So it seems to me — even if to no one else — that some of the good folks who have loved me in my years wanted me to be true to myself, and did what they reasonably could to validate, encourage, and affirm me in that way.
And some who loved me did not express their love in that way.
Oddly perhaps, both kinds of lovers could feel deeply their love for me. Seems to me the depth of someone’s love has little to do with its nature and kind.
Have you also noticed how dangerously charming abusers bait their fatal hooks with the very same beautiful things as true lovers? How many of us fall for being validated, encouraged, and affirmed!
Men and women both fall for it, but I think women the most often. Sometimes an abuser is the first person in their lives to come across as appreciating their kindness, their intelligence, their wisdom, their dreams for themselves — even sometimes their looks.
Boys usually have had an honest admirer or two before they start dating. But not so often girls. And abusers bait their hooks.
My advice (were you fool enough to ask)? Girls! Women! Make those boys and men court you! Rise up for yourselves and make them work their butts off for you! Hold out until you honestly trust the guys! Yeah, things will still go wrong now and then — but a whole lot less often.
And boys and men! Hold out yourselves until you honestly trust her! Do it like your lives depended on it. Because, you know, in a way — they do.