Mr, Cupcake at Craters of the Moon

Mr, Cupcake at Craters of the Moon
Mr. Cupcake at Craters of the Moon

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thoughts on Love, no solid conclusions

After closing out my post yesterday, I got to thinking about the possible reasons why it is so hard for me to tell my loved ones I love them. At least in words. I can easily I say I love you in a hand knitted item, a batch of cookies, or some other symbolic gesture. Why do the words get stuck in my throat?

My mind reeled back to a memory of late June 1991. My mum had just left my dad (my sister and I knew it was coming, she had told us, but she didn't inform him until the day she left) the day before hand his life came crashing down. I had just finished grade 10, my best friend Jeremy had been in the hospital for a week having died from an asthma attack and then been revived, airlifted to the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton from where we lived in Wetaskiwin (roughly 50km away), and Jeremy was not likely to survive. A large group of friends was grieving the loss of our friend who would die at the age of 15, and we were all deeply traumatized.

When my mum left, my sister, then 12, opted to go with her. They took two of our three cats and my sister's dog, leaving me and the oldest cat with Dad. I was 16. My dad came home from work and just fell apart emotionally, something I had never seen before. He cried and told me he loved me - something I had never heard him say before. In that moment I gave the expected response, which was "I love you too" but the instant it came out of my mouth I knew it was not true. I regretted saying it. I never told my father I loved him again, and more or less vowed to myself that I would not say those words to anyone I did not actually love.

This is sort of along the same line of when I was 12, and my mother told me "don't get pregnant, it will ruin your life!" when what she meant was don't get pregnant until you are actually ready to be a mother, I must have subconsiously taken her literally because I knew even in my mid-20s that I didn't want to ever be pregnant or have children.

My family of origin was not affectionate. I always felt strange around my mother and ambivalent around my father. My sister was naturally an adversary, I being the big sister and we are three and a half years apart. After our parents split up we were more or less only children.

After a few months of being away from her friends, my sister decided to return to Wetaskiwin and live with Dad and after I finished grade 11 I moved in with Mum. I know I have told this story here before but I believe this time it is in a different context. I think the last time I wrote it, it was on the topic of being able to relate to men.

Back to the topic I meant to write about, which is my difficulty saying the words, I don't know if it will ever be possible, or if saying it out loud will make me cry, or if I'll just feel like a phoney even if I do say it out loud and mean it. I have tons of wonderful people in my life, many of them I am related to by marriage (I really won the in-laws lottery, I'm telling you), and... yet... I don't know.  Luckily all my loved ones love me and know I love them, and I bet they even know it's something I'm awkward about. Life goes on.


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