The Dread of Coming Home

I finished “Sheep Got Out” before I left last week, it is sold

I had a pang of fear as the plane was landing last night.  I’m not afraid of flying, and  don’t worry about the plane crashing, I was nervous about coming home.  I think it goes way back, growing up the family mantra was that if you’re going to have fun, you have to suffer.  There was always a catastrophe waiting for us when we got home from vacation.  I can’t remember any of them, just the feeling, the dread of coming home.

So I’ve been working on this, coming home, for a long time and this time when I felt it, I knew something was off.  I just knew there was nothing to be afraid of. ( Partly because the day before I had texted Bailey, who watches the farm, to make sure everything was ok.  I had come up with a horrific story  about how she didn’t show up for some unknown reason and what became of the animals, I won’t go into detail).   I realized that even scarier than not feeling anxious about coming home was the idea of not having that old feeling.  Because as uncomfortable as it is,  there’s something comforting in it.   It’s familiar, it’s known.  And without it, well, it’s the unknown, anything can happen.   It’s like coming home to an empty house, like being alone with yourself.  As the writer,  Sherman Alexie  said,  “If we forgive our fathers, what’s left.”

I think it’s about trusting myself and being in the moment and not letting the stories run wild in my mind.  Trusting that I can handle what ever may come along even if it’s nothing.



11 thoughts on “The Dread of Coming Home

  1. Wonderful. I am realizing this more as I grow is really the most important day, sounds cliche, but true. Can no longer live a life separated into “work” and “vacation”…learning to appreciate the gifts that even a struggle gives.

  2. I understand your feelings, very well. I just got back from Jenna’s Antlerstock, and while I was there (actually the afternoon I arrived), I got a call that my oldest cat had passed away, and when I got home, I found out that my great aunt had been hospitalized the same day.

    But it’s just bad timing, it’s not punishment because we dared to take some time for ourselves, to do things that might not be to everyone’s taste. It’s just bad timing. It sucks, it’s not our fault, and it’s VERY hard to learn.

    Congratulations on learning to trust. It’s a long, hard process. But we’re worth it in the end.

  3. I’m having a distant flash of memory from your description of this reflexive anxiety and I’m recognizing a sort of superstitious quality that I invest in it. I haven’t thought about this before, but it’s as if the dread is somehow protective and I need it to balance moments of unguarded happiness and push away some lurking, unnamed dreadful thing.

  4. I didn’t know anyone else had this fear! I always have dreams and visions of nothing but a charred place on the ground where my house was when I drive up after being away. I’m never really comfortable until I drive up and actually see that it is there and my animals are safe and well.

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