When I was a child, I was afraid of monsters underneath my bed.
I would stand at the doorway to my room at bedtime, and stretch as far as I could and leap onto my bed, absolutely convinced that a bodiless monster would reach long arms out and grab my feet and pull me under the bed. I don't know where I got this scenario - there was never a movie or show or story that portrayed this that I specifically remember... I simply made it up.
I was afraid of something lurking in the shower behind the curtain or directly behind me. Even into my teenage years, I would check for a figure before I got comfortable in the bathroom.
I was afraid of the dark. I was so afraid of the dark, that to this very day, it it second nature to reach my arm into the room and flick on the lights before I step inside. Sometimes I catch myself doing it, and I giggle a little bit, but I know that deep down, I still feel that uneasiness.
The unknown scares me.
Now that I'm older, my fears are different, but still fundamentally the same.
I'm scared of becoming my mother.
She's a woman so strong and yet so weak at the same time. I've come to wonder lately if she was always emotionally unstable. The way that no one confronts her and how everyone is scared to upset her - her siblings and parents and all of us. We all know she's such a good person and her heart is so big.
Her heart is too big. It's walls are so thin that the littlest prick can make it burst with sadness. I remember as a child when she would cry and say that her heart was broken. She made me feel like I wanted to die. Her sadness was so overwhelming, and I wonder if she was like this just when I came along, or if it was something that always existed. You get scared to hurt her, and it stifles who you are around her...
I get so scared so often that I am like her. That my sadness will overtake me and make those around me scared to be themselves with me. I don't want to be fragile like her. I don't want to impose on those I love with my craziness, and the days that I feel like I'm doing this - like yesterday - make me want to curl up into a ball and die.
I'm scared to have a child.
It makes me scared to have a child when I think about her... I know all the text books and studies show that certain genes, even if they are present, don't make anything specifically go wrong. I know that development in the womb and during the first 6 years are the most vital things... But I worry, because I know I'm crazy.
And I know my boyfriend is crazy, and I know I'll never leave him.
And what happens when two crazy people have a baby? Is that baby crazy too?
When I watch things about mental disorders, and read my textbooks, and go to class and learn about mental health, I don't evaluate it as an outsider. I feel the familiarity. I feel the deeply horrifying and yet comfortable familiarity and dull ache of being bat-shit crazy.
I am Alice. I am Lisa, bright and dark. I am my mother.
I'm scared I can't become a therapist.
I know I have health mental issues, but will it hold me back? Doesn't everybody? Is there anyone who is "normal" and "healthy?" Even Freud was fucked up... But, do I have the right to go about in this field and pretend like I have answers? Is it better that I fundamentally understand, or does it make me blind to reality? Will I get better in time to go out into the world and help people? Am I too sensitive for this? How do I get better, and is my crazy really all that bad?
Right now I feel like I'm investing a lot of time and money into something that has a big chance of working out and a big chance of failing.
"Can you do it?" my dad asked me.
I have the ability to juggle schedules and fight off depression and pretend like everything is ok, but am I the only one doing it like that? Maybe everyone else gets up and does the things they're supposed to accomplish in the day and doesn't cry and have to smoke pot and binge eat and take naps and find distractions just to get themselves through a day. Maybe everyone else who signed up for the convention went to every session and learned things and didn't have an anxiety attack and have to leave. Does it matter if my methods are different, if I eventually get there? Does that make them wrong?
I have to decide some things and stop worrying about the other possible reality, but can I?
Are these fears always going to hang over my head torturing me and keeping me awake at night?
Am I able to help myself be well?