Losing Fear

Yesterday I wrote this:

The old fear that someone will come at me for what I write is pretty much gone, which is a good thing because that’s one less piece of bullshit I have to deal with.

As I thought about those words after I wrote them, I realized that fear is truly gone. It left me like a fear of heights did after I got stoned at the Pink Floyd concert in the Alamodome (April 3, 1994 – found that on Google along with the set list). Now I will freely admit that concert is the only time I’ve ever gotten stoned and I’ve never gotten drunk so I’ve done all my dumb-ass shit in life completely sober.

But as I wrote yesterday, losing this fear is a good thing. Because if someone came at me now and talked shit about me and tried to put me down, they’d get a head-tilt and me asking, “Are you really trying to shit all over me? Because if so, take it and shit it down a toilet where it belongs.” I know I’ll read or hear something for what I say or do some day but I’m glad that profanity-laced head-tilt reaction will be the first thought that comes to my mind when I think about seeing or hearing that.

I think the massive waves of anxiety and fear I’ve been riding for so long have finally burned this away once and for all. Because the fear I feel now is just uncertainty that I tell myself I can work through, or hustle my way out of.

But why did I carry around this fear for so long?

As I’m quite fond of saying, it’s a long story. But here’s the shorter version of it:

As far back as I can remember, I’ve felt like I’ve been singled out for my looks (fat and ugly), my temperament (shy until I found the courage to open my mouth), and clumsy as hell. Conformity is a huge thing in human society and when I didn’t conform to a minimum standard in the looks and temperament department and couldn’t make up for those deficiencies with any physical skills, I became a target for assholes and mean people in general. I won’t excuse their bullshit and bullying or try and justify it in some way by saying they were projecting their own guilt and insecurities. Maybe some of them were but some were just sadistic motherfuckers who I will never forgive. But here’s the big thing here: none of them ever truly followed thru on any implied threat to ruin my life forever or destroy in any way. They were all mouth, even when they mouthed off to my parents behind my back (my parents always had my back and for that I’m forever grateful). But the wounds were there along with the defensive shield I made out of fear and fueled with anxiety.

No more.

I’ve said stuff like this before but yesterday I wrote that line without thinking about it. It just came out of me like perfectly-flowing water. When that happens I know I’ve truly lost something I should never have picked up and carried for so long. This is the end result of working through my emotional shit as I call it and also hustling and surviving this shit-show of a year. I’m not living high off the hog or any of that bullshit. And I’m pissed off as hell at the Republican motherfuckers in Congress who refuse to pass legislation to help people in need even though they’ll give money to rich people who sure as hell don’t need it. I’m not afraid anymore of anyone who will come at me clutching their damn pearls over my language and words here. Why? Because what can pearl-clutching and mouthing off do to me?

Nothing.

And if by some crazy-ass chance something was done, I’d fight it like a demon from Hell.

In the last week, I had two raging shit-fits when I was in my car by myself. I’m talking screaming and yelling all my anxiety and rage to myself. The first shit-fit I had tears in my eyes but in my second shit-fit I didn’t. With the second one I told myself all I can do is my best, find a workaround if possible, and keep going either way. For the longest time, I used to think that wasn’t good enough because I’d hear some asshole-voice from my past telling me I could always do better, and that I should know better.

I don’t have all the answers, but no one else does either. Five and a half years ago I realized that one day and every so often, I’m reminded of how important that realization has been in my life. Now it’s come to this loss of a particular fear here and like that day all those years ago, it feels so damn good even if it’s tinged with a little righteous anger and attitude.

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