What freaks you out? Did you have a weird-ass dream that really got to you for some reason? Are you afraid of koalas? Does riding in a car make your heart pound? And why? Can you get to the root of your fear and what about it scares you?
I'm terrified of spiders. No idea why. Just looking at them gets to me. Aside from that, death is probably my biggest fear, though that's not very original, is it?
I once met someone who was afraid of birds. If they flew overhead she freaked out and ran. Then there's the usual stuff like heights, flying, darkness, small spaces, eyes through keyholes, things with more than four legs, etc. I'm yet to find something like that myself, but I am scared of wasting my life doing things I don't enjoy, if that counts,
If this is for ideas for a story, mark it something indirectly related to an obstacle the protagonist needs to overcome. For example, if your hero needs to get to the top of a building then earlier in the story make them claustrophobic. They brave the elevator but it breaks down, so they have to go all John McClane and crawl through a vent shaft to get to the stairs. Of go more obscure, e.g. if the hero has to kill a dragon have them afraid of snakes, then put baby dragons in the lair that look a bit like snakes, although they're pretty harmless as they are babies. The hero will be scared to run around or even move, yet they must overcome their fear to defeat the main obstacle.
My mom hates birds flying overhead. I guess I understand that, but it's weird how some people just have weird things like that where something freaks them out for almost no real reason.
Yeah, I'd say that counts. I feel that, I hate hate hate the thought of ever having to settle on doing shit that doesn't grip my attention. Never, I tell myself.
It's really just food for thought. Inevitably it will all work its way back to different stories, but I like hearing about what freaks people out.
I am afraid of, or at least have anxiety about almost anything. I am able to hide it and work through it, but I have always had a great amount of social anxiety and general paranoia about people.
Blood. Real blood freaks me out to the point where if someone's pricked a finger on the other side of the room I'll freak out. I actually carry bandaids around everywhere just in case. Fake blood doesn't bother me though. It's like I can tell the difference. Don't know what's up with that one.
Also, snakes and spiders. And sometimes dogs if they're really excited (I got bit once).
I'm kind of preoccupied with the idea that I'm secretly retarded and that everyone around me is just humoring me to my face then mocking me mercilessly behind my back. Sometimes it keeps me up at night. Part of me still believes that my AP scores were somehow faked just so that I wouldn't feel so bad about being so dumb.
I used to base stories about night terrors, of which I'm chronically prone to. A giant green porcupine being of the more ordinary ones.
And yes I agree about spiders.
I work security, and there are people who leave coats hanging in their offices in a place I guard. They are all laid out the same, so they look like a hooded figure watching me. Little freaky.
Well this is tame; my son's a new father to a beautiful boy.... I hope he doesn't screw up as a parent as much as I did.
That scares me--
Jack: That sucks man. I get pretty bad anxiety at times too. Thankfully there are moments where it subsides, but, for the most part, small talk freaks me out. I also almost always have the sense people are staring at me, giggling behind their hands. Though that's most likely left over from when I was into glam rock, and people were actually staring at me and laughing.
Keiri: that's so weird, that fake blood doesn't freak you out. Even in movies, when there's gore to go along with the fake blood?
Aud Fontaine: when I was little, well not even so much little, few years ago, I remember being pretty paranoid that my whole life was some elaborate setup. That my friends were being paid to be my friends and society was one big stage around me. Kind of like the Truman Show but without the TV show.
L.W. Flouisa: Yea I've found that my best ideas come from me trying to put my finger on what bothers me and why. Haha, a giant green porcupine. Have you turned that into a story?
Dwayne: I'll bet working security can be a pretty creepy job. Is it late night security?
I walk this lady's dogs every night and, this one time, as I was getting their dog treats out of the pantry, I looked at this window, which reflects the living room around the corner right there, and saw this woman looking back at me, porcelain-white skin, bright orange eyes, just a head, neck and shoulders in the reflection of the living room. And I remember thinking, wow, is this proof? Am I looking at a ghost? But it was a fancy flower pot. There were flowers coming out of the porcelain woman's head. Scared the crap out of me though.
Redd, it usually doesn't bother me if it's fake because the fake really does look different from real blood. I've been alittle creeped out by the act that caused all the blood and gore but it's never bothered me. If it's a movie I can see blood all over the place and just think "eww" but if it's real (like when my brother cut his arm open and dripped blood all over the house) I get really sick.
Do you people think there is a big difference between the people who get a kick out of fear and those who don't?
I don't like being afraid so I never go on roller coasters and I'm the last person to suggest watching horror movies. I've been offered to sky-dive and bungy jump for free and turned it down not because I was afraid of heights but because I didn't want to feel my heart pound that way.
