Ever since I was around 4 years old, I’ve had a feeling of being alone. Because of this I would quickly grow attached to friends and girls, but would always be disappointed when it seemed that they couldn’t return the affection. This led to feelings of betrayal and anger, as well as a lifelong pursuit of tribe and home.
I can see where it all started now. About five years ago, my father came to visit Rena and I at our modest home. My relationship with him had been tumultuous through the years, brief interactions that often led to yelling at each other. We had a few drinks while sitting on the couch, when he suddenly, yet slowly, and quietly confessed, “Your mother and I didn’t want you.”
I took his words as an apology, and quickly assured him it was O.K. I was just glad that he was here now, and was eager to start there.
After Rena and I separated and I moved out, I had a lot of time to think.I realized that to a 4 year old, even if the idea of not being wanted had never crossed my mind, the effects of the unspoken, and actions that were not present, had been affecting me my whole life.
I had spent my existence looking for what I didn’t have in the faces of others, others who had their own realities to work through. My desire was destined to be unfulfilled, through no fault of their own.
The key for me is to release people from expectation. It is unhealthy to define others by it. It is not that they don’t care, they just have their own cares to deal with, and with a finite set of time their energies are naturally expressed toward those things. It may seem careless, or at the least not careful, but it is not done out of malice.
Like all things, this realization is both liberating and heavy to carry. I can now relate to people more freely, but I still have a feeling of disconnectedness, especially after all that has transpired this past year.
I know I have friends who care, people who are there if I call, but each of us has to face ourselves and aspects of this life alone.