…the fear of abandonment and the fear of falling, everything else we learn.
I suppose I learned this in Mr. Cook’s Biology class in high school, but it’s one of those things that stick in your mind every time you hear the word. For me, it was ‘fear’. I couldn’t help thinking at the time that if this is true, then I’ve learned to fear reptiles, the dark, relationships, etc, from somewhere, someone.
Sitting in my panic/anxiety group sessions (yes, ‘fears’ has overcome me to the point of paralysis and panic attacks), my therapist said something that struck a cord in me, “it is human nature to run from what we fear”. Apparently, I miss the whole fight or flight class somewhere or forgotten it at some point. Now I’m in therapy to learn how to ‘tolerate’ and maybe even control my fears, but not how to face them. I’ve allowed myself to be drugged to the point of numbness and be questioned over and over again to the point of pain.
My dad asked me the other day, after almost two years of not speaking to me, “What happened to you? What happened to the girl that was full of fight and didn’t allow anything to get her down?”
I don’t know. Maybe after 15 years of marriage, of living in a promise to God, of being absolutely, positively, 100% sure, that this is the right person for you, then finding out that it’s not, does something to you. Maybe it’s that the person I’m with has my heart convinced of the same. How can fear not paralyze me? How can I not be terrified of allowing myself to be happy with this person, or letting the thought of marriage and the rest of my life with him scare the life out of me? How do I stand in front of God, family and friends with him and make a promise that I already broke once? How can I promise something to someone and not doubt myself that I’ll take it back one day?
How do I teach my children to trust their instincts, choices and decisions when I doubt mine? I don’t know.
I don’t know how to fix my broken heart, promises and dreams or to encourage my kids to follow and believe theirs. I’m working on it though. I know that they deserve to have a whole mother and my love deserves to be loved with no reservations. I know that if I don’t learn from this, then I can’t possibly make myself or anyone else happy.
So off I go to therapy and to surround myself with family and friends that know and believe in who I use to be. If I can get back an ounce of the girl that was so full of life and so sure of herself, if I can glimpse a former time and place where I was completely happy, I can build from it. I’m working on unlearning my fears, I know it’s hard, but not impossible. On the bright side, I’m no longer drowning, I’m treading water and when I’m strong enough, I’ll swim again. Baby steps…