On Having A Parent That Doesn’t Choose You

Trigger warning: sexual assault

When you have a parent that doesn’t choose you, life seems to make perfect sense. You wouldn’t know anything is wrong because this kind of love is the only kind you know. You don’t understand that loving someone is a two-way street. You don’t understand that love isn’t supposed to fill you with anxiety, sadness, and fury.

When you have a parent that doesn’t choose you, it’s hard to identify how this trickles into your adult life. Years of therapy will teach you that the reason you stick around in toxic relationships is because you want so desperately to make someone love you because you couldn’t make your own parent love you.

When you have a parent that doesn’t choose you, self-worth is like a distant relative that you see once a year at a Christmas party. You know their name and how they’re related to you, but you don’t know anything genuine about the person. Who’s their best friend? What excites them? Who are they when they go home and aren’t under the watchful eyes of family?

When you have a parent that doesn’t choose you, it’s easy to end up in abusive relationships where your body is violated. It’s easy to think that this is okay, because you are making someone else happy. It’s natural for you to believe that it’s okay to do whatever it takes to make someone stay because you couldn’t make your parent stay.

When you have a parent that doesn’t choose you, it gives you the opportunity to choose yourself. It gives you the opportunity to truly take time to understand your own mind. It forces you to go through many uncomfortable stages of healing that in the end, allow you to blossom into the you that isn’t hurt—the you that they don’t have the option of choosing. Because you’ve been chosen by the only person that matters: You.

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