Was lying in bed last night trying to figure out what the hell is wrong with me! I'm so hypersensitive this week. Things that don't usually bother me, that I usually laugh off are really getting under my skin and I'm wanting to crawl into a deep dark hole and never come out.
I know this has to do with Dave, I just don't know why now.
Chrissy's thread about body love really touched something deep down though. When she and others were saying how their partners love their bodies and love them, etc. I just don't feel that Dave loves me.
But then that got me thinking, because I'd had a conversation with my therapist about whether or not the boys can feel that I love them. I know I love them, and I tell them and try to show them I love them, but my parents would claim the same thing, and yet I didn't feel loved by them as a child.
Some people believe children are born with innate self-love that can, and often is erroded. I beieve children are born neutral, with neither self-love or self-loathing. I imagine it's like they're standing in a pitch black room where there is no light whatsoever, so your eyes can never adjust to see what's in the room. Through the senses neurons and synapses are created like stands of fairy lights. Lets say the love emotions are coloured in soft pastels hues, and the fear (anger, hatred) emotions are colour irredescent green. As the baby is cared for, or not, these long strands of fairy lights are laid out over what's in the blacked out room, and the more fairy lights that are laid out the better the outline of THE SELF.
Because the negative emotions are so bright and powerful, if they come to fill the room, the intensity of them becomes overwhelming, so the child is forced to lower the amount of electricty feeding the lights to dim them because the pain is too much. Unfortunately, because the electiricty feeds all the lights, it also dims the intensity of the softer pastel lights, so they are hardly visible.
So, the end result is a person who cannot or can just barely see that they are loveable. Then when someone else shows them love, they just can't see it because they've had to turn down their emotional receptors so they can cope with the expected negative emotions towards them...
I think this is what happened with me. My parents loved me, they tell me this, but though they probably showed me I was lovable in some ways, in other ways - more ways - they showed me I was unlovable in other ways. The primary way my parents showed me I was unlovable was through abandonment. When I was ten days old, I was left with my grandparents for ten days. When I was 10 months old I was left with my other set of grandparents for 10 months. I did see my parents weekly in that period, but didn't experience constant loving from them. When I was five I was left with the first set of grandparents again for 3 months. When I was 10, I was sent to boarding school for a year, and when I was 12 I was sent for another 9 months. As well as this, my father forced my mother to let me Cry It Out as an infant, which would also have felt like abandonment to me.
So, basically, it order to cope and survive this (and other things I don't like to talk about much), I turn down my emotional receptors. So, then Dave came along and showed me enough reflected love to bring my attention to those pale fairy lights that outlined the lovable me, but now his love seems to have dimmed, and because my receptors are turned down I can't sense any love from him, even if he is sending it out to me.
So, I asked my therapist how I could know if my kids know I love them, because I didn't know my parents loved me until well into adulthood, I just couldn't feel it. She told me to ask them. Ask them where they feel that I love them (where in their bodies they can feel I love them) and what that feels like. If they don't know what I'm talking about, then at least it will get them thinking about it, and becoming aware of their feelings and how they feel them, so that when I show them my love for them, they are aware of it beyond me saying it...
So funny. I started writing this blog days ago, and on the day I started writing it, I went with Jen to see "Georgia Rule", and that movie actually asks this question - how does the child know the parent loves them beyond the parent just saying it. Parents love their children, but children don't always feel that love. It's sad but true.
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