Fear

It’s one of the most basic human emotions.

Fear is programmed into the nervous system and works like an instinct. From the time we’re infants, we’re equipped with the survival instincts necessary to respond with fear when we sense danger or feel unsafe.

Fear helps protect us. It makes us alert to danger and prepares us to deal with it. Feeling afraid is very natural — and helpful — in some situations. Fear can be like a warning, a signal that cautions us to be careful.

Like all emotions, fear can be mild, medium, or intense, depending on the situation and the person. A feeing of fear can be brief or it can last longer.

How Does Fear Work?

When we sense danger, the brain reacts instantly, sending signals that activate the nervous system. This causes physical responses, such as a faster heartbeat, rapid breathing, and an increase in blood pressure. Blood pumps to our large muscle groups to prepare the body for physical action (such as running or fighting). Skin sweats to keep the body cool. Some people might notice sensations in the stomach, head, chest, legs, or hands. These physical sensations of fear can be mild or strong.

This response is known as “fight or flight” because that is exactly what the body is preparing itself to do: fight off the danger or run fast to get away. The body stays in this state of fight–flight until the brain receives an “all clear” message and turns off the response.

Sometimes fear is triggered by something that is startling or unexpected (like a loud noise), even if it’s not actually dangerous. That’s because the fear reaction is activated instantly — a few seconds faster than the thinking part of the brain can process or evaluate what’s happening. As soon as the brain gets enough information to realize there’s no danger (“Oh, it’s just a balloon bursting — whew!”), it turns off the fear reaction. All this can happen in seconds.

What Scares Laurie Kendrick?

Interesting question.

I’m scared of being alone when I’m old.

I’m scared of confined places. I developed adult-onset claustrophobia rather late in life.

I’m not a big fan of spiders and if I’m feeling vulnerable, severe thunderstorms can make me crazy.

Most of all, I guess because of all the ridiculous expectations I place on myself, this scares me the most.

.

.

Yes, that’s right…I’m scared of barefoot men with prehensile toes, dressed in ugly too-much-chlorophyll-in-your-diet shit green shirts and red polka dot ties.

Seriously, his feet and attire are frightening, but my biggest fear is failing.

At anything.

At everything.

This also scares me:

I’m terribly frightened by the unknown. Some people like surprises. So do I, but in moderation. No knowing what will happen next and living on the edge all the time is an adrenaline rush for some, but for me; a consummate control freak, surprise makes life a living hell.

Are any of my fears irrational? I don’t think so (I don’t obsess–much), but these fears and concerns are never far from my mind, either. Depending on the situation, they can be both debilitating and motivating at the same time.

But I did some checking and apparently, I’m far from being the only whack job on the planet. I’m in good company.

For example:

Cher has a very real fear of flying

These bastards scare the hell out of Johnny Depp:

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I find this next phobia incredibly ironic, but ours is a crazy world. Pam Anderson–of all things–is frightened to death of mirrors.

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One must wonder of what it is that frightens Pam about mirrors. Is it her reflection? That which forces her to see who she really is? Or are mirrors painful reminders of who she isn’t?

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Billy Bob Thornton is “creeped out” by really baroque antique furniture.

.ANd

And I completely get that in a skewed way.

This is furniture that in some cases, is hundreds of years old. Furniture that’s been sitting in someone else’s home, absorbing all the energy, both good and bad. You bring it into your home. One must then ask, can these old pieces of furniture also become a transmitter of the same energy it once absorbed?

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Texas actor and Hunk O’Plenty, Matthew has a great fear of any and all tunnels.

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Odd too, because we hear he’s straight!!

.He ahtes

Cameron Diaz will tell you that Justine Timberlake is scared of commitment, but he’ll tell you that he suffers greatly from arachnophobia.:

He hates all spiders, but the potentially deadly Brown Recluse spider is the pinnacle of all that frightens him.

.

And then there’s William Shatner. Can anyone of us from the TV Generation ever forget what scared him?

