The fear I was feeling about riding Chloe is not a rational fear. I knew that, because of the way it made me feel, it’s an old and crippling fear. It’s the fear that if I ride Chloe I will fall off her, break my neck and be paralyzed and wish I had never gotten on her back. If only, I would say, I had never gotten Chloe this wouldn’t have happened. It’s the kind of fear that growing up on Long Island in the 1970’s made me believe that if I walked to a friends house at night by myself or with a girlfriend, I would be raped and murdered. But if I was walking home from work or with a boy I would be safe. The kind of fear that makes me doubt my decisions and choices, because they might be wrong and I might regret them for the rest of my life.
I know where it comes from, I can still see it in my mother who will never give anyone directions on how to get someplace because if they have an accident she thinks it will be her fault. It’s an irrational fear that’s based on superstition, warped morals and regrets. And the fear was triggered in my when I saw the young woman fall off Chloe. I was so grateful that she didn’t get hurt, but my mind went to the what if’s, and the fear flooded through me and decided to stay for a while, comfortable in it’s familiar home. For as long as I let it.
Eli was supposed to come to work with me and Chloe this morning, but got delayed. And I’m glad she did. Because my asking her for help, sparked my understanding of what was really going on with me. I talked to Jon about it over breakfast, and spoke the words out loud for the first time. The thing is, I’m not afraid of Chloe, I’ve never been scared when I’m riding her and if anything, I’m more confident with her now than I’ve ever been. That’s how I know the fear has nothing to do with her. I see that Eli can help me work with Chloe, but only I can deal with my fear.