I’m still awake. I was saying a prayer before bed where I talked to God about how hard it is to say I love you even to him. I have a hard time hearing others say, “I love you.” Most of the time terms of endearment irritate the snot out of me. Hun, sweetie, yuck! “I love you” will make me recoil with mistrust.

My mother told me if I didn’t change my ways I’d end up like my Aunty S and die alone and unlovable. How dare she? I was told early on that I was killing her love for me. I was killing my mother’s ability to love me. When younger, my sister would catch me as I walked around the corner, hit me in the stomach and say, “love hurts.” She tried to tell me in better ways but it ended up being awkward. “I’d tell you I love you but you’d just do something to make me regret it.” At the time I couldn’t hear past the words.

Here I am at 5:53 in the morning, hours after saying a prayer, and I’m still awake because of how three words feel on my ears. To hear someone say those three words feels like a shackle has just been put on me. 

I understand that my insane family has no idea what love means and less knowledge of how to safely express it. And to be clear, I’m talking about my emotional reaction to words, not difficulties committing or receiving love. The words trigger mistrust and fear as well as guilt.

A while ago I dated someone who said “I love you” at the end of every phone conversation, at the end of every visit with every friend or family member, and me. I insisted it was over used and no longer meant anything if it was said that much. We never agreed on that point and it made things difficult for us. Quite often I didn’t say it in return which I’m sure felt horrible. I shake my head thinking of how many issues I brought to that relationship.

The problem with that phrase is that its associated, wrapped up if not strangled by a history of anguish. How can you possibly love someone and put your fist in their face? How can you… how dare you use those words after putting your child through hell? So, I hear those words and I shrink back because it sounds like a lie. I can receive love. I need to be loved. I know I am loved by a person’s actions, but when its said I only hear my mother tell that lie.

I feel stupid when I say “I love you.” I know how deeply I’m capable of loving. I know how to love safely…now….but, I think I have left over beliefs that I’m heartless which makes saying I love you sound silly. How can someone with no heart, love?

I Pray You'll love me. Perhaps I should have prayed for her to love herself, maybe then she could have loved me.I just had a flash of my mother saying she loves me followed by me using rather foul language and spitting in her face. That’s today’s reaction to her lessons on love.

I realize as I type that my body is showing signs of stress. Not only am I taking long pauses from typing, my leg is jumping and I’m swaying side to side slightly. That tells me I need to stop, take a few breaths and try to rest. I know it’s important to be self-aware. When my body starts telling me I’ve touched a nerve it’s important to know if I’m in a position to keep going. I’m not. It’s not Monday yet, but almost.

The digital art piece is called “I Pray You’ll Love Me”. It was painted years ago with this caption, “I Pray You’ll love me. Perhaps I should have prayed for her to love herself, maybe then she could have loved me.”

As much as I can, I will write entries to take the edge off of the stress I’m feeling. I think it was helpful to at least get these few words out of my head.

It’s now 6:41 am. I will not demanding sleep from myself but I can relax…and there’s always tea.


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5 thoughts on “A hard time with the words “I love you”

  1. Bun and sweetie make me recoil. I’m okay with hubby using terms of endearment but when strangers do it, I’m grossed out. I work in a deli and I have to force myself to not walk away from customers who call me that. Speaking of tea….. I have some to send you. One is sweetened with honey and I don’t do sweetened tea at all, the other is one of our and son’s favorites,

    1. Terms of endearment make me angry. They make me want to tell the person off!!! It’s not part of being polite. Thank you and Please are polite. Terms of endearment to strangers can really trigger.

      There was a Kroger cashier that used to call everyone ‘Sug” short for sugar….. Hi Sug, how are you today Sug? Do you have your Kroger card Sug?

      She was like a character from King of the Hill.

      I’d avoid her line but sometimes I had to go because it was just opening. So one day as she slimed me with “Sug” I said deadpan, What’s wrong with you? Where are you from? She said, “The south side. I said of what? She said, of Indianapolis. Again deadpan and handing her my card I said, then drop the Sug cause that’s just downright annoying.

      I loved her though.
      I’m kidding. Sweet-pea, Darling didn’t work there for long, thank goodness.

      1. I have noticed that a lot of men use it. Really I think it’s a put down. As if I’m an object they can call what they want. Don’t call me honey, I’m not your honey, I don’t even know your name, creep-o.

        1. “As if I’m an object they can call what they want.”

          Yup. They take liberties that don’t belong to them. It’s condescending.

  2. Yay for tea. Let me know which is his favorite. 🙂
    I just made a pot of ginger apple tea again. I’m lovin’ it.
    I’ve been putting together a large bottle of Earl Grey with Lavender flowers. I’m layering it. It’s a little bit smaller than a wine bottle. The mixture is wonderful.

    Thank you. 🙂 🙂

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