an intense feeling of deep affection. a great interest and pleasure in something.
Love is an emotion that can be expressed so differently, depending on the way a person was raised, how they were taught to believe what love was and what it wasn’t, and how it was shown to them when they were a child.
Apparently we all have a love language. There are five, according to Gary Chapman. But this post isn’t about love languages, it’s about love. The toxic kind.
Some people say they love you, like my father does, but it feels nothing even remotely close to love. In fact, it’s like sitting down for a meal with every food you can imagine, only to leave the table hungry.
He calls once a quarter, which leads me to believe I’m some reminder on his google calendar. If he gets my voicemail he will leave a message like we just spoke yesterday and he’s in the know, even though he doesn’t know a thing about what I am up to.
I always try and return his call but always get his voicemail, even if he just called 5 minutes before. At least I think it’s his voicemail, but it’s not his voice, so its a bit awkward leaving a message. Who doesn’t have their voice on their voice mail? It’s ridiculous!
Sometimes he texts. Usually some rendition of what he deems a heart felt message showing concern. I’ll text back and then that’s it. Apparently the quarter check in only allots for one text as well, so going back and forth and having a conversation, even via text, is out of the question.
My father’s love, while genuine by his standards, has always left me feeling empty. I remember sobbing to him one time and saying, “Why can’t you love me?” He looked at me as though I had three heads and said, “I do love you. I adore you. You’re one of my favorite people in the world.” He did try to show me his love, even bought me an expensive necklace one time that said, “Special” but that wasn’t what I wanted. What I wanted was for him to play tennis with me and not ask me to “keep the peace” when I was sad or angry at something mean his new wife had said to me.
My mother divorced him over his particular love language, which by the way, none of us speak. There are roughly 6,500 languages spoken in the world, but I couldn’t find one called Wanting.
In addition to the non available type of love as in the case of my father, here are a few more ways in which we misinterpret dysfunctional love for the real thing, if we haven’t worked on ourselves to heal.
There’s the type of love where someone gives for the sake of receiving. A game of tit for tat if you will. They don’t give you love for the joy of it, they give you love with a condition attached to it. And you better be ready to reciprocate or they will pout. You’ll always be exhausted in this relationship because your job is to make them happy because they are incapable of doing so themselves.
The most toxic love is the controlling kind. At first it might seem as though they are really into you. Love bomb you with gifts and attention, then they’ll throw you off guard by suddenly ignoring you which makes you wonder what you did wrong. They might accuse you of flirting with someone or cheating on them, when they are the ones doing it. They may even put you down, correct you or tell you they have no idea what you’re talking about, even though they do. They also like to tell half truths as it’s their only form of communication. When all is said and done, they care far more about what the outside world thinks of them than you. If you recognize any of this, you’re being gas lighted which creates co-dependence.
And then there’s the people who withhold love. They run in the opposite direction the minute they feel anything at all. Obviously someone hurt them and they refuse to be hurt again, but they fail to realize they are only hurting themselves by doing this. It matters not to them how you feel, only that they don’t want to feel at all, but you have no way of knowing this until they are dust in the wind.
Perhaps in your life you have attracted one of those types or a combination of all of them. Before you get too upset with yourself and feel like there’s no hope, you need to understand why so that you can meet someone who is worthy of your love, instead of someone who disregards it.
Remember…wherever you are energetically, meaning how you feel about yourself, is where another meets you. If you feel unworthy, you will meet someone who feels worse and they will treat you like shit.
You may be in a situation where it seems impossible to change anything, and that may be true, but you can always change the way you respond to another person.
There are tons of resources on YouTube that are free. If you feel that you are being beaten down by someone, look up videos on Narcissists. See the link at the bottom of this post for a site I found really helpful.
You have to start somewhere in order to heal yourself, and often times just watching a video and realizing what is being done to you, is a step towards healing.
Trust me when I tell you, learning the truth isn’t always easy, but it is far better than living in denial and pain. When you start to realize why and how you have attracted mean men and women into your life, you will understand how to stop it.
You are your greatest love. You do not need the validation of anyone else. So in case no one has told you, here goes: you are lovable, you are worthy, you are divine! You really are all that and a bag of chips…even the kettle cooked kind!
Now go shine those glass slippers Cinderella and get your horse ready, it’s time for you to ride into your bright new future. There really is such a thing as fairy tales! But only when you love yourself enough to know you are worthy of one.