I wrote about a Surprise Visit here. I want to write some more about how this affected me...and why.
I didn't grow up in a home where things were done simply out of love for someone, without an ulterior motive attached. Without rebuke or condemnation if it wasn't done just so. I am not used to being treated kindly, simply because someone loves you and wants to be with you. The very sentence I just wrote makes me cry. Literally. I can't help it. It is hard to explain my feelings, knowing someone drove 90minutes and hung 120minutes out in the parking lot just to surprise me, see me and want to spend time with me...simply because they want to!!! For NO OTHER reason, then they want to.
If you haven't experienced what I have, you probably can't relate. It probably won't even make sense to you. You probably think me crazy for feeling strange, out of place, a bit confused, uneasy, guilty, etc. I honestly don't feel sorry for you, I am glad you haven't experienced what I have. I wouldn't want you to feel alone as I have. To overcome those feelings of thinking someone wants something out of you, expects something out of you, will retaliate if things don't go according to their terms, will only love you if you perform and meet expectations, only wants you around for a purpose on their agenda, etc is a challenge I have faced for a lot of my life and probably will continue to. I spent 20years in that environment and now 15 years out. You don't break those habits and ways of thinking overnight, even if you try desperately (and want to desperately) get rid of them, it is a process.
It takes time to understand the feelings you feel, why and how to place them. It takes working through life's experiences, reflecting on them, evaluating what is the truth. It takes time to learn how to think, learn how to respond, learn new expectations. It takes time to realize not everyone treats you the same way that you were treated in your childhood. Many times it is an act of sheer faith to not believe what you have always felt, and assume someone else will take advantage of you and treat you the same way. It takes a heart, willing to be open and not close a door out of fear. Even if you naturally want to run, far, fast and keep a distance because of how you feel and dread feeling.
It is a step by step growing process to learn to be loved. Learn to accept being loved with no strings attached. Learn to appreciate being loved. Learn to not feel guilty for being loved. Learn to love being loved.
I'm still learning...but I thank you Uncle Gib & Auntie Con for loving me and helping me learn. I love you both a bunch!