Tuesday, February 14, 2017

How love ruined my childhood

When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful, a miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical. - 'The Logical Song' by Supertramp

Let me tell you about how love ruined my childhood. I don't mean to sound too dramatic, but it has been much cause of pain instead of pleasant feelings.

When I was young, I was happier. That was when I was ignorant about the workings of the world. When I was eight, me and my friends in school made up our own worlds. We read W.I.T.C.H. and imagined ourselves to be the cool characters. We pretended to have magical powers and could control the elements. We had no problems, we truly believed we were special as ourselves, we had magic inside waiting to be uncovered. There was bliss in all that childhood ignorance.

There was a patch of garden outside campus we named Grasshopper Land, where we caught moths and grasshoppers, sang songs among the grass.

I killed a beautiful, tiny moth once. It was settling quite happily on a blade of grass when me and my selfish, murderous little hands touched it. I clipped its closed wings between my thumb and index finger. The wings crumbled like powder on my fingers, leaving a silver residue on my skin. Meanwhile, the little wingless thing struggled and eventually died. I wonder what it thought before it died. Just when you were enjoying your young wings, someone simply snatched your life away without second thought because of cruel curiosity.

That's what I felt when I first knew about 'love' and how destructive it is.

I was completely ignorant of love and what goes on between boys and girls before She arrived. We were young and our new classmate seemed so worldly. Her body looked more mature than us girls, and before she arrived the world of boys and how to attract them was completely alien to me.

I had first fooled myself to be in love at 10 years old. I don't think that would have happened if she didn't introduce the concept to us or pointed out a particular guy. My young mind absorbed all her lies, and I felt for the first time the despair of infatuation, feelings of a person not reciprocating to you. You begin to delude yourself that the other person is in love with you...

The prank calls from other girls (fooling me that its him calling); them saying that he said such things about me (to keep a false hope up); a relationship that only went on in imagination and delusion rather than real interactions. Blame my overactive imagination then.

I would hear horrible things: what the guys thought of our bodies and appearance. We were only eleven or twelve years old when the scrutiny made me want to cease existing: to stop having a body they can look at and judge. I felt like I was nothing more than this ugly body. Because my appearance was undesirable, it caused despair. I couldn't change what I looked like no matter what I do. I felt objectified, my humanity and personality diminished because your worth to them is what you looked like. I would just be standing and feel afraid, whose eyes were looking at me at that moment and judged everything about me? 'She' told us what they thought. You're ugly and your body doesn't measure up to our eyes and our standards.

I realized some time that my infatuation was pointless, That those girls were making fun of me and my delusions. I have forgotten that I was special, because I began thinking that I am only special when someone loves me and deems me worthy. I was young and impressionable, and since my self-image was negative, I thought I was UGLY, UNATTRACTIVE, UNLOVABLE, SHAMEFUL, or that I DON'T DESERVE TO EXIST.

It was too much embarrassment on my part when I remember. Shivering, soul-eating, intrusive shame. Yes, you can say that others have worse problems in the world and its just one of the stupid things you do when you're a kid, but it poisoned me. I wanted so much to forget myself, that I am so stupid to have believed her and to have done all those things. I carried the shame for years and based my self-image on it.

11 years old. I wore a bra for the first time. She touched my back through the uniform, feeling the straps through the cloth. I shivered and I almost wanted to slap her for touching me when I don't want her to but I didn't stop her. I wanted her approval, I wanted to be liked. I let her do it. She kisses my neck. The sensation is cool and pleasant, but only later did it dawn on me that there's a kind of touch or kiss that wasn't normal, that wasn't innocent. Then, I secretly wanted it, but she has a trick - she gives you full attention for one moment, then to give it to another while you wait and later fume that she's not giving it to you.

We were little moths hovering around the flame of her ego, I realized later.

In high school, I stopped talking to my friends and read books one after another. I avoided any talk to love and relationships. Green jokes make me cringe inside, and when people make crass jokes I have to leave a room, it makes me want to puke. I want to destroy the radios that sing of love songs and love stories. People talk of courtship and I leave to the comfort room, sit on a toilet, and cover my ears. Sometimes, I cry for no reason at all (shame, disgust, sadness that I do not have it and will not have it, I can't love, no one will love me). The negative beliefs have taken root and grew.

