Hi, again. SORRY THIS IS CRAZY LONG. I TRIED TO CUT IT.
Here’s just my experience with something similar. I hope it may help you figure this out.
TL;DR: my fears are rooted in pain, loss of control, fear of betrayal, loneliness, insecurity.
I know what you’re talking about when you speaking about having the world fractured into tiny, unrecognizable pieces. For me, that was never a fear - it wasn’t even a phenomenon I could start to comprehend in my head - it was a result of a lot of fear and pain.
For me, fear of the future is a feeling based in no control over the (fast) passing of time, knowing adulthood reaches for me long before I’m ready. The fear of not managing what I need to do when I’m getting a job and everything that comes with taking care of myself. Things are tied to other issues I’ve always had, like underweight, bad at making friends, insecurity. The fear of being locked in a way of life I do not enjoy. On another side, I have a fear of loneliness, or rather, I currently have loneliness. But also the fear that I’ll wander this world all alone and every new year is a year closer to the day I do not have my family anymore. My family is the ones closest to me because I do not have a lot of friends. Then I’ll be all alone to fend for myself – something I see as myself standing in a black void with no friends that will check in on me. I could just self-destruct or starve to death or something and no one would know. In a sense, I’m erased, nonconsequential. I’ve feared several of these things since I was little, and the earliest reasons I don’t recall if there ever was some.
I remember sitting in the hall the first day of school in 2003, hearing the headmistress telling us all that we’d be going here for 10 years and we’d take an exam the last year. One of my clearest thoughts were, 10 years - that’s an incredibly long time, that’s longer than I’ve been alive. - I never saw myself going to school for more years that I’d been alive, and I never saw myself taking a vocal exam. Vocal because I was shy and I’ve been shy all my life. It returned with a few years intervals - 4th grade, 7th grade, 8-10th grade - and while it came and went, I’d done one thing to keep myself sane: I never let myself think further than 10th grade until I had to. I never knew what I wanted to become and I didn’t set myself a goal because that fear never made me see myself actually doing those things. My goal was to pass 10th grade, then I’d deal with the rest. I put all my energy into it and it left me irritated and behind.
Another fear I have is fear of betrayal, which also acts on loneliness because it makes it hard to let people in and to trust. This one I actually know some incidents for.
First, my twin sister and her friend used to go searching for my diary when I was little and read it out loud and laugh about it. Invalidating my feelings and making them laughingstock, which made me start hiding them away. Second, from experience knowing that my twin sister will pick the side of the oppressor rather than me (even in something so simple that she would laugh at me with someone who bullied me in 2nd grade for wearing light-pink Snoopy eye shadow to school. Even when I was a teen and make-up was so normalized, people had to push it on me to get me to use it because I feared people would make a negative comment about it. This went to clothes as well and that I never really made a statement because I was afraid someone would come and invalidate what I wanted.) I figured I needed to stand up for myself. Alone. And that I couldn’t trust even my closest, my twin sister, to do so. Third, I lost my best friend for reasons I still don’t know today. She just didn’t want to be with me anymore and started hanging out with the popular kids. It still hurts and makes me wonder what I did wrong - was I wrong with my shyness, did I look wrong, was it that I never cared about what was popular so I never changed for the approval? etc. Four, the basic rule in our family was always “it’s going to be fine, just do it” which pretty much it: “suck it up. your uneasy feelings aren’t important.” The thing that needed to be done was always more important than I. After a while, you just push it down and make “it’s going to be fine” a mantra. This one also developed when my twin sister clearly shouted and cried her uneasiness out in anger while I have to suck it up, be the eldest sister, and keep quiet because I’m not loud. I can’t even shout loud. My voice doesn’t carry over distance. So I couldn’t respond in the same manner, so I sealed them in and told myself I’d needed to try to calm her sorrows so things could be fine again. I wasn’t that important. I people pleased to keep a sense of friendship. Five, my parents being a bit controlling when it came to my online life, and getting the precautions for it when I was “caught”. The problem here was mostly that everyone in my class did the same without problems. I was always the one lagging behind, which made you an uninteresting, mediocre person to be around. Six, my dad looking over my essays always saying “you can’t deliver this one, it’s bad” when I’d spent hours working on it and thought I’d do well - which I did as well because I always delivered the same version and got a good grade. But what it left me with was that my dad wasn’t a reliable source and that he always came with negative responses = cannot be trusted. Also, he was very opinionated and always insisted that what he means is the right thing, even when you disagree. so when I trusted him on what he said, it often turned out to be wrong. and having a shy person like me, who do not like surprises in fragile situations, walk into something I’d been insisted was one thing but turned out to be another, that was never fine.
So now you can try and draw a red line that will show that all of these are intertwined and that they bounce on another and develop into other variations of themselves over time. While some events may have placed a doubt or fear in my head, everyday events and certainties keep them alive. It doesn’t need to be grand events. The only grand that it needs to be is the mark it leaves on you.