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When All Your Needs Are Met as a Child – Except Love

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Editor's Note

If you have experienced emotional abuse, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, visit this resource.

My purpose was simple, my failure even simpler. A child created to fix a marriage is doomed from the start, as their only purpose in life is to fix the mess that others have created. I never stood a chance with them. You would think that my saving grace would have been that at least they wanted me, right? At least I was planned and had purpose, right? You would be wrong. I never stood a chance with them. The marriage dissolved quickly, a foundation built on quicksand. He left me with her. Me, a living, breathing, feeling creature. He left me with her without thinking twice. I never stood a chance with them.

A child is like a houseplant, only needing a few basic things for survival. Food, water, love and some sunlight. Maybe you assumed she was giving me those things. I suspect you never gave enough shit to provide them to me yourself, so there I was, left with crumbs. Food was plentiful, water never scarce. Sunlight, though trying to kill me to this day, I got. But love? It was not there, and there was no supplement I could take to substitute its absence. No bonds were formed, no attachments were created. Just a watered little houseplant looking at the sun, wondering what the point of this all was. That question has yet to be answered.

You left me with her, knowing what she was. Hollow, selfish, heartless and cruel. You were two peas in a rotted pod. Mother of the year for the award and appearances, the woman I hardly knew on the couch everyday watching soap operas that let her ignore my existence. Most mothers want to be with their children, especially when they are tiny. I was shoved into daycare programs, not once crying at the thought of being separated from the woman that gave me half of my genetic code. Please get her away from me, I do not know this woman. She did not do it so she could work or raise other children. No, she simply wanted nothing to do with me.

Other houseplants eventually filled the house. What little attention I got before was gone, my reality shattered. They were male, infinitely more valuable than me, and they also looked more like her. You were the same with your boys. Why do you all love the boys so much more than me? Fade to black, curtain call, our time here is done. What good was the child that never saved the marriage? I chewed, tore and ate my nails until they were bloody stumps. 26 years old and that still stands. Even savaged the cuticle and skin surrounding the nail, especially when she was around. You have to be perfect, she said. You have to be pretty and smart, and smile. Nothing less than an “A” will be tolerated. You have to be better than everyone else. Was that the highest grade in the class? Then you are unacceptable. No talking back now, I will have no cracks in my glass house.

The Christians did me no kindness, and my Savior was no redeemer. Cracking under pressure, I eventually tore my hair out. Twisting it around my index finger, I would rip chunks out of my favorite spot on my scalp. I still remember it was on the right side, close to where my hair parts. The hair fell on the classroom floor each day, gathering in piles. The ancient creature that was our teacher demanded I pick it up with tape, as the hair disgusted her and dirtied her floor. A bald spot grew, drawing mother’s attention. Screaming, grabbing, grounding and humiliation. No concern, no kind words, no gentle kisses to ask why I would do this. A decree and a threat, you are ruining your pretty and soon you will get ugly when your hair is gone. I cut it all off after that behind mother’s back. You called me your Tinker Bell. Just like Tink, I faded with the less attention I got. Even after I grew my hair out, the pretty never came back.

You left me with her, and she left me in pieces. Jagged, crooked and broken pieces that no longer fit together. I look to others, begging them to help me glue what I can back, hoping that something could come out of it. All I find are monsters. I find demons with the faces of angels. Men’s faces that hide cruel intentions, sinister delights and sick kinks. More pieces are left behind in their wake. Turns out I was just looking for you the whole time. After they walk away I realize they were just you in different forms. This one liked to say I was not good enough, that one liked to say she was better. They were just like you. If you could not love me, why would they?

Which part of you will I find next? I hope it won’t hurt as bad as the last one.

Photo by Tina Markova via Unsplash.
Originally published: January 21, 2020
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