Monday, August 20, 2012

Oh Anxiety, you pesky thing you.

I feel like I'm constantly walking the line between faith and fear. Yesterday I found out about a high school friend who was murdered on a beach in the Caribbean. I tell you, every time I think I'm getting a handle on my post-partum/post-accident anxiety, I find out about an innocent girl getting stabbed in the neck while on vacation. It's hard not to stay up until midnight tossing scenario after scenario around in my head, especially with a beautiful, completely innocent and vulnerable child sleeping next to me. How can I send her into this world knowing what horrific things can happen and at the same time how can I not wake up everyday and greet this world with the enthusiasm that is a part of my every cell? I don't want my daughter to be afraid of the night. I don't want her to watch her back every time she steps out of her home. I want her to be brave and confident, strong and outspoken. I want her to see the world and love deeply and all the while stay safe and sound and untouched by hands of anger.

I never thought much about death until I had a child. Now I cling to this life with tremendous fervency. I don't want to miss a single second with her and it brings me to my knees to think of anything happening to her. Every parent feels this way and every person who has been through something like Aaron's accident knows that our rational minds do not dwell in the aftermath of trauma.

I have worked with trauma survivors since before I knew I was working with trauma survivors and it has helped to know what I know, to have the training I do, to at least recognize what's happening with me but it doesn't make it any easier to pull myself out of the quickly spinning drain of panicky thinking. How do we reconcile that the world is a dangerous and dark place but also a wonderful and amazing place? How is that battle won? Maybe we all live in a nice bubble of denial that is burst every so often and then carefully constructed again. My sister-in-law told me after Ellis was born, and I'm going to butcher this quote but the gist was, "When we have children, our hearts forever roam this world outside of us." I can not allow the fear to shadow the joy of being a parent. What a terminally intense ride this is.

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