I have a lot of “why” questions that have not yet been answered.  Makes me feel like a nagging 2-year-old child.  Not that I expect them to ALL be answered before I die, but I would like to have a few of them resolved.  You know, wisdom that comes with age and all that. I’d like to accumulate some wisdom to prove there’s at least a modicum of truth to that old adage. Instead of simply growing old and staying stupid. But my questions are not easily answered, so I’m more than a little concerned about how this will play out.  Just to give you a few flavorful examples of some of my more puzzling (and niggling) questions:
  • Why wasn’t there anyone in my life when I was a child, someone who noticed something was sadly amiss, someone to reach out to me? 
  • Why did my husband marry me if he didn’t love me? 
  • Why did he fall in love with someone else and leave me after all that time of us being together?  All those miserable years wasted. 
  • Why am I so different than everyone else?  Why am I so messed up? 
  • Why can’t I connect with other people? 
  • Why is everything so hard for me; even things that are easy for others are hard for me? 
  • Why am I so alone? 
  • Why can’t I figure things out? 
  • Why is life such a struggle? 
  • Why do I have so much difficulty getting in touch with my emotions? 
  • Why am I so afraid? 
  • Why can’t I just stop doing things that are a problem in my life (such as my eating disorder) when I really make an effort and want to change? 
  • Why do I hate myself so completely?
But my biggest “why” question…or maybe my two biggest “why” questions…would have to be:  Why can’t I get better?  Why am I so unlovable?
Let’s take the first question first.  “Why can’t I get better?”  You see, I’ve been actively seeking healing from the damage done during my devastating childhood for over 20 years.  I have been in intense weekly counseling sessions for 12-1/2 years.  I see an eating disorders counselor every 3 weeks.  (I used to see her weekly too, along with a nutritionist, but I was about to lose my job, so had to cut back, in spite of the fact that FMLA should afford me with job protection.  That doesn’t pay the bills, so I had to stop seeing the nutritionist totally and come up with an alternative plan with the ED counselor.)  I have purchased and read a bunch of relevant books, as many as I can find, to help me better understand the impact of sexual abuse and physical abuse on the psyche.  I have taken notes and journaled about what I read.  I have tried to put those things into practice.  I’ve prayed.  I’ve tried to put “it” in the past.  I’ve also tried to face “it” and have done everything I could that this involved.  I’ve tried to be grateful and have a positive attitude.  I admit, I deeply struggle with re-brainwashing myself.  I want the truth to be revealed and then I’ll grab hold of that truth.  I don’t want to have to pretend to believe something I don’t believe in hopes it will somehow become truth to me.  But I’ve considered a lot of different perspectives and am trying to be open to a new point of view.  I’ve listened to Beth Moore and Joyce Meyer.  And a handful of others.  I’ve worked through workbooks.  I’m in a group for sexual abuse survivors now (yep, on top of all the counseling).  But I still don’t “get” it.  I am so far from being healed, it’s completely disgusting.  And discouraging.  I feel stupid and beyond hope.
What in the WORLD is wrong with me that I’m not totally healed by now?  Or at least well on my way?
I’m a relatively intelligent person.  I’m usually a quick study and fast learner.  I really want to get better. I want to finally live.  I want to experience wholeness and happiness and fulfillment.  I want to be normal!  People say it’s possible.  Some people have even done it.  So WHAT IS MY PROBLEM?  Why can’t I “get” it, whatever “it” is, and move on?  Why, after all the time, money, energy, focus and effort, can’t I get better?
Oh, my counselor will tell you I’m better than I was a year or two ago.  But I don’t think I am.  Maybe he can see something I can’t.  He has a better perspective ofttimes.  But I may be able to see some things better than he can.  The inside of me is toast.  It’s been toast.  It remains toast.  And that toast is now burned.  Fried.  I’m seriously screwed up and barely able to function.  I’ve been LOSING functionality rather than gaining it.  This doesn’t feel like getting better!  And it scares the hell out of me.
