top of page

(Some of) my greatest fears


Do you know what scares you the most? What petrifies you beyond thought, beyond reason?

It amuses me when you tell someone about a fear you have and you get the simple response of, "that doesn't make any sense though". Excuse me, I said it makes me want to pee myself. At no point did I make any claims regarding rationality.

The brain isn't a very rational creature. It's nuts. It'll flood you with panic and dread to the point of total systems failure because you saw a spider the size of pocket change minding its own business on a wall nearby.

So no, I'm not talking fears that make sense. I'm talking the things that make me a useless member of the species because someone else is going to have to deal with the problem. Here we go:

Lakes. Yup, lakes. Sure I swim in them and float in them and what have you. Doesn't mean there's not a part of my brain that's screaming out with discomfort. For whatever reason (there's no story of childhood trauma that I can think of to cause this), I hate being in water without something so sit/float on when I can't see the bottom. It freaks me out. Even if the lake bottom is mere inches below my feet? I'm pretty easily convinced through my own mental faculties that some giant, hungry monster is rearing back and ready to take me out of this world in the most painful, hollywood-style way possible. I've learned, more or less, to ignore that nagging voice. But every time I look past the water's surface and see darkness? That shore starks looking damn inviting.

Enclosed spaces. When I was young, my tear ducts didn't drain properly. Where normal people wake up with some sleep crusted into a chunk in the corner of their eyes? Mine were sealed shut and I couldn't get them off without the help of my mom and a warm, wet washcloth. Up to that point, however, my world was a panic-filled darkness I had to feel my way through unwillingly. (I got surgery very young so the problem doesn't persist thankfully). Perhaps it was that experience that led to this but I break down with terror any time I'm confined to such a tight space that my movement is impeded. Now if I can move around and/or know I have control over a scenario (like a really packed bus overly filled with people) I don't worry at all. Doesn't bother me. But if I can't move (like when I was in a sleeping bag with my arms at my sides and a friend sat on me so I couldn't move at all), every fiber of my being is overcome with fear. I freak out, I scream, I flail. I can't think or breathe or handle anything until I'm released again. Another great example: there's a water park near where my family lives in the middle of Washington. They have a slide called the purple haze. It's claim to fame is that no light penetrates the walls of the tube the whole way down the slide. In my lame attempts to not look like I was scared in front of a girl, I decided to do what I knew better than to do. It was horrible. The entire slide down was mind-shattering fear for me. All I could do was take sharp breaths in without ever exhaling while I imagined the wall of the slide just in front of my face, the water filling up all around me and my obituary telling of how I'd gotten stuck in the tube and plugged up the water and slowly drown. My lungs were on fire by the time I finally reached the bottom and swore I'd never do it again. Some years later, went back with a different girl. Pretended to be brave again. Still a mistake. Sigh... Moving on!

Aliens abductions. No joke. I don't have a problem with aliens in scifi. Huge Star Wars nerd and all that. But! As far as stories like A Fire in the Sky or The Fourth Kind go? That stuff is the worst. For as long as I can remember, the idea of being abducted by aliens has been a crippling fear for me. I've thought about it a lot and I honestly think it goes back to a huge fear of helplessness. Of being at somethings mercy and having no way out, no way to fight back. Aliens are exactly that to me. I have friends with a similar fear of ghosts and I think it goes back to the same core fear of being unable to fight the entity, just it's a different entity. With every story I've watched or read or heard about abductions it's always the same tale of being sucked up off the ground, waking up in a confusing place surrounded by aliens and having all manner of horrible tortures and procedures and whatever else performed without any way to stop it. From needles to blades to probes and whatever else, my mind cannot handle the concept of waking up to find a big-eyed alien standing over me, ready to do whatever and being completely unable to stop them.

Honorable mentions:

Spiders. Not petrified of spiders but I was raised to be scared of them so they freak me out a bit.

Big Foot/Sasquatch. Not sure what it is but I think if I ever saw him, I'd be terrified.

Werewolves. Obviously not scared of them because, you know, they're not real right? But some of my most horrible nightmares definitely involved some pretty violent moments with werewolves.

So what's your biggest fear? Does it make sense? Do you sound crazy when you talk about it? Or are your fears just cliche` vanilla stuff that everyone shares? Is there a reason you're terrified or is it completely randomly and unfoundedly hard-wired into you? Have you ever overcome a fear through sheer force of will?

Featured Posts