Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Needs and Fears

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?


Kuan said...

I can't say the I have fear of people more a lack of trust but really that is probably just simantics, as one would probably argue that they are one in the same. I don't like being in crowded places, I'm a little closterphobic and I get panic'd when I feel like I don't have any viable escape routes available to me. And I can be shy (well my friends would say pffft Kristi, you shy good one lol), but it is true new people make me a bit uncomfortable. I have a freind too that won't let me give up on any thing and I thank god for him each and every day for sure.
I used to get hauled off to church too and often showed up late and had all the people turn around and look at me, now I make it a point to be early or on time for every thing so as to avoid that whole mess.
Hmmm so much in common...
I used to have this crazy bravado to keep people back, figured if they were scared shitless of me they leave me the hell along, lol not easy as I don't really look that menacing at all. But strangely enough it worked for me, well except on those who really knew me and knew what a farce it was. I think I much prefer the kinder, gentler Kristi she is a pretty cool chick. But man its scary to be that, wholy cow its like being made of glass and some one leans on you just a little to much you'll shatter into a million bits.
Oh I ramble lol its what I do some times.
I'm glad your not uber freaked by people any more, there are still some good ones out there you know.


Joy said...


Azathoth said...

Yep. been in the fear there before. I still can't do the huge crowd thing, I flip and run. Not good in social situations where I don't know many of the folks around either. I tend to just sit and be quiet until I can come up with a reason to leave. Yet when I'm in a large group of my friends and someone brings someone new to the group in I'm usually the first to try and make them feel welcome. Go figure. One of my freinds even crdits me with helping her get over her fear of meeting new people.
I'm glad you got over it. I've said since the start that your a hell of a lot stronger a person than you gave yourself credit for.

Joy said...

Thank you too Az. I never forget that you know me better then most as you have been here almost since day one of my blog. Your post always bring a smile to my face even through tears sometimes. Thanks for being you.

Kuan said...

LOL Joy...
Told ya hehehe

Funny thing is that I'm a lot like Az too if there is some one new in the mix I'm the first one to go say "hi". Cuz I know how it feels tob be in room full of people I don't know, man that is so un-nerving.

Dero (hawkeye) said...

i used to be all like that too.
and i also got frustrated because of it. and now I've been touring for quite a while now, an at first (we stay at host families houses every night, complete strangers...
at first i totally just stayed in the room and did whatever on my laptop until i fell asleep or if they made dinner id go do that. but now I'm totally comfortable in some strangers house, i just go right for the fridge lol...

but anyways, good to hear things like that :)