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


4 thoughts on “The Fear

  1. Joa says:

    Especially now, in the face of the show and propaganda genocide slaughter in Ukraine – it is worth knowing how fear works and how it is supposed to work.

    To reject.

    Thank you.

    Nothing more.

  2. WiserNow says:

    An interesting development in Australian politics…

    Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is currently facing damning criticism from numerous ministers in his own party, the Liberal-National Party. He is being described with words such as ruthless, bullying, self-serving and intolerable. For example, Catherine Cusack, a Liberal MP, has accused Scott Morrison of “ruthless bullying” and scheming at the expense of flood disaster victims.

    The catastrophic floods recently in the eastern parts of Australia have left many thousands of people without homes. There are vulnerable people and families who have literally lost everything. They have nowhere to live and don’t know if or when they will be able to return to their previous homes. Floods are not new to Australia, however, the magnitude of recent floods and the speed at which water levels rose was unprecedented. This is clearly an effect of climate change.

    Scott Morrison is now being accused of using “public money” to politicise the flood disaster. He is openly being described as favouring flood victims in his political party’s electorate over flood victims in the opposing party’s electorates, notwithstanding that flood victims across all electorates are vulnerable and need assistance.

    This is an excerpt of an article written by Catherine Cusack and published in ‘The Guardian’:

    “The truth is, there has been no conspiracy in my decision to speak out about Scott Morrison. Nobody puts words into my mouth. I am what they call a “problem woman”, plus I live in the regions where we just call it out as deserved. The NSW government is not to blame for my outspokenness on this issue and punishing them for my remarks – ergo further punishing our flood victims – is yet another chapter in the disgrace of the prime minister’s approach to this flood catastrophe.
    He obviously thinks it’s all about him. Actually, as anyone in the northern rivers will attest, this drama is not about him. It’s about the victims. And his inability to see that, and the compliance of his federal colleagues is further infuriating evidence the Liberal party is completely lost and adrift.
    We are so lacking in compassion that even flood victims who have lost everything are like any other pawns in this awful Game of Thrones. And so we have forfeited the precious integrity and values that Australia admired and needed and that served our country so well for decades. The dumb compliance of the federal parliamentary party tells me my beloved Liberal party is beyond healing itself. I have failed and so have like-minded Liberals who understand the significance of who we are and why we even exist. Thus the task of reinventing the Liberals (if that’s even possible) has sadly defaulted to the electorate. Judgment looms. I myself cannot vote for the re-election of the federal Coalition government.”

    A federal election in Australia is coming up in the next two months. At present, Scott Morrison’s party is facing an uphill battle due in part to its inaction on climate change despite catastrophic fire and flood disasters in recent years, and for other reasons too.

    When I saw this in the news this morning, I thought it showed that there are politicians with empathy. It showed there is a point at which people will speak out against the narcissist they previously followed and supported, even when doing so is at their own personal detriment.

  3. Patricia Nick says:

    I don’t really remember being scared of anything much when I was growing up, and don’t recall being told not to speak to strangers, either (I grew up in a small town and a time that was generally much safer than now). Clowns, though…they are definitely scary!

  4. Pingback: The Fear - Dark Triad Personality

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