Buried In The Subconscious

I must confess, I used to think fears were ridiculous, and that holding onto shit from the past and using it as an excuse was a terrible way to live life. Until I developed a few fears of my own and realised why.

It’s amazing how something that happened to you so long ago, that you think or thought you had gotten over, can still affect you, but you have no idea it does.

For a while now I’ve been a terrible passenger when someone else is driving. My fear of flying has well and truly gotten out of control. I was a nervous wreck when I had to be placed under a general anesthetic for surgery twice. I’ve wondered WHY I have these “control issues.” I don’t feel like a control freak, as such, but I clearly have a very difficult time trusting others to do their jobs.

Last week I went to see a naturopath. She has many different certifications in alternative therapies and medicine, and she is often like a counselor for me. I pour my heart out to her, and she helps me make sense of things. So during our session when she said to me, “What happened when you were 22?” I wasn’t surprised that things started falling into place.

Me: I was in a pretty serious car crash.
Her: Were you driving?
Me: No.
Her: Do you think “If I had been driving that wouldn’t have happened?”
Me: Oh…..I guess so.

Insert light bulbs and ah-ha moments here.  Ding ding ding ding ding!

It’s not that I have ever forgotten about the accident. I still remember it, I can picture the van and trailer in the ditch, facing the opposite direction to which we were traveling, stuff strewn everywhere. I can picture the people who stopped to help us, the ambulance ride, the small town we were then stranded in for hours until people came to get us. I can picture the drive from the small town we were in, to Vegas, and my having to drive while the girl who crashed the van slept in the passenger seat.

I can clearly hear the operations manager back in Atlanta saying the words, “We didn’t know if you were dead or alive.” When someone tells you they thought there was a possibility you were dead, it’s a bit of a mind-f*&^. And you realise you are lucky to have walked away, relatively unscathed. Until, that is, 13 years later when you wonder where these control issues you have came from.

The only challenge now is how to get over it. How to accept that I am not always in control, I do not have to be in control, and I am ok with having no control. I’ve made baby steps, on what I hope is a path to complete recovery, and fear-free flying in the future. I am not ashamed of my fear, but I will be ashamed if it keeps me from doing and seeing wonderful things.

Linking up with Kirsty at My Home Truths for a long over-due I Must Confess

It was a lifetime ago

A friend's status on Facebook

It was a life time ago. Before I was a mum, before I was a wife, before I had even met my husband. I’d been living in Atlanta almost a year. I was sitting in my office at work when the phone call came through. “Turn on the tv.” What my boss and I saw was like a scene from some action movie, or perhaps from a war-torn country far, far away from the safety of our back yard. It couldn’t possibly be real and it couldn’t possibly be happening in New York City.

People will say they can’t believe it has been 10 years, but to me it feels like it was another lifetime, in another world, far away from the life I have now. In many ways I can’t believe it has ONLY been 10 years. But I’m one of the lucky ones. I didn’t have a loved one in one of those buildings, on one of those planes, amongst the thousands of soldiers who have been sent to war since. I don’t live every day with the haunting memories that I imagine anyone who was in NYC that morning would have.

It’s being a part of an historical event like this, the memories, the “where were you” stories, that makes you realize how much we have, how lucky we truly are, how much we have to be grateful for. Our daily problems may weigh us down, but when we look at the big picture we really have to take stock of our situations.

I can’t help but think about people who were in the buildings who wouldn’t normally be there. The people who may have missed flights and were able to get a seat on one of the fateful flights, or the people who should have been on one of them and missed it. It’s strong evidence that we really have no control over how long we have in this life. I also can’t help but think about the brave men and women who, as people fled ground zero, they approached it, looking for lives to save, for ways they could help. I’m so proud to have lived in the US for 11 years, and to call it my second home. If my friend’s Facebook status is true, and policemen, firefighters, are not invited to ceremonies, it is an absolute disgrace. But I don’t want to make this post about self-important, money-grabbing politicians.

I remember not feeling anything the first few days. Then I went to lunch with a friend, where I broke down sobbing. He thought I was taking it all a little too well and was surprised it had taken that long to really sink in. But we all react differently to these things. People, even 900 miles away in Atlanta, greeted each other kinder, forgave a little quicker, weren’t so agitated and crazy. People really were united, in a way I had never seen before. At least, for a few months they were. Then the war divided them again.

September 11 is a date no one will ever forget. There’s plenty of reason to be sombre, reminiscent and thankful. Unfortunately for my sister, it’s also her birthday. So tonight instead of watching footage of NYC for the 80 millionth time, we will go out and celebrate. We’ll celebrate the fact we are alive, and we are free, and we’ll have a drink for those who make that so.



Coppers and 9/11

Its funny how even when you’re 99% sure you were doing nothing wrong, you automatically feel guilty when the lights flash behind you. I was pulled over today, and immediately started wondering if I’d run a stop sign, had a tail light out, failed to indicate, or if they were pulling me over for that 5kph over the speed limit I was going. As it turns out, it was a random breathaliser test. As it also turns out, I had left my wallet at home! I thought it was illegal to drive without your license, but that must just be in the US. They never said anything about me not carrying it. They took my info and looked it up on their computer and let me go. This random breathaliser was at 11:10 am while I had my baby in the car! I guess there are people out there who would be drunk at 11 am and driving their children around, but geez…too bad they wasted 10 minutes with me when that person they would have nailed for drunk driving probably drove right by us. 

It ended up being good that they pulled me over, because it wasn’t too far to go home and get my wallet…a necessity since I was on my way to go shopping!

 In other news, today is 9/11. Or 11/9 if you’re in Australia. It is my sister’s birthday, my friend’s son’s birthday, and freinds’ wedding anniversary. That is what I think of when I think of 9/11. Then I think about THAT 9/11. I heard on the news that there would be two 1 minute silences in NYC today, at the times when the planes hit the buildings. And the names will all be read aloud. Again. I want to know how the families of the victims feel about this annual roll call. I don’t feel like I am allowed to have an opinion, seeing as though I didn’t lose anyone that day, but it seems like it would be hard to move on with life if you were being taken back to that day on a yearly basis. I have other stuff to talk about, but its going to have to wait. My little man just woke up and is (still) not a happy camper.