Did you miss my blog yesterday ? Well, yesterday was a bad day for me. Have you ever had a day when it should have been a good day – or at least, an ordinary one but it turned out to be just the opposite ? I am sure you have. That was yesterday for me. I have had them before, of course but this time it had a different result.
I was cranky, obstinate, argumentative, depressed – and, just plain unpleasant. Oh, and let’s not forget rebellious. Like not writing my blog just because I didn’t want to do what I was supposed to. Now, you might say “That’s no big deal”. For me it is because those of you who know me know that self discipline is my middle name. How did I get that way ? Through living my whole life in unhealthy (if not abusive) relationships. If you read ”The Chocolate Bar” you will have picked up that I learned at a very early age that to be loved and accepted I had to be perfect. “Jesus does not love you when you are not a good girl” I was told by my mother. So, if the great Jesus couldn’t even love me how could I expect a mere human to do what Jesus couldn’t even do. It grew from there on. My father was the only one who seemed somehow able to put up with me, even when I didn’t live up to the standards set for me. Alas, his was the ultimate rejection when I was eight years old – he left, never to be seen again. Of course, as an adult I realize that he did not have a choice when he was drafted by the Nazi regime – children assume everything is their fault. After that I had no advocate – when I was bad rejection was my punishment.
This practice continued with my first relationship (also known as marriage) at sixteen. Everything I did or didn’t do resulted in abuse – criticism when I tried to seek comfort from my mother. I learned that I was alone – depending only on myself, especially when after a few years I had two children depending on me besides. Finally, after years of perfecting my behavior to the point where I was in total control of my emotions almost always (I cheated – at times I would go off by myself to hide my “badness”) I became tired – I mean, boneweary tired – TIRED). I allowed myself to be irresponsible along with all the other negative traits I just mentioned because I was now completely by myself – no relationships – no dependent children – just me – I could be myself – whoever that was. I was to find out that that self was a pretty nice person. I could now keep company with a person I liked, hello Agathe.
Then I met a marvelous man and fell madly in love. He did too. But the old habits emerged. “I want him to stay in love with me, so I have to be perfect” was the old mantra that reared it’s ugly head. I did pretty much that and became fatigued once again – until all restraints broke yesterday and I became my real self again along with all the old fears of expecting retaliation with the result of rejection and loneliness to follow – I waited with baited breath at the end of the day. Nothing – no punishment – no criticism – no yelling – no put downs. Just quiet, which I interpreted as rejection. I waited for the expected withdrawal to the far side of the bed. Instead he enfolded me in his arms and whispered “I’m sorry you had such a trying day, honey”.
For the first time since my father left do I feel worthy of acceptance and love without having to earn it by being good.
Is this love ?