When we Love and do not feel loved back
When we keep hoping and wishing he or she will change, in hopes this person will meet our needs and provide us that which we feel we are missing in our life.
The theme of this book is learning to understand how we continued to repeat the same patterns in the hope that eventually what we feel is missing in our life will soon be fulfilled.
That missing something stems from our childhood when the prominent parent in our life, the one that we believed did not love us, perhaps ignored us, neglected us, which all translated to not loving us.
I discovered the book by Robin Norwood, Women Who Love Too Much, When You Keep Wishing and Hoping He’ll Change. Within the first couple of pages I discovered that this fit my entire life. And it fits so many more of our lives than anyone cared to admit.
Doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, or who your partner is. What matters is understanding that relationships with other people are not there to fulfill a need or a space that fills vacant.
The phrase that comes to mind is “you complete me.” I used to hear that from men quite a bit. I was raised to believe that as a woman it was my job to fulfill others needs and it was selfish of me to ask for anything I required. I continue to pick the same kind of man, same friends, same employers and clients, all have one thing in common: they need someone to fill a void in their life.
The Old Story
Here’s an excerpt from the book:
Victim of love,
I see a broken heart.
You’ve got your story to tell.
Victim of love,
It’s such an easy part
And you know how to play it so well.
…I think you know
What I mean.
You’re walking the wire
Of pain and desire
Looking for love in between
-Victim of Love
And it was such an easy part to play. It was easier to play the blame game, and not take personal responsibility for my own actions. That’s the lecture I used to get.
The learning curve came when someone finally told me that if I wanted to change I could. That recovery wasn’t an easy path. And the first time I got that conversation was my first outreach to a domestic violence counselor. Everything she said was scripted word for word and what I’d heard so many times. Not just from my the significant man in my life, but my whole life growing up as a child and into adulthood every relationship I heard a similar phrase or a lecture.
The commonality was I was the one to blame. If only I would stop behaving the way I was, if I wasn’t so emotional, smart, and always seemed to have an answer for everything.
What I Learned Through the Tears
What I hope to continue to teach and have taught more than a few clients both men and women, is to take a look at the lessons we learned growing up.
It was me and still is. I stand out different, asking the difficult questions, and remaining that perpetual 3 year old who always asks why. I hid my emotions, I hid from myself, hiding in the corner curled up and crying alone.
Into recovery and through all the tears I discovered that I can take the blame for the person that I am. However no matter how I behave, the proverbial good or bad, I do not deserve to be ridiculed, shamed, or disowned because of who I am or the mistakes I make.
Through the tears I found me, reconnected with me, and reconnected with the child that no one wanted. I discovered that my parents had their own baggage, and resolved problems and wounds from their own childhood. Just as every one of my ancestors have experienced their own wounds throughout their life. Is a generational heritage that continues to be shared.
No one can comfort you, fix you, feel a need, or heal you. There are no heroes that are going to come to your rescue. Except for you.
The healing journey belongs to self. I would love to be able to tell you that someone else could do the work for you. However, this type of house cleaning is your task.
Recovery is Possible and Doable
With perseverance, desire and a willingness to heal, find a new path and recreate yourself, healing will happen. Taking a line from a 12 step: “We do recover if we have the capacity to be honest.”
I do not believe that there is one person in this world that does not have the capacity to be honest. I can tell you there are people who have a very hard time accepting the grieving that comes with a path of recovery.
I have had many women and a few men search out someone else to work with. Rigorous honesty is not easy to own. I do not believe we can truly recover without it. Eventually we fall back into the same hole, we develop physical ailments and find death, institutions, sometimes even incarceration.
I have lost many a friend and companion to the disease that plagued them. This is beyond addiction, which is a self-medication. Eventually the tolerance is greater than the substance and no peace is found until surrender occurs.
Steps to Consider on Your Path
I am guilty of asking the same steps from everyone, the same steps I took on my path. Variations do occur. I do ask that you find what works for you, however, do not stray from that path. The steps to recovery are easy, it is the deeper look at self that seems overwhelming.
The steps are as follows:
- Get Sober, no more alcohol, drugs, etc. Whatever addiction you are chasing needs to be ended. Sobriety is your first step.
- Check out 12-step fellowships for your addiction. Read the literature, get familiar.
- Check out alternative recovery fellowships, of which there are plenty.
- Get a journal (notebook of your choosing), include color pens/pencils, or don’t the choice is yours. The journal is your portal to that inner self that has remained in hiding all these years.
- If you choose to participate in a recovery fellowship, create a substantial support group. Find those who have traveled the path. Get to know them, get phone numbers.
- Create an emergency contact card, it can be an index card with the top five (5) relevant phone numbers. Make sure you have their permission to reach out when in crisis. Include the crisis hotline of your choice. Put them in order of importance to you.
- Create a private space, where you can cry, scream, yell, be emotional. Take your journal, find music that soothes, and use each to move you into a place of calm.
- Know this, once awareness begins, it cannot be stifled. You can try, however, you will keep returning to that set point.
- Go beyond the recovery fellowship: Find a professional you can work with. One that specializes in you. Interview each, ask the questions and listen to beyond the words. Remember you are hiring them to work for you, not the other way around. Having said that, it is a relationship, cooperation is a must.
These steps are written in a few of my other posts. Guides for those who choose to use them. I schedule time in the evening and again in the morning to connect with self. Journal writing is my way of dialoguing with my emotions and the monkey mind, giving it room to be heard.
Books to Guide You
I have a library of books that I recommend, not everyone reads them or cares to. Eventually some do. It depends on his/her pain point. What do I mean? When you reach a point, you cannot go on like you are, that is your bottom, your pain point.
The books I recommend are easy to find for barely a cost. I shop Alibris (yes, it is an affiliate link, it is how I earn a bit extra to help with my expenses. Sometimes my books.)
- Women Who Love Too Much, by Robin Norwood (which is what this article beings with and another chapter will be written about)
- Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh
- Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
- Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. I prefer the 3rd Edition. Aa.org has an online version. As well as the 12 steps & 12 Traditions.
- A Woman’s Way through the 12-Steps by Stephanie S Covington, essential to being female in my book. It gives the female a guide to the language of men.
These are my primary books, there are loads of others. I am sure you find some you will read till it falls apart. These are well used books in my library, a few have had to be replaced because I loaned them and never saw them again.
My services begin with connecting with you, the person who is seeking change and guide you to the person who has made that change. When each of us takes that step into the inner self’s village, a way of being begins to emerge. The person who travels that road less traveled, yes that is another book, gains a new perspective on life, developing critical thinking skills that carry her/him to a new life.
You can find ways to connect with me on my Contact page. I do my best to respond within a 24 hour time period. If you do not hear from me do not give up, I may have missed your request. If you use email, be sure to include the subject line that fits my content. 🙂 I have spam blockers, so you will need to authenticate your email.
I wish you well on your journey. May you discover your child self in all her/his glory.