Prompt # 1: 1. Tell me about someone from you past who you lost touch with and who you often think about
My father died when I was eleven years old and I’ve always felt like, in a lot of ways, it was this huge defining moment in my life. Not just for the obvious reasons, but for the way that I managed to insulate myself away from most people. I went from being very outgoing, taking everyone in and trusting, to much more closed off. I’m a hard girl to get to know. I’ll let a person see glimpses and if I really like you, maybe I’ll give you about 75% of who I am, but it’s so hard for me to be 100% open with people. Over the years I’ve become gifted at keeping people at a distance. I’ve got an uncanny knack for losing touch with people, and for no real reason in most cases.
I still remember right before my father died, my mother took me and my sister, separately, to talk with our neighbor-slash-therapist about how we were feeling about our dad dying. I still very clearly remember saying, “What scares me most is losing everyone else in my life.” And I feel like, to a certain degree, that is what happened. Or at least my perception of it, especially when I was younger. I went from feeling like part of a crazy-but-together family with siblings and cousins and lots of friends hanging about, to thinking that I could only count on myself. That other people left and that was just how it was.
And when I read this prompt, I immediately thought about that. And how, when I was eleven it might not have been in my control to try to maintain those relationships, but as an adult, I can try. I just have to get over that fear, and that pretense I keep that it’s better to only count on yourself.