How I literally beat my fear to death
Imagine this…. cute little kid-Roxy, four or five years old, playing merrily on the playground. Here she is:
It was a nice sunny day. Kid-Roxy was giggling, climbing on the jungle-gym, running across the log bridge on the playground contraptions, running up to the fence and trees and back. Then suddenly, she heard a Bzzzzzzzzzzzz! and THEN PAIN! STINGING HORRIBLE DEATHLY PAIN, on the tender, sensitive skin under her nose right above her lip.
She screamed. She cried. It hurt so badly. A bee had stung her. She knew she was going to die. It was the end. The planets were exploding. She had to find her mother to fix things. Tears. Fear. Mother took the stinger out but couldn’t make it stop hurting. Yes, she was wimpy, but most five-year-olds are wimpy and cry if stuff hurts, but this sting hurt all the way home and the next day! She wasn’t even allergic.
Thus, she became afraid of bees.
Even the sound of the word made her shutter. If she was near flowers and she heard or saw a bee, she ran. To the other side of the lawn. Sometimes inside. Flowers were a thing of beauty….only to be enjoyed at a distance if there were bees, and to find out, she would inch her way close, step by step, looking around carefully, checking the petals….
For years. And Wasps? pppfffffftttt those things looked ten times scarier!
Just look at that black Angel of Death on wings! With it’s pointy stinger of DOOM.
You could call it a phobia.
She kept the heck away from bees and wasps passionately so she never got stung by a wasp…or another bee…but she knew they were evil.
Life happened and she found herself, a 13-year-old, exercising in her living room with her new five pound dumbbells she just got. A few years older than this picture. You get the idea.
She had just started Tae Kwon Do, and was a huge fan of Dragon ball Z. She wanted to be as strong as Goku and Piccolo and decided to start lifting weights to get muscles. She was listening to Mortal Kombat movie music.
Then, she saw it… a wasp. No, a monster. The Alien Mother of ALL wasps was stuck between the silky see-through curtain and the window. This thing was as big as an adult thumb.
Of course, she ran away and closed all the doors to the room. She knew her mom wasn’t home and dad was mowing the lawn. She’d get him to kill it later….. wait.
She wanted to get stronger and become a fighter. She had a bookmark in her favorite book that was a Halmark quote card with a face of a lion that said, “Do things you are afraid to do.” There was literally nothing more scary to her than a bee or wasp.
How could she be JUST training to get stronger, want to learn fighting to fight the bad guys, but ran away from a dumb bug? Dumb, yet evil and painful and scary and evil and……
I have to kill that bug, she told herself. Say it. Say it outloud. You’re going to kill that bug. “I have to kill that bug,” she told herself. “Kill the bug. Kill my fear. Get stronger.” That’s what they teach us. Face your fear and overcome it. But….
She took a few deep breaths. “Roxanne.” She swallowed. “You’re going to go inside there and kill that …wasp.”
She went into the kitchen, got some newspaper, and rolled it up. She went back into the living room, hoping it hadn’t escaped from the curtain. Praying it hadn’t. It hadn’t!
Her breathing rate increased. Her heartrate increased. She thought of Piccolo. She was so terrified that she thought of anything that could give her courage. She slowly approached the curtain. Man, it was so big!
“Just do it!” she said, raising the newspaper and whacking at it as hard as she could. She missed! The insect panicked! She panicked and screamed! The giant wasp’s wings and body making a loud buzzing clicking commotion as it banged against the glass window pane. She knew it was just dying to sink it’s dark singer of death into her body. She hit it again and again, the curtain cushioning the impact of the blows. It fell! It fell to the carpet. She fell to her knees next to it, hoping to see a decapitated body…but no, it was very much intact started running around! With a cry, she slammed her weapon down as hard as she could, but the bug bounced back and forth between the soft carpet and newspaper. Have you ever tried to squish something soft against something soft? It’s very ineffective. She realized this after the 15th time she whacked at it, but knew there was no time to get a different weapon. And she had no shoes on to take off. She resolved to hit it until it dropped dead.
She whacked it again. And again. and again. and again. and again. She felt slightly crazed. It wasn’t dying. But she would kill it.
She lost count of how many times she hit that thing, but it was probably over thirty. It finally oozed guts out of it’s broken body into the light blue carpet, and stopped moving.
There were a few tears in her eyes. She was not only scared, but she hated what she did. She hated killing things. She always saved the bugs (not stinging ones-she called Mom for them) that crept into her house. She avoided stepping on ants on the sidewalk. After watching Fern Gully, she decided to stop pulling up weeds and flowers, because every life has a spark of energy and is beautiful. She felt bad she just ended the life of another animal, and there it was. Dead. It’s life could never come back. But it terrified her. She knew it had to die.
She hoped that she had killed the fear inside her along with that bug. And she was right.
She forced herself to clean it up with a paper towel, rather than waiting for her parents. After all, it was respectful. She had ended it’s life, so she should take the responsibility of finishing the deed.
Just as she has suspected, her fear dissipated. She went outside and went over to her garden and gazed upon the bees…. while she had no desire to go touch one, she no longer felt that icy knife of terror slice into her heart.