Why I Can’t Understand Unconditional Love – And My Life

Below you will find a history lesson of my life. After the history of my life there is a discussion on unconditional love. In the discussion I will reveal my inner most feelings and beliefs about it.

I basically am what is commonly called a scaredy cat. I have always been afraid to do most everything. About the only thing I have been able to do is to fight to survive all of the abuse and mistreatment.

I got sick almost every time that I ate. This started right after I was born. My Mother said that I was allergic to almost everything she put in my mouth. I would projectile vomit almost every time she gave me a bottle or anything to eat. Part of it could have been due to my kidney and bladder problems. For some reason, the Navy doctors never put two and two together to come up with four and figure that out. They never thought about what the medication was doing to my stomach.

I had a kidney infection so bad when I was just ten days old that I almost died. The constant upset stomach made me be very cranky. I can remember having “temper fits”, as my Mother used to call them. I would slap the back of my legs on the floor while screaming to the top of my lungs. My Mother would just stand there and ask me, “Can’t you slap your legs any harder?” and “Can’t you scream any louder?” Of course this would make me do just that, until my legs and throat hurt so bad that I had to stop.

One little tid bit. I had been told by my Mother, ever since I can remember, that I hadn’t been wanted since it was known that I was going to be. That my Father wanted her to fall down the stairs and lose me. But she wouldn’t do it. I didn’t know what that meant until I learned about the reproduction cycle in the fourth or fifth grade.

Up until I was six years old, I thought the only reason you went to the doctor was for them to stick that tube in you to get the pee out, or to be stitched up from splitting something open, like my leg or my head. I was always falling or getting hurt and ending up having to get stitches.

This had to affect my sister and my two brothers. I was number two out of the first four children. The order of us goes older brother, me, sister,  and finally my younger brother.

My Father left when my Mother was expecting my younger brother. He and his new wife had two girls and one boy. When my Mother married my first Stepfather they ended up having one girl (who died at six months old), and one boy. The order (according to birthdates) after all the splits and remarriages was, older brother, me, oldest sister, younger brother, first half sister by Father, first half sister by Mother (died at six months old), second half sister by Father, first half brother by Mother, second half brother by Father.

As a child I was afraid to play because I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able do it right and would therefore be made fun of. I was very skinny and had hair as straight as if I had ironed it. The other kids called me Olive Oil, Skinny Minnie, Bean Pole, and Telephone Pole, on account of my being so skinny. I was clumsy and always falling down and getting hurt. I was also a tomboy. My sister on the other hand had naturally curly hair and was beautiful.

Everybody would make over my sister and hold her and love on her, but I was basically ignored. My Mother said, that when my sister was a baby, she would only have to sit my sister on a blanket in the corner, and my sister would sit there for hours just picking the fuzz off of the blanket and roll it between her fingers and sucking on her tongue. I, on the other hand was put in a playpen with wooden bars, where I would hit my head against the bars whenever I got upset about something.

Even though any parent, that I have ever heard talk about their children, will say that they love them all the same, it is not true. Actions speak way louder that their words ever could. Just watch how each child is treated. It will be obvious who the favorite child/children is/are. In my case, it was anybody except for me. I was the black sheep of the family, then and still am to this day.

Since I was considered a tomboy, except for going to church, I was usually put in simple cotton dresses. No frills or anything, and then I was placed in a playpen. My sister was usually dressed in velveteen dresses with lace all over them, and placed on a blanket in the corner. That way the rest of us children would not bother her. Anybody that came to visit would always pick her up and ooh and aah over her. I was ignored. My older brother was brilliant, so they would carry on conversations with him because of it. I was ignored. My younger brother had convulsions, so his condition and how he was doing was always being asked about, and therefore being talked about. I was ignored. I was in a playpen and my younger brother was in his crib. My older brother went wherever he wanted. He was born a little man. I can remember one time when family came to visit from North Carolina. They were taking pictures of us to show the other relatives when they returned back home. I had fallen a few day earlier and skinned my knee. By this time it was healing nicely. To make sure that I was noticed, I pulled my skirt to my dress up to show my skinned knee.

