Real Life Talk

Real or Not? Generational Fears

Fear. One of my least favorite four letter words.

Fear is real.

There are a number of acronyms for FEAR. You’ve got False Expectations Appearing Real. Finding Excuses and Reasons. Face Everything and Rejoice (who the hell came up with that one? Seriously. Who did that?) Ideas like this are all good and dandy; but that’s not the type of fear I’m talking about here. Is generational fear real?

If you google it like I did, you’ll get a few websites proving that generational fears are real. Why? How? Well, some scientists tested it on some mice and it was real. So BAM! It must be real then.

Granted, one of the articles I read was from the Washington Post.

I’m more about basing things off of human experiences thatn what happens in a lab. So are they real? For me, yes!

Let me introduce you to someone. Meet The Closet Monster.

I know what you are thinking. Grow up, Alesia. I’m not reading this crap. Stay with me on this.

The Closet Monster is real…to me. But not only to me. The Closet Monster is real to my mom.
Here’s her story:

Ok. So when I was around 3 years old, my older brother told me that the little closet at the bottom of the stairs had a terrible monster in it. It was my mom’s sewing room and was very dark and scary. When I would get up in the middle of the night to pee, I would run as fast as I could past it to get to the bathroom.

There would be all kinds of creepy, creeky noises coming from the closet. There were plenty of nights I blamed my dog, Butterball, for my wet bed. Ever since then I can’t turn the light off until I get in bed and ALL doors and closets and cupboards MUST be closed!

How does that affect me?  Growing up, this fear of The Closet Monster (even though we know he is not real) has caused me to do certain things.

I cannot leave my closet doors open. Whenever my son’s closet door is open for no reason, I close it immediately. They are sliding and that seems to creep me out more than one that closes fully.

All bedroom doors must be closed. This part gets a bit confusing though. Recently, my husband and I have been leaving the bedroom doors open to get better air circulation throughout the apartment. His idea, not mine.

I have a bladder problem called Interstitial Cystitis. This causes me to have to pee frequently during the night. It is one of the many symptoms. I’ve found myself sprinting around the bed, past the door, to my side.

It’s nerve wrecking. My husband has suggested I crawl over him, but I try to be nice and not wake him up.

The reasoning of having all doors closed is so confusing, because I’m not like that about the main apartment door or the patio door. It’s as if I am more afraid of what’s in the apartment than what could be outside.

It truly makes no sense.

Thinking back, even during the day I habitually shut the bedroom doors. There never really seems to be a reason in my mind. I just want them shut.

I called my sister recently and brought up that I was going to write a blog post about The Closet Monster. I asked her about her room and if she leaves her closet door open. Her door does not shut all the way so she has a piece of paper in the door to keep it closed.

This shit is real to us! As adults, we know The Closet Monster is not real. No matter how much my mom says she believes he’s real (silly mom), we know in our hearts he is not.

But when the lights are out, the fan is making noise, and we are trying to sleep, you will not see our closet doors open. In our minds, we cannot overcome this fear.

Will I ever overcome this fear?

I’m at the point in my life where this fear isn’t crippling. It doesn’t stop me from doing something great or noteworthy. It doesnt keep me up at night (my phone does that). It just makes me want certain doors closed.

This fear is just irrational. Irrational fear passed down from one generation to another.

Thinking about it, I could probably get over my fear by just putting my mind to it. Mind over matter. That’s a thing right? No, I know it’s a thing.

What if I decided to try to sleep knowing my closet doors were all open. Would I be able to sleep?

Just thinking about it makes me shudder involuntarily. Jeez, I’ve got problems.

There’s my answer: No, I will probably never over come this fear.

I’m OK with that. I’m OK living with my closet doors shut when they are not in use.

My thought is what if I pass this down to my son? He’s not at an age where it would be that way, but what about the future?

These thoughts plague my mind while I write this. I want my son to be the best person he can. He will have his own fears to overcome. I don’t want to dump mine on him too.
What about you?

Do you have fears or strange ticks that have been passed down from one generation to another?

Do you feel you will ever overcome these fears?

Do you fear passing them down to your children?


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