I've always had a really hard time understand phobias connected to physical entities of danger like spiders, blood, snakes what have you not.
To me things like that has always been a matter of rational caution. I encounter a snake or a spider well I keep my eyes on it, but hell it's because I don't know if the bastards poisonous or not.
Cancer scares me because you can't stop it, you don't know when you get it and you can carry it around for a long time before it's discovered.
I've been walking around all Christmas break convinced I have a tumor growing on my prostate. Maybe I just took a too wild space ride and got convinced there was an alien growing inside me and haven't quite managed to let it go.
I always joke HIV is only for niggers, fags and junkies, I have spells of heavy fear of that too though. Even though stats say it's only 5% chance to catch it as a heterosexual man during plain old missionary intercourse. Decent survival odds compared to how I ride my bike yet that's when I actually should be afraid.
When I was younger I used to be afraid I'd get a boner thinking about gay stuff. That was before I started wearing make-up and throwing glitter on strangers that gave me attitude. Needless to say I'm no longer afraid I might like a penis in the bum, I just don't feel like I want to try it.
What's you guy'ses take on Freud? Do we really hide our fears behind symbols? I don't. Dreams are sex and violence. Sometimes you're winning and sometimes you're losing that's all.
I can't really put a clever formula on fear right now, but from what I've observed people get more and more afraid the more passively they live. The less they do new stuff, the less they talk to strangers, the more they watch TV and Kim Kardashian the more afraid they get.
I used to be afraid someone would punch me in the face. Until someone did.
I used to be afraid someone would pull a knife on me. Until someone did.
Isn't it fascinating that the mind can bend that way?
See this is why fear is so fascinating. What drives it? Is it merely the presence of a comfort zone that one doesn't want to leave? Is it the feeling that something, anything could go wrong?
For my arachnaphobia, it never has to do with me being afraid a spider is going to attack me. It's not a well-being thing. I just can't even look at a spider. Its appearance puts a feeling of panic in me, simple as that. I don't know why. Now, if I were to go work on a spider farm and see spiders all day every day, would my fear go away? Probably. But it would hurt like a bitch trying to get to that point. I feel as though I'd have a heart attack.
A friend of mine is terrified of aliens. Has he ever seen a green man with big eyes? No. Is he afraid an alien is gonna grab him in the night? Maybe on some nightmare level, but rationally? No. But he told me if I ever dressed as one and woke him up, he'd punch me in the throat. Where does that kind of fear come from? Is that a symbol, and for what? Kidnap?
For other stuff, you definitely just need to experience it a bit to realize it's not so bad. Or...not 'not so bad', but survivable.
I'm an advocte of Eckart Tolle there on conscious and unconscious behavior.
When we listen to the voice in our head we let the ego define us, the definition it self becomes a cage for what is your expected behavior. The more you listen to this nagging voice in your head not realizing that in attempt to preserve your ego it is actually your enemy the further into a paralyzed state of fear we're taken.
The most paralyzing fears I believe isn't things like spiders or in my case AIDS, it's the fear of failure and the fear of not being loved for who you are.
It's this state of constant definement that build our internal walls and shell us further and further away from things we find scary.
Does that make any sense at all or does it just sound like ramble?
I don't have my license for a reason. When I get behind the driver seat I feel hot, my heart pounds, I can't breath, and I begin to both sweat and cry.
Is there security work besides late at night?
Dwayne. Malls, colleges, and banks have security during the day. Probably some other places too.
Roseanna, that's actually a really understandable fear.
Also, for the blood thing. It doesn't freak me out becuase of any kind of diease associate with it. I've always thought of blood as kinda like your life force.
Dwayne - In South Africa there is. On the other hand there security guards go to work and are more than ten times as safe as in their own homes
Sometimes I get to thinking too much about all of the possibilities, all the variables that go on all around me everyday. Every decision every person makes and how those decisions bounce off eachother. And all of the decisions I'll have to make in the rest of my life. I guess that scares me.
It was a figure of speech guys.
Keiri, when people find out that I don't have my license they are in disbelief. Truth is I may have A.D.D.. But I have a hard time with the whole pay attention to everything around me.
I too have a blood issue, it's not that it scares me it's that I nearly faint. I don't get it I mean, ok so I had my wisdom tooth pulled and it was a bloody mess.... that didn't bother me one bit. I was shopping, i picked up a bag that had staples to attach the label on it and i pricked my thumb. the moment I saw blood I did all I could not to faint. It's bad in public. at least when I'm at home if I get that I lay down.
My mom has the same thing, sorta. Just makes her really woozy to see a lot of blood, even fake like on TV.
