I lived in fear for a decade. Afraid so often and so consistently that I moved between two states, acute fear and the fear of experiencing acute fear.
My daughter would scream at me and I would freeze, wide eyed and fighting not to run as my heart beat in my ears and my chest seized my breath in a vice.
In the quiet and the calm I basked in the peace and happiness, while a hidden half of me waited, poised, ready, tense for the danger to arrive again.
What was the danger? Loud noise, family conflict, vacations, unexpected expenses, car breakdown … anything that disrupted a consistent and peaceful existence – so life. Life was the danger and I lived either actively afraid, or waiting for the next moment in which I would be.
It was exhausting both for myself, and for the people who loved me.
After undergoing EMDR for my PTS, and finding more healing than I could have ever imagined, I still have some niggling fear of the future, fear of going it alone after my divorce, fear of dying alone now that it is clear how infinitely unloveable I really am. But this is a new starting point. This is fear I can see and hold, fear that I can examine, fear I can look at instead of being caught in it’s piercing stare and left helpless.
I find myself cultivating a curiosity about this new and knowable fear. Who will I be in a year, in two years? What will I fear when sleeping alone is a joy instead of a hurt? What will keep me up at night when I really can accept that I’m lovable and wonderful and my ex just wanted something/someone else (I’m sunshine he needs shade, right?)?
The best part about my curiosity is that it reinforces to me how much I’ve healed. Curiosity about my future indicates a plan to be a part of it. Curiosity about my future indicates some kind of acceptance of the unknown and unknowable.
And my curiosity is in direct conflict with my fear – and my curiosity appears to be winning. HOORAY ME!
Featured Image “Burgeoning Curiosity” 2018