Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Day 6: Fear Journal

For the writing exercise, I'm supposed to write down 8 fears. Then, I'm supposed to choose the one that stands out to me and write about it for a few minutes, before switching and writing about that same fear from a different point of view.

Note: I just finished the entry below. I didn't complete the exercise. I couldn't seem to do it. Somehow it turned from a "creative writing" entry to a very real journal entry. I'm going to post it anway--as vulnerable as that makes me feel. Maybe I just need to get it out there.

Eight fears...
Takeoff and landing when flying.
black widow spiders
undetected electrical fires
anything happening to any of my children
death of my spouse
bird flu
throwing up
deep water (not deep end of the pool deep. murky lake or ocean deep.)

Wow. Even making that list was hard. It felt raw. It felt difficult to say out loud--to write down for the whole world to see. I was tempted to write down laughable fears. There were some I couldn't even bring myself to write down.

Right now, I'm living with one of those fears every moment of every day. I have a baby on heart and lung monitors. I'm on edge at every second, poised to spring. I can't fall asleep at night unless I lay there and pray myself to sleep. Saying the same prayer, over and over and over. When I close my eyes, I can hear alarms going off. My back and neck muscles are wound up so tightly that they ache. Last night I walked into our room and the red bradycardia (decreased heart rate) light was lit, which meant that the monitor had gone off. And we hadn't noticed. She was fine and had self-corrected, but I felt sick. Suddenly, I knew I wouldn't be able to go to bed or sleep or relax. I put in an old movie and exercised my right to wake up my baby and hold her... hardly paying attention to what was on the screen, but instead feeling the rise and fall of her breathing. That motion--over which I have no control at all--rules my life right now. It is always with me. Always at the back and front of my mind. I wonder how much longer we will do this. I wonder if anyone at all has the answers that will help us. Our appointment with the pediatric neurologist is next week, but I'm bracing myself for more shrugs. More "I don't know"s. I wonder what I will do then. I feel like this fear steers the direction of my days, and I worry that it means I am lacking in faith. I guess I must be. Faith requires me to look this fear in the face in a way that I'm just not ready for. No matter how many times I tell myself that I am not in charge; that this is not my plan--my instincts lash out with how hard we fought to get her here. For how much faith it took. For how much it feels, true or not, that she is mine and mine alone. I worry that those things cry out "teach me a lesson", "humble me"... So I lay there at night. And I pray. Because it's the only thing I can do; pleading for mercy, and for justice. Both. At the same time.


Christina said...

Becca, YOU, of all people are NOT lacking faith... don't ever, ever tell yourself that, or let yourself believe it. Please? For me?

Thinking of you...

RaT Babies said...

Sweet Becca, thank you for opening up and being so honest with the world.
Our prayers, thoughts and love are being sent your way every single day.
You are an amazing woman and Ainsley is blessed to have chosen you and Dave to be her parents.

Eve said...

Becca - I love this entry... I hope you found some release for your deep seated fears in writing it. I feel honored that I was let into a corner of your world in reading it and will continue to pray for strength for you and your family... blessings

Chrysanthemom said...

Oh, Becca, You are amazing. I am sure this is tough to write about. I ditto - thank you for sharing. I can't imagine how hard it was to post for the world. Your voice comes through in this piece - the hyphens, the quotation marks, the out-loud thoughts, etc. Even someone not knowing the background would be drawn in - attracted by the strong emotion and reflective thinking. It shares something that many aren't willing to share - very personal emotion that we all feel. Take this comment for what you get, I don't really have a bottom line or anything, just some random thoughts that came. You are an amazing writer. Thank you for letting me watch.
I love you!

dave said...

How do you define faith? How could you have more faith in this situation? How do you demonstrate a lack of faith in this situation? I smile as I think "Hmm...this is starting to sound like an email I probably wrote you when I was in Jerusalem nine years ago." The stressful situation at that time seemed to work out ok... :) Although it took about four years... :(