Interesting things I already knew about needs and fears. I used to be REALLY scared of people. I mean, I wasnt scared of them doing anything in particular to me. I wasnt scared of them trying to shank me in the face when I went outside, or trying to wrassle me to the ground or anything. I just got really nervous and would lock up or shut down when people I didnt know very well were around.
My approach to this problem was not unsual for me. I got mad. I got really pissed off that these people were in MY way, not I in theirs. So I boldly strode out to find them and dared them to make me fear them. Dared them to try to hurt me in some bullshit kind of way. And it did take time and I did go through a LOT of fear but I was angry that they could make me fear.
In the end I made a lot of good friends. One is still my best friend to this day. I have known her since I was 12. Most of you who have read my book would know her as Janet. Which was just about the time I started getting angry at people. I have no signs of agoraphobia that I had before. Oh every once in a while I still get nervous when I have to walk into a crowded place. I still dont really LOVE being immensely surrounded by people I dont know. But I dont believe that fear is entirely unnatural these days.
My mom used to take me to church with her when I was very little and we ALWAYS got there late. Which caused the entire church congregation to stop and stare at us. It was that little moment that brought all the fear back to me. And asking her to stop making me go to church was like asking the sky to stop being blue. So each time I had to deal with that I shrunk back into myself a little more at a time.
But in the end I found out that my need for some people in my life, Janet being one of them, was far more intense then my fear of them. I havent suffered any irrational fears about people in at least 15 years. They did take a while to get over. But I had the kind of friends that wouldnt leave you alone. Those were the exact kind of friends I needed. By the time I was 17 or so the intense shy girl had begun to disappear. Not only Janet but I didnt have one friend who would allow you to just sit there and be shy. Being shy around them cost you far more self security then just opening up and being yourself did. So my need for friends and companionship overrode those fears of people that I had in the beginning. And to this day I couldnt be more happy that I didnt waste more time being so alone.
This wont work for everyone. For some people they need to take the little steps. Jumping headlong into shit for some may cause them to backtrack and become more fearful if that can even be fathomed. But for those people maybe they cant quite handle a Janet yet, but they could handle a short conversation on the phone first. A quiet night at home conversing with a newfound friend. Little bit by little bit they will find that the need has overridden the fear. It may take years, but what else do you have but time?