When children are small, their confidence is built as they feel the approval and appreciation of their parents and teachers. Little by little those small bits of affirmation build beneath them a foundation from which their future successes are built. For those people who were not fortunate enough to have those affirmations, the process is by needs much different. Those foundations must be scraped and dug from within. For some that process is easier, for others it is hard-fought.
As I myself grew within my emotional strength, at a much later age than many, my healing/building process was clearly stepwise. For the first decades of my life, all of the strength I did have was spent just surviving. Surviving the very real physical and emotional pain and difficulty that life has given me. I am not feeling sorry for myself. The life I have is the life I have. I just want something splendid to manage to come from all of that. And that realization, and the determination to TRY to make that happen, came a few years ago. But the effort now is to continue to believe that possible.
The first step for me was breaking out from underneath the layers of hurt built up from the cutting words of my parents and peers. The first step was taken from being told “everyone hates you” to finally putting behind me all those many years of self-hatred. The second step was simply finding things to like within myself. The third step was believing I was worthy of love, and finding my own love within that belief. The forth step, arguably the final step – without argument undoubtedly the hardest for me – is/will be getting past the “nobody loves you” words that my mother so engrained in my head. Self-love is one thing, I can understand I am worthy of that love. I can understand that I am a loving person, and was never more than a child struggling with autism, with a mother who struggled more than I did with having a child who was not perfect, who possibly blamed herself for – though she could never admit it (she did talk about working in a lab full of noxious chemicals throughout her pregnancy, and may have thought that responsible for my autism and health issues), and who she could not “fix”. But those words she engrained in me “nobody can ever love you” admittedly remain the hardest thing in my life to overcome. My healing will never be complete until I can understand from the depths of my soul that I am loved.
Even as much as I do believe in God, and pray to him every day, often several times, and entrust my love and care for those dear to me within those prayers, I have never managed to feel even His love. I have never felt loved… Admittedly it is the thing I have longed for most in my life. I love people so much. I love loving people. To even contemplate that thought of sharing that love, where I could love and truly feel loved in return – even the thought brings me so much joy. But at this point in my life, perhaps this quest is not even as much for the joy that sharing love would bring me, as it is to build the foundations for the things I have wished for a lifetime to feel capable of doing.
I feel like I am wasting time hurting, I feel like I am wasting time searching for those foundations upon which I feel I could build that person who I had hoped could be capable of doing the things I have spent my life dreaming of doing. Even the things I have done to date – though clearly not “nothing” – were not done with authority. My books are but half-hearted attempts at what they wished to be. Not half-hearted because I did not want with all my heart to accomplish them well, but simply because even as I did, only half of me ever thought I could. I want that strength that I believe would come from beating out the demons that have beset me my entire life. “You will never be loved”. Will I get there? I so want to…