I still pity my younger self. There's nothing wrong with these things, its just that there's a right time for it. I was just a child who was supposed to enjoy youth, and not be insecure and in pain because of premature feelings. I look back and mourn the wasted years.

Are my feelings related to the physical abuse I've witnessed between my parents? It has stopped recently but growing up, I would see my mother crying and my father screaming and turning violent, and I always thought that I don't want to be that woman. My father is okay, but before he would always put my mother down in front of us. The toxic idea I got from him was: no matter how hard a woman works or how much she achieves, she still looks dumb to the most important person in her life. I know my parents have their issues and weaknesses, I don't mean to put them in a bad light and they also did their best to raise us children.

If a man will only treat me that way, its better to be single than be married or attached to an abuser. Its better not to get involved with anything at all.

I just think my whole point is that without positive role models and maturity on our part, we will believe all these lies. I grew up, still feel pain, but in the end I've moved on. It has hurt, it was devastating to a child. I focused too much to the kind of love I lacked and forgot God, family, and friends. I lived in a vacuum, which left me stunted.


Sorry to sound so bitter and pointless, but in all of that I've learned that in order for others to love us, we must love ourselves first and learn to love them. I know how toxic I was at my worst, wanting love yet not having it, unable to reach out to others at the same time. You're like a snake eating your own tail, headed to destruction. Another person cannot fulfill all our expectations, and its unmet expectations that cause frustration.

No one is perfect, no love from them will fully satisfy us. In being a Christian, love is not an action, not a person, but Christ and his sacrifice! God sent his son and out of love, he was the sacrifice that was needed to restore us from sin. The 'love' we have in this world (friendships, relationships, marriage, all else) is just a little taste of real Love.

I admit that without knowing this truth, I would still be the same as I was before, relying on the world's definition of love. God made you and accepted you just as you are. I realized if I constantly think of myself in negative terms, I will believe them. I realized that it hurts God when I say bad things about myself. I am not ugly, for God made me just the way I am. I am not worthless, I have worth, talent, and potential. I am still happy and content because God loves me and God is enough. I do not need to worry if someone likes me or if people say bad things because I'm single. Why seek out and work hard for people's approval when God accepts you just the way you are? Of course we need to change and improve as God intended: to be like Christ.

I also learned to accept and forgive all those things. Sexuality has a right place, but it must be properly taught and explained, I just wished I knew about these things not among children as ignorant as I was. Its poisonous and abusive, not in its right place.

I'm still a bit uncomfortable with the topic of romance, and can't picture myself in a relationship. If relationships are supposed to make you happy, then why do I see heartbreak all around me? I have cousins my age with children with the fathers deserting them. I see friends who date a lot yet the love is not lasting, something will eventually go wrong and the cycle repeats. I see my mother crying. I see the ugly side of my father. I see the husband of my deceased aunt marry again and neglect his children. I see stalkers who end up like scary creeps, that others don't want to have anything to do with them.

I do not want to have anything to do at all with this worldwide problem and delusion as of now. I do not want to add more to my problems, because I know my own mind, how bitter and obsessive it can be. I want to improve first and see the world. I want to free myself from the torture, terror, and waste of time stressing over useless relationships. There's still so much God has in store for me before I'm ready and I still have a lot of growing up to do. I want to be content whether single or not. Life is short, and if we try to look for perfect happiness in this world, we will be disappointed. We will have perfect joy and eternal life with God soon, and I want to work for that first.

I remember the idyll of those magical days before I knew about infatuation. I rejoiced in myself, in existing, in magic and imagination, youthful abandon before the darkness. Before the years of repeating thoughts: Am I lovable? How do I make them love me? Why don't they accept me? How can I make myself more attractive?

I'm not saying that I still don't have these thoughts. I still have them, but I battle them and counter them with the things God says about me. I try not to put the focus on myself and my problems.
This is my Bible. I am what it says I am. I can do what it says I can do.
Today, I will be taught the Word of God. I boldly confess: My mind is alert, My heart is receptive. I will never be the same. In Jesus name.
(Congressional Confession)
The past is over and done, and I won't let it dictate my present or future thoughts. I can love and I am loved through Christ.

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