cartoon cow writing at a desk

High Anxiety and The Three Little Pigs (9.12.18)

Although I grew up being sexually abused as a child by my father, I always felt safe and secure with him in every other aspect of my life especially during natural disasters. He always knew what to do. He’s always prepared and he’s intelligent about so many things. He can fix, repair, prepare, retrieve, recover, etc. He grew up on a farm, spent 3 years in the Army, and we camped when I was growing up. Those skills translate easily into disaster preparedness and the “what if’s” that happen along the way.

In contrast, I am now in a family system where my husband and I are COMPLETE opposites when it comes to hurricanes and big winter storms. He wants to “flight” immediately from our home in RVA and I’m more, “Let’s get more information and prepare. We’ll leave if we have to.” He would rather be in our concrete and steel condo building that survived Hurricane Hugo than be in our “stick” built house in RVA. Trust me, I will never be on the SC coast for any level of hurricane. Our condo building is now 29 years old and who knows if it could hold up to another hurricane. Anyhow, this contrast in strategy, coping mechanism, or sense of safety creates high anxiety for our already anxious kids. Fireworks were exploding this morning at the breakfast table. And we’re not even in the danger zone! But who the hell knows what’s going to happen until we get closer to Thursday. The storm can shift. Our community in Richmond, Virginia has been saturated with rain this past summer, therefore there will be flooding and trees will be toppling with high winds. We live in wetlands aka a low level swamp. We are also near a man-made lake where the 100 year flood plain comes up on the corner of our property. Should we build an ark?

I try my best to keep my new highly anxious family grounded, but it’s tough especially since I am exhausted and depleted in day 6 of processing a stomach virus. I called my 79 year old parents today and said, “We might be heading to your house for Plan B.” They live in a ranch style brick home in southern VA and we live in a 2 story house with vinyl siding and lots of windows. Great opportunity to enlighten the kids today about the message in the Three Little Pigs.