I grew up knowing that my acceptance was conditional
on the sort of mood my mom was in and on the history of her
acceptance from others. You see, this can be handed down like an ugly piece of Christmas china. Acceptance is part trust. It's necessary to trust that the person is doing as much as they can and if they miss the mark, they are still a good and worthwhile person. My mom had days when the hardest trying didn't work to satisfy her. Nothing would satisfy her. It made her and me very unhappy. She didn't know any better and at the time neither did I. Then I married and went to another home in which acceptance was quite rare. There were moments of happiness(when the kids were born) but the majority of the time in the marriage was agony over not being able to please my mate. I had expected to have a partner and friend but instead I had a father and boss. It was a disappointment for both of us.
I don't want to imply that nothing good happened during the marriage. The baby blue Volks convertible reminds me of some super times. I had one and I loved it. I also remember lovely things about living in Florida, living at the lake in Tennessee, and living in a terrific neighborhood in Knoxville. But there are few memories of the friendship I had hoped for. I thought that marriage meant that someone would always love me and would always be on my side. And by the time the kids came, I didn't feel I would ever have that. Have you ever had a time when you questioned your worth to the extent that you wonder why you were born? It isn't a good feeling.
So I'm finally trying to listen to the things I want but had put away. I think it is a good thing old dogs can learn new tricks, because this one just came to me.