I'm afraid of the usual stuff, I guess, anything that could kill or maim me or my nearest and dearest. The closest I have to an irrational fear is probably just that I don't like heights. I'll fly in a commercial airplane but not a helicopter, airlift, or hot air balloon, like that. Oh, no carnival rides, or scuba diving and I won't ride a camel. Not that anyone has ever asked me to.
I'm afraid of people that I don't know. I fear lonliness. Hmmmm, I have a fear of not amounting to anything. And a lot of other things.
Ditto. I broke my foot and dont want any more injuries. who does? they must be crazy if they do.
Haha, a camel! What is it about a camel that bugs you Carly?
I also fear not amounting to anything, Fluff. For me, I think it stems from realizing that I will die, it's inevitable, and not wanting to leave without having made some impact. I fear loneliness too, that I'll never be self-confident enough to be the person I want to be.
You know, suberman, it's a crazy world, man. I'll bet there are people out there who do. And those people probably enter the Pain Olympics.
I'm not really sure how to name this particular fear, or if it's even a real fear.
I work with Elementary kids. I'm a TA--a Teacher's Assistant--and so I supervise hundreds of kids every day, teach some their letters, their phonetics, different grades on different days. And one day as I was sitting there teaching some Kindergartener how to write their name, a thought just hit me like a pillowcase full of soap. I don't know what the statistics are exactly, but thinking about how there are hundreds of kids at this school, looking at this kid's young face, that hasn't gone through so much yet but will, I couldn't help but realize at least a couple of these kids will someday commit suicide. There's just no way that won't happen. Hasn't happened yet, but these kids will go through their own pain, and some won't be able to deal with it. Whatever those statistics are. The thought really bothered me.
Eek, I try to shut down thoughts like that, Redd. There really is a lot of sadness out there.
As I've gotten older, I have less worries because a lot of the big things I worried about are done. It all worked out okay, yay! *knock on wood*
Ha, camels. I'm not really afraid of them, I just don't want to ride one. It looks like you'd be way up in the air, much more than on a horse, and I've heard they're mean. I saw camel rides on TV about the time of that post, which is probably why such a crazy thing was on my mind. :)
Also rainbows used to scare me.
I know, me too, but still there are days when life just scares the crap out of me. And kids are so...I don't know, it's like looking back through time at yourself. It's weird, seeing their budding personalities, wondering where they'll go, who they'll be. I try not to dwell on stuff like suicide, and I certainly try not to bring it up in conversation, but I figured this is the forum for stuff that bothers me, right?
But you're right, Carly, when I feel like complete shit, I always try to tell myself to shut up, that everything will be okay because it has been in the past. I think that's a big part of getting older, realizing you should stop worrying about certain things as you process and get used to them.
That makes sense, about the camels, they are really weird animals. They look uncomfortable to ride.
Haha, Dwayne, like actual rainbows, like after it rains? Or seeing the colors of the rainbow together?
Actual rainbows. My friends were very religious and I attended a Bible for children their mom had. At the end of the Noah story God promised never to destroy the world with water again and put his bow, the rainbow, in the sky as a reminder. She was really great lady, but that lesson didn't go well so I thought God was only not destroying the world because he saw that.
WOAH, that's the heaviest rainbow story I've ever heard. Religion has a funny effect on kids. Well, it did for me. I remember going with a friend to his Mormon Sunday School, me having been raised a Jew, and them telling all of us kids that the Jews killed Jesus. It freaked me out, and I hid my star of David in my shirt.
I am terrified of metal objects near my face. Went to get my eyebrow pierced once and that's how I discovered the phobia. I had no problem getting my belly button and stuff pierced, but when it came to my face, hell no. It's the same reason I avoid the dentist.
I also have an intense fear of surgery. The idea of being unconscious, unable to control whether I live or die, sends me into panic attacks. I had to get surgery once and the dude had to tranquilize me as soon as they brought me into the hospital.
And of course, the ever popular classic ... I'm terrified of the dark when I am home alone. When my husband is out of town I leave all the hallway lights on and sleep with a baseball bat under my side of the bed!
I fear that I will believe some myth from my past so deeply that I commit atrocities because of said belief. I will physically assault a contradictory believer. I will kill them, I will persecute them, I will torture them until they change to fit MY belief.
I also fear that because of my first fear, I will fail to help or recognize individuals being persecuted by people who are acting under false beliefs.
Do you have a hard time accepting differing points of view Jose? Or is it just the possibility that scares you? Like, serial killers, psychopaths and sociopaths, and even child molesters, they scare me, but a big part of that's because I recognize that we all could fit that mold given the right set of circumstances. I can see myself in the darkest, nastiest places.
