Bleeding Love

What would you do if your dad called you “a whore”? What would you do if your mom called you “his prostitute”? These are my parents. So what would you do? Would you shuck them from your life or would you try and get them to love you again no matter how much they criticized you and hurt you?

Here’s what I’ve done:

When I first started dating Pete this is what happened they called me his whore and his prostitute. There was something about this person that they’d never met that really bothered them. I sought my parents’ approval fiercely as a child. I define myself as a child from birth until the age of 30. That’s how long it took me to grow up. It wasn’t until my parents and I had a horrible fight at Christmas 2011 that I decided to find a better life for myself which was one without them in it. I deserved better than what they could give me for my own mental health.

At age 31, I’m finally coming into my own. I was 23 when I started dating Pete. We’d been dating for three months and we moved in together because my parent’s gave me an ultimatum: break up or get out. For the first time in my life I made my own decision. I moved out. Pete and I haven’t had the easiest relationship. We got married and life is much better for us now than it was back then. Our relationship has grown stronger. But it’s gotten stronger as I become my own person and not a reflection of my parents.

It’s an exciting thing to be grown up and to make your own decisions. It’s an emancipating feeling to know that they can’t control me anymore. I will always love my parents and think of them. I’m grateful for the life they gave me. I will still send them birthday cards and Christmas cards to let them know I think of them.

One day will come when they will not be here anymore. I will bleed love for them. I bled love when they called me a whore and a prostitute. When the day comes that they pass away, I will bleed love that they are gone. But I will bleed love because I truly love them no matter how much they’ve hurt me. I’ve let them go and they’ve let me go.

When I got a text message for my 31st birthday this year with no card or phone call I realized that they were truly out of my life. The odd part of it is that I didn’t bleed love. I expected that’s what would happen and moved on. I’m no longer their daughter. They don’t see that they have a daughter despite that I still see them as the parents who I once allowed to control my cognitive and emotional behaviors.

Bleeding love in my eyes means to cry. I will not bleed for someone who doesn’t bleed for me.

When I was bitten by a pit bull last year, something my psychologist said to me 7 years ago rang so true to the bite and also to this situation. She told me to think about an open wound and how vulnerable and weak it is at first. Then think of the wound after it has healed. What is the strongest part of the skin? The scar is. The scars my parents have left me with have made me so strong. For that I have to thank them even if I don’t have them in my life anymore.

If something like this happened to you, would you bleed love and move on or just stay where you are keep opening the wound? I did both. Moving on was much better for me.

Sara Sawochka