What exactly is irrational fear? I was thinking about this the other day as it was 3:30 in the morning and I was pulling into my driveway, and there was a very large deer standing on my front lawn. My first fear was quite rational, that the deer was going to run out in front of my car, which they usually do when they get spooked. This one did not do that, so I continued into my driveway at a rather slow speed, still expecting the deer to bolt. Having had a car that was destroyed hitting a deer, this fear would not exactly be irrational. Actually the fact that a deer bolts when it is startled isn’t even an irrational fear, because the “flight instinct” is something that keeps a lot of deer alive.
Of course here was where my own fear took over. The deer which definitely outweighed me, and was easily a lot taller than me (no short jokes please) was still just standing there and was now focused on my car, as I had come to a stop. You see if you live in this area, a survival instinct that has been ingrained in most of us, is that a deer that is not afraid of a human is quite dangerous. I jumped out of my car in hopes that it would scare the thing off, and not only did it not the damn deer was now starting to walk towards me. Here’s where irrational fear took over.
Now of course for those who have not been reading my stuff for years and years I will fill you in on a little secret that I don’t shout from the rooftops but I stopped being afraid to talk about (another at one time irrational fear) which is that I have always seen ghosts. Don’t come to me with questions or anything involving relatives or what not, they don’t talk to me, and very rarely pay attention to me but I see them, and in bad cases, I hear them. I have never seen a “bad ghost” or an “evil ghost” and I don’t have great stories about ghosts, but I lived in a house with one for a long time, and proving she was there was the bulk of my fun growing up. Everyone believed in ghosts if left with me in my house long enough, let’s just put it that way.
Back to something that is actually scary, meaning the deer. I initially channeled my inner Bruce Jenner (no, not the one that wears dresses, the one that could run fast and jump high) while at the same time channeling my inner Jeremy Crow (no, not the one that wears dresses, the one that gets tangled up in yarn and needs Mrs. Frisbee to get him untangled) and rolled up the stairs, banged my head on the gate, and dumped all of my keys in front of the door. The deer on the other hand was standing at the bottom of the stairs staring at me like I was an idiot. When I jumped up in an effort to brilliantly execute the keys and get into the house the deer casually walked away, and I was rather offended that it didn’t find me worthy of messing with.
I sat there in my office trying to get my thoughts together long enough to write the Blogging Tip of the Day, while my heart was still trying to climb into my throat where it belonged. Instead I took a bit to try to analyze what fear truly is. I mean again, I have been privy to the things that go bump in the night forever, and here Bambi’s stupid cousin made me act like I had seen a ghost. I have gotten horribly desensitized to what the average person finds scary, just to get a lesson in scary from of all things an animal synonymous with flight instinct, and not because it took me by surprise, but because it was surprisingly real. Thank God it wasn’t a spider, I may not have made it out alive.