• Kaetlyn Osmond

What Is Your Fear?

Fear by definition is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.

What are your greatest fears?

I have many. I am fearful of spiders. Or any bugs in general. I really dislike their creepy crawly movements. I am scared of the hair that gets clogged in shower drains. I know it is irrational, but I can always imagine it moving and jumping at me. It’s just tangled hair, but it freaks me out so much. I’m scared of the unknown. I’m scared of losing my friends or my family. I am scared when my dog plays Houdini, managing to escape her harness and start running toward the busy road full speed ahead. I have a fear of walking into a room full of people and not knowing one person there. I am scared walking alone in the dark. And ultimately my greatest fear is being alone.

A Nightmare by definition is an unpleasant dream that can cause a strong emotional response from the mind, typically fear but also despair, anxiety, and great sadness.

Nightmares are different from your regular fears. My fears, I can chalk them up sometimes to adrenaline rushes. They get my heart racing, but ultimately I can know I can overcome them. I know I can fight that spider and clean out the gross shower drain. I know my dog is just playing, but she is smart enough to stay on the grass. I’ve walked in the dark many times, usually resulting in walking really fast and calling someone on the way; or just giving up and calling an Uber. And being alone is a fear, but I know that I am never really alone. I have friends and a family that love me. I have a dog and a cat that instinctively know when I need those extra cuddles.

My nightmare is the only thing I can’t control. It scares me. It wakes me up in the middle of the night with pain in my chest and a pit in my stomach. I lose all sense of reality for a while. I’m looking at my room trying to figure out where I am. I catch myself looking in the mirror to make sure I am still looking back at me, and then I panic thinking someone is going to appear in the mirror and drag me away.

What makes my nightmare terrifying for me is that it is so irrational that I can’t turn it around. My all time worst nightmare is vanishing. Literally disappearing and not being remembered. I fear walking around completely invisible and realizing that nobody’s lives changed or were affected by me not being around. I rely so heavily on how other’s impact my life, so much so, that when they aren’t in them anymore, I still have the memories, the landmarks that makes me think of them. Yet what sets me into a panic in the middle of the night is vanishing from the people around me. Loudly screaming, hoping that someone would hear me, and nobody ever does.

I always believed that actually feeling that way in real life wasn’t possible. There was always someone around that would remind me I am still here. That I would always be able to speak, and at least one person would hear me.

But recently, my nightmare had a sense of reality.

My nightmare came true.

About a month ago, I was talking to someone whom I thought was a friend. The same conversations that we always had, nothing new. And the next day, he made me disappear. I was gone. No longer could I access his social media... it said he wasn’t a user. No more could I send text messages… they weren’t being delivered. I was home alone the day that I discovered that and I crumpled to the floor. Emptiness filled me. Pain took over. Being alone was weighing me down.

I frantically started texting people, hoping to get an answer from the world, and thankfully I had friends that woke me up. Reminding me that was only one person. Reminding me that there were still people around.

At the time, everyone was away on family obligations. And as great as their messages were, seeing someone face to face was what I needed. I needed someone to look at me, needed someone to bring me back to earth. I didn’t have that for a few days. In that time, I stayed in bed for a lot of hours. Convinced myself to move to the couch. And finally managed to get myself to a coffee shop.

That coffee shop had strong memories. Good ones. Happy ones. And being there helped. I didn’t listen to music as I usually do, I listened to the constant chatter around me. I listened to people ordering complicated coffees. And I listened to the dishes hitting counters and tables. At some point, someone complimented my scarf. He looked directly at me and spoke to me. That is all he said. I never got his name, that was the extent of us ever meeting. But he made me realize that I was still there. I wasn’t invisible.

It’s been a month, I’m still blocked. Nothing has changed. I’m not fully recovered. I still have that annoying pit in my stomach. But I am moving and alive. Still going one day at a time and feeling excited and hopeful. Its truthfully all I can ask for.

Fear and nightmares have a controlling power over our emotions and makes it harder to overcome. It makes us feel weak and powerless. But sometimes all you need is a little bit of help. For me, all it took was someone looking at me and complimenting my scarf. He will probably never know how much that meant. And it just proves to you that you can impact anyones life. You don’t know what they are going through. So sometimes just being nice, a simple smile, a little eye contact, and even a small compliment can be just enough.

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