When was the last time you felt really, truly lonely?
That would have been about 1991 or so. Before I got off my ass and worked on some deep issues that needed done. I grew up with a highly critical mother who had a lot of issues that doesn’t need exploring at this juncture. All you need to know is being a good high functional borderline, what the world saw and what I saw were two different things. It took me a long time to understand it really wasn’t me and it was her. It’s the old “You are what your parents made you. If you stay that way it is your own damn fault.” So one day, I decided to fix that.
I grew up being told that everyone would be happier if I wasn’t born or if I was dead. Yes, this was my mother. I didn’t see this as abuse. I saw this as I was a problem and worthless. No matter what I did, I couldn’t do it right. Never mind I went to college, went in the Navy and scored so high I could have any job I wanted except for those that required perfect eyesight, became a prison guard for the Criminally insane, was a cop, got degrees in everything from auctioneering, business, history, religious studies and computers plus enough credits to get one in psychology. I am sort of joking when I say I plan on wallpapering my den with them. Sort of. I don’t have a clue where the pieces of paper are. I lifted weights. I have a novel in the 5th revision that all 9 of my betas loved and are demanding more but I was worthless. I was nothing but trouble. And I was lonely because I had this big hole inside me that nothing could fill. Not even friendship or love.
And one day I woke up. I did some serious work and realized in the process I hated my mother. Deeply. You cannot tell a child they are worthless and everyone would be happier if they were dead nor can you beat that child when you are frustrated and expect them to love you like a child loves a parent. This hatred was a good thing. I suddenly realized in my 30s the bitch was sick and I just might not be.
John Bradshaw helped. My God did that man help. I realized I wasn’t the crazy one and that my family was crazy making. [I eventually passed the books on to my kid… aka my niece… because her mother was a chip off the Redhead from Hell’s block.] She said the same thing I did “My God. It ISN’T me!” Nope. They really are 12 cans short of a six-pack. It ain’t us. I used a book about art therapy for healing the child within. I did it by myself. Do NOT do this unless you have a support group and your head on straight about certain issues and are willing to bleed all over the place. That book helped me find the part of me that was hurting and I promised him, I would never let anyone hurt him again. And then I showed him how much I loved him and valued him. It also meant buying some things like a microscope which I always wanted. I had a blast. So did he. It surprised me because in the art therapy a deep seated hatred and resentment came out for my mother. When I looked at it logically I realized that I would take apart any parent who treated their child that way. Any healthy person would. You do NOT treat any human like that.
A realization hit that I didn’t blame my father for leaving. Hell, if I couldn’t live with the bitch, how could he. I was just glad one of us got out. And in 1960, there was no way they were giving me to him in the divorce. She didn’t drink and she “tried so hard” to provide for me. None of them knew she told me as a child I was “Fat, worthless, mean, hateful, spiteful and no one would ever love me and everyone would be happier if I was dead.” on top of beating me when she was frustrated. Worst whipping I ever got was when I wiggled when she was combing my hair. She had to put cold wash cloths to make the welts go down in size because we were going swimming and she didn’t want people to see them. It took me until I was 30 to realize that is abuse if a parent has to hide that sort of thing. And some wonder why I never had kids.
And I was lonely. So very lonely. Until I made friends with that hurt part of me that really didn’t deserve the way she treated me. Until that part realized I would take someone apart if they ever tried to do that again. I did the exercises on becoming your own friend. I spent a year away from any other relationships [developing or gaining ones] and really got to know myself. I discovered I liked myself. And one day, I looked in the mirror, met my eyes and said “I love you.” and I actually meant it. The feeling was indescribable. So much warmth. Someone loved me and it was the most important person in my life. Me. Amazing.
Things changed. Relationship changed and I met my other half who I loved until the day they died and who I still love. And it’s okay today. It’s the difference. Everything is okay today. There is a tomorrow and I’m not lonely.
I’ve since taken up writing again which means most of my life is alone in my home. That’s fine. Shopping is done via the Internet. Amazon and Walmart deliver my Groceries to my door. I communicate with my family and friends via the phone, email, text, and other sites on the net. I’m happy. And I am not lonely. Do I miss the other half? With my whole heart but I’m not lonely for them. I just miss their presence in my life which was a wonderful gift. Do I need them? No. But I sure do want them. Needing someone isn’t a sign of love. Wanting them in your life is. Need is never a good thing. It indicates a dependency that indicates something is wrong. Wanting is enjoying them, enjoying their presence. It’s a gift. Not a need.
I haven’t been lonely in a long time. It’s been one hell of a journey. One I would not take again given the choice of parents. I would keep Dad but not my Mother. But today? I love myself. I’m my own best friend. And that gives me the capacity to love others even more. I don’t need them. I want them in my life and that in itself is a big gift. It brings joy.
[the book I used? Recovery of Your Inner Child [No I do not get a kick back from the links] DO NOT USE THIS BOOK WITHOUT A THERAPIST.
Once upon a time, I could have never told you this because it told you how flawed and how horrible and terrible I really was. Today I know better. Today, I have love. Today, I know who the sick one was. I have disabled comments because this is my journey for me which I chose today to share. May you find your journey and happiness. It’s out there.