I don’t remember this myself, but my mother has shared this story a handful of times. After having performed one of many reckless, dangerous, youthful adventures, my mother asked if I was afraid of anything. My immediate reply, I am told, was Green Fire Breathing Dragons.
With Halloween just a few days away, I thought maybe this would be a good opportunity to talk about the things that scare us. First, I think a lot of our hauntings, like my green fire breathing dragon, are our own creation. Real evil exists in this world, but many of us have a fear of vampires, weir-wolves, zombies, dragons, or other mythological creatures. Believe it or not, I have several friends who have a detailed, well thought out plan for surviving a zombie invasion.
Even when the threat is real, many of us confuse possibility with probability. It is statistically 15 times more likely for beach goers to be killed by falling coconuts than by the sharks. Selachophobia (fear of sharks) is somewhat common, but I have not heard of a single case of Cocos nucifera phobia.
Many of us suffer from nightmares, most likely brought on by stress and anxiety that we put upon ourselves. For years, I suffered from a somewhat unique re-occurring theme in nightmares. In my nightmares something bad or unpleasant was always happening. I might find myself being chased by dogs, in a combat firefight, surrounded by people I don’t like, drowning, falling, trapped by fire or bees, or one of a hundred other scenarios. At some point in each scenario, In my dream, I would realize, hey, this is just a dream. All I have to do is wake up. The rub, however, was I didn’t wake up in either the dream or in real life. I would find myself exhausted the following day and with no surprise. How restful can your sleep be when your subconscious spends the entire night screaming at you to wake up. The process gets perpetuated the following night when I’d go to bed worrying about having the nightmare again.
I have a few things that I am afraid of, but I don’t believe I have any fear that I worry about on a regular basis. My biggest fear now is that I will outlive my children. I’ve lost three grandparents, my father and my younger sister. Loosing a loved one is hard, but I cannot imagine the pain that must be involved when a parent loses a child. That is the worst thing my imagination can use to scare me.
I will close with a short list of common fears. Which of them scare you? What have I missed? What are you afraid of?
1. flying 2. intimacy 3. the dark 4. death 5. spiders 6. driving 7. love 8. god 9. success 10. being alone 11. public speaking 12. terrorism 13. snakes 14. commitment 15. rejection 16. failure 17. heights 18. falling 19. open spaces 20. confined spaces 21. bats 22. sharks 23. the devil 24. global warming 25. Armageddon 26. vampires 27. weir-wolves 28. mum-mys 29. dragons 30. fire 31. avalanches 32. quick sand 33. war 34. zombies 35. drunk drivers 36. Web Fundamentals 37. bears 38. dogs 39. cats stealing your breath 40. being dropped 41. loud noises 42. strangers 43. bugs 44. cockroaches 45. sirens 46. large objects 47. dark colors 48. masks 49. monsters 50. aliens 51. bad people 52. murder 53. burglars 54. being separated from parent/child 55. being left alone 56. ghosts 57. violence 58. being kidnapped 59. being injured 60. floods 61. earthquakes 62. hurricanes 63. tornados 64. volcanos 65. not being liked 66. mother-in-laws 67. x-wives 68. social rejection 69. blood 70. HIV 71. STDs 72. the number 13 73. black cats 74. black crows 75. mice 76. public transportation 77. storms 78. girls 79. tunnels 80. bridges 81. crowds 82. flowers 83. driving 84. dentists 85. needles 86. abandonment 87. clowns 88. change 89. germs 90. music 91. doctors 92. being touched 93. engulfment 94. thunder 95. lightning 96. electricity 97. music 98. disease 99. losing job 100. uncertainty 101. decisions 102. poverty 103. stupidity 104. homosexuals 105. muslims 106. jews 107. christians 108. lists of fears ….