In the years before he made Captain Kirk a hero for nerds across the globe; in the days when he was a struggling neophyte in Hollywood; when was still a fresh-faced, decent looking Canadian export, he was something of a favorite character actor of Rod Serling’s. He was in several memorable “Twilight Zone” episodes back in the early 1960’s.

He starred in one production in particular entitled, “Terror at 20 Thousand Feet” , in which he played a very tense, uptight cat who looked out of his passenger window and saw this ape-like monster traipsing up and down no the airplane’s wing, pausing on occasion to squat like a Southeast Asian rice farmer to rip out it’s wire guts.

No one else could see the creature .

The gist of the episode focuses on the trauma of trying to get others to see that the flight is in danger. He yells, he screams, he disrupts the peace. He upsets other passengers. At one point, he closes the curtains on the window and refuses to look out, but temptation and morbid curiosity being what they are, he elects to take on more look. When he does, the monkey monster’s face is pressed right up against the window.

Cue scary music and Shatner’s ability to overact.

Well, that does it for Willie boy. Apparently the whole experience of knowing that a big, hairy critter no one else can see is destroying his aircraft in mid-flight, is a bit much for his delicate constitution and he eventually has a full nervous collapse before the shows last Maxwell House commercial is aired. In the last scene, he’s smiling maniacally, while confined in a straitjacket and lying on a gurney as orderlies wheel him away to the nearest asylum. But as the camera pans off into a wide shot, it includes a shot of the wing and true to Billy’s “hallucination”, the wing is ripped up all to hell.

Proving what Billy S. saw was real.

Fascinating.

Serling was a master when it came to writing scripts with interesting psychological twists and plot turns. One must wonder what the beast on the wing really represented.

Did it exemplify man’s fragile psyche?

Was it a Seratonin imbalance in the character? One that incited bouts of paranoia and irrational, almost violent behavior?

Was it Serling’s attempt to explain how accidents happen? That accidents occur because of mischievous monkey-monsters; gremlins maybe, who know a thing or two about airplane mechanics and ways to defy of gravity and aerodynamics?

Or when he looked out on the airplane’s wing in mid flight, did the monkey-monster portend a sense of foreboding with regard to the future? You have to wonder what exactly he saw; what it represented to him. What Serling intended for it to represent.

I think I know.

In fact, I think I’m sure I know what he saw. I think I know all too well what it was that sent Shatner’s character straight to Happy Acres in one of those “special” binding Nehru jackets that save us from ourselves.

And others.

What he saw was in fact, the sum of allALL our fears.

..

.

That would explain his hysterics.

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21 comments

  1. I had gephyrophobia but I overcame it. I still don’t like them, but there’s no more freaking out. And I don’t like waterbugs/roaches, but I’m not scared of them…

    Other than that, I can’t think of anything I’m scared of…

  2. i have a big, creepy house which i cannot stay in at night, alone. even though i have lived in it for over 15 years, i still hear things that go bump and the sound of footsteps and once i heard my name whispered.

    i also do not like scary movies such as the last one i watched, “no country for old men”. that bothered me, especially the ending.

  3. I hate clowns…I’m “not” scared of them,but the very sight of them makes tingle in disgust,ugh….well,not all clowns,just the circus type,I just saw Ronald Mcdonald 4 days ago,and I must say he made me smile,I felt like a kid again haha!

  4. Laurie, anent the picture you posted above….

    What could be worse than being buried as an unknown…and they STILL mis-spell your name???

    “UNKOWN”????? Yikes!! so Rod Serling would be proud. What a nightmare.

  5. Didn’t even notice that, Driver. Maybe it’s the headstone of a dead Eastern European guy with a surname of “UNKOWN”

    It could happen.

    LK

  6. HAHAHA! That’s my favorite TZ episode. Nice spoof on that pic lol. I too developed claustrophobia, especially on planes.

  7. No, eastern Europeans lack vowels in their names not “N’s”.

    I’m just laughing picturing that schmuck of a stone mason blowing the dust off of his hard day’s work of chiseling and saying….”Oh, sh*t. I left out an ‘N.’ Ah, f*ck it, no one will notice, nobody knows who the f*ck this guy is, anyway.”

