I spend a lot of time trying to figure out if my parents actually love me. Much of the time the confusing signs of love that I get from my parents are through conditional things- I used to feel like I was the most terrible child. And I accepted the fact that my parents aren’t going to be the people who I want to be like because I feel that they have taught my siblings and I many unhealthy coping and communication skills.
About two years ago, I was in between jobs and I wanted to start doing something more flexible because of school and my therapy sessions. I decided to try to find a more regular babysitting job because I have a thing for kids (probably because most of my alters are silly little kid parts.) But I stumbled upon this family that consisted of a mom and two boys and a multitude of animals.
I was apprehensive my first few months working with this new family. I know now that my apprehension was due to not knowing what to do when people were nice to me. Before then I did not know that amazing parents existed. The mother who I worked for never taught her children to be passive or how to verbally abuse others, instead she allowed her children to learn on their own and guided them to explore positive options.
As I began to watch this and actually realize what was going on, I began to just grow into a part of their family. The mother of the children and I have a pretty special relationship and she always tells me that shes proud of me and that she loves me. Her boys and I have this amazing bond that is really adorable and it makes me pretty happy. I used to see them everyday but because of my current school situation I only see them when I can but none the less we are always texting or skyping each other. Our conversations consist of random thing that cats do, silly youtube videos and jokes that don’t make any sense but are so adorable that they are funny.
When I am around these people my life feels pretty complete.
There is only one thing that I don’t understand. After working with this family for a few weeks I could already feel the love and unconditional positive regard. But my parents have known my for 20+ years and still cant give me either of those things. I used to think that I was unlovable because I was never good enough or the correct gender. But I’m finally realizing that I’m not the one with the problem.
I have a book that I read on really rough days and it is full of encouraging words from one of my most valuable hospitalizations. One particular sentence reminds me that I can be loved which says “…..Everyone is right to say that you bring light and joy instantly into any room that you are in, your quiet charm, your infectious smile, your amazingly unintegrated but fascinating and hilarious self”. I realized yesterday that people don’t perceive me as damaged and when I do think that it is because my abuse issues are bleeding through and creating insecurities. One of my fears is being unloved because much of my life I have lived without unconditional love and it’s a lonely place to reside.