Things I Wish I Could Tell My Mom
‘Dear Daughter, Why I Struggle To Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway’
As part of her 'Dear Daughter' blog series, Anna Mansell explains why she feels so scared so often...
I am, it has to be said, a woman full of fear. I mean, brimming. I don’t know if I’ve always been like this, but definitely, as I age, my fears multiply. They are self-fertilizing. What might have been just a tiny fear – probably from when I had your brother and realized his survival depended largely on decisions I made – well, that grew and grew. Then I had you, and more fears arrived. They took up residence in my home, beneath the bed, inside my wardrobe, in the back seat of the car on a dark night. If I ever walk home on my own, they’re in the shadows. Fear is a constant companion of mine, sometimes it is quieter than others, perhaps it tires itself out. Sometimes, it’s like a drunken friend confessing their eternal love for me whilst smothering me in beer fumes.
The annoying thing about my fears is they are so completely irrational. They’re tabloid fears fueled by propaganda headlines in the kind of newspapers I despise. That such an extreme, contradictory emotion resides in me infuriates. Not least, because of how often I let it seep into the decisions I make.
I have to say sorry here: this is not a letter giving you my thoughts on a subject in a way you might learn from. This is not a letter that people will describe as inspiring or beautiful or thought-provoking. I am in the middle of this subject, I am breathing its noxious fumes and often choking on the smell.
We live in a world that I think may be going to hell in a handcart. There are demons chasing us all and every day. There are people doing hideous things to each other, the scale of which runs from micro to mass in devastation and impact. And whilst I walk each day, logically convinced of the importance of exuding love and goodness in order for society to survive, I find it increasingly difficult to believe it is strong enough to save us.
In most stories, good wins out over evil. The spiritual part of me believes that.
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