Perhaps it was because I felt safe in telling him. I knew for a fact he would not hurt me with the knowledge of it. Or twist my words to gain leverage of sorts. Or shame me with it. He is after all, my brother. And from my mouth to his ears, I finally admitted my Achilles’ heel. I was always quick to lay blame at the feet of different character flaws; of course I am to blame! But that one very fine, gloriously sunny Seattle day, on the phone with my one and only sibling on the other side of the world, way down there, past Down Under, the Down Down Under, in New Zealand, I admitted it.
It only took me forty five years to realise it. I can do nothing without feeling loved. Absolutely none. Well, at least not well. Not something I would really want my name attached to it. Give me just a tiny bit, a sliver, and I am over the moon. Friends used to remark how when I begin to and do soar, I not only propel myself up but also the ones around me, especially those I love most dearly. These are friends who have been with me for decades upon decades and know me so well, watching me grow up alongside them. So they know what they’re sayin’ eh?!
I lap love up like a puppy lost in the desert sandstorm laps up a cool, refreshing bowl of fresh outta the fridge milk. Give me! Give me! Give me!!! Here, see me? I rolled over?! Ain’t I cute? I love you, I’m showing you my belly…. yes!! You looooooooooove me!!! You have my eternal love and affection! And, armed with the fortitude of the affection returned, off into the project at hand I dive into and to do it fabulously, dah-ling!
My ‘bruh’ told me something after my admission.
‘Well, it completely makes sense because till just a couple of years ago, you always blamed yourself for Mummy’s lack of affection or attention.”
Nail’s been hit on the head. Nothing more to say. We can all go home now. Damn him and his pithiness.
Ain’t it strange how we think of that one great influencer in a child’s life as most times limited to childhood? I know many of us doubt it but why do we act it? We know better – we know that one or two big spotlight/s on that early, rudimentary stage of life is what shapes the perspectives, world view and interpersonal skill sets that child will mould through his or her entire life. Whether good or bad, positive or negative or anywhere in between, it will be a constant. Thoughts, decisions, actions for an entire lifetime influenced by these handful or less of individuals. Was I truly handcuffed to how much affection stock I had on hand to be the best me? Why was I so tied up with the one commodity the person most trusted to give me did not? But I truly did love my friends. I would give my liver for them. I would lasso the stars down from the night sky to make them happy. And patiently wait for some acknowledgement. Till the patience runs out and I begin to resent them. Distance myself from them. Not communicate as much. Scars accumulated over time can do that to you, say the experts.
It is up to the individual to change the connotations of that formula? Is this where if you are aware of it, you are almost half way there? What if there were ways to co-influence or even change one influence for another?