I grew up in the seventies. The overwhelming theme of that time, at least for me, was the crushing threat of a nuclear war. I had heard terrifying stories of WWII, so as we teetered on the brink of WWIII my subconscious convinced me it would be even more terrifying and dangerous and calamatous than WWII. Surely. Logically.
I imagined that at any given moment the bombs would start going off and the whole world, especially my localised, intimate one, would be plunged into a morass of plague, death, disease, famine, violence and struggle for existence. Every second of every day I was terrified WWIII would come to my doorstep.
I guess that shapes a child's psyche. I think in my case it instilled a deep sense of terror, which bled over into a number of aspects of my life. Coupled with some other personal circumstances, I grew up with a healthy fear of nearly everything.
Obviously, WWIII did not happen. It took many many years for me to wake up in the morning and not presume today was the day. Whether it was maturity, common sense or apathy, I don't know, but the fear of nuclear war had evaporated.
Of course, I am now much older and wiser and calmer. But I have of late felt twinges of that old fear I had as a child, that all encompassing terror that at any moment catastrophe is going to befall me. And the threat is no longer nuclear war, but the GFC. Every news cast on every channel, every hour, every day, the doom and gloom about the Global Financial Crisis is tapping into my childhood fears about the imminent nuclear holocaust. Now the fear, still completely self-centric, is just as personal. What if I lose my job? What if I am bankrupt? What if I am evicted? What if I have to live on the streets? What if I can't feed my children? What if get sick? What if I have to resort to delivering pamphlets to earn a bit of money?
It's funny what you bring with you from childhood.