Three and a half years ago I removed half of my life. While that statement may sound bizarre to many people, for me it was a completely necessary move. When I finally had the courage to stand up to my father and step-mother and step-sister and entire Johnson family, I became free. So I thought…

Today, the world lost Richard Ellsworth Johnson. He was a man of few words and many opinions. He is my grandfather. I have not seen or spoken to him since June 2011. When I made the choice to stop my father from continuing to crush my spirit, I made the choice to leave my entire family behind.

I was (and still am) proud of my choice. But, that’s just the thing… it was MY choice. Not theirs. Mine. One hundred percent mine. I know my choice broke my family. I know that my aunts have tried so hard to reach out to me and bring me back, but I keep running. I told Jared the other day that anytime I leave my house, I am looking. I am looking for anyone from my past. I am looking, because if I see them I will run.

My choice to leave my family has affected my life for 3.5 years. It will affect me until I finally reach a place that I feel safe. Safe that my past will no longer haunt me. Safe that I can go to the grocery store without having to constantly be on the lookout.

But for now… I hurt, and I run.

***

Grandpa, I cannot lie and say that I don’t feel sorry for what I did. I do. I know that I hurt your and Grandma both. I know that I will see you again. I know that when I do, all will be forgiven. I miss you. Rest in peace.