You Can't Always Get What You Want  

CuteePie74 45F  
4 posts
9/17/2017 7:50 pm
You Can't Always Get What You Want

For A.S.

I've always had trouble asking for anything, particularly in my relationships. I grew up believing that I couldn't have any needs. Actually, more specifically that I could have needs but they'd never be met, which translated into the belief that having needs is bad. My parents never beat me, we always had food in the house, hot water and electricity were plentiful: hell, we were even a churchgoing family.

But my mother was an addict, my stepfather a workaholic and my biological father bailed when he saw how close my brother and I had grown to the new man in our mom's life. It was easier to concede his role than to stay and watch another man love his , I suppose. My younger brother came along when I was eight, my sister when I was nine and when my parents' relationship began to fracture under the pressure of young , financial hardship, work schedules and good old-fashioned dysfunction from their own childhoods, my mom dove headfirst into her addiction and my stepfather into work and the first of many side businesses he ran in an effort to drum up more money. It fell to me as the oldest to look out for my siblings at the age of nine years old. My brother and I were coming home from school, ages 8 and 7, as latchkey . Then when I turned nine, things shifted. One of my parents would come home from work with my younger siblings, then they would both head out either for work, business meetings or in my mom's case, god knows where. I would make dinner, bathe my younger siblings, put them to bed and then I would stay up, usually watching television until I got tired enough for sleep or my dad would come home, ready for dinner and I'd play the good, little surrogate wife and listen to how his day went, sometimes commiserating on the whereabouts of my mother and what she was supposed to be doing.

So, as you can imagine, I have abandonment issues. It only stands to reason that my father abandoned me, my mother essentially abandoned me, even when she was home she really wasn't there, at least not emotionally or mentally. My stepfather was busy, there was always something more important than us. I learned to take care of myself and then others, I was valued for what I could do for others. I never knew unconditional love. And I learned to make myself small and quiet, so that I didn't have any needs. Yeah, you can imagine how fucked up I came to be.

I picked a lot of wrong people. Boyfriends and girlfriends who needed me, some took advantage of my generous nature and others preyed on my low self-esteem and I allowed them to treat me like the worthless person I believed myself to be. But ever so slowly, through break after break, I picked myself up and put myself back together. Each time, I thought the pain would kill me. I did, in fact, try to do that job myself a few times. But I moved through the pain, past the pain and now when the pain comes up, when strong, uncomfortable feelings creep up, I no longer try to escape, I've learned that running away isn't a solution. If I sit with it long enough and make friends with it, I find the hurt little girl buried beneath all that pain. I listen to her words that were never spoken, never heard. I tend to her wounds and kiss them the way my mother should have. I comfort her and dry the tears she never let anyone see. And the pain never kills me. It just needs to be seen and heard and felt. Then it heals. And after so many breaks and all the putting myself back together, I think I've become more beautiful than I thought possible.

The ace in my pocket, that nearly no one else ever gets, is this: my mother got better. Not only that, when she became a grandmother, my siblings and I got the privilege of seeing her become the mother she should have been. And when I was thirty-three years old and trudging through the shitty minefield of my childhood with the help of my therapist, my mother apologized for everything I went through as a . And there as a grown woman, a wife, mother of a five-year-old myself, I finally got the unconditional love I'd yearned for my entire life.

And now when I ask for something, anything from anyone in my life, I celebrate it! If I am told 'no', it's not the end of the world. It doesn't mean I'm unlovable or unworthy, it's just a word. If I get a 'yes', wow! It usually takes me a while to ask for anything from anyone in my life. When I first meet someone, I wouldn't normally dream of asking anything of someone new. So, that being said....

I started having car trouble on the way to meet a new potential partner for brunch this past Friday. I had to have my Jeep towed to our mechanic and found myself stranded just a few blocks from the restaurant but also without a ride home. Without even really thinking about it, I asked Andrew if he might be able to pick me up, my car had broken down, yada yada yada. I got an 'of course, give me the address' reply. And I didn't even realize that I'd asked for help with thinking about it or that I felt so comfortable with this new friend that I asked for help so effortlessly. I didn't realize it until early this morning.

And of course, he insisted on driving me home after our date. 🙂

Yeah, so you can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes you might find you get what you need.

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