Childhood Fears: Finding a Friend
Fear is an emotion that can be triggered by perceived danger from things like spiders, heights, criminals, being alone and many other things. People react differently when they are fearful. They can run away, hide or confront their fears, but the emotion seems to be woven into the very fabric of our lives. One of the most effective solutions to resolving fear involves the development of a relationship that can help us to explore the world in a way that leads us to be more curious, adventurous, and courageous.
Controlled By Fear
There was a time in my life when I was controlled by fear in a variety of circumstances, and it impacted everything that I did. During my childhood I was brought up as an only child, and my parents were trying as much as possible to bring our relatives to stay with us in order to create a nurturing family environment. I had two cousins that would visit us during the holidays, and life was great when they visited, where we would go everywhere together and explore the world. However, they would always go back home and never spent the night. During these times I remembered that I was alone and frightened at night, and any subtle movement or sound would trigger a state of fear.
When I was at home alone, the neighbor’s kids would dash into the house after realizing that my parents weren’t home, and they would roam through the house looking for interesting foods or nick-nacks that would entertain them. I was an only child, but they were sometimes ten children in a single family, and during their rushing throughout the house they would inevitably break things and run away to play with my parent’s personal possessions. My mother began warning me to disallow them from entering into the house when they weren’t there to supervise, so I would stay at home alone in order to avoid causing trouble.
I was at home alone, and I looked forward to the time when my parents would come home in the evening, and my happiest memories were when my mother arrived with fruits, cakes, and other goodies. I loved my parents and enjoyed helping them with house chores after supper, but when night-time came, so would my fear. I checked every corner of my bedroom to make sure that there were no spiders or other insects that could surprise me in the middle of the night. I also checked under the bed for people or monsters that could be hiding, because we once had a thief visit our house and hid in a dark place before being discovered, so I was rightfully fearful of the potential of threats lurking in any darkened corner of the house. The sensation of fear would always be at it’s height when the lights when out, and I could hear every sound inside and outside of the house . . . I always imagined what strange and bizarre things that these sounds could be.
Finding A Friend
Thunder and lightning was one of the most terrifying things that I remember as a small child, and I would imagine a thief breaking into the house because nobody would notice during the loud thunderclaps – I couldn’t sleep until the rain was over, so you can imagine that I was very sleepy when the storms continued all throughout the night and into the next day. During my childhood I remember that I never shared these fears with anybody, but my mother must have noticed, because she began inviting my cousin to stay with us during the times that I felt particularly uncomfortable with the surrounding environment.
We would go to school, church, and the grocery store together. In fact, we went practically everywhere together, and I believe that our relationship was the reason that I was able to let go of these fears and begin living a life free from worry. I remember that whenever I was afraid, we would just get together, talk about it, and laugh our heads off. She would help me to confront my fears, and my cousin was always with me when we did things that I deemed too risky.
Taking risks and running around outside, I began to develop a sense of courage and confidence in exploring the world and learning new things about myself, so the key for me in overcoming my sense of pervasive fear as a child was in developing a good relationship with a peer who could help me to become curious and engaged with the world - Constantly testing my limits, and finding courage in our adventures.
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