Fear in Her Eyes

She stepped out of the taxi, a smile plastered on her face.  Her inner voice was gently stroking her bruised ego, telling her that it would be ok.  Everything would be ok, if she just kept saying the mantra to herself.

She reached back and took the little boys hand, her grip firm, she didn’t want to lose him in the rush.  Her brain was frazzled, the noises overwhelmed her senses, people coming at her from every angle.  She pulled harder on the little boys hand, urging him to walk faster, a whispered challenge that she was going to get to the top of the escalator first.

He took off like a shot, she smiled as he turned around, shouting for her to watch him as he walked backwards up the escalator.  Everything was new and exciting to him, she was the sole receiver of his attention.  He shied away when spoken to by others, preferring to not talk at all.

She tried to focus on his smiling face, on how much fun he was having.  She knew that this wouldn’t last forever, that if a few years she would have to drag him shopping.  However she could feel eyes on her, she tried to put her head down, focus on the little boy and his carefree attitude.  It rarely worked.

It felt like everyone was looking at her, the side ways glances were for her.  They were looking at her, judging, making assumptions.  He was a good kid, she was a good mum she tried to reassure herself, but it was too late.  The beating heart had started, she knew that she needed to get the shopping done.  She could feel her skin start to prickle, the noises were louder she was sure of it.  People bumped into her, there were too many people in her space.

She tried to keep it together, she needed to keep it together.  She couldn’t let anyone see the drive they had over her.  Her responses to the little boy were short and sharp now.  She just wanted to get out of there, the faster she tried to go, the more he protested.  It felt like the walls were closing in, she put her head down, trying to shut everything out.  It never worked, she tried to smile at the woman serving her, acted like she wasn’t freaking out on the inside.

When she got home, she was exhausted.  The cold groceries went in the fridge, the rest sat on the bench until she could face them.  She lay down on the couch, a blanket over her face until she felt strong enough emotionally to face the world again.

I wish that this was another one of my creative endevours..but it’s not.  This is my experience when I leave the house, I know that a lot of it is on me and my insecurities.  I know that I get overwhelmed easily, that I can be hyper aware of sounds and people around me.  I know all of these things but it doesn’t make it easier taking that first step out of the door, when you are just waiting for something bad to happen.

I’m a walking self fulfilling prophecy, focusing on the negative, forgetting the positive.  It’s something that I am working on quietly, not taking great big bounds.  After all, life is nothing more than a series of baby steps.

Linking up with Jess for IBOT.

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20 thoughts on “Fear in Her Eyes

  1. Lydia C. Lee

    Wow – I did think it was a fiction. You know though, you do just have to keep putting one foot in front of another. It’s like ice skating – concentrate on the little steps and soon you’re all the way across the rink…(now punch me in the face for having no idea what it’s like). You are doing great if you are working on it…

  2. JM Peace

    A brilliantly written emotive description. Thank you for sharing your battle – the more people know, the more they will understand. I hope the blogging helps both you and others…

  3. Robo

    Life IS stranger than fiction sometimes. We all have days like this but never all the time. Little steps as you say. You are an amazing person – more courageous than you think. X

  4. Hope @NannyShecando

    This is so very descriptive, informative and yet seemingly brilliant prose as well. Thank you for sharing, I really think we all need to be as open with our battles as you are. Sending courage and strength your way for the continued baby steps! xx

  5. Mystery Case

    Thanks for sharing this! Keep working at it and keep writing! I need to work on being more positive too, I’m not sure where to start, I’m pretty sure seeing the negative and worst case scenario in every situation is now embedded in me.

  6. EssentiallyJess

    I was reading this thinking ‘this isn’t fiction.’
    Shopping with a kid is hard even without any other issues in your life, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Just keep taking those baby steps. xx

  7. Lisa

    I didn’t think this was fiction, I find it hard shopping with the kids and I don’t have any anxiety or mental health issues but it beautifully illustrated how hard everyday life is for you. Hang in there Tegan, you are doing your best, take care of yourself xx

  8. Josefa @always Josefa

    What a beautifully written heart wrenching piece. I think it just proves that we really need to walk with compassion and kindness on our sleeve, for you just do not know what another person is going through. Tegan, simply writing this down is taking a step – a step towards your journey and that of others – for you just never know who is reading and you just never know the profound impact this may have on their life xx

  9. Janet @ Middle Aged Mama

    This must be really tough Tegan, I feel for you. When I get feelings of anxiety, I try to remind myself that people are too busy thinking about themselves to think about or judge me!

    Visiting today from #teamIBOT xxx

  10. Renee at Mummy, Wife, Me

    You are amazing, Tegan. This is more than just stepping out of your comfort zone. I understand how a seemingly simple task of doing the groceries is fraught with anxiety for you. I think being aware of it and writing about it are huge steps in the right direction xx

  11. Kathy

    Tegan – this is very powerful. Congratulations on writing it, on acknowledging it. I really hope that when you put your thoughts it (such beautiful) words you are rendering the fear less powerful and transferring that power to yourself.

  12. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me

    Oh sweets I kinda knew from the second paragraph it was about you which made it even more powerful, heartbreaking and awesome. Slow and steady lovely. You’re a great mum and person, don’t ever forget that. x

  13. Lizzy - Muddle-Headed Mamma

    You’re such a fantastic writer, Tegan. I did think it was fiction at first and then I realised it was you. Your love for your little boy shines through your blog. You are brave because you go out and do the things that scare you even though you know how hard it is going to be. Just take it one day at a time. xxx

  14. Druime @SnippetsandSpirits

    I knew this was you Tegan, So well written I was there with you I had a knot in my tummy and I could feel the stares. I have felt like this also during my PND. Now I am clearer I know everybody else is just worrying about themselves. I went to a doctors appointment with my two boys in the buggy. It was a mission to get out the door. Then an elderly lady coming out the door stopped to say what a great mother I was and to keep going. She had no idea I was there to see my doctor for depression. Its little silver linings like that that you must hang onto. You are doing amazing. Be in the moment with that gorgeous boy of yours x

  15. Sheridan

    I always admire how you put yourself out there, Tegan. Such a really well written piece, I can’t help but wait for the next installment, to see how this strong independent woman will battle and overcome her anxieties. That is my wish for you xox

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