I am a broken person. I know this, and it is something that I don’t shy away from admitting. The problem, however, is taking that conversation any further than an oversimplified statement to avoid talking about my feelings.
I struggle with vocalizing my thoughts into words, so instead I decided to write them out. This isn’t a public forum that everyone I know has access to. I have personally curated my audience to those I am closest to, or those I believe care (as well as you random followers from around the world, too). And I know that some of you who read this say you genuinely do care, for whatever reason.
I love having deep conversations with others. The kind where people are a little outside of their comfort zones and are pouring out their hearts. Tell me your greatest joys. Tell me your fears. Tell me your passions. Tell me your life story. When I am close to someone I like to feel like I have had the privilege of knowing them for much longer than I actually have.
So I’m pretty good at initiating questions to get people to think. Because I have such a vested interest in their life. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again – when I love, I love deeply. And I think most people don’t understand what I mean by that.
But here’s something I don’t usually talk about.
I don’t feel as though I am worth loving.
So when I love another person so deeply, it is because I want to make sure they never feel the way I do. I have a lot of intentionality in the way I approach the relationships in my life.
I will randomly tell people I am thinking of them. Because I know what it feels like to question if you are actually thought of.
I will constantly tell people I love them. Because I know what it feels like to believe you’re not worth loving.
I will push to be involved in the day-to-day lives of others. Because I know what it feels like to be so alone and unwanted.
And usually when I fish long enough someone will bite and give me what I need to get through for awhile.
But sometimes, more often that I like to admit, I have these stupid thoughts in my head. “Just stop being the one to always initiate and see what happens. Let’s see if people even notice that you fade into the background.”
And the problem with that is it actually happens. Want to know a hard truth? I couldn’t tell you the last time either of my dads reached out to me just to see how I’m doing. I don’t know the last time I’ve even heard from any of my siblings personally. I don’t have many friends at all who even think of me.
And it doesn’t take long for the voices in my head to start attacking me on such a deep level. Here’s the problem with silence. When the world goes quiet the feelings of loneliness start to quickly set in. The thoughts of being unloved. Unneeded. Not relevant.
And the thoughts of feeling that the good things I do have in my life are just an illusion. They are there because I force them to be there. I interject my presence into people’s lives, pushing a relationship, not letting it be what it truly is. Or rather, that’s what I tell myself. Because sometimes I test it and I back off for awhile. I stop being the first to text. I stop being the first to say “I love you”. I stop asking questions to get to know people. And I wait to see if they will realize.
Totally unfair to other people, right? Yeah, it is. Because I make assumptions for others that might not necessarily be true. “Oh, they don’t actually care about me. They don’t actually love me.” No, Kyle, you moron. Maybe they were just very busy. Or maybe they don’t feel that it is as important to do that.
I have to be honest, guys. Before I start getting to this place, I always seek first. I can’t ask for it, but I drop hints like crazy. My S.O.S. is out there. I’m struggling right now, but do me a favor and go look at my last Facebook post. I yelled pretty loudly. I cried out for help. And yet no one heard me. Or, in my mind, they heard me and chose to turn their backs. I’m not worth the time and effort.
I’ve been in my head a lot lately but I’ve been trying to approach it in a way to communicate how I got there and how to get out of it. And I’ve come to realize it’s kind of fairly simple. It has to do with my love language
This is me, guys. And this couldn’t be any more true (although I will admit physical touch from some people may be higher. Hugs from some people literally make me feel so loved).
Words of affirmation. What does this mean for me? It’s simple. I just want to be reminded that I am here and a part of your life. A text saying “hey, I really miss you” or “I just wanted you to know you are in my thoughts today” are just major resets to my negative feelings. I don’t want praise, I don’t need you to say good things about me. I literally just want to feel like I’m not an afterthought.
Words to me are everything. The written word, especially. I keep cards. I keep letters (although I don’t have many of those). I keep pictures from others. I keep special artwork. I love to write letters. It is such an important thing to me. To take the time out of my day and to physically write down my words to another person. My personality flows through my writing. It’s personal. It is a physical piece of myself that I am giving to another. Emails and texts are great, don’t get me wrong. But knowing that someone went out of their way to do something that is so lost these days? Oh, my heart. I don’t have many letters. I’ve written a lot but I rarely get any in return. And that’s okay. When I mail them out my hope is that it just means to them what it means to me.
But the thing that can make me feel so incredibly loved is literally an “I love you”. Those 3 words say so much. It means you are thought of. It means you are cared for. It means you are important to the person saying it. Seriously, one of the greatest gifts I could ever receive is a letter just saying that. And I would hold on to it and cherish it for the rest of my life.
My other love language is quality time. Just being with certain people is an instant reset to my negative thoughts. I don’t care what we are doing. You want me to come clean toilets with you? But we get to do it together? Done. You want me to sit and watch a ridiculously unfunny movie, but we get to be close to one another? Done.
Quality time, especially when people can be themselves and it’s not forced. Be comfortable around me that you can literally just be yourself and not have to worry about anything. That’s quality time to me. If you don’t have to look a certain way, act a certain way or dress a certain way when I’m around, that makes me feel loved. That you make a conscious choice for me to be around in your life, and not putting on an image that you want to be perceived as. If I can be around you and you are the same person you are when it’s just your family? That makes me feel loved. If I come over in the morning and you aren’t around for the day, and you still want me to come in? Hair a mess and you’re still wearing what you wore to bed? That makes me feel loved. Just knowing that you are choosing for me to be in your life is huge to me.
Sounds like I’m pretty needy, right? You’re definitely not wrong. And that’s why I don’t like talking about it. That’s why I can’t ask for these things. I hint, and I make suggestions, but I hope that people want to do those things, not because I’m a high maintenance friend or family member. I don’t like feeling like a nuisance to someone.
I “jokingly” talk about how kids and seniors like me best because they don’t care enough to know any better. But honesty, it’s kind of how I feel. Little kids love me. I don’t get it, but it’s something about the way I can relate to them I guess. And older people always seem to have a special place in their hearts for me. But the weird thing is, I’m so willing to accept that these 2 generations have genuine love for me, but I can’t seem to accept that for anyone else who comes in between.
I don’t get it, either.
I try to be a good person. But am I really a good person? Or do I do it because it’s a distraction from being a terrible person to myself? Hmmm…
I have issues with pushing people to things that are more than they possibly are. It’s why most of my friendships have failed in the past. I put way more into it and ran a lot of people off. I probably still do. I do things like pushing that my closest friends are my family. Or always telling them I love them. Or a lot of things that I’m more than likely just overthinking.
Overthinking. It might be something I do best. Overanalyzing. Second guessing.
Do I know I am loved? Yes. Most days. Some days, however, I don’t believe it.
I have a lot less respect for myself than anyone knows. I feel like I am such an unworthy person.
So what can you do to help? Be intentional. But be intentional because it’s important to you. If it’s not genuine then it’s okay to step away. I don’t care about the quantity of love received. It’s about quality.
I asked my wife yesterday if I am a difficult person to love. She immediately told me that it is incredibly easy to love me. Do people really think that? And if that’s true, why do I feel the way I do?
To my family and friends, I love you so incredibly much. I hope you never go a day of questioning that. You are beautiful and mean so much to me.