This is What Terrifies Me

June 8, 2024

Cassandra Di Lalla (she/her/hers), Low Entropy Volunteer Writer

It’s always been very interesting to me to learn about what people fear and why they’re fearful, because a person’s vulnerability is an integral part of their personality.

Everybody’s different, yes, we know that already—but are we aware of all the fears existing among us? Highly unlikely.

There are also different levels of fear. For example: “Ew, there’s a spider—someone do something!” versus a deep-seeded fear in which the person might feel as though they can’t escape what they just saw or can’t enter a place ever again because they’re so distraught.

Sometimes, stress becomes a key player too. For some people, the fears they have may be trauma-based—stemming from a negative or uncomfortable experience that made them turn away every time thereafter in order to prevent having to relive the experience. To be honest though . . . sometimes we just don’t know why we’re so afraid of certain things, but we just are, and our bodies automatically go into fight or flight mode.

I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a fearful person, and I mainly blame that on two things: my deep-rooted trauma and my astronomical levels of anxiety. Some of my fears are more common, in the sense that many others have the same fears that I do. I’d like to list off some of my fears so you can have an idea or better understanding:

Spiders – Because, well, I just am. There’s just something about them that makes me feel so uneasy. Even the tiniest one sets me off and I have no idea why. It’s more of an “Ew oh my God, ew” kind of icky feeling that makes my skin crawl, but I’m fearful nonetheless. Tarantulas? No. Absolutely not. Goodbye.

Vomit – If I see, hear or smell someone getting sick, then I’m definitely outta there faster than the speed of light. I’m so fearful, you have no idea. I am mortified and “panic’ doesn’t even begin to describe it. By the time it happens, it’s already too late . . . but because it terrifies me so badly, I block my ears, I keep my eyes and mouth closed, and I pinch my nose shut after fleeing the scene. Oh, and I start crying. Yes, it’s that bad. I absolutely cannot handle it. The worst is when I’m not able to escape it, like when I’m on a plane, for example.

Deep waters – I will not go in the deep end of a pool because I downright refuse. In fact, if the water passes my shoulder, then I’ve already screwed myself over. It’s weird because I can swim—not great—but I can swim nonetheless. This one time in Costa Rica, I almost drowned. True story. How? Let me tell you. The area I was in was only knee-deep, so I was fine, right? Wrong! Because if you take one step forward to the left or to the right, all of a sudden it gets incredibly deep, and you’re not expecting that! So, I stumbled and I ended up underwater. Then, this baby wave (truly a tiny wave, but remember, the ocean had consumed my entire body at this point) pushed me even further, so I had to try and get myself back up, all while I was panicking. But wait, there’s more! So, when I was finally able to get my head above water, the ocean’s current decided to go against me, and this time I noticed my mom suddenly became a lifeguard and pulled me from under the wave to help me reach the shoreline. I was petrified to say the least.

Death – I know that we’re not immortal and that we’re all going to die eventually. I’m a firm believer in death being premeditated from birth. We’re never really prepared for death, but what if we were able to be? What if we were able to know what God’s plan was and how exactly we’re “meant to die”? What if we were able to change our lives for the better, and what if our “best before” date was extended because we were more health-conscious? Nobody should feel as though their life was cut short because of their expiration date. Non-perishable items such as canned goods are all shelf-stable, so why can’t us humans be non-perishable, or at least perish on our own terms? After we turn to ash, our remains are just biodegradable and disintegrated matter that nobody will ever know about.

Although I have a laundry list of other fears, it’s safe to say that all humans are afraid of at least a small handful of things in life. 

Cassandra Di Lalla lives life purposefully. She enjoys reading, writing and mental health initiatives. She’s an animal lover for life and an innovative individual always finding new ways to create.

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