To Jeff

What follows, is a comment I got from a recent post of mine. I just want to let Jeff know, that I wasn’t blowing off his comment in any way. I just seriously needed some time to give it the reply I thought it deserved… And it turns out that it deserved its own blog post. So if you will all bear with me, I’ll be speaking directly to Jeff from here on out.

Jeff: From people I love, I never need to hear “I’m sorry”. They were forgiven before the ‘sin’ or crime was committed. To people I love I may say “I’m sorry” if I have accidently (or on purpose) hurt them in some kind of way.
And Hobbler is right. “Love Hurts” – and it can. It really sucks sometimes. One mistake all too many people make is the assumption that “If I love them, they should love me” – and feeling hurt because the other person doesn’t, or doesn’t love them in the way they love that person. A source of many pains.
I gave up love from about 13 until 21. Literally said “s*** on it”. Still have some hate issues left over from it. Learned though (when I was 21 – a ‘personality’ and an age; see my ‘about me’) – that I was missing a heck of a lot more by NOT loving than I would be by embracing the concept. Took a lot to do it. (okay, more than a lot. I had to ‘build a new self’ to handle a whole new world for ‘me’.)
Love at best is an ambigious thing, and I NEVER say “I love you” lightly or as just a set of words (I hate that – that people lie like that all the time, saying “I love you” when they just sort of like you). But here’s a question: what does love mean to a child? And is it even necessary for a child to have love at all? (Just a question you understand; and not talking romantic love, either!) Just one of the things that has always puzzled me . . . is love NEEDED – or is it just a desire?

Wow, all that in a tiny comment box? What is the world coming to? You kind of blew me away there, buddy. No bullshit. I can put myself in your shoes to some extent, because I’ve had some very similar issues with getting a hold of the idea of “me” and all that. Although I’ve never had any real help in dealing with any of that stuff. It was all just me, and sheer force of will. Up until recently, that is. And thanks to a very special friend of mine, I was able to let a lot of I go… And she accepted that from me. She made no judgments, and still saw me as the person I was, rather than letting what I had told her beauty and her perception of me. And it is for this reason that I’ll love her till the day I die. And that’s when I realized, the appropriate response to the questions you posed to me. Up front, I don’t disagree with anything you said. If it were mathematically possible for me to agree beyond 100%, I would do so. When I tell somebody that I love them, now it takes on a whole new meaning for me. For me, saying “I love you” to someone, has a lot of different meanings. Let’s be up front, we’re guys. I’ve been known in the past to say I love you just to get past some barrier to my perceived conquest. I was an asshole. Now, I’ve learned that that phrase has a base meaning, irrespective of the type of love that you may have for a person. Saying “I love you” is extremely close to saying “I trust you”.
And in return, you’re also inviting the person to trust you, and ultimately if that person is unwilling to reciprocate, then we do not in fact love each other in any way. So to answer your question, yes… A child needs to have the ability to trust in someone other than themselves. It is absolutely vital, coming from the perspective of someone who’s found it very difficult to trust those that he was supposed to have trusted from birth.

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15 thoughts on “To Jeff

      1. Thanks Sage, I found it before coming back here. Jeff is fun. He holds a lot of intensity and pain, but there is reality, beauty, hope…he’s complex. 😉

        Good response. I need to go back and read your part again…

  1. How sweet is your love Sage. Having someone you can love and trust with all that you are, is beautiful.

    When I was in college I interviewed tons of friends, basically asking them if love was real. I was going to write a book. I made them promise not to sue me, on tape, if I used their comments. Anyway, I don’t know where the tapes are now. Those and a disposable camera that I took with my sister are my long lost loves. All that to say, the concept of love still is a little fascinating to me. I’m not sure if I believe in the type of love that many use to define that word.

    Okay, I just remembered this is your blog, and that I talk a lot. Anyway, I think love is needed, but it might not be the same love that others think. Make sense? I’m not actually sure it does to me at the moment. I will need to reread when I have had a little sleep.

  2. 🙂 It’s funny. What IS love? Is it trust? No – I have loved many things I did not trust (an old car I loved comes to mind.) I think there must be an element of expected reciprocation about it, why else the pain if you are rejected? (Nothing hurts more like a scornful laugh in your face after you’ve made love or been rejected by someone you thought loved you – and they didn’t). Can’t say I’ve ever been an a-hole about it except once when I lied to an old woman. (Yes, this was an evil part; we were american gigalo – got a pickup truck, LOL!!! Ended up giving it back . . . after calling her a slut – yeah, I DO have some a-hole-ishness about me, LOL.)

    But what IS love? Is it a sense of affection? Or as Data (the android on StarTrek Next Generations) said: “I’ve grown comfortable with you.”? Just able to be around somebody for a long time without wanting to kill them (my first criteria on being married; everyone else I had stayed with for more than 3 months I wanted gone except a man servant I had at one time. LOL. Despite being poor I knew how to arrange things. Life of the rich while being dirt poor, LOL!)

    Maybe love is just a delusion; maybe a dream? Or just some glands squirting hormones in our blood is all it means, hunh, guys?

    Anyway: one of life’s quintisential questions: What is love and what does it mean? Faith that the other person won’t intentionally hurt you? That they will take care of and nurture you? Help you grow in your own life while you help them grow in their own? Sure can’t be the trust thing . . .