  8. Failure is my Number 1–certainly but a close 2nd and 3rd are snakes and beets. If I was a superhero, my enemies would whip up some snake and beet salad and serve it to me and it would suck away all my power in about 5 seconds.

    But anyway–sorry I’ve been so absent lately-work has been nuts. Also-gotta have that lunch again soon–email me and let me know what mid-June looks like.

    See ya, Murphy

  9. I met Rod Serling one time in 1970. It was a thrill because I’d grown-up watching ALL The Twilight Zones and had admired him beyond measure. He was very reserved but more than that, I noticed he was a big-time OBSERVER, taking in everything around him in slience. Definitely an introvert (big surprise.) He also seemed genuine and kind.

    Of course, I remember the Twilight Zone episode you wrote about here… what did it MEAN? Maybe that some of us see things others do not, yet those images can still be very REAL or meaningful. A warning? Foreshadowing? A gift?

    The mirror thing… I have personal photographs that contain facial images reflecting off of them (or other reflective surfaces) that were simply not there.

    The creepy furniture is totally understandable. I frequent consignment stores and whenever I see big, old, grossly overly-carved pieces, I ‘can’ get chills. Could I have had an unhappy past life during that era? And I, too, have thought about the potential of old, negetive vibes literally being ABSORBED, over the years, by the energy of this furntiure — and maybe staying WITH it as one places it into one’s home? I think it takes the sensitive to, indeed, SENSE it. For a guest room I’m re-doing, I just this weekend purchased a beautiful antique dresser (exactly what I’d been looking for) with a very old attached MIRROR. Thankfully is is not overly-carved and the wood is a medium brown finish as I usually don’t like dark wood anymore. Anyway, I’m glad no ‘bad vibes’ were sensed from it and I’m pretty sure it will be ‘nice’ to me. 🙂

    As a rational, sane, relatively well-educated person who was never raised to believe in ANYTHING paranormal, I have been surprised to have out-of-the ordinary things happen to me. I’m also a person of very real faith, so I know the two can exist together in harmony. Yet I believe I was BORN with an “open mind” which has got to be at least part of the reason why some of this photograph stuff, for example, has happened to me (us.) Perhaps open-minds are the portal.

    —-
    I loved this piece, Laurie, especially the END. Very funny. You had ME for a loop! Very smart of you to save the scariest for last; God forbid should that chick make it to our Whitehouse! And thanks for enlarging my vocabulary with “prehensile” Hilarious!

  10. Yet another top drawer analysis of your fellow man. I have to say of all the Twilight Zone episodes, that is my favorite one to be afraid of – in fact, I think I had some monkey gremlin dreams when I was a kid.
    WC

  11. I’m very frighten to grow old and alone! I too, am scare of roaches and huge bugs! But, what scares me the most now, is the high prices of GAS and WHO our coutry is going to put into office as our next President!!!!!!

  12. Oh, I meant to tell you…I asked for “diet” water the other night in a fancy restaurant in Princeton. It was a big hit. Thank you for the great idea.

  13. Driver,

    You and I, I think, are twins daughters of different mothers.

    And you’re welcome.

    Someday…you and me…a drink in NYC at the Algonquin. Spouses be damned.

    Deal?

    LK

  14. I will hold you to that Laurie. Hell, I should just invite you to Thanksgiving dinner, you would fit right in with all my siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. Karol can come too.

  15. I’d be delighted….thank you. Let me know the time and place…As I think I’ve told you, I love the NE. And NYC has an energy I could rail out and snort.

    We’ll eat turkey….stuff ourselves with stuffing..cram some cranberries and smash the mash potatoes down our gullets then when husbands and spouses are are bloated and battling L-tryptophan heavy eyelids, you and I will sneak off to the city and into the Algonquin for that drink or six at Ye Olde Rountable.

    Here’s one to Robert Benchley.

    And Dotty….

  16. hey, driver-i would love to come, too. closest to ny i ever came was spending 3 hours at jfk pushing laurie around in a wheelchair we saw sitting in the terminal. we had a layover and that’s what she and i did to pass the time.

    i would love to see nyc around the holidays. looks too beautiful to be real.

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