The Fear



Fear comes in many forms. It has the capacity to cause dread, anxiety and nervousness. Fear is one of the most powerful tools that exists to facilitate control over somebody. Think back to when you were a small child and the things that frightened you. Many of them have a universal applicability. How many times did you cry out to your mother and father in the night because you were frightened of the “monsters under the bed” and you were terrified that once the bedroom door was closed that something would come creeping out of the wardrobe and induce utter fear throughout you?

Perhaps it was the strange shapes that formed once the light was turned off with only moonlight streaming through the crack in the curtains so that the shadow thrown across the room appeared like some old crone waiting to come and take you away and eat you. How many times were you warned as a child never to speak to strangers, never to get into a car with somebody you did not know and never to accept sweets from a stranger?

Do you recall how this conjured up images of smelly old men in stained raincoats who waited to abduct you and spirit you away to be locked up who knows where? Perhaps there was that house on your walk back from school which had attracted a certain reputation. It was run-down, the garden overgrown, with bushes spilling onto the path, the windows grimy and paint peeling. You were never sure whether anybody actually lived there. Some said that a witch resided there and she waited for children passing on their own before grabbing them and stuffing them in her cellar to starve to death. Others told tales on stormy afternoons which made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, about the spirits that haunted the old house.

A friend would swear that he had walked past, one wet and windy evening, just as it was going dark and he saw the face of a ghostly child staring at him from an upstairs window, the child’s spectral hands knocking against the window as if requesting help. After hearing that tale you took a different route home from school so you did not have to pass this particular house anymore. If that was not possible, you would run past, head down, shouting at the top of your voice to drown out any strange sounds that might come from the trapped ghost child, as you dared not even look towards the house. Fear often stalked your childhood and resulted in sleepless nights, nightmares and a reluctance to go to bed.

Do you remember being sent to bed and staring up the stairs towards the darkness wondering what was waiting for you? How you did not want to appear scared in front of your parents (especially since they had let you stay up a while longer because you were a “big boy/girl” now). You wanted to hand those words back as you hovered at the base of the stairs, the hallway colder than the living room from which you had ventured. How many times did the noise of the house settling, resulting in strange groans and creaks convince you that somebody was waiting out of sight in a doorway, their heavy booted foot resting on the squeaky floorboard, rusty axe clutched in greasy, long-nailed fingers?

Did the sight of a clown have you running to hide in the folds of your mother’s dress, that strange leering and accentuated mouth creating panic in your tiny mind? What did that eerie clown have in mind for you?

It might have been a reluctance to paddle barefooted in the sea or a river because you could not see where you were putting your feet. You felt something brush your foot, most likely seaweed, but in your mind some razor-toothed fish was about to take a bite from your ankle or a crab was about to affix a pincer to your big toe. You turned and ran hollering from the edge of the sea back to the safety of the sandy beach.

There may have been a murderer’s alleyway in your town, a badly-lit passageway between two roads which was a convenient and easy short cut during the day but a night the purported preserve of lurking knife merchants and yellow-toothed stranglers who were just waiting to pounce and take your life. You stood staring down the alleyway trying to drive the rising fear from you but it just would not go and instead you opted to walk the long way around. It took twenty extra minutes but at least you got home safely.

Fear continued to stalk your life as you grew older. You might not be worried about the bogeyman anymore but he has shapeshifted into the fear that comes with finding a lump about your body and not knowing what it is. Uncertainty about the business for whom you work has you tossing and turning at night. Wondering where the next pay check will come from has you similarly fearing for the future. Walking alone along a road at night and hearing footsteps behind you still causes your heart rate to increase.

A glance over your shoulder as you cross the road to the over pavement only serves to heighten your worry as a hooded figure also crosses the road. Your step quickens as your fear increases and your mind floods with images of robbery, rape or murder. When alone in the house at night the sound of a bang from downstairs has you sat bolt upright in bed. What was that noise? Did you dream it? Was it somebody breaking in? Was it something not of this world, a poltergeist perhaps hurling a book against a wall. You cannot see what caused the noise and immediately the fear forms in the pit of your stomach, your racing mind conjuring up a score of unpleasant scenarios as you debate creeping to the top of the stairs and peering down to see if you can ascertain what it was.

Fear takes hold of you and makes your reasoning faulty. It tightens around your throat stopping you from calling out and turns your legs into stone so you are figuratively petrified and unable to escape that unseen tormentor. Fear withers you, paralyses you and you will do anything at all to escape that sensation of fear. It is pervasive, damaging and controlling.

