I've been alive for 41.5 years. I thought I had done all the work. I had studied myself from the outside in, and the inside out. But, I still see it. It's still there.
My own inner resistance to accepting love. I have sabotaged, sought out love from wounded places and devalued love that has been given to me freely. I convinced myself that it wasn't me, that I was stuck in befriending the wrong people, trusting the wrong people. Which is true in some cases, but not because there is anything cursed about me. It's true because I chose the people, events and things that would validate that I wasn't loveable. I wasn't worthy of being loved. That was my comfort zone.
Disassociation, distraction, living on edge. Rejecting any real love that was given to me because there was always something that felt off. It just wasn't ever good enough.
This summer I had a realization. I don't receive love very well.
That hurt a lot. It hurt me a lot, that I had hurt others because I didn't know how to communicate that I wasn't comfortable receiving love. Instead, I would devalue it, find fault in it, reject it to its core, and never see that I had created my own goldilocks adventure, high up in the tower, where no one could touch me because no one "tried hard enough".
When my partner found a heart shaped rock and tried to give it to me on a beautiful, sunny evening this summer. I was annoyed. Why couldn't he say something sweet as he gave it to me? Why did he just push it at me? I didn't see the act of love and that he THOUGHT OF ME when he saw the heart shaped rock. Writing this out brings tears to me eyes. How many times have I done this? How many times have I been blind to this.
I am uncomfortable receiving love.
I was blind to it, until now. I turned over a lot of limiting beliefs these past two summers, if there's one thing about a pandemic, it really forced me to look at myself. REALLY look at myself.
I stored the idea that it isn't safe to be loved as a young child. I don't really remember anything in particular that created that for me, but I do remember the vibe. I remember the crying, not mine. I remember the looking in the middle of the night (this could have been 9pm, too). I remember that my role models for love were never loving to each other. I remember that it felt like they were often in opposition of each other. These are the things I learned and this was the belief I formed about relationships.
I could maintain a loving, supportive relationship, until it got serious. Then I would throw all kinds of things into it, to sabotage it. This cut me so deep. It still does.
How many people have I hurt in rejecting the way they loved me.
I'm working on this. It's not perfect, I don't know if it ever will be. This has shown up in my intimate relationships, in my relationships with my children as they become brave enough to speak their truth (this one cuts the deepest), in my relationship with my parents, in my relationships with my friends.
I feel safest keeping people on the outside of the circle, I'm not sure that this will ever change for me, or if it is a real and true part of myself. I keep my circle small. I dislike being controlled, but like to feel in control. I have released friendships that show this kind of control, and I have done so with love from my side. These usually have to come to a disastrous head, but in the end I know that it was what was needed, and it only came to that place because I didn't have the courage to say how I felt leading up to these moments. They were an opportunity to use my voice and to heal. To face rejection (the kind that I'm so familiar with giving out), and to still be OK.
The discomfort in thinking that I am loved, accepted and safe is real. This is the ultimate - it's not you, it's me.
Writers Note: This acknowledgement doesn't excuse a lot of the stuff that has happened to me, the stuff that is real to me, caused me serious pain, and that has never been accounted for. This is for the real ones who have loved me and have done their best to show that to me despite my responses like a feral cat. You deserved better.