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My Phobia

Popularity 2Viewed 4689 times 2016-2-4 10:13 |System category:Life| beautiful, darkness, thunder, towards, person

                                    I am a person with rich affection. Since I was a young baby, I have already displayed strong emotions and sentiments towards people and things around, such as love, abhorrence, sorrow, compassion and fear. Of all those common human feelings, the one that cast a dark shadow rather than rays of beautiful sunshine on my mind was my inborn phobia to the unknown world, and it haunted my whole infancy like a demon. In my tender years of ignorance, I feared darkness, loneliness, horses, thunder and lightning, eccentric old lady and many many other unfathomable things. As a young kid, I couldn’t comprehend the world and its mystery, nor could I effectively convey my fears and panic to adults. Therefore, my delicate soul got inflicted and suffered a great deal. As I grew older, I took science and psychology classes at school and swam heartily in the boundless oceans of world literature; the demon dwelling in my mind was finally driven out by the powerful knowledge. Psychologically, my babyish phobia is but part of growing process that every human being has to go through in his infancy before he steps into the kaleidoscopic world and comes to perceive its sophistication. However, even in my days of leisure and joy, afterwards, my undesired devil would return, reawakening my illogical but funny childhood experiences.                                             
                          When I was a toddler, the feeling that overwhelmed me most was loneliness. You know, babies have an instinctive tendency to seek for comfort when insecurity is felt. When left alone for long, I would always get seized by an inexplicable panic fear that all furniture and objects in our house were scary monsters which were to pounce on me at any moment with their grim face and sharp claws. Caught up in my imaginary fear, I would drop my toys and dash outside for my mother who was cooking meals in our shabby outdoor kitchen. Clinging firmly to the edge of her garment, I breathed a sigh of relief, my tension eased off with company, then succeeded by what seemed like a sense of victory after a narrow escape. Pictures were another thing that may trigger my weird imagination. Thanks to my artistic father, the inner walls of our house were covered with paintings of all styles and themes. Fascinated by their rich color and marvelous patterns, I would stand in front of those paintings for a long long time, trying to fathom their connotation. Pictures are of still and inanimate existence, which inspired in me a melancholy feeling of loneliness and complexity. I am now surprised that I should have experienced that dark human emotion at such a tender age. Perhaps I was born with depression.             
                           Like any other kid, I am afraid of darkness. Night in the countryside is rather dark and quiet, especially when there is no moon or stars; I was even terrified of my own shadow. In my short stay with my grandparents, we seldom went outside after night fell. There was hardly any illumination in the streets except the dim household lights. Our toilet was in a seclusive corner sheltered by thick green bushes and vines. Thereby, it’s a real adventure for me to go outside to pee in the evening, for I always had an illusion that some frightening monsters or sinister robbers were lurking somewhere in the bushes, even though I was quite aware that all my fears were groundless. Interestingly, those who were stealthily watching me over were crickets singing vigorously in the grass or sparrows that hadn’t closed their eyes on the branches.              
                            Eccentric people are also a bluff to me. My grandma is an excellent storyteller who has ever told of dozens of stories about white-haired girl and noseless clay man who would appear at night and take disobedient kids away. I always took everything my grandma said seriously and tried to behave myself in case I might be miserably carried away by some old and ugly witch. It turned out that the tragedy had never happened to me even if I was mischievous, but I did meet a white-haired lady who was my great grandma at the age of 93. It’s interesting that adults always intimidate small kids into obedience by conjuring up stories of witches.            
                                Ghosts, tombs and cemetery were also common topics that may trigger fear and dread in adults, let alone children. In the countryside, farmers usually bury the dead near their own fields. As far back as I could remember, there was a deserted graveyard on the west side of our village, which was a playground for children then. A couple of tombstones, erected or slanting, were sprawled across the wasteland; some of them were very large inscribed with the dead’s names and their life stories in fine calligraphy. Between the tombs, crab grass grew and spread like crazy interspersed with tiny nameless flowers of all colors. The graveyard held countless mysteries for children to explore in the daytime. Once, after a rainstorm, part of the slope collapsed due to the loosening soil, revealing a big black hole. A bold boy climbed in and pulled out a horrible skull. He threw it on the ground to impress but it accidentally rolled towards where girls were gathering, which sent them running and screaming for help. The scene had haunted me for nearly a year until I could hold it no more but tell every detail about my nightmare to my father, who laughed loudly, sharing with me his own experience of skulls. To my great amusement, in his time boys kicked skulls back and forth like a football in the same graveyard! How interesting!                        
                            Fear and panic are not entirely negative emotions.  They stimulate my curiosity and drive me to explore and learn more about the unknown world. In my serious exploration for the truth and knowledge, they transformed me into a man of reason and bravery. 

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Reply Report LastInQueue 2016-2-13 01:42
Concern is expected whenever the situation for it is needed.   
Fear is normal. Fear helps to keep you alive.   
Panic is uncontrollable fear and that is unhealthy.   

Let's say you are a parent of a 4 year old and you and your child are at a busy zoo.   
You keep the child close to you for concern that he will get lost or hurt.  
Fear is what happens when the child disappears from your sight and you cannot find him.   
Fear can cause your entire body and brain to speed up. This is good and proper because the situation demands it.  
Fear gives you enhanced abilities to find the child. You can think faster, run faster and and are focused on only one task - find that child now! You find yourself taking strong, deep breaths.     
Panic, however, is fear that is uncontrolled. You cannot think properly, get confused easily and the body/mind loses focus. You find it difficult to breathe.  You can not decide what to do so you "freeze in fear".  This is the "panic attack" and it is not healthy for anyone, especially for the lost child.   

Fear is a good thing at the right time. Panic is never good.   
If panic is dominating your life then, please, talk to a professional.  
If fear is a large part of your life then talk about it with family or friends. Oftentimes the demons are thrown out when you bring them out of the little box you hide them in and expose them to the light.   

When young, I was terrified to get a "shot" or injection with a needle (what we call an infusion in China). It may seem like a silly fear to you but no amount of screaming or kicking would save me from getting it. No idea why that fear, more probably a panic attack, has completely gone away now but having lived through the experience helps me to understand how someone can be afraid of something common and ordinary.   

Having defined concern, fear and panic will surely help you on your quest for a more rewarding life.
Reply Report springcastle 2016-2-13 10:08
LastInQueue: Concern is expected whenever the situation for it is needed.   
Fear is normal. Fear helps to keep you alive.   
Panic is uncontrollable fear and that ...
Thanks for you explanation. I understand the separate definitions of concern, fear and panic. I will try to  adjust my emotions in situations where I am trapped and avoiding unhealthy mindset. You seem as if you are a psychologist by progression.
Reply Report LastInQueue 2016-2-14 16:57
"springcastle wrote: ... You seem as if you are a psychologist by progression..."   
Nope, I'm just old and have "been there and done that".  

Failing to mention in the previous post, There is a great demand for Fear. Don't believe? Go to Disney World. The best attractions are the ones that make people scream.  
Concern about getting on the roller coaster becomes Fear when you are going slowly uphill. Panic sets in when you are thrown downhill at high speed. Everyone exits the attraction with big smiles and are ready to queue again!

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