Why I Am Afraid of Everything
Folding laundry can sometimes lead to enlightenment. I was folding up a pair of blue checkered pajamas when I suddenly understood why I am afraid of everything. Well, not everything. I’m not Mr. Monk.
It’s my parents. No, seriously. When I was little, my dad told me that you could get sucked in through the shower drain. For many years I would huddle in the far corner of the shower or sit on the far side of the tub while giving the drain the evil eye so that it wouldn’t suck me in and drown me. It took until 6th grade for me to realize that this just wasn’t possible.
I think my dad was talking about whirlpools, but for many years I was terrified of bodies of water. I still get nervous at the beach. But beaches have jellyfish and sharks and riptides to be worried about.
I’m also afraid of needles. Terrified of them. And now I remembered that my parents used to say “And they’ll have to stick a really big needle in you” or “they’ll have to cut you open” to see if I was serious about how sick I was feeling. And I was very young when they would say this to me. The earliest I can remember them saying something like this is when I was 5-ish. No wonder I have a panic attack when I get shots or like the time when I got my wisdom teeth removed.
There were so many things that I was afraid of because my parents felt the need to let me know the dangers of everything. There could be murders in my closet waiting to kill me. If I’m walking down the street I could be kidnapped. If my appendix bursts, I’m going to die. I could fall and crack my skull open. I could get a tapeworm and I would die. If I go somewhere heavily inhabited by black or Mexican people, they will see that I’m white and kill me. If I go out in the cold I could get frostbite and lose a limb.
And this list of ways I could die or get hurt just goes on and on.
I wish I could say that I learned all this recently. But no, my parents have been feeding me this since I was in preschool. Why would you tell someone so young that people might try to kidnap them and kill them and leave them in the desert for the vultures? (I think this is why I also have a fear of autopsies after I die).
My parents have been controlling me with fear!!! How dare they?! They keep me in their grasp by telling me all these horrible things and making me believe that they are the only thing keeping me alive and safe. They make me afraid of taking even sensible risks.
Well now I know how they’ve been brainwashing me. I don’t have to let it continue.