Disconnect with Love

This is going to be hard to articulate, but I need to unload.
I just learned last week that I really don’t know what being loved means. Being guarded has been somewhat of a refuge, something I can control, a safety net, I ultimately conditioned myself not to let people inside.

What really scares me, I don’t remember the last time I really felt love, or even genuinely reciprocated the love given from others. Relationships with past girlfriends and my Ex-Wife, I was romantic. Friends, Family, Kids - All I express love, support, and giving. I followed the definition of Love, I see people love each other, I know what makes people happy. When asked what love meant to me, I followed “It’s what makes people feel good, I didn’t feel anything other than going through the motions. I'm happy if they're happy.” Should I have felt more? I guess.

I think this stems from my abuse. I have this clear memory during one of my evenings of abuse, a calm went moved through me. I just relaxed and surrendered, thinking if I die now, it's what is suppose to happen. When someone bigger than you has control, what can you really do? I literally felt something in me depart, and I don’t think I ever got it back. That's how I feel at the moment anyway.

When I tried to share the abuse with my parents as a kid, they sided with my abuser. He’s a nice guy, how could it be true… That moment is so vivid, I really felt like I’d died. I can explain it no other way.

Can I break down this wall and really let someone in?

That is an unfair question to ask, because I realize there is so much yet to process. I simply feel super alone and like I’ve cheated everyone from really knowing my heart… Including family.
Thank you for sharing this. I, too, tend to skew people-pleasing with love. For me, I think spirituality has helped. Giving and receiving love with my God. He teaches souch about what love truly means. This has opened up many healthy relationships with other men. Sometimes my default "people-pleasing" mentality slips in. My kids have been great. They have helped me so much with that, too. Both are loving in their own way. They have grown up to be awesome people that I am very proud of. I am still "on the Journey". Hang in there - it gets better. (by the way, God already knows your heart and loves you with open arms! - I truly believe this)



I understand your feelings. I have come to believe, until I loved myself I could not truly love others. Survivors, question the words and actions of others. I know I would feel words and actions of others as confirmation of my sense of worthlessness, never trusting myself that I could be loved. It took me a long time to accept I could love myself. It heightened my sense of loving others who have shown love to me. It also made me realize those that created negative emotions by words and actions do not know love themselves. Many in this world do not feel love despite words of the opposite. Today, I feel love and I love myself. I have learned to ignore those who turned and denied my abuse because they need to heal from their own sense of loss, abuse or emotional issues in their lives. People live in denial about their emotions, like I did for decades as a survivor. Life experiences influence how we feel, how we love and how we treat others. All we can do is love ourselves and life will look brighter.

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Thanks guys, if I hear you, between the lines the word "vulnerability" strikes me. Walls are not what make us stronger, and always questioning intent doesn't build a healthy foundation to stand on, which makes us weak rather than survivors.

If I go off that - Writing in my journal is one thing, but posting here is a form of being vulnerable. This becomes just one more place in opening myself up, which honestly speaking feels scary to me. However, this momentum is the opposite direction of my own personal conditioning of being guarded is a step in the right direction.

I think learning to be vulnerable, and finding strength in it has to be the key. Easier said and done, after all this all started being vulnerable. See, helping my friend whom was vulnerable enough to share his abuse, asking me to help him, which ended up making me vulnerable and abused.

I'd love to know if there is a way out of this twisted forest?! I don't see it. Perhaps one must just re-condition themselves to just forget, and find genuineness in the people around you? Maybe somewhere in that you find yourself?

When you help, or are friends with, those who similarly struggle, you need to set clear, healthy boundaries so you keep each other safe. (meet in public places, etc.)