I am terrified of cockroaches.
Although they don't bite or sting, they are truly the most disgusting creatures on the planet. (No, this is not an opinion, just a statement of fact.) They creep and crawl and scuttle in the dark. They are dirty, disgusting creatures who, if given the chance, will even drop on you from above when you least expect it. (Believe me, it's true...I've seen it happen.) It's even been said that they are the one thing that would survive a nuclear holocaust. I hate them to the center of my being.
But...they're afraid of the light.
If you hear them skittering in the darkness, just flip the light switch and watch them scatter.
Which is why I have chosen them to represent my own true fears. The ones that make my stomach clench and my breath shorten. The ones that make my heart race and the tears burst from my heart.
Because I am learning. I am learning that we hide our fears--our shame--because we are absolutely sure that if we show them to others, they will reject us. If we acknowledge these fears--face them head on--they will, in fact, destroy us. We are sure that they are stronger and more powerful than all the good in us combined, and that we are simply too weak to bear what they may bring...the dirtiness, the germs, the vileness that they represent. We have convinced ourselves that their hideousness will be more than we can stand.
But they...just like the cockroaches...are afraid of the light.
The truth is that when we are brave enough to force our fears out of their hiding spots and into the light, they scuttle, and skitter, and run away as fast as their disgusting little legs can carry them. And, the next time they arrive, we have a new strategy for fighting the battle: just shine the light in their beady little eyes, and watch their panicked retreat. Even better, sometimes they never return at all.
So, there they are...my cockroach fears (some of which are those hissing fuckers!). And now I am ready for battle--flashlight in hand.
Please, god, don't let one drop on me from above.
*p.s. When it gets really bad, just remember that a good therapist is worth a thousand cases of Raid.