One of the most difficult things we can do as human beings is be vulnerable. Shame is a powerful force and more often than not, it's at the root of all of our fears. So we bottle them up, store them away, and pretend that everything is OK. That we are OK. But in reality, no one is OK. Everyone is doing their best to make it through the day and in doing so, we waste our time consumed with our flaws, fears, our worries, doubts, and future.
No one wants to talk about their shame or their fears but I do. I've found that by sharing my shame, I've shown myself that shame and fear, more often than not, are different versions of the boogyman. Sure, many of my fears like my fear of death and my own mortality, of never finding someone who loves me as much as I love them, or not being able to repay my loans or debt are legitimate, but they feel less intimidating or impossible when I talk about them. Those fears may not go away completely, but I feel less alone and hopeless when I rip the bandaid off and give them a voice.
This is a place for you to share your shame, your worries, your fears, and your anxieties because right now, what we need to do is listen to one another. To amplify the voices to those of us who feel like we aren't being heard.
You can share anonymously or you can use your name. You can do it every day for the rest of your life if you'd like or you can do it tomorrow. Simply fill out this form, and I'll post your entry when I receive it below.
November 22, 2016
I'm afraid of people who think the Nazis were cool or something to emulate. More scared that my conservative friends don't seem to think that maybe they should condemn this.
I'm afraid of never being taken seriously because I don't want kids, like I'm not actually an adult female because I choose not to make another human, or that this decision is not taken seriously or believed.
-- Danielle Fogerty
November 21, 2016
I'm afraid that my husband will be taken from me and my daughter entirely too soon simply because he wears a badge.
November 15th, 2016
I am afraid to run and be alone with my thoughts right now.
-- Emily Barcelona
I'm afraid that my friends say they care about what is going on but won't do anything to speak out or demonstrate for change. Posting Facebook articles isn't enough.
I'm afraid of putting myself out there and taking a chance on me.
November 14th, 2016.
Im afraid of being taken advantage of. Im afraid that I will never be enough. Im afraid of ignorance.
I'm afraid of what the future will look like for women after supreme court over turns Roe v. Wade and the government defunds planned parenthood. I fear that my daughter's won't have the choices available that I benefitted from.
I'm afraid of dying without having the chance to say good bye to my loved ones and/or causing extreme fear or complexes in my loved ones because of my death.
-- Samantha Silby
I'm afraid of settling. Of never finding happiness in my life; whether that be in love, in career, in family. I'm afraid of just doing what I'm told I should be doing or think I should be doing rather than what I actually want to be doing so that I can please those around me because I'm afraid of not having the approval of people I car about. I'm afraid I will never find someone who loves me for me. I'm afraid that I will never be desirable. I'm afraid that I'm not enough.
-- Elizabeth S.
I'm afraid of Thanksgiving dinner with my in laws.
-- Elvi Cronin
I'm afraid of how people aren't capable of knowing and living by their faith without relinquishing control that other people see the world differently. I'm afraid of the people who still believe that being gay or trans is a choice and think legislature should reflect that.
-- A hopeless anonymous.
November 11th, 2016.
I am afraid of not being able to protect my students. I'm afraid of promising them a world that doesn't exist.
-- Avery Henderson
I'm afraid that my fiancés white, conservative family will never fully accept me because I am Cuban-American. Im afraid that I am becoming too tired of constantly having to prove that I am "white enough" to be accepted into his family. I am afraid that I will be discriminated against simply because of my ethnicity I am afraid that my family does not realize that when Trump and his supporters speak about Mexicans they are also referring to Latinos as a whole I am afraid for the future of our country.
-- V V
I am afraid of watching my daughter's rights disappear before she's old enough to be aware.
-- Jaime McCarthy
I'm afraid this isn't the America I envisioned to raise my child in.
-- Emily Parker
I'm afraid that my beautiful boys will have to fight a war.
-- Peggy McDougall
I'm afraid that I'm not being heard by my family member who so quickly wanted to end a relationship because of something insignificant about the Vice President Elect. I'm afraid that I'm putting in more work than they are to understand where they are coming from. I'm afraid that they don't care about me.
I am afraid that one day I will need to use the pepper spray I carry on my keychain.
