Ever wish you could go back in time?

My uncle sent me this picture a few weeks ago. It’s of me and my maternal grandparents on my 7th birthday. I don’t remember this day very well. Over the years, I’ve blocked out so much of my childhood that even some of the good times got filed away. How I wish I could remember more good times than just the ones I do remember.

I’ve seen this picture plenty of times before now, but as I looked at today I see it differently than just another picture. Now, I see the complete and unconditional love my grandparents had for me. It’s in the way they are looking at me. The way my grandfather looks at me so adoringly. The way my grandmother looks at me with more love in her eyes that I could ever ask for. I can honestly say anytime with my grandparents were happy times. They were my rock, my only “normal”, the only unconditional love I ever had growing up. They taught me how to love unconditionally. They taught me to say “I love you” to those you love and care about because “tomorrow is not guaranteed.” They used to tell me “always say what’s on your heart so if something happens, they know how you felt about them so you have no regrets.”

If I could go back to that day, maybe I would appreciate my grandparents as much as I do now. When we are young we know we love those special people in our lives. As we grow older, not only do we still love them whether they are here or not, we tend to appreciate them and everything they did for us. I would tell them how very much I love them and how much they really meant to me.

If I could go back, even as an adult and see my grandparents I would tell them thank you for all they did for me and let them know how much I appreciated them and still do. I would sit with them in the front yard under the tall pine trees in the shade sipping on a big, cold glass of sweet tea like only my grandmother could make. I would ask them more about their lives when they grew up, their families, talk to them about my life and ask all kinds of questions and hang on every word they would speak. One of the biggest questions I would ask is how did they get over being hurt by someone they love and care about. Someone you considered part of your family and your family “adopted” them so to speak. I often wonder what they would tell me.

One of the hardest things in my life is trusting and letting people get close to me. It’s easier to keep people at a distance than it is to allow anyone to hurt me. In my life, it always seemed to me that those I cared about most either died or walked out of my life. That has made it even harder to trust and let people in. You have felt the enormous hurt from the loss and you try to protect yourself from feeling that hurt ever again. Learning to “rewire” my brain so my mother’s words of “nobody will ever love you except for me” and “nobody wants you in their life like I do” has been extremely difficult. Not to mention, emotionally draining. I’ve come a long way and have worked very hard but it has come at a price. The loss of friends is the biggest price I’ve paid.

I’ve had an experience recently where I thought I had finally found a person that was a true best friend. (Disclosure…I already had a best friend who is like a little sister to me.) How lucky was I to have found a second best friend on a whole different level? Anyway, after they prodded me for several weeks to let my walls down and made promises of “you can trust me” and always told me to “please don’t walk away” I finally let them in only to find out later many of the things they said to me wasn’t true. That included “you’re my best friend”. I felt I could actually tell them anything and everything without feeling judged. You’re told how they consider you family, how they have told their husband and family how important you are to them, etc. I can’t even begin to explain the emotional pain this has caused me. I was angry at myself for allowing them in and for ever trusting them to begin with. They knew my background, they knew I was abused physically, sexually, mentally and emotionally by my parents. It caused so much depression that I was actually suicidal for a few days. I even missed two days of work because I couldn’t handle all of the emotional distress I was in. Luckily, my loving husband kept a watchful eye over me until he knew I was pulling myself up out of the hole. This would be something I would definitely want to talk to my grandparents about. I would tell them all about the friendship, show them the pictures and explain how looking at them makes me feel like the whole thing was a sham. I would also share that because of my rejection sensitivity dysphoria I made mistakes in the friendship, too. But I can honestly say I never said anything I didn’t mean. I’m curious what type of wisdom they would share and what they would tell me to do and how to deal with the grief that I feel.

My grandparents could probably give me a ton of advice for a lot of different things. Life, family, marriage and friendships. I hold my friendships close. I love with my whole heart unless you lie to me. That is where I cut people off. I treat people the way I want to be treated and I want to make them feel special and loved like I want to feel. My grandparents taught me to be like that. Yes, I wish I could go back and spend one last day with them, but one last day would never be enough.

2 responses to “Ever wish you could go back in time?”

  1. I’m not at a loss for words but rather a loss of actually how to put them down. So, I will just say that I am sorry you were betrayed (if that’s the word) and I am glad to call you my friend.

    Love ya Dana


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