I want to talk about fear. Real, crippling, totally irrational fear.
I hate to fly. My flight to Charlotte on Wednesday was a sweaty-palmed silent prayer nerve fest. Upon take-off and landing (my two least favorite things about flying but yet the things that make flying oh-so-different from being on the ground) there are the usual bumps and it scares the shit out of me. Every bump, every bit o’ turbulence signifies the end of my life as I know it. I was holding Peanut and nursing her so that her ears would pop to adjust to the pressure (I read about that… in a book) and I tried to focus on her so that I wouldn’t be so nervous. Didn’t work. I was so sweaty that where her body touched mine her onesie was damp with my sweat. The leveled-out flying isn’t so bad unless we go through clouds because that causes turbulence too. And since I have been on a plane in the air when it was STRUCK BY LIGHTNING I’m not too keen on any weather of any kind touching the plane I happen to be on.
I know that a fear of flying is common. Flying is fucking SCARY. If your plane crashes, YOU WILL DIE. Plain and simple (oh shit, a pun). Flying is pretty safe and I know that — it’s safer than being in a car or train. I get that. Really, I appreciate it. But shit, you are putting your life in the hands of several people you don’t even know. What about the dudes that sit in the ‘exit’ seats? What if one of those fuckers decides to open the door while we’re flying? We’ll all get sucked out. What if the pilot or a flight attendant goes bat-shit crazy? Seriously, these are the things that run through my head on a flight.
Flying with Peanut was fine. She slept most of the time. I was exhausted but couldn’t sleep because as soon as I fall asleep I know that someone will steal stuff out of my carry-on bag that’s sitting in the empty seat next to me, or worse – someone will take or hurt the baby.
As you’re reading this you are probably thinking that I’m too paranoid. Yes, I agree. When I tell someone that I’m afraid of something or give them a ‘what if’ scenario I most often get the ‘you worry too much’ or ‘you’ve got a very vivid imagination and you’re scaring yourself with it’ responses. Yeah, I know.
I don’t just worry about flying.
I have the light in the bathroom on so I can see in the room just in case my niece turns into a psychopath, climbs out of her pack ‘n play, and decides to attack all of us with the pointy end of a crayon. If the light is on I can make sure that everything is okay.
I am such an anxious person and I hate it that I’m so sensitive. I’m overly protective of my kid. I check on her constantly especially if she’s laying right next to me. I’ll lay my hand on her torso so I can make sure that I feel her heartbeat and to make sure that she is still breathing. I know that new moms do that but I wonder if I do it to excess.
Being this way is exhausting. For almost the entire month of July I couldn’t sleep because I was so worried that someone was going to break into our apartment and I had to come up with a plan for what my family would do if something like that happened. In reality JuJu and I do have a plan so that’s usually the one I use in my scenario so it makes me feel more calm about it but those thoughts still kept me up until three and sometimes as late as five in the morning. Try not getting enough sleep with an infant and then throw some neuroses in to get a woman who is so tired that she can’t function properly.
I feel like my health and relationships suffer because of these worries. Am I pushing people away because I’m too much to deal with? Is JuJu going to leave me because I’m always stressed out? I’m a disaster and I think that I need some professional help. I need to see a counselor and get on some anti-anxiety medication.
I need help. I can’t live like this anymore. And I know that this post started out kind of humorous but it didn’t stay that way. Sorry. Nighttime is usually when my mind wanders. I honestly think that we need a TV in the bedroom so I can fall asleep watching it. That way, I’m focused on something and not allowing myself free-think time when I know it will be most emotionally detrimental to me.
*A medical condition known as a “non-specific fear” or “the fear of everything” and is described as “a vague and persistent dread of some unknown evil.” (per Wikipedia, holla)