This is the hardest thing I think I’ve been dealing with for a very long time. I have been in EMDR therapy and it has changed my views on a lot of things. The biggest thing I’m currently learning is how to teach people how to love me the way I deserved to be loved.
I’ve been teaching people how to love me but not the way that I deserve, just in the way that I’m used to. And I’m used to allowing people to walk all over me because I used to be afraid of telling people how I really and truly felt.
I lived in this fear… and maybe it was my PTSD(I), but I have a fear of confrontation and making people mad. I used to walk around afraid of speaking my mind because it was an intimidation tactic to make me fear speaking up for myself. Which is why I work so effortlessly now to have a voice that I’ve been fighting for, for a very long time.
My therapist told me that I have to teach people how to love me and tell them what I need and how I need it. Because if not then I’m teaching them how to not love me and how to… for a lack of a better word… abuse me… treat me without respect… without the proper love and the proper care.
I think the biggest thing for me and possibly any survivor… is that we don’t need anyone to fix it. I specifically don’t need anyone to provide me with what they think the solution is… or what they think will help me. What I need is for someone to listen and provide empathy to me. To be empathetic to what I need and provide that level of comfort. Many people respond to emotional situations or situations that require an emotional response with, what I like to call, the cut and paste solution.
The cut and paste solution (I made it up! LOL!) is something where someone tries to find a solution and paste it so they can move on quickly. And for myself and a lot of other people that’s like putting a bandaid on a broken bone. It doesn’t actually create any level of growth from the current situation. So I have to teach people… specifically my family, friends, lovers what it is that I need.
I don’t need anyone to fix it. I need for someone to look at me and say “I see that you’re hurting… but it’s going to be okay”. I need for the people in my life to “see me”. To really see me and not just want to ignore the fact that I’m dealing with heavy things or the fact that I have dealt with heavy things.
I feel in extremes and I think that has to do with my PTSD(I) and I think it has to do with not knowing how to feel more than one emotion at a time. I’m either extremely happy or extremely sad. There’s no in between when I feel emotions. Either I’m super angry or I’m super happy (up until recently). Since therapy I’ve realized how to handle each situation and allow myself to feel all the emotions that may be associated with the situation.
With my current health and medical situation it is really difficult for me to process a lot of things. Mainly because my brain is compressed so it takes some time for me process things. But, emotionally it has taken me some time. And I have had to be able to feel each emotion that is associated with it. And with my friends and my family I am having to teach them what it is that I need in this current predicament. I don’t need a permanent solution.. that is what my neurosurgeon is for. I need for my friends and family to be understanding. I need for them to be sensitive about the situation and not tell me what they think I should or shouldn’t be feeling. I just want to be able to feel what I’m feeling without repercussion.
I realize that with people who are … normal… or anyone who compartmentalizes their emotions and buries them deep.. they don’t want their happiness disturbed. And I get that completely. So I’m having to teach my family… more specifically my parents that I don’t expect their happiness to change. What I do need is understanding that my happiness has changed and that I might need a hug. Or a “hey are you okay… do you need anything”… and then they go about their day. I don’t need their whole world to change or their emotional state to change because mine has. I just need some empathy and understanding.
Teaching others how to love you isn’t an insult to their intelligence. It isn’t an insult to what they have to offer. You just have to paint a picture for others to realize that we all love and receive love differently. Not one person loves the same as the other. Others need a little bit more tender love and care. As others are fine with being left alone for a long period of time and that is totally okay, because that is how they liked to be loved. I’ve learned through therapy that there is always an opportunity to learn and to teach. To be taught. And to teach others. Life is nothing but a learning lesson and a growing lesson.
I can no longer live in the space of people loving me in ways that cause pain because that is how they are used to loving others. I require a special kind of love. I require a tender kind of love. And I require empathetic love with understanding and sensitivity. I don’t deserve anything less than what it is I need to get my love to bloom. Don’t sell yourself short. Teach them how to love YOU. ❤️