Time to Face My Fears

I still get afraid and I still want to run away. Five years later, it is self-doubt and fear of losing another person that I care about that keeps me rooted to one spot. What is it about traumatic loss that leaves a person questioning one’s self and the fear of death or the loss of yet another? I hate that while I have learned to stand strong alone, that I stand shaking and hiding when it comes to trusting my thoughts and trusting that other people are not going to be assassinated or killed in such a sudden manner?

It isn’t logical and while I know my thoughts are warped and slightly crazy, there is a part of me that thinks that a normal person doesn’t know words like assassination, betrayal, or maimed bodies. I never thought I would be that girl. Phil and I were quiet unassuming people. I hadn’t considered that it would ever happen. When it did, I was numb and I shut totally down.

I have learned to live again, but there is a cage around my heart. While I recognize that I do have an xenophobia I never had before, I hadn’t realized that I still had the capacity to fear in any other manner. I do. I have awakened twice this week with nightmares about losing another person that matters to me to death. I have dreamed only once since Phil was killed and to have two nightmares on two consecutive nights leads me shaking and afraid. That fear leads to me shutting down and running.  For the first time, I am fighting back.  I am trying to, any way.

As I train the military members, however, I do recognize that the only person who can change this character deficit is me. If I do not like the person looking back in the mirror, I have to take a deep breath and just keep getting up every time I fall down. I fell down a lot this weekend and I suspect I will fall down a lot more in the days to come, but I need to–want to–keep getting up. My fear is real, but I cannot let it define me or stop me.  It is in the facing of my fears and in the talking myself off of the ledge of worrying about something that I have no control over that I can keep moving forward.  It is in the recognition that getting back up, taking a deep breath, and learning to trust myself as I continue on this journey, I can become an even better version of the girl who stands here now.

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