November 2017
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my most annoying personality obfuscation: fear of the physical world


This week's LJ idol topic: "My Most Annoying Personality Trait"

I don't believe people have negative personality traits, because that implies that the negative quality is inherent. I think people are beautiful at core, though they may pick up negative traits in the same way that a the most beautiful cloth would pick up dirt and debris if you were to drag it along the ground. And I don't believe it is possible to stain the human spirit -- some things are harder to wash out than others, but nothing is impossible to remove because it does not become part of us -- the negative cannot reach our core.

So I decided to give the topic a slight change: "My Most Annoying Personality Obfuscation" (to obfuscate is to make so unclear/opaque as to be difficult to perceive/understand).

And here it is: I yield to fear and let it control me. Not emotionally, no -- I think I am one of most emotionally brave people I've ever known -- but physically. I'm afraid of any physical risk, no matter how illogical or minute. Just walking alone halfway across the neighborhood to get my mail is a major accomplishment for me because in some alternate universe I could get mugged or kidnapped (I live in a very safe area). I sometimes go into the side yard to take photos of my jewelry, but if anyone comes by I get nervous and uncomfortable and scurry back inside like a mouse. As far as driving, once I push myself out of the flat I can comfortably drive anywhere that I am familiar with, but I am afraid to drive further than 30 minutes from my flat and I can't go anywhere that would require a map because I am afraid of getting lost. If I'm with someone else I don't have this problem, but I have no friends nearby so it's a big part of my life, and it's infuriating.

I'm not sure how this fear came back into my life -- a few years ago I spent nearly a year literally housebound from fear (when I was working through childhood sexual abuse in counseling) but as I progressed I lost that fear, and then this year it crept up on me again. Perhaps it feeds on depression, because this has been a supremely bad year; whatever the case, I am determined to overcome it. Last year I almost lost several of my friends because of canceling on them several times thanks to this senseless phobia -- it will not cause me or my friends such pain again. And I can only imagine the number of opportunities that I have lost because I have not gone out to discover them.

This year is the year of physical risk-taking for me. I've started off small, with a goal of going out at least three times a week to Curves -- barely a mile from my flat. But it is a step that will make other steps easier, because with increased strength I have more confidence, and when I feel strong enough I plan to take a self-defense class. And in April I hope to be strong enough to join in a nocturnal treetop excursion -- nighttime and trees are two of my greatest passions. I will not miss this opportunity! I do hope that I will have a friend to go with me but I am determined to go even if I go alone. And in the meantime I will challenge myself with meeting new people and going new places alone.

Next year I hope to look back and say "Wow, I can't believe I was ever that fearful. I'm so glad to be free!"

LJ idol topic 12: "My Most Annoying Personality Trait Obfuscation" ((if you liked/got something from this, please vote for me))

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Comments
puppetmaker40 ══╣╠══
Good for you. Both for recognizing this trait and doing something about it. You are a very brave person.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
thanks!
aubkabob ══╣straightjacket dib╠══
Oh my gaw, that nighttime excursion is beyond amazing to think about! (Of course, you know how I feel about trees and nighttime, as well...)
belenen ══╣tree joy╠══
fly down and go with me! ;-)
sabr ══╣╠══
Oh, that tree excursion would be so much fun to go to...but it's also the same day as the steeplechase. I'll see what I might work out.
belenen ══╣tree joy╠══
oh, it would be so fun to have you along! but I know how important the steeplechase is to you ;-)
sabr ══╣╠══
yea, but I still will see what I can do :)
kittenboo ══╣hair in face╠══
good for you! you can overcome this fear, you have done it before, you will do it again!
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
yes! thanks for the encouragement!
barkdust ══╣╠══
I have a little physical fear, but mine is mostly emotional.

Thank you for sharing this, and I hope you can find a way to tap into your bravery.
belenen ══╣progressing╠══
thanks! ♥
opheliasxflower ══╣╠══
This entry has made me feel so much better about my own fear: I dislike driving anywhere I am not familiar with. No, dislike is not a strong enough word. I fear it - I am convinced that if I am ever in unknown territory, I am at the mercy of strangers who will take advantage of me in every possible way and I will never again return home. I am more terrified of breaking down in the middle of nowhere than I am of anything else. Walking outside is only slightly less stressful.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing that. I am constantly being made fun of (and yelled at, in some cases) when I refuse to drive to new areas by myself.
belenen ══╣connate╠══
oh, and I in turn am so glad you shared your fear! It makes me feel not so silly. ♥
johnmill79 ══╣╠══
I wish you well in breaking out of that fear. And I acknowledge that it must have taken a lot of courage to write that.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
thank you twice! ♥
redarmy_pariah ══╣╠══
nicely written :) and i'm so happy for you in working on this fear(s) of yours. i'm guilty of the same type of fear. emotionally i'm very strong and fearless. but physically, it's totally different. and i hope you can go on that tree excursion. it sounds fun!

side note : will you let me into Curvygirls? *bats eyelashes*
belenen ══╣tree joy╠══
thanks for the encouragement! and I am glad to know I am not alone ♥

I sent you an invite -- did you get it?
redarmy_pariah ══╣╠══
no :( lemme see.
hexeldorf ══╣cym╠══
Very well put!
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
thanks!
shioneh ══╣dauntless╠══
I relate to what you talk about here so very much and I'm really sorry that you've been through it and are still struggling.

I totally agree with you about personality flaws not existing because that suggests they are ingrained. I love personality obfuscation! another amazing belenen word.

I found the distinction you made between risks in the emotional world and risks in the physical world really interisting.

I think you're totally right about depression feeding it and I think that for me, isolation from others is an important factor too. At least for me, if I feel connected to others in my community, if I feel a sense of belonging, it expands my comfort zone which is one of the reasons I feel so much more comfortable in my neighborhood in Belgium than in Glasgow, I think. I have a larger comfort zone there, a larger amount of space that feels safe. Last year, when things were very bad, my comfort zones was so small I was bound to just two rooms. I've got so much better! I don't mean to make this 'about me' I guess what I'm trying to say is that I know it's difficult and horrible and I'm making the journey with you and I totally support your determination to leave the fear behind. You don't deserve to feel cooped up and also, I know if you feel more comfortable out and about, you can have a great impact. I know you can face your fears and I'm so proud of you for the fears you are conquering already.

Will vote ♥
belenen ══╣bel hearts hannah╠══
thank you so much for this comment ♥
imafarmgirl ══╣╠══
I loved your entry. The fabric analogy was great as well.
belenen ══╣writing╠══
thanks!
n_decisive ══╣╠══
Whoa, howdy: a nocturnal treetop expedition? That IS brave! Well done!
belenen ══╣tree joy╠══
haha, well, haven't done it yet but I do plan on it!
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.