Whenever someone would come looking for me, when I was little and we lived with my Grandmother “Nanny”, Mama would always tell them not to look for me on the ground, but to look for me up in a tree or on someone’s shed roof. My Mother called me her backwards child, because for some reason I always seemed to do things wrong. This was why I had such a fear of playing with other children. As long as we lived with my Nanny, I was OK. I was with all the children that I grew up with. It didn’t become bad until after my Mother married my first Stepfather, and we moved away from my Nanny’s house. My Mother would tell my younger sister that if she didn’t take me out to play with her and her friends, then she couldn’t go out to play herself. That is probably where her rejection of me started. She has told me that if I wasn’t her sister I would never have been her friend. And as we have gotten older, it has only gotten worse.

This quote from “This Thing Called Unconditional Love And My feelings About It” may help to shed some light on what I am saying. “Since my first Stepfather beat and abused me more than any of the other children in the family, I convinced myself that he did it because he loved me the most. This action on my part made it possible for me to survive many years of beatings and other forms of abuse, until I was taken away from my family never to return again. After all I was a child, and a child cannot generally take up for his or her self.”

Even though I was 17, when I was taken away from my family in 1969, never to return again, the abuse by him started when I was 8. Most young children that are abused don’t mature mentally as well as those that are not abused.

To my way of thinking, I was “loved” by him because he was “correcting” me for things that he perceived that I was doing wrong. These wrong things included such stuff as not wanting to eat, trying to love him no matter how badly he treated me (unconditional love I thought), and my just being me.

After I was taken away in 1969, I went to be a live-in babysitter. I was there until 1972 when I moved away. I went to live with my , at that time, fiance in Kentucky.

There were some problems, so I moved in with my Nanny, in February of 1973 until I was married in July of 1974.

In 1974 I married, who I thought was my love, and moved to Kentucky. He left me in 1978 for a truck stop waitress.

In 1979 I met someone in a church function and we were married in 1980. He left when he went to a party and just never came back in 1983.

I was established in my job and vested for retirement. so I stayed in Kentucky instead of “running back home to Mama”. Big mistake.

In 1989 all the memories of the abuse that I had suffered came flooding back and I had to go on medical disability. I was being admitted to the hospital every two to three months, to handle all of the  traumatic memories. I had buried these memories for 20 years.

My sister’s children were born in 1983, 1985, and 1987. I visited as often as I could, but at least once a year while they were little. I also worked with my Mother at the YMCA when they had their annual membership renewal in November. I took my two weeks vacation each year to be able to do it.

In March of 1990, I came down with pneumonia, bronchitis and asthma, while visiting my sister in Norfolk, Virginia. The doctors ordered me to stay an extra two weeks. She and her husband took care of me during that time. After I returned home in April, my asthma was so bad that I was being rushed to the hospital every 7 to 10 days with asthma attacks so bad that I couldn’t breathe. On june 9, 1990, I lost my permanent job that I had had since August of 1974 as well as my part-time job that I had had since March of 1986.

Once I lost both of my jobs, I was without an income. No income meant no money to move back to where my family was. And if I moved back, I had to be a resident of the state for six months before I would qualify for any type of benefits due to my disability. Also, I was in counseling therapy two to three times a week. it would have been hard on my family for me to stay with them, and costing them money to support me until I had received my residency status. My family would also have had to come up with the money to move me back home. I felt it was too much to expect of my family, so I stayed in Kentucky. My thinking was that I was being considerate of my family by doing that. It would turn out later that I was so very wrong by doing that.

In 1991 had to file for bankruptcy. I had sold my cherry bedroom suite to my sister and her husband trying to catch up on my bills, but it didn’t help enough.

In the meantime, I was on loads of medications and had to do nebulizer (breathing) treatments four times a day for my asthma. I was on the steroid prednisone and gained 100 pounds in six months. By May of 1993, I became diabetic from the prednisone. This is a common side effect for some people who have to be on it for an extended period of time. I ended up on oxygen and had to have an oxygen concentrator in my house and take portable tanks with me everywhere I went. It took the doctors three years to come up with the “perfect combination” of medications for me.

In May of 1993, I started back to school. I registered at the community college here. At that time, I was pulling oxygen tanks behind me and had to wear a mask due to having a depressed immune system from the prednisone. If you had a cold and I caught it, it could go into pneumonia on me and kill me. My bone problems in my right elbow ended up with me having to use an arm brace, and needing a note taker in all of my classes. It took me six and a half years to complete what should have been a two year course of study.

