All of my life i’ve been afraid of something.
Mostly irrational fears, like being scared of the dark until i was around 19 and still feeling claustrophobic about it even now.
When i was between 10 and 12 my cousin played an online video game that i believe was in a room escape style while i watched out of the corner of my eye. I remember feeling anxious even though i wasn’t playing or watching properly. In the game, he passed an open door with a mirror angled slightly towards the character’s POV. A dark hooded figure swept past the mirror’s reflection and thus began my fear of mirrors for around 8-10 years.
My OCD happily latched onto this image, which is probably the reason it became such an intense phobia for me, and i used to have rituals if i needed to interact with a mirror in any way.
I’ve sort of grown out of some of my fears as i’ve gotten older. I say ‘sort of’ because i still feel some level of anxiety around them but nowhere near the extreme they used to be.
My fears and worries nowadays tend to be just as irrational for being unfounded but more appropriate for my life, desires and happiness.
A fear of being infertile/having fertility problems
This one has plagued me for approx 3 years now. I guess it started with myself and a past partner being stupid with contraception. It certainly wasn’t ever a plan to have a baby that early in our relationship but my period still hadn’t returned since stopping the Depo-Provera injection a year previous, so i made an assumption that “it would all be okay”. I know that tends to be the famous last words for a large amount of people but oddly it wasn’t for us. Even after my period returned and we were still sloppy and irresponsible, we never had so much of a scare and my periods kept coming like clockwork. Fast forward to now and i’ve had one scare when it came a day late. I’m hoping i’m just really good at my method of natural birth control by closely tracking my fertile periods, but i’m stuck between not wanting a baby right now and being happy that i’ve not accidentally gotten pregnant, and being terrified that i can’t get pregnant in the first place.
A fear of my partner dying
I suppose this is one that most people have, although my fears easily turn into obsessions that take over my brain. Tom works away a lot and he always drives, so my main worry is that he gets in an accident. This is probably fueled by my experiences of being in 3 car accidents before i turned 16. Logically i know he’s a great driver and has a ton of experience but that does very little to soothe me. I can’t imagine how parents must feel about their children if this is the level of anxiety i can achieve from my healthy, grown up, highly-capable-of-surviving partner dying.
A fear of my mental health deteriorating or never improving
It’s becoming clear that i’ve reached the end of my ability to deal with my mental health alone. I haven’t visited a Dr about it since 2011 and my dealings with them were less than useful. Those close to me keep telling me to speak to a professional about things and it is something i know i need to do, but i’m still a little hesitant. It scares me to think that i might always be this way or worse. It has an effect on every aspect of my life including work and relationships with others. It already stops me from doing certain things and causes other people pain. I can’t remember how long exactly i’ve felt this way but i know it’s a really long time, at least 4 years. Obviously i’m not a Dr or any kind of healthcare professional, but i have my suspicions on what the diagnosis could be. That’s part of the reason i’m still debating whether to seek help or not – i don’t want to be diagnosed and immediately put on medication. Sadly the only way i’m able to get the treatment i want (DBT) is by going through the motions, starting with my GP…
A fear of being emotionally unavailable to my future children
This one is related to the above paragraph. When i have strong emotions or reactions to events, i enter a “zombie state” where i am unavailable, uncooperative and generally a bit of a bitch. I can also deteriorate into this state by either accidentally or purposefully isolating myself from others for a prolonged period of time (aka having a day off work with no plans when Tom is working or away). I feel very sorry that Tom has to deal with this version of me and he’s said before that it’s heartbreaking. It can last anywhere from 5 minutes to 15 hours and i find it nearly impossible to ‘snap out of it’ without external help (aka someone intervening).
We aren’t planning on starting a family just yet, as Tom keeps saying: “house first!”, but as it’s something in the not so distant future, it’s a creeping worry for me that i will still be emotionally unavailable. I’m sure lots of parents will tell me not to fret and that nothing could crush your love for your children etc. I wish i could fully believe them but you hear horrible stories of neglectful mothers and i know how horrible my brain can be sometimes. Take the rats for example: i love those sweet little puddings so much. They’re fantastic and playing with them always makes me feel better, especially when they give me kisses and run up to the cage to greet me. But i can’t always get that far. Some days i can’t even bear to look at them because having something that loves me try to get affection from me feels like glass through my heart. Then comes the guilt of not getting them out to play and the disgust at myself and self pity and it can easily spiral from there. I guess i can’t really compare my pet rats to a child, but it’s the only similar relationship i have to work from.
All in all, it’s fucking terrifying being an adult.