I have talked to other parents and decidedly there seems to be unanimous agreement that once you become a parent, the world is a scarier place. I have a really hard time watching the news. In the summer, there are stories of drownings. In the fall, Halloween hit & runs. Everyday there are kids with illnesses, abusive parents, someone who is murdered or missing paraded on the nightly news. The world becomes an extremely frightening place.
I may be more sensitive, given I’m a new parent and in the midst of a divorce that’s messy at best. Given my circumstances, the joke amongst my friends is simple: if I do end up on the 5 o’clock news, no one interviewed would be surprised.
Lately, there is one news story that keeps airing that makes me uneasy. A marriage on the rocks ended in quadruple homicide where a man killed his wife, mother-in-law, 4 year old son, and 2 year old daughter. Its scary. Mostly because I don’t automactically think, “That’s terrible, but never would happen to me…” In fact, I worry about the opposite. That is the exact thing I fear could happen to me.
But fear and worry don’t amount to much. I, instead, do what I think is best. I try not to dwell on hypothetical consequences. Things have to be done. Tasks must be completed. I have resolved that making things easier for X accomplishes nothing. He always wants more. So I endeavor to do what’s fair, right, and best by my daughter. I’m sure at some point, I make mistakes. In the end, it is all I an do.
Being rationally fearful does not mean you need to be irrationally frozen with indecision. I move forward and if something I do sparks the unthinkable, it can not be helped. It was a mess to begin with. Untangling all the financials, responsibility, and history entreanched in feelings is a messy, dangerous business. But to walk away, you have to disloadge your roots. Upheaveal can beget violence or peace.
But the process has to be followed through once started. I can’t go back. So despite the fact, I don’t want to push him over the edge, I (1) must accept that his reactions are his own and (2) I have to do what’s best for my kid. Fear and terror should make you cautious, but not immobile.
I try to not watch the scary bits of the news… I try to think better of someone who once loved me… and I keep the fact these changes are for my daughter’s future more than my own in the forefront of my mind.