A Nightmare But I am Awake
I am not easily rattled by things. Ok that is not totally true, you can rattle my cage but not too many people can read me well enough to see it. I have gotten pretty good at hiding the fear and showing the harder side.
I am a hardass with a very soft side, not nearly as tough as my father or some of the other men of my life. I suppose that it is fair to say that I have tried to emulate them and worked on making myself tougher. But it would also be unfair to characterize them as unfeeling, stereotypical males, they are not.
If anything I have striven to work as hard at providing for my family as they did. If I can do that, than I have accomplished something. And now it comes time to deal with the fear, confront it and it will go away. And if it will not go away I’ll have to resort to my simple solution for dealing with the monsters that my son claims lie in his room at night.
First I roar like a dinosaur at them, then I growl like a lion and then I warn them that I am the original wild thing from Sendak’s book “Where the Wild Things Are” and that I am their master.
And if none of those things work I punch them in the nose. It is a last resort, but monsters hate being punched in the nose and they cry and run away when you do.
So here is the irrational fear that suddenly hit me. My wife fell asleep while watching television. I was on the computer and didn’t bother to turn off the TV or change the station. One of the police dramas came on.
The basic premise was about a little boy, maybe 8 or 9 years old who intentionally killed one of his playmates. I sometimes have trouble watching anything that deals with “bad things” that happen to children without placing myself in that situation.
I can deal with basically anything. I know that I can, I was just built to withstand the ravages of time. I don’t say this to challenge anyone, my goal is not to win a contest. I am not interested in comparing who has been through more, this is just a deep feeling in my gut. And considering that I am a white Jewish male who grew up middle class there is something wrong in my being able to say that I lost several friends to brain cancer, drunk drivers or other accidents.
So I have spent more time at the cemetery than I wish to admit, but the upside is that there is a certain comfort there.
The problem, the fear, the nightmare that I had was this irrational fear that something like this would or could happen to my children. If something happened to them, it would break me. I would be shattered and I’d be forced to find a way to cope.
I wouldn’t lay down and die. I might want to. I couldn’t do it, it is just not me, but the crazy fear is there in the back of my mind, whispering to me. But I will not answer the call, no searching for fools gold for me.
That is why I am writing this, I am putting the fear in public, acknowledging it and then sending it on it’s way. I feel like a cheap self-help book, the blogger’s Dr. Phil, but this is a poison that I must spit out.
I am going to play some music and find a way to forget and then I will go to sleep, peaceful sleep. It will be a good night.