How I say I love you…

I read a fantastic article yesterday in the Huffpost by Amanda Chatel about how people who have been emotionally abused love differently. It’s here if you fancy a look. Do. It expresses it way better than I’m about to try to.

I’d had it decided in my head for years that other than the kids and my sister I probably wasn’t capable of love. Hand in hand with that went the belief that I was emotionally numb , a bit cold and unable to receive or give affection. This article was quite timely for me as over the last week I’ve realised that I was wrong. I am capable of affection ( and quite like it -weird) I’m not cold and unemotional , I feel a lot actually I just repress lots of it as strong emotion does unsettle me a bit. So I began the week on a bit of a high , telling everyone about my epiphany. Of course everyone who knows me well already knew all this. Have I ever spoken about my total lack of self awareness??

Love though? That was a whole other story.

Or so I thought , I again was wrong. I feel love for people I haven’t given birth to. Of course I do. I express it too. I just do it differently. The article I’ve mentioned is perfect as a general overview of how those of us who have been emotionally  abused will love that bit differently. I’m sure everyone who has been in this position could personalise it , we all have our own little ways don’t we? I thought I could share some of mine. This is how I express love (or deep affection at the very least…the L word still scares me a bit..babysteps..)

I touch you. It’s not going be a huge bear hug. I’ll brush your hand with mine , I’ll squeeze your shoulder, stroke your arm when I’m asking how you are.

I allow you to see my flaws. I don’t put on a perfect front with you or even attempt to be perfect with you. I trust you not to use my flaws against me and for me , that’s huge.

I show emotion around you , be that a tear or a giggle.

I look you in the eye when you’re talking to me about a problem. I’ve an awful habit of my eyes flitting when talking to people . It comes across as rude but it’s really not .It’s a self esteem thing. I was told what I said was unimportant and stupid for so long , I don’t want to see that look of boredom and irritation cross your face when speaking to me , even if it never will. I’ll always get over that when you need me to listen though. I need you to know that what you are saying is hugely important to me.

I’ll text or email or send you pics of things that couldn’t be less important. I want you to know some little daft things make me think of you . I’m also secure that you don’t think I’m an idiot for doing so.

I buy little gifts I think you’ll love. Silly things , just a way for me to say I listen to what you like!

I small talk with you (likely incessantly) The man who emotionally abused me hated the fact that I’m a chatterer and would shut it down immediately. When I’m talking nonsense to you it’s because I know you’ll not do the same

You see my expressions of love and affection are smaller ,it’s low key , it’s understated and from people who love me that’s what I want in return. No grand gestures- they terrify me.  Email me a link to a show or a book you think I’ll like. Ring me up with a funny story to tell me when you know I’ve had a rubbish day. Send me a Good Luck text when you know I’ve a big day ahead.

Love after emotional abuse is a complex , tricky thing. You may never get an I love you from me but you know when you were ill and I made and brought you soup , or when I texted you a book recommendation I knew you’d love or I remembered tiny details of conversation you told me that were important to you? Well that’s what I meant.

 

 

 



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16 thoughts on “How I say I love you…

  1. Just loved reading this post!! All those things that might seem insignificant to others, are huge steps for the one giving them! We all have different “Love” languages based on our personal experiences and that’s OK. I believe it’s important to know how a person shares of themselves and learn to be appreciative of that! This post was beautiful! Good on you! xx Thank you for sharing with us! #globalblogging

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow…this so rings true with me. I tell people to ‘take care’, ‘drive safely’ and ‘text me when you get there’. I buy little gifts and send little messages. The L word that used to flow so freely very rarely appears anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this post so much. My Other Half doesn’t do ‘I love yous’ he like you shows his love in a multitude of small ways every single day. I now mentally attach an I love you to every one, which means far more than forced words ever could. Thank you for linkinking up such a fantastic post to #PostsFromTheHeart

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is lovely, the word love is bandied about so often it loses impact. I would be over the moon if someone showed me they’d actually heard things I’d said. You’re way of loving is the best #postsfromtheheart

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately one low point is I buy gifts for people thinking I’m being really thoughtful and that I’ve listened… Only to doubt myself and worry I’m coming across as bunny boiler /stalkery girl!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. That is so lovely. I know a number of people like that, sometimes it’s not caused by emotional abuse, it’s just how they are, but they still love.
    #postsfromtheheart

    Liked by 1 person

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