I began carrying mace on my 29th birthday because one week prior, I was assaulted by a gay man in West Hollywood (arguably one of the safest neighborhoods in Los Angeles), in broad daylight, with witnesses less than 10 feet away, who did nothing.
A man backed up so close to my car that he was less than 6 inches away from denting my front bumper. I lightly beeped my horn to let him know I was there. He got out of his car, as did I, not expecting what would follow. He immediately began screaming at me. He repeatedly called me a "fucking cunt" and "stupid fucking bitch." He threatened to make me "suck his balls," and that he would make me "like it." He asked how I would like it if I "licked his asshole." He continued to scream and threaten me for several minutes. I did not cry; I did not scream; I hope I did not show fear.
After recovering from the initial shock, I calmly but firmly told him to get out of my face and to leave because I would not hesitate to use whatever force necessary to protect myself. At that moment, he literally threw me back down into my own car where I hit my head on the top door frame. He slammed the door so hard that my car rocked back and forth.
All I could think was that if I were a man, none of this would have happened.
Why would a gay man feel the need to threaten me in a sexual nature unless he thought that would be the most effective way to scare me? Because even though he is not sexually attracted to women, and even though this happened in one of the most progressive cities in the country, my body is not my body.
November 10th, 2016.
I feel like it's fitting for me to start since I'm asking you all to share your fears, your worries, and what you believe to be your shame.
I'm afraid that I'll never find someone who will love me.
I'm afraid that I put myself out there too much.
I'm afraid that I'm not informed.
I'm afraid that I don't fight enough.
I'm afraid that I don't know how to listen to those who don't agree with me.
I'm afraid that I will never get paid.
I'm afraid of what a Pence/Trump Presidency looks like. I'm afraid that women don't see the dangers in Mike Pence's voting history. I'm afraid of the men and women who aren't shocked and disgusted by the way Donald Trump speaks about women, immigrants and minorities.
I'm afraid my phone is going to ring and I'll be told that someone I love is dead.
I'm afraid that I will die before my Mother and she will have to burry another child.
I'm afraid to one day have children.
I'm afraid of what 2017 is going to look like for my LGBTQ friends and friends of color. And for my lady pals.
-- Kelly Roberts
I'm afraid of...the work that I do with kids being all for nothing. We teach values every day, but what does that mean when adults don't even follow through. I'm afraid that the work my colleagues do will fall on deaf ears and kids won't feel like they need to be "good" anymore because they don't see good in the world.
-- Mallory D.
As a white American, I recognize that I am awarded a certain amount of privilege from birth. Some of these privileges I am aware of in my day to day life, but some I take for granted without realizing it. but as a WOMAN, I know I lack privileges that my male counterparts are awarded. Since the current election I have thought about my position in the world, and how it may be changed due to changing attitudes in this country.
- My husband is hispanic. He is not Mexican, but people often think he is. I am afraid for his safety and the safety of his family, even though they are all American citizens.
- I am also afraid for us as a mixed-race couple. Even in Los Angeles, where we live, sometimes we get looks from people when we are out together and holding hands. I am afraid that now people will not only look, but may think it is ok to say something to us or even become physical in one way or the other.
- I am afraid for my place in society as a woman. Will my access to reproductive healthcare be compromised? As someone who sees her OB multiple times a year for ovarian cysts, I need to know that my health insurance (if I have any after this) will cover those visits and will cover the birth control I use. Men cannot understand that birth control is used for so many other things than controlling pregnancy. Without my birth control, I get horribly painful cysts on my ovaries (sometimes the cysts are larger than my actual ovaries!). Will my healthcare be compromised?
- I am afraid for my future children. What kind of world are we bringing them into? I have a brother with austism and I are terrified to have a child with the same condition. I love my brother with all my heart, but it was difficult growing up and he still struggles as an adult trying to fit into this world.
I am afraid for the future of this country.
I am afraid that we are on the brink of financial disaster and war.
I am afraid of the people who are afraid of immigrants.
I am afraid of the people who don't see how badly women are treated in our society every single day.
