I often find people bewildering. Maybe I’m wired wrong or am just naive but I struggle to make sense of a world in which people say one thing then do the complete opposite. On a purely personal level as a child who lived in the midst of my parents volatile marriage you receive very mixed messages from people who claim to love you yet keep you in an unhealthy situation which fundamentally changes who you are as person, predisposes you to mental health issues, warps your sense of love in the process and affects all your future adult relationships. Call me daft but that’s not any kind of love that I can get my head around, particularly from the very people who are supposed to protect you.
The last time I spoke to my biological Father was in 1989. I was getting married and had asked my Step-Dad to give me away, though had invited my biological Dad to the wedding. My bio-Dad was really angry and said “but you’re MY daughter and I love you” to which I replied “if you love me so much how come you haven’t been to see me since I was 7 years old? You’ve only met my fiance once and that’s because we came to see you. You’re not paying for the bloody wedding my Step-Dad is. He’s the one who came with me to choose dresses and venues and you don’t even know who my bridesmaids are let alone have met them. Yet you still think you should be top dog on the day?” He never spoke to me after that, and neither did my entire paternal family. His version of “love” and my version of “love” were obviously very different.
I’ve had several long term partners over my lifetime. All of whom either flirted outrageously with other women or were actually unfaithful. But apparently they “loved” me too. I would have thought that when you love someone you want them to feel special. To feel secure. To feel like they are the most important person in your life. Not to feel like they’re second best to some bint you just met in the pub or the receptionist at work.
When I was having the talk to my Mum the other week about her drinking she said to me “but I love you”. To which I replied “I’ve screamed at you and begged you to stop drinking but did you even ring the doctor and ask for help? Did you try in any way, even though you knew the stress it was putting me under? No!”. I’m not sure you can love your child then hurt them so badly through your actions that you make them ill, as she has done to me.
Have you ever watched Jeremy Kyle or Jerry Springer? Couples come on where one or both have been cheating and after half an hour of hurling hurt and abuse at each other they’re asked why they’re still together and they invariably say “cos I love him/her”. Or parents who have fucked up their kids so royally they’re on Jeremy sodding Kyle yet still have the cheek to say to them “but you know I love you!”
The L word is currently a bit too trendy. We say it at the drop of a hat. I watch ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ and they say it 5 times before they put the phone down and they’re only talking to the housekeeper 😉 But love is a verb. It’s a doing word. It requires action, committment, thought and intention. It is honest, tender, supportive, encouraging, safe and often selfless. Most importantly you can’t claim to love someone then do something to hurt them. It’s a contradiction in terms.