I’m hyperventilating, so let’s move on.  To the second question, which is a tough one.  Maybe the toughest.  It hurts.  A great deal.  “Why can’t I be loved?” (Or “Why am I so unlovable?”)
My counselor, again, will tell you that I am loved.  That I have friends who love me.  I think I have a very few friends, friends who like me to varying degrees.  I’m an insignificant part of their lives.  They are busy. They have kids.  Some have grand-kids.  Most of them have jobs.  They are involved in church in important and meaningful ways.  They have activities that overlap with the activities of their other, really good, close friends.  I am not one of those really good, close friends.  I’m on the periphery.  I understand this and I comprehend why it is the way it is.  I just don’t get a significant dose of love from friendships.  Because I don’t have truly close friends with whom I intertwine on a regular basis in consequential ways.  They’re still friends and they are still very important to me.  But our hearts are not deeply connected. 
My counselor will also tell me that my brother loves me.  My brother and I have recently reconnected and I do believe he loves me.  It baffles me, in fact.  This love he has for me.  I can’t quite grasp it and certainly can’t comprehend it.  We’re learning how to be closer and how to share in each others lives.  I can’t yet rest in his love for me, but I am grateful that he is there and is now a part of my life.  He’s doing what he can to be there for me.  I love him, care about him, want really good things to happen in his life.  My counselor has a point on this fact.  I don’t get it, but my brother does love me.
But, the bottom line is simply this:   When I ask the question about being loved, I’m not talking about being loved by friends or by family.  I’m talking about being loved by that proverbial soul mate.  A partner.  Someone who would, in my wildest dreams, actually passionately love and cherish me, want me, care about me, want to protect and support me, desire to have me around, accept me (mostly), long to hear what was in my heart, want to share their heart with me, want to be loved and supported by me.  They would help me to change, to explore, to see, to grow.  We would be joined on many deep levels.  They would matter tremendously to me and I would matter tremendously to them.  I’ve never had that.  That’s what I long for.  That’s what I am referring to when I ask my disturbing question.
To be truthful, I’ve not had that “close-to-unconditional love” ever.  My parents surely didn’t love me.  They loved themselves.  They cared about themselves.  I didn’t fit in the picture unless they wanted something from me.  When I was a lot younger, I did have some close friendships and they mattered a lot to me, but as I became more numb and died inside, those close friendships became distant or non-existent.   Parental love and friendship love hasn’t worked out very well for me.
Neither has romantic love.  I’ve been married twice, both times to men who didn’t love me.  The first time I married, I was 17 years old.  I was divorced by the time I reached 20.  He asked for a divorce a mere 2 weeks after we married.  I greatly appreciate the fact that he gave me 3-1/2 years to adjust to, prepare for and accept his request.  My second marriage lasted 22 years.  He told me he didn’t love me after less than a 1 year of marriage.  Never changed his mind.  I, however, loved him completely and it nearly killed me when he rejected me.  Looking back, I’m not sure why we stayed together, other than the fact that we were Christians who believed God put us together.  But he eventually fell in love with another woman and left me.  My world fell apart.
So love has not been something I’ve had much (or good) experience with.  Even when I thought I had found it, it shifted out from under me.  I’ve been alone, isolated, empty for my entire life.  And it hurts.  I do understand that I’m a broken person and probably not the easiest person to love because of that.  I don’t think I’m magnificent; quite the opposite.  So I’m not someone who draws others to me like moths are drawn to light.  But am I really such a piece of crap that no one on the face of the earth can truly love me?  No one?  That is what hurts.  That is what tears me and breaks me.
I don’t know if understanding “why” would even help.  I don’t know if it matters.  It may be a diversionary tactic to keep me from having to face the pain of my empty, lonely life.  But I still long to know why.  And as time runs out, the questions become even more haunting. Because maybe, if I understand, just maybe I can change the end of the story.
And I must change the end of the story.  Before “The End.”  If not, the story won’t be worth telling. Or living.

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