She is not a fearful person.
Nobody looks at her and thinks: she’s so afraid all the time. She, herself, does not credit the idea of being afraid. When she notices a fear, she thinks logically about it until it is vanquished, and she goes about her day. She is determined to live a life without regrets.
And she is strong, and unflappable, a refuge others fly to in times of trouble.
But she is afraid. She is afraid of hunger. She is afraid her children will die before her and she will regret every time she said no or made them cry. She is afraid her children will outlive her and she will regret every time she said yes just to see them smile. She is afraid her husband will leave her. She is afraid when she thinks of how much better life might be if he did. Harder, but better. She is afraid of going to hell and afraid that it’s all a big sham. She is afraid no-one will like her and afraid that someone will like her too much and she will never be able to shake them off. She is afraid of being left out, afraid of being too-much included. She is afraid of being stuck in this one-horse town for the rest of her life, and afraid that her plane might go down.
And every time she forces a fear to cower in a corner of her mind she takes a step further away from being her.
“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”
–Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night