Scary paths you could see your life taking

Things that could happen to me if I let my guard (way, way, way) down:

hoarding (things AND pets)

(In otherwords, I can see how it happens, but am not really worried about it happening to me.)

-a bitter, nagging wife
-a bad mom, like my own mom;
-becoming psychologically ill (burn-out, depression) and ending up jobless or tainted with the reputation, among emplyers, for being a burn-out risk.

If I could afford it and everybody else would just goddam cooperate for once, I’d be a morbidly obese, germphobic recluse with more than the 12 cats I have now. On the up side, I’m still fairly tidy.

I can easily imagine myself becoming a hermit, although I’m not entirely sure I find that scary. More likely, though, I’ll just end up living alone (cwPartner and I will have a final falling out, or he’ll die first because he’s older), leaving my home for work, errands, and recreation that doesn’t require direct human contact. That doesn’t scare me, although I think my relatives would be horrified.

Here’s the path that I find most scary: I have an irrational fear that I’ll become a pathological hoarder and end up living in squalor. I don’t know why this would happen. I was something of a packrat in my teens (so said my Mom), but whenever I’ve lived alone as an adult I’ve actually kept my home very clean and spare. cwPartner is much more of a hoarder/squalor candidate than I am (probably why we fight about his “stuff” so much).

In this short-lived thread I mentioned the over-the-top worry-wort behavior that seems to follow family members along my maternal grandmother’s line. My sister and I are both afraid we’ll get like that as we get older.

Our mom as gone from healthy and active to obese and sedantary, because she can’t enjoy an active lifestyle when she worries about how dangerous walking down the sidewalk can be. She has developed a heart conditino and is a prime cadidate for diabetes now. Wait… Do I sound like I’m worrying?

-Totally over-protective mom

-Stage Mom (my daughter is very, very pretty, I have to keep reminding myself that I don’t want one of those pageant/Mickey Mouse Club kids and would rather her play hockey. Doesn’t help that she’s also very outgoing and hammy).

-Anorexic/Obsessive about food - I was before in my teens/early twenties, I am controlling it with healthy exercise and eating properly but sometimes it’s hard

Sometimes I see myself becoming that guy in Into the Wild. Just taking off for wilderness and living precariously until I starve to death.

I can also see the third-degree squalor life for me. I’ve never gotten that bad, but there have been a few times when I felt like I was skirting dangerously close to the first-degree.

Suicide is probably the scariest path I could see myself taking. Not that I think I would do such a thing, but sometimes I think about it.

My Grandfather had early onset Alzheimer’s.
He ended up killing himself in his 40’s.

Now I’m in my 40’s, & it runs in families, I am told.

Every time my memory plays me false, I start to fret.

suicide and being homeless again both scare me less than drinking again.

I know this makes me a horrible person, but knowing that the scariest path I can see my life taking right now is not getting a job in my chosen field of study is somehow comforting compared to everyone else’s fears.
That and the fear that I’ll grow up to be one of those people who have no grammatical sense at all.

How do we define scary? Does it have to scare me personally? I could see a number of different paths that other people might class as scary, but they just seem quietly ordinary to me.

Yes. Og save us all from pop culture historians. James Lileks is about the only one who isn’t a total drip.

multiple marriages (more than 2)
never giving up smoking
never getting my phd
becoming so entrenched in my interest in crime (that already borders on weird) that I become one of those paranoid people that wears colanders on their heads to keep the gamma rays out. I’ve already lost an entire nights sleep because I was hallucinating richard ramirez coming through my window. It could only escalate from there.

I suspect I’ll be nearly deaf within the next fifteen years. I’m already fast approaching it now. Also, alzheimers terrifies me.

I can see myself being exactly like my dad is now.

Here’s my very real fear.
My father owns a business, I’ve been working here since I was 12. I started out as a grunt/stocker/mop the floors type guy and I’m now 27 and basically the number one person here. I went to a college and while I did get a math major it was a crappy education and since I finished it up 5 years ago, I don’t remember much of it any more. Over the years I’ve gone from minimum wage ($4.25 at the time) to very comfortable income. I have a house, a wife, a daughter and two dogs. My very real fear is what I would do if the business folded, and since one of my jobs is accounting, I can tell you we’ve been very very very very very close to folding serveral times (but we finally had a great year and we’re starting to pull out of it). If the place folded, I woudn’t have a chance in hell of finding another job that pays the same right off the bat, that would be an issue. Yeah, I’ve got a savings account, but it wouldn’t last long enough to get me back where I am now. Another issue is that my wife works here as well, that means we’d both be out of work.

I’ve really got to go back to school. For years and years I’ve been meaning to go for HVAC, for two reasons. First, we got (::counts::slight_smile: 15 coolers/freezers/furnaces here and while I can do electrical work on them myself, I’m lost if it’s a freon issue (and I can’t legally handle freon anyways). An HVAC/EPA certification would save us a lot of money on repairs. And if the company did close, I could try and get a job with an HVAC company. Hmm, I need to look into that again.

Oops, too late.

I noticed on Xmas day that I hadn’t been outside the house since Thanksgiving.

I’m already a hermit, so I’m well on the way to my destiny as the old lady found mummified in a recliner in front of the television 6 months after she died.

Before that, though, I hope to have a couple of decades as the crazy old bat who shoots crababbles at neighborhood kids with a slingshot if they come too close to her house.

I wonder why so many people consider being a hermit/recluse something to fear. I think I’m on the way to being a recluse, but I’m not sure what the exact definition is. Is there a test or something? I haven’t achieved this level yet:

How do you do that? I have to go to the store every 10 days or so for fresh produce. And I go outside every day; it’s just that I can walk around for hours without even seeing another human being; my small bit of land abuts 40 acres of forest that belong to my neighbor. I’ve lived this way for seven years now, but I was fairly isolated even when I lived in St. Louis.

Another near hoarder here. I’ve gotten to the point of having no usable furniture and mere pathways through the house in the past; now, I force myself every month or two to do a full purge just to keep things at bay. It would be very easy to slip back into that, though.

Severe depression leading to suicide. Meds and therapy helped me get out of a bad depression a few years ago, and I’ve spent the last 3 or so years on a fairly even keel. However, whenever I have a little bit of a “down” time, I fear hitting a downward spiral again, but not being able to get out.

A descent into schizophrenia. I had weird episodes when I was a kid/teen, and a number of my relatives have been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Early death from heart disease. Runs in my family, and I’ve watched my blood pressure and choloesterol levels ramp up over the last few years, despite a relatively healthy diet and regular exercise.


I showed my boyfriend that “clutter levels” thing and said, “Wow, I’ve been on the way to level two sometimes.” And he said, “You have a pie on the floor in the kitchen and you haven’t had the phone guy for that beeping thing for, what, since the tree fell on the phone line? Which was labor day? Because you’re embarassed?”

Oh. Cleaning this weekend. Taking pie off floor.