Fear from Pandora’s Box

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I always find my solutions in the silence. When I am able to quite my mind, still that inner voice and listen there in that moment of peace I can typically hear my solution or at least find my direction.  Having ended a challenging week I needed to find my balance so I could listen. I have struggled with the fact I assumed too many responsibilities with my personal life yet those have led to potential opportunities that would be a blessing; striking a balance with my work life and all the impending deadlines is overwhelming at best. The uncertain future of my living arrangement, shall I keep or sale including the associated questions both financial and emotional add an extra level of thought to an already over taxed mind. Still struggling with a small need to plan as a result of years of hypervigilance I was concerned when my plans were destroyed in a single phone call. Toss in parenting challenges, children school responsibilities and decisions, updating my budget and my PhD deadlines I was a wee bit stressed.

To top off this week, my ex decided to start an argument about my parenting. While it may have been a retort for the reminder of responsibilities he has with the youngest (I should have known better but had no option to remind him) it felt as if it was so much more.  I think I was most shocked by the fact I actually felt afraid. When thinking the message through, I realized this is the time of year when he begins to descend into a cycle of poor choices, anger and hostility.  While this would have been a common thought is years past, the distance has buffered me from that thought. With that awareness I was truly shocked at my reaction; I was overcome with fear and anxiety.  Had my prior life been filled with that perpetual level of emotion? If so, how had I survived that emotionally?

Later in a conversation with a friend about something moderately related I was surprised at how difficult it was to manage that fear. It was as if it Pandora’s box had been opened and I could not seem to contain it. I suppose the only option was to stand to face that fear.  Maybe it was a combination of the week that contributed to my reaction. Possibly it was a combination of that and the recent data that was shared with my on the prevalence of incidents of violence that occur once the relationship has ended.  I think what may have  most unsettled me was the fact that even years after my marriage, I was fearful of facing an attempt to control me by the person who had spent years instilling fear, intimation  and self-doubt as a means to manipulate and gain personal advantage.

“Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent than the one derived from fear of punishment.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

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