Fear Doesn’t Belong In The Driver’s Seat


“If I ever have to cast an acting role, I want the wrong person for the part.
I can never visualize the right person in a part.
The right person for the right part would be too much.

Besides, no person is every completely right for any part, because part in a role is never real,
so if you can’t get someone who’s perfectly right, it’s more satisfying to get someone who’s perfectly wrong.
Then you know you’ve really got something.”

Andy Warhol


Yesterday was a biggie for me, as I pulled myself out of Alice’s rabbit hole, and back through the looking glass, and into the real world.
As described in yesterday’s post.

What I didn’t mention was that it was my second post of the day, the muse was incredibly intense in its presence. Or prolific.
The other post was a Dutch one under a pen name, about my conscious decision to get vaccinated, even though after careful study of this particular vaccine and other things considered, I thought it to not be beneficial for my own health.

I was indeed choosing to be vaccinated to “help” others. Not help as in that I believed my vaccination would technically help less people dying of Covid;
But because I believed a vaccination would help others to feel comfortable around me, and relieved I had been vaccinated.
Which in my opinion was an equally valid reason to get vaccinated, because ultimately if you do something for other people, it is none of your business why they want you to do that.
If you get vaccinated because you believe you are protecting your social environment for death, or from fear and worry, in the end, doesn’t matter.
Once you have decided you’re gonna take one for the team, you take one for the team.
End of story.

Except in my case, because I am a writer, I did feel the need to write out my exact considerations because I wanted to be able to read back what they had been.
Taking one for the team was going to be a conscious choice.

The most important reason that I hesitated, however, was because I believed it was a dead-end street. That giving into fear had in the entire history of the world, never been the wisest thing to do.
And after a year of lock downs, social restrictions measures and half of our economy immobilized, like cancerous limbs that were cut off to stay healthy;
I suspected the fear underlying this social self-mutilation would not be satisfied with me, or even the entire population, taking a vaccine.

My decision to take the vaccine was like giving an addict his or her heroine;
You knew it was only a matter of time because they needed more.
There was little reason for joy.

All this cannot be seen separately from my social phobia:
I have always thought people were extremely unreasonable in their social demands, of needing to be psychologically pampered before they were okay with… well, life.
They needed a delicate mix of acknowledgement, love, and empathy, or, alternatively, they needed to know who you were and if you were influential or if they could ignore you.
From the way I saw the world, people always needed my attention, my money, my approval;
And up until recently, my attitude to life was that this was a bad thing.

That it was an injustice that people needed me to behave a certain way, in order to feel good about themselves.
There was something very wrong about that, in my opinion.
So when Covid came in 2020, that I was now supposed to keep 1.5 meters distance, stay indoors, not see other people and so on and so forth, was just added to the pile of demands that I had to fulfill if I wanted human interaction.
I wasn’t happy with it, but then again, since I was already phobic of other people because I thought they were unreasonable in what it was they needed from me in order to have a normal human conversation, it didn’t surprise me either.

Just that when I realized I was on the verge of getting vaccinated when my number is up, I needed some alone time with my Dutch blog, to get it straight why I was choosing to do this.

Today I woke up, feeling the same dystopian feeling I have been having since spring 2020.
That feeling of: “Something really terrible is going on…. what was it?”
Oh, yeah. Covid.
Or to be more exact: The ever changing social dynamics, the always hungry beast of fear, that I m getting tired of feeding.

Because it’s never enough.

And then, suddenly, like a bolt of lightning!, I saw the truth which made me so very happy!
Not just because after a year of being haunted by my social fears, it finally gave me an action perspective, as psychology so beautifully puts it. But also because it was a great equalizer between me and “them”.
It snapped me out of my perceived loneliness that I had experienced because I had thought the people afraid of Covid, and therefor adding wanting me to make them feel safe to their pile of social demands, were different to me.
After the bolt of lightening, I no longer felt that.

The bolt of lightening was this:
Me needing “the public” or “people” to get over their need to be Covid-reassured, for example by me getting vaccinated;
That need, my need and waiting for that moment when there are no more facemaks, no more social distancing, no more frantic testing and stress when you get sick or cough any more than the years when we only had the flu;
That need of mine for “them” to stop their behavior that scares me?
Is exactly the same as their need to have their fears acknowledged, and their desire for “it” to go away.

I am giving away my power, and making this about something outside of myself, just as much as they do.
It doesn’t matter at all, whether you’re afraid of people’s impossible social demands, like I am.
Or whether you are afraid of death by Covid and therefor try to get your surroundings to behave in a way that is palpable or reassuring to you.

Fear is fear.
You have to cut the cord.
You have to put your foot down, and refuse to bow.

See it like those movies where they refuse to negotiate with terrorists:
Negotiating with fear is just as pointless. Unless, in theory because I don’t have examples of that, but unless just like in the movies you have a hidden agenda where you appear to be negotiating with the terrorists to buy yourself time to win;
Negotiating with terrorists or with fear, is a very bad idea.

And I m sure you remember the older, wiser cop or FBI agent, who negotiates the best, don’t you?

He or she does not get angry, or emotional, in their negotiations.
They hold the space, let the other do the talking, listen very carefully. They’re always polite to the terrorists but they don’t give anything they are not willing to give.
They don’t give anything without their end game in mind.

So do that. Stay calm and keep your endgame in mind.
Whether you feel fear for the virus, or you re suffering from a social fear like I do;
Hear it out, let fear speak.
But make sure it doesn’t get to drive the bus.

Suzanne L. Beenackers

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