With all of my medical problems, I could only attend on a half time basis. During my attendance there, I had to have several surgeries. Most of the surgeries were on my knees, which ended me up in a wheelchair in January of 1995. That same month, I had to change my major from Respiratory Care to Computer Programming. On my birthday, March 22,1997, during Spring Break, I was in the hospital, and my bladder stopped working. I couldn’t go to the bathroom at all. I had to have surgery on April 18th, to have a catheter permanently inserted in through my groin area and straight into my bladder. During those college years, I also had to have emergency gallbladder surgery, and emergency hemorrhoid surgery. But I persevered and graduated with honors with a double major in computer information systems and computer programming. I found a job within three months after my completion of the courses. My completion date was December 1999, and my start date at work was March 2000.

Between March and April of 2001, I went to visit my sister and her family. I hadn’t seen them in a few years. I was waiting for the reconstruction of the artificial bladder and had an indwelling catheter in my urethra and a drainage bag inside of a cloth bag. I had used a belt to go through the handles of the cloth bag to secure it to my waist. By doing this, I was trying to be as discreet as possible, so that people would not have to see a drainage bag full of urine. All that was visible was the tube going between the catheter and the drainage bag. Obviously there was urine in the tube. I had not been able to visit them in for a few years. When I first walked into my sister’s house I could not believe how she greeted me. She said, “Oh my God. You make me sick. Get out of my face. Go to your room.” I almost cried, but I controlled myself. I asked her what she would do if, God forbid, one of her children was in an accident and had to have the same surgery. She answered, “I’d get used to it.” I asked how she could get used to it with her children and she couldn’t get used to it with me. I could not believe her answer. After all, we have the same Mother and Father. It’s not like we had a different one of either. She said, “They’re blood kin.” To this day I cannot believe that she actually said that, but she did. It replays itself over and over in my mind quite frequently. And to this day, she denies that she ever said such a thing. I wouldn’t make up anything that hurtful in my life. Why would I even still think about it if  she had have greeted me with, “How are you doing? Isn’t it hard to get used to having that bag all of the time?” or something similar to that. At least I would know that she cared about me. The whole time that I was there, I could not come out of my room if the bag and tube were not covered up.

In November of 2004 I was let go, due to too many surgeries for my numerous medical issues. As the first surgery on my bladder was failing, I had had to have an artificial bladder surgery in November of 2000. It was also necessary for me to have a left knee replacement in December of 2000. The opening to the bladder closed up while I was in a rehabilitation hospital for my knee in December of the same year. It wasn’t until March of 2001 that I was able to have another surgery on my bladder to correct the malfunction of the first surgery.

I am currently in the process of losing weight so that I can have yet another surgery on my artificial bladder. My weight has been a big issue. Being in a wheelchair and being on so many medications makes it hard to lose weight. I started out at 318 and am down to 227. I have to get to 200 before they will do the surgery. Even then I will only have around a 50/50 chance of making it through. I am one of the few patients, that had the same surgery as I did in 2000, that made it past 2-3 years. The rest passed away. In November, it will be 15 years that I have made it. I am confident that after, I lose the weight, I will be fine after the surgery. God has kept me here for a reason, and obviously he hasn’t finished with me yet.

I am here alone with no husband and no children. I wanted children, but was never able to have any. I lost three, within two weeks of finding out that I was expecting each one. I had a condition called en·do·me·tri·o·sis, and ended up having to have a hysterectomy when I was 30.

Now to get to the point of all of the above information. Since the time that I lost both of my jobs, I have had to borrow money from some of my relatives. Two of them being my older brother and my younger sister. Needless to say, I have been unable to repay them. Neither on of them will have very much to do with me. It is as if my whole family has turned against me on account of my unfortunate circumstances.

My second Stepfather, I called him Pop, passed away in his sleep in February of 2011. My sister told me that she would let me have Mom and Pop’s car. I had made arrangements with one of my best friends friend for him to put a special wheelchair trailer on the back of the car. Yet another friend had told me that he would give me a used trailer. The friend that was going to install the trailer was also going to make any necessary repairs to the car. I was so excited that I was going to get another car.