Your greatest fears always stem from the unknown. It is that which you cannot see which causes you the greatest terror. When you cannot see something you are plunged into fear, its icy grip takes hold and you crumble.

The unknown and the unseen create the fear.

That is why we are so devastatingly effective in our control of you. That is why we create such numbing fear in you.

Fear and the Empathic Victim

Learn more about the effects of fear


27 thoughts on “The Fear

  1. Kiki says:

    I’m having a bad day or days .
    I can’t stop thinking I’ll never hear or speak to ex Narc again .6 months no contact, no hoover.
    I feel irrelevant forgotten.
    Today I could feel this massive wave of grief , it literally hurt my insides.I had to sit down and take deep breaths , I just wanted to curl up and cry The battle with my emotions is exhausting me resulting in dreams about ex Narc .
    This should be going away but it’s not .
    What’s wrong with me ? Is this normal?


  2. lickemtomorrow says:

    AV, love the way you describe the different kinds of fear here. It’s amazing how many aspects of our lives we can apply it to and how many different circumstances. Your comment here has really helped to highlight that for me. How many of our decisions are based on fear? How many on fact?

    I think this is an area I need to delve into a little more.

    I believe the narcissist’s inability to deal with the Creature is also based on fear. Fear of losing control, of not being who they think they are, of finding their frailty. Probably what’s at the bottom of all our fears. No one wants to be vulnerable.

    1. A Victor says:

      Hi LET, I am glad to have “found” this comment! Yes, prior to arriving here I labeled my fears as other things and used them to justify decisions. Like last night I went to see a comedienne with a friend who had been invited by a group of people I know loosely. In the past I would’ve either canceled at the last minute, from fear though I would nor have recognized or called it this. I would have justified canceling with I was tired from the workweek, or some other lame excuse. Or I would’ve gone and judged people in my mind as to why I should stay away from them, again from fear. I think it has spoken into my feelings about normals, I knew we were different but didn’t understand how, nor how to interact with them, so judged them and walked away. I think most of my friends have been and are currently empaths, I can relate to them. Fear of failure plays into this also.
      Anyway, all this to say I think fear has spoken into many areas of my life, much more than I had known. And I’m so tired of being held back by it, time for me to grow up.

      I do not know that this is a common experience for empaths. I think it manifests for me because my mother used fear on us so effectively, other narc parents may have used other methods of control which would not result in this. And for those blessed with non narc parents, possibly no fear of living.

      1. Eternity says:

        A Victor , I agree with you totally. Fear does seem to take over sometimes and we need to overcome it in some way or another. When I was growing up my parents were old school strict and put a lot of fear in me too with realizing it. They cared, but a bit too much.
        I learned to now take risks, and not be afraid of doing things I never though I could do.
        I am just sad from yesterday. A Greek pilot strangled his Briish girlfriend in front of their 11 month year old daughter and made it look like a robbery. Luckily the Greek Police were on to him arrested him and he confused to the murder.
        The poor girl probably had a Fear of leaving this toxic relationship and look where it got her. I am almost certain he was a Narcissist. What pissed me off is that hours before he got arrested he was hugging his mother in law at his wife’s funeral. Talk about fake Empathy. She needed to get away from this prick.

        1. A Victor says:

          Wow, that is horrible! I’m so sad for the woman and her family. I hope he goes to prison for life.

          Did you do anything to help you overcomethe fears your parents instilled in you? Alexissmith said getting LT rolling has been very helpful to her, do you have suggestions also?

          1. Eternity says:

            A Victor,
            Yes, he will probably go to prison for life. I feel sorry for the baby she has no parents now. Just devastating. How do you explain that when she grows up. It will definitely have an effect on the child later on in life.
            Can you please explain what LT is?

          2. A Victor says:

            Logical Thinking I think, or Logic Thinking. Yes, that baby will hopefully be put with some loving family members who can tell her about her mother. Very sad.

          3. Eternity says:

            The reporters actually interviewed him after the murder . I could actually see right through him that he was a big fat liar. He nose was definitely growing. No remorse whatsoever.

