An Open Letter to my Fear

Dear Fear:

I hear you. I mean, I don’t really have a choice. You are a loud-ass motherfucker. In this moment, you are a vuvuzela/megaphone hybrid in the orgasmic throes of a menage-a-trios with an air horn and Fran Drescher. I hear you.


So loud it hurts your eyeballs.

I understand you. A long time ago, when being loved really WAS a matter of life and death, your neural pathways were worn deep and steady. Time does not exist to you; you and I will always be tiny, frail, helpless, desperate to be swaddled and given a breast to suckle. (We at least have that last thing in common. Mmm. Breasts.)

I respect you. You believe you are the unlikely hero of the natural disaster movie, the one who saw it all coming, but nobody would listen because you made that fatal mistake back in ’73, or because you have great tits under that lab coat. You really just want to be heard, because holy shit you guys, this asteroid is going to wipe out life on the entire planet if we don’t take action immediately.


I’m just going to go ahead and let all you sexist fuckers die, then.

I appreciate you. Maybe there aren’t ravenous lions to worry about so much, anymore, but there are dark streets in dangerous neighborhoods, there are people who would use or hurt me, there is Donald Trump. There are still things to fear in this world. You come in handy at times.


Basically the entire reason the “fight or flight” response evolved.

I have to admit, you’ve gotten much better about crying wolf in the past few years. You seem to have learned that I can travel alone safely without needing you there yelling about stranger danger. You seem to have realized that the slightest hint that maybe life is kinda founded on uncertainty and lack of guarantees isn’t an open invitation for you to tromp all over my face. When I’m trying new things, you just kinda tug at my sleeve so I don’t forget about you instead of duct-taping me upside-down to the wall. You’ve been doing great, and I’m so proud of us.

But still, sometimes, maybe chill the fuck out a little? Rejection isn’t the same as the Earth hurtling at break-neck speeds into the sun. Experiencing loss isn’t the same thing as being trapped in a stainless steel kitchen with two genetically-engineered velociraptors. Being single isn’t the same thing as traversing the desert of an entire lifetime without the thirst-quenching relief of human touch. …well, okay, that last one might be slightly more true that the others (or at least feel more true) ((god, if only Fear could help me get laid…))


Dammit, there isn’t even anything around here that resembles a dildo.

But, you know, we’re in this together, Fear. We go way back. You’re one of the most consistent things in my life. Since I learned so much about myself, I even often instinctively know when it’s time to ready the guest bed for your unannounced arrival. And it really is like having family come to visit: uncomfortable, awkward, sometimes painful, but always familiar. I see some of the deepest parts of myself in you, and that’s pretty hard. But I appreciate you showing them to me, because “me” is not just some pretty blue eyes, and a terrible wit, and a mind that slopes toward the gutter. “Me” is also a paralyzing aversion to abandonment, weakness and dramaticism in the face of rejection, and the tendency to suppress my own needs because I’m afraid others will see them as an imposition.

Thanks for showing me me, Fear.

Now fuck off, I got shit to do.