I am afraid to walk alone to my car at night because I am a woman. I consider myself a strong woman, but I know a man is physically stronger than me. And I should not have to be afraid of men. No person should have to be afraid of another person. But I am. Because men are stronger, they know it, and there are some men who choose to take advantage of that fact. - I am afraid of being a hypocrite. I am afraid of slut shaming when I don't mean to do so. I don't want out nation run by fear, but I am afraid of the people who voted in fear and who act in fear. Fear of change. Fear of people who are different than them. Fear of... something. Anything. I am afraid of the people who are afraid.
-- Lucy Roberts-Medina
I am afraid of bringing a child into this world now.
-- Michelle Cegelka
I'm afraid of myself. That I will never allow myself to be happy, that I hold myself back because I'm scared of failing.
-- Kitty Tompsett
I'm afraid of moving to Utah and not being comfortable. I'm tattooed, have purple hair at the moment, basically an atheist, and like to drink. Oh, and I cuss, a lot. I really like my current job but California is just way to expensive and I'm also worried I won't find a job that I am happy with. I move there on the 3rd :(.
-- Miranda Hale
I'm afraid of dying before my kids become independent.
I'm afraid that my conservative family will never try to understand why this hurts me and the people I work with and the students I serve in Philadelphia. I'm afraid that my students will be treated even more unjustly than they already are.
-- Emily K.
I'm afraid of bringing a child into this world now.
-- Kelly D.
I'm afraid of not ever being good enough, for myself, for others, for making/being/inspiring something worthwhile.
-- Clare Rixon
I'm afraid of being a conservative woman in a liberal progressive world.
I'm afraid of putting my work out in to the world (but I do it).
-- Lori Richmond
I'm afraid of being harassed simply because I am black and a female. Since Wednesday I have been on high alert to protect myself from any threats. I am terrified.
-- Kimberly Greene
I'm afraid my biracial husband could be harmed during a routine traffic stop.
-- Emily H.
I'm afraid of hatred on both sides!!!
-- Mickie Miszewski
I'm afraid of not being capable of loving unconditionally and not finding someone who will love me that way.
I am afraid that the people I thought were decent are turning out to be racist and sexist and homophobes and all the things I hate.
Has everyone gone crazy or were they always such a-holes?! I'm afraid that people will be fearing for their safety and for their lives and there won't be anything I can do about it. I'm afraid I will miss out on all the things I want the most because I sat in apathy for too long instead of fighting for what I want and deserve. I'm afraid for my safety, as a woman when running alone. I'm afraid we'll never see a world without where people learn to rise above fear and open their hearts and do the right thing.
I'm also afraid of bears and sharks and running out of cheese.
-- Heidi Cooke
I'm afraid of my daughter growing up in a Trump/Pence America. I'm afraid of those who don't understand my fears. I'm afraid for the undocumented.
I'm afraid of what will happen if we don't stop and try to understand each other.
I'm afraid of the unknown.
-- Mari Ramos
I'm afraid of my accent. I look white, but Spanish is my first language. As soon as I open my mouth, people treat me differently.
-- Elvira Valera
I'm afraid of losing my place positive outlook on life. I'm afraid that their/my lifelong belief that there will always be more good/love than there is evil/hate is no longer true. I'm afraid my daughter won't be able to marry her beautiful girlfriend. I'm afraid my daughter will be attacked physically because she looks kinda like a guy. I'm afraid my Muslim friends will be harassed and my "adopted boy" Jayden will be harmed when out in public. I'm afraid that my faith in goodness, love, and even God has diminished. I've always seen myself as different than so many because I stayed positive and was able to keep my self talk kind and up lifting.... I'm struggling now and I'm terrified that I'm becoming one of them with my self talk being fearful and I don't know how to stop it.
-- Laura Gary
I'm afraid of settling in my life and never being truly happy and truly in love. And never running a decent half marathon!
I am afraid of how my son with autism will be treated as he becomes an adult. I'm afraid that our president elect's behavior will set us back, and any progress we have made towards acceptance of those who are "different" will be lost. I'm afraid of what will happen when I am not here to protect my son.
I am afraid of what this world is coming too. Waking up in the middle of the night and seeing that Trump won the election was my first indication that this world is true filled with horrible people.
