Forgiving her and him and them and me ....

The many uses of duct tape ...

The question of the day: What is love?

Love is an emotion that I feel for another person. Love is not entirely logical. A very strong feeling of affection and a concern for that person's wellbeing and safety. A willingness on my part to do things for that person that I would not do for others. A desire to see that person be happy. A feeling of happiness on my part to see that person happy.

Pleasure in seeing a smile. A feeling of connectedness, no matter if I don't see the person for a long time. A desire to give more to that person than what I receive. In every sense of the word give. An interest in seeing the person but more so an interest in talking with the person. Being able to talk and share stories and experiences and commiserate and comfort is more important to me than to be physically present because the connection between the minds and hearts is what is the most important to me and can happen regardless of whether I see the person or not.

As for being a mother who loves, this kind of love is very hard to break. However, sometimes children grow into adults who can't love back, who can't reciprocate love, and can't even recognize the love of their parents. This is a sad situation when love isn't appreciated, acknowledged and recognized. Being the parent of a daughter who admits that she does not love me, can't recognize my love and rejects it and who also is very willing to hurt me emotionally, I am extremely distrustful and wary of her. I believe that I will never trust her again. I can't imagine circumstances that will turn this situation around.

Trust is an important part of love. I can love more easily when I can trust. When trust is broken, then my love is guarded and no longer given as freely. I can still love but only with caution because of the fear of being hurt. When someone has proven that they can hurt me and are willing to hurt me, then I put up walls to protect myself, boundaries between myself and them. I love but cautiously. This is a sad way to love but sometimes it is the only way.

Loving another makes a person very vulnerable. It is easy to hurt someone who loves you. When you love, you are more easily hurt by the person whom you love. If you protect yourself so much in life that no one can every hurt you, then you can't love fully. But you'll be safer.

The odd thing is that there are adults who love parents who have severely abused them. There are parents who are alcoholics, drug addicts, wife beaters, child beaters, bank robbers, and worse and there are adult children who love them. I'm not saying that the children should love them. I am saying that there are a lot of people who love VERY imperfect parents. I have loved very imperfect parents.

There are adult children who are not capable of loving parents whom they feel disappointed by because when they were already adults, they think that their parents weren't there sufficiently to comfort them in situations where, in some cases, the parents didn't know about the situation or weren't physically able to be present or were cut off already by the adult child so that they couldn't be present. So to them this absence of parental presence means that they are insufficiently loved. They don't love their parents and can't recognize their parents' love for them. It seems to be a fact of life like bark growing on trees. Some people just don't love their parents.

The question to me is, does such a person want to be this way or do they want to change? So far, I think that she wants to be the way that she is, unloving of her parents and convinced that her parents don't love her. So she has things just the way that she wants them. Until she changes her mind, if ever, that is how things will stay.

BTW, Robin, you did tell me the story about your first grade teacher when you were in first grade. She gave you bad grades in handwriting and art and I was angry about how she treated you and all of her students. She was a terrible teacher. I wanted to have you switched to another class. Your father disagreed with that. You told me at the time it all happened in first grade.

Yes, you put caterpillers on her chair and laughed about it when you told me. I was happy for you. Yes, you had nightmares and did sleep walk but you were still in her class when that happened. That would have been in the school year of 1972-73. You slept walked when we lived on Chandler Street. That was at the time when you were in her class. You weren't in that school long enough to go to third grade there as we moved in 1974 when we bought the house. I remember the specific years well because I remember what years I was in graduate school and then teaching. You never did any sleepwalking after we moved. Yes, you trusted me enough then to tell me about the teacher.

In my mind's eye I can still see you crying while sitting on the floor in the living room when you were sleep walking. Both your father and I were concerned for you and I was angry at him that he didn't support me in getting you taken out of her class.

Life has such ironies. I always had wished that I had a smart capable mother who could take good care of herself, who didn't say rude things during the holidays at the dinner table in front of others, who didn't drink and drive, who wasn't always in crisis. I wanted a mother whom I could be proud of. I would have liked having myself as a mother. But Robin wants someone as a mother who is someone other than me.



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