Forrest and I met when we were both seniors in High School. Four somewhat stormy years later, we were married. We started having children two years after the wedding.
When Forrest was a graduate student at Purdue University, I stayed home with our baby. It was great while Forrest’s best friend, Dale and Dale’s wife, Connie, were there. Connie and I had been close. We’d shared meals, shopped, done everything together during my pregnancy. Forrest was a good student and seldom available.
When Chris, our baby, was just months old, Dale graduated and moved to another state. I was alone. Even when Forrest was home, I felt alone because he was busy with his research and other school work.
After the birth, I had postpartum depression. I began to have panic attacks. I was afraid to stay alone, afraid to go outside. I wouldn’t go out of the house, not even into the back yard.
After months of fear and panic, I pulled myself out of the depths by sheer force. I had to stay alone after Forrest accepted a job. I distracted myself by watching TV–our first TV. I looked out the window often, searching the area for people, feeling safer if I saw someone near.
One day, I decided I’d take a bus to the square, go into a department store, Heers, and buy a lipstick. Then I’d get on another bus and return home. That’s what I did. I can’t tell you how hard that was.
I gradually licked my panic and fears and was able to enjoy life once more.
Forrest and I spent 59 years together before he died. He’s been gone for five years. During that time, I’ve lived alone and with my son. I’ve never liked being alone, but now, I find myself nearing panic again at times when Ken, who is now living with me, is at school.
I never share how uneasy I feel, not even with my best friends. But I’m sharing it with you, my blogging buddies. I’m fighting it again and find it easier this time. Some days are worse than others.
I hope to explore reasons why I’m afraid to be alone. On some level, I believe I already know. It probably begins with the illnesses I had in my childhood that kept me isolated much of the time. Maybe even before that.
A month after I was born, my seventeen year old mother became pregnant with my brother and sent me to another state to live with my grandmother. After he was born, I was sent to live with an aunt.
Who knows how such experiences affect the psyche of a developing human being? I hope to find some answers by writing about my life. I hope to find some answers, and solutions, to my problems, because the problems close doors to my being all that I can be.