Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Too much Fear

Yesterday my book club met. The book this month was To Kill A Mockingbird. Unfortunately I didn't read the book, but not for lack of trying. Did you know that this is one of those books that you can't download or order from Amazon, even in actual book form? Now, don't start telling me about the library - I KNOW!!!
If you know me at all.......
Anyway, I did order the book from Barnes & Noble 3 weeks ahead of time, and it didn't arrive until the day OF the meeting, and my mail comes late in the day. I will read it. I actually only saw the movie about a year ago for the first time. It was a lively discussion, which lead to people chatting about home break in's, robberies and onto security issues in general. Then talk of how scary it is to be online. How it is very dangerous to post even photos online, because people can find out exactly where the photo was taken!!
Funny how all these same people are perfectly fine carrying and using their cell phones everywhere with them. Since that is probably a much easier way for someone to find you.
One of the well meaning members forwarded me a video that a news team somewhere had about the photos and finding you stuff. I'm thinking she sent it because I spouted off that if someone wants to find me that badly, they are going to find me. I sleep with my window open. How foolish they say!!! Someone could be walking by and see an open window and take that to be an invitation to come in and do me some harm. I said "whatever"....if they want IN my house they are going to find a way in.
So after watching the video, I sent the following message to this person, explaining why I don't worry about such things anymore. And after reading it, I thought it would be a good thing for my poor lonely, unattended here it is.

I lived with fear for many, many, many years. The earliest I can remember (other than being forgotten at VBS!) was when I was around 12. I started having trouble sleeping. Kept hearing noises in the night. My poor brother who slept in the room downstairs next to me, was forced awake every so often so he could check the basement and make sure we were secure. I used to get up in the night and check all the doors and windows.
My Mom started restricting me from watching any kind of scary television. At the time it was the Twilight Zone and Outer Limits - LOL!
I used to feel like people were watching me or following me. There was never any reason I have been able to discover. I've never lived in a house that has been broken into. Never been around anyone who suffered from a violent crime. My family members have all lived normal lives and normal deaths. Even after I married, if my husband was not home at night for some reason, I could not sleep. I had to stay awake and listen for danger.
Once I birthed my children, my worries just multiplied a thousand times with each of them. Afraid of everything from SIDS to kidnapping. All three boys have had a scary moment. Kyle nearly choked to death on a gumball at age 5. Thank goodness the neighbor who was a nurse (I wasn't at the time) was home and knew the Heimlich maneuver. Not so good, that she was the one who had given him the gumball.....Jeff at age 5 was playing in the front yard when the garbage truck came up the road. He turned the huge thing around in our driveway, and Jeff, thinking he was then going to drive back the way he came, ran behind the truck at which point the guy started to back up.....I happened to be watching from a bedroom window and screamed at him in time for him to run. Todd was about 4, when he opened the car door in the back seat, after he had gotten himself out of the seat belt, and I was going 60 mph on the freeway.
It was pretty scary to be diagnosed and treated for breast cancer at age 32 with three boys under age 6 at home.
So, about 10 years ago, I somehow came to a point of acceptance of life. And I refused to live with such constant fear all the time. Then came my first grandchild!!! I will admit my fears returned but to a much smaller degree. Now though, I watch my oldest son, with his two sons, living in fear, just as I did. I'm trying to help him through it.
I know there is a difference between being afraid and being aware. Between being foolish, and being smart. Between being careless and being careful.
I can only do what I can do. I can't control the actions, thoughts, intentions of another. And I have chosen to live each day being aware, smart, careful and not afraid.