It is paralyzing. It is controlling. It holds you back.
I knew a lot of fear when I was a child. I was afraid of the dark. I was afraid to be by myself. I was afraid of the Hells Angels. I was afraid of people who were different then me. I was sure that there were "bad guys" around every corner. They were just waiting to get me.
I am now 62 years old and I have so. much. fear. I don't want it. But, it's there.
I am in Rockaway Beach, Oregon, a place that I am so in love with. Last night, I was here by myself. Bernie had gone back home because he couldn't get today off. I was alone in the house by the ocean. No one was in the rental next door. The owner wasn't downstairs. I was looking all around for implements to put in the slider to keep the "bad guys" out. (You do know they're out there, right? Just waiting.) I woke up during the night because I heard a "noise".
When I was a child, I was afraid of so many things. My mother, in the throws of menopause, would take off for the woods. She would be gone for hours and hours, working through her personal demons. When she would eventually come home, she would say to me, in a whispery, scary voice: "Some day I am never coming back." I was scared. Did I cause it?
One time, my sister and I were with friends at the Fairgrounds in Kalispell, Montana. We were running up and down the steps in the grandstand. I don't know what caused me to say it, but I yelled to my sister, "You fool!" When we got home, she told me that I had called her a fool. Mom called me in and told that in the Bible it says that anyone who calls another a fool is bound for the fires of Gehenna. Whoa! That was pretty scary. And yet, at the same time, I thought she was just a little crazy. I was probably 8 years old.
When I would answer my mother with what she considered a "malicious" remark, she would tell me that there was a young child who was going to be in Purgatory until the end of time. Why? Because she had shown malice towards her mother. I had no idea what that meant. (I think she made it up.)
At this point, we had not even joined the cult of francis schuckardt. So, really, I didn't even know what FEAR was coming. I was afraid of my mother. I was afraid of the dark. I was afraid of hell. I was afraid of the Black Panthers (in Kalispell, Montana!!). I was afraid of Communists. I was afraid of Democrats! (Isn't that hilarious?) And, the Hell's Angels - whenever I heard a motorcycle go by on the Highway, I would be so scared. For sure, they were coming for us. And yet, this fear was infantile compared to what was coming my way.
When my mother joined the cult of francis schuckardt in 1968, fear took on a whole new dimension. It was our EVERYTHING. If you research cults, you will see that this is one of their major tools to keep their members under their control.
When I attended the annual Espiritu Seminar at Twin Lakes, Idaho, we had 7 solid days of indoctrination by schuckardt and his minions. schuckardt was the BEST at instilling this fear into us. He would stand at the blackboard and dissect the United States into 8 sections. He would assign a different nationality to each section. They were the ones who were going to come in and torture us, because of our Faith. Our section was #8. We would get the Manchurians - and they, he told us, were by FAR the harshest in torture. F.E.A.R.
We had lecture after lecture about living our Faith in the "latter days". (This was 1973-1974.) References were made to various Christians/Catholics who were martyred for their beliefs. Again, we were promised that the tortures WE would experience would be far greater than any other Christian in all time. There were examples given of how Christians had died through the years. The tortures were awful. The one that sticks with me to this day a5nd caused me to shiver just now is the ones who had wooden spikes hammered under their fingernails.
And, on and on it went from 1973 to the time that I finally left the cult and Mt. St. Michael's in 2005. It is embarrassing to admit that it took me that long to free myself from those chains of fear.
It was all brought vividly back to my mind tonight when I walked from our little place here in Rockaway Beach to Dos Rocas to pick up dinner. Bernie will be here soon and I walked down to get our dinner. It was dark outside. I can't even tell you how my heart was pounding. Surely, there was someone just waiting to jump out and assault me. My mind knows that this is totally insane. I am safe. Rockaway is a wonderfully beautiful and safe place. But, the memories of all the fears were right there. I was so relieved when I arrived safely back inside the apartment and locked the door.
Is it ridiculous? Yes, it is. Am I in danger? No, I am not. I am 62 years old. I have never been assaulted. I have never even been remotely in danger.
And, so ..... I pull myself together and tell myself that there is nothing to fear "but fear itself".
I live in a beautiful world. I am cared for by my loving Father, God. I have the love of my husband, Bernie, and my sons, Matt, Kevin, and Nathan. I have more love than I can describe with my wonderful Sullivan Bernard and Cassidy Rae. There's Max and Fella - and my siblings who care for me, and I for them. And friends ---- there are so many that are so wonderfully amazing. I am grateful.
How do I rid myself of fear? Surround myself with love. I love you all!