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My father left my mother when I was 2, and I had major rejection issues. As I child I was extremely shy (though I eventually grew out of that), and as a teen I got into plenty of silly relationships because I was so desperate to have someone love me.

Then, when I married, all kinds of issues from my past surfaced again (as they often do when we marry or have a child), and I was sure I had some deep dark secret that I had never consciously remembered.

At the same time, I was taking plenty of sociology courses focusing on abuse, and I figured sometime, somewhere, someone must have done something to me.

And I had proof, too! I’ve never liked anyone taking my pulse or hearing my heartbeat. It scares me, makes me want to run, and brings on major panic. In fact, I don’t like anything about the heart. In grade 7 we were studying the different chambers of the heart, and I almost passed out. Just thinking about it turns me white.

And I hated those gym classes where they made you take your pulse. I always faked it.

I even hated blood tests. Needles were fine; it was the taking blood out that bothered me. And so I built all these scenarios in my head of weird things that might have happened to me, when I heard my heartbeat echoing in my ears at a particularly scary time, and I had freaked out.

At times, when I spoke with a counselor when I was younger, I would mention this, and frequently they thought it was quite interesting. I would be asked to make a list of all the things that made me feel that way, and there were quite a lot. But the counseling never really went on very long, and soon it would be dropped, leaving me with a vague feeling that SOMETHING had happened, but I could never put my finger on it.

Flash forward to yesterday’s homeschooling. In science, with my 11-year-old, we’re studying the heart. And guess what she did? That’s right. She panicked. She refused to listen to her pulse. She turned white and started bouncing whenever we talked about the chambers of the heart. She freaked even watching her sister take her own pulse.

And I realized that I am simply a victim of genetics! I feel so much better.

It is amazing how many things, including our fears, actually can be genetic. Rebecca looks like me, but Katie is like me in many ways.

So often we’re trying to find environmental reasons for different issues in our lives, and maybe we’re barking up the wrong tree. Maybe that’s just the way we are. Doesn’t mean it can’t be changed, but maybe that’s our predisposition. And maybe I should just calm down!

Made me feel much better! And rather silly, too!

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