Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I recently realized that my whole life has been dictated by irrational fears. These fears keep me from living a happy, healthy existence. Mostly, I fear revealing my feelings.

There have been so many occasions where I want to tell my children how precious they are to me, but before I can even begin to form the words I am overcome with emotion, unable to say anything. We say "I love you" in phone calls and text messages, but that's different. The other day I wanted to tell my husband how much I love him and how special he is to me. I couldn't do it. My brain actually had the nerve to retort, "No. The minute you divulge this, he will be taken tragically away from you."

Can I get any more irrational?

Of course it didn't help that my grandmother was afraid of just about everything, passing those fears down to her children and grandchildren. Very clannish, she was suspicious of people outside of our close family circle. She was afraid of large bodies of water, germs, thunderstorms, God, and much more.

"Cher, don't go past that curve on the levee, 'cause the green boogie man lives back there. He eats chirren."

I imagined an ugly monster covered in algae waiting for a misstep so he could devour me. I would inch ever so close to see if I could get a glimpse of him. The snap of a twig would shoot me out of there like a cannon. I'd hurtle down the levee, rolling over cow manure to escape the horrible boogie man. I'd have stickers all over me and spend the rest of the afternoon picking them out of my skin and clothes. But hey, at least I escaped the boogie man.

"Cud'n Angelle had a niece that didn't tell anyone she got cut on a barbed wire fence. It got infected and a few days later she died of blood poisoning."

My grandparents had barbed wire all over their property. It was hard for me to look at that barbed wire and have any good feelings about it. After she told me that, every time I looked at the barbed wire I thought about that poor girl who died for no good reason. And I didn't want that to happen to me. Looking back, I'm sure there was no girl who died of blood poisoning. Maw-Maw simply wanted to instill fear. That was her way of controlling us.

I think this is why I'm so skeptical. Of everything. It started with Maw-Maw's manipulations and ended with finding out Santa wasn't real. As a child I thought adults were these wise creatures who knew the secrets of the universe. Why would they purposely lie?

They say awareness is the first step to change. I hope after 40+ years of fearfulness I can let go and be happy. I'm really going to try.


Unknown said...

And I hope one day I can learn to let go and be happy too.

This was very well written.

Thank you for this. I needed to read a post like this tonight.

Somehow it makes me not feel so alone.

Cocorue said...

good a chi, i hope you understand that it's difficult for me to fully comprehend but mumster says she can totally relate - whatever that means


Kittie Howard said...

Cher,you've taken a powerful first step. I think we farm kids grew up with many 'controlling' stories -- I was told there was a 'big, bad lion' that lived behind the tree between our house and Ma's -- but too many really bad things could happen on a farm, so they had to do something, I suppose. Sounds like your Maw-Maw got a bit carried away, tho. Sorry! Prayers that you can turn the stories around! And tell Hub how you feel!!! Good Luck!

Dee said... was the Ta-ti's (sp??) and the Rugarue on the levee! Loved this entry! I remember all of those stories too!

Teresa Evangeline said...

The greatest gift we can give ourselves, our loved ones, and the world, is to let go of any and all fear. It seems difficult, but you've taken a powerful step here and my best thoughts are sent your way to support you in your desire to be free from fear.
BTW: saw "Crazy Heart," last night. Very, very good.

Gail Dixon said...

Thank you all for the positive feedback! I nearly deleted this post after sitting on it for a day. In the end, I obviously tossed my fear aside and let it rip.

Hello to my new visitors: Homesick Cajun and Shellys. Glad you stopped by!

Cocorue, you always make me smile. You're a gem.

Kittie, I love that you understand "cher"! I miss Louisiana so much.

Teresa, I'm glad you enjoyed the movie. I saw it again on Valentine's Day. I know the story is cliched and isn't all that original, but the acting is so raw and honest. I love that.

Kittie Howard said...

Belle, the last of the Remarkable People series is posted, an Israeli...happy ending. LA stories will begin again in about a week. Hope all's well your way!

Dee said...

I have an award in my blog for you if you'd like to come and pick it up!