Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Thing I'm Most Afraid Of

Most children are scared of things like monsters and ghosts. You know the drill. They watch scary movies on TV when their parents aren't looking, because they know that they're "too young for that" and that "those movies will pollute [your] mind." I would know. I did it. But monsters and ghosts didn't scare me. 

Robbers did. Yes, my biggest fear as a kid was that someone with a gun would break into my house. That's what I get for being a girl who loved watching 20/20, Dateline, and 60 Minutes, I suppose. Somewhere between ages 12 and 17, I became very afraid of snakes. This is not a mere distaste for the reptile. They truly terrify me, and I think this is getting worse with age! It's easy to list a slew of things that scare me. Robbers, snakes, earthquakes, car crashes. But the chances of these things happening are somewhat slim. It's not like they are daily fears of mine, and really, who in their right mind wouldn't be scared of those things? 

Of the things that truly strike fear in me, there is an underlying theme of unexpected loss. Losing Matt changed everything I knew about life and people and value. Losing my health (at my own hands) had me in a hospital and questioning how in the world I let it get to that. (The first night in a psych ward is effing scary, people.) Losing Big Paw (my family's first pet) and losing Tollhouse (mine and my husband's first pet) strangled my heart. Losing three of my grandparents within six months left me breathless and unsure of how one consoles a parent. Losing friendships... suck. Losing my mom to diseases that only sometimes make themselves visible makes me want to abandon my whole life just to be with her all the time for the rest of our lives.

Since I was 15, I've had a fear that I wouldn't be able to get pregnant, and I realize that this is still a fear of the possibility the I might not have that experience -- a loss of that experience. We've still not tried to get pregnant, so sometimes, that thought pops in my head.

Loss is something that everyone experiences, but I think there's the added layer of "How will I get through it?" That's the hardest part of losing something, isn't it? Finding the strength to move on which means leaving something behind. it is difficult, but it is totally possible. As cliche as this sounds, I guess the best thing to do about this fear is to make the most of the time I have with others, so that is what I shall do.

Linking up with Story of My Life


Jenn said...

We all get dealt a different hand of cards, it's what you do with that hand that really matters. Loss is such a hard thing to handle and we each interpret it in different ways. I too think of the idea of not being able to conceive even though I am not interested to right now.

Unknown said...

Loss is a terrible thing especially when you aren't prepared for it.

I was one that wasn't able to conceive and it is scary and hard but there are lots of ways of becoming a mother. So, when the time comes if you can't do it the way you thought keep looking!

Stevie C said...

Both of my grandparents died 7 weeks apart last year... not from a broken heart or true love, but two horribly awful diseases. My mom was devastated and I had nothing to say... being raised by a single parent, and my grandparents, i was so torn between grieving my own loss and comforting my mom.

Thanks for posting this. I skipped this prompt today, but now i'm thinking i'll need to give it some attention.

Kerrie Williams said...

yes! I fear losing Wade all the time. It's so hard not to!

Erika from America said...

I think I read somewhere that the answer to fear of loss is gratitude... to really appreciate what you have and be in it, instead of afraid of it ending. I'm still working on this one... still hard. But I appreciate your honesty and vulnerability in this post! It sounds like you've been through some tough things, but somehow you made it through! :)

Unknown said...

A fear of loss is such a beautiful and simple way to describe many of the fears most of us have. I have so many small pleasures in my life for which I am incredibly grateful. People: my boyfriend, my family, my friends. Necessities: an apartment, food, 1/3 of my clothes, medicine, a credit card with a high limit that can be used for expensive emergencies. Luxuries: all my technology and 2/3 of my clothes. :) I honestly can't imagine life without any of them. And even though I know my life won't be exactly like my mom's, much of what I want at certain stages in life are based on hers. A husband, kids, a house. And I fear not having them. Your vulnerability really speaks to me, and I look forward to poking around in your archives to get to know you better... Which, as I read that statement, sounds like a crazy way to get to know someone. :)

Empirically Erin said...

I have always been really scared of robbers!! Since I got pregnant, I've been having nightmares about it!

Whitney said...

I'm okay with snakes as long as I'm separated from them by glass or something. I was actually going to write my post on fear of pregnancy. Not getting pregnant, but the whole concept of it. But we've talked about it before :)

Betsy Transatlantically said...

I am emailing you. (not because I have DEEP THINGS to say in response but because the things are not for public consumption.) but also, you are so strong - you've been to hell and back so you know how to return to us if, God forbid, you end up there again!

Gesci said...

1. When I was little, I slept on the bottom bunk in the first bedroom down the hallway. I was sure if our house was broken into I'd be the first killed, so I slept with even my head under the covers and stuffed animals piled around me (to hide my shape) and sometimes upside down. I was also sure the top bunk was going to collapse on me, so I practiced rolling out of bed quickly and from different angles, in case of each side breaking.

2. Even though I've been through many pets' deaths, I cannot so much as see a new grey hair on either of the dogs without falling into face-puffing sobs. While I *know* I'll get through it, I also know that sucking pit of emptiness that replaces all my insides when it does happen. And the choking-until-I-can't-breath sobs. I've never lost a human to whom I've been extremely close (I wasn't close to any of my grandparents), but I imagine it's parallel to pet-loss pain, just more. I can't imagine, but I think that's a pain no one can know until they've gone through it. So my heart breaks for you all over again.

I have a draft post similar to your final paragraph, but exclusively about pets. It's so true.

Michelle said...

Oh Linds, I could have written every single one of these. These are ALL my fears. I was terrified of robbers growing up, too! It didn't help that our next door neighbor was robbed several times and even had someone shoot the windows out of her car.

And snakes? We've discussed. I can barely even type the word without hyperventilating.

Losing a loved one terrifies me. I know it's inevitable at some point, and I dread it. The fear of infertility is also a huge fear of mine. It doesn't bother me all the time, but there are times when I get really anxious about it. It doesn't help that my mom and grandma both had miscarriages and were only able to have one kid each. But on the other hand, I am in much better health than they were :) We will both be fine!

R's Rue said...

Thank you for being you, so raw and honest!