Fear, anxiety, dark, alone, all these words evoke a sense of panic. What is it about fear that is so crippling? Fear is not really a unique human emotion either, animals have been documented to experience fear. Fear drives us to fight, flight or freeze. We as humans are sometimes controlled by fear, even unrecognized fear in our daily lives. I know I am a slave to fear at times. I am searching for a way out, leaving the fear behind to begin anew. Is this an impossible task? Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t but I aim to find out. I don’t make new year’s resolutions because of fear. What if I fail? What if the resolution isn’t really where I need to focus in my life? What happens if I succeed in the resolution only to find out it didn’t matter? I do know that some of these fears are not rational, but somehow I insist on feeding them. Is that the curse of being a human? As I am pondering this it occurs to me that some fear is healthy and normal. A feeling of danger is an innate instinct possibly given to humans by God. There have been countless stories of humans not going on a plane or a trip, and then something tragic happens and they are spared. Or even the mother who wakes at night startled with the feeling that something is wrong with her newborn only to find that in fact something is wrong. This innate instinct can be seen as a beautiful gift that only humans possess. The key though is not to let fear run our lives, I fail at this tremendously.
When life hasn’t been easy then anxiety becomes an old faithful friend. Not the sort of friend one would intend to have, but non the less anxiety is there. I am a slave to my anxiety at times simply because of my genetics, as well as, life circumstances. Is it normal to have so much anxiety? Perhaps not, I don’t mind though anxiety is a consistent in my life. If I let it go, I plunge into chaos. My anxiety stems from many things in my life. One, as a child I was sick on and off, my parents who loved me with all their hearts went through many battles that married couples do. Leading me to be scared when someone yells at me even today. As a teen I was developed physically at an early age, leading to boys harassing me and girls hating me. Then enters collage years, freshman 15, more like freshman 25. My parents at the time lived overseas and I was in college in Ohio. I never liked to be far from home and this was indeed very far.
Then the sexual assault that shook my whole world. A foreign student I tried to befriend because he seemed to be somewhat of a loner. My heart is too big at times, I learned this during college. We were all supposed to meet at my dorm for a movie night, he came early. Locking the door behind him as he came into my room. The rest was terrifying. When he left I had no idea what to do, I went to the bathroom, then came back and sat on my bed. My friends then arrived at my dorm asking me what was wrong, I pretended I was fine. I couldn’t even comprehend what just happened. I sat there in stunned silence as the movie played on, I couldn’t even tell you what the movie was. I left the room mid movie went down the hall to the common room and then called my mom. My dad at the time was deployed. I then went to the police station then having to endure cops questioning me playing good cop, bad cop. The bad cop was saying I am lying making it all up, nothing happened. Then they did a rape kit on me, this is the worst humiliation after what happened. Talk about undignified traumatic experience. There were bruises forming, and internal and external scratches, yet the one cop still didn’t believe me. After a day in my room not leaving for class my brother who was at a college not far from mine came up and helped me pack my room so I could stay with him while the investigation carried out. The dean of the school reached out with his own questions for me, finally concluding I could return home to my parents and finish my courses there for credit. At the end of his phone call his last statement shook me. He asked if I was honest and told my parents what happened insinuating that I made everything up. I was appalled, and calmly but firmly replied that what I tell my parents is my business and that maybe he needed to look up how to be a decent human being. Slamming the phone down on the receiver I went to the police station. The cops had me sign a paper telling me that they are sending the foreign student home. I still don’t know to this day if they ever really believed me.
Moving on to adult years, I was back home in Germany with my parents, my father at the time I arrived home was deployed to a war zone. I then made lots of friends as I went to college on the base seemingly finding my niche in life. I got into going out and having fun at all hours of the night, losing sight of what was important in life. Party after party, boyfriend after boyfriend I was falling downhill. Then one day at the age of 20 I met my now husband. He came out of nowhere and our love struck like a lightning bolt. He was the best thing for me. We got married a month later but then enter the dating while married phase.
Our first three years of marriage were full of adjustments, moves, turmoil, miscarriages, and dating. It was a hell of a ride. Those first years where fundamental in creating our relationship as it is today, strong. He was there to pick up the shattered pieces of me, he placed them together while loving all of me. My love for him was the strongest emotion I have ever felt, there before me every single day was my best friend. Sure we had some hellish fights and horrid experiences but he was there, he never left me. Through my darkest moments his eyes shined at me with love. I found my strength in the strength that he offered. I did the same for him, never leaving him, holding him, renewing his spirit. Losing our children shaped us as adults, it broke our hearts over and over again. The love we have for each other and the deep understanding we have is the glue. We will never be the same but we will always be together.
Fear is present in my health struggles. Not fear of dying for I have no fear of that. When I die I will see my children. What a beautiful day that will be. Heaven with the Lord and my babies. Then soon my husband will come, we can finally be a complete family. My parents will eventually be there too along with all my ancestors; this is not to be feared this is to be longed for. The fear is from what will happen if I leave the earth to soon to my loved ones? I fear for their well- being, there emotional health. I fear for them grieving. That is why my health issues make me fearful.
Not letting fear control, me is a goal of mine. Having anxiety take the back seat instead of driving me. Life has not been easy for me but it has provided me with the ability to find joy. I am so loved by my family and my husband, is there anything greater than this? Take my advice look for joy in your life, understand fear and anxiety will be present but make them back up, you step forward taking control.
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