When I found out that I had diabetic neuropathy, I sold my other vehicle. It was in need of costly repairs, so I told them that they could have it for $10 if they were willing to pay for the repairs, and they were. So I sold it in April of 2008. I wasn’t going to take a chance on having an accident because I couldn’t feel my foot on the gas pedal or the brake pedal and possibly injuring someone or even worse killing someone on account of it.

My sister called me and told me that she had changed her mind about giving me the car. She told me that the car could not accommodate the wheelchair and that she was going to sell it to one of my younger brother’s daughters. She said that the daughter needed it for getting back and forth to work. That I didn’t work and didn’t need it as badly as the daughter did. For the life of me I can’t imagine why a disabled person wouldn’t be able to use a car with a wheelchair trailer on it to transport a wheelchair to doctors and grocery stores. At any rate I didn’t get the car. Well next she was going to give me her old full size Ford Aerostar van. She told me that it was having a problem with the heating and cooling. She couldn’t remember if it was caught on heat or air conditioning. I told her that it didn’t matter because I had friends that could fix it. Next she informed me that the transmission was going out on it. Here again, I told her that I had a friend that would tow it from her house to his house to fix it. I was lucky that he had the exact van, and that he was using it as a junker for parts to fix other vans. She just told me that she had changed her mind. My friends are telling me that she just out right does not love me, heck it seems like she doesn’t even like me. I was starting to wonder.

Her first daughter is my Goddaughter. My sister will not even give me my own Goddaughter’s phone number. It is bad enough she won’t give me her other children’s phone numbers, but my own Goddaughter? How cruel can she be?

She feels like I tell all my family members that, “I love you so much”, too often and that if she gives me their phone numbers, I would call them too much. Well, can I help it if I love my family, even if they don’t love me or ever call me. Does that mean that I should be cut off from her children, just because of what their Mother thinks? I don’t think so. Since she won’t even give me their phone numbers, I can only keep up with them on Facebook. If they also unfriend me, I don’t know what I’ll do.

She tells me all of the time that it doesn’t make sense for anybody to come to see me. That I am just one person and I don’t have any children, and that I’m just not worth it. I can understand where she’s coming from. But I am the only one that is on SSDI. I don’t have a husband or any children. Well it’s not because I didn’t want children, I wanted them very badly. And if everybody, as she puts it, wants to see me and feels the same way about my not being worth it for them visit me, then why don’t the pitch in and buy me a ticket to get there. If she would have given me either one of the vehicles that she said that she was going to give me, then I would have a way to get there myself. Now wouldn’t I?

Not only will nobody come to visit me, and I have been here since 1974 (that’s 41 years), they won’t even call me. The only way I know anything that’s going on with anybody in the family is through Facebook.

As if all of this wasn’t bad enough, the last insult has taken the cake. My sister put a picture of her and her husband on Facebook. The picture is a few years old. I made a comment that I have always liked the picture. Her reply back was, “Thanks Bonnie”. That was fine and dandy until I saw a comment from our half sister. Find below a copy of what the message that I my oldest sister. I copied the section below from a message that I sent to my cousin about it.

I said that I had always liked that picture. Her comment back was “Thanks Bonnie.” Her comment back to our half sister(not putting her name) was, “Thanks sis.” I texted her back that I really appreciate being told thanks like I am no more than an acquaintance, but that our half sister, whom she has known less than 10 years gets a thanks sis. I went on to say, “I love you too. I don’t even feel like I am part of the family any more. The only way I know what’s going on is in Facebook. And YOU won’t even give me my GODDAUGHTER’S phone number. Some sister you are! And yes I am totally PISSED!” (although the computer put PASSED) Then I went on to say, “I have friends that treat me better than you do. And all I try to do is to show you guys how much I love you. Why do I even try?”

Earlier I mentioned in my history that my Father had left us when we were babies. My Mother was expecting the fourth child. He married another woman and had three more children by that woman. They spent a couple of weeks with me in 1972, where I was a live-in babysitter for two little girls.I had been taken away from my first Stepfather, my Mother, and the rest of the family in 1969, due to the abuse. My sister met them less than 10 years ago for the first time.

