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Fear Inoculated

Today I want to talk about "doing the right thing." You know, that certain feeling you get deep inside that's pushing you towards something. The  right  something. I think a lot of the time, we repress that feeling. We try our damnedest to push ourselves towards the something we  think  is the right something. We sit there and pretend, with our tongues held in place, because we don't want to disturb "the peace." We come up with every excuse in the book as to why we think the  real  "right something" is  actually  wrong, and we find ourselves dancing this unnatural tango trying to convince others that your  wrong  something is actually the "right something." Can you understand what I'm saying here?

It's our fears. Our apprehension to change. And, God forbid, that change  actually  be TRANSFORMING and POSITIVE! Right? Why do we sit in fear that going after something is bad? Why do the negative thoughts come into play here? 

Do you know how much time is wasted in fear?

Fear is a valid feeling. It's rooted into our DNA. Fear protects us! But isn't it such a contradictory thing to experience fear when wanting to leave an abusive relationship? Or to move across the world to a better job that is going to be financially and culturally beneficial for you and your family? Fear can imprison you just as much as it can protect. Which is why we find comfort in certain situations we find ourselves "stuck" in.

Where do  you  feel fear? What is holding you back? Is it yourself? Do you have people around you that talk you  down

I lived in fear for four years. I spent  so  much of my time talking myself down, or trying to convince myself that "the world out there" was too big, or more so that  *I*  was too small for the world. I was convinced that I was weak, emotionally unstable, and unfit to be my own person. That I didn't deserve the life and love I craved. I found myself stuck inside this deep, dark, cold cave. It was my cave of fears. And I did find solace inside this cave, because it was what I grew to know. It understood me. It welcomed me. And as much as I'd peer out into the light and the sunshine that was beckoning me to come out and play, I was afraid that sun was going to burn me alive, straight to ashes.

This was not me. 

Those four words came upon me in the form of a gentle breeze, right into my cave. It was  so  gentle in fact, I could barely hear it, let alone  feel  those words. Over time, that breeze became less gentle, a little louder, a little bit more noticeable. A slight hum. "This was not me." Still, I'd push it away. "I belong here." I'd say. "This is who I am now." More time passed by and my cave was unbearable to hide in. The wind was like a hurricane, screaming at me, "THIS IS NOT ME!!" And boy, did I feel it.

Four years of my life, I spent each day telling myself I was not worthy of anything better. There wasn't a day that went by where I didn't find myself crying. Four years. Four years of self-hatred, self-doubt, self-criticism. When I became aware of my rape, to me it was only confirmation that I didn't deserve a better life. I didn't deserve to be happy. Thinking back on all of this now, I am saddened at how I treated myself during this time.

At the end of 2017 I became pregnant. I started 2018 off with, what I liked to call, "My Second Opportunity." My second opportunity for what? You might ask. And even then I wasn't sure I could put it down to much of anything. I just kept telling myself, "I'm going to do better." Whatever that meant.

I was scared. There was that fear again. But this time, it was surrounding the idea of having a daughter. Silly old me connected my rape with my pregnancy. I was scared to have a daughter, not only because being a girl is a lot to handle out here in the world, but also because I was afraid that my daughter would unintentionally be a huge trigger for me. I don't know if that's a common theme with childhood rape survivors, but I know that it affected me deeply during my pregnancy. 

Being pregnant for the second time was a whole new experience. It was strange because I felt myself feeling so overwhelmed with sadness that I thought my deep-seeded feelings of sadness would settle into my unborn child and she would come out truly unhappy and thinking that I did not love or want her. But simultaneously through these moments, I would talk to her. In fact, we'd have little conversations together. I would be feeling helplessly lost and sad and she'd interject now and then, telling me that things were going to be okay. And I would, in turn, assure her that I loved her so deeply, and that I was just afraid. She would tell me that she loved me, and I felt a bit of peace within myself. 

Little did I know that giving birth to her would be the ultimate catalyst to our lives for the next year.

It wasn't that I was simply, "not afraid" anymore. The fear was still there, no doubt. The difference was that my internal dialogue changed. The difference was that I had someone there who was rooting for me, and it wasn't just my was me.

Wow. Writing that last sentence out just now was fucking powerful and I  really  felt that.

But really though! I was  finally  coming home to myself. And whether or not I was truly having conversations with my unborn daughter or more loving and comforting internal convos with myself, it gave me the strength and the courage to follow that  right  something. My  right something.

My daughter is a fucking superhero and she's not even two!

I know some of you reading this might think, "Duh, fear protects, fear imprisons, blah blah." But you know, I knew that too. And yet, I was still stuck. I was still lost. I think there are a lot of people out there who don't know how to get out, or even feel like they can. Like there's some sign posted for us that says, Do Not Enter. Sometimes I think we just need an extra someone to point out that the sign really says, Exit.
For me, that person was my daughter. Maybe for you, you can allow me to be that person.

Listen to the wind. Feel it. And remember, if the hurricane has approached, it's not too late.

You. Are. Worth. It.

You. Deserve. Happiness.

You. Deserve. Love.

You. Deserve. LIFE!

Do  what's right. It's your right!

Sidenote: Do you ever just stare at a word and it seems to just come apart and not really look like any word at all? Exit did it for me this time. 

Sidenote #2: Also, please listen to the song "Fear Inoculum" by Tool because it really resonated with me and continues to remind me how we can overcome and "expel" our "imprisoning fears." It prompted today's writing subject. 


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