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F b was mortally afraid of girls they seemed to him

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Unformatted text preview: reacted habitually and remarkably in one direction. Thus with the man F., who has quick imagination, and whose ability to forecast is inextricably mixed with a liability to fear. It is true that some do not fear because they do not foresee, and that placidity and calmness are less often due to courage than to lack of imagination. F. feared animals excessively as a child and injury to himself as a boy, so that he played few rough games. To a large extent his parents fostered this fear in him by carefully guarding and watching him, by putting him through that neurasthenic regimen so brilliantly described by Arthur Guiterman in his story of the aseptic pup. Yet he had a brother as carefully brought up as himself who became a rough-and-tumble lad, with as little likelihood to fear as any boy. So that we may only assume that F.'s training fostered fear in him; it did not cause it. At the age of thirteen the fear of death entered F.'s life, the occasion being the death of an uncle. The mourning, the quick fleeting sight of the dead man in the black box, the interment of the once vigorous, joyous man in the earth struck terror into the heart of the boy. From that time much of his life was controlled by his struggles with the fear of death, and his history is his reaction to that fear. At fourteen he astonished his free-thinking family by becoming a devout Christian, by praying, attending church regularly and by becoming so moral in his conduct as to warrant the belief that there was something wrong with him. Indeed, had a psychiatrist examined him at this time, there is no doubt he would have diagnosed his condition as a beginning Dementia Precox. But he was not; he simply was compensating for his fear of death. At sixteen he entered an academy where he was forced to go into athletics. The fear of injury and death plagued him so that he broke down, but this breakdown did not last long, and he reentered athletics and did fairly well. Indeed, in order to break himself of fear, he became outwardly a rather daring gymnast, hoping that what he had so often read of the sickly and puny becoming strong and vigorous through training would be true of him. As s...
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