Fear doesn’t always mean afraid

On to Day 4 of Blogtember! Today’s prompt: A story about a time you were very afraid.

I have to admit, this was a really tough one. As tempting as it is to gloss over this one and go with a more comical story about me being tricked into one of those hellish “amusements” they call a haunted house (I don’t like loud/sudden noises and I don’t like to be touched…bad combo for those types of things). Or I could write about that time I got trapped in a shower by a spider. Both of those incidents involve what I consider to be a healthy amount of fear, but I’m not so sure I would say that I was very afraid. You see, I dislike fear. I know you’re probably thinking “well, who does?” and so I shall point you to the crazy people that go in for trips like this. I will never understand. But with few exceptions I go out of my way to either purposefully conquer my fears or avoid scary situations. I dislike haunted anythings because I don’t like loud noises or being touched by strangers. I dislike spiders because it just blows my mind that something so small could kill me. I also dislike sharks for similar reasons. So I avoid those things or figure out a game plan for dealing with them. For me to be genuinely afraid it takes a situation beyond my control, and those are very difficult to write about. But for the sake of honesty, today I will try.

When I was 15 my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Being 15, I was in total denial. I saw what was happening and I’m pretty sure some part of me understood that it was not good, but I just buried those feelings. After a 2 year battle and an all too brief remission, the cancer came back. Only this time it came back everywhere. On September 11, 2011, I remember being on a school field trip and discussing the morning’s tragic events; but that’s not the real memory that stands out from that day. I went home at lunch to check on my mom and ended up taking her to the hospital. I remember being afraid that day of all the chaos in the world, all of the things beyond my control. Fear I can conquer as long as I can get a mental grip and change the circumstances; chaos is a special breed of fear to me and it makes me afraid. I managed to retreat back into denial after that day (oh to be a teenager again), but it was short lived. My mom passed away a few days later and then I knew what it was to be very afraid. Life is a scary thing and the world can be a scary place, but for most of us we’re lucky enough to have our family to anchor us. Losing one of those major anchors left me somewhat adrift, alone, and very afraid. I’ve been in some scary situations since then that I can honestly say I’m lucky to have come out of (relatively) unscathed. I’ve learned some very valuable lessons on what not to do in order to avoid those situations in the future. But there are days that I am still very afraid of my future without my mom. I do have my dad and my brother and the extended family, but my mom was my control. She was the person that kept me in check and on schedule in life. She’s the voice in my head when life questions come up. I’m very afraid of losing that voice.

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