Friday, August 03, 2012

I think about Daniel Haugen sometimes. For a very long time, he was the only man who was able to make me believe that I was attractive and truly cared for and wanted. Maybe it's not surprising that he retained his place in my heart for years after we'd both gone on to lead separate lives, and even years after his death. People frequently ask me why I didn't tell him what was going on in my family. After all, we were engaged and besides, he could have helped me escape. The simple answer is that I was afraid he would see me as damaged and wouldn't want me anymore, that he might think I had wanted for my step-father to act that way. I really loved him and I was terrified of doing anything to upset that.

Love shouldn't be that conditional and fickle, but I had learned early on that it was. Not only did Mom leave when my sister and I were toddlers, she abducted me again and then left me again, this time alone on a street corner instead of an adult-less apartment. Later, in third grade, she called and said she was coming to pick me up from school. Predictably, she was a no-show. (For clarity, she was 100% absent between these erratic appearances and afterwards as well). She couldn't decide if she wanted me or not, and the final answer always seemed to be "not". Nevertheless, I always hoped she'd appear out of the blue and change her mind.....

Because I didn't tell him, I never found out what he would have done. I was able to maintain and nurture the idea that at least once in my life, a good, kind man had truly wanted me. It might not be true, but it was important for me to be able to believe that it was. :-/

No comments:

Post a Comment