    1. I don’t know Jeff, there is an element of trust in love. If there wasn’t trust, it wouldn’t hurt so much if they betrayed you somehow, or if they left you and broke your heart. Even if the trust is not actually in the person, love’s default setting is trust I believe. Trust that love is true and will last. Just because you trust something or love it; that doesn’t mean it is trust/lover worthy.

    2. The trouble with words is… that we misuse them frequently, because we define them based on our perception of their meaning, rather than how they should be used. Just about everything you pointed to ends up equating itself to trust. Even the old undependable clunker was probably simply trusted with being a comfortable place with some memories attached. We don’t necessarily attach ourselves to things based on how well they perform as intended man. Nobody loved the original NES because it worked 100% of the time without fail. Also, we have to be careful when defining a word like love, that we’re looking at it the way it is intended at it’s core to be used, rather than the perverted concept that society has sold us. That said, this is why other languages have distinct words for various types of love.

  3. “other languages have distinct words for various types of love.” Excellent example. And the truth is a ‘word’ is just a label. Like I told my wife: “the word ‘grass’ tells you nothing about how it feels, tastes, looks, or smells. By itself it means nothing.” It’s the association you have built around that word which determines your perception of its meaning. I’m pretty picky about the english language; words have many contexts and meanings and subtle shades of variety to me. One word will do the trick where another one won’t. We’ve got some examples in our commented version of “The Boy”, a book I sorta wrote. Helped write. Something like that. LOL!

    But I wonder: is it just because we are different, you and me and Hobbler? Could it be that being raised in an environment where everything you loved was untrusted not to hurt you – from parents to friends to your hometown environment which was constantly changing – and for three years was on an Army base overseas during a Cold war with all this crap going on and this weird training and stuff they gave/told me that you should NEVER be telling a little kid . . . but the parents had a plan . . . (sighing) . .

    Anyway: ‘we’ (or ‘I’) learned to separate “love” from “trust”. We can trust someone and not love them (like my banker) – or love someone but not trust them (like some friends). Another thing – and this may be a ‘clue’ or ‘insight’ into me and not you – I have never fallen ‘out’ of love with someone. Once there, there forever. A very *painful* kind of thing. (I – or ‘we’ – have a ‘special place’ in our minds where we keep them – our ‘loves’ in the past. A very painful place to visit.) But yeah – it was that pain which drove us away from love; to hate love and condemn it – and when we did love later on (human nature or need triumphs), we didn’t ‘trust’ them enough not to hurt us to allow it to go any further than ‘just friends’. As a result I missed out on some really potentially great relationships. When I was 13 I loved a person with all my heart but I just didn’t trust them not to reject me the way the guy who I HAD loved did (this was when I was about 9 or 10.) So . . . somewhere down the line I learned to separate love from trust. Really hard for some people (including my wife) to understand I can do that.

    So I’m thinking perhaps this is just a difference in, as you say, “perception”, or how we were raised, you and I. I “feel” things different, perhaps more separated – so I can do both: love and distrust. I can also love and hate at the same time. Or be peaceful and yet depressed.

    And there is the perception difference of what YOU feel as love I might see as “like” – again, a definition sort of thing. Perhaps that is what is lacking in our English language. We have love descriptors, such as “platonic” – but not for the subtle interlacings of love and trust and whatall. Kinda like me being colorblind (which I am to some degree – despite having a career that involved graphics arts for some years). I can’t be sure that what you see (and feel) when you say “brown” is the same shade and color as what >I< see.

    Makes for an interesting introspection, LOL. And that, I think, will help towards my application for Hobblers OOA Club down the road, LOL! (Do I get a free wheelchair? Or do I have to bring my own scooter? . . . )

    and yes, Hobbler – you can borrow my cane to whack me over the head with. (but look out! It's got a sword in it, LOL!!)

      1. LOL, yes, I seriously have a little “stick-um” cane sword I got at the flea market. Heck, my wife used to help run one – need some “stuff”?? LOL! Got a 2 story barn full of it!.
        I have weapons all over the house – swords, crossbow, guns of all types. My daughter’s quite handy with the stuff, LOL!! But as the cops told my wife when they came to have me 1013’d, they were scared of ME: here’s this guy, a former Marine. Probably Commando. Same at the loony bin. One doc (ex-Army) said I “scared the shit out of him (because of that MKULTRA kind of thing) and because he knows. I don’t need no weapons – just an opening and one finger, one chance – and someone’s dead. (Not that I would do such a thing except in self-defense, or defense of someone who needed it!) And no, I’m neither happy nor proud of that. It really kind of sucks. I don’t dare get into a fight. I might kill someone. It makes me sad for some other reasons, but I’m not quite sure – it’s one of my other ‘personalities’ grieving about something; probably an early child.

        One thing to remember, Hobbler, is that we were *born* into the Army, trained, raised Army – to the nth degree, as much as I guess a little kid can be. There’s a bit of a long story behind it, and most I must just guess at; I am NOT sure who is or was responsible . . . but my DAD admitted “it’s still going on” (conditioning and training American children “for war”) when I discussed my Puerto Rican experience with him. I dunno; he may just be deluded. But my Army Intelligence BIL who was connected with the CIA certainly seemed to think … well, I dunno exactly what he thought. I know he said I was trained a “child warrior”. And I was at some times. (really thoughtful frown).

        Whut can I say. Just a normal life. Like everyone else around here. Right? (soft smile) I guess I could have had one . . . meaning it was a normal childhood??? (sounding hopeful, like a little puppydog, LOL!)

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