The Family

The Family

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I know what it's like to be afraid.

Fear has been an unwanted companion most of my life.

About 10 years ago the panic attacks started. Just when everything in life seemed to be going well. Go figure.

I still get them from time to time. It's usually in the middle of the night, and I wake up and IT'S there. Cold, raw fear. Nothing explainable other than a sense of doom.

It shouldn't come as a surprise to me then when I see it in him. You think I would know how to handle it or would be able to offer better advice, but it often confounds me when his fears take over.

Like tonight when I told him about possibly having to do something he is afraid of. The tears came fast and before I knew it he was practically screaming.

He woke up his sister.

Anger boils up, and I send him to his room. Only he doesn't make it halfway out the door when he stops and says he's sorry, and I tell him to climb back into bed with us.

When he's calmed down enough to listen, and my frustration has subsided, all I know to do in that moment is hug.

Then we talk - about fear and trust and bravery and faith.

The initial fear passes for the night.

But when the time comes to do this or anything he's dreading, the fear will rise up again.

Will I handle it better when it does?

Can I let him be afraid and encourage bravery without frustration taking hold of me?

Can I be the mom that guides and teaches him how to navigate the scary waters when some of the same agonies plague me? 

Questions like this remind me of how little I actually know and how much I still have to learn.

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