Living in Fear …

So here’s the deal — I’ve spent practically the entirety of my life living in fear of life and judgment, holding onto secrets that may or may not have been as secret as I believed them to be, and generally just living in a constant state of heightened awareness on the edge of flight. Never being able to truly relax, truly discover and be myself, never believing that it was possible to live any other way.

I’ve had periods where I’ve convinced myself that I was relaxed, content, and happy — but I realize they were simply a coping facade. Merely part of the overall need to feel normal and fit in, but little more than a temporary masking to allow myself to believe that I was fine when I really was not.

I’ve been pretty good in general, at playing the game, by the world’s rules. Except that the longer I’ve played it, the more fearful I’ve grown of being found out. And the more fearful I’ve become, the more anxiety I’ve developed. And the more anxiety I’ve developed, the more sadness and anger I’ve uncovered. I’ve been miserable. Doing little more than going through the motions for the past 20-25 years or so, with occasional glimpses at a future I desperately wanted that was free from all of this game-playing and hiding and secret keeping, but which I didn’t believe could ever be a reality — didn’t believe could be ANYONE’s reality.

Frightened of people, places, situations, true intimacy, myself, my thoughts, my past, my future — everything. Seriously, EVERYthing!

In the past couple of years, I think I finally hit my fill level. Decided that I just couldn’t take it anymore. I can’t do it anymore. I can’t be this person anymore. I’m getting older, I’m getting tired, I’m yearning for real and natural, calm and peaceful, relaxing and carefree. So I’ve been working, albeit slowly, at breaking free from the prison I’ve unintentionally designed for myself. The one that I thought was keeping me safe from all the evils of the world and all the pain I saw around me. It wasn’t keeping me safe, it was keeping me cut off and strangling my true soul.

One brick at a time I’ve been chipping away. And each one that breaks into a million pieces of dust down around my feet lightens my heart, my mind, and my soul that much more. Letting in the light of life that I never knew could really exist. It’s amazing. I’m not done. I’m no where near done. But it’s amazing.

I can breathe. I can see beauty around me. I can see hope and love and faith around me. There is so much beauty in the world, if I just come outside myself and allow it to be seen.

The downside? I cry. I cry a lot. I’m hyper-sensitive emotionally. In a way, it’s a good thing, I think — because that’s where I started before I shut down and began hiding from life. This is the point I was at in high school. So it’s kind of like starting over again. If nothing else, at least it’s a bit cleansing. From here I move forward as the person I want to be, instead of the person I was expected to be. I can truly begin being me, whoever that may be, without the constraints of expectation, societal pressures and excessive responsibilities.

It’s a path to freedom I have no intention of losing again.



M.A.Young is driven by her love of words, passionate pursuit of knowledge, and desire for a more inclusive and accepting world. A survivor of childhood sexual abuse, she struggles daily with mental health issues including generalized and social anxiety, C-PTSD, depression, and self-worth.

She is the sole contributer to and founder of AnnotherVoice, a relatively unfocused blog originally created as a sounding board for the myriad of thoughts running through her mind. Her writing runs the gamut from fiction and poetry to current events and politics. She strongly encourages everyone to pay attention to the world around them and to vote!

M.A.Young has 176 posts and counting. See all posts by M.A.Young

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