The search for love started when I was very young. My parents divorced when I was 2 and my dad moved away. My mom did what she could, but she worked full time and also kept her social life. I saw my dad once a year and he usually forgot how old I was. I think this was the start on my performance for attention, as I remember being very lippy and often making trouble at school. Both my parents eventually remarried and had new families, leaving me grasping for even more attention.
By grade 8, I was smoking on school grounds, getting suspended for skipping class and even ended up being expelled for allegedly lighting a fire in the school. I was a handful, and I’m pretty sure my mom wanted us to move because she was embarrassed by the destruction I was causing. So, we moved…
Being the new kid in a small town made it hard to fit in. I found it easier to get along with boys. This popularity caused many fights with the girls. I started drinking, smoking pot, shoplifting and having sex. In grade 10, I was confronted by a of couple girls because I was dating their friend’s ex-boyfriend. because she was pregnant, I was not allowed to see him. They teamed up; knocked me down, making sure I couldn’t fight back. I’ll never forget that night, my broken and swollen face, looking back at me in the mirror. I was not only frightened but humiliated. I wouldn’t even leave the house. Within a couple of months, my step-dad got another transfer and we moved…again.
The Gypsy Life Began
Every time we moved, I got to start over. However, every time we moved, it got harder and harder to fit in. Girlfriends and boyfriends came and went. Even my family started to dwindle. Life became very lonely, and since I didn’t like myself, being alone was never easy. I assumed it was something I did wrong, that I wasn’t good enough. This assumption came from many years of being the “problem”. Negative self-talk devastated and only made it hurt more, a cycle that kept repeating itself my whole life.
So, Then What?
I think the problem is that I’ve never understood quite what love is. Is it having someone there for you when you need him or her? Someone who can listen when you need to vent and won’t judge you for your craziness? Someone who shares the same core values and supports you on your decisions? Seriously, do these seem like I expect too much? I have had many suitors, yet I am constantly disappointed with my dating life. Even with women, I find it hard to connect and have an intelligent conversation. I put so much time and energy into getting someone to like me only to be let down.
The Light Of Hope
I read a quote today about the laws of attraction. It said:
“One does not attract what they want, but what they are. In the same respect, one does not attract whom they want, but who they are. Realize and peace will be yours.”
It’s true. The unconditional love must come from within first. Since I never liked myself, it was pretty obvious why I kept surrounding myself with people who felt the same way. The hardest part…changing those self-talk tapes. I started with little notes around the house, reminders of the things I do like about myself. Every day I try to add something new. I have also set boundaries for how I allow others treat me and how I treat myself. I try not to beat myself up when I lose and also to realize that no one is perfect; everyone has issues. With this new found love for myself, I have lost some “so called” friends, but I’ve gained back the respect from those who supported me. It’s not easy, but life has never been easy. It’s time to make a change and do things differently.
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.” —Lucille Ball