Can love in a family be real?

I was on Facebook earlier today.  Yeah, I know:  When will I learn?  It has not proved helpful for me to be surfing around on Facebook.  Anyway, I was scrolling through my list of “Friends” and saw numerous pictures of woman I went to school with posing with their children, or people posing with their families.  They all had BIG grins on their faces.  They look so happy!  How can someone get that much joy out of family members, be it children, parents or siblings?  I just cannot comprehend it.

I watch TV and see how happy families are.  How they care for each other and look out for each other.  How they protect each other.  How they lift each other up and make each other feel good.  I was watching some reality contest-type show (MasterChef, America’s Got Talent…something like that) and the contestants had their families come to the show to visit since they hadn’t seen them in however many weeks.  The contestants were in tears and fiercely hugging their loved ones.  They talked about how they missed their kids, or their parents, or whoever.  One said her mother was her inspiration.  Another said she was doing this for her children.  Is this for real?  Are there really THAT many people out there that get genuine happiness from their family?

My family has done nothing but brought me down.  My family is critical and makes me feel less important than dirt.  My family tells me I’m not good enough and worthless.  It seems like a fairy tale to me.  Nothing more than make believe when I see how much people love and support their family members and children.  I am literally baffled and befuddled when I witness true love, happiness, and enjoyment between family members.  I don’t understand it.  I don’t know if I ever will.

I have no intention of having children.  My husband and I have decided not to reproduce for a plethora of reasons.  Most of them are BIG reasons.  One of those BIG reasons is that we are afraid we would screw up a child.  Neither of us came from a loving household.  Neither of us had daily examples of what decent parents looked like.  I’m afraid I would be verbally, emotionally, and physically abusive to any child I had.  I can barely contain myself with my dog.  I used to babysit.  The parents thought I was a good babysitter.  I know I was not.  I was rough with the kids.  I’m surprised I didn’t get in a lot of trouble for the numerous times I lost my patience and put my hands on the kids or yelled at them.

Maybe if I had children, I would better be able to understand the “loving family bond” gene that I seem to be missing.  Maybe not.  My mother had children, and she was lacking that gene.  My husband is helping me be a better, more loving person, but I feel like that intense love for your spouse is to be expected.  Then again, I think most people would say that intense love is also expected with your kids, your parents, and all other family members.

I don’t know.  I don’t understand this love, and I don’t know that I ever will.  It took a long time for me to realize that the love shown between family members isn’t an act.  Growing up, we were a “loving family”…out in public, anyway.  Don’t let anyone know something’s wrong!  Gotta keep up appearances!  I know now, though, that a lot of people genuinely have good, warm, squishy feelings towards family members.  I am hard, cold and empty.  When, and if, I think about my estranged family, I have no good thoughts or feelings.  It is not necessarily always anger and hurt.  Sometimes it’s just indifference.

Everyone out there who loves their family, really loves them, count yourself lucky.  I cannot even comprehend that kind of love for family members, and you are out there actually experiencing it.  I hate to admit that I am jealous.  I wish I had that love.  I wish I could understand.  But I don’t.

Categories: Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, Life, Mental Illness, Relationships | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Can love in a family be real?

  1. Bourbon

    Completely with you on this one xx

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