For this months issue, we asked readers what some of their personal fears might be! These were the answers we received! What are YOU scared of? Give it some thought, and add it to the comments below!
“Fear can be a superpower…
OK, so for the benefit of Imagine Magazine, I’ve flushed out, what was initially a much briefer response. Feel free to use it if it’s helpful in some way.
Well for one, I’m super claustrophobic. And it’s not so much about being in tight places like a small room, it’s more about being unable to breathe / move / sit up / raise my hands, being restricted in some form, just the thought of, say, being put in a straitjacket or handcuffs, or sandwiched between two huge rocks, unable to squeeze through, seriously freaks me out.
When people think of claustrophobia they think of the fear of being trapped in small rooms / tight spaces, etc. But while that does bother me somewhat, it’s much more about me being physically restrained.
I was skipping school when I was 8 or 9 and accidentally sat on a red ants nest. I was literally covered in them. head to toe. Hair to… butt crack. Yikes! I ran all the way home, shot past my mother and dashed in the shower. They’ve bothered me ever since.
More than anything, I guess public speaking affects me. I literally get panic attacks and make a fool of myself. I don’t like being the center of attention.
One on one I can talk to anyone. But put ten people in front of me, even if they’re all family members, and I’m asked to make a speech, I’d just freeze up and get tongue tied. I’d probably even be the same in front of ten clones of myself! Lol.
And the fear feeds into the fear. It’s like, knowing I’m nervous and fearful of doing it, makes my performance, when I’m actually doing it, all the worse. Which in turn intensifies my phobia even more.
If there’s one thing I could change about me (well besides stuff like winning the lottery, immortality, super powers and other fantasy type rubbish), then this phobia would be the thing I’d change. It’s probably affected my life more than anything else, because it gets in the way sometimes.
And I suppose death’s scary when you think about it.
At least for this godless heathen. If you believe you live on after you die, I suppose the idea’s less frightening. But then you’re still left with wondering what that next stage of existence is, and what it would be like to experience.
The idea of someday ceasing to be a conscious being is a little frightening to consider, especially if you start to dwell on that thought. I don’t want to stop living. I enjoy my life, and I don’t want to stop having experiences. Death’s also scary when you consider your loved ones dying. I’ve already lost a few close friends and grandparents (and pets).
When I turned 30, about two years ago next month, the thought about my death suddenly struck me. I hadn’t really considered my death before then. Death used to seem so far off, distant, unworthy of thinking about. But when I turned 30 I was thinking that it suddenly seemed not so far away after all. Practically half of my life was in the past. My youth was rapidly disappearing. So yeah, I was stuck in a rut for a couple of days because of it. Now it’s just… whatever. I don’t tend to think about it, so it doesn’t really bother me.
I also find the flip side of death disconcerting. Imagine being forced to live on forever. I mean really think about it. You’ve lived a trillion years. You’ve had every conceivable experience. Every possible thought. And you’ve BARELY started!. What’s a measly number like one TRILLION years, when you go on for an eternity?
So while I’d like to live a lot longer than a typical human lifespan, I’d want to be able to end it all at some point in the future.
Trying to think of a way to leave this rather morbid comment, upbeat.”
I’m glad you asked this again, because I got to thinking the other day about this very issue, and two things came to mind that I forgot the first time around…
And to say that “I forgot” about them isn’t technically right, it was more that I realized them about myself.
Ok, so two things come to mind.
First, this one requires a bit of a backstory to explain the phobia / habit.
When I was 8, going on 9, in 1993, my grandfather was in hospital to have heart surgery, at the time he was my role model. Pretty much the only male role model I had growing up.
He never made it out of the hospital, he died a couple of days after being admitted.
But while he was in there, I was coming home from school and I went over on my ankle and sprained it pretty badly.
I think it’s the last time I ever remember crying because of been in pain. Here’s a funny side-note, I dragged myself home in tears and put my super swollen, painful ankle in HOT water (what the fuck was I thinking? Hot water as opposed to cold?).
Anyway, I couldn’t put any weight on my foot for at least a week and I never got to see my gramps one last time in hospital before he passed away.
Anyway, since that time, I must have sprained my ankle a dozen times (at least). It’s never been right since, and it’s always felt relatively weak compared to my other one. I have a “fear” of going over on it again, so every time I walk I’m mentally cautious about it. Even on normal flat surfaces, it’s been known to turn on itself and fuck does it hurt.
The other thing that comes to mind, also involves my health.
This is more of a habit, but it’s based on a fear.
I’ve had a few bad illnesses over the years. Mostly during my 17th and 18th year when I caught viral meningitis, and then the Christmas following, I spent the whole period in bed with pneumonia. It was so bad, I had to use paper to communicate. I couldn’t even whisper, my chest was that bad.
I’ve also had food poisoning and my niece got salmonella from something she ate in a restaurant, on vacation.
So now I kind of have a habit of slightly over cooking everything I eat, and I don’t often eat out (hearing some of the horror stories about what happens in restaurant kitchens doesn’t help. Did you guys hear about the rat head found inside a Popeye’s Chicken piece, recently? Damn!)
