I was challenged to try and separate the painful moments from the beautiful moments in each situation.
In the first cycle – I was young. I don’t remember much honestly and the things I do remember were shaming and alcohol-infused. Or trumped by a whole other war that was happening at the same time. I tried talking to my husband about this, but I ended up angry with lots crying. I felt robbed that I could NOT think of anything “good” during the first 13 years of my life with this person. A person I was supposed to be able to trust. A person who should have put me ahead of so many things. A person who SHOULD have chosen me. A person I could never be good enough for. A person who would meanly “tease” me and make me feel stupid. Who would laugh when others were cruel. A person who was so distracted by booze and being cool and material things – Who couldn’t be bothered by the emotions of a young girl.
In the second cycle, I remember striving for acceptance. Giving my all to make someone proud. Doing whatever I could to achieve the level that would help them rise and then a cloud of resentment or something engulfed me. Little things here and there that weren’t right. I was confused “Isn’t this what you wanted?” I finally decided to make space between us. Then I made the space bigger. Eventually, when the space became apparent I was outcasted on her end. Again, I don’t remember anything good. I remember a constant “was I a disappointment?” “What did I fail to do now?” I was a scapegoat for the most insane things. My best was wrong and always needed to be tweaked.
It’s like that song lyric “looking for love in all the wrong places”. I just wanted to belong. First, in a place where I should have been fully accepted and supported – and then in a group that I strived to make proud.
I clearly have issues with abandonment and betrayal. So many didn’t want me around. They wanted what I could do for them. I remember in 3rd grade there was a constant battle between 2 girls and all the rest of us would pick a side. I literally said outside during recess while sitting on a snowbank “You can use me so you have more people than her”.
Today, I have maybe 2 adult friendships where I don’t question their motives for friendship. I trust they won’t throw me under a bus or hide things from me. It’s a beautiful, broken, messy, honest journey we share. We can be the ugliest versions of ourselves without fear of being shamed or discarded. A friendship where we have nothing to gain but truthful confessions, honest sounding boards, and love. So much love. I know this is 2 more than most people have and I count my blessings I assure you.