Facing Fears…

There’s something that is nagging inside my brain that I just can’t shake.  I don’t know what to do with it, honestly.  I figure the best place to start is admitting that it’s there.

I work for my church.  I handle the admin and techy stuff for my two good friends, who are the pastor and his wife.  I read the message each week as I prepare the graphics to be displayed on the big screen.  The message this week is about the fear of rejection.  In some of our advertising, there was a line about this being the biggest fear.  I wanted to cross-reference that a little and see how true that statement was.  As it turns out, rejection is the #8 biggest fear that people have.  Lurking just below it is good ol’ #9 – the fear of intimacy.  While I was there, I read a bit about this fear and how it rears its ugly head.  As I read it, I knew I was reading about myself.  And that hurt a little.

It’s very easy, over the course of about 20 years, to bury things deep.  Real deep.  Walls of comfort are built to compensate and life goes on.  On a purely logical level, I can see that I am a terrible friend.  I can look at myself holding people at arms length.  I justify unanswered and unreturned phone calls.  I live inside my own head.  I even keep my husband out to a certain extent.  There are wrongs that have been committed against me, relationships that were shattered and scars that are left behind.

There’s really no use to make excuses, but there are those wrongs.  Forgiveness has been granted and deep healing on my part has taken place, but the scars left behind form this nasty little fear.  I guess it’s a bit like guarding my heart, but probably against the wrong people now.

2o years ago, I didn’t know anything about guarding my heart…

I was nearly raped in the 8th grade.  My parents and the police walked in and found me and took me out.  My parents were very, very angry.  I went to a bad place mentally for a while after that.

People who say they care about you don’t always mean it.

I graduated high school with no close friends.  I had close friends.  Some moved, some went down bad paths that they couldn’t return from and some I ran off on my own.

Friendships are temporary.

I had plans to marry someone I dated for almost 6 years, but I caught him cheating on me.

You never know when the bottom is going to fall out.

I flipped out a little, went wild and made a very bad decision.  I lied to everyone who loved me and ended up getting raped by someone I met on the internet who deceived me, in a place very, very far from home.

No one and nothing is safe anymore.

I graduated college with no close friends.  I had several, two that were like my family.  An argument weeks before graduation tore us apart and nothing was ever the same.

It’s better this way.  I don’t need anyone.

My husband hurt me repeatedly by doing something that I’ll not mention, out of respect for him.

I am the only one who will take care of me.

And here I am now, with this annoying fear of being really close to anyone.  I’m not oblivious.  I know who I am.  I’m not someone who dislikes hanging out with people.  I love that.  I love being social.  I think I’m pretty fun.  I’ll do anything to help someone out.  But there’s an intimate place that no one gets to.  I’m not sure it even exists outside my own head anymore.  Realizing it, or realizing it again, makes me think it’s not healthy to live that way.  It doesn’t feel bad to me at all, but I know enough about what’s important in life to know that I should try to change.

I wish I could end this with some encouraging pep talk about how I’m going to be different from now on.  A lot of people would say that I should “just stop”.  Right here and now I’m not sure I know how to do that.  And I’m not sure I’m really motivated enough to do anything about it.  But this is something, right?

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4 responses to “Facing Fears…

  • gracedmommy

    Mandi, I never knew any of these things…just as most people don’t know some of the “difficult situations” I’ve either put myself in or been put in by others. If you ever need someone to talk to, that won’t judge, and probably could shock you with some of my stories, just let me know. God’s grace is sufficient. 🙂

    • Mandi

      Thank you for your sweet comment, Tina. I definitely would love to get together sometime. We do a small group study at my church from Andy Stanley called Community where everyone takes turns telling their life story. I am always shocked at what people have been through and how strong they are despite the difficulties that life throws their way.

  • workingonthemindbodyandspirit

    I’m sorry to hear things have been so difficult in your life and so many people have let you down. Trusting people, is one of the hardest things a person can do. It’s hard to put yourself out there, especially when you’ve been let down before. But just remember that there are good people out there. People who do not use or abuse. I really believe you will find people like that soon because your honesty is pure.
    ~ Gina

  • Handsome Lover of Words

    It is most certainly a start!

    Just dont stop!

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