Last night I cried myself to sleep. I have been going to a counselor for over a year and I started attending a food-group (for people with food issues) a couple of weeks ago. And I have been on the verge of tears for the last two weeks (can you see the correlation between the food group and the tears? Hmm.
So, yesterday I had both. Food group and counselor. Yep. That’s called a double-whammy. One of the things the food group is working on is mindful eating. Mindful eating is actually savoring and enjoying your food. That is so-o-o hard. At least for me. I usually only taste the first couple of bites of a meal – if I taste them at all. I am usually too busy working or talking or watching TV or anything as long as I’m not FEELING.
I use food and/or retail therapy to suppress my feelings. There, I go admitting it. So, what feelings am I suppressing. Hmm. I was wondering about this. I kept hearing my Mom’s voice “Michelle, you’d be so pretty, if only you’d lose weight.” “Michelle, you’d be so smart if only you’d get your degree.” Well, darn it, am I pretty or not? Am I smart or not? But somehow, I was missing something. Then I realized the problem. I wasn’t hearing pretty or smart, I was hearing LOVED.
“Michelle, I would love you, if only you would lose weight.” “Michelle, I would love you, if only you’d get a degree.” I never felt loved. I never felt as if I were enough. I still don’t feel as if I’m enough. I mean, I’m still overweight. I may have a degree (or a few, but who’s counting) but it’s still not enough. I feel like a hamster on a wheel, running around and around, trying to win a race that can never be won. There’s no end. I keep trying and failing, because I don’t see myself as lovable. Darn it. I was adopted, so I was rejected by my birth mother. Then, I felt rejected by my adoptive parents. So if two sets of parents rejected me, I must not be lovable, right?
I know logically that that is wrong. I know that my birth mother was 16 in 1959 and she felt like she had no choice. I know my adoptive parents felt that they loved me – but they had their own demons from their own messed-up childhoods. So it wasn’t me. Or was it? That’s the problem with raising children. We all try to do better and we all mess up. I know I did. I know my children do, I know my friends do. I know most of my friends still carry the battle-scars of their childhoods.
Even as a child, I felt the lack of love. I remember crying and saying that my parents only adopted me to make me do chores or to spank or to ruin my life (I was a mini-drama queen, as most children are). But I felt the lack of love. But still, today, I know they did the best they could.
So last night, this all came crashing down. I began crying. “Why doesn’t anyone love me?” (there is still a little melodrama going on here, right?) The dogs were looking at me like what’s wrong. I, being in my pity-pot thought “the dogs only love me because I feed them.” Then I thought “My kids only love me because I . . . ” And so on. I called my kids for reassurance. Whoops. No one answered. So, being a 21st Century woman, I posted that I was struggling and needed prayers on Facebook. Well, two of my children called me last night (actually waking me up) to check on me. Another one called me first thing this morning. They even told me they loved me. It doesn’t sound too unloved does it? I had people saying they were praying, received a text and a private message, so apparently, people do care, right?
But I still don’t FEEL loved. And I am lonely. Which is my fault. I keep to myself. I don’t give very many people the opportunity to know or love me. I use food and/retail therapy to love myself. I teasingly say I have no life, but if I only work and go home, how am I supposed to get a life? It’s time for me to stop this. I have to learn to love myself. I think that’s the crux of all of this. No one can love me the way I need to be loved until I learn to love myself. No one can fill this empty void that needs to be filled by self-love. Yes, I know God loves me, but I need to love me. And I need love with skin on it.
So it’s time. I am going to work on loving me. I am going to find ways to love me. I’m not sure exactly how yet, but you know me, I am goal-oriented. So, I am going to be loved.