        2. Bubbles says:

          Dearest Eternity,
          Yeah, gotta watch out for those helicopter pilots 😉
          Luv Bubbles xx 😘

          1. Eternity says:

            Bubbles ,no kidding eh? You need to watch for people in general. You never know who you end up meeting next. I hope this man rots in jail. Love Eternity 💘

      2. Bubbles says:

        Dearest A Victor,
        Fear of abandonment has been my biggest!
        Mine was continuing to please for fear of losing my mother’s love
        I was striving for something I never had in the first place !
        Luv Bubbles xx 😘

        1. A Victor says:

          Hi Bubbles,
          Yes, fear of abandonment is a big one! I suppose it ties in to my fear of being alone once a romantic partner is in the picture. I’ve survived being abandoned and also being alone, no romantic partners, so I have thought “Why does that scare me so much?”. I chalk it up to the addiction kicking in. Oh yes, also that pleasing element! What if I lose their love?! Stemming from my dad and his ever so conditional “love”. Thank you for that comment! That really helps pull some of these issues out into the light! That addiction is such a real and horrible thing, very controlling if allowed to be. And yes, striving for something I never had in the first place either! Good thing we can take steps against these fears. Thank you for sharing Bubbles!

          1. Bubbles says:

            Dearest AV,
            We can all face our fears n addictions together 😊
            Luv Bubbles xx 😘

          2. wildviolet22 says:

            A Victor & Bubbles-

            The fear of abandonment and loss is what was keeping me putting up with things that I shouldn’t have been putting up with. And I think mine knew this, and also around the same time were the circumstances around my best friend dying, and I see now he used my fear of loss against me, and to keep me on my toes.

            But also this one particularly crazy message I got from him (the first time I tried to escape, but failed), also put a different kind of fear in me- the self preservation kind, which ended up being a good thing. My self preservation instincts, and the fight/ flight that comes with those, really kicked in and helped me out because my insides were screaming “this guy is a psycho- flight! flight!” How cruel he could be with the stonewalling really started to piss me off, especially when I found this blog and started reading here and everything started clicking and sinking in. But the fear I felt when his mask slipped, was probably a good thing.

          3. A Victor says:

            Hi Wildviolet22, sorry for the delayed response, I didn’t get a notification of your comment. Are you still with him? You may have told me previously but so many stories, it’s a challenge for me to keep them all straight. If so I apologize. It sounds like he was pretty scary. My ex wasn’t scary but he did keep me financially dependent on him. Then I had a large inheritance come in and the dynamics changed a bit, that was interesting. It was the beginning of the end.

            I’m glad you made it here and saw things as they were.

          4. Bubbles says:

            Dearest wildviolet22,
            Same here, I can completely understand.
            The weasel indicated ending his own life if we were to abandon him because of his PTSD as we were his only ‘close’ friends…….that’s why we were hung in there for so long because I had been abandoned and I knew what it felt like
            Yet, he still lives and continues making a narcisstic spectical of himself
            I can’t even go Op shopping without hearing him on talk back radio in the shop 🤢……haha
            I’ve always tried to avoid fighting at all costs (especially with a narc) flight is emotionally better for me
            Now I pretty much, avoid people altogether, however I do enjoy my own company when I’m by myself !
            Speaking of fears, have you by any chance seen The Bold Type series ?
            Luv Bubbles xx 😘

          5. A Victor says:

            Hi Bubbles, what is The Bold Type? I wonder if it’s in America. Thanks, AV

          6. wildviolet22 says:

            A Victor- I know what you mean. I don’t get notifications at all even when I sign up for them, and it’s hard to keep everyone’s stories straight for sure. If I ever don’t respond to a comment that is why. Sometimes I forget which articles I commented on..

            Mine & I were never “together”. Prior to my time here I would have said we were “friends”, but after being here for a while I see I was a Long Distance Empath, candidate IPSS. We were friends in our younger years before his substance abuse days (although looking back, there were signs things weren’t right even back then), and we’ve always kept in touch.

            A few years ago when my best friend died, I (foolishly- there were signs something was really, really wrong now, but I was too grief stricken over my friend dying to deal with everything at once. I don’t remember him being this mean when we were younger ) turned to him for support, and got all tangled up in bs and mind games. I believe he is a victim lesser ping-ponger, plus all of the years of substance abuse have really brought out the worst in him. His primary sources (last I knew) were non intimate partner primary sources. This month will be one year no contact (yay).

            And eeek about the inheritance. Money can really drag these things out sometimes.

          7. A Victor says:

            Wildviolet22, I see. I am glad for you for the one year. Thank you for sharing, I don’t think I had heard your story before. The sustance abuse does exacerbate things, it was between my inheritance and his addiction issues that I finally realized my ex was not really in the marriage. They were a godsend in a way because otherwise I believe I’d still be trying to make it work. I’m glad for both you and I to be free of them.

