Fear is a funny thing. It can cripple us, or motivate us. It changes our reactions, and our thought processes. It causes an instinct of survival that leads us to realize our unknown strength, or how cowardly we can be.
One night when I was in high school, my closest friend and his buddy drove me and another girl, let's call her Katy, deep into the woods. He stopped, and told us to get out of the car. It was dark, really dark. He handed Katy and I a brown bag of snacks and said "share it, but be careful, you'll be here a while so ration it." He then threw his keys deep into the woods. The only light source we had were the headlights on his car, which were off inside his locked doors. Of course, katy and I looked at each other speechless. She ran up to him yelling. I stood there, scared. Scared of what my parents were going to do when they found out I wasn't where I told them I'd be. Scared of what these 2 boys were going to do and for how long. Scared of what was lurking in the dark woods. Katy fought. Fear motivated her to get out of this situation. I remember listening to her cry, and the boys laugh, while not being able to move. Her instinct was to fight, and I was standing so still and quiet that no one was paying any attention to me. I remember looking into the woods, drowning out her cries with the silence of the forest. I could have ran, though I had no idea where we were, it was pitch black, and I didn't want to leave Katy. I sat down and looked back towards them, my best friends and this girl in two very different states of emotion. She wasn't as used to these situations as I was. I pulled her back and told her, "It'll be ok. They're messing with us." The next few hours went about the same. She was upset and fighting. I was quiet, and hopeful I'd get out of those creepy woods before too long. The boys kept telling us to get comfortable as we'd be there for days.
As I'm sure they had planned, with just enough time to get us back by curfew, the driver pulled his keys out of his pocket and jingled them. He had thrown a fake set into the woods. We were shortly on our way home, and made it by the time any parents knew otherwise. I was reflecting on this story this week, as I have been trying to switch the result of fear within a present day battle. I hate being a slave to fear. I want it to drive me to fight, not cower. I've tried therapy a few times, each has ended as fast as it started for various different reasons. Looking back, though some instances were out of my control, I'm certain I could have tried harder, or gone longer. I don't think I knew it at the time, but I have realized this week that though I knew I was scared each time to go, I didn't know the depth of that fear. I don't like opening up in person, mostly, I thought, because I don't know what to tell. I don't have a lot of memories from when I was a child. I don't know the source of my sadness. I've been telling myself that for a long time. I think I've been hiding behind it. My thought processes seem to hit a brick wall when I try to think further than the superficial fear of a face to face conversation.
I think He has been telling me this week that there is something there to discuss, and I need to figure out what it is. When I reflected on the situation in the woods, I thought about how frightened Katy was versus how frightened I was. She didn't know this was their idea of "fun". I was scared, but she was petrified. I am scared to talk with people face to face about what goes on inside my brain, but I am petrified to talk about why it's there. When Katy was petrified, she fought. I need to fight. I don't think I really want to remember whatever it is that He thinks I need to, but if anything, it's made me realize what I've been doing. What separates success and failure? Courage. Courage to fight, knowing you might fail.