Wednesday, February 17, 2010
There have been so many occasions where I want to tell my children how precious they are to me, but before I can even begin to form the words I am overcome with emotion, unable to say anything. We say "I love you" in phone calls and text messages, but that's different. The other day I wanted to tell my husband how much I love him and how special he is to me. I couldn't do it. My brain actually had the nerve to retort, "No. The minute you divulge this, he will be taken tragically away from you."
Can I get any more irrational?
Of course it didn't help that my grandmother was afraid of just about everything, passing those fears down to her children and grandchildren. Very clannish, she was suspicious of people outside of our close family circle. She was afraid of large bodies of water, germs, thunderstorms, God, and much more.
"Cher, don't go past that curve on the levee, 'cause the green boogie man lives back there. He eats chirren."
I imagined an ugly monster covered in algae waiting for a misstep so he could devour me. I would inch ever so close to see if I could get a glimpse of him. The snap of a twig would shoot me out of there like a cannon. I'd hurtle down the levee, rolling over cow manure to escape the horrible boogie man. I'd have stickers all over me and spend the rest of the afternoon picking them out of my skin and clothes. But hey, at least I escaped the boogie man.
"Cud'n Angelle had a niece that didn't tell anyone she got cut on a barbed wire fence. It got infected and a few days later she died of blood poisoning."
My grandparents had barbed wire all over their property. It was hard for me to look at that barbed wire and have any good feelings about it. After she told me that, every time I looked at the barbed wire I thought about that poor girl who died for no good reason. And I didn't want that to happen to me. Looking back, I'm sure there was no girl who died of blood poisoning. Maw-Maw simply wanted to instill fear. That was her way of controlling us.
I think this is why I'm so skeptical. Of everything. It started with Maw-Maw's manipulations and ended with finding out Santa wasn't real. As a child I thought adults were these wise creatures who knew the secrets of the universe. Why would they purposely lie?
They say awareness is the first step to change. I hope after 40+ years of fearfulness I can let go and be happy. I'm really going to try.