When the doctor made the pronouncement: “Time of death 11:58 am” I felt myself grow hot from the steady pulse of fear in my stomach as the reality of his words sank in.
Fear took over. Fear of the basement. Fear of the mail.
When Klaus died, my physical safety was not threatened, but my emotional well-being certainly was. Stress hormones couldn’t differentiate between physical and emotional threats and sent my autonomic nervous system into overdrive. Hormones poured out to prepare me to respond to imminent danger which had already happened. Nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, and heart pounding accompanied persistent grief, doubt, and fear.
Trauma was stuck in the box that was my body, leaving me not knowing which way was up. And my masterful mind was stuck in limbo, trying to rationalize emotions and physiological responses.
Fear was constant, large, and ambiguous. Without a ravaging bear to focus on, my mind made up colorful tragic scenarios all centered on my not having the skills to make it on my own. Fear of the roof falling in, my septic exploding, and ending up in an alley eating Seafood Delight topped my list of things to fear. Of those, only one of them happened, but I guess you will have to read my book to find out which one.