I feel sad reading this,
Sad that you didn’t get love from your mom.
Neither did I. My first memory of her telling me that she didn’t love me, that if only for me she’d have been happy was as a three year old. A three year old. Her words and actions reinforce that daily. I am 61.
There have been times I thought she loved me. I came to understand that those were times she needed me or needed something from me.
No question, it is hard to develop a sense of self without a mother’s love. I spent a long time trying to earn her love, to buy it; I tried to live without it. Lots happened. I assumed I had to fill that empty hole with someone’s love. I tried to earn it, buy it, hover and steal it. I hadn’t a clue who I was, especially, I believed, because I am female, and sell, mom. I had no way to develop into anything other than a pretty outside. My mother, bless her, is a husk. There is nothing inside. She has never had a close friend for long. She is done when they have served their purpose and their purpose in her eyes is always her purpose. I wanted more. Needy, I grasped for love. I allowed myself to be used. I used others. I didn’t know me so I couldn’t love others. And my mother can’t love me.
My dad did hold me high. He loved me. He was tough on me, as dads can be, wanting kids to achieve,to be their best. My mom always told me that he didn’t love me. I am lucky that I learned to call bullshit on that. He loved me unconditionally, just because I was. And because of that I did have a touchstone throughout all the horrible friendships, stupid choices and low self-esteem “I don’t care” days. Because of my mom I felt unworthy to even be alive. In my mind, it made sense that I shouldn’t be here because the vessel of my delivery deemed it so. I felt sad for me. I feel sad for you.
You write devastatingly well. I have read and laughed at many of your pieces. I have felt confused reading your dating pieces. They make sense to me now.
Should you wish to find a different way, which is totally your choice, I offer you an idea to mull over as one unloved by a mom to another. It’s a choice I made after trying most everything else and one I have seen many who had, and have, mom’s love never make. Frankly, I think it is the only choice any of us can make so we may love. Loving allows us to love.
Look inside with a therapist. Be scrupulously and consistently honest. Call bullshit on yourself, on the choices you make through the unloved boy and work to make the choices of a loved man. We don’t learn love by being loved. Another’s love never saves us. We love because we love ourselves. We are saved because we save ourselves. It is the toughest job we have, a never ending journey, the road to joy. Therefore, a journey worthwhile. What you seek is within and no where else.
Whether or not mom loves us, isn’t the secret to happiness. Nor is the love of the right girl or man. We save ourselves. We love ourselves. We forgive ourselves. Believe me, or don’t: the incredible freedom and light brought when I forgave myself for not being enough for my mom changed my life. It opened my heart. It deepened me. I found love, truest love, in me. And I stopped looking to get it from others. I am not needy. I ground myself. I am not dependent on anyone else to define me or make my day. I am free from her lies which I no longer seek to correct. I am loved. And when love leaves through death or choice, I grieve. I feel sad. But I’m OK.
As long as you accept the lie that your lack of mom’s love leaves you unable to love or somehow “less than” the lie wins. And you lose. I want you to win.
I realize we all have a choice and that choice is ours alone. You do have a choice. I wallowed in self pity seeking my savior for years, resigned to feeling unworthy.
I chose a different way, ultimately. I’m happier. I still have ups and downs, good days and bad: that’s life. But whether I am sick or well, alone or with friends, no matter where I live or what job I hold or don’t hold: I’m me, happy with me and best of all, full of love, both for myself and others. Loving so far outweighs being loved! That’s a brilliant surprise. I couldn’t know that had I not first loved me.
I wish you well. I wish you happiness. Truthfully, I hope you are unhappy enough to choose to change. My feeling unloved by my mom became my identity, my addiction. It is a day to day task to break addiction. After 20 years of healthy boundaries with her, of loving me, I jumped in to help her when my father died. I have empathy. She can’t. It didn’t take long before I caught myself in old habits, trying to make her see that I am valuable, lovable. Knocked back by habit, choice and yes, hope, I stood back up. It is easier every time.
I have all I ever needed right here in me. I did marry but a man, not a savior. I wasn’t able to be a mom because of a chronic illness that gets worse as I age, an illness that cost me a career that I loved and much more. Yet I grow happier daily because I am all I need. And I love.
Thanks for sharing such a tough story. I wish you great happiness. I wish you love.