Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Love

“Love is giving someone the power to destroy you, and trusting them not to.” 

While looking up definitions on urbandictionary.com I decided to type in love and see what I'd find.  I was surprised to find this definition mixed in with the overly cheesy and overly cynical.  This definition is perfect.

Love to me is so unbelievably complicated.  I don’t even know if I truly understand what it is to love someone or to be loved back.  Actually, I know I don’t understand.  Love is something I yearn for, but it is also something I fear and despise.

Love hurts.  It’s always hurt.  I’ve never known a love that wasn’t painful.  I’ve never known a love that didn’t take giant slices of flesh off my heart and then squeeze lemon juice over the wound.  Love is something that causes pain.  I’m not alone in this.  I know.  Love hurts everyone. 

Love is something you learn as a child.  Or maybe love is something you are born knowing how to do, but if it isn’t nourished, it dies.  Maybe this is what happened to me.   Maybe my ability to love and be loved died. Perhaps it’s just on life support.  I hope it's on life support.  

I have such a hard time relating to people, attaching to people--Loving people.  Sometimes I cant love even when I think someone is wonderful.  I just can’t.  Sometimes I love someone too much too fast and I give them too much of myself--before either of us is ready.  I scare people away this way, but perhaps that is what I wanted all along.   

I don’t trust people who  tell me they love me.  Perhaps this is because I’ve always believed myself unlovable.  When people tell me they love me, my initial reaction is anger and then fear that they want something from me.  Love isn’t free.

This isn’t to say I don’t love.  I do.  I know I do.  I love my dog more than anything in this world.  I know this because I look at him and I have this desire to kiss him, even after I’ve watched him roll himself in manure.  I would be destroyed if something were to happen to him. 

I love my girlfriend too, in a much different way of course.  I would not kiss her if she rolled around in manure.  That would freak me out.  I love her for so many reasons but one of them is because I believe her when she says she loves me.  It’s taken me five years to know this.  It’s taken me five years to believe it.  Five years of her constantly telling me she loves me.  She’s extremely patient.  I’m extremely lucky.  Even though I know intellectually all of this is true, I still feel unsure sometimes.  I still wonder why she is with me.  Why she puts up with me and all of my crazy.  I still don’t believe this love is forever.  Love is temporary.  It always has been.  For some reason I’ve allowed her to climb my wall.  She’ll never get on the other side, but I let her look over and sit on the edge. 

It is safe to love a dog-- an animal, because they can’t choose to leave me.  They need me for their basic survival.  Perhaps this is why I have so many animals.  It’s safe to love animals.  With people it’s different.  People are unpredictable.  People are selfish.  People inflict pain.  I love people too, but my love for people is guarded.  It’s not so resilient.  With people I’m more unsure, more confused--more terrified.  The way I show my love for people is by doing things for them.  I give them things because I can’t say the words.  I labor for them.  I buy them things.   I give them myself.  I give them my time and energy.  It’s just who I am.  It's just what I do.  Sometimes I think this makes people uncomfortable.  So--I must be able to love them.  Some part of me must feel love for them--somewhere, but for some reason I don’t really have access to these feelings.  I try to access them because I desperately want to know what that feeling is like. When I try I become flooded with all kinds of emotions.  All of these feelings are too much input for my brain and it shuts back down.  Why am I not able to access my emotions?  Does this make me a sociopath?