December 22, 1999 Winter Solstice
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In Depth and Personal:

Tonight while we were at Bellingraph Gardens I had a mild panic attack. Elizabeth was walking across this bridge, we were right behind her, and it was dark, lit only by red lights and the whole time I was thinking she was going to fall into the water. My heart started racing as I imagined her getting an arms length away and falling into the darkness to the water below. A heaviness came over me, I couldn't catch my breathe as these awful thoughts flooded my mind.

The thoughts are irrational, these twisted nightmares that enter my mind remind me of how I haven't coped with the murder of my brother, the sudden death of various family members, or the death of my mother. I can't get it out of my head that everytime I turn around or things begin to go good in my life that it will not be ruined by death or despair. This has really effected me since becoming a parent. I have nightmares that Elizabeth will suddenly die or get terribly ill. In my head I have planned out what I would do, how I would handle it, what kind of arrangements I would make, and what mental hospital I would check myself into.

After my mother died I became so paranoid I wouldn't sleep. I feared that I would wake up and Jeff or Elizabeth would be dead. The panic attacks would get bad, and I wold lock myself in the bathroom with the water running as I tried to pull myself together some nights. I was feeling insane with all the madness running around in my head. Everywhere I turned I saw ghosts and graves. I talked to my family physician who dismissed it as depression and said she would pray for me. I'm not sure if that's what helped me out of the funk I was in, but I remember thinking that I no longer wanted people to pray for me, lay hands on me, or hear kind words about my mother being with Jesus.

I wouldn't say I was angry with god, but I was pissed at religion and I felt let down by those in the religion. I stopped being afraid of the ghosts and the graves. The panic attacks got farther and farther apart but tonight I was reminded that the paranoia is still there and I am still being haunted by the past.

Just Another Face In The Crowd:

Today Jeff and I took Elizabeth to the mall. We are insane. Almost three year olds and crowded malls do not mix. She didn't want to hold our hands as she walked, often getting ahead of us and walking very sassy like she was the boss (and she is). When we took her to see Santa Claus she acted like it was no big deal until she had to sit in his lap to get her picture taken. We bribed her with candy and were able to get one decent shot of her with this demonic looking Santa.

After it was over, I heard her tell Jeff "Santa scary". And then it dawned on me how stupid we are as parents to encourage our children to go sit on Santa's lap. All year we teach our little ones to not talk or go with strangers, and then for some reason we throw out all those good lessons at Christmas. We send our little ones to strange old looking men wearing all red who say "Ho, Ho, Ho" in a deep voice and request that they sit in his lap. Who is to say old Santa isn't some child molester, or that some child molester will not dress up like Santa and lure children away.

I've never been quite fond of the Santa tradition, and in this day and time I am even more leery of it. Jeff and I quite haven't decided how we are going to incorporate the Santa tradition in our home. We both do not want to lie to our child, we both do not want her to think that some old man breaks into the house to leave presents under our tree or in our stockings every year, but at the same time we do not want to spoil it for other children she comes in contact with.

Too Much Information:

I can't hardly believe it but I think I'm ovulating for a second month in a row. My cervical fluid has been very fertile so Jeff and I have been having lots of sex at various times of the day. I need a Christmas miracle here, so please send all your positive thoughts my way.

Random Ramblings About My Life

I bought some last minute gifts at Natural Wonders. I spent $39.48 on three gifts.

I've been talking to my friend K-- who got married a few months ago as I've been writing this entry. She says married life is not what she had expected it would be.

I need to wrap a few more gifts, but I'm procrastinating.

The moon was absolutely gorgeous tonight.