people always leave

I’ve always wanted to be wanted, you know? Have someone that just couldn’t live without me in their lives. Not in a creepy, stalkery way. Just by them texting me good morning and then good night, for them to hug me when I’m sad, for someone to want to be the one to put a smile on my lips. To love me even when I’m yelling at them for something stupid that really doesn’t matter. To just be there, to just want to stay. But maybe that’s just too much to ask?
—  excerpt from my life

A girl without a father does not want to create waves because she has been underwater longer than she cares to explain. She is not a pushover, though you may push and ask why she is so scared of doing something, anything, that will upset someone. You ask how she can be so brave on paper, but so scared of talking to someone face-to-face. She will deflect and bite back with sarcasm. She self-deprecates, calls herself messed up like it’s as casual as her first name. You will think maybe this is it. Maybe she will never be honest with you.

Here is the truth: it should not be surprising that conflict makes her skin crawl. It should not be absurd that she will passively sit by, figure out the best way to avoid saying anything that will put a riff between her and someone she loves, because people can fucking leave. And that is the most terrifying thing she has ever learned. If the only man she ever truly needed left when she was not done needing him, it is fair game for anyone else to decide it’s not worth it.

For anyone else to decide she’s not worth it.

But none of that will spill out very easily. She doesn’t want these labels: The one with abandonment issues. The one who keeps you at a distance. The one looking to fill a void. The fatherless girl. She does not want your pity.

—  Ari Eastman, What It Means to Date a Girl Without a Father