Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I am a mess.

Sunday afternoon, as I watched little Sophie scampering across the parking lot toward the house, the sun lighting her gorgeous brown hair, seeing her so happy and carefree, I marveled at the beauty and simplicity of the moment... and I kept picturing a speeding car whipping through the lot and flattening her.  I had to physically bite my lip to keep from calling her back to my side.

Sometimes I am able to hide the crazy, but it is always there.

Much hay has been made over Harold Camping and his failed prediction of the Rapture and onset of the apocalypse.  I stayed quiet about it, mostly because it seems wrong to mock his followers in light of what must be a very confusing and difficult time for them.

But there is another reason.

I try to stay away from joking about the apocalypse because it is my greatest fear.  I don't watch movies like 2012, or The Book of Eli, or I Am Legend, because catastrophe is my own personal boogey man, stalking the shadowy places in my mind, and I don't need any help freaking myself out.  I am quite good at it on my own, thanks.

When Greg is out of town, I constantly worry that he won't make it home.  At night, I keep to my room, usually with both kids in my bed, every little noise whispering to me that the kids and I will be the victims of a home invasion.

I dream about tornadoes.  A lot.  Like, twice a month at least, all year round.

And I think I know why.  I think that I don't deserve the life I have.  I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop, for everything to fall completely apart.  I've written on this blog many times about how grateful I am for all I have been given; the other side of that is that I am constantly expecting it to be taken away.

Last June, I went in to have my gall bladder removed.  It's a simple laproscopic surgery, but you have to go under general anesthesia.

In the weeks leading up to the surgery, I tried my best to put it completely out of my mind .  That morning, when we dropped Sophie off at Grandma Ardys's house, I wondered if it was the last time I would kiss her goodbye, and if she would remember me when I was gone.  As I waited (and waited and waited, for 5.5 hours, it turns out) to be taken back to surgery, I could not shake the suspicion that I was not going to wake up, that Greg was going to be left to raise Sophie without me, and that we would never get to meet the baby I was carrying. 

When they put the mask on me and told me to breathe, my last words, as I felt myself fading, powerless in the extreme, were to ask the anesthesiologist if he was sure he could wake me up.

He did.

I remember that moment, and I hope I never forget it.  I opened my eyes to see the bright OR and a nurse standing by.  I cried. I remember saying, "Oh, thank God.  I'm awake."  I had been sure I'd never speak again.

I hate this about myself.  I'm reasonably sure I know where it comes from (my childhood was practically an amusement park of trauma, violence and dysfunction), and I am happy to be the cycle-breaker and have to bear this stuff as long as my kids are spared, but I really wish it would leave me the hell alone sometimes.

Like when I'm watching my daughter walk home from church.


  1. Lisa, I am moved by your story. Thank you for being brave enough to share it.

  2. I've struggled with similar fear, and I think you nailed it: it comes down to feeling undeserving. Thank you for opening up your heart and helping me to see a little bit of what goes on in my own.

  3. Your fear is a battle I have struggled with especially after the deaths of both parents. I feared the worst. But God kept pursuing me and drawing me closer and sending His people. It still struggle but when I realize what's happening I call out for help and ask Him to help me trust Him. It works.Thanks for being so real and honest.

  4. The parking lot thing is my number one fear about that parsonage. Now I am freaking out again....

    1. I started just parking my car out there and then setting a chair up, letting her ride and run in between.