My good friend Michael B retired and relocated to Hungary almost a year ago. He does not speak the language, although his partner does, and so I worry about how, at the age of 70 plus, this most Anglo of all Anglo’s is adapting to life in Central Europe . He assures me regularly that he is fine, and to stop being afraid, and so I try. Of course he is right, I should stop being afraid; and on somber reflection, I sometimes marvel at the role ‘fear’ has played throughout my whole life.
One of my earliest memories as an only child is waking up and finding myself alone in our house. I knew that my Mother had been taken to hospital in an ambulance, and I guess my Dad had accompanied her. I also know now that I was not alone for long, but only for such time as it takes a neighbor to cross a street. Nevertheless that fear of abandonment has remained with me and has become “a feeling touchstone” for my entire life. I also marvel at the fact that what one fears the most, one can sometimes provoke. I fear abandonment so much that I am regularly sub-consciously preparing for it, and at times by my defensive behavior, precipitating it. No I am not alone or abandoned. I am richly blessed in that I am surrounded by the love of a wonderful family, but I have as yet to come close to understanding why that fear of abandonment is still so strong. I do take comfort in that often repeated refrain form the God of the Old Testament: “I am with you.”.