Do you remember when you first learned to fear? Not the “you’re going to get a spanking” kind but the “holy shit are you serious” kind. I remember my first fear quite vividly. I learned it in church. It was vacation bible school to be exact. We were living in Killeen Texas and I was going along doing my normal kid stuff when my Mother decided that my Brother and I should attend vacation bible school. I was a little worried about attending as I was the kid screaming bloody murder at being left at kindergarten to be eaten by wolves and I also did not know if my Mother would truly attend to the needs of my “Baby Alive” as she had promised. I could just see my poor baby suffering alone in my room. She was very real to me and I was pretty sure that my Mother was not capable of keeping her safe and happy in my absence. Ok, so she had given birth twice and kept my Brother and I from irreversible harm but I saw the look in her eye when I asked her to babysit for me. There was no true concern for the welfare of my baby.
Against my better judgement we were shipped off to church where our souls could be saved. This concept was foreign to me and I had yet to sort it out. I was sitting in the pew worrying about my doll when the person in the pulpit captured my attention away. Wait! What did you just say? She said I could die! She also said some other stuff about heaven and hell but my brain couldn’t get passed the fact that I was not immortal. SHE SAID I COULD DIE!! I worried about this for quite a while. Later I was in the backseat of a car driven by our neighbor Sandy while my Mother sat in the front seat chatting with her about nonsense while I’m staring out the window at a world that would not keep me. This world would let me go and would not even care if I was here. I had never experienced death so the idea of a dead body or a burial had yet to cross my mind. I could just see myself exploding into a shower of glittery dust particles and no longer existing. No sound, no breath, no anything. Just complete nothingness.
The seed of fear was planted.