Thursday, May 1, 2008

The strength of genetics

I've always tended to be a bit of a morbid thinker by nature. When given the opportunity, I tend to go for the worst case scenario. I've been known to sit for a time and contemplate what the last moments on my death bed might be like. And once I had children, I had a transference of sorts. I once convinced Jay while we were on vacation when Megan got really sick that she had West Nile Virus (she didn't). My morbid nature has manifested itself in a number of ways. Just a few of the many examples I could pick from include:

1) Flying-The ironic thing is I fly multiple times per month for my job. But I'll be honest, I don't enjoy it at all. And I don't mean "I don't enjoy it" in the I-don't-like-being-in-a-compact-space-with-smelly-people kind of way. I mean "I don't enjoy it" in the if-anything-happens-to-this-plane-there-is-no-possible-way-I-will-survive kind of way. I admit I've gotten better over the years but I still have some quirks. First off, if it is at all possible, I prefer to fly United Airlines. Not because of the leg room, or the service, but solely because of the fact that I can listen to the cock pit on the radio as we fly. I figure if we are going down, at least I'll know it's happening. I've gotten a lot more relaxed in my "rules" as well so I feel like I'm making progress. Some of my rules from a few years back included only sitting in aisle seats (preferably in an exit row). I used to religiously count the number of rows until I got to an exit row, if I wasn't sitting in the exit row. I don't drink alcohol on a plane (I figure I'd have faster reflexes should the plane be going down) and I used to have this really odd phrase I'd repeat to myself in my head if there was turbulence..."turbulence means air, and air is good." And by the way, YES, I do know how crazy this all sounds.

2) Hypochondriac- This goes all the way back to college. I have a problem with illness. I do a lot of self-diagnosis and admittedly have spent a lot of time on www.webmd.com. For instance, when I have a really bad headache, there have been times where I've convinced myself that I am having a stroke. Shooting pain down the arm? Oh yeah- in my book that's a heart attack. You get the picture.

3) Post Partum depression- I do realize that this is an anomaly and could be viewed strictly as a chemical imbalance. However, after Jack was born my morbid thoughts were brought to a new level. If Jay and Megan would leave the house, I would have thoughts of them getting in car accidents and dying and would play out the scenario in my head of me calling Jay's mom to explain to her that her son died. On multiple occasions as I was carrying Jack down the stairs, I would think about what would happen if I tripped down the stairs and fell on him and killed him. In that scenario, I would be calling 911 and explaining to them that I didn't really kill my son, that is was just an accident. Needless to say, that was a horrible time in my life and very much to the extreme and I don't care what Tom Cruise says but Zoloft was my saving grace.

Anyway, a couple of things have happened over the past couple days that have made me think that maybe my morbidity isn't just me; Maybe it's genetic. We have a tree in our front yard that the kids love to climb. The other day it happened to be very windy and as the kids were in the tree, with the wind blowing, I heard Jack yell to Megan, "We need to get down! The tree is going to fall on us!!!" He was so earnest about it that it broke my heart. Then a day later, I was driving through Burger King's drive through with the kids. On the right side of the car, there was a pretty steep hill. I saw Megan look out her window and she said, "What do you think would happen if we drove off the edge?" And then Jack chimed in, "Yeah, what if we fell off the hill and died???"

It was at that moment that I felt a bit of guilt. I think perhaps a bit of my morbid nature has rubbed off on them. I only hope that if that is the case, that they are able to balance it with the good in life.

2 comments:

Erica said...

I think the morbidity thing is partially human nature. I suffered from it, too, and see it as a lingering form of PPD. (I hate Tom Cruise for his positively ignorant comments regarding very helpful medications - what a fool he is!)

HotMomma said...

I also have the same tendency and always, I shut the thoughts out of my mind because they can also become pretty gross and out of this world.

There was even a time when I would call the house to check on my infant son on my way to work because I imagined that someone broke into the house and killed him and the maid.

On the other hand, I also think this is fairly normal to a lot of moms who are just too concerned of their kids' safety.