So that is what I have done: conversed with the not yet visible you about being scared and turning out... somehow... better for the experience.
It would have been easier to write about my fear of the dark. That would have been the cowards way out, and if there is one lesson I have learned from living through my fear, it is the cowards way out may look easier in the beginning, but when all is said and done, standing tall and shaking hands with my fear is the best way to survive it.
There is power in sitting down for coffee with my fear, letting her have her say and share a bit of wisdom with me. Sure, it is easier to ignore it and to confess to an “easy” fear like my still-there-from-childhood-fear-of-the-dark.
I have been pondering this post for a long time primarily because I have resolved possibly the most important fears I could have ever had simply because… I experienced them. I lived through them. I came out the other side wiser, tougher yet more willing to be vulnerable simply because I know the strength of fragility.
I would guess this makes little sense without context.
My first big fear was realized when my eldest child – my first baby – was stillborn. It never entered my mind such a thing could happen, especially to me, but after dealing with infertility and being “so good!” during my pregnancy, how could this happen?
It did. It was a fluke (a cord accident) and I lived through the experience, through the grief, through the nearly two years before I had my next baby and now, with each milestone that would have been I am reminded, again. Marlena’s younger sister, Katherine, is working this Summer in the Navajo Nation & will be doing her junior year abroad in Edinburgh in September.
I have no living memories with Marlena. And the fear of losing one of my others is actually minimized because I do have memories with them.
When I was a child, I lived with the chronic fear of being institutionalized. I come from a family with six children and the brother right below me – only 14 months younger, had Down’s Syndrome. In our family, we pretended he was just like the rest of us and rarely talked about the fact he was different which meant I had to deal with a lot of staring and glares and discomfort when I was out with him which as a preschooler was constantly. People say stupid things in front of small children. The question came up a lot at the coffee clatches my Mom attended: “When are you going to send John away? My friend’s friend has her child at “Name this institution” and it has been such a blessing” or some version of that.
Imagine a young child whose entire life revolved around protecting and being with her little brother who she considered to be absolutely normal: what do you think she thought?
I thought I would be sent away with him and the best way to keep us both safe was by being the best little girl (and the best little caretaker) as possible. I never knew when the people from an institution would knock on the door and remove us, unceremoniously.
This Fall I had another huge fear realized. I don’t talk about it much because it is still too close, but my children were out of my custody for four of the longest days of my life. Thank God for close friends who supported and loved me through those days and celebrated with us when the children came home to me. The scars from those four days will last a lifetime for me, I am sure. Interesting, isn’t it, how my children lived out my biggest childhood fear? I never put two-and-two together before this exact moment.
It would have been easier to write about my fear of the dark.
It would have been an honest confession, but it wouldn’t have been filled with truth, like this post has been.
If you would like to converse with me one-on-one about any of this, please send me an email: juliejordanscott at gmail dot com. If you would rather read me more before you take that scary leap into uncomfortable conversation, just follow me here or on twitter or like me on facebook. When you feel more comfortable, drop me a note. I would love to hear from you.
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© 2012 by Julie Jordan Scott
Julie Jordan Scott has been a Life & Creativity Coach, Writer, Facilitator and Teleclass Leader since 1999. She is also an award winning Actor, Director, Artist and Mother Extraordinaire. She was twice the StoryTelling Slam champion in Bakersfield. She leads Writing Camp with JJS & this Summer will be traveling throughout the US to bring this unique, fun filled creative experience to the people wherever she finds the passion & the interest.