What does it really mean? Where does that thought come from? Does it come from the knowledge that my brother died when I was 5? That my dad had a car accident and didn’t come back for a year and when he did, he couldn’t care less about me and my brother? Does it come from the knowledge that my mother had a nervous breakdown from the stress of it all? My pets died, my friends couldn’t come over, and I was bullied in school? I lived in squalor, my mother didn’t make breakfast, clean my clothes, any of those other things that normal people have. Does any of it really mean anything?

I guess it means I am unlovable, that God decided when I was 5 to take my life and shake it and shake it until I had nothing left except a huge ball of fear. A ball so big that when I tried to walk home on an icy day I couldn’t get over the fear of walking down the hill until a neighbor had pity and held my hand all the way home, trying to make me feel safe. But he didn’t succeed because I still had to walk back up the hill to hell and back down the hill to hell again. I’ve been afraid every day of my life since. I did learn to smile through it all though so I was able to make people love me but when the unlovable returned they abandoned me too or I abandoned them first.

We live our whole lives based on our parents; if they loved us we are blessed. If your life fell apart you are cursed. You try to move on and some people do but most of us are damaged somewhere especially if we grew up with an unloved childhood. I made people laugh and smile and put them first in my life. I forgave everybody everything; no matter how horrible I gave them a second chance. But when I decided I wanted a happy life, life wasn’t done with me yet. To be an artist and a writer and find a true love, that is what I wanted out of life. I fell apart. I was abandoned again. I had too many mothers and fathers and not enough understanding of what happens to an unlovable person when they try to make a change. All that unlovable just comes back and haunts them through their every moment.

I heard the voice of the bully who made up nasty poems about me in the 9th grade. I think of the time I had to walk home from bowling in the dark because my parents forgot they were supposed to pick me up. I remember the dog crap on my hallway floor because nobody could pick it up and the cat pee that permeated my clothing. I remember peeing in my seat in kindergarten because my brother had just died and I remember the kids laughing about it and reminding me of it when I was a senior in a small town high school. I remember how I didn’t ever want anyone to feel sorry for me, so I kept them out. I remember the times I was told to shut up, be quiet, children were supposed to be seen and not heard and unkempt children just fade into the background. Those are the voices many of us hear but never talk about.

We love the people who love us and care for us and we tend to make them bigger than perhaps they deserve to be. We think our friends are the best we will ever have; they have the answers to all the unanswerable questions. They know what is right for us, why we will never be a successful artist or writer and why we will just live the rest of our lives unlovable because we got stuck at 5 and can’t get out. They have families of their own. So we either live our lives in quiet desperation, or we act out, or we go insane. Or in my case I did all three. I’m still that little 5 year old looking for love and thinking I’m unlovable.

I’m the 53 year old survivor who doesn’t really feel like she has a life, I can’t do the things I love. Literally, figuratively, emotionally I can’t do the things I love. I can’t go backwards, I can’t go forwards, I can’t move on from 5. When I think of my life all I see are the things that I’ve lost and somehow managed to forget I had lost until I decided to live my own life. Now I see every single loss and just expect to lose more. I expect to end up homeless just like some in my life told me I will end up. It’s really easy for them to say, they are the lucky ones. They didn’t lose everything when they were 5 all in one fell swoop. They didn’t grow up thinking they were unlovable and being reminded of it every single day by one person or another, usually by someone who was supposed to love them. But I am alive, more than I can say for most people who lived through a childhood like mine.

I keep thinking perhaps one day I will figure out my life and become an inspiration but somehow I can’t seem to find that day right now, all I can find is a way to try and heal my mind, my soul, my body. I’ve been writing my life story to heal but as in everything else I’m kind of stuck at 5 and I don’t want to write a War and Peace length novel. So if you can’t say anything nice to me right now don’t say anything at all because I am unlovable and cannot put any more negative words in my head. I have enough of them there already.