As we struggle to regain our composure in life after the full blown narcissistic attack from the people that swear they care for us, I wonder? What is Love? I was never wanted in my life and therefore never loved. A well guarded secret until a few years ago when my shrink Kilgore looked at me after having extremely strong words with my mother and said, "You have never been loved, have you?" I burst into tears. What he had said was so far from left field that it took my breath away. As I gasped to regain any sense of self I nodded no to his question. I looked at him in a blank repose.
Never in my life had anyone ever even hinted around this well hidden fact, let alone just blurted it out. Even as I write my heart begins to ache at the thought of the loneliness that I have experienced in the silence of this secret. As you know I spent several years trying to get back to see Dr. Kilgore. During this time I spent much of my time wondering how he could know such a fact. He was so matter of fact about his statement to me. What he had said did follow some very harsh words to my mother about being in between my ex-husband and I. He also told her to tell my little sister to get out of my life completely and to stop phoning and making arrangements with my ex-husband. But, I was so thrown off guard when he said it to me that even today I think about the fact that I had had such a huge guard up.
To hide such a horrible secret about yourself throughout your life made you look suspicious to others sometimes. I think about my interactions with people and I think about how difficult it was to look and act normal. I had taught myself through the use of television growing-up what the proper responses were in everyday conversations, but what you may not realize is that love is much more relevant to human interaction than you may think. It is almost the main staple in the ingredients of any type of interactions. You would really be surprised how often the word is used as well. "I love this restaurant!" "I love these jeans." I love this movie." All of which sounds harmless until you think about the fact that it is a constant reminder of the one thing you are missing that is meant to make you human.
I have always felt like a learning robot. I tried to take the human emotion out of myself so that I would not be so easily hurt by someone just saying something in passing. Everything that people said was indeed harmless, they never knew that it evoked such strong emotion in me. I on the other hand had worked very hard not to react. The closest comparison I can make to what I am saying so that you may understand a little better is as follows. Imagine never being taught to duck out of the way. It is similar to that in the sense that someone would be talking and they would say "Duck," and you just stood there. Wham!, you would be knocked out by whatever was headed your way. Well it is like getting the "Wham." I was constantly knocked back by the use of the word. It was just a reminder everyday of what I had been missing so badly in my life.
The damage that a mother can do to you as a child or as an infant is sad and irreversible. No matter how hard you try to undo or to educate yourself or to grow thicker skin, the pain of your introduction into this world stays with you. Never did I think that anyone would ever know that I was so lacking. I almost felt as if my right to even exist should be terminated because I didn't know what love is the way that you all seem to feel and know it. I had to learn to say the word so that I blended more with society. However, I know that what I feel and what I see others feel is very different.
I used to stare at my mother growing-up. I used to try to see or understand why her feelings towards my siblings was so different than the way that she treated me. She treated me with coldness and indifference to my very existence in the household. As if I was an emotionless drone. I would stare and wonder what I had done wrong to be treated so differently all of the time. I would study her inter-actions with my siblings and try to repeat them so that I might experience the same reaction from her. It was always to no avail. Sadly I was well aware that I was not loved from a very young age. Truthfully I never remember being or feeling loved. I always felt as if I was the Cinderella of the family and that they would just like it better if I disappeared and was never around again. A picture of me a sixteen tells the story even better than I could. Sadness would fill me and I would cry inside. I could never understand why I was so different, so unlovable. I still look back and wonder the same thing, Why?