No Peace (Step Four continued)

Nor is the quest for security always expressed in terms of money.  How frequently we see a frightened human being determined to depend completely upon a stronger person for guidance and protection.  This weak one, failing to meet life’s responsibilities with his own resources, never grows up.  Disillusionment and helplessness are his lot.  In time all his protectors either flee or die, and he is once more left alone and afraid.

We have also seen men and women who go power-mad, who devote themselves to attempting to rule their fellows.  These people often throw in the winds every chance for legitimate security and a happy family life.  Whenever a human being becomes a battleground for the instincts, there can be no peace.

Again, I hope I am someone who has escaped these extremes, but at a lower level all these character defects are alive in me.  I am frequently frightened, and I love to depend on someone else when that person will let me!  I did, however (and with lots and lots of help) live on my own with two young children.  I kept them alive and fairly well, and I held down a job I did reasonably well at.

And while I like to think of myself as this passive, peaceful, easy-going person, I know that I am very strong-willed and quite opinionated.  So while in general I may fit the label “quiet,” that by no means translates to “no attempt to rule their fellows.”  I attempt it frequently, and I have no plans to stop!

To elaborate, I don’t really want to rule my fellows, but I want to influence them heavily in terms of, for example, gun control, election reform, the right to choose, health care for everyone, and clean water.  To name a few.  My desire to influence these things has, I hope, taken on more meaning and more actual work, in a healthy way, these past 2.5 years.  I’ll also get triggered at work when people do things like use their phones when they shouldn’t or suggest that we wear ID badges.

So the battle of the instincts goes on.  However, these days, and for a long time now, drugging myself does not appear as a viable nor an ideal solution.

March 16, 2019 (this day)

the man on the bed

Since I last wrote about the big wind that took part of a tree down, and the second big wind that crashed the roofers’ ladder onto my new car, we have had a third big wind, and this one exposed and stoked and played and fed my #1 character defect, my fear.

We had a very big wind, and it knocked the power out a few Sunday nights ago.  I well remember long power outages of the past, and I’ve always hated it and always loved electricity!  My neighborhood is old, and the power lines are above ground, and my house is very windy, sitting above a street that runs below and acts as a wind tunnel.  My house also is surrounded by trees that I love very much for many reasons, but of course, those trees will fall, and they do.

Anyway the lights went out around 7 pm on Sunday, and at around 9, in the very black dark, the house shook, and we were able to see that a tree had fallen but we couldn’t really tell how bad it was, or if it had hit the house.  Right away my fear demands we don’t open the door to see, because it’s cold out and we have no heat now, and the power outages are widespread and we don’t know how long we’ll be without heat.  I have two indoor cats who haven’t been out of my house since we brought them home from the shelter.  They’ve never been out and they’ve never been cold.  We checked to see that the tree hadn’t made a hole in the house that the cats could use to get out.

We went to bed but I couldn’t sleep, and around three in the morning I freaked out a bit and told Carole I wanted to get a pet-friendly hotel nearby, just in case there was a rush on hotels.  My son still had power, and he lives just a few miles away, but he lives in the city and parking seemed like it would be a hassle.  Also, not knowing how long it would be, I thought we needed a potentially long term solution.  I did think of bringing the cats to him if need be.  (Turns out his girlfriend’s dogs were there, but that’s another fear post for another time).

We got a hotel, and we left and left the cats in the pitch black around 4 in the morning.  When I we got outside into the absolute dark we ran into a wire down in the our driveway.  The wind was still making it difficult to talk or move or open the door.  We went to the hotel, but again I couldn’t sleep worrying about the cats and the house and the electricity.  Just because one tree was down, that didn’t mean another wouldn’t fall, break a window, scare a cat.

We came back to the house and it was getting colder.  The power outages were spread out widely in my area, and my work was going on though it was cold there (another fear story for another time).  I told them I wasn’t coming.  We saw that the tree had missed the house but had fallen on our fence.  Carole went to work, and my plan was that when she got home, if we still didn’t have power, we would pack up the cats and take them to the hotel.  The wind was lessening but still very strong.

I crawled into bed in my clothes in the chilly house, and the cats joined me.  I couldn’t read or sleep or do anything but worry.  At one in the afternoon, the power came back.

My fear and worry were terrible.  I must point out that at no time during this did I consider drinking.  Didn’t even cross my mind.  Although at one time in my life I couldn’t face a perfect day without chemical influence, it is so not a factor in my life today that I didn’t even think about it in my distress.

I did think about all I’ve learned about life and coping and I’m not happy with how distressed I was.   I did know the whole time that everything really was fine.  I have the resources to deal with anything that happens to my house.  I think I focused on worrying about the cats because that’s what my protector mind does.  If I didn’t have cats, I would have been braver.  I was able to tell myself minute by minute, hour by hour that the cats were fine, and I could and would take care of them.  I worried profusely about being inconvenienced.

I’m sitting here writing this, and the wind is again howling outside.  I want to blame Voldemort (POTUS, he who will not be named).