From approximately 2:00 to 6:00 am Saturday morning I was up. And I mean up.
Wide awake. Downstairs on the sofa. Dressed (well, jammie pants and a sweatshirt).
Ate a bowl of cereal, and drank 60 oz of water.
I watched a little Whose Line?
I’d forgotten how funny those guys are.
I cleared the DVR of Beat Bobby Flay.
I wrote a little bit.
Since I’m still limiting my time with news and social media, I got creative with my online reading, and came across another powerful post by Peg Streep.
I became familiar with her work in the fall when I experienced the understanding of how being an ‘unloved daughter’ shaped my adult relationships.
The article I read in the wee hours is called 6 Things Daughters of Unloving Parents Need to Unlearn.
I see myself in her words.
The insecurely attached daughter sees things quite differently. If her mother has been unreliable — sometimes emotionally present, but sometimes not — she grows up wary of both needing love and those individuals who could provide it. Her attachment style is called anxious-preoccupied, because she worries constantly about whether she’s loved, whether the relationship is genuine, and whether her lover will stay true or betray her. She is on constant watch for signs that things might not be what they seem, and that makes it more likely that she’ll both read into and react to words and actions more strongly than she needs to. She’s high in rejection sensitivity, which makes being with her hard, as does her temper when she feels slighted or in danger.
I feel like this most of the time.
Always waiting for the other shoe to drop. That I’ll do something to displease and love will be withheld and I’ll be left with nothing but unanswered questions.
YBW and I had an emotional experience with this vulnerable unloved part of me in January. I hated that he was there in the place where that small, frightened, insignificant feeling part of me resides. I hated that he saw how unlovable I feel. I hated that he had that knowledge, and without actually understanding it, I was fearful of what he might do with it.
When I’d run out of tears I finally said, “I’m afraid you won’t love me.” He assured me he did and would continue to do so.
I nodded and said, “I believe you, but I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop.”
That precious, kind and loving man picked up his feet and said to me in the most sincere voice, “I have two shoes on my feet.” And then he hugged me.
I struggled with how to feel about that encounter for several days. He was aware, and expressed his love through simply checking in with me, lots of hand holding, and more hugs than usual. He understood I was trying hard to make sense of it and when I did, he’d be ready to go through it with me.
After actively journaling, and an honest conversation with Thing 2, I was finally ready to unpack it with YBW.
Thing 2 cried happy tears at the two shoes story and then said the most powerful thing!
She said, “Momma, he’s YBW, not Dad, not Grandmommy. He’s not capable of using that against you.”
He had been to the place where I am the smallest, most pitiful me. He saw the me that all the other layers of me protect with an unparalleled ferocity. He was there humbly. He was there with kindness. He was there with acceptance. He expressed love. He reassured love. Never once was he gathering ammunition.
The next day over dinner, I was ready to talk about it with YBW.
The one thing he said that nearly killed me was this, “I don’t even know how I could use that information against you.”
The man does not function that way. Does not begin to understand how to use a vulnerability to manipulate or humiliate.
Maybe I am safe after all.
6 things that unloved daughters learn about love. (that need to be unlearned because they’re crap)
1. That love is a transaction.
2. That love is conditional.
3. That emotions (and true feelings) need to be hidden.
4. That love needs to be sought and searched for.
5. That love makes you vulnerable and weak.
6. That love hurts.
This article might as well be written specifically about me. It rings true down deep in me. This is how I have felt my whole life.
But I’m learning something new.
YBW is teaching me love can be safe.
I sent him an email with the link for the article and the following words.
This might give you more insight into why I am the way I am. And how hard I work to see and do it differently.
You are teaching me that love is safe. You! Thank you for that.
I always say I spend my days teaching and learning. I’ve mostly meant it in relation to children. But YBW is teaching and learning with me too. To teach and learn with love is the biggest blessing of all.