My therapist sat next to me on her office couch, comforting me in my tears.
Then, she asked a question that no one had ever asked me before.
“What was it like growing up without a father? What was it like when he left, how did you feel?”
I sobbed deep throbbing pulses from some dark abyss within.
In her asking, I felt suddenly validated.
As if now, at 35 years of age, it was finally okay to admit that maybe my father’s leaving hurt me.
Perhaps that little girl, who didn’t know what to do when he left and never came back, could finally have her moment to be seen, heard and held, in the ache that was left inside her tiny heart.
When I came of age and people found out that I had a single mom and my dad left when I was two, it seemed to me that they immediately thought that something was wrong with me, or that that must have really screwed me up.
Compared to the ideal American family, I was an outsider, different.
So, I used all of my energy to prove that I was fine, it didn’t matter and it didn’t affect me.
That little girl didn’t know what to do if she was different, hurting, or seemingly broken.
So, she spent her life striving, being beautiful, successful, smart, talented and perfect, with no real reflection from anyone, no one to really see her and validate her.
I finally got something in my therapist’s office that I’d never gotten before.
You see, I’d been so persistent about convincing everyone I was fine, that I’d never given space to the wounded me within, not to the degree she needed.
When my father left at the age of two, I was hurt, angry and heart-broken.
I needed him, I needed him to come back. I needed to feel that he cared and loved me. Even if he was a bad father, at least he would have been MY father.
So, here’s the thing I finally got:
A two year old has nothing else to do other than to make a fantasy out of her father figure.
He becomes a GOD-like man, out there somewhere, who needs to come back and sweep her (my two-year old self) off of her feet, gaze into her eyes and shower her with adoring love and attention like only a parent can.
Since that never happened, my un-integrated part, my wounded two-year old, had a false sense of what a man’s attention should be like.
She became a wounded Princess ready to be rescued, looking for her Knight in Shining Armor; waiting for a man to sweep her off her feet and promise her grand adventures and a life of love.
The problem is that only a narcissist can come in and sweep a woman off her feet.
Think about that phrase, “He swept me off my feet.”
That means he left you ungrounded, unbalanced. That stinks.
Only a narcissist, someone who must be seen as amazing, can enter and shower someone with that much adoration and attention.
You see, the truth is, most people, when interested in someone, will be curious, will show up and want to get to know someone at a reasonable pace, they won’t glom on, declare their love right away and lay on the gifts and adoration.
Occasionally, a mature, available man will come in and be super sweeping, but mostly, those men are crazy.
And, to our un-integrated, wounded little girl, it feels exciting and invigorating, it feels like the romance we’ve always dreamed of, but that is not a real relationship.
For those of us who lost a parent, or were neglected by a parent, once we recognize that perhaps our unsuccessful relationship pattern has to do with an unintegrated, hurt part of ourselves, once we see that it is our wounded two-year old in a relationship with an un-integrated part of a man (narcissist) the jig will be up.
We can get that that’s not a relationship, that’s not the truth of REAL relationship and that it actually has NOTHING to do with us. We don’t need to be rescued, saved or protected in THAT way.
We don’t need to be swept off of our feet.
We are okay on our own and we can take care of ourselves.
However, first, that little wounded part needs to be heard.
You see, the adult me was always busy defending my father, realizing the pain of his lineage, knowing he was abused, so how could he do better?
Well, that’s all well and good for my adult part, but my little child needed to express her anger and sadness and pain that he left and never came back, that he didn’t try harder.
Once she gets a voice and sees the pattern, then the jig is up.
What would that make possible?
Can you relate? Do you find yourself attracting exciting, fun, amazing men who end up not being available at all when the rubber meets the road?
GET A READING with me and enter a space of healing and non-judgement. Let’s look at your patterns, the type of men you’re attracting and why.
Perhaps there’s an old wound there, ready to be healed. Are you ready to give space to a deeper you within? Ready to go into deeper relationship with yourself?
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To your radiant and REAL relationships,