Most of us are raised by people who know nothing about love.
Many of us confuse love with care(http://goodmenproject.com/guy-talk/why-we-confuse-love-with-care/) and then wonder why we are so confused, angry and carry a world of hurt inside our hearts.
It is not p.c. to say you don’t love your children or for them to say they didn’t or don’t love you.
If what you long for is a real relationship saying there was care and never love would be a great start.
A while back my husband and I were discussing our upbringing.
I shared the theory that a great deal of what I and most people consider love screws us up in our adult relationships (intimate and platonic).
I pointed out that in therapy, conversations with close friends and another form of healthy thinking, R.C., I began considering that maybe I wasn’t loved.
For many years, I bought into the philosophy that those that said they loved me (no matter how manipulative and cruel they were) simply needed forgiveness and understanding.
Most of us don’t want to examine or question our upbringing from the standpoint that maybe you weren’t wanted or loved.
Being told I should be like other boys; shooting down my dream of being a dancer burning up Studio 54 (once Saturday Night Fever went to series), imitating Eartha Kitt and wanting to be a writer, allowed me to see that humiliation and cruelty have no place in a relationship that calls itself love.
Perhaps you were that rare child with rare parents and adults who were able to meet your needs in healthy, non-manipulative ways.
Most of us did not have that experience as a result of the adults around us never examining their needs because we are all taught not to have any beyond the age of four.
To be an adult committed to mental health, we must face what scares us.
We are told that forgiving the unforgivable and being upset with those that have hurt us (which is a natural response to repeatedly inflicted pain)is something that keeps us stuck and unable to own and direct our lives.
While many people believe that understanding and the intellectual self explanations that accompany the aging process allows us to hold on to ourselves, I disagree.
As I aged, came out, created art and moved into and out of relationships and all over the country, the same (two)life lessons continued to reappear. First, I knew very little about love and the second thing was that the denial of any and all feelings was unhealthy and a recipe for disaster.
I have learned to be around family and anyone else who professes love and then offers up very unloving ways of interacting with me, in a very limited and guarded capacity.
I have learned to trust and watch behavior.
While this had not always felt good or comfortable, it has kept me out of all sorts of schizophrenia and ridiculousness.
Some people are evil, stupid, and are in now way interested in being shown kindness or “taught” how to treat anyone.
Hollywood has pimped us out by creating fantasy and unrealistic images of love and interaction.
Fairy tales explain things that confuse us and offer distractions for things that cause pain.
As adults who want “true love”, we must give up fairy tales and start asking real questions:
Have I ever been loved well?
How did I know?
Have I done grown up work that will allow me to love another without manipulation, coercion or domination ?