Sunday, June 2, 2013

Let's weather the storms together

Throughout my last year of counseling, one of the biggest things I've learned about myself is that I never grew up feeling safe, accepted or nurtured. Not that my physical needs weren't taken care of as a child, but emotionally I didn't ever have the space to relax. A safe space. And for years, I've never been able to put my finger on why. My parents did all that they could for me. I had big families on both sides with huge hearts and homes for resting. I played sports, had friends, and went on vacations. But at the end of the day, I never had a home base. A refuge. A place where I knew I would be loved no matter what.

When faced with the fears, uncertainties, 
and worries of life, children need a 
reference point—a place in their mind 
where they feel loved and safe. 

And Marcy, in all of her infinite wisdom, gently stated that this was because I had never been mommy-ed. Never being mommy-ed meant that I was never welcomed with open arms, fought for, or supported when I wasn't doing well. I always felt like a burden. Not trusted to do the right things, or to feel like my side of the story mattered. I never felt listened to or heard. No one processed thoughts or feelings with me, unless it involved correction. I grew up feeling like I had to fight to create a space for myself.

This lack created in me a need to find my nurturing elsewhere. Always looking for that one female relationship that I could feel safe in. Where I knew that they'd be on my side no matter what. That I was a priority and that I would be taken care of.

It is hard watching girlfriends that are close with their moms, because they share something that I always wanted. They love each other, support each other, tell each other deep and hard things, laugh with each other, run errands and go on vacations together. They pray for each other, send each other cards, and enjoy just hanging out together. There wouldn't be enough books to pen the words and phrases and appreciations that my friends have for their moms, and that their moms have for them. Having been a part of several weddings, it has been amazing to see this firsthand.

I love that my friends have relationships like that. It reminds me that they exist. That there is hope. That even though I don't have that safe emotional space and that person forever on my side, I can still provide that to others. Whether that be my friends, my children, or other adults that might also be missing that part of their hearts. I desperately want to nurture others. And I want to do it right and I want to do it well. And I want to be a safe place for people, and that person that they can depend on through the storms to stick by them.

I don't really know what that looks like. I have some great examples of people to watch, but at the end of the day, they aren't me. I still have to figure out what me looks like in that role. And maybe for now it just means filling in the gaps where I know I would have needed filling. Or giving people the response that I always wanted to receive. This could prove to be a gigantic failure, but I know that the process is important. The efforts matter, no matter how small.

So thank you, sweet friends, for listening and letting me vent and sort out my thoughts in this place. Please know that I'm here to love you and support you no matter what storm you face. I'm on your side, and I will not leave.

Love love.

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