What is love?

What is love?

Growing up I always had insecurities surrounding love. From the moment I was created I was told how no on truly wanted me. My mother battling her own demons at the time and my father addicted to drugs were incapable of being able to fully devote all love to me. When I was created my mother had found out that she had cancer. From what I’ve been told Melanoma is the only form of cancer that goes from mother to child and my mother prior to conceiving me spent 30 mins in a tanning bed for her first time and developed a 4-5 on her bottom. I don’t have memories of that time clearly with being an infant so I go off of the things I’ve been told through the years. My papa used to tell me he believes deep down my mother wanted to love me but guarded herself due to the fact that I wasn’t supposed to survive the cancer. My mother tells me she was the only one who loved me. The story I’ve been told and brow beat for years with is my mother father and great grandmother were the only ones who came to see me when I was born. My family, mostly Caucasian, didn’t want to accept a multiracial baby into the family. They had tried to convince her to have an abortion. That’s where my mother says her love for me came in. After a few days my family came around and I believe they grew to love me. But imagine the difficulty believing that you could ever be truly loved and accepted by someone hearing this story over and over again at a young age.

I remember falling into a dark and lonely place very often while growing up. I could be in the middle of doing something with my grandparents and randomly ask them, “do you love me?” They would always reply with a yes and list all the reasons of why.

That insecurity has followed me and has carried over into my relationships. I feel unworthy, not good enough, and unloved a majority of the time. No amount of therapy has been able to change that for me. I am very big on actions. Your voice can express to me a million times the love you share for me but what you do is what matters.

I had a partner who would tell me in this tone that he used only when expressing love that they loved me, but in the same breathe do things that weren’t love in my eyes. They would allow family members to degrade me, hit me, disrespect me and try to convince me that it was love. It takes my brain time to wrap itself around the idea that love isn’t a cookie cutter definition. It looks different to everyone. In his eyes maybe abuse was love. I could understand that. In another previous relationship I had paired love with abuse. He would hurt me and return with apologizes and flowers with cards that said I love you. Every hit combined with “I love you, why do you make me do this to you.” I had been convinced for 4 years that love was violence and fights. At the time it made sense to me. My father abused my mother, my mother abused me, my family degraded one another and they all claimed love.

The other night I was talking to a friend who referred to love in almost the same way. I think we learn love and it’s meaning very young. We see the people around us show love in their own ways and we are programmed that it’s how you demonstrate love. I know what love should resemble based on Disney and Romance movies, but that isn’t real life. So how do you truly know how to love if you’ve only seen it in forms of violence and half ass apologizes? How do you rewire years of trauma like that?

I look more and more to my grandparents. The way they interacted with one another is the type of love I yearn for. My Papa never forgot an anniversary or passed up an opportunity to make my Nana feel special. They had their arguments and tough times but when they looked at one another you could feel the electricity they shared. I try to rewire my brain to accept only love in a form as pure as that. The type of love you don’t have to water down. Love isn’t just in partners but love is in friendships as well. My friend tells me love is being your unapologetic self. It’s being able to be open and talk about the hard issues with one another. I look at her and wish to be as confident and secure.

I’m learning there’s no time constraint to heal that past trauma surrounding love. However; you shouldn’t demonstrate the false love you’ve been programmed to show on others and refer to it as such.

Sincerely,

Me

25 things I learned before I turned 26

Inspired by Melissa Soule http://www.CandidlyMelissa.com

25. People may not understand the reasons you do the things you do, but people who truly care about you will support you.

24. Change is inevitable. You have to learn to roll with the punches. Sometimes the change turns out to be amazing.

23. One day someone who has loved you for as long as you can remember can suddenly have a change of heart, so instead of being fearful of that, make the time you have and share with them magical. The memories will get you through.
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22. Friends will come and go. Different circumstances in life will lead you down different paths. Try to be understanding of that. Its not personal, life just happens.

21. Break ups happen and they suck. Lean on friends that are empathetic. EMPATHY will get you through.

20. These are some of the best years of your life.  Cherish them hold onto the good, let go of the bad.

19. Don’t rush into college. Take your general education and really think about what you want to do.

18. Living on your own is hard. The struggle will mold you into strong, independent person.

17. Death is one of the hardest things you will ever encounter. Hold tight to tge people you love because you never know when you might lose them.
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16. High school isn’t really preparing you for the real world. Go shopping with your parents, watch them do their taxes, prepare yourself.

15. Be kind. You never know what someone is going through. Just a simple smile can make someones day.

14. Don’t compare yourself to the friends around you. You all come from different walks of life. They might have what you don’t but you don’t know how they got it.

13. Learn to enjoy your alone time. You need it.

12. Don’t believe everything you read or see on the internet. People let you see what they want you to see.

11. Think before you speak. You never know how the things you say can impact another person.

10. Racism isn’t something you’re born with. Its taught. You might start to lose some friends as you get older due to different ideas of what is okay to say to one another.

9. As much as you don’t like working, its something you have to do. Find a job you enjoy and work it well.

8. Learn to love Mondays, they really aren’t that bad.

7. Develop your own form of a self care routine. You might not think you need it, but you do.

6. You deserve more than what he’s giving you. Abuse isn’t something that should be acceptable. Sometimes sorry isnt going to fix it and “I love you” can’t be enough.

5. Having depression and anxiety doesn’t make you weird. You are not alone. Talk about it. Others can help.

4. You won’t always do the right thing, but its how you learn from it that matters. Don’t beat yourself up over thibgs that happened years ago.

3. Forgiveness isn’t something that makes you weak. It makes you stronger than imaginable. Its a weight lifted from your shoulders.

2. Your parents don’t always understand that they are the ones that are supposed to mold you into the person you are supposed to be. Your parents aren’t always right.

1. Cousins will be more like brothers and sisters. They will be some of the best friends you’ll ever have.
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