Today I'm supposed to write something about myself that most people don't know. I'm supposed to be open and honest...
I've been hearing sirens all morning - ambulances, fire engines and police. Something big happened close by and it's been going on for hours. Here's the thing about me most people don't know - I HAD TO call my husband to make sure he was OK. It was a compulsion. I had to call just to hear his voice and know he isn't caught up in what ever awful thing happened so close to my home, that I can't stop hearing the after effects. He's fine, but ever since we hung up, I have been trying to keep myself from calling my son's nursery school just to make sure nothing happened there. The thing is, other then my neurotic fears, I have no reason to call there. So I have to just wait for it to be time to pick him up to make sure he is ok and the school hasn't blown up.
These are real thoughts that go through my mind. I really do worry like that pretty much all the time. I'm neurotic to the core and have to work to keep a lid on it and keep myself in check. Even as I type this, I am trying to stop myself from calling the school because it's so hard to ignore all of the sirens in the background. Maybe I should turn on the local news... OK, the news is on in the background now.
I say most people don't know this about me because I really do work hard at keeping people from knowing this about me. I silently struggle with it and for the most part, almost never say any of it out loud.
Every moment my cats are out during the day, I am quietly worried that they may not come home. I almost didn’t take this house because it’s a water front property and I was worried that they might fall in the water and drown. I take a secret breath of relief when my husband comes home from work and I constantly worry about my little boy. I have a special guard of the stove to keep him from being able to pull a pot down on himself, guards on the windows and when he was a baby, I had a devise that went under his mattress so if he stopped breathing an alarm would go off to alert me. I HAVE to check on him before I go to bed. If I didn't, I would never be able to sleep.
I'm also the sort of person that wouldn't be able to sleep if I couldn't remember if we locked up for the night. I could be absolutely exhausted and already in bed, but if there is the slightest chance that the door may be unlocked, I would have to get out of bed and walk down 3 floors just to make sure.
We woke up one night to the fire alarm going off in the house. It was a fluke. There was nothing wrong. Everything was fine. It went off for 30 seconds and stopped, but I never got back to sleep. I laid awake the rest of the night planning our escape route in case of a fire. We sleep on the top floor of a three story house. If there was ever a fire - we'd be in real trouble, but I still couldn't talk my husband into buying me the drop down fire ladder that I found the next day on eBay.
Every time my son and husband leave the house together without me, I worry it might be the very last time I see them and continue worry until they get home. Ever since 9/11, I am afraid of flying and usually don't relax until we're half way through a flight because I tell myself if a terrorist was going to blow us up, they would have done it already.
When ever we have to take a long car ride, I secretly worry there will be an accident and don't like doing it since my son was born. When the time came to get my son his first car seat, I researched for days on end buying the best and safest one on the market. Money was no object when it came to keeping him safe and giving me peace of mind.
I have to say though, that I don't constantly worry, biting my nails with bated breath and furiously sweating. I worry with quiet subtle anxiety that is just below the surface that I am aware of, but try not to acknowledge. It doesn’t stop me from living my life or get in the way. I still took this house even though it’s on the water, I don’t try to stop my family from going out without me, I still fly and still get in the car for long car rides. It doesn’t run my life or ruin it for that matter, but it’s there. Most of the time it’s there and I quietly fight it back and try to just get on with it because there just no other way around it.