Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Worst That Could Happen

Kat commented on my post yesterday with something I thought I'd expand on.  She said, "It is way too easy to imagine bad things happening when you have kids. I think it's a survival technique-- or at least I try to tell myself that-- if I can think a few steps ahead, and imagine what could go wrong, and prevent it, then that's a good thing. It does lead to some scary imaginings, though."

Here I was thinking I was the only one who did that!  *phew*  lol  Really though, I kinda thought I was being a little crazy...neurotic at least.  Glad I'm not alone.


Infant CPR

When I'm in any given situation my mind automatically goes into worst-case-scenario-mode.  It dreams up the absolute most horrific thing I can imagine happening.  Terror will wash over me and bile will rise in the back of my throat.  Tears coat my eyes and my hands shake.  Then I take a deep breath and begin thinking my way out of it.  What would I do?  How would I stop it?  How could I prevent it from happening in the first place?

An example:

We were at the mall one day, Super Spawn, Sister, and I.  It was storming outside and lightening struck, leaving us without power.  All the stores closed, forcing everyone out into the central area, and nobody was allowed to leave through the main doors.  (I don't know why...that still seems so odd.)

Now, I don't like crowds.  The worst things always happen when there's a crowd of people.  Super Spawn started freaking out and launched me into Super Mom Escape Mode.  Sister perched Super Spawn on her hip and I slung the stroller over my shoulder, and we picked our way through the people and down the still escalator.

All I could think is, "Someone is about to start shooting.  Someone is going to pull a gun and what will I do?  How will I keep my sister and child safe?"

Sister will tell you...I was freaking out.  In the end, we all got out safely (We got out a side door and climbed down a big embankment.  That was fun.  Not.), and nobody got shot.  Of course.  Still, that pressing worry of what would happen next is what drove me.

I realized when Kat posted that comment that those situations influence my writing as well.  My mind is used to panic-mode setting in and dreaming up awful happenings.  Too bad for my characters, huh?  lol

So are Kat and I the only ones who do this?  Do you dream up the worst that could happen during your normal days?  And more so...do you use this technique for your stories?

11 comments:

Abby Stevens said...

I do this, too. I'll be going over a bridge and thinking, "What would happen if my car went over the side of the bridge? Would I be able to roll the window down in time? Would my seatbelt get stuck? Would, would, would..."

Honestly, I don't see it as a good trait for me. It's nice for storytelling, but also creates a *lot* of unnecessary anxiety.

And btw, I had a similar thing happen to me: Bear and I got stuck in the top of the Washington Monument once because the elevator broken down. I kept looking out the observation windows and thinking a plane was going to hit us. Granted, this was 2 years after 9/11, but still...

Abby Stevens said...

had broken down*

Logan E. Turner said...

I definitely have been in that panic mode before. Scary stuff. Glad you guys were all okay.
I'm on Blogger now! Hope you'll come by and check out the new look. :)

Alicia Gregoire said...

I do the same thing. People keep telling me I'm a pessimist because of it. I'd like to think of it as "risk management."

Meredith said...

Oh man, you have no idea. I lie awake at night going over worst case scenarios in my mind, stuff that will NEVER happen. Like, if someone breaks into my house and tries to hold me hostage, I wonder if I could break free, make it to the attic crawl space, and get to the other side of the house where my daughter's room is. And then I don't sleep, pondering the specifics of my plan.

So yes, I have an overactive imagination too. It definitely helps with plotting!

Holly Dodson said...

At least we aren't alone with our rampant imaginations. ;) Thank you all for making me feel a little more normal. lol

Susan said...

Um, so I don't even have kids, but I get CRAZY about my pets.

I have this constant fear my house will burn down.

Once, I was so freaked out that I left a note on my front door for the firemen:

"Please rescue the animals inside. There are two cats and a dog. Thank you!"

Pam Harris said...

Yes, I do randomly think about the worst thing that could possibly happen--and I don't have kids, so what's my excuse? That mindset is perfect for creating drama in my stories, though. :)

Pam Harris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KO said...

THANK YOU! I am feeling so normal, and so not-crazy right now!! Whew!

I have to wonder if the active imaginations led to the writing...

we have to find some non-writer bloggers and ask them. Oh, wait, I don't think I know any...

Jessica K. said...

It must be an author thing. I plot my way out of something once I am in it. lol! Although I do have some crazy dreams where I am running away from someone/something....if that helps you any. lol