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Thursday, February 20, 2014

30 Things Series #2: Three Legitimate Fears I Have and How They Became Fears

As part of the 30 Things My Son Should Know About Me series, I give you the second post - three of my legitimate fears and how they became such.

1. Fear of dying and leaving you alone or of you dying and me losing you.
I wrote about my postpartum anxiety in THIS blog post. It was gnarly and it took a lot of therapy and time to get over. The anxiety I never had before now rears its ugly head only occasionally, but when it does, I now have the tools to deal with it better. Your dad struggled with anxiety before I met him and at the beginning of our relationship. I never understood it until I went through it myself. If nothing else, it was at least good for giving me sympathy.

2. Being involved in a serious car accident or, of course, you being involved in one when I'm not with you.
Work in law enforcement for any length of time and you'll run into gnarly car accidents. I've walked over dead bodies thrown from vehicles, had to take aerial photos of scenes too large to be seen from the ground, stepped in pools of blood. It's ugly and terrifying and a lot more likely to happen than most of the things I envisioned in my anxiety-stricken moments above. I wrote more about the reality HERE. Read this and understand you are not invincible. Do all that you can to stay safe, my little love.

3. (I'm cheating on this one a bit, because it's a fear I no longer have, but had for a the vast majority of my life.) Lightning.
When I was a little kid, I used to spend every summer, from the day after school ended to the day before it started again, at my grandparents' house in northern Utah. I flew by myself for the first time when I was six years old. I stopped going when I was 17. Each year, there were at least a couple summer thunderstorms. I was terrified. I was terrified and alone. I couldn't go in to my grandparents' bed as I would've my mom's. I couldn't turn on the lights as I would've at home. I couldn't go into my brother's room for company as he was not with me. I huddled under the covers with pillows pressed over my head until I eventually fell asleep from exhaustion. Then, when I did finally sleep, I had a recurring nightmare every single time. I won't describe it here, because it won't sound as horrifying as it was and I don't want it minimized (not that you would do that - I'm just preemptively defensive here because of the reactions I've gotten when describing it to others in the past). Suffice it to say, it was a nightmare. At some point, I wasn't sure what was more terrifying - the lighting and thunder or the knowledge that "Lightning Man" was coming.
It wasn't until I had you, my little savior, that I forced myself to get over it. I knew I did not want you to experience that fear and I was sure not going to be the one to put that fear into you. Now, whenever there is a thunderstorm, you and I observe it, gawk at it, marvel and coo. We enjoy it together and that thrills me in a way I will never be able to describe to you. That you are not afraid is a blissful feeling to me.

You're going to have fears, my sweet. You already have some. You're going to learn to work through them on your own. You already have. If I can help, I will. If I cannot, I will simply be there for you as you help yourself. I will leave you with this, though - my favorite quote: "You can't test courage cautiously" said Annie Dillard. Use it as you wish.

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