Once when my son was trying to explain to me why he LOVES opium so much, he described it as "a warm fuzzy feeling, like a big hug from the inside". He also reminded me that since he feels that everyone has come to "hate" him and he gets no affection from anyone, that internal hug is something he does not want to loose.
Lately I have been thinking about love, how we love and just how important it is to feel loved. When thinking about "being hugged from the inside" I was reminded how I felt when my mother passed away. I was attending a very large university at the time and when I went back just a few days later, I can recall being in a packed elevator in one of the school's buildings and feeling bodies close to me and being overcome by the desire to hug someone, or for someone to hug me. I felt I was so physically close to people in that elevator, feeling their bodies so close to me and being in such a vulnerable emotional state just having lost the person I loved most in the world and all I wanted was a big hug, from someone, anyone! What would have happened if someone offered me opium then? Life would have turned out differently, I am sure of that!
I realise that I have become so damaged in the way I see my son and the resentment I feel and the betrayal that I no longer give him any physical affection. It breaks my heart and I am ashamed to admit it but it is true. My lack of physical attention is not doing him any good, and as a mother it is shocking to think you can get to the point where you no longer openly show your love. I know he wants it and needs it, but we all want and need things but sometimes it is hard to fulfil that need.
Sometimes I say to my son that maybe things will change for him one day when he discovers romantic love as he has never had a girlfriend, how could he when he has basically been at home since he turned 15. I even try to make rehab more attractive by saying he might meet a nice a girl there!
I have an aunt who is very close to me, she is my mother's sister. There were three daughters borne to my grandmother and two of them died in their 50's and my aunt is the last of my family. She and my uncle could not have children, so my sister and I are very important to her. Never having children and outliving her sisters and husband she feels tremendously alone now. When I share my worries as a mother she always says to me. "be glad you have children, you are loved". I know I am, but it is not enough. Is that wrong? Is that selfish?
We feel the love from friendships, from our parents, from our children and from our romantic pursuits. I believe as human beings we need them all except perhaps those people who for whatever reason do not feel any maternal/paternal desires and choose not to have children. For myself, I have always had a very strong desire to have children from a very young age and I could not imagine my life complete without having the experience of loving my children. However, I understand that is not in everyone. I believe we all need the unconditional love from our parents well into adulthood and we always miss them no matter how old we get because they offered us a love no one else could.
People often separate friendship and love, though we do receive a form of love and affection from our friendships which is powerful and needed for our development and fulfilment. Often when children start friendships parents try to control the friendships when the children are little but we understand it is important for them to share and socialise and grow. Then when they become teenagers and all of a sudden their friendships seem to become more important than family, parents often become insecure and almost jealous that their child now prefers the company of their friends over their family. It is a very important time though in helping form their identities and building their self esteem. That does not stop when we are in adulthood, we need friends throughout our lives because friends offer us a different love than our family often can.
Romantic love is the love we seem to search for the most and often seems to elude us. I am a true hopeless romantic. I am in love with love and a sucker for all love stories and cry my self silly even when watching romantic comedies! (Well, not all romantic comedies!) I have longed all my life for a man to be hopelessly and utterly 100% in love with me...I still long for that.
Last summer I visited an old love of mine who I had not seen in nearly 20 years. He made me feel wonderful and young and alive again. It didn't go quite as I had expected in the end and in fact he "forgot" to come to the train station when I was leaving so I never was able to give him a kiss good bye (the good bye scene at the train station, like in many romantic stories). I was with my daughters, the youngest of which liked this man instantly. I bawled my eyes out like a silly school girl, at the station and even more on the train when we pulled away, and for quite some time afterwards. I explained to my daughters between my tears and gasps for breath, that I had loved that man so much and seeing him again reminded me what it was like to be in love because I had never been in love with their father. I think as girls it is something they need to know, not to settle for less than real love, but of course real devoted love from both sides. Also as my children, they needed to know that their mother was not only human, but a woman too, who has feelings and desires.
Now, I could not imagine starting a relationship with someone when my life is so chaotic and dysfunctional, but the need to be loved is there none the less. Sometimes you can't give your self to someone or the timing is wrong or the opportunity is just not there. Some people never find love and I find that heartbreaking. I think that damages people as much as being in bad relationships those.
Sometimes we just need a hug. A hug is such a wonderful thing! I like it that teenagers give each other hugs and that grown friends do too! I love a good strong hug that says "it is going to be ok". I have lost some of my natural hugging instincts because that is the damage bad relationships and being around closed in, negative people can do to you.
I need a hug. My son needs an outward hug. My daughters also like hugs. I think I will give them all a big hug tonight and remind us all that we may need many forms of love, but right now we are here to love each other.