My Burden To Bear

My Fear (Written November 23, 2020)

My fear is my burden to bear, and mine alone.
You might be friend, or family, or stranger to me,
But that truth remains the same:
It’s no one else’s burden to bear, whatever that burden may be.


Following that logic, though, your fear is yours alone, as well. And it is nobody’s duty but yours to bear it.

I am claustrophobic. Usually, that doesn’t mean much. Usually, it’s fine, so long as my feet aren’t too tightly confined for too long- pressure on the top of my ankles is always bad. Usually I hardly remember I have any real problem. Usually it’s so irrelevant that it’s easy to forget it exists at all…until it is much too bad to think about anything else.

And then I spend a day of school dizzy and nauseated because I am wearing tights and, all of the sudden, it is Not Ok anymore. All of the sudden I am shaking, and tired, and irritable. And then I’m on the edge of real panic. Then it’s hard to breathe and being inside is also Not Ok. And then I’m trying to get my shoes off and shaking too badly to undo the laces, so I just tear them off, and I’m crying and I need air Right Now.

But that is my problem. I have to learn how to work with that without demanding the rest of the world change to accommodate me. Yes, I sometimes ask for consideration, if I really need it. But I don’t demand it, and I don’t expect it, and I never will. Because my private problems are exactly that- my private problems.

But your private problems are privately yours as well. If you are, for instance, afraid of a perfectly normal person walking around the grocery store, shopping like a perfectly normal person, that is your business. Not mine.

If you are scared for your life then you can avoid what you think endangers it. I know what endangers my health and I won’t hurt myself to please or reassure you.

I will take care of myself, and you need to do the same.


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