The rain cascaded in tiny rivulets down the century-old old window panes. She stood there with her head pressed against the cold glass. A pretty 7 year old girl with straight, blond hair. Her watery blue eyes fixed on the winding road past the long lane to the house. With a sharp pang of worry in her tummy, she imagined the worst. Mom was late again and these were the days before cell phones. As the moments inched by, the knot in her tummy grew tighter and larger. “Where was she?” “What if there was an accident?” The storm was getting bad. As the worry grew, it never occurred to her to tell someone about her fears. There was a safety in the secret. She could pretend she was strong. The imaginings in her mind were hers to protect.
Soon after, it was time to move from the hundred year old farm house where she played in the mud, pretended in the barn, and swung a million miles on the swingset. Oh, the memories of picking dandelions in a snowy summer field of fluff. Her favorite was the swinging, though. As the cool breeze caressed her skin, she sang. Songs from classic musicals like Oklahoma, The Sound of Music, and The Music Man. On the swing with the songs on her lips, she was free…
And now she was moving from the deep country to a new town. It would be a fresh start in a new school. She thought a lot about the move. As a quiet and shy girl, how would she make friends? 5th grade is an awkward time, anyway. But she would be strong. She wouldn’t show her fear.
She loved her new home with it’s many outbuildings for exploring and large trees for leaf piles and cool summer shade. New friends were made and a bus bully was found. The quiet girl tried to shrink each time she got on the bus. Tried to become invisible by burying her nose in a book as she sat on that bus seat, but bullies prey on such children as these. The endless taunts made her turn ever more inward. Each morning as she waited for the bus, that same old knot in her core grew. Sometimes it seemed like a permanent feeling in her body. And once again, it never occurred to her to tell anyone. So, she began to wield control over the things that she COULD control. Things like her grades, and being the boss of her sisters, and any other thing that felt like she was strong and capable. Anything to quiet the worried voice in her head.
That voice told her that the world was a dangerous place sometimes. Out of the blue she would think the worst about everything. Her mom had Alzheimer because she always forgot her keys and her dad was going to die because he had to take high blood pressure meds. The voice was terribly creative and would soon grow much stronger.
Has worry been part of your life, too? It’s tough, but necessary to look back on the past and explore how old thoughts, behaviors, and patterns impact life’s journey. Mine would eventually lead to a physical and emotional breakdown at the age of 37, yet I’m finding that the darkness is finally setting me free.