I love fucked up people.
Don't ask me why. Maybe because I'm so screwed up myself. Way back in the horror years of self-hatred and galloping insecurity, I knew deep down inside that there was a good human being underneath all that shit I was projecting. Problem was, I wanted somebody else to discover that fact; somebody else to nurture and protect, love and cherish me. I never thought of doing all that myself. I wanted a knight in shining armor, a celluloid best friend, a kind and thoughtful stranger to dig it out, to uncover the hidden wonder of Becky O'Donnell. I didn't want to do the work. I wanted somebody else to handle the rock quarry of my personality. I wanted someone else to have the patience and interest in discovering the fabulous me hiding beneath the mountain of bullshit. I wanted someone, anyone, to see it; to recognize it was there so I'd know I wasn't crazy. When you can't love yourself, you feel overwhelming gratitude to any abusive scumball who'll say they love you, can't live without you. The scumball part is immaterial. The love is what we need, even if it's never more than words, even if it comes with a swift kick and a punch in the face. At least somebody says the words.
The textbook definition of a fucked up insecurity addict. Been there, done that.
When you get to the point of planning your own suicide or drool like a Pavlovian dog at the thought of not breathing anymore, that's when the need for love is the strongest. As much as I knew I had a real treasure inside, I was heartbroken that nobody else saw it. Nobody else gave a shit. Nobody knew me. Nobody loved me. My kids did but they were just stupid kids. They'd soon forget me and love some new mommy better. I was being noble in relieving them of such a worthless sack of shit. Killing myself would be the best thing for them. I knew I was setting a bad example just in my day-to-day living. Best to free them. Better to just stop being.
I was about as fucked up as a person can get and still be alive. Looking back, it's amazing how different I am from that poor, shattered basketcase. It's also amazing how much of me is still like that. I'll always be the wounded mess because that is a part of my past, something I carry with me always. But self-love has helped me to flip it from a negative to a useful positive. I recognize other basketcases because I am one. I understand fucked up people because they're a mirror. And I want them to see me too, to see that it is possible to be something other than miserable and starved for love. I want them to know that if they do just a tiny bit, just a small amount of kindness to themselves, they can change everything: the way they think and feel, what they can do for others, even what they can accomplish career wise.
I've ridden the bucking bronco of insecurity for most of my life. In the last few years, with the daily exercises of telling myself "I love you," I've gotten that crazy damn horse to calm down enough so I can lead it instead of it leading me. It still likes to take off and drag me along sometimes on a hell of an uncomfortable ride, but nowadays I'm usually the one calling the shots. I've gained control of my own fucked up nature. It'll always be fucked up. But that's okay because even though I'm a basketcase, I'm a lot of other things as well. Like an ogre, I have layers and many of them are beautiful. There are gaping wounds in me that have healed into pink scars, terrible emotional gangrene that's been cleared away and self-hatred that's been neutered and rendered...how can I say it? Inefficient. All with three little words I waited far too long for someone else to say. I love you. I love you, Rebecca. I truly do love you. You fucked up mess.
May you all find the strength to love yourselves too. It's inside, right beside the hidden fabulous treasure of you, just waiting to be dug out. Happy prospecting, my friends. Take care.