I haven’t met too many individuals who didn’t fear something in their life. However, there are those rare individuals who thrive for the excitement of what I would be afraid to attempt. Example, jumping out of a plane. At one time in my life this is something I really wanted to do and now all I can think of are the what if’s. What if my parachute didn’t release and I left our children motherless? What if it didn’t release and I landed smack flat on the ground? What if the plane exploded? What if this or what if that is consuming my life and it is a battle everyday to overcome even the simplest of tasks.
Another example, our daughter has recently started kindergarten and she had her first field trip this past week. Well my mind instantly said no as I read the permission slip a month ago. I explained to Lydia that I would discuss it with her dad, but I just didn’t know if I would be okay with her riding in a school bus to the pumpkin patch. Fear instantly took over my mind and the probability of her going were none until I talked to my husband. See, what I don’t tell my husband are the fears I withhold on a daily basis that can become a parallel world of hell. Oh Jeri, “ she will have a great time with her friends and teacher, why would you say no?” While he is speaking, and I am trying to give him my undivided attention, my over imagination is compiled of a bus crash, the teacher forgetting Lydia, someone kidnapping her, or an injury occurring.”You are right, I will pray for comfort and protection for her and the rest of the class.,” was my reply. Not at all what I wanted to reply but I fought through my fears so she wouldn’t miss out on the fun experience of her first field trip.
Then later that night the fear crept up like the shadow it was and it sat quietly until my head laid on my pillow. I am not hallucinating people just really getting into the metaphor…… So I lay there in my quiet bedroom and we co-sleep, so both of our children are laying there , and it begins again. I am not sure anymore if this is common amongst all parents. I do know the day my life changed from having a normal fear on occasion to Panophobia. Not sure what Panophobia is? Just follow this link and you can see what I just discovered myself. http://www.fearof.net/fear-of-everything-phobia-panophobia/
I will get even more personal than the last few blogs and share with you the day my fear began to take precedence over my carefree nature. January 1, 2015 began the new year with hopes of love, change, excitement, joy,,, I mean you name it we were ready to handle this year with as much positivity that we could expel. The day was full of errands, preparing for our new little bundle of joy, and debating on what tasks seemed in dire need of doing first. Our sons due date was January 21, 2015 so it seemed we might have time but Daniel and I are bit procrastinator so today I needed to start prepping. I just had to pack Lydia’s bag to go to her nana’s house in case what I was experiencing this day was early labor.
I decided Lydia needed a miniature suitcase to use for the two days she would be staying at Daniel’s mom’s house. I remember this day like I am living in it right now. Lydia was so cute picking out her new suitcase and in my mind I’m having a little bit of fear worrying of her new role as big sister. Before our lives changed this day, my fear never overflowed into my life as it has lately. Okay, so dinner, shopping, and we ended the day by watching a movie on the couch.
Daniel and Lydia both fell asleep on the couch and I tried to get comfortable but being so pregnant the comfort level was zero…… Around 11:30 pm we all ended up in the bedroom and our bouncy two year old thought it was now time to play. I remember finding the sprout channel and Daniel maybe fussing a bit because he had to be at work by 6:30 the next morning. Now we are all settled in bed and Daniel has been asleep again for only about ten minutes. My phone rang/vibrated, I shutter now that I ignored the first call, I didn’t answer because I assumed she had accidentally dialed me. Then I hear Daniel’s phone vibrating, and again my phone begins to vibrate once more. It is my sister in law , I thought oh no it must be something about my brother in law.
I answer the phone and set up with anxious words, “Is Matt okay?” (my brother in law) I couldn’t understand her but I could understand that she was upset and rightfully so now that I think back to what she was trying to explain. I asked her to repeat and her words are burned into my memory. “Chris has been shot.” I jumped out of bed and stood straight up and that this point Lydia is just jumping around with excitement. I can hear Carrie speaking but I’m trying to get dressed and wrap my mind around what she said. I’m desperate for clarification and ask her to tell me which hospital we need to head towards. I’m standing on the side of our bed and she says the words that changed our world. Carrie says, “ get to the house to meet us.” It snapped in my mind of what has happened and I screamed aloud and it woke Daniel. I did not have a soft approach nor did I stay fully calm but I screamed, “ mom has been shot.” (Chris is Daniel’s mom, my sweet mother in law, and known as nana to our daughter.)
