People fear a lot of different things. Some things I understand, and some I don’t. I can see where someone might be afraid of spiders, or of being in a large crowd of people, or even one of my personal phobias, flying. But until recently, I had never feared being alone. Then my life changed forever.
I got involved with a Saudi man a few years ago. The relationship developed, and before long, I was pregnant. Not that it was something I had planned for, but I knew immediately that I wanted to keep the child. When he found out, he suddenly distanced himself. I found that he no longer wished to be seen with me, and that he only stopped by late at night to speak to me on the odd occasion. Before long, he had completely extracted himself from my life, leaving me with no one to speak to, no one to quell my sudden fears about the future, no one to hear my desperate frustration. Alone.
My family wasn’t exactly supportive of the relationship when it was going well, and the turn for the worse only seemed to give them justification to use words like “comeuppance” and “just desserts”….hurtful by any stretch, but especially from the people that are supposed to be your lifeline in times of need. So instead of speaking to anyone, I sat. Alone in my office. Away from my children. Away from friends who wouldn’t understand. Away from strangers who would point and judge. Isolated. And that is when I truly learned to fear being alone.
Days went by as I listened to voices in my head that had come to replace the voices of others. Voices that yelled at me, insulted me, berated me for being so gullible. So naive. So easy to take advantage of. Voices that would never forgive me for bringing a completely innocent child into a world where his father wanted nothing more than to be thousands of miles away from him. Night after night these strangers in my head would tear me down, sapping my energy, my will, and making it so hard to wake up in the morning that sometimes I wished the dawn would simply never come.
I don’t know exactly what it was that gave me direction again. Perhaps my anger for the man who had abandoned me and my child. My desire to push forward and put this part of my life into a dark corner, never to be revisited. My need to take care of my kids. Or maybe something else. But whatever it was, it was enough to push me to get answers. Information. Because there was no way in hell my child should suffer just because a sperm donor with piss poor judgement decided to miss out on the life of a wonderful child. No way.
The next few weeks went by fairly quickly. There were calls made to the local college, the embassy, doctors, and any friends who were still around to listen. My fear of being alone had been replaced by a fear of what could happen to my child if he didn’t have financial support, or family medical records available. And so I made calls. And I searched. And emailed. And called some more. The internet became my one stop source for any kind of help I could get my hands on. And then….a funny thing happened. I found a blog written by a woman with strikingly similar circumstances to my own. And then I found another. And another. And suddenly, all the fear I felt was replaced with something quite different. Anger. Anger at what was apparently closer to an epidemic than an isolated problem. So I let the anger fuel me, and I redoubled my efforts.
My son is 2 years old now. He has a smile that could light up a room, and is smarter than I could have ever imagined. I don’t have as much anger left for that Saudi man any more, simply because I feel pity for him whenever I watch my little boy run and play. He is a joy to behold, and anyone who would deprive themselves of that simply does not know what they are missing. Moreover, I don’t fear being alone anymore, because during all my research, I was able to communicate with several other women who were in the same situation I was. As silly as it sounds, even though we were miles, sometimes even oceans apart, we shared a common bond. And we had all persevered through it and come out stronger. I am sharing this with you because I know what the fear of being alone can do to someone in that situation. It can cripple you. It can paralyze you. And it can make your life a living hell from the moment you wake up until the moment when your last ounce of strength has been used up, and you expire at night. I am here to say that if you are reading this, you have no reason to feel that way. Ever. You are not alone. There are many of us, and we are all willing to help, to have our voices heard, and to say to whoever will listen that we are many, we are united, and we will never live in fear again.