My fear that something bad is going to happen to my loved ones is creeping back up, slowly but surely. It’s not debilitating, yet. But something to keep an eye on. When one of those individuals doesn’t answer a phone call, doesn’t call right away to say that they’ve gotten home safely, is out without me, is driving or flying or even walking, I’m worrying again. I’m feeling helpless again that there is so much that could happen in all of those situations that I can’t control, and I know nothing I can do can control it. I feel certain that if something were to happen to one of them (and even saying that, thinking it — I worry that I just caused something to happen. Magical thinking at its finest.) I wouldn’t survive it. I just wouldn’t. But I don’t want to think about it, because what if by thinking it it happens? Which I know can’t happen, but what if it can?
And I am feeling everyone’s emotions again. No, not even feeling their emotions. Feeling their imagined emotions. What if my mom is feeling lonely? What if my dad is stressed? What if my boyfriend is exhausted? What if my brother is scared? I feel it all, even when they tell me that they are okay. I still feel it. Until I become so inundated with every emotion under the sun, on behalf of every person I know, that I can’t breathe. And yet, I can’t let go of it. What if by not paying attention to a potential emotion, I’m being selfish? What if they really need me to acknowledge it and realize it and it’s a test? What if I could be doing something to help and instead I don’t? What if they don’t tell me how they feel because they want to protect me? Are they right in doing that in the first place?
It’s not debilitating. Yet.