The worst symptom of old age that can overtake someone is fear.
DB - Vagabond
Please join me.
NOTE: In yesterday's journal I wrote about unknown reasons why we do things. The so-called "hidden agenda" is more a matter of things known but not expressed. The subject of my journal was not about that. The unknown reasons are not secrets, they are mysteries, like the buried rock. They are thoughts of which the thinker is unaware. To accept the reality that there are unknown reasons and then to uncover them is why we have psychology. Before the science of psychology no one except some very wise people knew there was any such thing as unconsciousness.
All of us are vulnerable, in one way or another, to the evil things and evil doers of the world. Among the most vulnerable are children and seniors. I'm following as closely as I can the strange story of Jaycee Dugard and her daughters. I'm wondering how she is doing, what she's like now and what the kids are like, after the odd life they have all been through.
There are monsters out there who kidnap and abuse children. But there are also monsters that will skin the hides off of old folks just for a few dollars. I watched my mother and others go through it. Fortunately ny situation has been solved enough for me to be more at ease about it. While it was going on I received a lot of encouraging support from people. But I know that some didn't really know what my anguish was about.
I had little doubt about the outcome of the legal tangle I was in. It was what could happen during the process that was the problem for me. It had more to do with what I would be forced into doing in order to reach a peaceful conclusion. I did not want to go to court. I have had bad experiences in courts before. I was never arrested or accused of a wrongdoing. I simply had to face minor problems in front of judges who were not sympathetic to anyone in trouble. I've even seen it as a juror. I have seen judges and other court officials frankly prejudiced against old people. It has given me a bad feeling about law courts. In my recent case it was a court I couldn't even get to.
Then I was worried about other measures having to do with my bank account and how vulnerable it was to being attached. I had heard from one lawyer that the people who were suing me were very dangerous and clever when it came to invading people's bank accounts.
I was also concerned that if things didn't get resolved in time there would be other suits following it like a cavalry charge.
In short, what was wrong with me? I was frightened. That was it.
I was afraid of things. That things could come along that I couldn't handle because of my low income and my difficulty in getting around. In other words I was afraid because I was vulnerable. I had to wait for weeks in a state of dread until I could talk with the right people and hear the right words.
When you grow older and begin to realize how easy it is for people to take advantage of you, even when you know they're doing it, fear becomes a guest. When you come to realize that you aren't capable of doing some things that you used to do and relied on yourself for being able to do, when you realize that if you aren't super careful you can find yourself in a trap that you can't get out of, when loneliness, weakness, depression surround you, fear becomes your companion.
The antidote to fear is the future. Some memories are nice, some are not. But the expectation of good and the promise of it are the best cures for dropping down into a dark cocoon of fear over present troubl. That's why grandchildren are so valuable if they pay attention to you. They mean future. They mean there's a tomorrow. Projects that delight, unfinished business, enterprises of the mind and heart, an acknowledgment of self worth, the claim of old folk's rights and the sharing of the years with other seniors are all pathways of the future.
One can't avoid fear. It comes along. But one can see it for what it is. An attachment, not a state of being.
DB - The Vagabond
Have one for me.