How I say I love you…

I don’t know if it’s getting older , or if it’s being all crushy over a guy for the first time in pretty much ever. I don’t know if it’s part of the identity crisis I’ve spoken of having because the children are all growing up and no one needs me like they once did. For some reason though lately I’m looking at myself in a different way , being a bit more reflective.

I worry , or did worry that I’m emotionally quite cold. Then I read a fantastic article 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 recently I’ve realised that maybe 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 on 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 chat with you (likely incessantly) People have 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 and 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.

It’s such a complex , tricky thing love after abuse. 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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44 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

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  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!!

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  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.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Can I just say, I have been waiting for this update, Kelly!!! Brilliant, it’s all going well – so, so pleased for you. And this is a lovely post because we do all get to a stage (I think) where we start to feel hardened. I’ve always thought it was an age and life lesson thing – perhaps not. But if this article has helped you, then bloody brilliant. We all need a bit of a steer in the right direction at times and I do love a piece of writing that does just that. Sounds as though this has hit the mark for you. It also sounds like you are enjoying your time with this lucky man. And so you should. In whichever way you choose and are comfortable with. Please keep us posted. #tweensteensbeyond

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  7. This is such a lovely post. It sounds to me like you speak the language of love beautifully – maybe not with the exact 4-letter word, but with your thoughtfulness and your actions. That’s actually much more important and meaningful than any half-hearted declaration #dreamteam

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  8. Kelly this brought to mind Nikki’s piece on Someplace Strange today – take a look if you haven’t.

    Love is so difficult to pinpoint and we all show it in different ways but It is the small things that count not the big gestures. Also it is much easier to show love to those who allow you to simply be yourself.

    A beautiful piece. #TweensTeensBeyond

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I can really relate to this piece and I also read the post that you linked to. Both very powerful and make a lot of sense. Personally I think that the little things can say so much more than the grand gestures. It sounds as though your journey has brought you to a much happier place and I’m so pleased for you. Thanks for linking with #DreamTeam lovely x

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am the same way as this actually. I don’t trust easily so when I do trust, it’s because I really care and love and I show it in all of these little ways. People really need to realize that emotional abuse is one of the hardest things to over come in our lives. The emotional scars far outlast the physical ones and can be detrimental to future relationships. Our emotional well-being is so, so important in order to have a happy and well-rounded life. Thanks so much for sharing! #GlobalBlogging

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  11. This is such a lovely and worthwhile topic to write about because I think it’s important for people to realise that we are all different and we all have different ways of expressing ourselves – as long as the overall message gets across what does it matter how why achieve it? Well put and well worth highlighting! #ablogginggoodtime

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I really feel like this was a huge step for you, recognising these feelings and identifying the ways you say I love you without saying it. I too come from a past relationship of domestic violence and so this and the article you linked to make huge sense to me. Even though now I have been in a loving relationship for 18 years, the past relationship has sadly affected the one I am in, it changed me, how could it not. But not all change was bad, I am stronger, and I speak up more, but it took me a long time to feel safe with my now husband and to trust in his love and kindness. I especially was sensitive to having children as things like smacking them had to be off the table, I can not stand any sort of negative physical contact. Anyway I could ramble forever, but I am glad you are trusting in yourself! #ABloggingGoodTime

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I think accepting that I’m forever changed was a massive thing. I spent years trying to get back to who I was before and that’s simply not going to happen but as you say it’s not all negative change . New me is fine as she is !!


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