I am going to say this one time for the people in the back:

Emotional invalidation is not a form of love.

For some, emotional expression was never taught or experienced. After all, parents can only teach their children what was taught to them.

It is common to hear about toxic relationship patterns attributed to females with “daddy issues.” But often times the vital role that mother’s play in emotional development is neglected. I was raised in a two parent household with one older sister. However, during the first years of my life I was reared by my paternal grandparents. They did not have a problem displaying, expressing, or discussing emotions. Therefore, it was a vast difference shifting into a space where expression was not as common (moving in with my parents). Emotional expression was not experienced as frequently, especially by my mother. My father’s timid spirit and desire to keep the peace, kept him in silence the majority of the time.  As a result, I started craving affirmation that I was loved or even lovable. In a sense, I felt like I had been depleted, cheated, and done an injustice. I very seldom received a hug, kiss, or heard the words “I love you.” Again, this isn’t the blame game only an acknowledgment. As a teenager, I wanted more than ever to hear, feel, and experience love. I searched for it in many unhealthy ways.

I can now acknowledge that my craving for love followed me well into my adult years, primarily in my romantic relationships. My strong desire to experience love lead me down a path of attracting emotionally unavailable individuals, a mere repeat of my childhood experience. Due to my depletion, I loved HARD. I loved with all the power invested in me with hopes that their love would not prove to be unrequited. It took many years of self-exploration and heart break to understand that what I needed to heal from was my childhood. Often times we do not realize that our toxicity is merely unresolved issues from childhood.

Ultimately, we attract a reflection of ourselves. Especially the parts of ourselves that we fight so hard to suppress.

When one goes their entire life suppressing and ignoring the inner voice shouting “something is not right,” they unconsciously invite hurt into their lives. It’s like your subconscious sends out a text message to the most toxic person on the face of the universe reading:

Please come hurt me. Withdraw your love and make me feel like I am at fault for you inability to express it. Prove to me that I am unlovable. It’s the only feeling I know.

When you begin to notice patterns, like I did. Do not be afraid to seek therapy. Make an investment in yourself and work through those past traumas. You deserve happiness and unconditional love. But first you have to heal wounds from the past Sis.

Now sounds like a good time to start (says the therapist).

2 thoughts on “Mommy Issues

  1. This really touched home for me. My childhood was very similar to yours except I did not have the nurturing Grandparents, or a supportive family member. I have been happily married for almost 10 years, yet my childhood insecurities still re-surface often. I have tried speaking with my Mother, that was a FAIL! I’m considering taking your advice and speaking with a therapist. I’ve found that suppressing those feelings from the past only lead to greater issues in the future.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I wish you well on your journey of self-healing. Therapy is awesome and will provide you a safe space to heal from your past. Check out therapy for black girls and see if there are any therapist of color in your area. We got this! Keep healing.

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