Monday, March 06, 2006

The Prologue to Fear

This one is going to take a couple of days, for both emotional and time reasons. I've been thinking about fear a lot lately. And when I think about fear, I tend to get really resentful, ragingly pissed off, and really, really sad.

I used to be a pretty fearless girl. Besides heights I'm not sure how to get down from (other heights are fine...but I doubt I'll ever be a rock climber), stage/performances, and birds pecking out my eyes, all of which I could avoid quite easily, I was pretty fearless.

I was the type of girl who would walk at night because I believed that I should walk at night. Because if normal people like me didn't take strolls in the darkness, the darkness would become more and more scary. No one could stop me.

I wasn't the type of girl that would choose my word's with extreme care around friends and family. I just said what I meant.

I wasn't the type of girl who bothered to lie, even if to protect someone. Though I still generally don't lie because apparently my lies are not engaging enough for even me to remember, it creeps in more now than it used to.

I was the type of girl who saw obstacles and just plowed right through them because I felt that there was nothing else to do. While Roo was here this weekend, she told me that she had always thought that maybe I was sort of deeply wanting to have a baby when I had my little mishap that gave me Little A...just because of how I took it and ran. I was automatically Little A's mom. End of story, have a nice day.

I can totally see how she would think it. But it was just what I did. "Oh crap! I'm pregnant. Well let's see, I'll have to x, y, and z. There, all set." In reality, it was a time in my life that I was questioning whether I ever wanted to have kids. I loved kids, but I just wasn't sure the whole mommy-thing was for me. When faced with eminent kid, I just did what I thought I should do.

I went where I went and I did what I needed to do.

That's the person I used to be. And sometimes I still am. On a daily gotta-get-things-done-level, I still just sort of go on without much consideration to any possible ill effects it could have on me. Being a sucker, taking on too much is still nothing to fear in my book.

But, the walks at night. Being with people I can't completely trust. Being completely frank. Going to areas I don't know....

I've changed. And I know why (for the most part), but knowing why doesn't keep me from being angry at myself, and from feeling like I'm weaker than I used to be.

My strength is now somewhere else. It's completely and totally invested in keeping Little A safe and happy. And because of that, there is a huge part of me that lives in terror. The worst terror...that maybe I'll fail at this most important task. That no matter what I do, my Little A will someday get hurt by someone. And this fear breaks me down so totally and completely that I feel helpless. Especially because I know it's no false fear. Someday, someone will hurt her....emotionally, one lives without these things happening, and that knowledge totally paralyzes my mind and my heart with sorrow and a fear that I never knew before.

There's so much more, but these fear thoughts exhaust me. So, that's it for today. Sorry for the abrupt ending.


Blogger Chris said...


1:38 PM  
Blogger Tink said...

You can't protect her. PREPARE her. You're a wonderful Mom. Your love and fear for her shows that.

1:52 PM  
Anonymous TB said...

Whew. This is a tough one for me. Even though I don't have children yet, I think I see where you're coming from with this post. It's the thing I worry the most about when I think about having a child of my own - being always afraid for them and not being able to move past it.
I think that there's a delicate balance we have to walk between healthy fear and neurosis. Because of the way you are examining it, looking at how motherhood has changed you in this way, I am positive that you are beautifully posisitioned on that tightrope and that you will teach your daughter to be as fearless as you were and as you are now.

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS I'm so jealous that you got to hang out with Roo and she with you. I bet that you guys had a blast!

2:08 PM  
Blogger Peevish said...

I don't have kids (not sure about that whole thing yet) but I have an idea how you're feeling. When I started going out with my husband, he was still recovering from a nasty relationship years earlier. When he first told me he loved me, I freaked. I suddenly realised how much his happiness depended on me, and how much I could hurt him if I did something wrong. Eleven years later, we're still here and going strong.

You can do this - and I agree with Tink - prepare, because you can't protect.

4:58 PM  
Blogger Iamadesigner said...

I don't have kids either although I can relate to fear in a big way. For me it comes in waves that are sometimes overwhelming in such a way that I can't see how I will ever live any differently. I think it is courageous of you to acknowledge your fears-hang in there.

9:29 PM  
Anonymous Kristen said...

I was always a fearful thinker (I'll die young, never have kids, blabla) and now I'm still alive and I have kid. Not much has changed - honestly, I just now fear that she'll die or I'll die and not get to see her grow up.

I can't really think about it - or about if anything would happen to her (like the poor parents of Natalee Hollaway, and others like her) - because I'm not sure I could go on living - at least in the emotional sense, anyway.

11:53 PM  
Blogger Brooke said...

I feel like a fraud to say I understand. But can I say I care?

1:46 AM  
Anonymous Brooke said...

Sending hugs, V. Examining your fears is very brave.

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

I think you are absolutely a brave person to look at your fear this way, V. And I can understand -- I feel like I could live through almost anything, but if something were to happen to one of my kids, I don't know if I could continue on in life. It's amazing that parenthood requires such a level of trust and letting go, every day -- when I drop my kids off at day care every morning, I have to trust that they will be safe and secure without me, that they will be protected. It is a major leap of faith and sometimes it's terrifying.

You are an amazing mom because you care. That fear represents your deep love for Little A.

Also, I am jealous that you and Roo got to hang. But I'm happy for both of you that you did.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I think you have defined what is at the heart of parenting. Fear and Love. Back to Back, Day in and Day out.

And yes, People will hurt her, and she will come back to you for healing. You will patch her up and send her back out- cause that is what Mom's do.

Then we take hot bath and cry.

7:56 PM  
Blogger mama_tulip said...

Wow. I was *just* thinking about this the other day. I used to be totally fearless and now...not so much. For me, a lot of it had to do with my mom's death. I felt so vulnerable after that. Before I felt like nothing could pierce me, and after she died I felt almost like a sitting duck. And after I had Julia I really felt it.

But, to echo Tink, I feel like all I can do is prepare Julia, and Olvier. And myself. I try to love every second of the day with them and to live in the 'now', although it is hard sometimes.

7:57 PM  
Anonymous roo said...

V, I love little A, and you. And my faith in your parenting abilities is unshakeable.

1:01 AM  

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