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Feb 21

FEAR

I never cut my kids grapes, or hot dogs. I figured if they survived the orphanage, the could survive snack time. I let them use sharp knives and thought them to cut up all the veggies for dinner. One is a competitive diver and hurls herself of high cement platforms. I made them learn to get on the chairlift without adults as soon as they were tall enough, 7 and 5 respectively. I then forced them to go skiing alone for an hour at a time, with no parents. In general, I have always been pretty chill about everything. Fear was not really a thing for me.

Since J died, I am terrified of everything. I got scared going sledding with a friend and her kids, convinced I would break my arm. The other night at a friend’s basketball game, I was terrified they were going to fall over the railing and onto the court below. I could just see it over and over in my head, splattered on the floor below with a broken neck.

My risk threshold is so low now, it won’t be long I force them to wear helmets around the house. Actually, I am less scared for them, but really scared for me. I don’t want anything to happen to me. ┬áSo it took every ounce of my mental energy to take them skiing this weekend. I drove in the right lane at the actual speed limit all the way to the ski hill yesterday – it has never taken me so long to get there!

We are all excellent skiers. I’m not bragging – I come from a ski-school-owning family and both of them were excellent skiers before they started kindergarden. And yet, the fear was overwhelming. We made it, no one broke anything, but man, I was exhausted from being so scared.

And maybe, just maybe, I cut the grapes in half…

4 comments

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  1. Tracy

    Moving from being your child’s parent to your child’s ONLY parent seems very easy to own in theory, but in practice, I would think the feeling becomes overwhelming at times. They need you as much as you need them during this time. Love each other hard during these longs days so soon after a massive loss.

    I do not envy you, however I think of you often and check in her daily to see your updates. Know that there is a mom in Minnesota sending you strength and thoughts of love.

  2. Anna in Turin

    The thing is, they have only you to count on now…..and once you’ve experienced loss and trauma, anxiety threshold goes sky high. I can understand why you are going a bit out there….you’ve been through so so much, it’s all hitting you now…..You just take it one day, one hour, one minute at a time….eventually and whenever that will be…..things will get easier. Je t’embrasse.

  3. Oana

    That sounds like an awful weight to bear, on top of everything else. Have you talked to your GP about whether this is crossing into treatable anxiety territory? Those types of repetitive thoughts of harm remind me a lot of my PPD/PPA after my first was born.

  4. Debbie in the UK

    I remember the family losing my little 4 year old niece from a rogue MMR injection and for years after I never felt safe. I felt as thought ANYTHING could happen to any one of us at any moment.

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