The oldest, our half sister made a comment on Facebook that the picture was beautiful. Did she just get a reply saying thanks and her name, like I did with the “Thanks Bonnie”? Heck no! She got a reply, “Thanks sis.” Excuse me, but my sister and I had the same Mother and Father. This half sister only had the same Father. How does she rank a “Thanks sis”, and I only rank a “Thanks Bonnie”? Talk about hurt. I sent the message, that I copied above, through Facebook, and she defriended me after that. I haven’t heard from her since then. She didn’t even reply to it. And this isn’t the first time that she has unfriended me. It happened around a year ago, and involved my sister and the same half sister. I can only imagine how she has poisoned their minds against me. And all I want to do is love my family and have them treat me the same as they treat each other. But it seems that since I have this urine bag and my artificial bladder I am biohazard waste, and therefore not only untouchable but to be shunned also. There are about 8 or 9 babies between cousins and great nieces and nephews that I would love to be able to see in person, but I can’t because my sister decided to betray me. By giving the vehicles to other people after telling me that she was going to give them to me, she has cut me off from being able to see the family. Gas is cheaper than a plane ticket.

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Now for the unconditional love discussion, where I will reveal my inner most feelings and beliefs about it.

I know that the above was exhausting to read, but I felt that it needed to be said for you to understand where I am coming from. Please don’t get me wrong with the rest of what I am saying. I am not trying to toot my own whistle, I am just trying to give my perspective and belief on unconditional love. You can tell me what you think in the comments after you read it.

One of my uncles visited me in 1977 and stayed for a few days. We had a blast.

My older brother has never been here to see me. I was in Georgia, in 1976, when he and his wife were married. I have always seen them whenever there has been something going on in Virginia that we were all there for. The last time I can remember that was in 1980 when my sister was married. I was there with my new second husband. My sister did not even have the decency to sit us up with the family. We were seated in the back of the church. Talk about feeling rejected. And I hadn’t even borrowed any money from anybody at that time.

My younger brother and one of his daughters came and stayed over night, so that he could take me there, as he was going to see everybody. That was in 1985.

My sister came here in 1991 to get a cherry bedroom suite. We did a lot of things and had a good time. But it wasn’t just to come see me. It was for the main purpose of coming to get the bedroom furniture.

The last time that I was there was in June of 2006. A friend from Virginia Beach visited me a little later in 2006.

My Pop and all of my Mother’s brothers have passed away since then.

My sister came again a few years ago, when she was on her way back home from a trip to Missouri. She and her husband spent a few hours here visiting with me and my friend. Had it not been on her way returning home, she would not have come then.

Granted, all of the things that my sister has done and not done(as in not coming to visit me), are all hurtful, but she is still my sister, and I love her no matter what. Back in 2011 she had to have surgery for pancreatic cancer. She said then that she wanted to be the sister that she used to be and stop being the sister that she had become. I really thought she had changed. Obviously not.

I must just really be unique or else very stupid, but I would never treat people the way she treats me. I can’t imagine being so mean to anyone, but especially your own brother or sister. And all because I am disabled and needed monetary help from her and my older brother. I honestly don’t know how she sleeps at night. If I treated someone that badly, I couldn’t sleep. She obviously does not consider me family any more. I can just imagine how happy she will be when I die. She probably won’t even come to my funeral. After all, if I’m not worth it for her to come to see me when I’m alive, how in the heck would I be worth it for them to come to my funeral after I’m dead. And all because I am so hurt that she never calls or comes to see me, and I tell her so. Like I said, I can understand where she’s coming from, about it making more sense for me to come there. It does. But why can’t she or any of the rest of my family understand that I am one person that is receiving disability. I don’t have a husband or any children, with husbands and wives, like her family does. So why can’t all of them pitch in to get me to them? It just doesn’t make sense. If the shoe was on the other foot, and I was the one that was married, and had all married children, and she was the one that was alone and disabled, I would do all in my power for me and my children to pitch in so she could come to see me.

Am I just taking the unconditional love too far, and being too nice in loving her no matter how badly she treats me? I myself don’t think so, but all my friends think that I am too good to her for how bad she treats me. They think that the unconditional love does not include being nice to people that treat you like trash.

You can leave comments below and let me know how you feel, or what you think about it.