I was talking to Jen last night for quite a while about how I am feeling like I need to back away from Chris, and we delved into some stuff about my upbringing, and I really think we made some headway into understanding why I am the way I am, so I just wanted to share my thoughts. Maybe it will help some of you guys.
During my upbringing, my parents showed me love through buying me presents. I never wanted for anything, and from the outside looking in you would assume I have what you might call a spoilt, or privileged childhood.
I went to a private school, I had a pony, I had a laptop, I had lots of pocket money, I had all the material things that a child would want. I knew my parents loved me because they took me on expensive holidays several times each year, and bought me everything I asked for.
As I got older they bought me a horse box, a car, a moped, a phone. But although all these things were good, there was something lacking. Although my parents showed me their love through buying me things and spoiling me, they never told me they loved me. They never supported me emotionally. They were never there for me, spending time with me.
Up until I was 10, my dad worked 60 hours per week all over the world as a top medical salesman, until he retired at 50. (Very high earner hence I could have all these things). My mum ran her own business, so also worked all the days under the sun. At a very young age I went to a childminder, Lyn, who practically brought me up. At 4, I started at school, and a couple of years later moved to the lower school which finished at 5.45 each day and had Saturday school until 4pm.
At 12, I got my first pony, Mr Pepper. I thought it was great, but looking back, it surely isn’t normal to let your 12 year old child be on her own at the stables all day on a Sunday, all evening in the darkness, and all day during the summer holidays? I rode out on my own, I walked to the shop on my own. So many things could have happened, I’m just glad they didn’t. I lost count of the number of times my mum forgot to pick me up, and I sat in the darkness of Peppers stable, waiting for her to remember me. None of this mattered to me at the time, I loved my pony and loved spending time with him. I didn’t realise how I would come to look back on that time in my life, and notice how much I resented my friends for having their parents at the stables with them, at pony club helping them look after the pony, standing at the side of the arena cheering them on at a competition. Several of my friends parents took me under their wing as I suppose they didn’t like to see me on my own, but it was never the same. The only time my mum came to watch me was at a jumping competition, and she spent the whole time with her phone glued to her ear annoying the other parents who were trying to watch their children.
Wow. I had actually forgotten about all of this and I am surprised at how much resentment I still feel towards her for this time in my life. I know I can do nothing to change it but it makes me all the more determined to be there emotionally and in person for my own children, supporting them, making sure they know they are loved by the time I spend with them rather than the things I buy them.
For a long time, I wished my mum would be there, would tell me she loved me, would hug me, but it never happened. It time, I came to accept that it wasn’t going to happen, and I started to like being bought things. Perhaps this made me shallow, but having material possessions began to mean more to me that friends and family. I thought it I was surrounded my nice, expensive things, surely I would be happy?
Over the years, I have come to realise that this couldn’t be further than the truth, and luckily over the past couple of years I have managed to reverse my thinking, and come to see the true beauty of friendship and love.
Anyway, back to my conversation with Jen yesterday. Jen asked me why I was panicking about having a relationship and I have come to the conclusion that because I have a deep rooted thought that it is not possible for anyone to love someone like me – my issues, my past, my scars. We then went on to discuss the fact that I do accept that my friends love me, but I admitted that, yes, although I do accept it, I still have doubts, and the only thing that makes me KNOW that they love me, is when they buy me things.
I KNOW this is wrong, but with Jens help, I suddenly realised that this is because of how I was brought up. My parents showed me I was loved through buying me things, so how can I expect myself to know love in any other way?
Some help with this would really be appreciated. Jen said I should just have faith that when people say they love me, they really do, but it isn’t that easy, is it?
I try to make myself a more beautiful person than my face could ever be, then I won’t be so worried about my weight and what I look like and whether people will love me because I’m fat/thin/ugly/pretty. I will know they love me because I am a good, beautiful, kind and generous person. I really do work hard to make this the person I am but I still am plagued with doubts about myself and how other people perceive me, as I expect most people are.