Posted by: Dennie | July 11, 2013

Why Am I Afraid?

Trial and error. If I am going to continue moving forward, I need to accept the fact that I have a lot to learn, and will most certainly make lots of mistakes. Tonight, I’ve been tripped up and bogged down because my photo of the “What Would You Do If…” book fills the entire computer screen and leaves no room for text. I had to make the decision to either, A-fiddle around for what will most likely be the remainder of my evening attempting  to fit the photo proportionately into  this space, or B– leave the damn thing for another time and get some words on this page. B prevails.

Mistakes. Everyone makes them. Some, it seems, more than others. Growing up, I was told it was okay to make mistakes. Nobody’s perfect. That’s how we learn. But the message somehow became convoluted,  twisting to the opposite extreme. I was terrified to make mistakes, yet it seemed I was doing just that on a regular basis. My memories are flooded with situations when I sat in the hot seat,  hammered with questions for which I had no answers. My problem was, I didn’t realize I was making those mistakes until after I’d made them. Then it became abundantly clear that someone was pissed off  due to my actions, or lack of, and it was usually one or both of my parents, or a teacher, and sometimes, when I was really on a roll, all three.

I didn’t like being in trouble. I didn’t intentionally make mistakes to piss people off. It just seemed to be part of my nature. I  concluded that I was naturally predisposed to driving most people crazy and that it was my lot in life  to generally be up the creek. And, of course, I would have left my paddle back on the shore.

A wonderful therapist once told me that I was a “spirited” child. The description was foreign to me and a rather nice alternative to the “uncontrollable” label imposed on me from a young age. She also provided an affirmation that while my spirit may have been a little bent, it had never been broken.  I distinctly remember feeling my spirit soar the day she spoke those words. It was as if I had finally been given permission to be me, to celebrate the unbridled joy I so often had about life, yet felt the need to temper so as not to make a disturbance.

I suspect those paragraphs above may harbor a hint or two that could shed some light on my title question. I’m not here to blame or point fingers. I’m here to figure out why I’m here.

The last twenty-four hours have provided some insight to my question. Here is my life, and I am making the conscious decision for it to be, literally, an open book. Much has been revealed, and it’s a little disconcerting to think–to know–that not all of it will be accepted graciously by those who read it. I vacillate between full disclosure and suppression. Instinctively, I know that to suppress would appease my fear of judgement. But these days I  strive not to let  “assessments” hinder me. I have never deliberately  hurt anyone, however, I know that if I hold back now, I will be hurting myself.  And so, I’ll push forward and press “publish.”

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