There are many fears in this house. We all have many fears, I guess, but I think abuse survivors have some specific and terrible fears.
My son is afraid of the dark. I turn on the night-light and he feels safe. Problem Solved.
My daughter is afraid no one will talk to her. I taught her to talk first, and smile. Problem Solved.
My husband is afraid that I will fall into depression and attempt suicide again. I have been to therapy, we talk often, I am currently not depressed (not much anyway) and he still has this fear. He will always have this fear. It gets worse when I have bad days, and he is afraid I will spiral into despair and lose hope. I am afraid of that too, but not as much as I used to be. This Problem NOT Solved.
I am afraid my husband does not really love me. That he stays with me out of obligation and duty, but would rather be some where else. I used to let that fear keep me from loving him. Problem NOT solved, but improved.
I am afraid my dad will abuse other children. Problem NOT solved until the psychopath dies.
I am afraid my brothers will abuse their own children. I don’t know if they are genetically similar to my dad and capable of terrible crimes. I don’t know if my nieces and nephews are safe. No one suspected my dad, his charming smile proved he was the *best dad ever*. Problem NOT solved.
I am afraid I am hurting my children. I have never had a thought to molest a child, and I can not even imagine what goes on in that type of brain to allow that thought. But I do yell too harshly at times. And I do emotionally detach at times. I am afraid that my anger, and my coldness, is causing them to think less of themselves. Problem NOT solved, but I am aware, and trying every day to improve.
I am afraid that my own children may have the defective genes and grow up to be abusers. My little boys have figured out that it bothers me and their sister if they lift her skirt, and announce they can see her underwear. They also smack each other on the butt. I am afraid I am either overprotective or not enough. I am afraid that I go to a dark place when they misbehave in any way that could seem sexual. I am afraid my PTSD triggers me to make bad parenting decisions. Like when the neighbor came over and said my little boy asked his little girl to pull down her underwear, and I thought I would die. Not just from embarrassment, but actually die. I felt sick, like my heart had stopped and my lungs were deflated. I apologize to the neighbor with what feels like my last breath. I wondered if that is how my dad got started. I had to go lock myself in my room for a while and let all the feelings and fears pass through. I KNOW these innocent activities are innocent, and that my boys are so young. The fears do pass, but always return. Problem NOT solved.
I am afraid that I will be afraid until the day I die. Which is why I stumble with my gift of life and sometimes wish it were over. Sometimes life feels too scary and painful. And then I remember I am me. I remember I am strong. I gather my strength and do what needs done. I reframe, process and deal with myself. I have the discussion with my little boy about private body areas. I do not yell at him, he is just learning. He seems to understand, and now I have to send him back out into the world and see what else happens.
I am afraid of what the future holds, but I choose to go on anyway.
- Kicking Fear In The Pants (cynthiadiane.me)
- Be Not Afraid (patheos.com)
- Know that it is “OK” – Survivors in Strength & Love (survivorsjustice.com)
- Everyday fears (andrewroebert.wordpress.com)