As I pulled the covers up over my nephew and turned off the lights, he grabbed my arm. "Are you still there, Aunt Michele?" he whispered. "Yes," I said. "Don't be afraid." He tried to convince me that he wasn't afraid, he just wanted to make sure I was ok. His timing is amazing because the truth is I'm not ok right now. And while I was making sure he was not afraid, it is me who really is.
I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I have always maintained that I am afraid of nothing. Except for being alone for the rest of my life... But I am starting to realize that is just a story that I have been telling myself and the world around me.
Over the last two years, my whole life has changed. Relationships have ended. The roster of people in my life has been cut back dramatically. I've been abandoned on one hand and on the other, I've given up on people that have been in my life for half of it. I've moved. I've changed jobs. I've been stalked. I've been robbed and I've felt violated.
It hasn't all been bad because I know that I've been loved and cared for by my family and my closest friends. But I let them in a long time ago and there's no going back now. Yet I haven't exactly been honest with them. I've kept my head up and just kept going.
The truth is, I am so afraid right now. More than I ever have been...