I’m a huge true crime junkie and listen to farrrrrr too much murder for a woman who lives alone. Oddly enough, I don’t worry about being murdered as much as I worry about something happening to someone I love. I’ve read this prompt three times and realized that my fears are basically trivial and not terribly… scary.
This requires a little more soul searching and a little more time spent delving into the scary stuff… those dark areas of my heart that I try not to give much light to.
It’s been a year of loss in my life. I’ve buried too many friends and let some friendships fall by the wayside in being overwhelmingly depressed. I have to admit that my biggest fear is being stuck in this sad place instead of having enough love for myself to want to climb out of the swamp.
The world lost a truly incredible man this week. Kirk Miller was a beloved member of my community and a dear friend. His son played at my house as a little kid and my heart is in my throat as I realize for the umpteenth time that “I’m sorry for your loss is a hollow sentiment when it feels like your entire universe has imploded. Kirk made the world beautiful, with no expectation of profit or success. He lived a quiet, remarkable life that filled the world with beauty. I spend so much time going through the motions, folding the same laundry, scrubbing the same floors, making the same recipes… etc. Having someone so quietly spectacular leave the world so suddenly, reminds me that I need to light a fire under my own exceptional life. I worry that I waste so much time doing the necessary stuff and focusing on the things that are missing in my life, that I neglect the truly important things I should be more focused on. I absolutely fear the idea of running out of time having wasted all of mine on stupid shit that makes me unhappy.
I worry most about being in a situation where I can’t protect my children. I have two over the age of 18 and I’d bet my life they’ve been in some sketchy situations that would turn my hair grey. I don’t even want to know. I have my own scary list that would send my poor mother to her grave early. Yesterday was the 8 year anniversary of my stupid ass flying to Puerto Rico for a first date with (surprise!) someone else’s husband. I’m lucky my mother didn’t lock me in a box after that and I was in my thirties. I suppose after having put myself in such an awful situation that gave no respect to the hard work she put in to get me to that point, I gained a fresh perspective about the value of my life. It’s one thing to lay my own neck on the line… it’s quite another to have my children in danger and not be able to help them. I’d rather fly to meet that moron again before watching any of them do something so stupid and reckless. I can hardly stomach the thought of something happening to any of my beloved trio, let alone in my presence.
Then we have the damn vermin. Those awful mice. My biggest childhood fear and the source of all my screaming. I grew up in a 100 year old farm house and the attic was my bedroom. My dad was a chef, not a builder, and his idea of making the attic into bedrooms was nailing some drywall up to the existing lathe and plaster walls. I spent much of my childhood listening to those awful creatures chew on the chalky white drywall, as they tried to get back into the rest of the house. I regularly woke up with mouse turds on my bed in the morning. My sister slept with her mouth open (shudder) and I was forever afraid she was going to have one climb in. Ack. As an adult… I have less patience and more fear than ever. Their shitty little descendants have recently decided to use the ceiling above my bed (my very own attic in my house) to run laps in the night. I haven’t slept well in weeks because I wake up wide eyed, horrified… and contemplating putting the Dumpling in the car with our cats and dogs, lighting a match and burning the whole damn thing down.
I grew up with my mama telling me that many fears were borne of fatigue and loneliness. I have learned a million times over how very right she is. I had a phone call from a beloved friend last night and it broke my heart wide open. She told me about the man she loved, who worked overtime to hurt and disrespect her. He has one foot in her life and one foot in someone else’s, and the saddest thing to hear was how much love and understanding she has to offer someone who can’t be troubled to worry about her feelings or how destructive his selfishness is. With no thought to her own shattered heart, she told me how much she hoped it would work out and how happy she was to see him again. My greatest fear is that I encouraged such lunacy or fed the idea that disinterested men, change. They never do. If he can shit on your heart from the beginning, he will never turn into that guy your friend’s and family hope you’ll have in your life and heart. Nobody ever says “When we met he was a miserable fuckboy but now he’s an incredible husband and father.” As sad as it is and as hard as it is to reconcile that you could possibly love someone who could so flagrantly disregard you… it’s just the way it is.
Fear keeps you in places you shouldn’t stay. Fear borne of hard lessons gives your heart too much fuel to keep fighting losing battles.
I wish all of mine were as easy to deal with as mice.