The Stages of Fear

Humans have an innate fear of being alone 

At birth, we can’t fend for our self 

We are not born with teeth or claws, 

We cry because we’re scared of all we don’t know 

And we rely on our loving families for protection. 


When we’re children we have a fear of being left behind 

That our preschool companions will abandon us like the socks they got for Christmas 

Or the toys they forgot under the couch. 

Just like you did. 


And when we’re teens we face rejection over and over again. 

So eager to fit in with someone as they laugh at our attempts 

As we take a step towards that special someone filled with doubt 

When you tongue twists and face freezes 

They smile so politely  

but you know the disgust behind their eyes 

 you know your friend. 


Humiliation fills every crevasse of your heart, 

You've failed several times before: at that job interview were your voice kept disappearing,  

The college application you turned in late because you already knew you wouldn't get it. 

This was just the cherry on top. 


You’ve reached the cusp of adulthood and now it’s a brave new world 

A world where your friends are up and out of the city 

But you're stuck at home watching your loved ones falling apart physically, letting their age get to them. 

Seeing their own lives behold you: abused; mentally, emotionally, and physically. 

Now they don’t know how to move on, yet it's been years 

The dread sets in that THIS could be your future. 

It probably is. 


All the thing that keeps me tossing and turning 

Enveloped by the whispers of night and cold of the winter 

But when I wake, I don’t see all these memories 

I see my sister, 7 years old, and my brother, 4 

who want to follow in my footsteps 

my brother who’s in love with dinosaurs as I once did 

And my sister who want to get all A’s because if ‘Nana’ could then she could too. 


So even if I’m afraid of the future I can’t worry about it now 

And the past I need to let go

Or else I'll end up like the adults in my life

Fearing that I'll watch my whole life go on without me.

If I want to help my sibling

I need to be brave. 


This poem is about: 
My family
Our world


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