Fear of being forgotten

Do u ever have that dream? The one where you are walking down a dark alley, or maybe in a forest and you hear some noise, so you start running and end up falling in a ditch. I have asked quite a few friends if they ever had this dream (or nightmare, whatever you may want to call it) and most of them said they’d had some version of this dream.

One of my friend’s told me she had this recurring dream of falling down the stairs . Not that, I’m much of a dream analyser but I am quite interested to know what this is supposed to signify.

I am sure of one thing though, that it has to do with the fear of failing, in some way. But then failure could be of any kind. Failure in love, in your career, in the way you raised your children, in your education, in your marriage, in your friendships or even something as trivial as failure to make the right choices.

But of all the people I asked, there was somebody who told me that there is a chance that you could “fail to make a mark” on somebody. Basically he feared, that he would fail to leave a good impression on anybody in his lifetime, and would be forgotten easily. It may seem funny or even ridiculous to all or some of you, but did you know, the fear of being forgotten, ignored, or abandoned is a condition called athazagoraphobia?????? Ya! It’s legit!

The fear of being forgotten exists in more people than you would expect. People constantly strive to be the centre of attention many a times, ensuring that people remember them in one way or another. It was hard for me to imagine that such a fear exists. I always thought it worked in the most simple way, if you’re good to people then people will be good to you, and that’s the people you leave a mark on. That’s the people who are gonna cry at your funeral, coz you’re not with them anymore.

Often I have found that people who are withdrawn or shy are prone to worry about whether or not they are being remembered by the people they care about. A person’s own insecurities or past experiences in which he or she has been forgotten by someone important in their lives can be a huge factor in the rise of such fears and also possessiveness in a relationship.

But I am neither withdrawn nor insecure about being forgotten. My fear is not the absence of people at my funeral. My fear is the absence of people in my life when I’m alive. My failure would be in the presence of thousands of people fake crying, fake sympathising-pretending to care when they really don’t. But my biggest failure would be the absence of friends in my lowest moment.

Unlike my friend (who has some version of athazagoraphobia) I don’t fear the fact that someday, after I die, I’ll be forgotten. Of course I will be! Everybody will move on, and I hope they will remember me fondly for something I once said or maybe a song I sang or a picture I took.

So, clinical athazagoraphobia would be fear of situations such as meeting an old mate from primary school, somebody who probably sat next to you for 2 whole years, and he’d say “I don’t know you”; or fear of a situation, where after working in an office for 10 years, when you finally quit, nobody comes outside to say goodbye to you.

The fear of being forgotten is much stronger than you can ever imagine it to be. Everybody wants to be a celebrity- they want the money, the fame and so on. What is fame? Your popularity? Your ‘stardom’? Your mark on the world? Your way to make sure in the history of the world, your name is bold, italicised and underlined? Is it athazagoraphobia???

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