The most obvious thing I never truly understood was love. I never saw it growing up nor was given advice on it as a young adult. My mother had her own problems to deal with and I, inadvertently had become my father’s problem. He wasn’t about to teach me about love.
My parents expected me to know everything about how the world worked but I lived through example. Either choosing to do positive things they showed me (which was not often) or the opposite of their negative choices. I was adamant that life couldn’t be that miserable and my life would be a success. I look back on my dreams as a child sadly. I had so much hope. I no longer feel that way. The innocence has completely disappeared.
Love for me:
Love came across so bitter as a child. My mother withheld it, used it and controlled how much love she gave me. She showered it over my sister, not just affectionate love but guidance and advice, two things I longed for from her. She will say she did that but it was not in the same way she treated my sister. She was given positive praise and affirmations and I was just told. Her love for me came out as worry. I wasn’t meeting her expectations as I grew older and every time we were together I got bombarded with a list of issues I needed to resolve to become more like my older sister and succeed in life. The comparisons were too much and only pushed me further away.
My father’s love for me has been twisted since I entered his miserable life. I was used as a pawn and weapon against my mother. He used love to manipulate people. He used love to hurt and destroy any faith I ever had in human compassion. Love was a word to him, not a feeling or emotion. He had no emotions. He felt nothing.
Love for each other:
God, they really hated each other didn’t they? I never once witnessed love for each other. My parents did not love each other, certainly not by the time I came along. I know my mother once did, she told me. She fell in love with a totally, different man. A man who complimented and laughed with her, not a man who mocked and judged her. He led her into his deceptive world, tricking her into loving him, manipulating her devotion to benefit his will. He was truly awful to her it’s no wonder her love for him vanished and her hate became everlasting. I don’t blame her. I feel for her. No woman deserves that.
Love for my parents:
I loved them so much as a child. All the bad examples, their reckless behaviour, the abuse and screaming, the taunts and violence, it didn’t stop my love for them. I saw them as separate beings. My mother was so powerful in my eyes as a child. She was the dominant figure and my father seemed weaker than her (I now know how he deliberately placed himself in that position to make Ma look dictatorial and evil). I never saw her like that, at least not as a young child. She was my mother and I loved her. My father was a God to me. I adored him and the love I felt for him was immense. What child feels so dependant on her father? An abused one I’m sure. It was an over the top love, an unreal love we shared. It was a love he had created, disturbing and obsessive. It was a love that worried my mother. She needn’t have worried. It was a love that soon disappeared. It was a love that turned to hate and anger and fear.
Love for others:
As I was never taught the true meaning of love, I never knew what to expect from relationships. You all know how badly my friendships went. Relationships with men were no different if not worse. As a thirteen year old, I developed an obsessive infatuation with a neighbour of mine something my mother’s friend still jokes about it to this day. I smile. What else can I do? She does not know how it felt, how it ached every time I saw him, how I thought about him constantly and had no one to tell. I couldn’t brush it off as a crush, I didn’t even know what a crush was! I had no guidance in love and sex. The T.V was my main source of advice and as we didn’t have a computer at home, I wasn’t able to access the internet, in fact the internet was only just beginning when I was in my late teens. I had hoped my sister might enlighten me on the subject of men seeing as she was eight years older, but she was leading an entirely unconnected life from me, she was never going to do that and I was far too embarrassed to ask. My mother would just reiterate to me that sex out of a relationship was unimaginable to her and if I did it, she would look down on me for that decision. She never talked about love, just sex. I wonder how she perceived me………
I do often find it difficult to love.
I hope I’m doing it right.