I’m in a group once a week that focuses on interpersonal relationships or something like that. Healer Lady thought it would be good for me and I suppose she’s right. Really, it’s my big night out for the week.
On occasion, because of busy schedules, we hire a babysitter to watch Nugget. Most people hire babysitters for a romantic dinner or cocktails with friends, but we hire babysitters because I’m wacked and a weekly infusion of group therapy is necessary.
A couple of weeks ago, we hired one of Nugget’s favorite babysitters who doubles as a teacher at her daycare. Nugget LOVES her. So much so, she called her Mama once. I was like WTF! Taming my Mama Bear, I reasoned that it clearly happened only once and it was because she had low blood sugar. That settled that.
During this particular group, I was antsy to get home to Nugget. We hadn’t had much time together that week and I missed her. The drive from group to my home is approximately eight minutes. I made it in six as I irreverently blew past the police department.
Turning the corner to my home, my stomach dropped. The house was dark, and there was no sign of our babysitter’s car.
Where was my daughter? I couldn’t fathom why she and the babysitter weren’t home.
My heart raced as I picked up my cell to call the babysitter and of course the fucking thing had no battery power. Rushing into the house to both assess the situation and to charge the phone, I could feel a panic attack coming.
If you’ve never had a panic attack, they feel like this:
My hands shook uncontrollably as I tried to dial the phone. The internal dialogue in my head was yelling, “Stop. Just dial the fucking phone.” (I wasn’t being compassionate with myself per Healer Lady’s suggestion.)
Finally, I was able to call the babysitter. No answer.
It’s important to state that I trust our babysitter about as much as I trust anybody who is not Sweetie. Truth is, I’m always searching for a secret agenda. Specific to this babysitter, she’s never done anything to make me question her judgement, and I like her so much I could even call her Mama. But, I’m plagued with distrust. John Bradshaw, the guy who wrote The Family, states in his book that this is usually the case with people like me. (His spot-on observation got me curious about him, so I looked him up. Don’t do it. His hair disturbs.)
All this to say that I recognized in the moment that my trust issues were coming to the forefront and that I needed to gain some perspective. So I paced.
Pacing around the house hard and fast, I pulled a muscle in my ass. So then I limped around the house, continuing my quest for perspective, but it was out of reach. Way out of reach.
Finally, the babysitter called. She casually informed me that they had gone out for dinner and were wrapping up and heading back to the house. The panic had turned my voice into a whisper as I mustered up an “ok,” as a response. That was it. That was my big Mama Bear moment. A teeny, tiny whimper of “ok.”
I wish I could say that relief entered the picture here, but it didn’t. Absent a rational frame of mind, I could not accept the situation for its innocent simplicity for fear that in doing so I would fail Nugget. My guard wasn’t going to drop.
During a therapy session some time ago when I shared with Healer Lady a similar sort of situation, she said “examine the evidence.” So when Nugget returned, I asked her:
- What did you do?
- What did you eat?
- Who were you with?
- Was there another person there?
- Where you by the lake? (which is where the restaurant is located)
Mid-way through, Nugget smiled and said, “I farted.”