When you grow up experiencing childhood adversity, and particularly Childhood Domestic Violence (CDV), you often learn the LIE that you’re UNLOVED. And moreover, you learn to belief that you don’t really want love anyway, because it only leads to violence, pain and suffering. Somewhere along the way, you decided that love just isn’t meant for you and that you’re better off without it.
But what if it IS meant for you? How do you begin to unravel this LIE?
But what if it is meant for you? How do you begin to unravel this lie? Here, we look at how you may have learned the lie in the first place and how its very origins suggest the exact opposite – that you ARE in fact deserving of love.
To illustrate, let’s look at the story of bodybuilder and fitness writer, Roger (“Rock”) Lockridge.
Roger struggled for most of his life with the LIE that he was UNLOVED and unlovable. He became unconsciously convinced that if he got too deep in his love for another human being, he would ultimately be abandoned or betrayed. Why? Because one of the people Roger loved most – his father – committed the ultimate betrayal: he chose violence over the safety and well-being of their family. Is this is what love was, then love was a feeling simply was not meant for Roger – or so he believed.
Roger was born and raised in an isolated home near Muddy Creek Mountain, West Virginia. There was only one way in or out of this homestead, which was densely forested. The house where Roger, his three siblings and their parents lived, was backed by steep cliffs, making it impossible for anyone to leave the place without Roger’s father knowing about it.
But he never committed to quit drinking and, when he drank, Roger’s father became a monster.
His dad could never hold down a steady job, although he did try to provide for his family. Roger is quick to point out that he was not a bad man. When his father was sober, he was a loving dad who’d walk through a snowstorm to get diapers and milk for his kids.
But he never committed to quit drinking, and when he drank, Roger’s father became a monster. He didn’t take it out directly on his kids, but he would get physically and verbally violent with Roger’s mother, which left Roger, the eldest boy, terrified for her safety.
Late one night, when Roger was 10, the fighting escalated to the point where Roger’s mom thought it best to take herself and her children out of her husband’s way and wait out the drunken rage at her mother-in-law’s house – a tiny cabin close by the family home. The plan backfired. The moment her kids were ushered inside their grandmother’s house they turned around to see their father standing in the doorway with a rifle pointed at them, threatening to kill them all.
“But when it’s your father on the trigger end of that gun . . .”
“Having a gun pointed at you is traumatic enough under any circumstance,” says Roger, “but when it’s your father on the trigger-end of that gun . . .” To Roger, this seemed the ultimate proof that he was unlovable.
You may have suffered your own version of events or messages that made you feel like you were unlovable. We see here, however, that the issue wasn’t how much Roger’s father loved him. It was rather his inability to choose his children’s needs and well-being over his own, amplified by substance abuse that further erodes any sense of responsibility or self-control. And that had nothing to do with Roger’s inherent worthiness of love.
Seeing it this way, you perhaps can now begin to glimpse and differentiate more clearly the LIE. You can perhaps begin to see that your belief that no one has or will ever love you isn’t really true and never was. You will learn more about this LIE and how to move away from it towards the TRUTH in subsequent blogs.
Please share in the comments below what made you feel unloved or unworthy of love growing up. Why did you believe this about yourself and are you now beginning to see it isn’t true? Thank you for sharing.
A detailed overview of the UNLOVABLE Lie can be found in CHAPTER 10 (“Unlovable to Loving”) of INVINCIBLE: The 10 Lies You Learn Growing Up With Domestic Violence, and the Truths to Set You Free.