Fear is a lesson we learn as we grow…….a mystery we unravel in and of ourselves that speaks volumes to the content of our upbringing and self sufficiency. Fear guides with a suffocating grip that paralyses and renders you incapable of clear thought. All logic is lost…….reality gives way to imagination and “what if?”
Intuition is a gift, a means of communication that whispers direction and protects you, if you can learn to listen. Intuition speaks in a deft tone, subtle but nagging.
My battle became differentiating between fear and intuition. Finding what drove me to run, and what paralyzed me to stay.
I survived the crash……I survived the wave.
Now what was left is the pieces, like shattered rain drops that just couldn’t seem to find their way back together. Parts of me evaporated……I knew that. I could no longer exist as I once had.
Rewind, push play.
Desperation defined me. It grew through my life like a rapist vine, tangled around me, covering hope and blocking love. I was desperate for emotion that didn’t wash me away and leave me worse than before. I was desperate for the day everyone promised me…..when it “wouldn’t be so hard.”
It never came. It never will.
I was desperate to be something my sons might be proud of. And had no idea what that meant….or where to start. I was a torn blank page. There is incredible danger in desperation…..it can drive you to extremes and require the forfeiture of self to appease itself.
I wasn’t a person I liked. I didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin….it was like wearing wet concrete that was drying……constricting as the moisture was drawn from the stone. And so began the shut down.
“I just need to go”……..became a capstone statement in our house. I would spend my day exerting every ounce of energy to breathe and fake my way through being a mom. Leaving my child shorthanded, and being fully aware of it. I felt like I was swinging as hard as I could and never making contact. I was battling my grief and losing. Hunter was losing. The truth………the truth is I was incapable of love. The part of me that had once been so open to wrapping my heart around someone had been savagely ripped from my soul. Now I looked at every person as a potential to feel that loss again and experienced the worst type of fear……the honest kind.
I lost one son. I lost him for no reason. He was taken from me without explanation…..with no just cause. I had no explanation, no one to blame…..what I had left was fear and Hunter. Never ever, under any circumstances have I ever not loved my son….I realize that now. But the idea that I could lose him too, paralyzed my ability to connect with him in the way we both desperately needed. I cared for him physically……I washed him, fed him, held him, and provided for him…….but I couldn’t lie with him in my arms and listen to his heart beat. I tried every night……..I would run my fingers over his skin and wish he had a better mom, someone who could ensure his safety and be there for him emotionally. I wished I could fix the hurt and offer him a better explanation than “it just is.” I would curl my fingers in his hair and feel the concrete constrict while my mind screwed me to the wall with thoughts like,
“What would you do if you lost him too?” “What would you do if he was gone?” “What if he hates you like you hate you?” “What if he blames you?”
The sting of the questions was intolerable. I love this tiny human more than life………I was gambling with my life by loving him so much. I was gambling with his by subjecting myself to him. Nothing about this was fair…….nothing about this was easy, or remotely tolerable. It was a nightmare we lived in. I found out then, and still believe now the following statement:
There is nothing scarier than loving someone. No greater risk.
I had gone all in on 4 aces and had my ass handed to me with a royal flush. I lost everything.
At this point I was begging, in desperation, for enough strength to buy my way back into the game. Hunter was forced to sit idle, while I gathered resources.
He knew I was withdrawn, it’s a wound that may never heal, for either of us.
The first time I knew how badly we were destroyed we were driving to town for groceries. The radio was on and he kicked the chair behind the passenger seat, talking over the music and jabbering about whatever struck him at the moment.
“Why didn’t you stop the truck mom?”
I slammed on the breaks, harder than I meant to and the car slammed to a stop, I veered off the road and looked back at him. His face was stone cold and I searched his eyes, anger.
“What son?” I asked cautiously, unsure if I wanted a repeat question.
“Why did you let him run over my brother?” Fear.
My worst fear. He blamed me.
