Monday, September 29, 2008


I know some people who love horror stories - books, movies, campside tales - anything that will scare the bejesus out of them. Anything that will make them break out into a cold sweat, get their heart racing or jump so high they lose their footing and fall over.

Fear certainly offers a good physical workout but why do people enjoy it so much? I often wonder if they've never experienced real fear. Can they enjoy it because of that innate sense of safety cocooning their lives? Perhaps it's a need to prepare themselves for possibilities - planning for a disaster and making sure their body will be ready to react under pressure.

I'm a timid sort. I never liked being surprised or frightened as a child, always sought the quiet spaces when there was an argument at home. That doesn't mean I can't deal with situations that cause fear. I know how I react in situations like that - if I can get out, I grab my daughter and run and hide. If I can't, I stand in front of my daughter and talk until help arrives. I'm no hero.

As an adult I've been frightened to the stage that all my insides liquified. I lived in a situation that waking up alive meant I was having a good day. Every house I moved into, I plotted various hiding places and escape routes. That includes the house I'm living in now - a place that's very safe (both physically and emotionally). I even had a problem when I first moved in because this house is in a cul de sac - only one exit route - and that's years and years after the last time I was truly afraid. It stays with you.

Being afraid isn't fun and I simply can't understand how other people can seek those sensations and call it fun. It gives me nightmares.

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