On love and heartbreak: Parents

You don’t need to have fallen in love to get your heart broken.

Anyone you care about can do that.

We all love and we all need to be loved. We need to be loved more than anything else.  The most important love any human needs is that of their parents. As a baby, as a child, as a grown-up. Loving our children is how we’ve survived as a species. Would you risk your own life to defend someone you do not love deeply?

What happens when one or both parents don’t love their child?

Nothing good.

 

I don’t believe my father loved me. He said he did but I never believed him. He hugged me but that always felt wrong. Call it instinct. When you live with narcissists, abusers, you learn to read them. You see the body language, the very slight change in expression, the subtle shift in their tone of voice. You’re learning to see danger before it happens. I wonder if that’s why I get a sense about people. Recognising a lie easily, knowing two people got into an argument after the fact just because I feel it in the air when I walk into the room.

 

I hated being hugged by him. It wasn’t a generous and warm hug. It was always when I least wanted or needed one. That’s normal, the hug was for him to satisfy whatever inadequacy he felt at that moment.

 

He had a child because that is what you do when you get married and are bullied by your mother. You do what she wants. He had a second child because he had to have a boy, because that is what you do. You have 2 children and at least one of them has to be a boy.

I was never told I should have been a boy. They never needed to say it, I still knew.

 

My dad did, once, in a moment of anger and frustration, tell the truth. I don’t have the slightest shred of a doubt that for once he said what he really meant. By accident. For one short moment, he lost control.

 

“I regret making you, you ruined my life”.

 

That one sentence deserves a paragraph all to itself.

 

25 years later I still hear that sentence every day. Like it was yesterday. I hear his tone, his voice. I see the look on his face. I feel the utter shock those words caused.

At the time, there was just shock, like a hard slap in the face you never saw coming.

How can you say that to your child? Now that I have my own kids I understand this even less.

When the shock wore off the pain came. Nothing anyone has ever said, bar one instance I will talk about in another post, has ever come close to hurting that much.

 

He despised my existence.

He wanted me to not be alive.

 

There’s nothing more effective to blow someone’s self-confidence.

If your own parent does not love you, how can anyone else?

If your parent would prefer you to not be alive, how do you live?

When I talk about guilt, more specifically the guilt of just being alive, people don’t really get it. It shocks them that I could say such a thing. You feel them crumble a little on the inside at the idea. I avoid the subject more often than not.

I am an empath, he is a narc. He doesn’t know guilt. All I know is guilt. So yes, guilty of being alive.

I really don’t have words to express how debilitating that is.

 

Recommended reading:

The gift of fear: Gavin de Becker

Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby’s Brain by Sue Gerhardt

 

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