Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Interview With Fear

Something I once wrote for the Voices organization that was published in their newsletter, The Chorus. Voices is no longer in existence but at the time it was a valuable organization for survivors of child abuse. It is a cute writing but is packed with a lot of great insight.




INTERVIEW WITH FEAR

(c) 1998 by Don Shetterly

Reporter's note: It was very difficult to catch up with Fear. Every time we almost got Fear to say yes to an interview, he would disappear on us and it would take us weeks to catch up with him again. So, while we have him sitting in the room, we have taken measures to protect him.

REPORTER
Good afternoon Fear. It is nice to finally get a chance to talk with you.

FEAR
Uh, well I guess but you know, I can't stay too long….

REPORTER
We wont take very much of your time. Are you feeling much more relaxed now than you were earlier?

FEAR
A little bit. It is just hard for me to relax and talk to you. If I get to know someone a little than it is no problem but this is really scary.

REPORTER
You are doing fine Fear and if you need to take a break at any time, just let me know. I notice you have a teddy bear with you. Can you explain the significance of this?

FEAR
Well many people may see it as a childish thing and not something for someone that's in their 30's. And really I don't take it every where I go because someone may laugh at me. It's more of a private thing. Since I never was allowed to be a child when I was younger, I am now trying to give myself a chance to be a kid and let the child part of myself grow and mature. The teddy bear is one way of doing this. Plus, it also makes me feel safe and secure. Whenever I need comfort, I just reach for my teddy bear and hold it close to myself.

REPORTER
Now, if I am being to rough with this question, please let me know. As we have been trying to catch up with you, you have become very good at disappearing on us. Why is that?

FEAR
Man, you really go to the heart of the interview, don't you! I mean, I really wasn't trying to disappear, I just had things to do!

REPORTER
But, you never would return our calls after you agreed to do the interview.

FEAR
Well uh, I was, uh,,,, okay, you got me! I just don't like being asked questions and being put on the spot. It makes me nervous to talk to other people and I know that what I say is going to make someone mad at me. I mean some people just don't like to hear things that I say and if they get mad, guess who they will take it out on. There is no reason for me to put myself in that situation.

REPORTER
Is that why you requested the protection around here today and the seclusion?

FEAR
Yes, I really don't want to leave here and get the crap pounded out of me!

REPORTER
I think you are safe here. How do you show up when you get around people?

FEAR
There are many things that people do. Like being very quiet, sitting off in a corner, being all alone, scared to leave their house, shy, withdrawn. Sometimes they will get very loud and boisterous to kind of protect themselves. I have seen some people go around trying to pick fights with other people and yelling at others just to protect themselves from me. Even fathers will sometimes yell at their kids for no reason but to protect themselves.

REPORTER
So poor little innocent kids take the brunt of you with their fathers?

FEAR
Yeah, I am not proud of that and I wish people wouldn't do this. I mean it is one thing to protect yourself but taking me out on other people, I just can't stand by and let this go on.

REPORTER
But isn't a father justified in getting upset with his children? I mean that is part of normal discipline, isn't it?

FEAR
What you're talking about is different than what I am talking about. Getting upset at your children for something they have truly done wrong or disciplining them with love is not the same as dragging me into the picture. When people drag me into the picture, they are usually insecure about themselves and feel they are inadequate. The only way for them to hide this is to put me out in front of them.

REPORTER
You also mentioned being withdrawn and alone, being shy and not wanting to leave the house. Can you explain these more?

FEAR
Well I can sometimes overwhelm people so much that they will just not be themselves. They use me to keep themselves in a very safe and secure place but they also keep themselves very lonely. Most of the time these same people have so much to offer but they use me to keep from dealing with reality.

REPORTER
So are you saying that you are bad for people to have around?

FEAR
Yes and No! Having me in your life can guard you against awful things that may happen to you and protect you from potential hurt inflicted by others. I can also have a positive impact on your life because I can help you to take risks in life in a calculated way. Some people will just go out and take unnecessary risks but I help them think through these things.

REPORTER
Okay, so what is so bad about you being around?

FEAR
Well some people try and just use me to deal with life. They get very jealous of me and make me work many overtime hours. It really is draining on me and in the end it doesn't do these people much good. These people will blame me for everything in life while hiding that they even know me. It's like they become so dependent upon me that you can't tell them apart from me.

REPORTER
Some say that you and Anger work together as a team. Is this true?

FEAR
NO! I am by myself and I don't work with anyone else. I think what they are referring to is when they try and keep me around all for themselves. Then, when I am not enough to protect them, they start looking for Anger to help them out. I do not make any calls to Anger for them and I don't even suggest they talk to Anger. They just do it because they think I am not enough for them.

REPORTER
So by someone having you around, do you inadvertently push them to Anger?

FEAR
NO! First of all, Anger just like myself is good when we are used in moderation. When people use us out of desperation, than we get the bad rap for it. I don't push them to Anger nor do I push them to Happiness. Actually I like to have these people around because than I can feel useful.

REPORTER
What advice would you give to people who want to know you better?

FEAR
Use me in moderation. Remember, I am by myself and there is only so much of me to go around. Don't try to hide behind me! Try to own up to the times that you need me. Most of all don't use me as an excuse to be mean to others, especially innocent little children.

REPORTER
I want to thank you for taking the time to talk with us today and I am sure many people will learn a lot from this interview.

FEAR
Well, I hope so. I just hope they don't get mad at me for what I have said and come after me!

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