Today You said I love you, Today I finally believed it
Worth every moment
Showing I love you
- SAY I LOVE YOU-WITHOUT SAYING A WORD
Although words are certainly powerful-you can say wonders when you say nothing. In a relationship the first time you hear the words I love you, your heart melts and your knees become Jell-o. After...
Not knowing you're worth loving
Every once in awhile, you have a conversation that changes you. It can leave you feeling humiliated, misunderstood and angry. Or it can end with you feeling motivated, positive, respected and understood-which is the type of conversation I had with my husband tonight.
The first time I saw my husband I was 16 and he was 17. I disliked everything about him, but more importantly I disliked everything about me. I say this because to understand our discussion, you must first understand my past.
I am not one to ever say that parents are to blame for everything that is wrong with their children. I love both my father and mother and believe them both to be outstanding human beings and honest citizens of society. ‘Today’ I consider them to be phenomenal parents. At the same time I am giving them props, I am remembering many yesterdays ago when I was a child. I am picturing my inner self screaming at them (without notice), “I am right here-What about me-What is so wrong with who I am, that you can’t see me?”
One of my oldest memories, which is not really a memory, as much as an event captured by a recording in the early 80’s of an excited child waiting to open her gifts on Christmas. That was the last year I appeared to be excited on Christmas. I skipped around the Christmas Tree, and circled all the gifts. My father grabbed me by the arm and yanked me towards him, mid skip. He pulled me close, saying quietly so only the Camcorder, he and I could hear his words. “If you don’t shut the f*ck up-settle down and wait until I want to hear you speak to open that loud mouth of yours- I swear to God, I will record me killing you.” As soon as that sentence was completed-I was pushed away from him. As a small child I was confused, and even as an adult-reviewing the tape 20+ years later, I am confused as to why I was such an irritation to him. Obviously, I did not die that evening, but I did get my rear end spanked for not putting the torn wrapping paper in the trash as I unwrapped, and I had whatever gifts that I had not yet unwrapped-distributed amongst my brother and sisters, while I was ordered to bed for misbehaving.
Like I said, I love my parents, I love my father. I spend each and every year of school, striving to be perfect, trying to get a Good Job, or Nice Work, or a WOW from them. I continued to work towards their goals, which were not necessarily my goals.
It was midway through
my freshman year, and the entire English Department was having a Parents Night-so parents could
see what their teenagers had been writing. My parents had never attempted to attend
any type of Parents Night, nor looked at anything I worked on. That day I had missed the school
bus home and was forced to call my father to pick me up from the school. This was
before cell phones so when he arrived at the school, he walked through the halls
until he found me in the Cafeteria, looking at a friend’s poems. I looked up
and saw him read and comment on one of my essays or poems that referenced Romeo
and Juliet. I don’t remember what his comment was that he wrote on the back of
the paper, all I remember was the feeling I got, when he finally noticed that I
had a pulse. That was the single occasion from that moment until I was 26 years
old-that he said anything good about me. Most of his comments about me, referred
to me as an example of how not to turn out, or as being a ‘loser, freak, b*tch,
lazy, no good, worthless, not worth the effort to even try to understand or to
love, misunderstood child. All which was made clear the night I celebrated my 17th birthday, and my parents and I got into a fight about who I was and where I was headed. I do not remember the words or the anger or even the tone in their voices. I don't recall noticing them call the police to come and get me. What I remember about that night, was the police officer showing up and escorting me from my home at my parents request. I remember not caring and thinking that I would be better off being taken away and to another place, that is until I looked up and saw my three younger siblings staring at me, with tears in their eyes. My little sister was 9, and ran up to the officer and begged him, 'Please, she's not bad, please, I love her, that's my sister and I need her'. My then, 13 year old brother screamed, at my parents that he hated them and locked himself in his bedroom. My youngest brother said nothing, he just cried. Their responses made the night silence me. I wasn't arrested that night, the officer allowed me to stay after he spoke to me and my family. But that was a night that has never left me.
Where all my childhood memories come in to play in my ‘now’ life, is I have had a series of situations and circumstances in my life, that have caused fear, depression, sadness and lack of self worth. I have never felt encouragement to teach me anything except how to survive, and when in survival mode, I never got hurt, but I also didn’t feel loved.
My husband and I have been what we are now, which is a committed couple, for five years. We had separate lives until we decided to see where we could end up together. I could honestly say that I was in ‘aw’ of him, and felt like the ‘dorky’ girl in school, who got the ‘quarterback’ that everyone else wanted. He became my prince charming, and he fell in love with me- but I doubted it. Behind this girl who wore a smile was the thought that she was not worth loving. I saw myself as the nerd, as the girl with frizzy red hair, and braces, the girl who, did no right. I compared myself to every woman I ever saw or he had ever dated, and I tried to be all of what he liked-so he would continue to be with me. I have always done this. I have always allowed myself to transform and adapt to each situation and relationship. ‘I am whoever you want for me to be’, within all the change-I had forgotten who I was over the years. Around family I was one version of me, at work another, college was interesting- I had a very different personality depending on the class I was attending or which friends I was around. I acted differently, spoke differently and seamed to care about different things in life. Each situation I took control of and made my audience believe that the act was the true me. In reality- I wasn’t real to anyone-especially not to myself.
I realized I was not real around the age of 26/27. This is when I was pregnant. I sunk into a desperately deep depression-which for the first time in a long time, I did not self medicate with food, alcohol or whatever I decided to medicate with-and I was lonely and scared. I wasn’t able to share my feelings and emotional mindset with my husband, I had always dealt with the pain through other means-but now was forced to take on my demons alone and very sober-while dealing with the demons, I sank and drifted from my life. I slowly shut him out and he did nothing to resist. We played the blame game, over and over again. We had good days and we tread through the bad days when the storm was ruthless and we were both spinning . I questioned why I was staying while he questioned if being with me was worth the constant fighting. I convinced myself that he did not love me now, nor did he ever love me before. I resented him for not being there when I needed him to be there. I resented him for my loneliness, for me not being me, and for me not knowing what I am worth or capable of being. I was wrong. Although he has not been an angel over the course of our love affair, I have been less than willing to allow him into my heart. He never asked me to give up me, and be who I became; he never realized my misplacement, because I never shared myself with him.
The significance of tonight is tonight my husband and I started a conversation that was the beginning workings of another fight. I didn’t want to talk, yet again about something that would end up with us not talking for a week. The results of tonight are; I carved a door in the wall I have spent over 25 years building to protect myself from being hurt by being rejected, the way that I hurt over years of never being shown support, motivation, or given compliments. I never knew what it was like being someone’s first choice, rather than the person people settle for when their isn’t someone better around. Tonight I cried as we spoke, and I shared with him a part of who the real me is, and what the real me is working to get past. Tonight we both said I am sorry, just as we have many nights before, but tonight I heard and I felt his words. Tonight was the first time I have said out loud that I have always been afraid of being loved, and as much as I realize that my parents were not always right I needed to realize I have not always been wrong. I realized I am keeping him an arms length away to shield myself for when he decides that I am not the one, and am not worth the effort or the love. Tonight I allowed my husband to get to know me. Tonight he told me that he loves me, and tonight is the first time I believe it. Tonight was a good night to have a fight.
When the storm calms and the sun finds its way through the clouds, only then will you find the most beautiful rainbow painted across the sky.