I spent my first 15 years terrified that no one wanted me and that I would eventually be discarded…it was the worst thing I could possibly imagine and there it was suddenly in face. The first few months were nothing short of terrifying, being out there. Everyone else seemed so big and so mean…dangerous. Drugs were everywhere and they scared the hell out of me; prostitution and raunchy sex around every corner also make me tremble in fear. I was so afraid of being swept up into a life that I had no control over…of spending my years fucking sleaze-balls for cash. I knew, even then, that if I got into that I would never get out. The people who lived out there scared me as well. They were not kind and their own personal bitterness bled out into the air around them. I only stayed in one place for short periods of time so I was never easily found. It helped me feel like I was protecting myself, at least a little. When you have no door to lock behind you at night every single noise can wake you in a violent start that ends with you on your feet, blinking in the light while trying to find the source of danger that has your heart pounding in your ears. Fear. All fear.

When I sleep I dream of fear. I dream of running from it, sometimes successfully, sometimes not so. When I work I run off fear like it’s coffee. If I act this way and work this hard and make this clear they will see I am good at this job and dedicated to what I do and then they will like me and I’ll be needed and they will keep me around and and and….says my brain as it whirrs through my day.

With M, this fear would manifest when he would suddenly switch emotional channels on me and stomp off to have a temper fit. I would say or do something, he would get annoyed, the annoyance would be transposed in his head into a justified reason to be mad at me and (sometimes) he would offer a few curt words before hanging up on me. *Spark intense FEAR here* I would instantly try to reach him another way, desperate to explain myself so he would love me again. I would apologize, cooperate, soothe, beg….I would plead and cajole, even going so far as to try to let guilt change the tides. Had he been closer I would have been at his door begging through the peephole. It wasn’t that I needed his constant attention, but to leave because you’re angry and not even attempt to resolve anything? That feels like battery acid to my heart. Needless to say, he *hated* the ‘after fight’ as he called it and told me it was the most stressful and least desirable part of my personality, which kicked the fear up to hurricane levels inside me and I’d double my efforts which only pushed him further away. The cycle was insanity inducing and I often felt myself scrambling to get out of my skin just to stop feeling so much fear.

I hate being afraid. I hate admitting I’m afraid. I’m always afraid. That I can run ahead of it, even just a little bit ahead, has saved me thus far in life. It’s catching up though, and it’s through Colt. I’m afraid for him like I’ve never even been for myself. That emotion feels like a pyramid of stone in my head and I although I’m constantly working around it, I never quite feel like I’m getting far.

I don’t know why Dayne is okay with all the fearful parts of me. He knows I’m strong and that I can carry a shit lot of it with me and he protects me from what he can. Dayne is my opposite; he is endlessly confident and sure of himself. He does not (ever) back down if he feels he is in the right and he often is. He stands up for himself in the world and does not take shit from anyone, no matter their social rank or influence….he won’t even let his boss take advantage of him. He is strong, powerful, confident and all alpha. No wonder he makes me feel so safe.

The first night we started dating I was living in a shitty motel room while my ex husband and I worked through our long, drawn out divorce. I left him the house so I was stuck living in squalor until I found my footing again. Dayne came by one night and when it was time for him to go I burst into tears and (literally) begged him to stay; I so didn’t want to be left alone there in that smelly little room. I hated the bottomless empty feeling it gave me and I was so down, so humiliated that my marriage had failed so spectacularly. The instant the tears began Dayne got angry (a complete surprise to me) and yelled at me for making him feel guilty. I hadn’t intended that outcome….it was eye opening for sure. My tears still make Dayne angry but things are very different now, 15 years later. I do sometimes wonder why he put up with me, but then I realize…he needs someone to save and I needed the protection to be able to function. That right there is why we survived all the stress and heartbreak that we went through together. He is my rock, albeit an angry one at times, he makes my world work better than it would without him.

Fear is a bitch. I’ve come to realize that the depression drags me through the mud but it’s the fear that won’t let me rest. So much work to do yet. So much.

First step is admitting it yes? Does it make me weak to do so? No. It still feels pretty bad though….always has.

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About Grainne

My name is Grainne. This blog has been with me for years now and has served as a journal, a confessional, an outlet and a place for me to create and express my love of life. Thank you for stopping by and for becoming a part of this life long journey of mine. I appreciate every single one of you who takes the time to do so. :)

One response to “Fear”

  1. Ain't No Shrinking Violet says :

    Just yesterday I was watching some youtube videos of Eckhart Tolle discussing fear. Now I’m not really a big fan of Tolle, because I think he’s way too into “behaviorism,”(ie: the idea that our thoughts can control everything). Anyway I did like how he talked about fear being our primary primordial condition…it is the condition every creature is born with and it helps us stay alive. The opposite of fear is trust. It would be sensible to say then that you were never able to develop trust because there weren’t a lot of trustworthy people around you, and so you live more in the fear realm. There is nothing “wrong” with you, this is just the natural result of how you were raised.

    Someone reacting to your tears with anger is not going to build trust. I don’t suppose Danye could be told that tears mean you need something from him, not that you’re trying to manipulate him? He learned that about women from somewhere….he can unlearn it.

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