I have always been criticized for not verbalizing the phrase “I love you.” I find that people throw that phrase around with the same ease as tossing a pair of dirty socks into a laundry hamper.
I find that people throw that phrase at me, right after they have shot me full of holes.
I also find that people who wouldn’t give you the time of day while you were alive, will throw that phrase around in abundance…..after you’re dead.
This is my experience with this thing called “love.”
According to my daddy, my mama loved me. If I hadn’t liked my daddy or had really been “her royal highness, the street-walking parasite” that I grew up being told I was, I would have picked up a broom handle, hit him in the face with it and said “that’s what her love feels like.”
My daddy loved me but he was never going to choose me over my mama and my sisters. I understood. The good of the many outweigh the good of the one.
J*** supposedly loved me. Was it love when he yelled for me to “just shut up and have the fucking kid?” Was it love when he slapped me so hard that he almost knocked me out of a chair? Was it love when he grabbed me by the arm and jerked me while screaming “get out of the fucking way?” Was it love when he talked to me like I was less than garbage? Was it love when he allowed his family to treat me like I was less than nothing? Was it love when he always chose me last? Was it love when he betrayed me? Was it love when he knew he had an incurable sexually transmitted disease and passed it on to me without telling me? Was it love when he started blatantly parading around another woman and expected me to let him keep her and still sneak around to see me?
It gutted me when I found out that J*** had betrayed me. Was it love when he screamed “you’re a fucking bitch” and then told me to “get over it?”
J***s’ mama was supposed to have loved me. Was it love when she was using every terrorist tactic she could imagine to degrade, demoralize, abuse and torment me? Was it love when she called my daddy and told him that I was less than useless? Was it love when she told me that my husband wouldn’t be “alone very long” after he had betrayed me? Was it love when she openly applauded her sons’ further adultery?
J***s’ daddy told me he loved me…..when he was dying. Was it love when he sat there, just like his son and allowed R*** to reduce me to less than an animal? Was it love when he never bothered to take a minute to try to comfort me or get to know me? Was it love when his last request to me wasn’t to apologize for the way I had been treated but rather to make sure that J*** took care of R***?
J*** loves our oldest daughter, K****. Is it love when he says “the only time I expect to hear from K**** is if she needs money?” Is it love when he says she’s nothing but a “fucking firefighter?” Is it love when he obviously thinks her husband is also nothing but a fucking firefighter?
J*** loves our second daughter, B*****. Is it love when he says with his rabid-dog snarl “she’s just exactly like you?” Is it love when he looks at her and says “you’re all selfish little bitches?” Is it love when he obviously thinks that she and her husband are also “just fucking firefighters?” Is it love when I told him that it bothered her husband that he talked more about his seventeenth century relatives to her than he did about how she is….and his response was “Fuck T**?”
He loves our youngest daughter, N****. Is it love when he gets in her face and screams “shut your fucking mouth?” Is it love when he walks over to her when she’s only five years old and slaps her across the face because she asked him a question?
He loves our son, J*****. Is it love when he calls him “a worthless piece of shit?” Is it love when he emails me and says “that’s it. We’re through with him?” Is it love when he can’t stop texting his attachment long enough to be interested in information about his sons’ health?
J*** loved our friend S***. Was it love when he hit him with his fist and screamed “stop slamming my fucking door?”
J*** loves his grandson, I****. Is it love when he can’t take a minute of time away from his attachment to talk to him on the telephone?
J*** loves his other grandson, C*********. It is love when he has never even seen him because he can’t be bothered to make the trip? He could be bothered to take his attachment overseas for almost three weeks. Is it love when the only thing he cared about when he was born was what he hoped his fucking name was going to be?
K**** loves me but never shrinks from raising her voice or making me feel like J*** always did. Is it love when she criticizes me when I’m sick or hurt? Is it love when she blames me for hitting the ground after I found out that my entire adult life had been a lie? Is it love when she screamed at me in front of the entire neighborhood and more or less reduced me to not much more than an animal who was being reprimanded for peeing on the good rug?
B***** loves me but has effectively abandoned me. Is it love when she says that I am just like her husbands’ ex-wife…..the woman she hates more than anybody else on the face of the earth? Is it love when she refused to bring her children to see me for Christmas because “I didn’t bother to decorate?”
N**** never says it to me but she doesn’t have to. She shows it. She has always been fiercely loyal to me.
My son says it and although I don’t say it, I think he knows how I feel because I have shown him.
I think I have shown all of my children how I feel about them. I believe they all know that if they needed me, I would crawl on my hands and knees to get to them if that’s what was necessary. I think they all know that if anybody hurt them, I would unmercifully strike like a viper and my intent would not be to injure.
I don’t know if my children need to hear those words. I know they’ve never heard them but they have never openly questioned me or demanded that I say it. Maybe they believe the old adage….”actions speak louder than words.”
It never seemed to bother J*** that I didn’t say it, until he met his attachment. He started screaming that he was “married to a woman who wouldn’t even tell him she loved him.” Saying that to him would have most likely been met with the same reaction he had when I tried to hug him but now it seems, he needs to hear that hollow phrase. I guess when his attachment started saying it, she raised his ever-present, inflated and exaggerated value of himself to unsurpassed heights.
Almost everybody who was supposed to have loved me, whether inherently or by “marriage” has betrayed me, disappointed me or discarded me.
That’s what I know about this thing called “love.”