Saturday, March 04, 2006

Zombie Fear

I have always been afraid of zombies. Terrified of them. Now, I don't believe they are real, but in movies, and such, they freak me out. Completely and totally. I start shivering. The first movie I ever walked out of was Return of the Living Dead-- I was ten. That's when I decided on cremation, because I would never want my body to be reanimated into a zombie.

I never quite understood why I was so afraid of Zombies. I generally think when a person is unreasonably afraid of something, there actually is a reason, a bad past with the thing, some sort of subconscious relation, maybe even a past life experience. But zombies?

Recently, I made a connection, though, about the zombie thing. It was a light bulb moment.

The zombie thing is frightening because I am afraid of losing control. Not of other people, but of myself. The idea of being a human one minute, and being an irrational, ravening monster the next, well that is a nightmare to me.

And that does not come out of nowhere. I watched my father go from being my hero, to an irrational, insane, ravening monster, eating everything around him, my easter candy, the biggest steak, our sense of security, his own potential, our futures.

I have always been afraid that I would turn into my father, that I would go crazy, too. It's the reason why I never did drugs, not even experimentally (except for a puff of a doobie every once in a while-- which it turns out, I don't like.) The fear of loss of control is also why I don't drink to excess. I rarely get drunk-- I hate the way it feels, not being able to be in control of my body and mind.

You might say that my zombie fear has been an effective one for me, keeping me off drugs and too much drink, even a good fear-- but it has it's down side. Yes, I can be straight about myself and what I do, I can be my creatively perfectionist self, but I have also kept myself out of the ravening zombie world-- the bigger world where I have no control over what comes at me.

This zombie fear keeps me in a very small world. I am afraid of being out of control, of the big whirl of life. It kept me out of relationships and in unrequited crushes for most of my youth and young adulthood. It keeps me out of showing my art and publishing my writing. I've got to keep things small so I can hold onto them and keep myself safe and understood. Once life gets big, once you add people and demands, once you put yourself out there, you just have to accept what comes back at you-- the love and respect, as well as the demands and expectations and judgments and criticisms.

Is the zombie world going to eat me????

When I look at it this way, it IS frightening. I could shrink back down and hide away in a little hole (which always seems the best way to avoid the zombies in the movies, as long as there is a nice healthy lock and door on that hole, along with ample provisions to survive.) My zombie fear will take over my life.

I don't want to be at the mercy of the zombie fear. So I've got to remember that I am the hero of my own story. I am the warrior, the zombie warrior. I'm not the chick in the movie who is stupid enough to get her brains eaten, I am the survivor. It's my story. I made it up, it doesn't have control over me, I have control over it.

There's even proof. Uh huh. Proof, because if I were still caught up in zombie fear, I never would have been able to find Sean. I never would have been able to let another person in. I never would have gotten out of that safe hole. Now I've got a son, and he grows, and gets older, and I lose more control over him with every new thing that he learns, every development he makes-- and that's a GOOD thing.

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