I struggled for so long to be free of it that I think maybe a part of me became the fear I was trying to free myself of. Rather, as time passed, more of my personality was fear-based, even as I was struggling to be free.
No matter what the anxiety or problem in front of me, though, the fear was always the same: that I was not lovable. I didn't always know this, it only came to me within this last relationship as I was destroying it with my fears and doubts. After I had ended it, and while he and I started forging a friendship, I could see very clearly that the love I had always doubted had been there, and it was there still. I had to free myself of the relationship to see that, but I see it now, and I also see how it happened.
It started when I was 15, feeling ignored by my parents, and not really loved or cared for by my father in particular, when my step brother showed me kindness, and I leapt at it. It turned out to be sexual, but I was so desperate for some type of love that I took what I could get. That was what taught me the lesson I couldn't let go for most of my adult life. He took advantage of a young girl needing love, and in that lesson, I learned I was not lovable unless it was sexual.
So here I am, almost fifty, and I get the twisted nature of that message, along with every other message I was fed as a girl and young woman, and I'm not even angry. I'm empty. I'm hollow. It was all a lie based on other lies. Based on insecurity. Based on a deeply damaged system that has reinforced my fears all my life. Based on nothing, really; a ghost of a framework that only existed for as long as I believed it.
Now I am free of the lie and I'm not really sure what to do with that empty space, except maybe to let the freedom come in, wash me of the fears and the doubts and the time wasted worrying about it.
I am no longer heavy with the burden of doubt and fear but light with the weight that has been lifted. I had no idea just how heavy it was until I dropped it.