I find love extremely confusing. I have been trying to process what it means to me for pretty much my entire life. At times I have an extreme love for something and less intensity for people. My special interests can seem to mean more to me. However, I am very caring and will give everything I have to give. I do love fully in what I am capable of, throughout my life though it has seemed to never be enough. Because of my constant focus on trying to make others feel loved and wanting them to be happy I have never had the comprehension of someone loving me. I don’t “feel” it, I can only use patterns and actions as my source of understanding of who loves me.
My thinking in this area is distorted.
I tend to have a black and white logic when it comes to someone loving me. If they do not follow the rules and actions that I perceive as loving then they do not love me and the relationship is void. If they come back and show me some sort of loving action then the relationship is flourishing. I have gotten very confused from my pattern of thinking because if someone has cared about me but treated me badly than I think they never cared about me and I am unsure as to why they want anything to do with me. Then if they come back and show any kind of loving action, I tend to forget anything that hurt me and everything is good. With friends and family I have felt this void after a disagreement or misunderstanding and thought that they would cut me off and never want to be in contact with me again. I would then be surprised that they did.
I am referring to friends later in life, not as a youngster.
I am unsure what is considered love and then the various degrees of love. How does one categorize loving? I have read all about the different types of love and still nope, don’t get it. (I didn’t just read from Wiki) No matter how much one reads, people still operate in their interpretations and experiences. I am going through a very hard time with all of this because in all of my relationships I have only had one that made me “feel” an emotion of love without feeling the need to mirror or to make them happy. I enjoyed making them happy but it was not the goal of the relationship for me. I do not know how or why it happened and I do not know why I was not able to recreate the feelings, emotions before or after. It was a combination of many things but some of them were, liking them as a person, having fun with them, being challenged by them, feeling freedom and feeling safe. I do not know why it all fell into place like that, they were my friend (still are) and love just poured out. It was easy for the first time, I guess I trusted for the first time.
Still I did not feel their love for me, I thought I did but then I doubted, it was the first time I felt it though.
Most of the time for me friendship relationship takes precedence over other relationships. I find love easier in friendships I think. Romantic relationships have been very hard for me because it can be so complicated to discern. There is a lot there for me to process but to make my life easier throughout my life I have told people who continued to bother me about dating or finding a husband that I was going to be a nun so I wouldn’t have to worry about it. Apparently not many 20 year olds say that so I would get some funny looks. It wasn’t just then I have pretty much made comments like that every time I have been single. I did not like to date and I found it rather pointless. I saw absolutely no reason for some guy to take me out and pay for me when I had no intentions of being with him and what if I didn’t like him? I know me, I would not have been nice. Plus I really did not see any point in going out with strangers or people I felt nothing for.
I know sometimes people talked me into going out with a friend or cousin.
But if it was a “date” it was very uncomfortable for me. I would rather be friends and then go from there, no expectations, no threat of having to fulfill needs, just being natural and having fun. Going over all of my past relationships, friends and otherwise has revealed something quite significant to me, they loved me. I cannot tell you how hard it is for me to say that or even to see it. My mind has wrapped around all of the negatives and negated any emotions they had for me because I did not feel loved by many of their actions and I was trying so hard to make them feel loved that I couldn’t feel for myself. I do not know how to be loved. I do not know who loves me. I do not know how to feel it or see it. I have been in protection mode for so long and the way I controlled “feeling” was by trying to be someone I was not.
I am starting to see what love is though.
It is easy for me to think of God loving me, He has to. I know that sounds bad but truthfully that is my thought process. When it comes to others I have been unable to see any of the qualities or things about me that they love. In my past relationships I knew they cared some because they stayed with me and even came back several times throughout my life. Why did they come back? I didn’t know. I thought they forgot me or that they hated me. All of these years I have not been able to see what they loved about me because I was always trying to change.
I didn’t think they wanted me.
I didn’t think that they enjoyed me, because in my mind I was always seeing them enjoy others qualities or character. Or I felt rejected for my actions, quirks and oddities based on my interpretation of their words or actions toward me. I wanted to be everything to them, I wanted to make them completely happy. Later in the relationship I mentioned earlier where I “felt” for the first time, I got confused and hurt by actions and words and began to dissect myself. I came to the conclusion that somehow I was not good enough, at some point I lost trust.
It’s an impossible, unrealistic task to be everything, plus I was mirroring in most cases.
During some of these relationships I drank, A LOT and when I drank I had no filters sometimes it was good, many times it was bad. Also I lived with a couple of them so they got to see my quirks, rituals, Aspie cycles (though I did not know that then, it may have been quite helpful had I known) so they did see a lot of me in many ways and still wanted to be with me. I believe that I wanted to be happy myself and I thought if I could make them happy then I would be happy. That is a huge part of who I am, I love making people happy but there has to be balance. I am seeing where I had some friends who cared for me very much now, but I didn’t believe it then. I didn’t see it. How could anyone love me when I had so many things wrong with me? My mind has been twisted. I am just overwhelmed right now with the thought of people actually loving me. I don’t know what it means, I have told myself for so long that they don’t. They couldn’t because of their rejection of me. But that is not true.
People do love you in their own way.
I am not saying that abuse or mistreatment of me was ok in any of those relationships I had been in. However, slowly the film over my eyes is getting clearer and I am seeing a flood of good in the midst of the bad. It hurts worse to see the good, bad I understand. Rejection and feeling incapable, I know. Being loved for me, seeing people who I thought did not care about me do good things for me, is hard. I had blocked out all of the positives because they cannot coexist in my thinking pattern. Either you love me by following the rules that I have never told you and are all locked away in my head because I think you already know or should know. Oh, and I am not even sure myself but when I see it I will tell you. Or I document every negative comment, ridicule, situation, and action that I may have misinterpreted because I do not know how to read body language, social cues and could be unable to discern what you are saying because of sensory overload which means you do not love me.
Wow! I have some things to process.
I am extracting any abuse or emotional trauma from these situations I am working through. I now understand what trauma and abuse are so I can process through these relationships with a proper mind frame. I need to see how people have cared for me and loved me. I have to process the positives with the negatives and bring balance. Somehow I need to understand that I am loved and I am loveable. I hope I don’t sound too cheesy! Maybe I will just do this Stuart Smalley in the mirror. I guess my next processing adventure will be “What is happiness?” and maybe writing out some of these rules of mine that I have yet to express out loud. I’ve been reading about unconditional love a lot lately, it keeps popping up in various and odd ways…oh, the irony of it all. I may be sharing about that too soon, especially since one of the things I read used the infinity symbol to represent the process of unconditional love, always love some infinity.