Haha, Anna, when I got my nose pierced, I got my friend to do it, she did it with a safety pin. She went, 1, 2, 3, and then shoved it through, only it got stuck halfway, and just swayed there, not quite pushed through all the way. Then she grabbed it and shoved it through. If I had your fear I woulda freaked the flip out.
Surgery, that makes a lot of sense. I've never gone under for any reason, but I can only imagine how weird that'd be. It's why sleep scares the shit out of my friend: that lack of control, that inability to fend for one's self.
You know what's scary as heck? Sharks. Sure, that sounds pretty lame, but when I think about it, seeing that dark shape swim under my floating feet, AGH...it makes my toes curl. You are pretty powerless in the event of a shark attack.
So here are some trends I see. Themes maybe.
Lack of control
Lack of knowledge/vision
Empty space/nothingness (lack of boundaries?)
Death (part of nothingness, maybe)
I'm a philosophy major. I consider all views and decide based upon relevant evidence which ideas hold water.
Basically, my view is fear of fundamentalism/fundamentalist. Most notable would be religious nut jobs.
Since the days of Darwin, all teleology has died. We must be aware that while what we hold to be true now is fine, it may not be true tomorrow and we must shift our views to match the evidence. T.S. Kuhn's book, Scientific Revolutions, one of the most cited books in academia, even more so than the bible, is a great way to understand how what we held near and dear today may and most likely will become tomorrows folley. It is the price we pay for our intelligence and constant striving to get a better understanding of our universe.
So my fear that I will one day hold something I've learned so preciously that I turn into a fundamentalist monster is not likely to happen, but it is still a fear. Much like you with sharks. The chances of getting bit by a shark are so small. You have a better chance of dying in a plane crash the same day you win the lottery.
As far as the other fears listed, they don't appear to be the most original of fears. You could have just written a fear of the future and that would have covered all those topics. Mine falls into this category. I'm not trying to exculde myself from my own criticism.
I'd like to meet the person who has a fear of pictures of buddha eating jello from the naval of the prophet muhammad as he gets jerked off by jesus. Just to analyze the person to find out how one would get such an absurd fear.
That sounds super interesting. I'm going to be taking Philosophy (I think Philosophy 1) this semester at community college. Can you give me an example of that? Something that we hold to be true today that might not be tomorrow?
Oh I know it's not likely at all for me to be bitten by a shark, but it does happen. You hear about stuff like that, much like you hear about psychopaths living in the suburbs. That's what's scary. So much is possible, and you never know what's going to happen.
I think a lot of fears aren't very original, but I don't think that matters. They're still fears. They still bother us for reasons, and I think maybe putting a label on that reason can help one to wrap their head around it sometimes. Certain fears don't have a label, weird ones like the buddha jello thing you mentioned. So...I don't know. I just find all this very interesting, and I don't think it could ever hurt (writing wise) to be aware of what bothers people. The ordinary and the weird as shit stuff.
@Redd - It was a less a case of religion and more a case of someone not really suited to teaching. My family wasn't very religious so I didn't have the background for it the way the other kids in the class did. My family wasn't big on science either, so I'm pretty sure if we'd talked about what killed the dinosaurs I'd have been afraid of a meteorite hitting the earth.
Mmm. The power of misinformation coupled with a kid's imagination. Do you remember thinking anything else really out there? Because of what someone taught you?
Well... that is a hard question to answer. I thought some out there stuff, but there was out there stuff going on. Like once I was afraid of being burned to death, but there was an arsonist burning a lot of buildings. I'd have to think on it.
Redd---Giving you an example of something we hold true today that might not be tomorrow is very hard...for me anyway. An example in the past is something like Ptolemaic Astronomy which was a belief that the Earth was the center of the universe. And it worked. We were able to navigate the oceans because of this belief with amazing accuracy. We still use this method for all space exploration. We now know that we are not the center of the universe. However, just because we believe that we are not the center of the universe, we don't really have a good grasp on it with our senses.
This is a famous quote about Wittgenstein, one of the most important philosophers of the 20th Century.
"He (Ludwig Wittgenstein) once asked me: ‘Why do people say it is more logical to think that the sun turns around the Earth than Earth rotating around its own axis?’ I answered: ‘I think because it seems as if the sun turns around the Earth.’ ‘Good,’ he said, ‘but how would it have been if it had seemed as if the Earth rotates around its own axis then?’"
So Dwayne, do you remember when you started realizing that like, rainbows are just rainbows, and that you maybe just had a big imagination? D'you think that that's what it was, having an active imagination?
