Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Fear


(I am on the left...don't look for the thoughts in my head, because there was none...)

Anyone who knew me in my youth could attest to the fact that the frontal lobe impaired Jenn was fearless, truly. I was confident in my youthful invincibility.

Then I grew up, the reasoning and foresight areas of my brain finally got it together and I had a baby. I loved him too much. Then I had a baby who had a life threatening health condition that required my constant vigilance and my anxiety grew bit by bit each day until it was crippling. It was bad enough that I sought medical treatment for my condition I had no previous experience with. My Doctor recommended a prescription for anxiety medication and counseling. I declined the first because pharmaceuticals weren't going to change our situation and the second because I was too afraid to leave the baby with anyone...and my anxiety grew into fear.

A good friend, sensing my budding agoraphobia tried to put things in perspective for me. She challenged me to simply think of Ben's anaphylaxis as the same as what every parent worries about...its just one more thing on top of car crashes, house fires, abductions and so on. I realised that I had not been worrying nearly the appropriate amount about these other things because I was so fixated on Ben's allergies. This brought me into aniety overload...I am now able to assess risk in a split second...scan a room for safety infractions in moments. Paranoid doesn't even almost begin to cover my constant state of being with these boys.

Some would call this a lack of faith. Everyday we pray, everyday we pray for them. I should just trust that God has my back and hand it over. But I am afraid...maybe their angels lost the memo that my boys need some extra eyes so their Mother can remember to breath.

Now I have another baby. My fears have taken on a life of their own now...
Jon talked to me about the degree of my irrationalities and borderline disorder last weekend...I said in my defense that these fears were well within the range of normal...Mother's worry, that is their job. Jon had me list my fears...
here were the top 20...we got to over 40 and counting however by today.
1-Ben having an anaphylactic reaction I can't save him from.
2-pools/open water
3-house fires
4-abductions
5-car accident/anyone driving with the boys
6-Jon being too far away from home
7-parking garages
8-Alice in wonderland
9-wizard of Oz
10-willy wonka and the chocolate factory
11-children falling out windows
12-children falling down stairs
13-someone falling down stairs while holding Jacob
14-Ben falling over railing on loft
15-Ben falling over our second story deck
16-something happening to me where I can't care for the boys
17-brain aneurysms
18-locking the kids in the car on a summer day
19-making a mistake that could endanger the boys
20-cancer

My biggest fear is that I believe you can create what you fear...when you put so much energy into these things you draw that energy to you (are you following?)so I fear that my fears are creating these things at this very moment...(don't worry, Jon's diagnosis was that I am officially certifiable). I need to stop.

I don't remember what my line of thinking was before too many Oprah Exclusives and children but I remember it was nice. I could lead a charmed and blessed life without secretly waiting for the bomb to drop. I am not sure I can ever go back to being that person, ignorantly enjoying bliss; but I can make the conscious effort to not allow myself to get carried away. It is a work in progress...

ps.

21-I am afraid Jon is going to commit me

2 comments:

Christine McKinnon said...

I hear ya!I think it comes with the territory of being a parent. Denis has forbidden me to watch Oprah for all the fears I never even thought of until I saw it on her show.

John said...

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Dad

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