I remember having three worst fears:
1-I would have a son-did that
2-I would have a C-section-did that, almost bled out
3-My husband ‘would die’ leaving me alone to raise a boy-well he left, so he’s ‘dead to me’ now.
After facing these 3 worst fears, another more nebulous fear kept popping up. An odd almost OCD type of thing where I was always afraid I would lock myself out of my house.
Every time I was leaving I would check and recheck I had a set of keys. Feel them in my coat pocket; wiggle to hear that familiar jingle; pat my pocket, take them out to get a visual, just to make sure. Sometimes I would repeat this process several times.
One overcast afternoon I step into the yard for a moment. Just for some air, just to get out of the house and take a quick breath.
I exit the house out the back garden door leaving it wide open. As I look around stretching and enjoying the promise of rain on the air, I notice our rabbit’s water bowl is empty.
I take the bowl to the side of the house and use the hose to fill it. The rain is starting now as I quickly make my way back around to the yard.
Noticing I‘ve left the garden door wide open, I cleverly use my foot to slam it shut then put the water bowl back into the hutch.
Now it’s really raining. I should have just left the bowl out in the rain I think.
I try the garden door. The handle won’t turn. I’m confused, try again as I’m starting to feel a familiar panic rising in my chest.
How did this happen? I’m locked out. I can’t get back into the house.
Running the list of entry points quickly through my mind I realize because of my fear and paranoia I have all points neatly sealed. Front door, dead-bolted, backdoor dead-bolted. An upper bedroom window is open but the ladder is in the garage, garage door dead-bolted.
I run around to the front door hoping after hope my memory is faulty and the door will be open. As I’m moving I hear a voice clearly in head, “This is a test from spirit. YOU can solve this.”
‘NO, not now! WHY NOW? I don’t WANT a test NOW!”
The rain is coming down faster and the fall chill is starting to set in.
How dissociated I am from the land, from nature. I think how hard my grandparents worked to eke a living from this land, to build a quality of living that now has crippled me. I am helpless to survive alone in the open world.
None of my neighbors are home today, I am utterly alone to solve this and that voice reminds me again I can do it.
The south side dining room window.
I take the screen off and try in vain to open the portal, but previously, to thwart intruders, I’ve blocked it from the inside with a small piece of wire. It’s not budging.
Well that wire works good, I think.
Gazing into my home is agony. I wish to be part of this cozy interior, to be safely tucked inside, sipping tea, reading, doing dishes, folding laundry, doing anything inside. I vow to never again take the sanctity my home for granted.
The rush of panic subsides as I realize no way in is apparent. Walking back around the house to the garden door I remember something. My son using a butter knife to pry open the locked knob a few weeks back.
“Look what I can do Mom”, he said.
That’s it I think, I can do that too.
I consciously inhale allowing some time and space into my body.
Now, think, what can you use that’s like a butter knife?
For weeks I’d noticed a pair of old garden shears with rusty long blades and faded green wooden handles. They were lying in the grass for most of the summer as no one had bothered to put them away. Luckily they’re still there.
The time it takes me to jigger the lock is inconsequential. I have a tool, I have a plan. It would now be only a matter of dong it.
I’m focused, I work it, visualize it opening, seeing it done. Any awareness of standing in the rain, or of being cold fades into the healthy heated heart of action.
No death today. I am empowering myself, changing my destiny. Each time the lock catch slips back I try harder, never accepting defeat, always pressing on.
I know that if my ‘peace’d out’ husband had been standing behind me he would have taken my power away. He would have said, ‘You can’t do that, move aside, let me do it.”
Not today I thought. Not today.
Today I have the idea. Today I get the glory. Today I save myself.
I jump into the house stopping one step inside, shears in hand. I leave the door open behind me as a monument to my success
I did it.
I enjoy this sweet moment of mastery.
The rain smells beautiful now. It’s a new day.
In this precious moment I resolve never again to have worst fears.