It was an ordinary day, when fear kicked down the door to my world.
A 10,000-pound automobile smashed into the driver’s side of my car.
As time stood still, with the contents of my car flying through the air,
during that deep intake of breath...
Fear came to stay
With the velocity of a dynamite blast
I sat dazed and confused by this frontal attack.
Twisted metal, burnt rubber, as the blood rushed back to my face, my seatbelt seemed fused into my chest. Heart pounding, the look of terror on my daughter’s face from the passenger seat mirrored my own shock.
Fear introduced itself like a hurricane, forcefully and without warning.
The battering ram had left a huge hole in my world now vulnerable and weakened.
Fear had come to stay
But fear is cunning, and this would just be the first step in a new battle
In the days to come, fear moved in as shock in my body, stomach in knots, pain in my neck, head throbbing with tension, lack of appetite, ringing in my ears, light and sound intolerable, groggy with muscle relaxants and pain killers, it numbed the sharp edge of fear.
As days turned to months, fear used pain as its persistent goon to remind me of who was boss. As my feet touched the ground each morning, pain would remind me of my new situation
Fear changed its tactic to the long game. Working its way into every area of my life.
Fear had come to stay
triggered flashbacks in the early days, grew into nightmares by night. Flooding my dreams, awakening me in a drench of sweat and tears.
Sleepless nights turned into painful days. Changing my relationships with friends, and family. Turning me into a recluse that enjoyed total quiet to any activity, nursing my damaged body and hurting heart.
Each area of my life was slowly changing.
Fear took the joy of driving away, all cars appeared to be objects to destroy. I was bracing for impact.
My career was slowly taken away from me, forcing me to concede in too much pain to function, that my new reality meant leaving the job I loved. The faces of those kids I fed, fresh in my mind.
Gardening had become a mine field of burning pain with every turn of the shovel
Prayer service became a lesson in opposites, as my neck did not like that prayer pose, and I wrestled with God, overwhelmed
Fear’s last kick was the softest tender part of me, robbing me of real intimacy and meaningful moments with my spouse
Sadness became Fear’s legacy. Robbing what was left of joy.
It became obvious that fear had awakened a totally distorted, sharpened set of senses, being set off by the slightest change
Fear had come to stay, and it was getting comfortable
My friends started to call less, I wasn’t the same person
My family, in for the long haul, started to do things without me, as NO became my new comfortable response
The fight or flight response had become a daily norm
Fear was consuming me from the inside out,
I had slowly turned into a terrible version of myself.
Fear had come to stay.
I conceded like a weary prisoner, broken, with no will to fight. It had won.
I would meet others in the same reality, car crash, whiplash, concussion and PTSD,
it felt like all they could manage was a weak smile from their own silent jail cell of fear. Too weak to help, only listing their own set of demons. Waiting for their own miracle
It would take an outside force now.
Until that day a therapist offered a hand and said I’m helping you up out of this.
I know this enemy fear. I know its every tactic. I will help you overcome this. Don’t look back. we are doing this together. I hesitantly agreed to hang on for dear life.
Turns out it really does take a village.
It took turning and having the knowledge on exactly how to fight
Therapists, family, friends, faith and time were all in my tool belt. They hadn’t gone anywhere. I just knew how to access what I needed Now. I wasn’t alone. We built on small victories. Slowly pieces of me started to shine again. The old me shyly peeking out, taking one step at a time. Building in safeguards together to not fall back into it.
Fear had come to stay uninvited SO I kicked it out