May 24, 2022

You Looked like Fear Because You Loved Me—& that Scared Me.

It’s the fear of the ending, the downside of love.

It’s the fear of rejection, the pain, and the massive hurt that losing love can cause. The fear of entering, once again, that space between no longer and not yet.

This fear is keeping my feet planted and preventing me from moving forward. Preventing me from opening up fully and letting you all the way in. Preventing me from trusting my decision to love you.

Where does this fear come from you ask? It comes from the rejection by loved ones growing up. The loved ones who were close and who were assigned the task of teaching not only what love is, but also the way love is supposed to feel.

The fear was also given to me when I wasn’t strong enough to tell my high school boyfriend I didn’t want to be with him any longer and then weeks later finding out I was pregnant. Fear showed up after my marriage ended, leaving me as a single mom to three boys. Fear resurfaced throughout my next relationship, which I got into too soon and stayed in for too long, even while I knew it wasn’t healthy. Fear told me I wasn’t good enough for love, and for years, I believed it.

Years later after facing my own demons in the mirror, dismantling them, dissecting them, and eventually putting myself back together, you showed up. You showed up, and you were everything I ever wanted in a man. Strong. Intelligent. Motivated. But you also looked like fear to me because you were showing signs that you liked me too. That you cared for me and you could see a future with me.

The fear I saw in you looked like it did with the others before you—interest that faded away, the daily talks that packed up and left, the date night and the early mornings that were no longer to be found in my life. You looked like fear because you loved me, and that scared me.

I had not seen fear while I was single. I had not talked to fear since we parted ways during recovery from my own toxic behaviors. Fear had not reached out, texted, or sent a Christmas card in years, and all of a sudden, fear showed up looking like you. And you showed up as light, and love, and laughter, and frustration, and everything I want in a partner.

But today, all these months later, even after you have shown me you want me fully in your life, I slowly push you away. I push you away because I am afraid of being left. I am afraid of being hurt. Kill or be killed, and I am running. I want to run to you but instead fear is tugging at my heart, reminding me of all the hurt I have endured before finding you, and I can’t seem to shake this fear.

I need you to know, to me, you are love. You are what I want and so much more. You are home to me, even when you drive me crazy. I want you when you are headfirst in your studies. I want you when you laugh. I want you when you are hungry and when you are full. I want to see more of those gray hairs sprouting out of your head, and I want to care for you in every way possible.

So, as we walk this path, please know I am learning how to fight fear, how to ignore it. I am teaching myself to move forward and to go with my heart—because my brain already gave me permission to love every ounce of you, just the way you are.

If you can be patient with me and let me deal with fear, I promise you, it will all be worth it.


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