Fears, we all have them.
How many of you have ever been afraid, I mean really afraid. Did your breathing get fast and shallow, did you freeze so no one would hear you move, did you ever run? How many of you have ever had someone jump out at you and you get startled then your reaction is to get mad and swing at them?
My girl goes through a state of fear multiple times a day. Sometimes it is flash backs, images of her past, and reminders daily that she is different. Her stuff is big and it is painful to watch her endure. She carries a lot of big stuff around and when it becomes too much she blows.
I recently realized that her defiance and anger has nothing to do with wanting to dis-respect me as her parent but has everything to do with her fear. Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of trusting, and fear of memories. It is her reaction to fear that I see each day.
Her anger is directed at me but it is not about me. It is a front for all the fear she is feeling inside. Once I was able to see her anger and tantrums as fear, I was able to see her in such a different light. Fear consumes her. Her past was so unpredictable and scary that it consumes the very person that she is. Her reaction to the fear is the anger that I so often see.
So, how do I help her to take away this fear? I just need to be there for her. I need to open myself up to her pain and emotionally allow myself to see her fear where she is at. Most of all during these times when it feels like I can’t love her, it is often when she needs me to love her the most. I give her a hug and tell her everything is going to be ok. Acknowledge her fear and help her express it in a different way. Through her screaming I tell her I love her and I am here for her. When she is done verbally abusing me and leaving a tornado in her wake I wrap my arms around her and tell her she is a good girl and that I love her. She needs my love; she needs to know that she is loved. She needs to know that despite the behavior I will always love her.
Can you imagine being in fear all the time because your life has been so unpredictable that you can’t trust anyone that is around you? I can’t imagine life being like that. Each day I look at her I begin to love her more. She is strong, she is working so hard to overcome and if it takes the rest of my life I will continue to love her through her fear to help her heal.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.1 John 4:18a