Tag Archives: fear

People Are Jumping Out Of Windows

I remember the second plane hitting and the towers falling.  I remember people running out of the city, the mass exodus across the Brooklyn Bridge, citizens coated in thick layers of dust and dirt and grime.  I remember smoke and fear and sorrow and shock.  What I remember most clearly, though, the first thing I ever think of when I hear “September 11” is people jumping out of windows.  I remember the horror of watching people just like me, taking a hopeless situation into their own helpless hands and jumping, falling, clothes and limbs flailing about as they plummeted to earth and eternity.  This is my clearest memory of that day.

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Fear and the Truly Terrifying

I have a genuine fear of heights, and I have no idea from where it came.  If I attempt to take part in a height-filled activity, I literally freeze and cannot move, and someone has to work incredibly hard to coax me along.  While my acrophobia is real and something I cannot get past, there are many things in life that just generally freak me out.

Now, some people are frightened by terrorism, guns, ethnic minorities or gangsters, but I went to public school, so I’m all: “what’s the big deal?”  I am far more apprehensive of the truly freaky and/or terrifying:

Squid.  I’m confident the Kraken was based on giant squid, and it’s totally understandable why all those pirates were so terrified.

Ventriloquist dummies.  What insane person thought that was a great idea?! They are truly terrifying with their wide, demonic eyes and their creepy, jerky movements.  No wonder there’s a horror movie dedicated to them, which I will never see.

Clowns.  I never should have seen any part of It, because every time I see a clown, no matter how harmless he/she/it seems, this is all I can think of:

Spiders, and most bugs in general, with their creepiness and oozing and fangs.  I couldn’t even look up pictures to post because I felt like they were crawling all over me.

Children in horror films.  Why are kids so much more creepy in scary movies than adults (with the exception of Jack Nicholson)?!

Tornadoes make my stomach turn with the way they swoop in out of nowhere with incredible force and power and leave behind a wake of destruction, much in the way of a high school girl.

So, there you have it:  I have given you all the information you need to completely damage me.  In hindsight, this entry was a bad idea.  All one has to do is strap me to a high place and force me to watch all the things listed above (including Jack Nicholson and Carrot Top) and I am in a straight jacket for life.

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The fear that she had cancer was keeping me awake at night.  Sometimes I had nightmares, sometimes I just tossed and turned, and occasionally I stared into nothingness.  I’ve been trying to prepare myself mentally and emotionally for the future losses of all of my grandparents, but for some reason, I deluded myself into thinking that Nana would either never go or she would be the last.  Now, she may leave me first, and my heart was aching.

Tonight was another one of those nights in which I was restless, trying to find that comfortable spot on the bed, fitfully trying to sleep.  Suddenly, it felt like she was there, like she was in my room.  I could sense her presence so strongly.  I didn’t move.  I could feel her soft, cool hand press against my forehead, the way she gently rests it there when I’m on the couch at her house and she thinks I’m asleep.  I cried.  I’ve heard stories like this:  people sensing the presence of a loved one just after that person has died. 

But she’s alive, and there is no cancer.

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I clearly remember the struggle to breathe, the icy fear that was a heavy weight in my chest.  I had assumed that opening my eyes would end the nightmare, but it seemed to be real.  The creature was there, between me and the door, so escape was out of the question.

It was, perhaps, four feet in height, with bat-like features.  The narrow eyes were terrifying:  milky white and softly glowing.  Its teeth were all fangs, the better to gnash with, I suppose.  It may not have been so frightening if I wasn’t being overwhelmed by the waves of demonic evil radiating from this being.  It was immobilizing; I couldn’t move from my bed, even to sit up.  I couldn’t make a sound, no scream or cry or prayer could escape.  It was lunging at me, but it couldn’t quite reach.  Never, ever, have I felt such terror.  I was completely alone in a dormitory full of sleeping people.

I could only think, think of great angels with swords and that my soul had already been purchased with His blood and no demon could take that away.  The creature lunged at me, furious, fangs gleaming.  I squeezed my eyes shut to help focus on the hope I had learned long ago.  When I finally gained the courage to open my eyes again, the creature was gone.

The memory, however, will always be there.

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