I had to take an online Child Abuse Prevention Training course this week at work. I took it on Monday, which as you may recall was a pretty emotional day (pretty as in “very” because it certainly wasn’t “pretty”), and it was a disaster. I’m glad that I sit with my back to the rest of the people in my office because I am not sure I am ready for all of these new work people to see me in such a destroyed state.
1. My greatest (irrational?) fear in this lifetime (yes, more than tsunamis and sharks to those who know my previous fears) is that my child will be molested. I don’t know where this fear comes from… no, I wasn’t molested… but it SCARES the shit out of me. I mean, I know it’s a scary thing for everyone, but I actively think about how to prevent it from happening more way time than I am willing to admit. I am close to be convinced that nearly everyone I encounter is a potential predator. It’s a little much… I know it is.
2. This training started with “Sam” an actual man who molested children (not an actor–shudder) talking about how he got away with it.
It nearly killed me.
(ugh. it is awful to even remember it!)
and right now… my son is off with his father for the weekend. his father certainly loves him. his father would certainly protect him from harm. his father is aware that he is responsible for his care. but his father has a completely different view of how that love should be expressed, how to protect and what/where the potential harm really is, and what it means to be responsible for his care than I do (and my way is clearly right, right?).
and… I have to let it go. (boo!) Because being an ass isn’t illegal (that’s a universal truth to get acquainted with if you are now or ever do go through a divorce, by the way…), I have no power in this situation… I cannot prevent damage, I can only repair what is done. It sucks.
When I start to think this way I wonder at the marvel that I manage to get out of bed every day. Seriously, life is so terrifying!
Speaking of terrifying… I’ve noticed a shift in one of my core fears lately. I think it’s fair to assume that our experiences/traumas shape our world view and part of our world view (unfortunately) is a reaction to what we fear. I lost a parent at 11, and (because I’m a pretty literal person) I have lived much of the last 20 years afraid that people close to me will die. Literally. When I think about the worst case scenario in any of my relationships… when I get into my “story” it always includes death of someone who I am deeply connected to.
Until recently… I have noticed in the last couple of weeks that when I get into my “story” it isn’t ending with death, instead I am simply convinced that the people I love will suddenly stop loving me (for no apparent reason–without warning). It doesn’t take too much investigating to figure out where that comes from right?
As terrible as our relationship was, I believed that BFO would love me until the end of time. I have always known I was loved… as a child I knew I was loved, and I know I am loved as an adult. And I was so preoccupied with the fear that love would go away because of death it never occurred to me that love would go away because of a person’s choice. Now that I’ve experienced the earth shattering reality that people who promised to love you forever break their promises I am all too aware that it could happen again and again. It’s even more interesting to me to realize that even though I am completely grateful for the outcome of the lapse in love it still damaged me enough to essentially replace the core fear I’ve been working with since I was 11 years old.
Crazy stuff this terrifying life is.
And can you believe that the answer to the question (how do I get out of bed every morning and face this terrifying life?) is to surrender? Wowza.