How You Love Differently When You’re A Child of Divorced Parents

You learn to love differently when you have tasted love just to lose it in the end.

I am a divorced child, of divided, uncertain background. Within this division I – supposed fruit of their love – no longer exist. It happened nearly forty years ago, yet to me nothing is sadder than my parents’ divorce.
― Sylvia Kristel, Undressing Emmanuelle: A Life Stripped Bare

 

Words are meaningless to you unless they are followed by actions. You believe neither in empty promises nor in intentions.

You learned at a very tender age about the significance of actions rather than meaningless words. The “I Iove you” and “I miss yous” and the “for better or for worse” don’t mean a thing unless they are executed through actions. The being there. The showing up for someone.

You pay no heed to sugarcoated shit like “but baby deep down you know that I love you” No. This means absolutely nothing to you unless they actually give their efforts to win your precious heart.

You don’t flinch when people ask about your parents. You have recurrently recapitulated the script in your mind. You have dealt with trust issues for a long time. Yeah, you don’t want the cliche labels: The one with abandonment issues. The forever unloved one. The one looking to fill a void.

You don’t want others to sympathize with you. You don’t want anyone’s pity – so you keep this pain hidden among your bones and flesh, where it is comfortable and warm, away from the nudging society, a tiny inkling that you need to fight every time someone tries to get close to you nevertheless.

At the same time, you are afraid of love. When you finally start feeling a connection with someone, you constantly question it.

Why should you not?

You’ve been the witness to what you believed, was an everlasting example of true love, shatter into millions of pieces, how fireworks eventually combust, how fierce passion evaporates into thin air and how promises are broken at the drop of a hat.

So you put up a shield you spent years crafting it – it’s a strong shield preparing you for the worst.

 

 

Abandonment is your worst nightmare. This is because you know the vulnerability associated with a significant person leaving you and you not being able to do a thing about it. You learned, no matter how much they say they love you, they can always leave. And that is the most terrifying thing you have ever learned.

If the one relationship you needed to work more than anything fell apart, it’s natural that other relationships will also break and the other person will decide how worthy you are of it. They will decide your value.

It broke your heart to see your parents in pain. You’ve seen them in their most fragile states – you’ve seen the fights leaving them resented and confused. Ever since then you promised to never see yourself in their position.

No matter how much you love someone, you’re incredibly uncomfortable letting them see your most vulnerable parts. You do it to protect your delicate self.

When you do let someone in, it’s difficult for you to let your guard down, to not be anxious every time they slightly ignore you or stays disconnected with you.

You become petrified of losing him/her, as the flashbacks of those violent fights leading to the painful divorce still haunts you after ages. You intentionally try to stay away from people in whom you find the safety, the homely feeling you longed ever since your parents’ divorce. This is not your lack of emotionality, but a way to defend yourself from being hurt again.

You have a big fear of the uncertainty.  So you compensate. You’re driven, you’re unapologetic.

You relish your independence, you go after what you want – fearlessly, without caring about the approval of others.

You seem hard to mess with, no-nonsense and headstrong; which you really are. You know you can’t control other people, but you also know that there’s always a silver lining. Even the worst situation or event has a positive aspect. For you, it’s your drive and empathy.

When you do love, you love unconditionally. You give every ounce of yourself for that person. You will give your partner all of your love and effort as a way to keep the flame alive.

You want it to last.

There’s still a little part of you that believes in true love, that little part which will keep fighting for love no matter what.

 


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