I am afraid of being left.
I’m not afraid of love, I’m afraid of loving so hard that I can be left, again.
I remember the moment I sat in green and wheatgrass fields at dusk in my father’s village in Tertsa, Greece, drinking water from the mountains. He broke the air filled with the singing of crickets to tell me that he had received the postcard my mom sent with a letter that I had been born.
She used to tell me she almost didn’t send the photograph because I was so cute she was afraid he would come and take me away.
The image was taken in Whitehorse in 1989.
We never heard back for him for twenty years, and then I went on a journey searching for him. I didn’t think he received that letter—he lived out of a car with a tent and was as free as a gypsy could be.
He looked at me on the hill in Greece and told me he had received my photograph and the letter from my mom. At that time he had made the choice to love his other daughter, born a few months later.
What I heard him say was “I didn’t choose you.”
There was much joy in finding my father. I am forever grateful for the opportunity.
There was also deep sadness, anger, resent and hurt.
I realized my habits of avoiding intimacy and being truly vulnerable with males stemmed from those four words, their presence and my father’s absence in my life.
I am not a victim. I have awareness and I have used that moment and his words to unroot my fears of being left for the last five years.
Sometimes change doesn’t happen overnight.
Sometimes realizing you have fallen off the horse is the first step.
You could still be on the ground, not even realizing you’re not riding the horse.
Sometimes we must get on the horse, and fall off, and get back on a few times.
This post isn’t about sympathy or daddy issues—and it’s definitely not a disclaimer to continue denying intimacy.
These words are my truth in this moment.
I work every day at knowing I am worthy of being chosen and loved.
I work every day at unlearning and redefining how I will walk and love and exist in this world.
Author: Janne Robinson
Editor: Renee Picard
Image: courtesy of the author