So Middle S had a homework assignment to research and choose an interesting phobia and she chose Scelerophobia: a fear of bad men, which is fair enough.
I am well versed on sharing my key phobias with all and sundry: flying (tin box with heavy people and bags staying up in the sky just doesn't make sense): spiders (inside for me, outside for you): death ('nuff said, right?). Some feel it's okay to belittle and make fun of my serious and irrational fears and whilst I'm not proud of them , how dare they negate what simply leaves me with night sweats, gut wrenching cramps and a loss of face in front of my kids? Come sit next to me on a plane during take off and you'll see how unfunny it is!
But the worst (and silent) phobia I have is a fear of failure - atychiphobia - to the point that I simply will not attempt something because I think I might fail. I am now realizing that this goes back, way back, to my school days.
Writing - loved it, was good at it, editor of school magazine, reams of poetry and short stories, even the construction of a book told verbally to my best friend walking to school everyday. But never wrote for competitions because I was too scared of someone finding my efforts hilariously abysmal.
The piano - loved it, was good at it, taken under the 'free' wing of my hip music teacher who spotted my talent and guided me through my first piano exam - straight in at grade 4 but decided to chuck it all in when it was suggested I go straight to grade 7 because I discovered you would have to sing. Sing? Sing? Not on your life. Piano career ended because I was too scared of someone finding my efforts hilariously abysmal.
Leaving my last job as it was made painfully clear that I was not wanted anymore I leapt into the unknown and have been floundering ever since. With the support of a close few I am embarking on a new venture which I love but can feel the paralysis of fear setting in. Suppose I'm no good. Suppose no-one likes what I'm doing. Suppose I make a fool of myself. Suppose people out there finds my efforts hilariously abysmal? Can you hear the fear of getting it all wrong in full flow already? Have you spotted the pattern yet?
I read somewhere that you should 'do what you can until you can do what you want' which may mean me heading back to teaching - again the cold chill of 'can't' kicks in . Because before I decided to take this path I did go for interviews and despite my skills, experience, glowing feedback I was still not getting the jobs. Suck it up you might say, keep trying, others out there are applying for hundreds of jobs and not getting one. Yep I hear you but every failure burns when I had reached the outstanding peak of my career only 3 years ago. I cannot start from the bottom again; not at my age, not when the things people don't like about me can't be changed (my years of experience making me expensive).
The spiders that lurk in my little room where I write and the dread of a turbulent flight out to the Caribbean to visit my aged grandparents pale in comparison to the fear of my three daughters looking back at my life and thinking that I didn't provide them with a role model or aspirational values - that is my biggest phobia.
Does that have a name I wonder?
This post was inspired by #post40bloggers #writing prompt66:phobias