Fear Comes Quickly


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When I was born almost 31 years ago I came at the end of my mother’s fertile years.  I was the last of my parent’s kids to be born and came almost ten years after my next oldest brother.  I don’t know what it was about this that was particularly heart wrenching for my mother… but she tells me now that back then she used to cry long and hard as I slept in her arms, swaddled in my blankie. 

She cried because she was afraid.  She was afraid she was going to “lose” me.

My mom was like a lot of parents.  A lot of parents who give two flips about their children are going to worry about them… and worry about possibly “losing” them.  Most are able to push the thought out of their mind as if they’re shooing away a pesky fly.  Some, like myself, have issues with these intrusive thoughts to an OCD level.  As much as I’d like to shoo away the thought, it starts to fester and depress me.

“How would I ever live?” I begin to ask myself.  I imagine life devoid from the one thing that has proved to bring me so much joy beyond which I’ve ever though capable. 

As quickly as I ask the question above… I ask myself this question shortly thereafter: “Why the hell am I even thinking this?!”

The only answer I can come up with is fear.

Fear struck me hard last night.  I went into her bedroom under a blanket of darkness with only my cell phone light to provide me with guidance.  As it turned out, DLG wasn’t fully asleep and the light emanating from my cell phone was just enough to stir her awake.  After quickly retreating from her bedroom in hopes she’d go back to sleep… I quickly returned in response to her, “My Daddddyyyyyy” cries.  I resorted to cuddling with her and singing her favorite lullaby.

As I stood there, rubbing her back and singing to her… she clutched me as only a daughter clutches her daddy. 

In that dark room.. I started to become afraid.

Tears began to flow freely.

“What would I ever do… if I didn’t have this anymore?” I thought.

I then clutched her as only a daddy clutches his young daughter.

It’s been a while since I’ve been struck like that.  Those types of feelings hit me quite a bit more when DLG was a more fragile, strange, uncoordinated newborn.  Now, while it’s still as unwanted as it was before, it’s almost harder because I thought I’d kicked the fear in the ass.

Fear has a way of making you stronger though.  As history repeated itself through my first few bouts with this fear… I began to realize that what didn’t kill me only made me stronger.

I know that this too will pass, the fear will dissolve and be replaced with an even more rock-solid love.

But to get there it’s painful sometimes.

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Does anyone else deal with crippling fears regarding their kids?

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11 responses to “Fear Comes Quickly

  1. Often, especially with my son. Bubba is all boy and as such, has the tendency to act first and ask questions later on. I have imagined all sorts of catastrophes that have happened to him over time. What you are experiencing is completely normal for any parent. Especially a father whose job it is to protect our families from danger, the boogie man, or dinosaurs (well, not anymore).

    I have used this fear to my advantage. First, I helps keep me in check, to focus on the stuff that really matters. Imagining that one of my kids wasn’t here tomorrow all of the sudden makes the crayon mark on the wall insignificant. Second, it helps me appreciate my children all the more. When getting to be with your kids daily is taken from you, I gotta make the most of the time that I have. Using that fear of loss helps me to do that. I leverage it to show the affection and tenderness that I might not otherwise.

    Don’t beat yourself up over this. Its normal and is proof that your a KICK-ASS dad.

  2. Bad news… it doesn’t go away. You’ll have that fear forever.

    I think it’s pretty normal. If it ever gets to the point that you can’t let her get on the school bus or play in the back yard, then maybe get some pills for that, yo.

    No, seriously, I believe it’s a healthy fear that God puts inside of us to know how very important this responsibility is. It’s the switch He flips when our babies are born that force us to grow up and quit being assholes.

    Not that you’re an asshole. But I might have been… at one time…

    Just my opinion!

    • Thanks for commenting Mama….

      I was an asshole… not an asshole to individuals in particular… but just an asshole who took life in general for granted. I don’t now.

  3. I can totally relate. I wasn’t prepared for the depths that fear can go when I became a mom. It’s very complex. I’ve always heard that love and hate are similar emotions but I disagree- I think it’s love and fear (and I think fear can be easily misinterpreted as hate).

    A friend of mine- that I know through blogging- lost her son to suicide in the spring. She has shared openly her struggle, her pain, her anguish, her despair. He was almost 21.

    The fear never goes away. In fact, I’d bet it grows.

  4. I know exactly how you feel. All of the time I get these “visions” of horrible things happening to my kids. Like me falling down the stairs while carrying them. Stuff that involves them being hurt, and losing them. It drives me insane. My daughter is 5 and my son is 2 and I still get them. There was an accident in my area recently where a 4 year old boy and 7 year old girl(bro and sis) were run over by a truck while crossing the street. The boy died and the girl is in intensive care. I cried like a child when I read it because it made me think about what I would do if it were my kids.
    I don’t think that fear will ever leave me. If you find a way to “shoo it away,” please let me know.

  5. Being a parent is just plain terrifying. Those fears have a way of ambushing you when you least expect it, too. The devil don’t play fair.

  6. The Fear is real for all truly good and loving parents. I felt it the first time my newborn choked on her spit, about 6 hours after being born. Before that I was just in awe that she was with me. After feeling it, it never leaves. You know this. Somedays it’s just at a normal level and other days it rises to crazy high ‘you’re never leaving this house’ levels. Also, it doesn’t get easier the more children you have.

  7. I won’t say my fear is greater than yours…I’ll say that my fear is more real instead. I was very paranoid about both my girls as they slept in the cribs. Worried about SIDS. I’d creep up to them and watch their chests move so I’d know they’re alive. My wife tried to reassure me, but I always needed to see for myself. Always.

  8. I have these too and they can be pretty crippling. I’m either terrified that something will happen to one of my kids or that something will happen to me and I’ll leave them alone and holy shit I’m feeling a little panicky just typing this out.

  9. Chris my man, even though I dont yet have kids I can tell you that I often find myself doing this in general. I am always thinking about the worst case scenario, the most horrible thing to happen, how bad it would be, etc… I honestly thin that a big part of it is merely to protect ourselves and to make sure we are prepared “just in case”

    It truly seems silly at times but then again, as a Man we are supposed to be strong and in control in tough situations and maybe this is our way of making sure that is the case?

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