Monday, December 14, 2009
And the Greatest of These Is Fear
My Mom used to tell me I was a scaredy cat.
She used to also sing me the song: "Every party needs a pooper, that's why we invited you, party poo-per, party poo-per", but that's for another discussion. We have already mentioned the pleasant, agreeable child I once was. Let's just leave it at that.
I couldn't even list things that I was afraid of as a child, but as an adult, I'm afraid of (in no particular order):
- most gas appliances
- on occasion, my husband's driving
- putting my hand into strange, dark places
- spiders and spiderwebs
- most insects
- thunderstorms and/or tornadoes
- large dogs
- some teenagers
- slimy things
I admit it. I am a scaredy-cat. There, I said it out loud.
When Abby was diagnosed with Infantile Spasms, my most overwhelming emotion was fear. I was afraid. How do I cope? I asked myself. What does this mean? Who will my child be? Can we really do this?
Why is God mad at me?
But you adjust. You learn to cope, and develop strategies to muddle your way through.
I am afraid of spiders, but I compensate by getting a really, really big pair of shoes to squish them with. I am afraid of thunderstorms, but I keep my weather radio handy and will hide in the basement when it gets too intense. Earthworms are not scary if I wear garden gloves when touching them.
When Abby had that first, very intense round of seizures, I was very afraid. The second go-round, I was still afraid, but I felt better equipped. I knew the worst was behind us.
And now, as we plunge into a third round, there is fear, but also anger. We went almost 20 glorious months without a seizure. Until this week. I didn't know for sure until today, but it was unmistakable. And Abby knew. She's been trying to communicate it to me the past four days. She'd been crying, restless, clingy non-stop for four days. It came to a head this afternoon, when she refused to leave my side.
And then I saw it.
When it was done, there was fear in her eyes, but she saw that I knew. She cried in my arms, and all I could do was hold her tight. But then we were at peace again, and the crying, the restlessness, the absolute clinginess stopped. She was more herself again. The fear, that loneliness from holding her secret was gone.
There's nothing scarier than being alone with your fears.