When I was a little girl, 6 years old, I thought I was fat. One of my school classmates said it out loud, so I thought it was true. I was ashamed. It never occurred to me that she was wrong. When I look back at school class pictures now, I looked the same as all the other children, but the damage was done. Something changed at that precise moment with the way I felt about myself.
In my teen and young adult years, I wanted badly to have a boyfriend, but I never really did. I did not understand the intricacy of getting to know someone and letting them get to know you. I thought the love dance was merely superficial: labeling the status of a relationship, going out to parties as a couple, acting like you were in love. But I didn’t understand what it felt like to be loved or to extend love. And I strongly suspect this was a result, in part, of the many years of self-loathing that began in the first grade.
This blog is a diary and the thoughts and feelings are my own. It has never been anyone else’s responsibility to make me feel one way or another. There is no blaming or no credit to be assigned out. For most of my life, until recently, there has been a barrier between me and love. I hated love and I grieved over love. It was a battle.
I was able to verbalize it to a therapist a few years ago. Shortly after my marriage ended and I discovered that my life was, in fact going to continue, I realized in order to live it effectively, I’d probably need to solicit some help. Enter the therapist. She asked what I wanted from a love relationship. To my surprise, I was able to answer succinctly: I want to participate in a love relationship where I feel cherished.
That was my first victory in this lifelong battle with love: naming both the obstacle and the desired set of circumstances. My therapist said that was a realistic expectation. Seemed so to me too.
However, in my experience, feeling cherished was not high on that list of feelings with which I identified. More commonly, they would include things like compromised, diminished, marginalized, disappointed. Again, understanding completely that I am solely responsible for my feelings, it is all about my choices and they way I elected to participate in relationships. Relationships with my parents, with myself, with love interests.
Then Cupid flew by my house one night and sprinkled love dust in the air. I awoke the next morning knowing my heart would reopen. And it did. And then it broke again because I fell into an old pattern of behavior. But I saw it and understood. Finally. It was my second victory in my battle with love. That most painful awareness where I stopped applying scotch tape to the gaping wound in my chest. I looked at that wound, ugly as it was, and then tended to it.
Cupid came along again, as he does, and sprinkled more love dust in my direction. I am so fortunate that Cupid led me to my valentine, the love of my life, this place where I feel cherished. It is true, what they say. I had to assign value to myself in order to feel cherished by the person who loves me. And she does. And I can feel it. And it is the sweetest thing I can imagine.
I love you.