Love is a topic that is both completely simple and immensely complicated in my life.
I will try to break it down…
Growing up, love was a double edged sword. A weapon, most of the time. At least, in my immediate home.
A few people…namely, my grandma and grandpa, seemed to love me with no strings attached. It was wonderful, and their home became my most favorite place to be.
For a brief amount of time, their home was my home. My sibling and I were removed from my mother’s care and placed in my grandparents’ home. It was here, really, that I experienced unconditional love, care, and routine for the first time.
Unfortunately–and devastatingly–this did not last. After a year and a half, we went back to live with my mother. Grandma did not fight for us. She pushed us back with our mom…it was, after all, the way things should be.
Here, I struggled. I struggled so much. Through therapy I have been able to recognize that this was the moment…the moment where she left us…that so much of my anxiety and IBS and fear is rooted.
So, back in this home, love became a weapon. One that was wielded, always, to my mother’s own advantage.
Did she love me? I think so. In her way.
But love, to her, was always about her. It was used to guilt. To strike fear in my heart.
It could be given if it was earned. But, it could also be taken away when I was bad.
And there was never enough.
As time went on…I started to believe, truly believe, that it wasn’t that there wasn’t enough love.
But rather…that I wasn’t enough to be loved.
I would need love, at times. I would cry and want to be held. I was, after all, a little girl, suffering from some pretty scary symptoms of anxiety and fear.
I would seek it out from an appropriate source–my mother–only to be told, more often than not, that I needed to Stop being SO dramatic. Stop crying.
So…I learned, over time, that my feelings had no value.
Not really. They were just bad. Bad things that made ME feel bad and that made others love me less.
So, I learned to keep it inside.
The ironic thing?
Talking is what I need. Hugs are what I need.
They are very much a part of my process.
And, rather than learning that love is impossible and cold, I somehow learned the opposite.
I never, ever believed I didn’t NEED love.
I just always believed I didn’t deserve it.
Love, though? It very much has been all I’ve ever wanted.
And, I love the hardest.
That is the simple part.
Show me kindness, and I trust you.
Allow me to talk, allow me to share, and share parts of you? It is simple. I connect.
I want to connect.
I love others…always…hoping they will love me in return.
I saw a quote, “The unloved love the hardest, because they know what it feels like to not feel loved or wanted.”
And that? That, I think, is true.
I love others out of goodness, kindness, compassion, and empathy. It is who I am.
But, I also love others out of want, and need, and desire, and desperation. Always wondering…always asking…”Am I enough?”
Shouldn’t *I* be able to answer that question?
Probably. Though, right now, I can’t.
I know I am good at certain things. I do. But I always want to be good enough for other people. Especially important people–the ones who represent important figures in life.
So, to sum up. I love easily. I love hard. That is simple.
I don’t feel like I am simple to love, however. And that…that is complicated.