Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Crippled by fear

Growing up, I was always scared of losing my parents.  I wasn't afraid of either of them leaving us as a family, I was scared that one day I'd come home to find one of them had had a heart attack or someone would have broken into the house and hurt them.  I loved them and my biggest fear growing up was losing them.

I grew up and learned to love another... my husband, and soon learned about the fear that goes along with loving someone the way I loved him.  I was scared he'd leave me for someone else.  I was scared he would die in a car accident or something tragic would happen and I would be lost forever without the love of my life.

Then I had "Doodle Dunk" and during my maternity leave, I would just cry over her at the thought of someone taking her from me or hurting her.  I was almost scared to put her in the car and go somewhere thinking that someone would crash into us while we were driving.

We had "Bug" and I was then also consumed by fear... so scared at the thought that someone would hurt us.  My heart was triple fearful because now I was afraid of losing my husband, Doodle and Bug.

Here comes baby number three and although I wasn't as scared at first, the other night I lie in bed and was completely consumed by fear.  I have never been paralyzed by fear nor have I just started sobbing uncontrollably until this night. 

Rob was reading a book next to me in bed.  Robbie was snuggled up against me sleep nursing and all of a sudden I had a "day dream" where we were all on a plane, the plane was crashing and we couldn't get the kids out of their seats and the plane was filling up with water.  As the plane sunk and the cabin filled with water, I didn't know who to grab first and how to get them.  Who would Rob help first?  Who would I help first?  There's three kids and two adults... do the math!  So lets say we get them out... Lily and Robbie can't hold their breath... how would we get to the surface?!  What if I lost one child, two of them or God-forbid, all of them and my husband.  I started crying and told Rob we are never flying with all three children.  He said, "Oooook?"  and I replied loudly, "I'm SERIOUS!  We are NEVER flying."  I then went to sleep.

Okay, so I know that's not healthy.  I know that my fear is subdued when I pray to Him and He calms me.  It doesn't consume my thoughts every day, so no worries that I'm afraid to leave my house or something like that.  But when it sneaks up on me, I think such tragic thoughts that I just can't handle it.

Whew... so tell me... have you ever felt this way?  What did you do to deal with it?


  1. I think you should read this article.

    I've really struggled with anxiety and worry, and for me - it was all part of trying to control everything. I'm not sure I have had the kind of tragic/violent thoughts pop into my head like you are describing. But the worry will just pop up out of nowhere. It's one of the things I talked through in therapy.

    Let me know what you think of the article. Wondering if it will resonate with you like it did with me.

  2. I haven't read the whole thing but I can say that my fear does not stop me from enjoying life.

  3. Every now and then I'll have a thought of losing either Jon or Arianna that will bring fear into my heart, but there is usually something that triggers it. Like a story on the news about Marines dying in Afghanistan or a lost child being found brutalized. I am one of those people who REFUSES to ever think that it coudn't happen to me because I'm convinced that people who think that way learn lessons the hard way. Yet the thought that it could very well happen to me doesn't make me feel any better.

    I tend to find that I'm more fearful of things like this when I'm in situations that I can't control. As I learn more about myself, I'm finding that I am somewhat of a control freak. I'm more afraid of something going wrong when I'm unable to control it and make sure that it goes right.

    One situation that I am continually terrified of (and again, one that I can't control) is having another miscarriage. The first time I lost a baby, all I had were thoughts and fantasies of what "might have been". Now that I have Arianna, I have living, breathing proof of what could be and the thought of losing that kills me.

  4. After I had Sophia I would nurse her in the rocking chair alone with my thoughts. Joe worked ALL the time back then and my thoughts ALWAYS came back to "what if someone broke into my house right now and attacked both me and my newborn baby?". Being on the 2nd floor of our townhouse, I would look around the room and conjur up ways to defend us if anything like that happened. The best I could come up with in the nursery was to blind an attacker with baby powder, hit him with the table lamp and escape down the stairs.
    Those kinds of thoughts are still with me today and I've envisioned so many different scenarios, so many creative ways to escape or injure or kill to protect my children. I have come to believe that these horrific visions will never truly go away...and they are so very vivid.
    My only consolation is in God Himself and acceptance that if anything DOES happen like that, it is within His Almighty plan. I trust that He will guide me to my own fate. I have to distract myself to get my mind on something else because what if such vivid thoughts sent out will someday return to me and make themselves manifest? That is what scares me more.

  5. it sounds morbid, i know. i think everyone has these thoughts sometimes but i think motherhood really makes it worse. i always have those thoughts when i fly - with hubbie, without, as a family, etc... the reality is that few people survive plane crashes and the likelihood of being in a place crash is so slim. i remind myself of that and i just trust God and hope that our "time" is not in a plane crash - or car accident for that matter. :) not flying out of fear is not what God wants for us.

    sometimes, i'll let myself think through the "what would you do?" scenario b/c i think it's good to keep your mind sharp in case you were ever in a situation. i sometimes switch my thinking to real life scenarios like coming out of a store at night - how can i be aware and on guard and prepared in a situation in a parking lot or garage? stuff like that is not fun to think about but i would rather think through that scenario and have a plan. i feel less afraid that way.

    but, when i'm thinking something totally off the wall like "what if i were in an accident and my car went off a bridge?" i remind myself that i have a glass hammer/seatbelt cutter in my glove box and that i know how to use it. and then, i stop myself and i tell myself "jesus did not give me a spirit of fear but of power and love and good judgement. my family and i are a protected children of God." and i literally stop myself from going any further in my thoughts.

    and if i feel afraid, i make a choice not to be afraid and i force myself to step out in faith and do it before God, trusting Him. i do it with all things - mostly little b/c my life is small and local and simple. either way...we cannot live in fear if we have faith. the devil is the master of confusion and he wants to consume our minds with these horrific thoughts so that we are not thinking and praising God with everything that we are.

    your family is a miracle. your story is evidence of God's plan for you. you know this. just rebuke those thoughts in the name of jesus :) i know i sound like i'm preaching. i'm not. the mind is a powerful thing.

    this is prob way more than you asked but i can relate to your thoughts.

    big hugs, girlie. it's crissy by the way.

  6. I know I'm late on this, but I experience this the majority of days in a week. It's like a sickness. One topic hits the brain and the brain in turn hits the ground running. Break-in. What if someone came after us? What do I do? What if they do this? What if they did something to E? Makes me sick and I feel sick for it even going through my mind. It's like the whole thing plays out in your head and you have no control over it. I worried it was an obsessive-compulsive thing, or a depression thing, but maybe it's just a mother thing. I hate it. But you're not alone, as you can see from previous comments too.

    The only thing I can do to deal with it is apply logic, and remember it's just my head. Chances of the majority of those events actually coming into play are so low. Just...we work so hard to protect our children, why should we have to watch something happen to them in our heads? It might be 'imaginary' but that doesn't make it any easier to deal.

  7. I feel like that every time I fly alone, with out my Jerry. So terrified that I will not see him again, will he be ok if I am not around? All I can do is pray and put it in God's hands. There is nothing I can do about it anyway...