You know how it is when you exit a dark room to be blinded by immediate light?  How your eyes aren’t quite ready for  illumination and you see more by opening the door slowly? 

Sunday morning, and in an “Ah Ha!” moment, the light bulb went on.

When Tom first mentioned abandonment issues, I’d thought it but a passing comment. “How couldn’t you?” he comforted, citing a string of unrelated events from our mom dumping our dad, to a forgetful fiancé, to decades later when a pal saw my erstwhile girlfriend on JDate. How couldn’t I? (he’d asked). Why WOULDN’T I? (I thought).

It was five years ago and he was counseling me through the obstacles of a dysfunctional liaison. Trust issues, he said (in one of our sessions together). I heard him, of course, but brushed it aside. Life was good and I was summoning courage to 86 Jodi.

It went right under the rug, his comment did. Until Sunday.

I was sitting at home, maybe 6AM. Private time. Thinking of office headaches and family discord and friends, from good guys to clowns….

As happens, my sights turned inward. Two themes surfaced in stories that kept replaying. Why is it, I asked myself yet again, that I’m always looking for that magical connection? How can I be so inclusive, so accepting of the people around me but so narrow, so restrictive in dating? It’s not ego—I assured myself….but what is it?

The answer came in the car, out of nowhere. In an instant of crystal clarity it hit me—and I didn’t like it. Maybe, (I asked myself rhetorically), maybe I still had “abandonment issues.” Perhaps I am, in my own way, protecting myself from further hurt. Safe with my family, secure with my friends, busy….perhaps it all boils down to fear—fear of further hurt.

It’s a healthy thing, this self-examination. But it’s a double-edged sword. In all the years, I’d not connected the dots—never tried. At 61, perchance I have.  That having been said, though….do I really want fill in the picture?

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