It happens from time to time. I only really noticed it in the last two weeks. It’s something that my son Joe does. He will completely and irrationally worry about something that basically has no chance of occuring. It’s not the dark, it’s not heights, it’s not bullying, bad grades, or anything like that. It’s not even as developed as any of those things. It’s simply the fear of something going wrong. It’s almost like the less chance of something happening the greater the chance he’ll be afraid. Stranger yet, these are not big time life issues. More often than not they are innocuous.
As an example, he was getting ready to go to a birthday party one day recently. He menioned to me that we was nervous. He doesn’t spend a ton of time with friends (more time with our family and extended family) so I assumed that it centered on that. No. Not at all. He was concerned that he had the wrong date and that he would look like a fool going to a party that wasn’t going on. Even when we showed him the invitation he still remained bothered/hesitant.
Fast forward to just the other morning on our way to school. I had finished praying for Joe and Bella (eyes open of course, I was driving) when Joe told me that they were starting to talk about the transition to the high school next year. Again, he said that it made him feel nervous. Thinking he meant going to the high school or being with older kids again I asked him why he was worried. He told me that it was in regards to scheduling. He was fearing that he would do it wrong or that it wouldn’t work right and that his classes would be wrong and his education would suffer. I so wanted to laugh, or yell, or explain. However, God blessed me with some inisight.
I simply asked, “Do you know why these things cause you to worry Joe?” Of course he did not. I went on to explain that earlier in his life he was just going along, minding his own business. He wasn’t doing anything wrong. Then, the worst thing that he coudln’t have imagined happened to him (Trey’s diagonis, disease, and death). Now, what else might happen to him out of nowhere? What else might take him out at his knees? He wasn’t doing anything wrong and he was blindsided. When would it happen next?
I gently told him that it was perfectly normal for him to feel this way. I let him know that I too have had “irrantional” fears that get away from me. I told him that he was not alone. We moved on in conversation and haven’t revisited it since. I’m not saying that I have cured him from all anxiety or worry. I’m just grateful that we coudl put some reason to what seemed like unreasonable fear/worry.
Yes, this is true for all of us. That is why self introspection is necessary as well as living with and around others who care for us. We need to realize that the events of the past have left a mark, many marks, and often quite very sublte ones that we don’t notice.
Understanding the problem is one thing. Sharing your pain with someone who loves you is another and much more effective component of healing. I love comfort and encourage you to seek it and freely give it. It’s not encouragement or support, it’s simply joining someone in their pain and helping keep them from feeling alone. Even if, and especially if, it’s your own son.