Parents are supposed to love you unconditionally, right? They are supposed to love you just because you are, not for anything you can or will do.
I feel like my parents don’t love me just because I am. Their love has always come with conditions. Oh, they’ve never actually said that; that wouldn’t be right, you know. But there was always this unspoken, “I’ll love you if you do ____.” At the slightest misstep, they would withdraw their love. When I did something “right” (their version of right, of course), the love would come back.
My mother would tell me that she loved me, or that I could never disappoint her or make her not love me, but I felt like she was lying. I knew she was lying. I felt like I had to earn her love. I had to make her love me. Every day, every moment, I had to make her love me, because just being wasn’t enough.
The upshot of this? Now I feel like I have to do something to make people love me. I mean, why should anybody just love me for no reason? I had to earn it from my parents; why shouldn’t I have to earn it from other people too? It’s not enough that I just am, there has to be something I have to do to deserve it.
It’s weird that nobody I consider important to me demands that I earn their love. They say that I don’t have to do anything. They say that the fact that I am is enough. They know that I have so many issues that I need a magazine rack, but they don’t care. They love me anyway. They tell me so. They show me.
And I stand and have to ask why.
I’m nobody special. I have issues. There are times when I’m positive that I’m crazy. But for some reason, people love me. People love me despite all that.
I don’t understand it. If my parents couldn’t accept me as I was, direct from the factory, how can anybody else? My parents have known me since birth; if they can’t love the person I am, why should other people?
How can who I am–just me, with no additions or deeds attached– be enough to deserve other people’s love?