She woke me up at a happy time this morning, 7:15. Laying next to me babbling and holding her feet. I bring her close to me and nurse her knowing she last ate at 5 and is always ready to eat. We quietly get out bed trying not wake him. She's smiling, thrilled at the prospect of a new day. I unlock the door to the bedroom and bring her to her room to change her diaper and get her dressed for the day. She pees on the floor, I clean it up. I put her in her crib with a bunch of toys to entertain her while I shower before we head to the library. I leave the door open to the bathroom so that I can peek out at her from the shower. I put in the shampoo, peek out and call her name, she responds with a smile and a shriek. I duck back into the shower, rinse, put in conditioner. I peek out, but I don't see her. I strain to look out further, soaking the bathmat. I don't hear her. I call out to her, there is no response. I panic, my mind races with tragic scenarios.
Someone stole her, I tell myself as I rush to rinse out the conditioner. Someone came into the house during the night, waited for me to take a shower and took her.
I pause, don't be ridiculous I tell myself, she's in the corner of the crib you can't see from the shower, practicing her standing. Relax. She's fine.
Unable to convince myself I get out of the shower, cover myself with a towel and hurry into her room. She's fine. She's in the corner of the crib you can't see from the shower, practicing her standing. My whole body relaxes.
When did I become so afraid? It seems that fear has waxed and waned as a figment in my life. As a child I was never afraid of monsters, I was afraid of serial killers. In elementary school at the breakfast table I would first read the comics and "Dear Abby" and then the police blotter. I would follow national crimes in the newspaper on a daily basis. In the middle of the night if I heard a strange noise (or an ordinary noise like the heat turning on) I would tremble in my bed or if I was particularly scared I would call out to my mother although I don't think I ever actually told her what I was so scared of. I tend to have periods of time when I'm more scared than others usually when a big crime story was going on. As an adult living in the city I would arrive home by myself late at night and barely give it a second thought, I felt comfortable knowing that people were all around me. As a professional I have heard more stories of trauma than most people could stomach but I can't watch crime shows or hear about national crimes because they get my mind thinking and then I can't sleep. I convince my husband to sleep with the bedroom door locked. I'm suddenly back in a phase when I'm fearful a lot. It seems it has gotten worse again since she was born. I don't worry too much about things like germs or colds like most new moms do, that would be too rational. I worry about is her being killed or kidnapped, just writing that gives me a nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach and quite honestly it makes me feel crazy.
This is my second post as a part of Just Write.