Anticipatory Fear: A Total Mind Fu$k
I remember sitting in my big house, thinking about leaving him. The spiral of fearful thoughts that took over my mind was terrifying. One thought leads to another that led to the next. It was vibrant and felt so real. I was shaking in terror and all because of anticipatory fear. It works on your fear of the unknown and it embellishes any small bit of anxiety you may be experiencing. Actually, it blows everything way the fuck out of proportion.
As your mind bends the truth and grows the fear, you revert back to staying because that seems so much better than leaving. It’s your mind playing mind games with you. It’s your mind playing on your insecurities.
The Game Goes Like This
You: That’s it, I’m leaving him. I deserve better!
Your mind: Where will you go? How will you feed your children? You have no job. No skills. You’re stupid, remember? He said so.
You a little weaker: I’ll find a job somewhere and maybe my parents will let me stay for a bit.
Mind laughing and judging: You’re going to run to your parents and uproot your kids just because he got a little angry last night? Looser!
Reading the dialogue, you can clearly see how your voice becomes weaker, you begin to fold inside, feeling another part of you disappear. Now more timid, as your mind gives you examples of the unknown, you continue to create questions that make you feel weaker, and as your resolve weakens, the anticipation and fear of the unknown overtake your logic and your strength.
It’s normal to fail the first time the thought of leaving hits you. If you are staying in an abusive relationship because you think you can’t leave or thrive on your own, it’s simply not true. You are stronger than the mind fu$k of anticipatory fear and once you are aware of the game, you will strengthen your resolve.
Is it possible to be overwhelmed by all the things you never imagined needing to do? Of course, you don’t Want to move. Of course, you don’t Want to change jobs. Of course, you don’t Want to put the kids in a new school.
There are a lot of things we don’t want to do in life but we are adults, and that means we have responsibilities to our community, our family, our children, and first and foremost to ourselves. Be honest with yourself. Are you using your anticipatory fear as your excuse to stay?
How to Beat the Negative Impact of Anticipatory Fear
Write down the argument in full. Let it flow. Start with I’ve had enough of this shit and I deserve better. Now let your thoughts flow onto the paper.
You will clearly see all the barriers you are putting in your own way – lack of confidence, lack of funds, fear of the unknown, wishing he would change.
When you are finished writing down your argument, go back and look at the barriers and write beside each one – This is Simply NOT True. I Deserve Better and I Will Make it Happen.
Do this exercise for 7-days in a row and you will start to notice that there are fewer barriers that your mind is creating. You are gaining control of your anticipatory fear and you are moving into solution-based thinking. When you begin to see the solutions, you will have the courage to leave and create your new life free from toxic love.
Remember Anticipatory Fear is a Mind Fu$k. It will keep you stuck forever and the only way to be free is to play the game your way with your rules.
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