If you had described my current relationship to me before I was in it, I’d have walked — run! — away from the best thing I’ve ever known.
Turns out, I learned that I can be a more authentic me inside our relationship, because I’m loved and supported in a way that I often fail to love and support myself.
As someone who spent years struggling between wanting to be in a relationship AND be super independent, I can relate to the fear of losing myself in a relationship.
But now that I’ve been in a relationship for seven years, I couldn’t be happier! Part of what helped me get through my fear was asking myself these questions…
I’m not just afraid of the dentist. More accurately, I have a “shut down completely, cry when I even THINK about going, prescription drugs are not enough to calm me, once made a dentist too upset to continue working on my mouth, trauma response-level” fear of the dentist. Until this past year, I hadn’t been to the dentist in almost 10 years!
I was recently talking to a friend, who also has a fear of the dentist, and she asked how I conquered my fear and went to the dentist, not once but THREE times this past year. My answer was that I did NOT conquer my fear, but I did do this…
I used to tell myself that flying makes me anxious. I’m talking “grab the hand of the stranger sitting next to me, cry, hyperventilate, desire to fling open the plane door and jump” anxious. This is the story of how all that changed…
I’m TERRIFIED of getting pregnant. Like, it is literally the worst fear I have of everything I could encounter in the world. There’s going to be this parasitic THING inside my body, screwing everything up: squishing my organs, messing with my hormones, and causing me pain, sickness, and constant discomfort.
Ever feel constantly inundated with tips and tricks for raising kids? WELL, it turns out there’s a reason for that: sharing parenting tips is just part of what humans do. This piece from The Atlantic compares and contrasts parenting advice from today (don’t let your kids see a screen until they’re two!) to parenting advice from the 1900s (“Pregnant mothers should avoid thinking of ugly people, or those marked by any deformity or disease; avoid injury, fright and disease of any kind.”) and examines why parents are so hung up on all that information in the first place.
I say, “I am just down the hall. You have nothing to fear. I am here and will protect you . I always will,” I tell her. “There are no monsters lurking in the dark.” I say these things. Even though a very big piece of me cringes. I promise her she is safe and that there are no such thing as monsters, but even as I say it, I feel the bitterness of the lie on my tongue.
I’ve also spent almost my entire life terrified — and I mean TERRIFIED — of bugs. I’m planning to become a mom in the next couple of years, and now I’m worried that this fear will make it hard to be a good mom. How do offbeat mamas balance their paralyzing fear of things with the need to take care of their little ones?