Some Thoughts on Fear

grayscale photography of human skull
Photo by Ahmed Adly on

Trying to think of a time when I was really scared. And I’m coming up blank. I know there are things that frighten me in general. Like bees or heights. But I don’t think that really counts. I used to get anxious before riding a roller coaster. But I don’t really count that either, because I’m mostly just overthinking what could go wrong. 

No, what I’m trying to come up with is actual terror. And I’m finding it a little disturbing that I can’t pinpoint anything in my past. There are things that I have lasting effects of that I’m scared of situations now. But I wasn’t scared at the moment.

Like the car accident in high school. At the moment, I was in shock. I just wanted to gather all my stuff that had blown out the window. Never mind my bleeding face and broken shoulder. I wasn’t worried about any of that, just that my bag had dumped out and my sketchbook was in pieces all over the field. But now I’m scared of being in an accident again. I fear other drivers and I get worked up when near misses happen. 

And the time we had to take cover in the mall because there was a tornado coming our direction. We were in the middle of watching Happy Feet in the AMC theater, but they stopped the film and evacuated to the lower levels. In retrospect, I can see how that might have been scary. The entire ceiling of the mall is just glass, after all. There weren’t many places for us to take cover in. But I don’t remember being scared. I remember giggling with my boyfriend and staring up at the windows, waiting for them to shatter. But now, when a storm is coming, I immediately make a plan for the best place for us to go for shelter. Even if there isn’t a tornado, I’m ready. 

I really don’t know a time that I was really scared. Does that mean there’s something wrong with me? 

I get startled easily. You can sneak up on me and make me jump. But am I scared? Not really. Movies can make me look away if they’re really gruesome, but that’s my over active imagination not needing to have those creatures in my brain for later. I’m not really scared. 

When were you scared of something? 

Except now that I think about it… there was that stuff I couldn’t explain in my old apartment. When things fell off the wall and knives would be all over the floor. When all the cabinets would be open for no reason and I could have sworn someone stood right behind me and breathed down my neck. 

I guess that was scary.


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