So yeah, I tend to slightly cook everything, or cook past the regulated times, anyway, by a couple of minutes. I don’t burn my food, but I make damn sure it’s properly cooked. It’s just my way of being extra cautious. The same goes with food that’s touched the floor or has passed the use by date. It goes in the bin. I hate being sick. I mean, it’s not often I get coughs and colds. I can’t remember the last time I had one. But when I do get ill, I really get ill.
Anyway, those two examples, plus the others ones, can be used in the imagine mag if that’s your intention. No worries. 🙂
Whew! That was lengthier than what I expected it to be (that’s what he said :P).
– @mike (Mike84)
“The weird dreams/nightmares where you can fly but can’t land and the dream/nightmare where you need to run but you can’t because your legs are like a ton of steel and weak, feels like you’re in a quagmire.”
I’m 41… I have loved people in the past, but I don’t think I’ve been loved back… it sucks… I used to really be able to see and feel like I’ll find someone, but the last couple of years that feeling has been fading and I feel so alone… I keep thinking “what if there will be no one?” I haven’t been with anyone in 14 years and it really scares me and depresses me a lot.
WOW… that was really hard for me to write.”
“I am not frightened by mythical monsters from antiquity. The supernatural- meh. Magic and myth scare children.
What scares grown ups is the possible.
This fellow (Picture Of Killer Alien)- he could really be out there. We just don’t know.
Evolution could take many different paths. Every new planet we explore, every new race we encounter is a whole new ecology. Historically, some rather grim real life horror stories have occurred when different ecologies have collided. Think about colonial America and the accidental introduction of smallpox and measles and the effect they had on the Native American population.
The introduction of invasive species into a biosphere which has no native predators to keep them under control: rabbits introduced to Australia is one example. Nutrias in the American South is another.
We also don’t know what horrors can grow in a lab or fall from outer space to cause havoc like a horrific plague like The Stand, The Strain or The Andromeda Strain.
Last, but certainly not least, humans do some of the most horrifying things I can think of. Insane cults, repressive governments, genocidal leaders and wars- the reality of the last hundred and something years since WWI is as horrifying and nauseating than any fiction I have ever seen.
Make people afraid enough and they’ll fall for anything.
That’s enough horror for one post.”
“I have nothing intelligent to add. Zombehs.”
Like not just being alone but not being able to contact anyone.
Weird fear i guess”
“For example, take me. Even the little insects like cockroaches and one type of grasshoppers and mostly the spiders scares the shit out of me. Crazy monkeys, silent street dogs, wickedly smiling men, and so on and so on. You just name it, I’ll find a situation happened in my life as an example, instead of alien abductions and birdman. 😛 A man is a man scared of a lot issues in a lot situations. :boy: “
“Okay. Talking of serious issues, instead of the insects, and the people in the name of insects, I am scared of death too. Its not like I am scared of death, but I am so scared to die alone. I have always feared being alone without any companion to live with. Yeah, parent and family will be there, but the aspect of a soul-mate is different from other relationships. I am the who told “Love is Everywhere”, but without a partner the circle will never get complete.”
– Emi GS
“Two fears come to mind, actually. The biggest fear I have is death, I think. Not just my own but of the people around me that I care about. It’s weird, because I’m the biggest horror movie fan in the world but that’s a total separation from the reality of the situation. I remember being pretty young and was basically just starting to understand the actual concept of death and what it was, and (without going into much detail) there was a situation with my father where I actually thought that I was dead. I freaked out. No more toys, no more friends, no more Mom… all gone in an instant, forever. And to this day I fear that I won’t live to a ripe old age. Or that I’ll never be able to accomplish everything that I wanted to accomplish, or that there are people that I never get to say goodbye to. The idea that the people I love most could just suddenly not be there anymore… it’s always been something that worried me.
The second thing is total exposure. I’m guessing that it’s a feeling that’s steeped in fear, but it mostly just really gets under my skin and bothers me intensely. I’ve never been a ‘full disclosure’ kind of guy. Some people are, and God bless them for being able to do that. But I’m a private person. There are things that I keep to myself. There are conversations that were only intended for one or two people exclusively. I have secrets. Nothing shocking or explosive. I mean, it’s not like I’ve got bodies hidden in my basement or anything. I just feel that cold information without context is a bad thing. Cold facts can explain themselves. Words can be misquoted, ideas can be misrepresented, personalities can be misjudged. There are things that I can talk to you guys about that I don’t want to share with my mother. Family stuff that I can talk to my mom about that I don’t want to share with my boss at work. Work related issues that I don’t want to share with friends I went to high school with years ago. Which is why Facebook doesn’t really appeal to me that much, because there isn’t much that I can talk about that I want EVERYONE in my life to know outside of sharing a cat video or some music. So I guess I have a fear of not being able to be to maintain a sense of discretion or privacy when I need to. People try to force their way into your life sometimes. You can be Googled, you can be tracked, your emails can be read, your chat logs can be recorded, your silly Youtube videos that you made when you were 12 will still be around when you’re 60. Your computer knows every site that you visit, where you’re came from to get there and where you go when you leave. I was looking at PORN once, and underneath the video was a comment box with a personal Facebook profile attached! (What the…? Who shares their porn habits with everybody on Facebook???) Anyway, I grew up hiding stuff at home, hiding my sexuality, hiding my attractions when I got older and my desires err… didn’t, and plus I think it’s just a matter of class to not spit out every thought in your head at the feet of everybody around you. I’d rather people come to me directly and ask so I can either give them the proper context for the info given, or simply say ‘that’s private’ and leave it at that. People swapping my private details and gossip or seeking me out without my permission is something that grates on me pretty quickly.
