I do not consider myself to be a fearful person. Most times I go along believing that it will be okay and that I can handle stuff. But that all changed back in December.
When I was in the swamp with Steele waiting for help to arrive I have never felt so afraid or helpless in my whole life. That fear settled like a hard knot in my spirit and took up permanent residence. I managed pretty well convincing Ed and myself that I was becoming okay.
Then Carmen came home and that knot of fear took over my whole being. I became terrified to let her out in the field. Like shaking terrified. Like unable to focus and leaping up to check the window every five minutes terrified.
Now fear can be useful- it lets us know that what we're contemplating doing is probably not a good idea. But it can also be non-productive and paralyzing. Which is what I experiencing and I had no idea how to deal with it. The winter weather didn't help. Somehow, the snow and ice became part of Steele's death in my head and I couldn't separate the two of them. The more it snowed and the colder it was the more oppressed I felt.
What was I afraid of? Essentially that something terrible was going to happen to Carmen.
I worried that she would flounder in the snow and break her leg.
I worried that she would jump over the fence (because the snow was so high) and break a leg.
Mostly I worried that the dogs would come back.
Really I was just surrounded by a cloud of fear and I couldn't talk myself out of it and had no idea how to deal with it.
I was even contemplating leaving Carmen inside until the snow melted. I knew that that was not a good idea and I didn't do it but I seriously thought about it. Each time I let her out it felt like I was doing the bravest thing ever.
Ed was very very patient with me. He re-arranged his work schedule to make sure that he was home if I was away (he works from home). I was incapable of both of us being away and the horses outside. My good friend Joanne, seeing my fear, came and babysat one day when we both had to be at work. We would talk about it. Ed would patiently point out that this couldn't go on forever. And I would reply that I knew that but couldn't figure out how to get around it. Every time they were out I would check out the window every 5 minutes. There were times when I actually sat there and talked myself through waiting another 5 minutes.
This has given me a whole new appreciation for people with Anxiety Disorders. I think that their ability to function at all should qualify them for a medal.
Slowly with time it's been getting better.
And then spring finally arrived. This weekend started with warm temperatures and rain which greatly reduced the snow level. Then on Saturday the weather has warm and sunny. This finally melted the ice locking in Irish's door and we could open it to the outside. And when that happened that knot in soul began to loosen. Which is ridiculous. And freeing.
Carmen immediately popped inside Irish's stall and peed. She checked everything out and hung out with me in the barn. She's been spending the past two days thoroughly enjoying being able to pop in and out at will. Her stall should be free by this afternoon.
|let me see if I like this one better|
|Irish: "I always lose my stall to the mares"|
I've been outside digging trenches for the run off and couldn't be happier. Who knew that watching snow melt could be so much fun.
There has also been other interesting developments as well. With this change in myself Carmen is now much more interested in me. She seeks me out when I'm outside and positions herself by me. When I'm near she blows in my ear. Last night I put her in the cross ties and she was as good as gold. I dropped an item in the food bin to surprise her and she looked at me with disdain "seriously?" If she had eyebrows she would have arched them. I thought that I was covering up my emotions but you really cannot fool horses.