APSGO Parenting Blog

As a child. I’m not sure when I started worrying in my life exactly. My guess is, it had something to do with doing something I wasn’t supposed to do. I wasn’t worried about what I was doing, I was worried that I would get caught doing it, only because I didn’t like the consequences and the ripple effect it created. Could be a spanking, or the belt (which I guess makes it a bit of a beating) and it could include a grounding, the kind of grounding where you were in your room except to go to school, to pee or eat dinner.

However, the fact that I was worried, didn’t generally stop me from what I was going to do, I think maybe, if anything, I was just more cautious and sneaky about doing it. As a teen, aside from the regular teen stuff, friends, boys and high school, I think I worried about getting caught doing what I was doing, because even after all this time, the consequences and the ripple effect it created, still lingered in my world. But I think I only worried when it looked like I might be caught, I had moved up in the world and I was doing bigger stuff I wasn’t supposed to be doing.

As I became a young adult, I worried about having a job and paying my bills and having enough money to eat. I worried about my boyfriend (not about him) but about the things I thought might turn him off and I worried about the things, I couldn’t possibly foresee, that might turn him off, that would “get me hit”. Eventually, I worried that he would murder my Mom, my dog and me (because that is what he told me he would do if I ever left). It’s funny to think that once I stopped worrying about what he was going to do to me or my family the consequences seemed doubtful, I even set the butchers knife in front of him and told him to “stab me now, cause your killing me anyway.”

It’s amazing what can happen when you no longer allow yourself to worry, It’s like giving yourself your power back. That was short lived. As a parent, I worried about everything and anything, did my baby miss a feeding, did she seem feverish, OMG what rash is that, it’s really cold, where’s her hat? Why is he crying, is his diaper wet, he’s spitting up, is his stomach upset? Is she warm enough, cool enough, is her stool soft enough? Is he tired, is he hungry, is that too loud, is he grumpy? Is her bottle too cold, is her bottle too hot, is she comfy in her cot? What if he falls down and he gets hurt, what if he tries to eat some dirt? What if someone hurts her and she can’t say, what if someone tries to steal her away? Will he like his teachers, will they like him back, will he remember his lunch sack? Will she have friends, will they be nice, will someone pass lice on to her? How’s he doing, will he pass his test, I wonder if he tried his best? The boy she likes, is he okay or will he break her heart today? The high school that she starts this year, will she start smoking and drinking beer? I wonder if he’ll get his credits, and the extra weight, will he shed it? The guy she’s dating, will he treat her right if he doesn’t will she fight? Will he get that life can be hard, will he learn to play his cards? Will she find a job that pays her well, or one that will feel like hell? Will he be happy in what he does, or end up like that guy named Gus? Will she marry a man who loves her so, or end up unhappy with a grumpy soul? Will she go to college, or university? Will she have one child, two or three? Will he ever want to be a Dad, cause it’s something that he doesn’t have?

And so I have spent my life worrying, I have worried about pretty well everything a person could worry about, I’ve stressed over it, cried over it, I’ve been sick over it, I’m sure I’ve aged over it. Worrying about what just happened, worrying about today, worrying about what might happen, a week, a month, a year, a decade ahead, a lifetime away. I’ve learned, in the last ten months, that the outcome, will be the outcome, regardless of how much or how little I worry. I’ve also learned, that my worrying, didn’t do a thing to make anything better for anyone, least of all, me. I just realized something, I’ve wasted the better part of 50 years worrying. All the time and energy I’ve wasted, all the tears and heartache I’ve carried. What a waste of time! AND I won’t worry about that, ’cause it won’t change a thing.

by Donna DiMascio, 2010

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