I have pondered the nature vs nurture debate quite often when it comes to my anxiety. It always seemed that nurture would win in the cause category until recently. If I were to make a list of MY anxiety, it may still beat out another hypothesis as the root cause, but I am learning, in the parenting game, things are not always what they seem. I know one thing for certain. Someone without anxiety cannot understand another person trying to explain the reasons why and how to them, which make dealing with it quite lonely at times.
I contributed most of my anxiety issues to my grandmother. I learned as an adult, due to multiple tragedies in her life she had much to be anxious about. But when I stayed with her a lot growing up I didn’t understand that. As my anxiety began to take hold, I thought it must be because I was exposed to hers so much. Then I learned my daddy has it too, which would make sense. Except, except I never knew growing up my Daddy had anxiety.?
Now I see my seven year old experience it. She has exhibited signs since a young age and it manifest in different ways. But, I make a very contentious effort NOT to expose her to my anxiety. So much so that I have other family members help rationalize situations for me so I do not let it get the best of me. Believe me, I’ve come a long way since she was an infant! But to see her with it breaks my heart because I know how she feels. Could it be a manipulation at times? Sure, I am aware of that, just as I am aware of what true anxiety looks like on the face of my seven year old.
My husband, as great as he is, is not someone who understands. Oh sure, he understands my anxiety for the super Center and that look I get when I am about to melt down. But he doesn’t understand this gut wrenching, deep breathing anxiety. The kind that has kept me up all night to write this at 4:15 a.m
I only hope she can hold on to the parts of her soul that are wild and carefree. The parts that laugh at everything with a giggle that can warm the coldest of souls. The wander I see in her eyes as she studies something with her mind working on how it may operate. I want her to hold onto the part that operates on stuffed animals with ketchup and gloves and leave the heavy burden of anxiety to me. I’m her mama, her keeper, I can carry the load for us both.
I’m having one of those weeks. Everything is swirling above me and threatens to topple down and crush me at any second. Yes, I have plenty to be thankful for, as always. But there are times, like now, that the craziness of the past two years seem suffocating.
The carousel of life was circling at a nice pace. My husband and I both had jobs that worked in harmony with one another while raising our then three year old. I was finally getting to a place where I accepted that my “happily ever after” had arrived. We were comfortable.
Then the other shoe dropped. Working for the state, my husband was happy at his job but not moving up the ladder. I voiced my concerns that there was something amiss in the political world of the state job arena and he dismissed me as being overly paranoid. Three weeks later he was put on leave and after another two weeks forced into resignation. No evidence, made up allegations, and a ten year career down the drain. Suddenly not only was I the breadwinner, I became the sole provider for almost a year.
A year passed and my husband found a job, but it takes him away from us. Yes! I know , I know. He has a job. I get it. But I’ve turned into a single-but-not–single-mom. My job has become a problem because of the hours I work. Now I’m not able to give out now 4, almost 5 year old the attention she so desperately needs and most defiantly deserves.
There it was. The news. The same person that instigated the resignation of my husband on the screen being arrested and charged. It occurred to me, my life, and the domino effect, the debt, my anxiety, my feelings if inadequacies as a mother, my husband being “taken” by the road…..all of this is because of that bald headed man in that orange jumpsuit on t.v.