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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

X Is For Xenophobia

One of the young men that frequently visited our house had a very bad case of xenophobia (means: an intense fear or dislike of foreign people, their customs and culture, or foreign things). He could be absolutely normal at time, but if there was a strange sound, or strange people entering, he freaked out, and hid under the dining table.

A middle-aged Vietnamese couple took him in and gave him a sense of normalcy in which he understood the language and the cultural. They slowly introduced him to our little group, and encouraged him to participate in all the meetings. He didn't talk much when he first came to our house, and no one really paid attention to him either.

It was at Christmas time that we all found out he had fear of sound and strange people/things. We watched him ran under the table and shook like a tree branch in strong wind when the champagne cord popped. It was a hysterical scene, and some couldn't stop from bursting out laughing.

When I looked under the table, this young man was in a fetus position, and his eyes shut so tight that you could see all the lines on his forehead. The couples explained to us why he behaved that way. He was traumatized by the noises of guns and explosions during his escape to the USA.

Understanding his fear helped everyone with their compassion toward this young man, who later was welcomed with open arms in our family. He had a sweet manner, and quiet personality. Although his fear brought on many unfortunate mishaps, such as the loss of jobs after jobs, or the ability to live on his own, he carried on, and kept trying.

We all had a phobia of some sorts, but the only different was: one could handle them better than the others. The dramatic exit of the first group of "boat people" brought on international attention, and we were among these people. We were in the first wave of "boat people"...

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  1. What a beautiful and interesting post. Great X word.

  2. I feel so sorry that the man had such fears! I hope he is better now.

  3. A very heart warming story. We should never judge people without all the facts.

  4. Mumsy, I hope that young man was able to assimilate. A sad but interesting post.

  5. It sounds like he was totally overwhelmed.

  6. Good for him to keep on trying. And a reminder to the rest of us to be gentle and to not judge.

  7. normal reaction maybe,

    he will do fine ..

    lovely nature view.

  8. This post really drew me in. Sad but poignant as well. Post traumatic stress at it's worst it seems. I hope the gentleman is doing better as we speak. It says a lot about you that you and your family were so kind to him.

  9. It's sad to think that people laughed at him. I can't imagine laughing at anyone in a fetal position.

    That kind of pain is just too primal to be funny.


  10. I can't imagine how terrified he must have been. I hope that things have gotten easier for him.

  11. What an X~cellent post sweetie. What a horrible phobia that must of been for that young man. I'm sure the love of your family has many healin' properties for him.

    Have a terrifically blessed Thursday sweetie and may God shine upon ya!

  12. the great thing is they all grow up and become wise old men! usually! great post!

  13. Oh, poor man! I can't imagine what it's like to have such a phobia... It must have been really hard for him to form any connection with people because of his trauma. I'm glad that he found a "family" within your community though. Whatever happen to him?

  14. The poor man. I agree, we all have phobias - and some we cannot conquer.

  15. Oh, poor guy!

    I can picture this in my mind. I would have had to crawl under the table with him in sympathy.

    I wonder what happened to him?

    I love that you found perspective into your own life from his.

    What an xcellent link.

    Thank you.


  16. When I was in the military if someone dropped their tray in the mess hall it was not uncommon to find soldiers trembling under tables.


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