“You’re so dark” she shrieks from across the room. It’s not that I’m dark, I just think if I read one more college essay about a dead grandparent, I will pull out all of my hair. And hair, thats my tell. My mental stability has a direct correlation with the frequency I change it. Long, short, blonde, brown, black….If I can’t settle on a hairstyle how can I be expected to have my life figured out?
But back to dead grandparents, because thats why we’re here right? I’ve lost three of mine. It isn’t that it didn’t effect me, losing people is hard. But I’ve understood from the time I was young that people are temporary. I joke that I have daddy issues but the truth is I had the most wonderful father. I just didn’t know him long. When someone so pivotal in your development dies when you’re 7, something funny happens. You understand, but not really. You cry. You get on with life. You laugh, you play. You miss them but at a certain point you don’t know what you’re missing. Day to day, things seem fine. But it cuts deeper, your connections with people are warped. You live in this state of fear that everyone is going to leave. Maybe not die, I don’t think everyone is going to die, well they are, but not right now. The issue is more of a lack of trust. A paranoia that something will go wrong, something that will prevent you from speaking to this person that you care so deeply for. Friends, family, significant others, I can’t let go.
So I latch. I hold on to every person I care about. I’ve had the same best friend since I was 2 years old. I cling to the people I love, and I don’t know when to quit. I’ve never been able to decide the end of a relationship. Any time I have cared for someone, as toxic as it may be, I hold on. Because even the most toxic situation still means that the door isn’t closing. If I want to hear your voice, all I need to do is call. So things get toxic to the point that relationships are destroyed. I’m not talking about cheating here, I’m good at following rules, I need rules. The type of toxic is always different, like snowflakes. It is never the same. Sometimes it becomes a jealous mess, other times a petty contest of chicken, who is going to budge first. I am stubborn. I am cold. I talk too much. I am the most understanding person you will ever meet, but I am also the most paranoid. I look for every sign that someone is letting go.
So I get passive aggressive, or just aggressive. I never hold a grudge but I demand explanations. I fight ferociously for the people I care about. I am loyal no matter how much it makes me ache. My daddy issues are different you see, because no one walked out on me. But he was gone none the less, leaving his wife with 3 small girls. She raised three young girls, first generation college graduates with so much heart. We all have our baggage right?