Enter, a rambling blog of thoughts.
Every start of September, I start seeing the same posts over and over from friends, “Fall is here!” “Bring on the rain, boots and sweaters!” “Pumpkin Spice Latte!” “PUMPKIN EVERYTHING!”
I agree – I’m right there with loving fall (except, hold the pumpkin anything and everything. No thanks, I’ll pass). While summer used to be my favorite season as a child, it has gradually made its way down the list of favorites. I love fall, spring and even winter so much more than I love summer these days. Give me boots, give me sweaters, give me hot coffee, give me rain. All of these are good things.
While I’m always so thrilled when the calendar hits September 1st and summer starts to fade, I’ve also noticed another trend over the past few years in my life. Every September for the last 3 or 4 years, something else always comes crawling into my life, right alongside of the beginnings of Fall.
Every September and through October, I am in a constant battle with fear. With the darker days and Halloween looming (and seeming to creep into stores as early as mid-August now), the spirit of fear is heavy. I’ve talked to a few friends about it and the sentiment is the same for them.
I don’t know about the rest of you – but for me, fear can be entirely way too gripping. I feel myself get into a sluggish just-want-to-stay-in-the-comfort-of-my-home, don’t want to do any errands with boys and take them anywhere they might see spooky Halloween decorations (EVERYWHERE in EVERY store), anxiety ridden, troubled sleep way of life.
It’s utterly debilitating at times. Do you know this same fear?
I’ve really been questioning it and more aware of it this year. Last year was the first time my eyes were opened to the fact that it’s been coming at the same time, in the same way, every year. This year, I was a little more ready for it.
I’ve dealt with fear all my life, as many of us do.
As a child, I remember having the most ridiculous fears that were so powerful over me as a 6 and 7 year old, that I lost sleep, even way back then. My mom and dad always did a great job of protecting us and our growing minds from things like scary movies and scary stories. Mom and dad can’t always be there though, and while I never watched movies like Chucky – I heard stories about it on the playground of my elementary school. I heard scary stories at sleepovers (and unfortunately, even watched a few scary movies at sleepovers when I wasn’t bold enough to say, “no thanks, I don’t want to watch that.”). Stories of dolls coming to life, fingernails creeping under doorways and strangling these poor precious children. I was terrified.
I never told my parents my fears – though they weren’t foolish and I’m sure they caught on by some of my behaviors. At my parents house, the three kids’ rooms were upstairs. My brother’s room to the left of the stairs, and my room (what used to be an open wall play-space when we first moved in) to the right, and my sisters room directly through my room on the other side. (I like to lovingly refer to my childhood in that I “grew up in a hallway”).
One year for Christmas, my grandma so sweet and thoughtfully sent my sister and I each a china doll. Unfortunately, she had no idea that I was terrified of them. This began what was probably a couple years of terrified sleep. I put my doll in a small doll chair right outside my door, sitting in the stairwell. Every night, I draped a baby blanket over the doll… you know, in hopes of keeping the doll sitting there in her chair, lifeless. (I tell you – ridiculous fears and ridiculous logic as a 6 year old. But none the less real to me at the time.) Knowing my sister had her doll sitting on her vanity just inside the door of her bedroom, which was on the wall opposite of where my headboard to my bed was, I had fear coming from both ends of my hallway-bedroom. I would bundle up in bed, even on the hot 90+ degree nights (in a non-air conditioned house with no fan and no window in my room) and sweat myself to sleep. I rolled that thick bedspread right underneath my chin in hopes that it would keep any dolls or stray fingernails from climbing up on my bed and strangling me as I slept.
Seems pretty irrational, right? Right. Now as a 28 year old, I kind of laugh at the ideas of what terrified me as a child. But I can always put myself right back to that fear and remember how real it felt to me at the time.
Now days, my fears look differently than the scary things that lurk at night, but can be no less terrifying and real feeling.
What if Asher had gotten in the road when he escaped my friends house the other day and got hit by a car? How am I going to keep this adventurous kid alive?!
What if Skyler lost his job, and we had no income?
What is the world going to look like when my kids are older? Am I foolish for continuing to bring children into this screwed up world?
What if war breaks out in America?
What if. What if.
Through holidays, through January birthdays, through spring and through summer, these fear-filled thoughts are minimal. But come September every year, they come crashing back and fill me with anxiety again.
Thankfully, being more aware of it this year, I have been able to be more prepared in battling it. More prayers about specific things. More rational talks with some of the wisest people I know. More trusting in God and knowing the plans of the Enemy to put fear in me.
So…. I’m asking…. How many of you deal with fear at this time and season of the year? What do you do with deal with it?
More to come on this….