There it was….the question I asked myself over and over from my three year old son. Why.
He blamed me. Fear.
I was paralyzed, my mouth went dry. I stared at him and felt the familiar rush of tears encase my eyes and spill over the edge.
I swallowed hard, but I couldn’t force it down…my mouth went chalk dry.
Trying to sound authoritative and keep it together, I responded…..
“It was an accident.”
“What’s an asswadent?”he looked puzzled. I was reminded of his innocence but struggled with the sharp knife that had just severed my last dangling strands of sanity.
“It means, it’s no one’s fault, and it wasn’t supposed to happen.”
I searched his tiny perfect face and he searched mine. Check mate.
Had I not been emotionally vacant I would have turned around and drove somewhere beautiful and sat with him in my arms while I explained my thoughts on heaven and life…..I would have stroked his questions and feelings with love and compassion like a good mother would have. I was stunned. I was surprised. I was dying inside. I couldn’t believe it was possible to actually hurt worse. I couldn’t stop this bleed……..I opened the car door and puked.
I turned up the radio, and pulled back onto the road. His feet didn’t swing, he didn’t jabber. There are limits to a person’s abilities, limits on what they can withstand. For me, interpersonal relationships became an insurmountable climb that I didn’t have the tools for any longer. I was barely staying afloat, and sinking fast.
He still asks, and it still hurts. He is a child looking for and seeking understanding, not a child attempting to cut. I have evolved my answers into opportunities to teach him what I’ve learned about loss and life.
I will never forgive myself for my emotional vacancy to my son……ever. He deserves the best version of me possible, every day. He deserves all of the love in the world, and I aim to gather it up and weave it together into a blanket of security and faith that is unparalleled.
Every living thing has an electrical force that radiates off of it……..it interacts with all other living things and directly correlates to their intrinsic emotion, it’s a scientific law called “quantum interaction.” Everything good I’ve ever done, any positive force that radiates from me…..is Hunter. My son is a gift from God. A living, breathing, walking, talking glimpse of heaven and all it has to offer. He is a lesson in patience and selflessness. He is the first drop of rain, on a hot summer day. He’s the silver that lines the clouds against a royal blue night sky. He is the river I stand in to fly fish, while it changes around me, rushing into me with Goliath force, in a sense of hurried push that I can’t slow down, growing older….a new child every day, while I stand like a fool casting my line to catch a tiny moment of his beauty, dying to hold it in my hands, if only for a moment. He is a gamble, and a risk. I put my heart on the line every time I let him out of my grasp, and the safety of my embrace. Letting him be a child, and have a childhood full of bumps and bruises (and life) is so insanely hard for me that I usually hold my breath, and brace with trembling hands and heart. I find him identifying it and reaffirming me that
“it is oooootay mom.” He is all that is good.
I can’t lose him. I know it.
God knows it.
I pray for another day, every day. I thank God for every moment I’m blessed with him and pray I don’t let him down. Ever. Although I know I will……..continually. Together, we grow.
There are many moments I fell short, but it was never for a lack of trying. I did the best I could…..every day. It’s all you can do. I have learned to accept my mistakes and learn from them, improve even just a little and it becomes a lesson. There is always room for improvement when it comes to loving someone.
I am a work in progress.
I have found that in order to be even mildly successful in relationships it is important to decipher between fear and intuition, particularly when it comes to your child. You are inherently blessed with intuition as to their well being, when shrouded in fear, you no longer act in their best interest, or even your own. You act out of preservation, and inhibit life from continuing. Everything is that way. If you abandon it, based on fear you will live with regret. If you move forward, based on intuition you will feel fulfilled in your choice. The difference is the direction you are driven. Stagnation is fear. Progression is intuition.
I’m all in on my son. I’m all in and I am fully educated in the art of losing. Knowing what the risk is, and doing it anyway………is a true testament to my devotion to my child.
He is worth it. Love is worth it.