A bit of wisdom I picked up in the rooms was that one could consider the word "fear" to be an acronym. F.E.A.R. stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. In other words, Fear causes me to be tricked into believing lies or prognostications. I do this all the time. Here's a perfect example (and it is so silly when I type it out, yet inside my brain it seems perfectly legit):
Ben does not smile as much as I *remember* my other two kids smiling at this age (which is all of 8 weeks). He must have autism. QED.
Where do I start? Okay, first I would start with the fact that there are many precious people in the world with autism and it in no way lessens his human dignity or lovability. I would love my child neurotypical or not. Second, it might just be a TAD too soon to tell, since he is, you know, less than two months old. The poor kid can't even control his neck muscles yet and I've already diagnosed him with autism. And third, I'm basing this off of my extremely imperfect memory of what my other children did (as if they each represent the gold standard of How Children Ought To Develop.) This is hardly a scientific collection of data I'm using to freak myself out. False Evidence Appearing Real.
Here's another one, just for fun. I've been worrying that everyone at my school hates me for leaving (because, clearly, the school revolves around me). On what evidence was I basing this assumption? Oh, the "fact" that I had not heard from some of my good teacher friends there. Therefore etc. (Like how I'm busting out the Euclidean proof language?)
Well, I just met up briefly with one of said teacher friends today and she assured me that not only was I not universally hated, but everyone was worried about me, but it had been suggested that my privacy was to be respected at this time. All the people were actually trying to be considerate of me by not calling/texting/emailing and saying, "Oh my gosh, what's going on?" Imagine that. AND I have gotten several emails/texts/FB messages from people there that are supportive. But none of that actual evidence is good enough for the F.E.A.R. committee. No, much better to take one unfounded hypothesis and run with it!
Pretty silly, eh? Yet another reason why I write: to get the stuff that seems so real in my head out into the light of day where I can look at it (more) objectively and say, "That's actually really silly," and then feel better.
So remember, dear readers, not to fall into F.E.A.R. but instead to have faith and be strong and courageous!