Jose, so doesn't it seem, though, that as time goes, humanity is doing enough process of elimination to figure certain things out? I mean, it's commonly accepted knowledge now that we do in fact go around the sun. It may have taken us however many centuries or millenia to realize that, but--save for some society-wiping catastrophe--we'll never go back to not knowing the nature of that. Like you said, we may not have a good grasp on what necessarily IS the center of the universe, if there even is a center, but we can agree now that the moon goes around us and we go around the sun. And I doubt scientists are gonna up and change their minds back. So aren't we slowly making progress as we label things and hold certain things to be fact, delving deeper and deeper into the properties of the universe, taking maybe some steps backward but also steps forwards as we eliminate possibilities? Will we eventually have everything scientifically mapped out? Have the lenses of our microscopes pressed against the peephole of God's front door?
Not really. I moved and the new place didn't have a covered porch so it was much harder to be outside while it rained so it just came up way less.
failure is terrifying and is my main fear. And I am not talking about small failures. I am talking about reaching a point in your life where you make a cost/benefit type analysis and realize that you have failed to succeed in your chosen profession and didn't try any others and moreover have failed loved ones.
Thankfully I am not anywhere close to the end of the road on any of these. But it keeps me up at night and drives me to be better at what I do or change what I do. However the change in my life is that now, unlike before the consequences for my failures extend to someone I love.
Fear is crippling in most cases. I hate horror movies, they don't scare me and lack imagination a lot times (at least lately). But true fear of something is most assuredly a driving force, if you could harness it for a good cause it helps.
My fear is not to be liked.
Okay.... I hope this isn't to far out there, and I don't want to offend anyone. Have you ever heard the expression, 'I love my country, but I don't trust my government?'
I fear my government. I feel if you are a sick, poor person- you might as well have a death warrant out on your head. The medical community, has used me for a lab rat my whole life- I know the government has something to do with that. Anything government related, owned, or collaborated, I won't trust. I've seen kids taken from their real parents- and shuffled into even worse homes, over and over. I'm afraid children with bad health can be taken, just to be used as med experiments. I've read about concentration camps set up by our government on our soil.
How many problems do Americans have in our own country without sending money to wage war in someone else's? It reminds me of when I tell my kids, don't worry about what others do. Worry about what you do. Pretty basic stuff. How much money, and how many lives have to be spent before our nation learns the lesson? And HOW does the government think all of this war won't come back on us?
Why does the medical community keep getting people hooked on drugs, so they can be punished by the justice system later for it? Why are the surgeons here called 'butchers' by the rest of the world? Why is a lot of the processed food we eat banned in other countries? Why do we as a nation have the highest child obesity rate? Why are people chemically addicted, just from what's in the food? Excito-toxins they're called. In all the fast food and cigarettes. Makes the stuff more addictive. I could go on all day. Maybe I should just do some research and write an essay on it. The vids from Hiroshima- why did it take 30 years for those to be exposed?
I'm afraid the rest of the world laughs at us and calls us pigs. I'm afraid we as a nation are just a test experiment for the rest of the world to take notes on. To me- all of this together, with a million other things to numerous to mention here- all fit together into a huge puzzle. The more life I live- the more I am convinced, and the more fear I have for our children's futures.
And what is this Illuminati stuff I keep hearing about? That definitely doesn't settle my fear.
Surgery- a close second Anna. I agree with you about having to put yourself in a position where you are naked, unconscious, and people, or machines are cutting you. You have no control over anything, besides trying to avoid it all together. I've had a lot of surgery lately- the fear doesn't get better for me.They usually dope me up as soon as I walk in the door too. I always am praying those last seconds I'm awake, and when I come out of it, I feel exhilarated. like I should be dead, but I'm not. Doesn't help the fear though.
On a much lighter note- I fear growing older in this climate. Does horrible things with my pain. And pain? I used to fear it. Until I noticed the fear made it worse. Unless I'm having a day when my pain is a solid 12 on the pain scale, I'm just used to it. If I had a day without it, I would probably screw up all over the place just because I would think I was five years old again.
Well I do tend to be prone to night terrors. Whether it's giant green porcupines chasing after me, mushroom headed vampires, or female version of the smiling man lighting a candle beyond my door. You'll know it when you see it, that impossibly wide smile.
I think my favorite researcher talking about the Smiling Man a bit. Haven't seen the Slender Man yet.
I don't fear government so much as the increasing conctractors that aren't bound by the same constitutional rules as the government. And large every day companies will even continue to do any sort of thing so like as they keep getting their bottom line.
No not to out there, though I think our future is headed for a subtler more dangerous path.
Very good point. So true.