Sunday, September 12, 2010

From the Wolf Den: Disabilities and Fear

I've been talking mucho this week with one of my oldest friends, D. who happens to have 11 children. Many of these kiddos are in the same behavioral boat as Wolf, with issues such as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Asperger's, and other physical and behavioral diagnoses. Given the past few weeks of ups, downs, and even bigger ups and downs, I needed to unload on someone who, without a doubt, has been there.

I've written before that I don't believe it is an accident the two of us are raising children with disabilities. Whether destiny or Mission From God, I can't think of another person to whom I would rather express my daily frustrations, ministrations, and fears. Especially the fear part.

Fear often takes center stage for many of us, and in varying forms. Fear for our children's physical well-being and the pain surrounding it; fear for their future; fear of their failure; fear for our sanity; fear for how they look to other people (yes, vanity plays a part).

It has been interesting to witness my own personal journey through fear, and its partner, anger. Yep, fight or flight has held a pretty strong grip upon my heart these past 16 years, and even before.

Face fear? Yes, we've all heard the stories, read the books, been to the seminars. Knowledge is Power and all that. But looking fear straight in the eye as it grips your psyche and soul and saying "I know you are there and I'll let you stay for a bit, but then you'll have to move on", as if fear were an animal stalking my every move. That's another story.

I can feel fearful, terrified, even. But that is the moment at which I have a choice. I can let fear dictate my next move, and every move thereafter, causing me to yell at physicians, teachers, and even those I love. I can even yell at God. "Why don't you save me/him/us from all this, damn it?" I've wasted a lot of time doing this. A lot.

Or I can listen to fear, learn from it, and quietly let it go. A day is made better, a month made easier, a year gone smoother.

Two years, actually.


Natalie said...

There's been a lot of talk about fear lately, in a positive light. Fear as a useful tool for keeping you safe, not to be supressed (from a women's self-defense class) and then my favorite, to anticipate and even embrace fear during distance running, to even look forward to it as a sign that you are pushing yourself well and hard enough.

dorothy said...

Fear Sucks - but it makes me turn back to who is really in charge and remember that we are never really alone. Glad to walk this path with you (which sounds a little sick doesn't it?)