Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fear Is Scary Stuff

I hate fear. I despise feeling afraid. I dislike living in a culture that plays on our fears. I get frustrated with people that are overanxious.

Fear is inescapable really. It is on the television. It is on the news. It is all around us. Furthermore, it springs up from inside us. We are all afraid of something. Some fears we grow out of as adults. Other fears grow with time. Some fears appear out of nowhere.

I am not OCD, but I do have some obscessive compulsive tendencies. Sometimes I have to double and triple check locks. When I was in college the only way I got through this was to say outloud what I had done. "I have locked the door. I have my keys. I can go," I would say to myself.

Today on trips I have to do this with my phone, wallet, checkbook etc. And if something is not right with my CPAP machine, I am near a nervous breakdown. It is not pretty.

Most of my adult life I have made a conscious effort to not let fear rule my life. I often fear failure. I choose to face down that fear, and to take risks. I sometimes fear rejection, and so I force myself to put myself "out there" with people anyway. I also get really anxious while talking on the phone, but we will talk about that later.

I do have fears, but most of the time I am not afraid. I am not afraid of going into bad neighborhoods. I don't fear another terrorist attack like September 11. I don't often let people bully me around by making me feel afraid.

Lately, though, as I am forming a family, I get more and more anxious about all sorts of things, and it really bothers me. I get anxious about general stuff. This week I had to drive to a meeting in Denver. I found myself getting worried about it, and pondering how I could get out of making the drive. I worry about Jennifer driving back and forth to Pueblo. I get concerned that if I leave dishes to soak in the sink overnight that mice might get to them , and I fixate on this for several minutes. I get anxious about a thousand different things that usually don't concern me in the least.

And, with a child on the way, I get anxious and fearful about being a parent. Will I change diapers right? Will I put in the car seat correct? Will the child be kidnapped? molested? Will I pass on problems that I have to my child? How much time should I put the child in daycare? What if I drop the baby? What if our child becomes a meth addict? What if she is one of those meth users that loses her virginity in a public bathroom stall like on the billboard? Will I be able to love the child enough if it is born disabled? Is Fowler a good place to raise our child? Should I move closer to family? What if I get in a car accident? What if I prepare formula wrong? Will it mess our child up for life? What if I drop the baby? What if the wobbly railing on the stairway breaks? Fear is scary stuff!

And what I find is that my anxiety about being a parent makes me more worrisome and fearful about just about everything. Is this normal? Or am I just being wierd.


Eric L said...

My two cents:
Fowler was a great place to grow up as a kid.
10th Street Tots is a decent daycare, I hear. :)

As Yoda said, "There is no try, only do." Don't "try" to be a good parent, just do it. This fear/compulsion with the future is your way of working through scenarios so that when they occur, you'll already know what you want to do.

Anonymous said...

So your overcome with fear and worry? Yep, your going to be a parent. Ive been a mom for 28 years. When I look at those kids Roger and I raised, its easy to see how great they turned out. There is only one real reason for that. Gods grace. We screwed up alot. But Gods grace made it all turn out good. Thats why you and Jen will be awesome parents and you will raise an amazing child. Annette

Friar Tuck said...

I guess I would think overcome was a little strong.

What I find intriguing is that my fears about being a parent bleeds out into other things. I find myself being more uncomfortable about doing things that I never considered being concerned about before. It is strange.

Sometimes I wish I was younger and had not worked with kids before I became a parent. Then I could be blissfully ignorant about all the things to worry about.

sleeping with bread said...

What a wonderful daddy you will make! You've heard: when a child is born a mother and father are also born . . . she/he didn't exist before . . . the woman/man did . . . but not the mother and father. Sounds like formation to me! You've also heard maybe that to have a child is to forever have your heart go walking around outside your body! Blessings to you . . . mommy and your sweet baby!

Ashley said...

Oh why did I feel compelled to read your blog tonight after so many years? I am going through something quite similar. This, too shall pass... we just think too much. Ignorance may actually be bliss... take care and stop worrying!!!