Yesterday I felt a resurgence of all the horrible feelings of betrayal and abandonment that the Brexit vote had caused in me, because the words of a Labour leader that I respected greatly (and whom I would probably have signed up to vote for had I become a British citizen as was my pre-Brexit plan) had come out a little … wrong, and the news had reported it as though he had declared his ok with Theresa May’s recently confirmed Hard Brexit stance.
It felt like I was being kicked out all over again. As pointed out by my dear Scottish friend, I mourn because I lost one country, but they lost 27 (or however many there are in Europe now, I don’t keep track). I get it. It’s true. It’s a horrifying loss for half the population, and half of the other half who voted will be dead before they see the crippling effects of it. And of course Brexit is not a personal slight. But it feels like it.
My son pointed out I might have been overreacting a bit. At first I defended my anger, and even my husband said he didn’t think I was. But I guess in the great scheme of things, I was. After all, I have a husband whom I love and who loves me, three amazing wonderful kids whom I adore, a gorgeous old dog and two bootiful cats. The house we live in here is so pleasant that although my taste for being outdoors has dramatically decreased, I am still very comfortable at home. So ok, I thought Britain loved me and it turns out it never really cared about me.
But that’s it, isn’t it?
A lifetime return to that: I love and desperately wish to be loved back by people who, most of the time, don’t, or stop doing so way too soon. That fact, that they stopped loving me, was initially attributed by me to my very own explosive and mood-swaying character. I carefully planned my suicide and was brought back from the brink by an exceptional friend. My children instead of being a cause of intense happiness as they always were, as beautiful as they were, felt like they were there showing me what I would ruin next: them, my beautiful jewels.
Anyway, it didn’t happen, and am I pleased about that (of course). But the cycle continued. Despite having the love of such precious wonderful people, I also needed the love of others, others who then forsook me, friends who didn’t want to even hear from me anymore. It took me a long time to realise they weren’t going through all the passionate strong emotions I was going through as we separated as friends: they just got on with their life, unaffected, or at least unaffected enough not to need to tell me anything, or showing any signs of missing me. So what was the problem then?
As one of these friends said: “it’s not that she hates you, she just doesn’t care about you”
I think this was it, for Britain as well. I went (used to go) out of my way to be loved by those very few people (this is how I know I am not an attention whore, I just choose some – very few – people and desperately want their love, their affection, and am of course willing to die for them in turn). They were special to me, they felt like they fit in perfectly with me. The fact that they didn’t just hate me, but I became indifferent to them, was heartbreaking for me.
The same happened with England. I looked at the sky today with my daughter and we commented and smiled about a beautiful bit of sunshine slashing through the clouds like pure gold. I commented how we wouldn’t see those in Italy as there are far less clouds. I begun to say I can’t wait… and she just said “enough! I hear it every day! I know you want to go to Italy!”.
So I told her “yes, you’re right I’m sorry, but you know, the reason I keep saying that is because I am upset. I LOVED this country. I wanted it to be my home, I chose it out of all the countries I have ever been with (many) and know about, to be my home. Like I chose an adopted mother when my mother was nasty to me. I did everything to have this adopted mother’s love. And it’s as if she just turned around and said actually you know what? I never really cared about you. Just piss off back to your biological mother”.
She got it. And so did I. Growing up loving a neglecting, cold, unloving mother who resented my very existence, and a father who was way too busy adventuring and working around the world and so was never there, I guess something twisted in my own brain and these people, these people I have chosen, were people who would necessarily, at some point, not care about me. They were always destined to disown me, as England just did to me.
But perhaps, just like England, they were never that special to begin with. I just loved them desperately because like my mother, they were never capable or caring to love me. Like England, they were dark, and it was their darkness I was attracted to.
So, feeling more serene now, I hope next time to stop being attracted to dark people or situations, because what they have in common is an inability to love me, and that has absolutely nothing to do with me.