I think that one of the hardest things about love is deciphering the difference between healthy love and dysfunctional, not okay love. I think this is especially true for individuals whom have went without love and have developed an “unloved” motto. Love becomes something that is yearned for but never satisfied. I have a cousin, Skie, whom I used to be best friends with. Growing up we were each others confidantes. We did everything together. We would sit up all night talking about what the our lives were like, things we wished were different, boys we “liked”, what we would name our children, how when we had children we would be at each others child-birth, how we would always be best friends, and so on. Skie is now 18-years-old and is beautiful, intelligent, wise, and silly. She is also pregnant. She and I are no longer friends and like the rest of my bio family, I am not high on her list of people who should live. At the moment she is living with my mom and  is doing well considering her environment, but poorly. I am happy for her, but am also greatly saddened by her decision to become pregnant. I know the story behind it, and it’s sad.  Skie, like I, comes from a horrible background. She was raised with and by me. She didn’t receive love, hope, happiness, or really much of a life. During the summer, four years ago, Skie spent a lot of time with my adoptive family and I. Even though I was not yet adopted she was still welcomed into my family and loved just as I was. During one of our family baseball trips, Skie and I were talking and in secrecy she talked to me about how she had started smoking pot and doing other drugs. I was sad.She told me about the many times she called CPS and nothing was done. I wasn’t surprised   She talked about how a year earlier she had more than one miscarriage, at age 15. I was devastated for her loss but couldn’t understand why she’d want a baby. She then continued to explain that she had tried for over 2 years to get pregnant because she felt that having a baby was the only way out. She felt that if she had a baby either she could be emancipated, the state would take her away, or she would live with her “baby daddy”. She told me that she wanted a baby because a baby would bring her the family she always wanted, it would bring her family closer together, and it would get rid of her problems. And then she simply stated, “I want a baby for all of this, but mostly I want a baby so that someone will finally love me.” I understood and I still do, but I am sad for her and sad for her baby. None of this will become a reality for her. She is following my mom’s path very closely and has jeopardized the child’s’, and her own, life. It is hard, yet very familiar for me, to see her seek love in all the wrong places and to not be able to guide her in an opposite direction. I can’t do this because even I still don’t really understand the entirety of love. I know that love is not what she has. I know that what she is harboring; the drugs, pregnancy, my mom, my sister, her baby’s dad, is all in attempt to feel loved and that it’s not love, but that is a place that I too return to–more often than I like to admit. I often times confuse bad love and good love and seek attention in the wrong ways. Rejection hurts and when you’ve been rejected your entire life it is hard to trust that there are people who can, and do, love–and even more hard to comprehend. Like Skie, I have turned to desperate measures to make people love me, only mine were damaging in different ways. After moving in with Bailey I realized that something about her reminded me of my mom. It was hard because I was terrified of my mom, I desperately needed my mom to love me, and I was needing the type of love my mom had shown me in the past–from Bailey. Bailey didn’t exactly cooperate that way, instead she gave me a non hitting, non sexual, etc, kind of love. One night I was in a really dark, past, place and descended into a corner of the house and “hid” like I used to at my moms. Bailey was mad at me, and I at her, and when she came downstairs instead of seeing her I saw the first glimpse of my mom in years. I panicked. As Bailey was walking away I freaked and I attacked her. I threw my computer at her and started punching her. I didn’t want her to leave. I wanted her to stay with me in my “dark” time and, in my panicked frenzy, the only way I could think was to hurt her. I took her power of leaving because every time she would try to leave I would attack her again. I was terrified. I felt like she didn’t love me, just like my mom, and I truly wanted her to. I hit her son. I hit her. I slammed doors. I threw computers. I threw any heavy object I could find, I tore papers, screamed mean things, punched, and  many times reverted back to hitting and kicking. As I was being restrained I started kicking and biting. She needed to leave for her safety and I wouldn’t let her because I wanted her to love me, I wanted her to do the things my mom was supposed to, I wanted her to just be with me…but she couldn’t and so I felt rejected and thrown away, just like in my past, I was triggered. I was so desperate for love and affection that instead of embracing the “healthy” love that was in front of me, I created chaos in attempt to create a love that didn’t need to be there. That was one of the most terrifying nights of my life because for the 8 years prior I had done my best to not to let myself return to the point of that extensive rage.  I hurt Bailey very badly, bruising her and straining her wrists and back. I’m not much different from my cousin, other than I have experienced a love that is pure. I experience a love that is confusing, unsettling, painful, and most times annoying. It’s a love that I’ve never known and often times reject because it’s not comfortable like the love my mom showed me. It’s not simple, restricted, or really defined…but it’s free.  I have been blessed with many people in my life who haven’t given up on me yet, but still I get confused and often times revert back to the love seeking behaviors. The “crazy-town” thinking, pushing away in an attempt to pull someone closer, calling names, arguing  throwing things in rage, screaming mean words at the top of my lungs, and other typical “trauma child” {or RAD} behaviors, all in attempt to get the love that I need. The love that I need will never be fulfilled  even through self-love, because it’s a love that only my mom could have given, same with Skie, so we try to fill it in irrational, silly ways, as we also attempt to understand what love really means.

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