I used to think that love was volatile, precarious and dainty. It was something that could be knocked down with a feather and lost with one wrong word, one wrong move or one wrong look. I thought that love was irredeemable and that it lacked the capacity for grace. I didn’t believe in second chances — only loss, grief and regret.
I had the pleasure of being raised by anxious-avoidant parents. I grew up knowing smothering, boundary-less love, as well as angry, distant and punishing love. I knew well what it was like to be love’s victim. When I say it was a pleasure, it’s because it’s made me an expert on what real love is not. The pain became so great that it broke me open to the fact that I did not know what love was. To my shock, it was a relief.
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