As is typical of me and my writing, the inspiration for this post came from a recent session, talking about relationships. I don’t know that I can say that I was planning on talking about this topic going into the session, but that’s what it morphed into. That’s one thing about working with a professional, it keeps you on your toes.
This post is likely to be pretty deep and very self-revealing, so I just want to put that out there from the get go. Talking about feeling unlovable can be very triggering; I know it is for me.
During this chat I came to the realization that deep down inside, on a cellular level, I feel totally unlovable. I don’t deserve to be loved the way that others do. I believe that is the first time I’ve actually admitted it out loud. Looking back at the situations that transpired in my life to cause this feeling, it’s beginning to make sense.
Case in point, I was asked to remember a time when someone did something just for me. An act that a person did for me and for no other self-motivating reason on their part. As I pondered this for a minute, I recalled 1 particular time that happened not long ago. Relatively speaking.
The act that I remember was my 40th birthday surprise party. I was 39 and it was late summer when my wife at the time began to plan this epic party for me. She saved up money from tips at her job to help pay the rental on the fire hall. She invited my coworkers, family, and a bunch of my friends all secretly. She got my favorite local DJ to agree to emcee the party. This dude is my kind of people, long 80’s hair, loves to rock, and loves all things retro.
She lined up catering from a local friend who owned a pizza shop, and secured some other trays of various awesome party food. A mutual friend who is an incredibly talented cake decorator, worked on this amazing sheet cake of KISS. Gene, Paul, Peter, and Ace and the big KISS logo in the middle. There was beer, soda, crazy dance lights, and all the trimmings for an awesome time.
She worked hard to pull all this together in secret because she loved me. The night came and it was a good time. I had a blast talking with people and just hanging out and reminiscing. Everyone was there to celebrate me. She, my wife, put her heart and soul into this party and I was eternally grateful. After all something of this magnitude had never been done for me before.
I was in awe of her selflessness, even though I already knew she was a giving person to begin with.
Here is where the whole feeling of this post ties together. That was the most epic thing anyone had ever done for me. I felt loved and appreciated by many that night. I was on cloud 9, and in fact I can still remember it like it was yesterday.
So why am I unlovable? Why do I have problems with relationships now? Because if you do something nice for me, I’m screwed! It might not be tomorrow, or next week, but it’s coming. I’m waiting for rug to get ripped out from under me and my world to come crashing down again.
That’s just the way it is for people who are close to me. When you go over and above to do something nice for me just because; the end is near and it’s going to hit me like a freight train.
So how do I stop that from happening? My walls are fortified even more. The guards at the gate of my castle (my inner self) are doubled and even tripled. The moat around the castle is widened and deepened, and the drawbridge has extra padlocks on it. No way you are getting in to hurt me again!
I will keep you at arm’s length and only let you get so close. This way I am protecting myself from getting blindsided.
Is there any hope for this feeling? Is there chance to feel lovable and to allow someone to care for me the way that I want and desire?
If you would have asked me that question yesterday, I probably would have told you, “not likely”. After tonight though, some things have been put into perspective.
There is hope! I’m taking steps to change this and I didn’t even realize it. By reaching out and encouraging others and receiving the love back that they give, these unlovable feelings are slowly weakening over time. It’s not a quick thing but I can see some definite progress.
As I let people in to my castle just a little at a time, I’m learning to accept their love and support which is helping me to realize that I’m not unlovable. If these people can reciprocate the same type of love that I am sending out, how can I not be worthy of receiving it? I know that I am genuine and I feel that they are as well.
The survivor community, and my trusted friend/colleague are giving back everything I am sending out. How awesome is it to realize that?! It’s pretty mind blowing to me quite honestly!
Perhaps there is hope; not everyone who is kind to me or does something nice to me is out to screw me over. Just maybe they are doing it out of the same kind of love and heartfelt compassion that I am.
That, my friends, is an amazing feeling to me! I am just starting to grasp this as I type it out and I can feel myself being a little more empowered even as we speak.
I am not unlovable; you are not unlovable. Not everyone is out to get us and rip our hearts out. There are people that care and are as genuine as we are. We just have to be able to trust, make ourselves vulnerable, and learn to accept that love back.