Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Monster Inside Me

Yesterday I posted about some of my fears about having a baby.

In retrospect, I almost feel like a bit of a boob. Almost.

I know that the things that are freaking me out are either superficial or statistical anomalies. My brain knows this. Truly, it does.

But other things sneak in. Little tidbits, like barbed seeds, they stick in my brain & begin to grow.

Every time I hear some tragic story about death, loss, or great pain - usually with a tag line akin to "appreciate what you have, because at any moment it could be ripped away from you!" - I feel the monster stir.

I am acutely aware of this. That there are no guarantees.

A meteor could plummet to Earth obliterating us all in a fiery maelstrom.




Serial killers.

The end of the Mayan calendar.

Car wrecks.

Freak accidents.

Political Unrest.

I understand that life as I know it? Could be gone in an instant.

And most of the time, I ignore this and go on about my day. Living in the moment. Enjoying the little things. Occasionally blowing stupid things out of proportion.

But ever once in a while? Those nasty, prickly little seeds grow. They spread thorny vines of worry and fear through my mind and my heart.

The thorns scratch and poke until they rouse the monster.


And the monster takes over. Pushes out all thoughts of reason. Drives me to obsession with my fear. Fuels the obsession with worry and "what ifs."

It shows me all the myriad possibilities of what could go wrong. All the awful things that could be.

And I can't argue it into submission. Because all of those things could come to be. Even if there is a .02% chance of something happening, there is still a chance. I cannot conclusively exclude it from the realm of possibilities.

And that .02% of people to whom that thing happens? Don't suffer any less because of the rarity of their circumstances.

I am not special. There is nothing that precludes catastrophe from happening to me. Nothing at all.

The odds of a plane crashing into my head on my walk out to my car? Are minuscule. Laughable, even. But there is nothing unique about me that conclusively prevents this from happening. It could happen to anyone.

Safety is an illusion. And the monster never fails to remind me of this. When I say goodbye to my son in the morning.

As I drive to work every day.

As I pass by people, not knowing their state of mind.

As I eat food of which I am unaware of its origin.

A million things could go wrong. At any moment. And that's where the monster gets a foothold, because I can't argue that it's wrong.

I am not in control. It's not up to me what happens.

And those little "always appreciate what you have" lines attached to horrific stories just piss me off.

I do not need to be reminded that life is fragile.

I do not need to be reminded that my heart could be ripped out, literally or figuratively, at any moment.

Those things just rouse the monster.

I already appreciate the little things. Because losing myself in those little things, forgetting about what could be? Is the only way I can drown out the monster.


  1. Oh, I here you. I used to be a prisoner of these thoughts. But you really do seem to have a firm grip on them. I think we're all a little insecure and worried about the 'what ifs' when it comes to another baby. My 1st was an angel. My 2nd was a vampire. Yet we got preggers with the 3rd -on purpose- while #2 was actively torturing us. I was terrified, yes. But confident I wanted to love a baby. I guess that's the question. Go from there. :)

  2. I also think too much. You may have noticed. Ahem.

    I have a very good friend who writes a blog about Small Moments. Nichole. You know her as well, I am sure.

    I love her writing, but sometimes? I have difficulty with her posts. I do not want to capture the small moments on a daily basis. I do not want to be made too overly aware of the importance of this moment here. And this one. And this one.

    I want to be able to take things for granted. I want not to notice the slipping of one moment into the next. Not that I want to be absent. I just want not to count the moments.


    For me . . . the monster comes from too much noticing. Too many details. Too much reaching out to hold each moment as it slips into the next.

    Not everyone is like that.

    I know that. Hush.