Reality Is - What's Your Reality?
 
I had many childhood fears, a lot of them fueled by my love of scary movies (side note: my dad would take me to the matinée on Saturdays back when you could get two movies for the price of one and one of those would always be a scary movie). But  most of my fears had to do with my parents and my younger brother. I don’t know when it began but I would have awful nightmares about losing them and being all alone. It has been with me ever since I can remember. Sure enough the worst thing that could happen did happen. I lost my father by 15 and my mother less than 20 years later. There was nothing I could do and all that worrying didn’t mean a thing - it didn’t save my parents.

I know what you are thinking – she believes she could have done something to prevent their deaths — and the answer is:  Yes, I did.

The fear would move depending on where I was in my life. Pretty soon I was afraid I would lose my husband and my kids, my best friend and even my bosses whom I love like parent.

Somewhere long ago, as a very young child I learned that I was responsible for what happens to the people I love. It is a very heavy load for a child but, at that point in my life that was my reality. It remained my reality for many years – effecting everything I did – it even fed my fear of flying. I never wanted to fly and never with my husband. That’s how I made sure that my daughters would not end up as orphans.

It wasn’t until my mom passed away that I was able to see how long I believed that my actions could keep my love ones alive. Talk about helpless, I watched her take her last breath and there was nothing I could do. I felt more helpless at 30 than I did at 13.

But believe it or not it was a blessing in disguise – a real break through for me. The worst thing that could happen did and guess what I made it through all of  it. It made me take a good long look at myself and why I believed it was my job to save everyone, my job alone. I have always felt this way and I was able to figure out at least part of the reason why. After a good long look I realized:

MY MOM TOLD ME TO!

 I can remember her saying clear as day, I had to take care of my brother – If someone grabs him you go with him. If he get in a fight you fight for  him. I can even remember getting a beating for crossing an empty lot (a BIG no no) and leaving my brother so that I could make it to the bathroom. I was young to young to be his protector but I tried my best. All through my childhood – all through my teens and well into my married, with two kids, adult life. I was the good one and I had to please my mom so that she would love me as much as she loved my brother. That was my reality. DEEP! I know and a much longer story than I can write tonight. But at some point this belief morphed into a life filled with panic attacks, sleepless night and constant worry over family and friends. 

What matters now is where I am today. Oh, I still worry (once an addict right) but now I that I know why I worry and where it comes from – I am able to let go little quicker each time. The fear quickly turns to laughter and I quickly turn the page. Because if the worst thing that can happen does – I already know I will make it through.

I am Cynthia Williams and That is my Reality.

 


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