There are many different types of fear. Many people are afraid of spiders, of heights, or of public speaking. Many women have an innate fear of men. The public shares concern and anxiety of terrorists, bombs, a corrupt government, and plagues. Small children are often afraid of the dark, of monsters under their bed, or of abandonment. Yet, children are not the only ones who suffer from these particular fears. Many teenagers and adults are terrorized by the fear of never coming out of the darkness of depression. Those who dwell in an abusive family are frightened by the monsters living in their home.
Wives and husbands stay awake at night, wondering if their spouse has been cheating on them. Although there are many different types of fears, I will be focusing on three main types of fear. Three very common types of fear are invitational fear, injury or trauma fear, and instinctual fear. Invitational fear is by far the most welcome anxiety. Invitational fear can be defined as the fear or ‘jitters’ one may get before performing an advantageous action. Invitational fears are the butterflies in one’s stomach before singing in front of a crowd. Invitational fear is the way a child stamps his feet and trembles all over before seeing his grandparents for the first time. Invitational fear is the excitement an employee possesses before giving a speech that will provide her with a promotion. Invitational fear is the nervous elation that a man has while his wife is in the delivery room.
Adults, teenagers, and children dread invitational fear, while at the same time, they appreciate the sudden rush of adrenaline and emotion. Injury fear, also known as trauma fear, exists as one of the most unfavorable fears known to mankind. This is the fear that a woman possesses when her abusive husband comes home drunk. Trauma fear is the way a scarred child shudders when a large dog approaches her, snarling. Trauma fear is the way the soldier with post-traumatic stress disorder screams from his night terrors every single night. Trauma fear is how a mother’s trembling hand clutches a gun when she hears her bedroom door open and she knows she is alone in the house. Trauma fear, as stated in the name, is the fear that results from a traumatic event. The traumatic event may have been as dangerous as sexual abuse or a house fire. However, small events can also scar one’s emotional well-being, like a dog bite or a boyfriend’s dishonesty. The event could have been a one-time occurence, or it could be an ongoing struggle, like depression or crippling anxiety. Many people have suffered a traumatic event and cannot even remember what it was, yet their seemingly irrational fear still clutches them tightly.
Lastly, instinctual fear exists as a fear that everyone knows quite well. Instinctual fear is the long gaze of father toward his starving children. It is the way a young woman walks quickly, even running, in a dark alley, hoping that she is alone. Instinctual fear is the way a biker pedals when a grumpy grizzly bear is chasing him. Instinctual fear is the will to survive. It is how humans have survived seemingly impossible near-death events. Instinctual fear is the recognition that death is near, and that fear must be stronger than fate. Of course, instinctual fear, trauma fear, and invitational fear are not the only types of fear. However, all three of these fears are very common in our lives today. All of us can relate to every single one of these fears. Every single woman feels the instinctual fear when a strange man is eyeing her. Young men still live with the traumatic fear of abandonment, after their first girlfriend left. Third World countries recognize the instinctual fear of hunger, starvation, and poverty. Fear is what drove Juliane Koepcke when her plane crashed in the rainforest, leaving her severely injured and hidden. Fear is what keeps us alive, although it is our worst enemy.
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