My dad’s way



Health warning: this post is for me. A response to this group this week. Not angry. Not preaching. Not me being right. This one is because I need to be me. And this group has saved me, but right now the fear here is sinking me again. I know I can swim. I need to see my words here right now saying I can. I don’t want to sink again.

One of six children our dad spent years with one hand beneath our scared stomachs teaching us to swim.  I have no idea how many hours that was.  Guessing it would have added up to days, weeks, maybe at least twelve weeks keeping us safe while we found out for ourselves how to be safe.

Remembering that memory, the memory of my “first swimming” also floods my brain and body.  An exquisite mix of terror and elation.  Terror of death by drowning.  Elation that I was not only alive but making myself safe.  I was swimming and with my head above water!  I could actually be in water and with my feet off the bottom and in water deeper than the top of my head and not drown by water OR terror!

Let the fun begin! 🏊‍♀️🏊‍♂️🏊‍♀️🏊‍♂️🏊‍♀️🏊‍♂️

I thank my dad for knowing what none of us knew with his hand under our scared stomachs.  Swimming only works when I believe I can.  He never “taught me to swim”.  He allowed me the time to find that out for myself.  He gave me time to believe I could swim.  Allowed me to relax bit by bit and find that out.  For myself.  There is a saying “sink or swim”.  There is another way.

My dad’s way.

Yet so many words here, especially this week, about this Big News reminds me only of “sink or swim”.  That there is only “either or” – death by no-shielding or death by terror.  There is another way.  A way that invites me to think of this shielding as my dad’s hand under my scared stomach.  But also has the terrifying unasked question:

What am I going to do when that hand is removed?

>>> The video below?  Kept this one to myself. It’s my “first swimming” in week ten.  Really important for me this video clip.  It reminds me that whatever this week brings … I don’t need “that hand” under my stomach.  That I never really did.  I just needed time to believe I can.  In my case ten weeks.  And I did and I can again whenever I want.

I love this group but you frighten me.

I feel such fear.  I feel this fear begin to infect me again.  A growing anger that makes me begin to doubt myself.  Making me begin to need that hand under my stomach again.  Making me begin to believe I can’t again.  This video clip tells me that I can.  Tells me I did.  That I always could.  That I always can.  It’s very “amateur” probably best kept to myself look is because it was that “first swimming”.  I wasn’t instagramming – no facebooking in mind – no thinking about my best side or what’s in the background or how I sound …

This is me believing in me.

I will not live in fear again.  But keeping strong with all your fear … in post after post after post this week … ?

Your fear is what I fear the most right now.

There is another way.