I have an extreme fear of heights. It’s the IMTWOSECONDSAWAYFROMBLACKINGOUT type that leaves you paralyzed and questioning whether or not you are in a nightmare. I saw members from my platoon scurry to the top and then let out a war cry before enthusiastically gliding down. Some cadets were obviously scared, but I was a leader and I needed to set the example. I put my game face on and climbed plank by plank. 10 feet up. 20 feet up. Okay now I’m getting a little sweaty. 30 feet up. Okay this is high. 40 feet up. What the F*ck am I doing. 50 feet up. Everyone looks tiny. 60 feet up. Why is this tower so f*cking shaky!! 70 feet up. HOLYF*CKINGSH*TI’M ABOUTTOHAVEAPANICATTACK. I stood atop this rickety tower and an Non-Commissioned Officer handed me a neglected handlebar. I completely froze and let the handlebar fly into the distance. I let other cadets pass me in line. My fear was paralyzing and I started to hyperventilate. In my head, I knew I would be safe but my body wouldn’t react to my internal coaching. I grabbed another handlebar and crept to the edge….I looked below and saw the lake which seemed miles away. I swear I saw Great White sharks circling jagged rocks below me. Okay…that’s not true…but I felt like that was my reality. So I, of course, let another handle bar fly down the line. The NCO started to yell at me and told me that if I didn’t do this obstacle that I would fail the leadership camp and would never become an Army officer (…which is actually true. This happened to several people). Annnd I completely lost my military bearing. I told him to “shut the f*ck up” and “chill the f*ck out”. Not my proudest moment…but I didn’t care. Survival mode right? I moved next to him and then…began to cry. Every part of me wanted to retract every single tear…but I couldn’t. They were released into the world highlighting my weakness. I loathed myself for my paralyzing fear.
After 15-20 minutes of me crying and standing next to an NCO that wanted to throw me off the tower, I had my “Come to Jesus Moment”. I’m going to USC, an extremely expensive private school, and would have to pay full tuition if I didn’t meet the ROTC requirements. Annnd I have been working really hard to be an officer. So either A.) I don’t do the obstacle and I have to pay $100,000 in school tuition and won’t achieve my goal or B.) I conquer my fear and brave the great white sharks and jagged rocks. If I died…at least I wouldn’t owe $100,000 J
So I asked the NCO for a handle bar and got ready to…THATMOTHERF*CKER TRIED TO PUSH ME! I SWEAR I almost punched him in the face (and I’m not a violent person). After some choice words, that again, I’m not too proud of…I told him I would go but I need to do it on my own terms. I grabbed another handlebar and just went for it. I was paralyzed and then…HOLYCRAPTHISISFUN! In fact, I would have done it again but I figured it would be best not to interact with that NCO. He probably would have pushed me off the edge if he saw me again J It was a great feeling hitting that water (and without sharks and jagged rocks) knowing that I would accomplish my dream of being an Army officer. Hooah.
The reason why I tell this story is the exact same feelings are coming up for me regarding my appointment with the specialist this Friday. I am terrified. The specialist is going to tell me the results of my MRI and let me know if my muterus (my mutated uterus) will be able to handle a pregnancy or if I need surgery. I have been pregnant three times and am still childless. The chemical pregnancy felt more like a bummer. The miscarriage at 9 weeks was heartbreaking and took me a while to heal from. The termination of baby Robyn at almost 6 months was completely devastating and I am still incredibly traumatized. I’m not sure if I can put myself, or my family, through another loss. I wish that pregnancy were a guarantee. Sometimes I like to reframe this and think, “I am really going to appreciate the kids I do have after this because I know how fragile life is”. However…that’s complete bullsh*t because nobody needs multiple losses to help them appreciate what a gift being a mom is.
Friday is terrifying, but it will provide insight for our next pregnancy. I just need to grab the handlebars.