March 19, 2013

Thoughts About Fear

A week and a half ago our home was broken into. I came home in the evening with Ellie and was getting her some dinner while I was talking on my phone. After fiddling around in the house for a few minutes, with Ellie sitting on my lap, I saw that our back sliding door was wide open. I knew that I had not left our door wide open when I had left the house two and a half hours earlier, and my stomach dropped. My heart began to pound in my chest and I held Ellie close to me while I decided to search the rest of our house and make sure everything was ok. Our home was dark and I flipped on lights as I moved through it- glancing in doors and hoping that I wouldn't find any stranger inside. I turned on the lights of the master bedroom and found every drawer of our armoire had been rummaged through. By this point I felt like I was the leading role in a scary movie. I was terrified. It was nighttime, and here I was as Ellie's sole protector, alone in our invaded home. All this time I held Ellie close to me, and my body became more and more frantic. My heart was pounding and my hands were shaking like crazy. At this point I couldn't get out of my house fast enough. I tried to buckle Ellie in her car seat and finally decided to leave her half un-buckled so that we could just leave as quickly as possible. I drove down the street and called BJ sobbing.
 I had never had a real life reason like this to be afraid. I had never felt in danger like I felt that night. I had never wanted so badly to not be the adult in the situation. I couldn't believe I was Ellie's mom- Ellie's protector- all I could think about was how I wanted my mom and dad so, so badly.
Long story short, all of BJ's watches and jewelry were stolen, a policeman came to our house that night, we bought a dog to be my protector, and life keeps moving on.
I layed in bed with BJ last Thursday night and cried to him. I told him that although I didn't like how dramatic it sounded, this wass probably the hardest thing I've ever had to go through. My favorite place in the world to be, the place I have poured my heart and soul into, the place that is my territory, my sanctuary, the holy ground to raise my family became a place that now caused me anxiety, continual worry, and stress. I couldn't shake the fear even though I knew that I really was in actuality pretty safe. I felt overwhelmed and doubtful knowing lots of Heavenly Father's righteous children go through horribly traumatic experiences. Just because I was living righteously didn't mean I could be exempt from anything bad or dangerous happening to me. I couldn't sleep well at night and was on the verge of tears multiple times a day. I felt like my patience was on a rollercoaster with Ellie- one minute I'd be loving and adoring her, and the next I was snapping in complete and total frustration.
On Sunday night I cried again to BJ when we were driving home from a friend's house- telling him that I just wanted my old life back. I wanted to be in my home cooking during the day without being nervous. I wanted to spend time in my garden without looking up for an intruder every 30 seconds. I wanted to enjoy when I was away from home running errands, or out with friends without anxiety crowding out the happiness of the moment. I called my mom crying and with a shaky voice my first words on the phone to her were,
 "I am not handling this well."
We talked through things and she comforted me in a way that only a mother can. She then told me she would call my uncle Steve who is a physcologist and see if he had any advice that would be helpful. That night I talked to BJ some more, and to my mom again, and finally realized that I needed to really turn this over to the Lord. I went upstairs, alone in my room (and I wasn't afraid! woohoo!) and prayed aloud for a good amount of time. I told the Lord I understood that this was a trial, and that if it needed to be hard, that was fine, but that I couldn't live in fear in my own home anymore. I cried and talked to him, the way I have at other times in my life and felt as if I had a counselor in the room there with me. As I prayed my thoughts began to clear. Little by little, line upon line, clarity came. I asked that I would be blessed with insight and promptings to be able to cope with the situation. I asked that I would have the determination and commitment to turn to him in prayer every time I felt afraid. I pleaded that His Spirit and His angels would be felt in my home and that my heart could be calm again.
Since Sunday night, I have slept through the night, and slept well for the past two nights. Understanding and insight have come and I have learned a lot about acceptance. It is ok that I feel fear. The fear doesn't have to go away right now. But I can enjoy the peace that each moment in the present brings. I have learned that breathing works miracles. When my thoughts reflect back on that night and my heart races again and I feel my body go tense, I can breathe, and relax my body and feel my thoughts begin to clear. I can now accept the fact that bad, scary, difficult things to face are very likely awaiting me in my future. We don't have to be free from these things to find that life is very, very beautiful, and that indeed, these difficulties do refine us if we use our agency and the atonement together. They are a remarkable pair that can heal everything. It is ok that something scary happened to me and that something scary could happen again, but today I am walking with the Lord, making sure I stay close by him so that I can see the beauty in my life and home again.