Fear has been a dominating factor throughout my life. My first fear was the fear of abandonment. My father was addicted to alcohol and left when I was four years old. My coping mechanism was sucking my thumb. There is nothing wrong with thumbsucking as a toddler, but at eight years old, I still did it every day. My kindergarten teacher wanted to keep me back a year because of my thumbsucking. It was getting out of control. But it brought me ease and comfort, and I would hide it. I was a functioning thumbsucker.