I’ll be honest with you guys: All of the weird, irrational stuff I was afraid of as a kid still scares me sometimes. Even growing up, people would say, “stop being such a baby,” like you magically get un-afraid of these things as an adult. Um, nope. False. Not at all true. It’s okay to be a wimp about certain things – the whole reason we have fear in the first place is to protect us from danger, so yes, while we know the incredibly safe rollercoaster will not snap in half and send us plummeting to our untimely death, THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES IN LIFE, IS THERE?! Fully aware that I’m being dramatic with this, but there was always this narrative of getting older and becoming braver over time, and for some things, that’s just not at all true.
You can call me a wimp, and that’s fine, but you know what you can also call me? Really, really ridiculously safe and alive because of it. Some fears start so early and are so ingrained so deep in our brains that they’re really hard to shake. No matter how much people try to tell you to get over it, you just can’t. You don’t mean to be a big baby, that’s just how your body naturally reacts to
normal stuff imminent danger, so there. Don’t let anyone tell you that being afraid of everything makes you less than… and when all else fails, give yourself a pep talk about it on the internet and share your experience with Gurl readers – I know you feel me, fellow big-babies. These 15 things you were afraid of as a kid still scare you and you’re just trying to deal. Me, too. Take a deep breath, fam, we got this.
1) The dark.
Duh. Also, I only started sleeping in full darkness as of three years ago. Growing up, I used to sleep with all my lights on and my tv on, so shout out to my parents’ electric bill! The dark is scary. Rides that suddenly dip into darkness are a hard pass.
Want to know what can cause havoc in your life that you can’t call the cops on because they’re intangible and also may or may not be real? Freaking. Ghosts.
3) Accidentally summoning a spirit in your bathroom mirror.
Bloody Mary, The Candyman, anything really. I don’t want to spin the wrong way and say the wrong thing after I get out of the shower and be surprise haunted by a malevolent spirit. That’s how horror movies start. Duh.
4) The microwave going off without you there to stop it.
Nothing turns you into some sort of James Bond bomb-stopper quite like chasing down the microwave and fearing the beep like an IRL explosion.
5) That little girl from that chain post you didn’t share coming to get you.
WHAT IF THO *repost*
6) The monster under your bed who’s going to grab your ankles.
You know that chilly ankle feeling. It’s also why your limbs don’t ever dangle off the bed – you don’t have a death wish.
7) The killer behind your shower curtain.
They snuck in in the middle of the night and they’ve been patiently standing there with a knife waiting for you to take a shower. Or pee. Or go into the bathroom. So you whip back the shower curtain super fast when you go in to the bathroom for any reason.
8) Getting a shot at the doctor.
It’s a needle! In your skin! Who does that?
9) Getting rabies.
Somehow rabies has become less of an epidemic than I was lead to believe as a kid, but any stray animal makes you think.
10) Being kidnapped.
Thank you for reinforcing this fear the news, the movies Taken and Room, and true crime stories for leading to my severe distrust of strangers and phobia of online dating. Hashtag stranger danger. Backslash don’t get kidnapped and murdered. Dot com.
11) The sound of a flushing toilet.
Aware that this could just be me, but there was a talking toilet in Look Who’s Talking Too and it scared me until I was 16. Used to run out of the room when I heard that sound.
12) Getting eaten by a shark.
They’re going to think I’m a leggy seal! This is how I die!
13) Getting caught in the escalator and being eaten alive by one.
It’s happened before! The fear was put in me as a kid and now I gingerly step on and off these things or else I’m clearly risking my life.
14) Finding a worm in your apple.
Or finding half a worm. Thank you, playground joke that won’t get un-stuck from my head.
15) Accidentally leaving the stove on and getting carbon monoxide poisoning.
Nothing says fear like an odorless, colorless, deadly gas combined with good old fashioned human error.
Which of these childlike fears do you still have? What did we forget to include? Let me know in the comments.