“In truth, I wanted to reach out to that touch-stone of past comfort.”
Over the last months I’ve been really proud – downright cocky – about my fearlessness. I’ve taken tremendous pride in my ability to Adult like the grown up I am and have felt down right accomplished.
Then we got word earlier today that Hurricane Harvey is headed our direction, likely to make landfall in just 48 hours or less. People have flocked to the stores, stocking up on all the essentials, water, batteries, beer, hard liquor, wine…all the really necessary things. My sweet Daddy went to the store and while he was stocking up on water for his household he dropped some off for me too.
It was in the midst of the chaos of people talking about boarding up their homes, the possibility of flooding, mobilizing emergency services that I fell head-first into the crazy-eyed fear rabbit hole. This will be the first potential critical event since I’ve become single. Granted, I live in an apartment complex, and have renters insurance, so I won’t be boarding up windows, nor do I have any real patio furniture to speak of, so I don’t have to worry about that going Full-Dorothy on me, but still…..it’s scary. The unknown is what causes me fear and anxiety, probably due to my inability to control the outcome.
It was in the throes of this scary, crazy, fear that I did the unspeakable. I reached out to my ex. It was my go-to thing to do. I was face to face with being alone, with no one to share the load with me. No partner, no one to handle the heavy lifting, keep me feelings safe – even if it was a false sense of safety, it felt safe. I reached out and in just a few sentences told him what we were looking at with the hurricane with the information we had at that point. He was very nice – thanked me for letting him know and to please keep him updated. That was pretty much the response I expected, we have a daughter who still lives with me and will be impacted by any incoming weather so I used that as justification for texting him.
In truth, I wanted to reach out to that touch-stone of past comfort. He may not have been who I thought he was, and our marriage may have been a bit of a sham when it’s all said and done, but he was really good at helping me calm the crazy. He knew how to tell me it would be okay, not to worry and that we would handle whatever came our way. Just the words were enough to help me feel comforted, and I wanted another small hit of it.
Then I felt waves of disappointment in myself. I’d reached out to the other camp, the other side of the line, I’d reached out to the one person I’m not supposed to rely on anymore for emotional stability and reinforcement. But I did it anyway. I caved.
I know I have people around me who will help me with whatever I need. I have family close, a work family who would make sure we were safe and taken care of, and the apartment complex I live in have wonderful people who I know will take care of any structural issues that might happen. I’m covered. I know that. I knew that when I texted him too, but I had a moment of nostalgia and let myself remember all the other hurricanes or hurricane scares that we had together and momentarily forgot what we’d turned into.
It’s a process. This is yet another First in the life of post marital existence, and I need to chalk it up to one more moment of being human and craving emotional support in a time of crisis. It’s ok. It happens, and it will likely turn out that I didn’t need that external support at all. If the last few months have shown me anything, it’s that I’m capable of being just fine.
So I will hunker down this weekend with my beautiful daughter and my fur-babies and we will weather the storm like we have every other time; with dignity and grace. We will be ok and the sun always shines even brighter after a storm. You never know, we might even be blessed with a rainbow.