"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Fear of Fear

I have been thinking a lot lately about how I always self-label as "conflict averse." I love resolution, communion, co-work, connection and warmth. I really dislike conflict. I know that lots of people don't like it and isn't easy kind of by design....but I have a true deep fear of conflict. I don't know how to openly disagree with people, I am not very much able to defend myself or those I love from anyone but the most intimate of my people. (Like A....that's about it. Often not even to my own siblings or parents.) I have been working on personal growth for years, seeing my weak spots, admitting that I am in process and making shifts and seeking out knowledge for my gaps. This is one that's been a blind spot though.

I have known for a little while that I need to learn to be assertive....which a piece of the conversation. I need to be able to say what I think, to correct wrongs, to stick up for those I love...etc. But suddenly, I'm standing on the edge of this yawning maw with fangs and horrible breath. Its bigger than that.

I need to learn to be uncomfortable. Maybe not to enjoy discomfort....but I need to stop patting myself on the back because I run from it. I need to stop handing t-bone steaks to my fear demons, bragging about my preference for the easy life and learn to see my own fear as blinking light that indicates a place that I can learn bravery, can see that I am bigger than my own fight-or-flight stories and can develop a muscle about feeling fear and seeing it and choosing to live where it is and not hide or block or cover with it with sparkles.

I want to be wise, and listen to fear when it is my survivalist counselor but learn not to stifle it with giant gag rags and live my life on a chloroformed haze of avoidance. I want to see that fear is real, normal and that I can survive it. I was raised on this....my mom knows this kind of thing. She's the wise kind of mama who raised her girls to stop squealing and never glorifyied being a wimp....she always told me those kinds of things. That's why I'm a survivor...I'm not afraid of dirt, I can clean my own fish and I know how to handle blood. Still, somehow. the nice girl in me got kinda stuck on dealing with the emotional pain. I'm great with childbirth, not with suspicion that someone might think I'm a bad person. I can handle a zombie at the door, but I fray real fast about being looked down on condescendingly. If things I am uncomfortable with come up....I run. I do things that make me happy, I avoid those people, I skip those topics, I get extra sleep, I will always laugh instead of cry. The trick is, I think I've built a muscle for paranoia about emotional pain. I don't know how to feel alone, or irate or grossed out and stay present and not be drowned by all the feels.

I have no idea how to do this yet. Its just a thing I realized needs doing.


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