Your head is light and heavy at the same time, the back of your throat itches as if you’re going to cry, but that’s impossible because your eyes are parched, starving for moisture. And how is it conceivable for you to be frozen, yet your limbs are shaking uncontrollably. Your heart’s throbbing fifty beats per second but somehow your lungs are hungry for oxygen. And what are those things churning in the pit of the stomach that makes you feel as if you’re about to throw up and wet yourself simultaneously? How can you be numb and yet all your nerve endings are screaming in pain?
It’s the nastiest feeling in the world…being afraid. And to be honest, I can’t tell which is worst. Being afraid as a child or as a woman? And what does it mean when in both those instances, you’re afraid of the same things?
There are so many things to be afraid of; the dark, heights, reptiles. And as survivors…being judged, ridiculed, intimidated. Aphenphosmphobia. That’s the name they’ve given my fear. The fear of being vulnerable. The fear of opening my mouth and having words spill out that opens me up and leaves me bare…defenceless. Is that what we’re all afraid of? I suppose, to some extent, this veneer of anonymity offers some form of protection so technically I’m not really allowing myself to be vulnerable. Technically. But it is a start. Perhaps someday the facelessness will be stripped away and I will indeed be left bare and…open. I’ve heard it being said that the first step in getting over your fear is admitting it. Will you take that step with me? Will you tell me what you’re afraid of? Maybe we can help each other overcome them. Maybe one day we won’t be afraid anymore.
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