Anyway, those two things are the biggest for me. Oh, and insects! All insects! I’m not really afraid of animals so much. Not even snakes or lizards or wild dogs or any of the scary ones. But spiders and roaches and mosquitoes and stuff? No way! Souless creatures, insects! SOULESS! Hehehe!”
“Well aside from Frogs and Toads umm… to be honest not much scares me. Maybe I’ve been lucky in life but 2 things that sort of scare me. Dying before my parents and second Talking to new people which is why I am the WORST person at being able to go and chat someone up… my brain and speech do a 180 on me every time… actually this also happens at interviews which kinda sucks right now.
Actually now I think about it I have to admit I’m kinda scared for when my folks go, as then I will be truly on my own.”
“Heres what scrares me!!! Egotistical jock meathead assholes!!!! gaaahhhh!!!”
– Joey (Yup ! Scary shit!!)
“Wasps and hornets. Awful little critters. When I was 7 years old a wasp landed on my leg and climbed up my shorts. Thank everything you care to thank that it didn’t sting me somewhere sensitive. I still haven’t figured out what their role in the food chain is, other than to be a pestilence.
If ever there becomes a way to wipe every last one of them off the face of the earth, I’ll give serious consideration to doing it. They actually make me happy I have spiders in my room/house.”
– Hunter Thomson
“Bees are necessary to pollinate certain plants and give us yummy honey, but I am also very terrified of the stingy little bastards. If I see a bee or anything with a stinger on its ass, I run the other way. And I don’t run. :unsure: … The fat fuzzy bumble bees are tolerable… but anything else is cause to run screaming and flailing my limbs. I suppose I call all stingy things ‘bees’ so lump them in unfairly. I stepped on a stingy thing when I was a kid and got stung on my foot. Probably what produced my fear of the little bastards.“
“No hands. or deformed hands. or losing my hands. nightmares generally with no hands.
Also very small dark underground spaces. You people who go potholing are 100% insane.”
– Sasha Distan
“Human depravity is my biggest fear, and it is not even the Hitler’s of the world. It is that all these depraved, horrid souls run around preaching their version of hate to innocent children, perpetuating the problem.”
Fear is something I know all too well. When you have problems with anxiety and struggle with agoraphobia, being afraid is something you have no choice but to live with on a daily basis. That said, what am I afraid of? Everything. Or, more specifically, I’m afraid of fear itself.
It’s the thought of being afraid that gets me. The constant worry of an anxiety attack, the knowledge that at any time, any place, your heart can start beating at a billion thumps per second. The ache in your chest, the bile in your throat, the shakes, the sweats, the world as it starts to race and spin at impossible speeds.
Agoraphobia is defined as having an irrational fear of crowded or enclosed public spaces, but that’s not necessarily accurate. For me, agoraphobia is a fear of wide open spaces. A feeling of being too far from safety, or being surrounded by strangers who just don’t give a damn. We’ve all seen those videos when someone pretends to be unconscious and lying in the middle of the street, in need of immediate help, and everyone around him just circles around his near-corpse and even steps right over him. That’s what scares me. If something happens to me when I’m not with someone I know, will anyone help me? It’s really hard to say, and a HUGE part of me often doesn’t want to take that chance. That’s why a huge portion of my life over the past 7 years has been spent at home. Irrational fear? Who’s to say?
Another strangely contradicting fear from my agoraphobia is that I’m afraid to be alone. If I’m at home alone, the same fears I get when I’m out alone in public start gnawing at my thoughts. Of course, when you think about it, it’s really just the same fear, isn’t it? I’m afraid of needing help and having no one around to help me. That’s a bit more like the agoraphobia I know.
A strange fear of mine is a fear of not doing. Yes, you read that right. I’m afraid to sit idle. It makes me feel uneasy. That’s why I’m always tinkering with one project or another. The only real times that I can sit and relax and let my mind do nothing is when I’m reading or watching something on television.
The one thing I’ve learned about fear is that it can be everywhere and be found in any thing, and if one so desired, with a lot of practice and subconscious trial and error, a person can concentrate all of their individual fears into a single, terrifying entity. Something that contains all of their fears, all at once, so while you may be able to ‘get over’ a fear of heights, you may have just moved that focus somewhere else, like to spiders or the dark or being alone. And for each time you move a fear, it accumulates into that something else. Eventually you may have funneled all of your fears into one crippling object or creature that you may never be able to face.