I don’t remember being afraid of too much until I became a parent.  Maybe I was and those fears were minor compared to the ones that come with parenthood.  Or, maybe, they come with seeing the real world for all its dangers.  I’m talking about those moments when your brain goes berserk with all the possibilities that are out of your control, those times when your imagination takes over reason and you are actually experiencing real symptoms of fear.  Pacing.  Sweating.  Heart racing. Nerves on edge.  Sleeplessness.  That feeling in the pit of your stomach.  Out of control.

There are times when you should be afraid, should know that there may be danger out there.  I’m talking about the fear that comes when you really have no specific reason to think the worst, to imagine the worst case scenario.  This was all brought home to me when one of my cats disappeared, not even for a very long time.  He had an infection and had a shot of antibiotics.  He went outside, which he does every night, and didn’t come back first thing in the morning.  Did a fox get him?  Did he get hit by a car?  Did he get catnapped?  Totally irrational, because he has done this before, but very real on my part.

It’s like the times your child comes home later than expected or you can’t reach a child at college (this was before cell phones and internet).  All the possible horrible things you can imagine come to mind.  The human mind is a tricky thing.  So is the human heart.  The worst things that have happened to me weren’t preceded by this sudden feeling of being out of control.  They were shocks, but they weren’t sudden.  They had been coming for awhile.  Sometimes you feel something isn’t right, but you don’t get these crazy thoughts.  These are different.

The good thing about these times when you have let your imagination fly into the worst places is that the object of the fear returns or call, usually with no knowledge of your fear, and the sense of relief is as physical as the fear was.  Sometimes followed by embarrassment that you let your mind go so crazy.  In my latest case, the cat came sauntering down the street, came when I called and looked at me like “What?!”  Probably rolled his eyes, at least to himself.  Just like kids.

Our brains are interesting organs, crammed with knowledge, capable of incredible imagination, storage place for all sorts of emotions.  These crazy fears are like bad dreams…maybe not as bad.  At least an incident triggered this bout.  I don’t know if this kind of thing is from love, guilt that you weren’t doing your job, or somewhat of a mixture.  I’m not going to go any crazier about it than I already have!  Everybody is in the right place for now.