The other day I was babysitting again and had a lot of time to think about fear as I attempted to put the two kids to bed. The oldest refused to go to sleep because, he eventually confiding in me, he saw monsters in the closet. I can only speculate that those monsters were merely the shadowy forms of a coiled up sleeping bag and a box on the top shelf, which as I looked at them myself through his eyes seemed very monstrous to me as well. I, however, knew that they were just boxes and blankets and not, in fact, some monster that would jump out at devour me the moment my eyes slid shut. In that sense, anything that I could claim to be a fear of mine would seem more rational than the fears of children. The question that I mostly had in mind in that whole scenario was: Whose fears are more relevant or better put, whose fears are really to be feared. I don’t mean necessarily the exact situation of a monster in the closet versus my fears but rather things children fear in comparison to the things we tend to fear as adults.
We stopped checking for monsters under the bed when we realised they were inside of us.
What do I fear?
I fear: putting myself out there and getting hurt,
living a life I will despise and becoming the people I despise,
my capabilities and my incapabilities,
never knowing what could have been,
that all I do is hurt, people…
to create a short and vague list. And I think most people, especially adults fear things along this line if not these very things. certainly, there is no questions that these fears are valid as with other common fears. I have been told in relation to another fear of mine that it was childlike, that is my fear of spiders. I hear this a lot from people who do not have that fear which is technically more of a full blown phobia, that I need to grow up and pull myself together it is just a tiny creature. In one sense that fear is more rational because some spiders can, in fact, hurt you and the instinct for me to get away from danger kicks in and takes over. However, despite the more rational aspect of this fear and maybe how it is seen as more childlike could one not make the argument that the chances of me being harmed by a spider or to take the babysitting example, of some monster in the closet, are slimmer than the chances of me inadvertently hurting people that I care about. I think to stack those odds it is more likely that I will fail at things that the boogeyman will tear me to shreds in the dark of night, People get murdered all the time but the chances that one will get murdered despite that are rather slim. SO, does that not validate my fears, the so-called adult one’s and almost belittle those of children?
I think that answer to this entire question of whose fears are more real, is a question that cannot be answered here alone and I hope opens up a new platform of thought for you even if I don’t reach a conclusion at the end of this post. However, I do think that in some ways, though childhood fears are less likely to happen they are more valid. If we look at my fears, a lot of them are created by the illusionary fear, this idea that we let worm its way into our minds and set in its roots deep, taking over our entire mind. Yes, it is real and the pain and sorrow associated with my fears is real as well but if I learned to not fear those things bearing that pain when sometimes it will inevitably happen would not be so much of a burden. Though I am wording this very badly and not explaining what I mean to say in the best way, I hope that my point is at least being made. My point being: Adult fears are sometimes fears we create for ourselves because we misunderstand life but children though they do reflect and think deeply about things usually have fewer things to deal with, fewer worries and so fear more instinctual things and in that way, our fears being created and theirs more natural, I could say that theirs are more reasonable.
What are your thoughts/comments?? I hope maybe to explore this idea further with you later.
Thank you for reading and bearing with me through my muddled train of thought.
” Me and the pen, we are one. If its ink would cease
to flow, my ink would cease to flow.”