Lingering Fears -- From Childhood to Adult

Lingering Fears -- From Childhood to Adult
The Scream -- Munch

What scares you?

Does being alone scare you?  Totally alone, friendless, no family — nobody to remember you, even while you are still living?  Your monument to life a small white stone in a Potters Field?

How about no money?  Having nothing and living at the mercy of the elements?

Or, strangers who remind you of abuse or scorn or ridicule done by another?  Or those who may have attacked you?  Do they scare you?   Make you shiver?  Send you to the other side of the street, or running out of the store?

October is the month for fear, it seems.  It is a time of things dying — leaves on trees, flowers, and plants — sometimes even people.  The color goes out of the day, and we await the grays and whites and blacks of November and December. Winter. Death.

Two lingering fears have stayed with me all these years.  One fear is the fear of birds.  I blame Alfred Hitchcock for this; he and his movie “The Birds”.  I saw this movie not at the theater, but at home on the television, in stark black and white.  Since that time, birds have been the enemy.  I have been attacked by them.  Once a nasty red-winged blackbird dove at me while jogging.  Dove not once or twice, but a number of times, swooping into my hair and pulling at it.  I will never forget the flapping sound of its wings.  My worst fear had come true.  I instinctively guarded my eyes.  A robin attacked me too, but she was not as aggressive, and was protecting her nest.  Twice, birds have evaded the chimney cover of my house and ended up confused and frightened in my basement.

Another fear is being kidnapped or taken.  I was taken once.  It is a long story, but it was done by friends of the family, to help my mother, who was in a body cast for six months.  My father could not work full time and take care of my two sisters and I, so some family friends,  who lived in a big old farmhouse in northern Illinois (you know who you are), grabbed me out of the car at a store, which I had ridden with my father, after being assured that I would not have to go with the friends of the family.

He went in the small store, and in those days kids could stay in the car and nobody would bother them.  So it was thought.  The kids of the friends of the family surrounded the car and pulled me out through an open window, as I desperately tried to push the locks down and manually  roll the windows up.   My sisters and I spent a couple of hot summer weeks at their big house in the country.  The friends of the family had seven girls and one boy.  My sisters bunked with the girls.  I with the son.  He was a young teen; I was maybe seven.  He played games, bad games.  Naked games. I had no idea what was going on.

As long as my father lived he regretted letting the friends of the family  take me.  Had he known what really happened he would have really regretted it.  He didn’t. I am glad he did not know: he would have ended up in jail.  Neither did my mother.  You didn’t talk about those kinds of things back then.  Nobody believed at that time that little boys were abused.  And nobody cared if you were.

The son eventually moved to Arizona, where he lives to this day.  I imagine he has practiced his pedophilia on others over the years, saving his family the shame. In a small town he would eventually have been unmasked. I once thought of what I would do if I ran into him.  I decided I would do the best thing.   No doubt he still traps little boys, even though he is growing into an old man.   Yes, I would kill him.

Birds are things of prey.  So are people.

Birds are programmed by nature.  What programs wicked people?

What fears do you have?

Do they linger?


Filed under: Chicago Lifestyle


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  • Romney.

  • Come on now, A. You survived Reagan, and Romney ain't no Reagan. Nor is he "worse".

    I just returned from a socialist paradise, and what scares me is that Obama seems to have lifted his platform from there.

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