If you had asked me when I was a child, what scared me, I could name one hundred things,
The blue cat in the magic roundabout for instance, The Never Ending Story, the Beatles film ‘HELP’, Watership Down, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang….. I also had recurring nightmares. Looking back, isn’t it funny that so many of the things I didn’t like were on the tv…… we didn’t even watch much of it growing up……real life didn’t scare me, the horrors of my childhood didn’t seem to effect me, but it’s as though I channeled my emotions into a more tangible representation on a screen.
There were so many normal childhood programmes and films I couldn’t watch, but in real life I could take on the world. It’s as though I allowed myself to fear only in the two-dimension.
This month the OtherMothers, myself included, were assigned ‘to write about things that scare me’ and it’s interesting to read the mix of physical and emotional fears us parents have.
As a child I spent a lot of time inside my own head, lost in my imagination. It’s likely there’s an element of dissociation to it, I would spend hours and hours imagining scenarios and events and it’s something I do even now, when I’m trying to drift off to sleep or pass time in a car journey. I tell stories inside my head, I have an entire house in there. Until recently I assumed everyone did this.
It makes sense of course that because of this quirk most of my fears are in my mind too.
My biggest fear is failure. It’s that fear which holds me back, so often. I don’t start tasks for fear of not getting it right and its apt that I’m writing this article so late into October with a deadline looming, because I fear it won’t be perfect. That I can’t do justice to the lovely OtherMothers who have taken part this month….. But reading through their posts, it’s strikes me that our fears can only have power if we let them consume us. Another realisation to come out of this months topic is that expressing our fears is a fear in its own right, it leaves us feeling vulnerable…. and I wonder if that saying is true, ‘the only thing to fear, is fear itself’.
As mums we are pressured from all sides, from social media to previous generations, patriarchy and self doubt…. everyone telling us what we should and shouldn’t be doing for our children but it seems that vocalising the things that scare us can actually be cathartic. I don’t know about you but I rarely spoke about my nightmares as a child, not to deliberately withhold, mainly just that talking was like reliving.I often wonder if, had I spoken out they would have stopped, because, in the harsh light of day, things always seem less threatening when you can reflect on the absurdity of monsters…… and tackling them together greatly increases your bravery and your odds of victory.
So I challenge anyone reading this to share what scares them, to find a tribe of #OtherMothers who can relate and support. Below you will find an interactive list of fears for the mothers of our Facebook community (click on an image to read more).
If you’re thinking ‘but none of these mothers or their fears represent me’, then come and join us, get your voice heard and share your unique perspective on ‘things that scare me’ or take part in our next task…..
November: My Christmas Traditions