Conditional love

Do you ever find yourself thinking;  ‘Wow! It’s incredible that I exist!’?

I don’t mean that you have survived addiction or illness without dying. (Although that in itself is incredible and is something I often think about).

I mean, that humans have evolved from frog spawn or whatever and have invented electricity and the internet and Scandal?!  That I can be writing words that make sense – sort of– on a metal box that other people can read thousands of miles away! That I can grow a human being inside me from nothing to an actual living, breathing being that can exist for months purely from nourishment that my body provides!

That Olivia Pope can run a high-stress business and conduct an affair with the president and an assassin, purely on a red wine and Chinese take-out diet without her skin looking anything other than FLAWLESS! – Ok, I know that Scandal is make-believe but Shonda Rhimes isn’t so the fact that SHE exists is miraculous, no?



I often find myself in a daydream and get goosebumps thinking about all the people who have come before me and then I fry my brain a little thinking about all the people who will follow. How those future people will look back on people from history (probably not me specifically, unless I manage to invent something or commit some heinous crime) and find it hard to relate to them having feelings.

I’m feeling philosophical today, I guess.

I didn’t want to write a downer of a blog entry even though things at home are difficult. I know my actions the other day have badly impacted on Rob. I feel terrible about that. And angry at myself. In retrospect I feel like I allowed myself to go through the motions of coming close to a high risk situation because I wanted to prove to myself that I could walk away from it. I never felt in any danger. I let myself listen to my compulsive thoughts as opposed to working through the anxiety of trying to ignore them, knowing that at the end of the day I would just hand them over, or throw them away and not tell anyone.

I think it was a test but not on Rob. I was testing myself.  I naively thought he would see the positive in it.  Having him react almost as badly as if I’d actually taken the pills was such a big ‘crash to the ground’ moment. I was angry at him which is unfair. I so wish I could swap brains with him sometimes so he could just know what my brain is thinking without me trying (and usually failing) to find the adequate words. I can never find the right words! We always end up arguing because I get so flummoxed and tongue-tied that I end up snapping or walking away in tears.

Maybe I could invent an app that allows couples to brain-swap in the middle of a fight! That would get me in the history books!

I had a great therapy session yesterday but I always find it impossible to tell Rob how it went. It looks like I’m holding back. I’m not. I tell myself I’ll take the time to process it, then maybe write it out but the more time that passes, the trickier I find it.

We talked about boundaries again.

When I have found myself in the spiral of a drug binge I would fantasize of being locked up like Renton in the film Trainspotting.

mark renton rents trainspotting bed baby scene freakout abstinence cold turkey

Having all my power taken away from me. My recovery or process of cold-turkey becoming someone else’s responsibility. The thing is, I’m past that. I’m not in the midst of a physical addiction. I don’t need to detox. My responsibility is now to stay sober and only I can do that. I wish I could hand over the power to a parent. I wish my mum or dad could metaphorically lock me in a room and be responsible for my sobriety so I could just carry on with my day-to-day life. It’s not fair for Rob to be put in that position. He doesn’t want to be my parent/carer/jailer. He just wants to be my partner and of course that’s what I want too. When I have suggested buying a breathalyzer or home drug testing equipment to keep in the house, it’s dangerously close to that isn’t it?  I can fully appreciate why he objects to the idea.

I was never given any boundaries as a teenager. I was allowed to drink, smoke and carry on with older men as long as my mother wasn’t confronted by it or it becoming common knowledge and reflecting badly on her. She ‘didn’t want to know’ and to me it appeared like she didn’t care. I was allowed to do what I wanted. At no point did she check that I wasn’t out of my depth. I was almost given permission to lie to her. She preferred blissful ignorance and I learnt that that was how to keep her sweet. I grew up thinking it was preferable to not worry someone to keep them happy. That is was better to feed them comfortable lies rather than uncomfortable truths. It’s still so hard for me to share any failures or bad news with loved ones. I don’t want to worry them. I don’t want to ‘get in trouble’. Because when I got in trouble with my mum it was a catastrophe. When mum and I had an argument, or if I did something wrong and she found out I often got thrown out of my own home. At the very least she would be so angry at me that she wouldn’t talk to me for weeks. Bad behaviour wasn’t discussed rationally. A typical teenage incident wasn’t brushed off, talked through and forgiven. It was the end of the world. I didn’t feel safe in my own home and I guess I still struggle with those residual feelings . When I feel like I’ve fucked up or failed in some way I’m desperate to hide it because it feels like the end of the world. That I could lose everything. My mum was never openly loving towards me but if I got in trouble with her for whatever reason, it felt like she hated me. By throwing me out, or punishing me by not talking to me, it just strengthened my belief that I was dispensable. That I was more trouble than I was worth. That I was barely tolerated by the person who was supposed to love you more than anyone in the world. Her ‘love’ was conditional on my good behavior.



So at nearly 40 I’m still wrapped up with all that. When Rob gets angry at me and moves into a different bedroom and wont look me in the eye, I feel unlovable. When his eyes don’t light up when I walk in a room, it makes me want to be on my own so I can’t be in the position of feeling barely tolerated by someone who is supposed to be my life partner. I know I only have myself to blame but it doesn’t make it easier to live with. I find it so hard to believe he loves me. The only love is 100% believe in is my children’s.

So that is basically what yesterday’s therapy session was about. I never realised how much my childhood and teenage years were so connected to my addiction problems. I really thought it was more related to my feelings after Sonny’s birth. It’s quite the revelation. It actually gives me some hope that I can recover. In all the different forms of counselling I have tried over the years, I have never made such profound discoveries about myself.


3 thoughts on “Conditional love

  1. I could not stay sober until I turned it over to a higher power of my understanding. If you feel like you could use the spirit of your parents do that. I in no way, think I could have done it without a power beyond my own. You don’t have to do this alone. Use what works but turn it over.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. very existential post! At the root of it all. I was in that philosophical mood myself recently. I posted about the question “why?” I found there are some questions that are best left unanswered.

    I’ve also been wrapped up with crazy questions lately. And I think it’s a good thing to examine them. We get sober, and we realize there are such bigger concerns than the next drink.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am very philosophical right now! I want to DO something in this world, make a mark, not necessarily a huge one but enough to show I lived and I cared. Not for the benefit of impressing others but to express the huge amount of love within me that I know comes from God, Being, creator, higher power….whatever you choose to call it.
    I am glad the therapy is helping. In regards to Rob, he is struggling to comprehend the mind of an addict. Unless you are an addict yourself then how can you understand. Try not to be down on yourself, self loathing, be kind and loving to YOU 😘😘

    Liked by 1 person

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