I have found over the years that being abused extensively during my childhood has made my relationships complicated. And not so much my relationship with my husband, but more specifically friendships.
There is the fine dance of getting brave enough to trust in some one. The fine dance of balancing my very real fear of abandonment, and learning when the fear requires real action or needs to be balanced with reality.
I have also found it very hard over the years to "love" in the correct balance or in way that another can understand easily. I have a lot of questions, a lot of fears.
It's been a struggle to find understanding in another who can genuinely whole heartedly love me in return.
It feel frustrated much of the time, because all I have wanted me entire life is love. All I've ever wanted is my own mother and father. All I ever wanted was to feel safe and accepted and secure in unconditional love. I wish, more often, that people could appreciate that about me.
When you have no one, it's another that you can love intensely. Friends to me, especially while growing up, I loved with a fierceness that isn't easy to explain. So many people saved from certain grief and turmoil, and I love them for that. Yet I can't expect them to love me the same way in return.
I have struggled with feeling cheated. I can be loved as a friend, but not as another's family, because family comes first. Tell me, then, what happens when you have none or no one else.
It has been humiliating to me in the past to appear needy, misunderstood, and damaged.
I am eternally grateful for my children and husband. But you know what I wanted, too...... was parents. I wanted a mother and a father. I wanted siblings that I was closer to. I wanted an extended family to wrap myself up in. I want what many other's have. I have wanted to be loved the same way other's have been loved, but am excluded from that now because I was less fortunate.
I feel angry because it is those feelings that hold me back now. I'm for the most part, content in myself, letting few in, but the sorrow doesn't change. It angers me to be damaged from some thing that I had no control over, but yet still manages to trickle over in every single aspect of my life.
As a side note (this is from my comment section, but I wanted to throw, this, also, out there....)
I am very willing to give equally in a friendship. I wouldn't at all classify myself as "needy", either. It's an odd play on words, because we ALL are needy to a certain extent, with different needs that require meeting. I whole heartedly believe in the give and take, and I also whole heartedly have learned to rely on myself, alone, more then any thing else. I can honestly admit I don't have a lot of faith in humanity.
I don't make friends easily. It's complicated for me, and what I left out, but was trying to explain, is that I find myself loving some one else more then they love me. An individual is more important to me, then I am to them. Most other people have a larger group of friends and family..... which I lack, their "need" isn't the same as mine. What is hard for me to find is a friend that truly appreciates me for who I am, what I have endured, and despite that sees the good person and capable and loving friend that I can be, that I am.
I've found myself thinking about this more this past week when I had the opportunity to be in touch with some old "friends". I attended a camp, summers, which I thoroughly loved. It was my safe place. Of course this was when I was a teen, and treading the territory with all that comes with that..... People that I loved there, but knew little about my private life, judged me. They, at that time, called me needy, and I felt and still do feel horrible about that. They knew nothing about me, and could only see a teenage girl, looking for love and acceptance a little more then the next. Is that so wrong? Was it so wrong to look for what I had never been given?
While that hurt was re-freshened for me recently, and while I have decided to not "re-connect" with those individuals, it still does make me very frustrated. I am exhausted by trying to defend every thing about myself, over things of which I had no control over.
Some days it truly is easier to retreat and throw in the towel... because this heart, my heart just can't take much more.