This is me and Julio in Greenfield Village when I was two. I do not remember much about this trip except one thing, getting lost. My mom says that I managed to wander away in a crowd and away from the family in a split second like kids often do. It wasn't as big of a deal back then because that was before predators and pedophiles. lol. But like I said, I remember being lost.
I still remember that terrifying feeling of being alone, terrified as the crowd cleared and my family was no where to be found. I remember being at the end of a building, similar to this one and being completely alone and I was terrified. I'm sure my screaming and crying is how my mother found me, I could scream and cry with the best of them. I remember feeling the relief of seeing my family again, the warm hug after being found. That feeling is still inside of me. Now it's not always when there isn't anyone around, it sometimes happens in groups as well. Not as often as it used to, but the feeling is still there from time to time.
I still don't always like being alone, I still feel clingy in crowds of new people, I still feel like that child lost and looking for a familiar face. I find it odd that I still feel this way at times, isn't that something you grow out of? I've been working a lot on being alone, being o.k. in a crowd of strangers and trying to reach beyond my comfort zone to be able to talk to new people, to be able to be the first to speak to someone. I'd like to not feel like an obligation to the friends that take me places to stand or sit by me constantly to make sure I'm alright. No one has made me feel like that, but it's what it feels like to me, like I'm still that needy and clingy child. I don't like that part of me and I'm working hard at moving past it.
I'm not sure what that looks like in the real world, I can make it look right on the outside, but the hard part is getting rid of that feeling of panic inside in those situations, to allow myself the luxury of just being, no matter what the situation. It's a long road, slowly but surely I'm making my way down it.