About a week and a half ago I was with my brother, crying and explaining to him that he can never understand the way our family's loss has affected me because he doesn't feel the same fear that I do.
Everything in life scares me now, no matter how insignificant. But it's not the event itself that scares me - it's the subsequent, irrational train of thought. Whenever something goes wrong (whether it's tripping over my own shoe, or the government randomly selecting my taxes for a review, or even my phone malfunctioning), I imagine that it's a direct reflection of a flaw in my character. It's not a conscious thought, but rather an emotion that I can't quite identify at the time. I know I've always been that way, and perhaps a lot of, or even most, people are.
The problem now is, instead of being quickly dismissed, that odd little emotion is immediately followed by the persistent knowledge that those who loved me unconditionally are gone. If whatever has gone wrong is due to a character flaw, maybe nobody can love me for it. There's no one left to defend me, so maybe I will be judged, shunned, and outcast for it. I'm always conscious that this derailment of my thoughts is irrational, and when I do happen to talk or write my feelings out, I'm always shocked at how ridiculous and delusional the words sound. My brother has told me that it sounds like OCD, with which our now-deceased brother was plagued. I don't know if that is the case and that it's hereditary for me, or if the obsession a more common consequence of loss and grief.
It is, though, the reason why I feel like such a small, weak child - I'm constantly wondering if people will love me.