My dad worked for Anaconda Wire and Cable Company when I was a young boy. The company gave great gifts at Christmas time. You can see the stockings and boxes of toys. It was a great time!! There was a tree and Santa Claus. What a marvelous photo opportunity. Line the kiddos up and take a picture; unless you are shy and refuse to pose. No matter the encouragement, I refused. I remember the occasion vividly. I wanted to pose, but was afraid to pose. I did not know why. But, the aversion to pose was so powerful. The aversion won. I stood and watched, relieved not to have to be photographed. Aching because I was not photographed. Utterly confused. At the time, I had no words for what I was feeling, what caused my avoidance. I do now. Thankfully, I have grown since.
You can see that my two brothers (the one on the left and the short one in front) and three cousins were willing to stand and be shot. I refused to pose. It was as though I would be literally shot. Anxiety was the culprit. The non-related boy on the right stepped in. But, it was me who should have been in the picture. In his writings, Phillip Zimbardo referred to my condition as “The social disease called shyness.” He pegged it well. But, it was not until I was in college that it was defined for me. He suggested that the shy person feels like he/she is on-stage under the spot lights: highlighted in view of the entire audience, but not willingly so. Yep, I was one of those persons. Nice to have it identified. Nice that time has allowed for growth and healing. Enough for now. I will share more in my next blog. Stay posed and wait to see what develops.