“Love,” I have been told. “Love is the answer.”
I know how to make other people feel loved. I just take care of them, attend to their concerns and their needs, listen to them and engage them. That’s what makes people feel loved, entering their world and being who they need you to be.
In my experience, though, this is almost never a two way street. Somebody wants the relationship to work, and someone else enjoys it working.
As a transperson, I know the kind of knots we twist ourselves into to get and keep relationships. And I know them well because that is how I kept my relationship with my family for so long, by keeping myself small and attentive to their needs, so much so that I ended up erasing myself.
It crushes me in order to not crush them which is the old, old, old, old pattern of swimming through their shit in order to try and get a little bit of what I need.
After all, if I really loved them, shouldn’t I just do what they want and need me to do?
“Love is very different than hope,” says one person who has faced her own dark times.
It’s true that when you feel loved, you can feel less lonely, which means you can hope a bit more that you will be seen, understood and valued for your own unique gifts.
But when loving relationships are reduced to the obligation to swim through someone elses shit, well, that kind of love raises more questions than answers.