        2. wildviolet22 says:

          Hey Bubbles- no I did not see that series, but I just looked it up. Looks interesting, and I need a new show to watch, so I’ll check it out. Thank you!

          Uggh about the suicidal comments. Those kinds of things have a way of holding a person emotionally hostage. Mine did this too, and then wouldn’t return phone calls. Eventually he would, but not until everyone was good and worried. Unfortunately I’ve known more than a few people now who have gone out like that (or accidental OD), so it’s not like that kind of thing isn’t a legitimate fear.

          And I know what you mean about avoiding people all together. The fall out after being involved with someone like this-it’s exhausting, and really takes a toll on a person. I have very few people left in my “bubble”, and that’s how it’s probably going to stay. :/

    2. A Victor says:

      Oh shoot, I forgot the piece about narcissists on my previous comment. The knowledge that I can change this and the narcissist cannot gives me a huge sense of relief and also helps me understand what HG means when he says he cannot share this in his private life as it would give away too much of his power. Once we are armed with this knowledge, we are absolutely more powerful and effective, in the way that matters to us, than the narcissists are. If they shared with us, they would not be able to hold us, and they need us, we do not need them. We, in effect, hold all the power, once we have theknowledge. Again, a huge thanks to HG for offering this opportunity to us.

  3. Sandra Martin says:

    My husband’s narc ex-
    “When we got back from the counselors office, our daughter said ,’Mom, what did he say?’. When I told her she said ‘Mom, we have to leave, he will kill you.
    It is ME she wants, she calls ME to say how her day started as crap when you wrote her. Why else do you think we had to notify the Red Cross to keep you from getting on base? She wants nothing to do with you and your entire family. She is an adult and if she wanted anything to do with you she could. But she has chosen not to”
    Excerpt from a narc letter. Fear works well, especially with a child.

  4. A Victor says:

    Fear has different elements, causes different responses, has differing levels of concern. My fear of heights does not concern me. I may decide to limit certain activities as a result but they are not things that cause any overwhelming negative result for me. My fear of not having a romantic partner, when I was younger, caused me to accept behaviors that were way out of line and caused my life to really be difficult. My fear of having another bad romantic partner has been limiting and caused me to reject any thought of even trying. This one needs to be wrangled and put in it’s place. My fear that I will revert back to the fear of not having a romantic partner, in real time, is a true concern. I think it stems from the addiction and the almost overwhelming effect of that, once there is a person there who triggers it. Figuring out which fears are reasonable and which are not is of value. Coming out of the fog of ET and getting more aligned with LT is helpful for this. It is frustrating that it is a slow process, so frustrating. Even doing everything I know to do to make it happen faster, it seems like it’s a turtle’s pace, I am not used to that and it is irritating. Right now, having fear is very old and very tiring.

    1. Alexissmith2016 says:

      It’s interesting AV, understanding our fear. I have to say since getting a good grasp of my LT I have few fears left and those which are have been dumbed down significantly. Except wasps, I’d still push a little old lady out of my way to escape one if the circumstance required it hahah. It’s a complete reflex response when i hear that all too familiar buzzing noise!

      1. A.Victor says:

        Haha, little old ladies beware!! I believe what you say about the rest, that LT helps remove or reduce them. I have even seen that somewhat already, which had been encouraging. I just have to take the time to process so that LT is where I’m coming from and then I can make grounded decisions on how to proceed, instead of reacting based on ET and allowing the decision to be made from that point, very limiting! Part of the problem is finding how to get that up front time to process, I’m coming to believe it will just take some selfishness on my part to insist on it, and then do it. Not easy. Hopefullythe processing gets quicker and easier with practice. Thanks AS!

        1. Alexissmith2016 says:

          It will come AV, I had to make it a conscious thing to begin with. Now I’d say it’s a bit of both to be honest. And a significant proportion of the time I have it well under control. I had a period of time a couple of years ago, I’d got it well under control and then I had to be involved with an N for a long period of time. I didn’t want to but had to for the sake of someone else. It was awful my ET went sky high but because of everything HG taught me I was able to keep the LT there and take the steps back. Let off steam with my husband who understood the whole dynamic which then helped me get my ET under control enough so that this N never saw that I had been affected by their games. But bow I’m back to it all being well under control I can have little blips but that’s all they are very transient.

          I guess it’s the same as when you learn a second language really, as you become more fluent you can flit befween the two quite easily.

          1. A Victor says:

            Alexissmith, very cool, you’ve been tested and you came out well, that’s exciting! You have no idea how much it helps to hear from you who have been here for a long time. It is very encouraging.

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