Have you ever met someone who has never felt fear? I don’t believe it still but my eyes and ears tell me I must. Can you believe that the man of a household never assaulted the children under his care, or that the woman never lashed out, or that siblings never became vindictive? Incredible but, true, there do happen to be such folk on this planet who grew up never knowing the fear of random and unprovoked verbal, physical or sexual assault.
Chatting to a brilliant woman yesterday, I attempted to explain the imagery of walking along the top of a cliff face and that of struggling to cross a bridge. She simply could not interpret the emotional impact of the imagery.
Do you have a fear of heights?
Do you have a fear of falling?
Are you afraid of snakes or spiders, flying or needles?
Do you have any fears? (Exasperation had crept into my voice by now…)
Um… I was worried about not passing tests in school.
I enquired further:
Were you ever afraid walking home at night?
No. There were terrorists bombing things when I was a child but I never took much notice.
I tried to explain how addiction is something that cannot actually be escaped. To this she responded with ‘should’ and ‘ought’ ideas. I patiently explained what projecting is in psychological terms and went back to trying to describe fear.
She loves horror movies, too.
You are tied to the bed and you feel a cockroach crawling on your foot.
That made her recoil, but, ‘I’d just brush it off!’
You cannot. Imagine you are tied to the bed. You cannot move. Now you feel three more cockroaches crawling up your leg.
Progressing, I was able to help her translate that fear and horror from an external source to fear, real fear, which is generated internally. She was able to grasp the impact more than just intellectually at this point.
Were you ever kicked out of the house by parents, adults or siblings? Were you ever grossly interfered with? Were you ever punched in the face or whipped? Abandoned on the side of the road? Repeatedly? Et cetera?
All absolutely unbelievable but true: some people grew up safe, cared for and secure. Never hurt by those responsible for their wellbeing and never lost or alone. Their minds are clear and function smoothly, without hinderance or internal distraction. Their emotions are level and not often bothered, like the still waters of a lake.
Through this interaction I was able to help this person understand that, for some of us, waking up in the morning is a return to constant pain and fear. Telling me I should just do something is exacerbating the inner turmoil, and that she may convey my awe to her parents.
I do wonder what the Child Protection Act is for when it is infiltrated by religious folk who, by tradition, instil the terror of wrongdoing into children and ignore assault done to children in their cult. I question any government which funnels public funds into religious education. I reject any assertion of morality made by all supremacist groups which depend upon terrorising children into adulthood.
And I despise the society which suddenly seems impotent when educating children about their welfare and wellbeing.
Wherever there is lack of knowledge, evil blossoms.