Sine Metu (Without Fear)

FEAR

 

Your fear is 100% dependent on you for its survival.”  ~ Steve Maraboli

If we placed our fears in a petri dish and the universe asked what it needed in order to survive, we all know the short and long of it – it’s us. We’ve seen the Pinterest boards and Facebook quotes. We get it. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself, and we must do the things we think we cannot do. If only our understanding of fear somehow brought feeling back to the paralyzed consciousness it creates.

Just because we get why we’re afraid, doesn’t make our feelings less so. A child’s fear of monsters under the bed won’t lose validity when the lights turn on. They’re relieved when discovering the monsters don’t exist, but their fear was always real.

As we get older, the monsters morph into tangible worries like having enough money, making life changing decisions and to top off the insomnia trifecta, being in good mental and physical health.

Although fear is universal, our own struggles narrow the scope and they become much more crystallized within the walls of our story. Each of us has our path, and it’s always walked alone. Our compass is built from life experience, the realization of who we are (which only comes from letting go of who we pretend to be), and the choices we make based on how we handle fear.

Fear is fucked. No one really talks about it, because the more we talk about it, the more it exists. Also, with fear lives vulnerability. It’s a he-said-she-said trap of “I know you are, but what am I”; fear points the finger at vulnerability, while vulnerability blames its very existence on fear. It’s six of one, half-dozen of shit, making us feel weak and alone. So we bury them both, deep inside

Christine Macdonald

Imagine that

The flickering nightlight threaded in the crack of your doorway is a lighthouse. You’re eyes close and you’re there, high above the sea. The howling breath of the night knocks you over, cursing your safety. She whispers in front of a thunderous roar, laughing at you as you clutch to your favorite animal under the blanket. You open your eyes and see more darkness. You cry out for safety, waiting to be rescued.

When you’re a five-year-old, seconds are forever – an eternity when waiting for reality to save us from the boogeymen and monsters underneath our bed.

For some of us, the indelible line between fear in our mind and safety of what’s actually real, bleeds over. It’s a watercolored fingerprint of our suffering from long ago. What once was feared in the darkness on our bedroom floor, now breathes under our skin. No amount of time, booze, blow, sex, cupcakes or insert vice here will erase the reality of our past. It’s fucked. But do we need to be? Like, always and forever, fucked?

A survivor’s acceptance on the road to healing comes at a lofty price. It means rolling up our shame, lacing our truth with personal responsibility, and getting real about how as grown ups, we’re doing everything in our power to avoid getting real.

The most amazing, precious thing about aging in this tortured life of ours is that we have more control than we realize. Who we were as children does not mean that as adults, we’re destined to wear a neon sign flashing “VICTIM!”, “FUCKED!”, or “BROKEN!.”

My truth: I was raped at thirteen. I was a victim. My dad split when I was two, I was abandoned. My step-father was an ass. I was abused. I numbed my shit, I am an addict. I traded my sexy for power, I was a stripper. This is part of who I am – but it’s taken me countless hours and truthful tears to learn – it’s never going to be all that I am.

If you find yourself repeating old patterns, self-sabotaging your happiness, falling back on “it’s because….” – time to remember: we are not the sum-total of our suffering. We are empowered for having survived. Switch the hard wiring in your brain and work on the real you – not the person you turned into – or think you need to be – because of what happened.

“You have to crawl into your wounds to discover where your fears are. Once the bleeding starts, the cleansing can begin.” – Tori Amos

 

 

*If you or anyone you know needs help regarding sexual abuse, please go to RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network).

Christine Macdonald

What If Monster

There is a monster in all of our minds and she’s a total bitch. She smells of self-doubt and cynicism. She is the sassy girl who knows you are but what is she. She is never far when we are taking steps to follow our dreams.

I attended a conference call today titled “How do you know when you have a book?” I sit here marinating in my notes from the call (not to mention my slight embarrassment as I asked a question and could not stop talking in nervousness), and am in deep thought.I know I sometimes think too much.

Even before today’s phone debacle, writing my memoir has opened up questions that are not always easy to answer.
What makes your story different?

What is your universal message?


It seems these days that memoirs are the new black. Everyone wants a piece of the literary pie and thinks they deserve the freshest slice. But what if your story has been told before…and told really well? What if nobody is interested?

What if
What if
What if

.
The answers to those questions are simple: because there is only ONE me. Just like there is only ONE YOU. Don’t let your monster take over your dreams. We have come too far.

Here is the part where you tell me: how to you control the monster in your head?

Christine Macdonald