What’s this thing called love?
Our primary caregivers are the people who first introduce us to this thing called love. They are supposed to teach us that love is feeling safe and secure and happy. It’s that feeling of connectedness and the sense that all is right in the world. That you will be looked after no matter what. That there are scary things and people out there but that you always have a safe haven to return to.
Love for children who are sexually abused
But what if the primary caregivers are hurting the child they were entrusted by God. What if they are abusing the child for their own sexual needs? What if the other parent turns a blind eye and pretends that nothing is wrong? Then what kind of love do these traumatised children learn?
This is the love that they learn:
Love hurts. Love is a dark secret. Love is shame. Love makes you feel bad. Love is suffering. There is no safe place and the world is bad inside the home and out! There are no boundaries in love. You have no independence in love. Love makes you feel bad. Love is violent. Love is cowardly. Love is hiding. Love is betrayal. There is nobody who can help you and you are profoundly alone.
Learning love by elimination
And so, I am learning about this thing called love by elimination. To understand what it is, my life has shown me first what it is not. My childhood showed me what it is not and my marriage showed me more of what it is not.
Now I guess I am ready to discover what it is.
Do you know what love is not?