What are your fears?

Sep 06



“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.”

― Margaret Atwood

What are your fears?

When deciding to end my marriage, I was plagued by so many fears. I was afraid of the future. I was afraid of the unknown. I was afraid for my children. I was afraid that I’d be alone and lonely for the rest of my life.


I’m not usually a fearful person. I’m not worried that some man is going to kill me. My parents taught me to be a Strong Woman, just like my mom. However, they also taught me that home was supposed to be safe. Marriage was supposed to be safe.

When I finally admitted to myself that the gaslighting and constant putdowns and minimizing of my feelings and my needs were all symptoms of abuse, I was shocked. It was as though I had been looking at life through damaged lenses and couldn’t see reality.

When my eyes were opened I was afraid to end my marriage, but I was more afraid to stay in it. I had lost my sense of self. My marriage wasn’t safe; it hadn’t been safe for many years.

Asking my husband to move out of our house was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I had to stare fear in the face and do it anyway.

In the four years since then, I’ve been working through my fears. I still worry about my children, but I’m not terrified any more. I still wonder if I’ll be alone for the rest of my life, but I’m not afraid of the possibility any longer.

I’m not even afraid of the future.

I’m a little sad that I’ve lost my naiveté about marriage. When I was young and innocent, marriage meant that you would live “happily ever after.” Or at least you would have someone who loved you and had your back no matter what.

Now, I don’t believe that any more.

In some ways I’m much less fearful than I was before. I survived the death of a marriage and a high-conflict divorce. I’ve learned that “happily ever after” doesn’t always look the way I thought it would. Now my fears are much more mundane. I’m afraid of enclosed spaces…crickets & cockroaches…talking on the phone. (Yes, that one is weird, but I have my reasons.)

What are your fears?

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One comment

  1. It sounds like you are coming out the other end of a very long dark tunnel. I have never done this but I can see that it must be very hard. The tunnel is still there but you can only see it in your rear view mirror now. That is good right?

    I heard a very wise thing a few month ago that I have thought about a lot. It went like this: The past does not exist.

    At the time I realized that if I faced my fear and let go of the past I slept much better at night.

    Thank you for the post. Oh, and good luck with that “telephone” thing.


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