I have spent most of my life afraid of one specific thing.
Well, to be honest, I have spent my life afraid of LOTS of things. I was a nervous child. I am a nervous adult. This will come a surprise to most of you who have met me or seen me parent… my children climbing on tractors and riding bikes without helmets, me majoring in ropes courses and singing in front of large crowds. Calm and collected in the spotlight, but a wreck in the wings.
The anxiety is more of an internal monologue that ranges from self-esteem to haunted houses to small talk. There are a few regular heavy-hitters:
wrongful imprisonment in a foreign country
getting lost in a jungle with large snakes
having all four tires explode while I am driving
I’m not here to debate the validity of any of these. Believe me, I’ve been through it all before. My brain is stronger than my will, and the Anxious creeps regularly.
There was great relief when I finally confessed this tendency of mine to exaggerate and perseverate on imaginary issues to Curt.
“Like what,” he asked?
Like, for instance, when you’re late coming home I assume you’re in a ditch.
“I’ll text you before I leave.”
Like, I’m going to be singing in church and I’ll forget all the words.
“We’ll make you a cheat sheet to put on the floor.”
Someone is going to take my kids.
“They will bring them back as soon as Gideon gets hungry.”
But then, there is the real one… the one I always have in the back of my mind. Being the daughter of a mechanic and married to an engineer should have cured me of all traffic and car related fears, but still, every time,
I am still afraid all the wheels are going to explode off my car. I’m afraid something will go ridiculously wrong, all the tires will roll off, and we will explode into a fireball down the highway.
And I told him- Curt- I told him. I felt like an idiot, but we were doing the whole full-disclosure thing and it was going really well and I figured I might as well go all the way. Heal me, husband. Show me logic.
“Oh, Kate,” he said. “You don’t need to be afraid of that.”
“I know,” I said. “It’s dumb. But I always, just for a second, panic and try to figure out what I would do if that happened.”
“Right, but I mean you actually don’t need to be afraid of that.”
“I don’t follow.”
“Well, if all your wheels came off at one time, the car would just stop. Bam. Right there. Game over. Having all four wheels come off would actually be perfectly fine. What’s more likely and far more dangerous is for someone to forget to tighten a lug nut and have one or even two wheels fly off. THAT happens all the time and causes all kinds of ridiculous wrecks.”
And this is why I am not a full-time Champion of Logic.
It’s also why Curt is #2 in my phone.