Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Have you been loved enough?

Sidda with her mother
As I was nursing Lily this morning, I looked at her and wondered, "Have I loved you enough, baby girl? Have I hugged you and kissed you enough? Have I spent enough time playing with you?" Then I thought, "Is it even possible? Is it possible to love someone...enough?" 

I first heard this question when Sidda asked her father in the movie The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood.
 Sidda's mother lost the true love of her life to war and ended up marrying the next guy who loved her. Going into that marriage, he knew she didn't love him the way she loved the man that died. He is quoted as saying he'd "rather play second fiddle than not play in the band at all." This man endured a life with a spouse who virtually hated him, a wife who experienced alcoholism and needed to be hospitalized, a wife who abandoned their family for a few days, and a wife who never recovered from losing her true love. He stood by her through it all and loved her anyway. So when Sidda asked her father, "Have you been loved enough?" He replied, "What's enough?"

Good question. I think about this scene from time to time. Robbie teases me about this movie, but there are some really thoughtful moments in it.

Sometimes I feel like I didn't get loved enough as a kid and it has spilled into my adult life. I try not to use my childhood as an excuse for my behavior now. I hate it when people use a rough childhood as an excuse to be horrible adults. I always hated it as a kid when people would excuse other kids' bad and disrespectful behavior because they didn't come from a two parent home. So? Lots of people come from a single parent home and know how to function. "I know how to behave," I would say. 

Because that was my situation, I spent a lot of time alone. I mean, a LOT! It's not as if my family blatantly didn't care, they just didn't have time to care. They worked. As I think back on high school, I don't remember eating dinner. What did we eat? I remember being alone a lot of the time and I don't remember there being very much to eat. Did I eat cereal? I don't remember. I just remember being alone. Always alone.

I worked hard in high school to be the best I could be, but there was no one to celebrate me. That was fine I suppose. I got used to it, and it didn't stop me from trying to be the best. 

Life finally stabilized for my mom and me when I started college. She finally married a man that truly made her happy. By then it was too late for me to really trust that anyone gave a crap about what I did. It didn't stop me from trying to succeed though. 

So I did well in college, and now I am done with college. Most of the time I stay home with Lily. I still play the flute, and I am working on doula certification. I still do things where I get that feeling of, "Hey look at me! Pay attention to me! I did something good!" I admit it. I'm a real approval junkie.

I am 28 years old and I still want people to notice me and celebrate me. I really do want to be liked and admired. I guess most people do, right. (Remember Meg from Little Women?) But this desire to be liked and admired, and even jealous of others who are obviously liked and admired, really embarrasses me. I should have grown out of that by now. It's not about me anymore. My time has come and gone. Now it's all about Lily. Which is great!!!

But that leads me back to my original point. I'm not sure I was loved enough when it was my time. I am sure my mom did her best and gave me as much love as she could. My dad doesn't get much of a mention because he got rid of me in middle school for a certain sum of money from my mom. He makes an appearance every few years, but he is NOT a part of my life. 

For me, I don't feel like I got loved enough during that crucial time in my life, and I feel as if it has spilled into my adult life. It drives me nuts that something from my childhood effects the way I feel as an adult. I really hate that. I feel so childish when I think about these things, and I am embarrassed when I feel that childish jealousy when I see someone else getting what I didn't get. 

Now, do I get loved enough now? Definitely! I don't feel even a smidge lacking in how much my husband loves me. And Lily! She loves me so much! I never imagined being THAT person to another human being. Robbie and I, well, we're just her everything!

I hope I can love her enough. 

1 comment:

  1. This is a very touching post. At the end of the day I often wonder, did I give my daughter enough attention today? Did I do a good job at being her mom today? I am hoping this constant worrying is a sign that we are good and caring parents :)