Monday, April 21, 2008

Love me the same?

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.

21 comments:

Lara said...

thanks for your insight. I have always seemed to draw "needier" (I don't love that word, but for lack of a better one) people to me, and most of my friends that fit that mold have suffered some sort of abuse or neglect in their childhoods. I always try to be a good friend, but often feel like I can't give them all they need. What you say makes a lot of sense and will help me to be a better friend to them, or at least more understanding.

utmommy said...

I'm so sorry for all that you've endured. I can't even imagine. I wish I could give some advice to you, but I can't. You are amazing for overcoming all that you have.

(((HUGS)))

just jamie said...

Friendship and love always require taking a risk. When you take that risk, you might be setting yourself up for sadness and disappointment. BUT, more importantly, you might also be setting yourself up for that bottomless well of SUPPORT, GRATITUDE, and RECIPROCAL LOVE.

I hope this journey you're on brings you comfort. I hope you know you've found a friend in me.

Misty said...

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.

Are You Serious! said...

♥ I don't think you need to defend yourself to others. I'm the type of friend that's very loyal but it takes me a while to find friends too, that are the same way! I have a problem with opening up and letting people into my little world until I know it's going to last. I guess I just don't want to go through all the crap and back biting that I see happening...

I love reading your take on life. And seriously it sounds like you're totally on top of the way you feel... I need to be better about that!

just jamie said...

Don't retreat Misty. Your strength is inspiring. Please keep going.

And, no. No it is not wrong to look for what you weren't given. It's shameless that your parents denied you such a simple human need. But your path to create that love and connection is such an honest search. One that we are all on with you.

Kami said...

This was amazing insight Misty. I have never looked at it that way but if you didn't have parents who you knew had your back I can completely see where you would have looked for it elsewhere.

I have had friends that sometimes I felt came on too strong but I get it now. If I could turn back time....

Don't give up Misty. Friends are an amazing gift and the beauty is you get to pick them. We don't get that luxury with family.

:-)

Marie said...

Misty, there is a sense of shame, whether right or wrong, that goes with the territory of being abused. I think a secret part of you believes that you actually deserve, or deserved what is happening or what happened. I know I struggled with that for years. I still do from time to time. It's only my faith that carries me through the mire. I have a hard time making close friends, but the ones I do have are special indeed. I have to be honest though and say, even they don't know the whole of me. There is a part of me I always hold inside, it's between me and Heavenly Father. He knows and understands, and I KNOW without a doubt that He loves me no matter what.

Rhonda said...

...ditto to everything listed above. But, more than that... Misty, you lighten up many lives and I for one enjoy being your cyber friend. Should you ever want to take it further, you know I am closest to JFK or LGA and would love to have you visit. I will be in Utah this summer and hope to connect also with you and others. I totally feel connected on many levels with you.

I'm emailing you today.

Misty said...

"I think a secret part of you believes that you actually deserve, or deserved what is happening or what happened."

Marie,

I have to say that I disagree. Although not knowing how to stop abuse I suffered as a child, I was very clear in my head (and heart) that what was happening in my life was NOT my fault. For that, I am grateful. I, of course, now am left with the back-lash of that abuse and un-doing the damage, which still angers me a great deal.

Some days I wish there was just **a little** more love to go around.... because... I know I need, and maybe every one else needs it, too.

Thank you for sharing.

xo Misty

Lynell said...

I love reading your post. I can't pretend to imagine what your life was like. I can only learn and try to be there for others who may be in similar situations. thank you for your insight!

Mandi said...

Misty - I linked to your post from Lindas post, I cried and cried while reading your post (and I am at work so it made it difficult), it was as if you were in my head and I was reading all my own thoughts. I wish that I had the courage to write what I truely feel, I try to be honest on my blog but then I worry that someone in my family will read it and then start to worry and well you know. So I try to stay positive and try to show that side, when in reality I am not being honest with anyone as I cry on the inside so often for all the reasons you wrote about. I am going to put you as a link in my sidebar because I think we could have been seperated at birth! Love and kisses - Mandi in Australia

Klin said...

I just shared a line from an 80's song with a client. Howard Jones says, "You can feel the punishment, but you can't commit the crime." (No One is Too Blame) You didn't get to create the problem, but you are the one who gets to feel the pain and clean up the mess.

Keep up the good fight. You are not for hurting. You are for loving.

Mandi said...

Misty I just wanted you to go to my blog and look at past posts - I think the one I want you to see is the only thing from last year (before I knew much about this whole blog thing), its the first chaper of a book I wrote last year about the loss of a complete friendship group, this is only the first chapter, I intended to post all the others but didnt ever get around to it, because its my story and I didnt know if I wanted it "out there" for all to see. Let me know what you think...xx

Marie said...

Sorry if you misinterpreted my comment Misty! I was not meaning "you" as in "you", I think I was referring to myself, and I was speaking from the viewpoint of having been emotionally and verbally abused by my ex husband for over 22 years. There was a huge part of me that kept telling myself that if I had only done this or done that then it would not have happened, in the end of course there really is no "right" way to do anything, as part of the abuse was to demean me no matter what. Part of me felt a lot of shame as well for having put up with it. I mean, what kind of person was I that I let someone treat me in that way . . . Sorry for any confusion. I truly admire the way you have been able to lift yourself beyond your history and heal. (((hugs)))

Misty said...

Marie,

I completely understand where you are coming from, and I identify with the feelings you described, even if I did not have your exact same experience. I understand the cycle and the need to break it, break away, and not know how to do it. My brother, sister, and I always had a plan.... we would call the police if my mother touched us again, or one of us would restrain her.... it never happened. We all stood by helplessly while witnessing the other getting beaten up or whipped. The only thing, I guess that kept me sane, was feeling very strongly that it wasn't my fault. I clung to that. I just never understood why... why them, why me, why my siblings....

Thank you again for sharing.

Love, Misty

Cecily R said...

I don't think you need to defend yourself to anyone. Just be who you are and don't make excuses for it because who you are is GREAT. Really.

Mandi said...

Misty, as I am still working out this whole blog stuff, I would love to email you, but cant see if you have an email address on your blog.

Apart from the post I wanted you to read yesterday, have a look at the last paragraph of the post I posted on 1st April, you will see I completely understand what you are saying.

Its Thursday mid afternoon in Australia and we have a public holiday tomorrow, so I probably wont be posting until next week, but will try to login at home and see how you are.

Take care of you and know that someone halfway around the world is thinking about you and sending you lots of good energy!!!
Luv Mandi.xxxx

Mandi said...

p.s. forgot to give you my email -
thomas_mandi@hotmail.com would love to hear from you. xxoo

Lindsey said...

I am amazed at your strength. And I am here, a good friend, with a shoulder to lean on:) Keep on writing sweetie. Get it all out!:)

Danielle-lee said...

I have felt that way MANY times before as well: that I need my friends more than they need me. And that damn word: needy-I am seen as needy by some of my family, and it hurts....i don't see anything wrong with looking for love and acceptance.
You are not alone.
Don't retreat. Please.