- Kurt Vonnegut
I’m going to make this quick.
On my way home from work today I was thinking about how I’ve been treated by others over the last twenty some years. I started with the most recent issues and walked backwards down the staircase of my personal history. By the time I hit the last (or first) step, I had come to a conclusion; the way I’ve been treated is a) my fault and b) has a source.
The source is my family. These are the people I love more then love itself. And the love I have for them exists regardless of everything else I’m about to say. But here are the facts. Childhood is where we set the foundation for a healthy emotional state. Being loved is how we learn to love and your first love is your parents. These are the people who introduce you to the emotion of love. In essence the first definition of “love” we write into our subconsious dictionary is the one our parents display for us.
Now my parents are two of the most loving people I have ever come across. And I’m not just saying this because they’re my parents. I have seen these two people do things for others that even Saints would hold back on. They have sacrificed every aspect of their beings for others. Although this self sacrifice is commendable, it has also destroyed them emotionally. For each part of themselves that they chipped away and gave to someone else, there was a price to pay. The more they gave, the less they had of themselves. And that resulted in two emotionally exhausted human beings who now had the task of raising emotionally needy and dependent children.
So here’s what ended up happening; they fought, fought about everything; from money to what went on which shelf in the refrigerator. On the good days it was incessant bickering, on the bad days it was fists and broken glass. They yelled at each other and at us, their kids. Either they yelled more then they spoke to us, or they just wouldn’t speak to us at all. And thrown in among these near constant fits were odd, guilt ensued bouts of insane generosity; a new bike, a stereo system, that flat screen for my room. And then we hit that financial crisis, resulting in a back log on the retail therapy. But that didn’t stop them from laying their emotional doormats at my feet to make up for last night’s fight. Only difference was that instead of buying me stuff, they would do ridiculous things for me, that I definitely didn’t deserve.
So at an early age I learned 2 things; 1. Keep my mouth shut, hold it in, because no one was gonna hear me above the shouting and 2. the people who I love and who love me are also the people who cause me the most distress. And that’s when everything went awry. Now love was synonymous with distress. Sounds stupid yes? Well when your’re a child and you have no alternative definition you obviously accept what’s in front of you as the norm. So by age 10 I had pretty much decided (on a subconscious level) that love felt like distress. If it hurt, its gotta be love.
One can only imagine what the next several years looked like. I waltzed my pretty little teenage self right past a whole line of good guys only to fall drastically in love with an absolute jerk. Sounds typical? It is. A lot of girls do it but not many turn back, seek to understand why, figure it out, slap themselves for their stupidity and turn all the shit around. But it took a mighty long time for that proverbial light bulb to go on. Probably because all my mental/emotional energy was being eaten up by that hurt-love-guilt game I was always playing. Not to mention the fact that my family situation had conditioned me to stay quiet in order to avoid conflict. So I ended up throwing away those beautiful years over one person who very cunningly took advantage of my weaknesses, kept me close when he wanted, pushed me away when he wanted but always dragged me along for his convenience. So why did I allow him to do this for so long? Because I fancied myself in love with the idiot! And I wasn’t the only one. Everyone around me told the tale of my epic, self sacrificing love. This only fueled my fire., for me love was hurt, and he was hurting me so much that it definitively had to be love. But in reality we were all wrong (except him, he was a genius); it wasn’t love. It was my subconscious mechanically adhering to the cause and effect training I had been raised with: pain is love.
I have finally realized why I get drawn to people who hurt me, or on a lesser level just treat me unjustly or with indifference. Because my mind automatically tells me that I’m falling in love with them. This doesn’t just apply to men, it also works for friendships, and relationships with relatives. I keep giving and they keep taking. The taking exhausts me and I start to get upset, and as soon as that “upset’ sets in, my mind tells me “it’s love!”
But it’s not love..
It’s an illusion that I have finally found the wisdom to see past. I know a lot of people who have grown accustomed to my emotional subservience will not like that I’ve made this discovery. looking back on it, some have tried their damnedest to keep me in the dark for their own advantage. But how long can one continue to live like this?
I’m not crazy for writing this. I have the maturity to admit my flaws and wisdom to change in order to save myself.
I’m not pathetic for sharing this. I have the foresight to know that I’m not the only girl whose been through this and I’m willing to sacrifice my dignity to help pull someone else out of self destruction.
And if your’re one of those jerks who are reading this and laughing…thank you for proving my theory.
Give it a couple of years..you’ll see my name on the bestseller’s list ; )
- Le Petit Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince)
Life changes every minute of every day. You lose friends. You gain friends. You realize your friend wasn’t ever really your friend, and that person you used to hate can make a really good friend. You look for love. You find love. You lose love. You realize all long that you’ve been loved. You laugh. You cry. You laugh so hard that you cry. You do this, you do that. You really wish you hadn’t done that. You then learn from that and glad that you did. You have your ups. You have your downs. You see good movies. You see bad movies. You wonder if your life is just one big movie. You look at others and wish you were them. You then realize who they are and are glad that you’re you. You love life. You hate life. In the end, you just find yourself happy to be living life.
[[ I was reading through my wall-to-wall on Facebook with one of my besties and came across this, which pretty much describes our friendship perfectly. Rebecca & Jennifer, you two girls are my favourite fucking weirdos and I wouldn’t want to have a best friendship with anyone else ♥ ]]