I am afraid of losing my parents and my grandpa. I am afraid that they'll become sick and I won't be able to care properly for them. I am afraid that I will never be able to make them understand how much I love them, how much they mean to me. I am afraid my boyfriend's sickness won't go away, I am so afraid of one day losing him.I am afraid of my cat getting sick and dying.I am afraid of failing.I am afraid of my own thoughts sometimes. I am afraid I won't be able to help all the people I want to help.
I am afraid that one day my son's special needs will become to much for me to handle and I have to put him in a facility. I have no one to help me and it's hard.
I'm afraid of reverting to laziness. It was my default for sooooooo many years.
-- Karen Bock-Losee
I'm afraid of disappointing myself and everyone around me.
-- Vanessa W.
I'm afraid of settling in my professional life, my relationships, and my personal endeavors. I deserve more than to settle for anything, but sometimes pushing for what I want gets too exhausting to keep trying.
-- Emily D.
I am afraid that I am going to end up alone.
I am afraid of the fact I live in Canada with my husband and I left my family behind and I can't be there when they need me. I'm afraid of saying NO to people close to me for fear of their reaction. I'm afraid of all the violence in the world and know that there will never be an end to it. I'm afraid to even think about bringing a child into the world even though deep down I have a lot of Love to give but fear for the future.
-- Bernadette Moreton
I am afraid that my cancer will come back.
-- Cheryl Acevedo
I am afraid of raising my kids in this world, and they are 9 and 10. I am afraid to lie to them, so I tell them the truth about what is going on in our country. I am afraid for all their classmates at school, because none of them are represented by our President. I am afraid of the inequality and injustice we are constantly confronting, and hope it doesn't over run our society's common ground.
-- Carli Palmer
I am afraid of a war that would take my husband and I away from our children for extended periods. He supports my involvement 100% but nearly everyone else I have spoken with has told me to get out of the military in some form or fashion. We are willing to do what is necessary but pray we don't have to.
I’m afraid of the impact this new administration will have on the environment. I try my best to be as “green” as possible but to live in a country with a President that doesn’t believe in climate change and wants to undo the progress made to protect the planet is terrifying. As a woman, I’m afraid of my healthcare being changed and that I’ll no longer have the ability to control what happens to my body. I’m afraid that this win has empowered a group of men to feel like they free reign over our bodies and can do whatever they want. I’m afraid of the message that this election has sent to children and the affect it will have as they get older. I’m afraid of the people that have no idea what the consequences from their choice will have on all of us. I’m afraid that this has caused a permanent divide between my father and I.
I'm afraid of turning into my mother and sabotaging my relationships . Especially with my own daughter. I'm afraid of not paying off my debt. Im afraid I'm a bad person because I can't face my conservative friends right now. I wonder if they are even people I want to associate with and then feel awful for being more divisive. I'm afraid my daughter will never see a woman president. That all the social progress we made in the last 8 years will be decimated. That the economy will collapse again. That we will go to war without NATO allies with unrest growing worse at home.
-- Aleigha Bailey
I'm afraid of putting myself out there and failing. Never finding someone who loves me for my raw, messed up self. Being alone with myself. Feeling things too deeply. Having daughters. Cancer. Losing another friend or family member.
-- Anoush Arakelian
I'm afraid of growing up. I'm 34, and I most honestly do not feel any more adult-like than I did the day I turned 18. Sure, I've done the "adult things" like going to college, getting married, entering a career, and I'm a homeowner now of 2 houses. Yet, something about admitting I'm an adult just feels... wrong. While I act like an adult on the outside, I'm a terrified wreck on the inside. But, I keep that hidden.
I'm afraid of prejudice and racism for all. I'm afraid to explain to my daughter why Nana thinks Daddy is the "good side" of her, and I'm not. No, it wasn't funny, even though you laughed. I'm afraid to run while visiting relatives in Central Florida. A woman already confronted me in a terrible way. I was 11 weeks pregnant and trying to just get a workout, feeling gross and fatigued. I left the situation wishing her well and to have a blessed day. I'm afraid for my best friend. I hope she doesn't have to change her wedding date to her wife, or change their plan for children. I'm afraid that this country is in such a terrible place, that the only thing that will unite us is another national tragedy. I'm terrified.
-- Alexis K
I'm afraid I'll let fear of judgment from others keep me silent and from speaking up for what is right.
I'm afraid that my voice won't be loud enough to make any difference.
-- Erin B