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#BEDM14: Fear 2, the sequel

2 May 2014 by superlative

#BEDM14 topic – The things you’re most afraid of

I wrote about this topic last year so I’ve already used up two of my biggest fears – cancer and death. I’m not doing those again, so I’ll have to think of some more things.

Being wrong
This one affects quite a few aspects of my life. I hate doing things wrong, or making the wrong decision, to the point where I’ll try to prepare and plan for every possible eventuality. I have to research everything, learn everything and feel I’m in complete control of a situation or it freaks me out and I get really uncomfortable and anxious. So this fear also covers moments of change in my life, especially if I’ve initiated them by moving house or starting a new job or anything similar. What if I commit to something and it’s wrong? What if I mess it up? Even worse, what if someone else KNOWS I’ve messed it up? Urgh, it’s horrible.

In some ways this fear helps me, because it’s a good motivator to be really clever and know about everything. But it’s also a bit crippling, especially if it makes me avoid change, or expend lots of energy worrying about being wrong or losing control. People just are wrong sometimes, so I’m never going to be able to prevent it entirely. But I find it hard to let go.

This is another anxiety-related one. I was mugged several times as a child, and was always one of the bookish, easy target sort of children that attracted the attention of the yobby East London boys I grew up around. So, not unreasonably, I developed a fear of rowdy or rough children in the street. I got good at spotting them from a distance and adjusting my route to avoid them without actually looking like I was avoiding them. I did my best not to be noticed by them. I still feel traumatised by the worst muggings and other experiences I had as a child, and I try not to think about them because of the rage they create in me at the injustice of it all.

But the worst thing really is that my fear hasn’t gone away in adulthood. It has expanded to include rough-looking adults in the street too, but I still also feel anxious when passing a group of rowdy children or when I’m on the bus with them. I don’t think I’m afraid of being physically attacked by them – I’d like to think that even I could beat up a child if I really wanted to – but I worry that they’ll hassle me and make me look like an idiot. Children these days know you can’t do anything to them or give them a clip round the ear like people used to, so the shitty ones feel free to be horrible to people with impunity.

Obviously I try not to look like I’m worried about it, and I don’t tell anyone because it sounds rather foolish to say you’re feeling afraid of those 13 year-olds over there. And nothing ever actually happens anyway; why would it? So the whole thing ends up being rather pointless.




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