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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Afraid to live

Lately I have become aware that fear is something that is interfering with my life and I decided to track down its roots as quickly as possible so that I can be done with it once and for all.

Until I began investigating I believed it was something that had cropped up in recent years. I couldn’t have been more wrong. It has been a problem all of my life and I wanted to know how this could have happened. What started the whole thing? Surely we are not born with the fear that terrible things may happen to us as we stroll along our journey. I was determined to know when this unreasonable fear of living my life began. There had to have been some kind of serious trauma and I realized it may not even include a conscious memory.

The best place to begin is in the beginning. My parents were married in June and I was born in December of the same year. Math has never been my strong point, but I can count higher than 9. My dear mother claimed I was premature until the day she died at 75. As an adult I sent for my birth certificate and clearly read the words full term birth. Even though I read the words I am not certain that my conscious mind grasped their meaning. After all, my mother, who was there at the time of my conception and delivery, should know the truth shouldn’t she?

From then on I blamed her for lying, which caused me to think less of her. I’m sure she had good reasons; including her own fear of finding out she was pregnant and not married. This fear was quite possibly passed on to me, even before my birth. If I knew then what I know now I would have realized it didn’t matter that she lied, because that was her problem. What mattered is that I believed her, until I saw the truth in writing. By then it had already done years of damage to my self-esteem.

The word premature to me means: weak, not ready, incomplete or flawed in some way. Added to this was the fact that when I was four months old she got pregnant again and my brother was born 9 months later. As a small child I could have interpreted that to mean that I wasn’t good enough and she needed to try again. Admittedly, I’m just guessing here. I have good reason to believe from the way she mothered both of us that she never intended to be a mother at all. We don’t always get what we want in life!

I believe I have found the root of my fear, now to pull it out and start over. I am not the person I was led to believe that I was. In recent years I have proved to myself and to the world that I am in no way weak, incomplete or flawed. There is no longer a need to hold on to a bold faced lie told by my mother to cover up her fear.


  1. Wow....I would imagine it feels better knowing what you feared and what you have done to compensate. It also gave me cause to pause and consider the things that I fear most...and why.

    Thanks again Barb for your insightful thoughts.

  2. I hope I helped Wayne. You have to keep digging until you find the root of the problem. Good luck!