I live in fear every day. A fear that drives me to the point of going crazy. A fear constantly pounding inside my head with every thought, word, and action. It has me second guessing so much of my life. I fear I will fail as a father and husband because of the choices I make and I fear no matter what I’m going to screw up.
I remember when my dad lost his job at the local tire plant. I don’t remember how old I was, I just remember the struggles that began after that day. I remember moving more times than I can recall because rent would go up or we couldn’t make the rent payment and were asked to move. I remember watching as a man hooked up my parent’s truck to a tow truck and dragged it out of our driveway because we couldn’t afford the payments. I remember the slight embarrassment my mother had when using food stamps at the local grocery store while people she had grown up with and knew well were watching. I remember watching my parents work hard to get us back on our feet, put food on the table, and make sure there was a roof over me and my brother’s head. I remember the toll it took on their marriage even though they tried to hide it from me and my brother and I remember worrying but never really understanding.
I also remember how I never felt like I didn’t have everything I needed. I remember my parents never missing our birthdays, Christmas, or any other holiday. They may not have been as extravagant as our friend’s, but we still celebrated. I remember learning a great deal about perseverance, hard work and how no matter what, family will always be there to help if and when I fall.
So even though I know things can work out when there seems to be no bottom to the fall, I still fear I will make a mistake that will send my family tumbling. This causes the stress I live with every day and the tension I cause in my marriage. This fear causes me to stray from my dreams and makes me want to warn my son of never dreaming too big because you never know when the floor will drop out.
Every day I have a moment where I don’t know how I’m going to keep going, and how I could possibly make things better for me and my family. I struggle to keep focused at work and often want to give up. I struggle to believe my family would be better off with me staying around and wonder how much easier it would be for them without me dragging them down.
This is a fear I live with every day, but am able to overcome most times by seeing those I love as I come back home from work or wake up in the morning. Hearing their voices, laughs, and cries help me feel the emotions I need to feel in order to realize I belong with my family and to realize there is no better place to be than anywhere with those I love.