Have you ever felt unwanted? Have you ever wondered why someone didn’t love you or why they treated you badly? I think most of us have had a version of that, whether it’s a parent, friend, relative, or love interest.
A friend of mine has been grappling with feelings of not being wanted by her biological father. My nature is to try and fix things right away; I have a masculine energy and that’s something I’ve learned to recognize and try to soften as most of the time one person can’t fix things for another. Most of the time people just need someone to listen and be there for them.
So, at a recent lunch, I just listened, acknowledged her pain, and did not offer any solutions. That lasted approximately 32 minutes (a personal best) at which point, I could not hold back any longer.
See, I have a unique perspective on exactly this type of situation. I don’t have a relationship with my father. I know little to nothing about him. He may be dead or alive for all I know. I remember meeting him once when I was maybe five, and being extremely disappointed when he said he would return the next day to take me shopping and buy me a doll. (Men, should never lie about shopping)
Over the course of my life to maybe early adulthood, I was embarrassed, hurt, and imprinted with insecurities that I’m sure came from the non existent father figure in my life. But at some point I realized that how other people treated me, had little to do with me, and more to do with them.
I know this is something that plagues people who have parental abandonment issues. Maybe the parent was never in their lives, maybe they were adopted, maybe the parent was there but didn’t give them the love and attention they desperately needed, or worse maybe their parent abused them. It’s all sad and life altering. I know because I’ve seen it first hand with people I’ve known closely, and they just never seem all together right or whole. *Disclaimer, I’ve also known and met a few people who managed to put the failings of the parents aside and not appear to have any issues. I mean, I know they exist because I’m one of them.
What I told my friend was, “If I depended on my father or anyone else to supply me with my value, I wouldn’t have any.” I can’t depend on someone who is obviously flawed and damaged themselves to provide me with my value. That might be the way we develop as children, but at some point, you learn the sad truth, that your parents are just flawed, imperfect human beings, who are probably just doing their best to make it through their own existence. Fortunately, I did have a mother who tried her very best to care for me, despite enduring her own trauma.
The way I look at it is, this person who has wounded me, is a wounded person themselves. They have been hurt and damaged in some way, and have not been able to heal themselves. If they are treating me badly or lashing out at me, it’s because they are in a way sick. (I’m into spiritual $#i+, so I equate it to a sickness or hollowness of the soul.) How can I expect to get what I need from someone who is clearly hampered emotionally, and probably mentally as well? I have to provide myself with what I need. I need to recognize my own value, and importance. I need to believe that I am on this earth for a reason, and there is value in my being. I don’t have to cure any diseases, or win awards, I just need to be.
Even if you have the best parents, a Disney-like childhood, there will come a time when you will feel not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not whatever enough, this is the time you will need to find your own worth.
Your worth is immeasurable. You are precious beyond words. I know this because you are alive. You have breath and electricity running through your body, the vessel that houses your soul. These things were gifted to you by God. Whether you believe in God or not, is irrelevant. If you are alive you are worthy of all good things, you are unique, and important and there is something for you to do on this earth.
It may just be learning to love yourself and that’s enough.