My dear oldest friend is reading Unloved Again. She said she reads one chapter a day because it is so sad. I said another friend said she cried through the book when it still was an unedited manuscript. I took it as the highest compliment.
My friend said, out of the blue, that she had been sexually molested when she was about 5. Her father was a minister who totally lacked the calling but his family required it of him. One of his father’s parishioners came visiting and got her on his lap where he fondled her vagina inside and out while moving his body in growing ecstasy. She knew something was wrong. Was confused about what she was supposed to do since her parents were big on herm always giving in. They were a willful lot.
After the man was finished and had left their house she told her parents. Their response? It didn’t happen. Nothing happened. She had made it up. They left her emotionally stranded, molested and abused, abandoned, worthless, a liar. This experience of betrayal has shaped her life.
You may ask why someone would repeat this early trauma and others like it, over and over and even teach her daughter to do it to her? The repetition is two-sided, even contradictory in its motivation. One side is telling the child within, it really isn’t so bad? The people I love the most betray me. There must be love in it.
As in all repetition compulsion, one is repeating the traumatic experience in order to overcome the early pain. See, he/she loves me so that their mistreatment and transgression does not make the pain intentional. Pain has become part of their definition of love. The real equation is, “see, he/she loves me because he/she hurts me.” Every repetition is an attempt to still believe in that earliest loving experience which was mostly unloving. You are attempting to disprove your earliest and most serious loss, that there was no love for you despite your need.
The other part of this repetition is the potential for revenge. There still is the possibility of expressing your rage and getting even. There still is the possibility of kicking that person out of your life instead of piteously clinging to their coat tails or apron strings. You did not and could not do that in childhood. You were too physically and emotionally helpless. The sense of dependency, of need for love from one who does not give it is with you still. This new person, this lover (or friend) mistreats you and you endlessly wonder what you did wrong.
You think you are leading an adult life. You carry a load of hardship. You help other people. But in your love life you are still that dependent, frightened, guilty, needy child.
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