Growing up with a family majorly consisting of males influences you in terms of attitude and perspective. You make yourself think that you’re as strong as them mentally and physically and eventually thinking that nothing in the world scares you. Another thing that made me think I was strong as hell is when dad told me a story about when mom was pregnant with yours truly, dad got into an accident and the car they were driving split in half. The three of us survived. Back then I thought, I must be a damn awesome baby of steel or shit.
Throughout the period of growing up, I have experienced some events that might have triggered the surfacing of the fears I never knew I had. Or could even have. I keep telling myself that how can I have fears? For years I convinced myself that I would never cower over anything or anyone. Well, I got scared shitless.
A few years ago, I had a nightmare. It was the kind of nightmare that scars you for life and wake up checking if you’re still alive. I am the kind of person that remembers my dreams or nightmares and it was a normal dream at first. I was in some sort of spaceship, talking with my friend. During our conversation, I felt a small solid in my mouth. I played with it with my tongue and it was hard as rock. And just like every other normal person, I went somewhere to spit it out. When I did so, I heard something drop on the floor. It was a tooth. I started wondering what did I eat to make my tooth fall off like that. I felt the same thing a few seconds later; a small, hard solid in my mouth. I spit out again and it was also a tooth. After the third tooth, my mouth started to get full. I spit it all out and almost all my teeth fall out of my mouth. I felt inside my mouth and all I could feel was my gums, with holes and could feel the blood coming out of them. I could only feel one tooth left. Before the last tooth fell, my nightmare stopped. I didn’t wake up with a start. I just opened my eyes and saw the familiarity of my dark room. My heartbeat was fast against my chest and I started to hyperventilate. I panicked in silence, afraid of waking the whole house. I opened my mouth and checked my teeth. All of them were there. I sighed in relief. It took me a while to go back to sleep with my still-fast heartbeats and slow breathing. For 21 years of living, I only went to the dentist once to have my tooth taken out when I was in primary school. Every time my tooth starts feeling lose, I would pull it out myself. I feel more reassured knowing only I can touch my teeth. And that’s how I had developed the fear of losing my teeth.
There wa also a time when I went out with a good friend. We watched a movie and just generally had a great time after not seeing each other for a year. I drove her home and asked which route should I take to avoid traffic. She told me to take the route under the bridge so that’s where I went. I used the route and drove all the way. The place that I was so familiar with became foreign the deeper I drove into some area. The roads became narrow, more houses start to appear and people I’ve never seen before. Little did I know, I drove until I met a dead end. I flipped out. I started to panic in my car. I didn’t know where I was, I’ve read the signs and I’ve never heard of the place. I started to get nervous. I had to stop somewhere god knows where and cooled down. I thought to myself, what if I can’t find my way back? What if I get lost here forever? What will my family think if they found out that I got lost?! After moments of getting my shit together, I retraced my route. I mainly relied on familiar buildings and roads and finally after almost an hour of driving around, I went with instinct and used the route where I saw my brother’s school from a distance. I was so relieved that I followed my instinct. I could’ve been lost somewhere deeper into some random town I’ve never heard of. When I reached home, I didn’t tell anyone that I got lost. I just wanted the day to be over. I didn’t want to feel the feeling of not knowing where I was. I didn’t like that feeling at all. That’s where the fear of being lost was born.
I consider myself a strong person going through those fears but I am still terrified of being in any of those situations again. Maybe they mean something, who knows? I thought that if I didn’t have any fears of weaknesses then people might assume I’m dependable. I don’t want any of my family or friends knowing my fears. I don’t want to look weak to them. I hope I will ever have to face those events ever again in any point of my life and if I somehow do, I hope I won’t let it consume me.