- L. Masaracchia
Who do you want to live with?
As a six year old, Rafael couldn’t imagine loss. He had the perfect childhood--a big happy family in Spain, with nothing but love. He was the favorite in the family and so he basked in the golden light of adoration.
When he heard this horrid question, he begged his parents to stay together. A few days later his mom took him to a school play and they never returned to their home or his father.
She moved them to England, where she was from, and Rafael felt the weight of being an outsider. He didn’t speak or understand English. His father found him, and tried to take him back, but as a result was banned from the country. They lost contact. This broke his heart, and he internalized a feeling of being unworthy. To make matters worse, he and his mom began to struggle financially.
Rafael’s sister was an American, so at the age of fifteen Rafael decided to visit her there. He overstayed his visa and attended high school, and then community college, where he earned a full ride scholarship to UC Berkeley. There, he studied economics and in the meantime gained his citizenship.
He was determined to make money so that he would secure financial stability. In an effort to do so, he went into investment banking. He met an amazing woman who made him feel alive and they had three wonderful sons. His job was very demanding, however, and because he was dealing with imposter syndrome, he felt like he had to work twice as hard. His job overtook his life.
In 2010, he received a message from a half-sister he didn’t know he had. Through this, he was reunited with his father and went back to visit him in Spain. He was overwhelmed with a sense of healing. It became a yearly excursion for his family and brought him great joy.
Everything was looking up. One day, however, Rafael realized that although he worked hard to break his cycles he had accidentally projected his fears onto his family. Fortunately, he took this seriously and sought help. He is now dedicated to rejuvenating his relationships and balancing his life. He has realized that his past motivated him to succeed, but there is no longer any place for fear. He hopes to lead with love.