I went from only occasionally having fear to becoming afraid of almost everything instantaneously. I witnessed my husband become full of anguish the very moment I told him we would not be going to any hospital and would meet his brother at her house. It was nothing I had witnessed first hand. I had watched many family members prepare for a loved ones death but I had never witnessed the pain from someone being taken by force. It changed me forever and on some of my more uplifting day’s it is a blessing and on others it is debilitating.
Fear set in almost as if it would become my whole new persona. I remember the conversation Daniel and I had the following morning of him expressing fear of losing me or our children. He wept and I wept while he vowed to protect us to the best of his ability. Fear didn’t just slowly creep in my mind that weekend but it flooded and sank all other emotions, but left anger sitting atop of the mountain. Fear would be labeled differently for me and I pretended through a lot of it and would just ignore as much as I could. Labor started on January 7, 2015, the following day of the burial.
Oh it was easy to ignore the fear, because pure exhaustion combined with joy to enjoy the birth of our son preoccupied my mind. The real culprit was FEAR…. It led my life, I mistakenly thought I had control but again a lie I told myself. See, I feared I would have postpartum. I feared I would fail our daughter, if I cried too much I feared she would become full of sadness. Fear made me believe that my husband would spiral out of control with anger and just overwhelming sadness. Fear was the driver and I was just the passenger in my life. I started to stay busy with surrounding myself with anyone from my mother in law’s family. I became so lost I changed for the worsts. I feared I would say the wrong thing and yet I would do exactly what I feared. Then I feared I would hurt someone and inevitably I did.
See where the fear took over and I lost control! I am sure I had fear before but now let me share with you what I have to fight through. I worry at night when the lights are out and the house is quiet, what would Daniel do with the kids if I died? Would he retreat from everyone and anything that reminded him of me? Could he physically go on and grieve with two children that would miss their mommy? I no longer fear death but I am in fear of how my family would continue on without me. My fear at night becomes so consuming I am unable to fall asleep. I wake up every morning thankful for the day ahead of me and sometimes throughout the day I forget this gratitude , but nonetheless I am thankful. I am no longer living in what I call a bubble. The day my mother in law was taken became a realization to me that anything can and will happen to you or a loved one. Never in my life did I think she would be a victim of a crime and that has only grown my fear of the what if this or that happened.
When I am in a restaurant or a mall I always look for the exit signs so in the case of someone intending harm I will no where to run. I imagine where I could hide and if I would be able to keep the children quiet. Would a table really be able to stop a bullet? The recent shootings have only grown my fear but I fight through this and still go places with our children. I still go to the mall and sit in worry if where the play areas sits is a target? Crazy to some but I like to think I am preparing myself for the just in case scenario. I would run in a zigzag pattern, know where the exit are, and if I had to hide I would.
I fear so many instances I am not sure we have enough time for you to read what I actually push through to function. I pray hard daily for protection and for me to allow our children to live a life free of the hate this world is fiercely filled with. I am not sure if we will ever allow our children to stay the night at anyone’s home but that is something I am working on from my own past. I am not sure I will ever live free of fear to let our kids go anywhere without me, I know, I know I can’t go with them everywhere but I will for as long as I can. My husband and I differ on when and how to express situations with our children regarding the cold hard truth of evil. It exists and I would rather prepare them for this realization than have to ever prepare myself for the worsts.
Now on lighter fears; When Lydia isn’t performing as fast as others in her class I fear she is lacking. If Christian is too rough with other kids in the play area at Chick-fil-a, I fear I am not being patient enough with him and he is lashing out. I fear if Daniel ignores an ailment it could be deadly. I fear change but crave it for comfort. I fear that if we don’t change we will stay compliant with our lives and repeat our parents failures. I fear making a mistake but that is the only way that Daniel and I have made our accomplishments. Two very strong willed (bull headed) personalities cause for a blog post in itself and that is how I describe both of us. I fear one day when I am much much older I will ask myself why I didn’t fight through more fears and fulfill my passions? I fear that some days I have no desire to even function and that I have lost myself in my new title. I love being a mother and wife but sometimes with all of my fear I lose myself in the midst of worry. Even if you don’t have children or a partner it can still become a numbing realty of what our life is full of.
The news only thrives on the ugliness of our world and how could it not ensue panic and fear onto us? Do you function based off of your fear? Write a comment to let me know what you fear…