Fear is something that has been a part of my life since I was 2 years old, when my parents divorced. It made me realize that some things are not as they seem, people don’t always stay together, and how your world can change in a New York minute.
The pain of my parents divorce followed me through my young adult years. As much as I hoped to one day become a wife and mother, I was hesitant to get involved with men. I wanted to experience love, but didn’t want the pain I assumed came with it. Eventually I opened myself up pursue a relationship with a college classmate. He was everything I didn’t know I wanted. Everything I didn’t know I needed at the time.
And I fell in love. Hard.
3 years later, we got engaged. 10 months later, I received a phone call at work. My fiancée ended everything in a 2-minute conversation. I never got a true explanation. Devastation and heartbreak were an understatement.
So there it was; all the pain I thought I was safe from, from the only person I trusted completely. I eventually picked up the pieces and moved on with my life, but the emotional healing took years. I closed up. I pushed men away. I shut down.
2 years later, while living in Los Angeles, I met a man that was handsome, intelligent, creative, and made me laugh. I once again found myself falling into another relationship, in spite of my hesitation. But like the first time, it just felt right. 5 months later, we moved in together. 3 years later, he proposed. Suddenly old wounds started popping open and I became engulfed in fear again: who’s to say he won’t break up with me and call off the wedding? Who’s to say he won’t break my heart and send me spiraling into another depression? There were no guarantees, anything could happen, but I took the risk. 10 months later, we were married, and it was good. Until it wasn’t. Then it got really, really bad. Years later, when things got unbearable, I knew I had to leave. For my own sanity and the wellbeing of our small daughter, I packed up whatever pieces of my life I could fit in my car and drove away. I was scared out of my mind, unsure of where to go from there, but for the love of my daughter, I had to push through the paralyzing uncertainty.
Once again, there it was: all the pain I thought I was safe from, from the second person I trusted completely. I wasn’t sure if I was going to get through this round. If it weren’t for my daughter needing me, I don’t think I would have survived.
I told myself that I was done with love. I couldn’t take that risk again. I had dreams of finding that perfect job, getting a small house with my daughter, and filling it with a few dogs and a couple cats. Small, simple, but safe.
Until 2 years later, when you’re on a blind date with a man that is captivating you, and you realize ‘oh crap, it’s happening again!’ So now what do I do? Run as far away as possible, or attempts to forget the past and push through the fear? My head was spinning, but my heart had other plans. 2 years on the exact date of our first meeting, he asked for my hand in marriage.
I accepted the ring, took his hand, held my breath, and started to count.
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