Death, Prince, “the void,” and loss of control.

thanatophobia

A few days ago, I wrote an article about my fear of death for my other blog. I fear death for a lot of reasons, which the post explains in detail, but I think my biggest fear is the prospect of complete ego loss, which for me means dissociation which inevitably leads to panic.

But my fear has been getting out of hand lately, and becoming obsessive. Not to the point where I can’t function, but to the point where it interferes with my being able to enjoy life or even think for very long about anything else. So I’d say it’s a problem, or becoming one. It’s one thing that’s getting worse rather than better.

I talked about this tonight in session. It’s nothing new, but it’s been with me for a long time, always lurking in the back of my mind no matter what I’m doing. It’s so much a part of my reality that it never even occurred to me to bring it up before. But tonight I did because Prince’s death triggered me and now my obsessive fear is about 10x worse. If a healthy, fit 57 year old man could suddenly just die of a routine illness that hardly kills anyone (unless there was foul play involved, which I do suspect), then life is incredibly fragile and the same could suddenly happen to me. I fear what’s on the other side because it’s unknown.

In therapy, I suddenly drew a parallel. I’ve never really lived because of the emptiness at my core, which isn’t really empty at all but is full of the unseen and unknown. Chair Girl lives in the void, and she’s somewhat accessible to me now, but whatever else dwells in the rest of the void, which is vast like the universe, is very much hidden from my awareness. I often wake up with a feeling of terrible emptiness inside and am filled with overbearing dread, despair, and unbearable loneliness. The only way I can handle these “black mornings” is to get up (escape). I’ve compared the feeling before with what I imagine death to feel like.

As therapy progresses, I’m closer to unearthing the contents of the “emptiness” than ever before. An analogy can be drawn to death here. As I age, I’m closer to death and the revealing of what’s on the other side. But in my mind, I’m equating confronting what’s in my void with death and the unknown in general. My obsession with death is a way I try to “control” the uncontrollable. Of course that makes no sense logically, but it “felt right” to me that control is what’s behind the obsession. Of course in order to get well I have to surrender and relinquish control, just as I will have to do the same when I die.

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9 thoughts on “Death, Prince, “the void,” and loss of control.

  1. “I think my biggest fear is the prospect of complete ego loss, which for me means dissociation which inevitably leads to panic.”

    You’ve nailed it there. Total surrender, complete submission, can be absolutely terrifying, especially of you fear dissociating. Also, on the other side of “us,” there are either scary things or nothingness, right? I assure you, it isn’t true. God is there and He catches us.

    Complete ego loss is a total loss of control, it leaves you vulnerable and exposed. In faith we call that submission,surrender, dying to self. It is scary, but once you get through it, the fear of physical death just fades away. I can honestly say I have no fear of death today, (although I’d like to delay it as long as possible.) When you die to self, surrender your ego to God and receive His mercy and forgiveness, and protection, it is like being set free.

    So, take heart, you’re actually going through an intense spiritual process that runs parallel to the journey many believers have taken. You come out on the other end, not dead, but reborn.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Lucky, I think your last line “your fear to relinquish control” might be your biggest issue. You fear an “emptiness” in death because as you say, there you are not in control. I know you have issues that are OC, but I think a big step of satisfying yourself that you have nothing to fear in death means loss of control.

    I do not this fear this because I have said to you, my faith in Jesus reassures me I have nothing to worry about after death. He sacrificed himself so that every one of us who believes in him will have eternal life. Dying on the cross he paid the price for sin and the things we do that are wrong, that we know about and don’t know about. So, I do not worry because whenever the end comes Jesus is in control. Throughout our lives he is in control. Picture God’s giant hands and a large bowl full of liquid. This bowl contains all our sins, worries, problems, all our fears, and picture placing that bowl in God’s giant hands. Now you know, you don’t have to worry. You have cast all your cares upon him. It’s okay not to have control because no matter what you choose or decide, God is ultimately in control.

    Death is not emptiness, not a void. Death is heaven, no fear, no pain,no worries, no matter when you arrive.

    Good luck with your therapy. I’m glad it’s helping you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It does seem logical to me that tie between a fear of death and the fear of loss of control. It makes sense to that people with PTSD want a really controlled world because we’ve been surrounded and shaped by people whose behavior was horrifying and appeared out of control. Actually abusive Narcs use terror and chaos to control their victims… It looks like they are losing control but in fact its how they get control of the world around them. After you survive that, it is very natural to want to control everything in your existence because think of all the pain when the narc’s were in control. Some of the pain felt like death! Your blog is helping me thing about the destructive things I do to stay in control. For example I’m fairly reclusive attempting to control my environment, it makes me atrophy. My attempt to control my environment is actually making me lose control of my life! A recluse is controlled by fear and thus not really in control

    Liked by 1 person

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