On love and family

I wasn’t planning on writing tonight, because my pain level is through the roof, but then I decided that maybe if I got some of my tangled thoughts out of my head, it might help me sleep. This is going to be a very personal post, because I’m feeling stripped down to my most basic feelings right now. There is a very special person in my world, whom I have known for most of my life, and who I have been madly in love with for many years. The problem is that I know that he doesn’t love me, not the same way. We have our moments where everything works out wonderfully for a short period of time, and then it breaks down again. I know that he and I will never have a successful relationship, but I still can’t completely pull myself away from him. I know that’s a toxic situation, but I had a toxic upbringing, so I guess that’s “normal” for me.

I was the unwanted child. I was the afterthought. My older sister did her best to kill me when I was a child. Back in the 70s, it was considered cute, not dangerous, when an older sibling would shove a younger sibling down a flight of concrete stairs. Repeatedly. My father doted on my sister (and still does, I imagine) but simply put up with me. I remember, after my parents divorced, every Friday night, my father would get dressed up and go out places. Presumably looking for women. I hated being alone in the house, so I taught myself to bake, because if I was busy, I didn’t think about being alone in the house when I was 10 years old. The good thing is that I am now a fantastic baker. The bad thing is that life with my father has screwed me up as far as relationships go. I have spent most of my life dating men that I knew would either reject me, abuse me, or otherwise not be available to me. I have been punched, I have been beaten, I have been thrown into walls, I have been told repeatedly that I am not worthy of love. And so, I go on chasing what I can’t have, or what I know will cause me pain. Physical pain heals so much easier than mental pain. Bruises fade within a week or two. The emotional scars from my childhood are still there nearly 40 years later.

I don’t know how to love. I don’t know what it feels like to be loved. I have friends who love me, but that’s a different kind of love. I have never been the most important person in anyone’s life except for perhaps the first two years of my son’s life when he depended on me for everything. My son is in 6th grade now, and nearly as tall as me. I realized today that he has told me he loves me more than both of my parents put together. Maybe it’s just an automatic sign off when we get off the phone, but it still touches me. The only other family member who always made it a point to say “I love you” was my stepdad. That’s right. The one who married into my family could tell me that he loved me, but my own parents couldn’t express it. Not that I am ungrateful to my parents. After all, without them, I wouldn’t be here. Then again, I’m pretty messed up medically, so maybe that wouldn’t be so bad.

I keep telling myself to just keep on being me, and maybe someday I’ll find that “perfect” person out there that is supposedly waiting for me. Unfortunately, I don’t believe in perfect, and I don’t see myself ever finding anyone who can see past the physical problems and the mental problems, and deciding it’s worth it. There are a lot more women out there who have less baggage, and require less effort. I know that deep down in the reptilian core of my mind, I’m searching for the unconditional love that I sought from my father, who was an expert at throwing rejection back in my face and telling me everything in life I have done wrong, and probably will do wrong. If I thought I’d live long enough, I’d joke about becoming the crazy old cat lady, but instead, I worry about who is going to care for my cat when I’m gone.

For those who know me, yeah, the pain is excruciating today. Worse than normal. I tell myself that it’s just pain, and to go on, but sometimes, I just wish I had someone who loved me enough to hold me and lie to me to tell me that everything will be okay.


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