A heavier post on love…
Unconditional love is described as love without limitations.
Different teachings have ways to describe unconditional love.
But most do agree that this type of love has no bounds and is unchanging.
Unconditional love is that love mostly associated with family members, close friends and others who have highly committed relationships.
That’s what Wikipedia says.
I do believe that this love is true love.
Yet, at the same time, the most painful kind of love.
What if your child, who you’re supposed to love, doesn’t give you any love back?
What if your child turns out to be a downright criminal…or ‘just’ a prostitute, an unacceptable member in society?
Does your (unconditional) love has to end because your loved one has done something terrible or unsuitable?
And if your love does end, have you ever loved your child?
Or was it just the love for an idealised version of your child?
The child you had expected, but not the child who failed to come up to your expectations?
Very tough questions, that everyone needs to ask themselves, I think.
My idea to write on unconditional and conditional love is incited by a very interesting book, ‘Far from the Tree’, written by Andrew Salomon.
And the title made me love at first. Because I’m not even FROM the tree.
Anyway. It seems to be a very intriguing book on (un)conditional love and parents,
so a book that concerns me.
I haven’t read this book yet, but I’d really love to read it.
From observing reviews on the book, it’s not always an amusing and pleasing book.
Not something you’d want to read after a crappy day at work.
Yet, most people who’ve read it where captiveted by its content, but also confused.
There are chapters about disabled children, children with mental disorders, child prodigies, children conceived from rape, children, children who are gay, children who’ve taken the wrong path…
f.ex. What if your child has a mental disability, while you had hoped for a child with a normal/ above average intelligence?
What if your child isn’t a bad person, but who have taken a somehow, well, unacceptable path? In that category I reckon myself.
What if your child doesn’t accept you as a parent and a caregiver, while you’re trying as hard as you can? (in case of adoption)
Situations that make people, and certainly parents, ask questions.
The most daunting situation must be of that of the parents of the shooter of Andrew Salomon interviewed the mother of Columbine shooter Dylan Klebold.
It’s too horrible to really imagine. But I think that’s when love turns into a nightmare. To love a person who has no capacity to love (although we can’t even say that, for we’ll never know what was in Dylan’s mind), I can only image how gruesome it must be.
If I were in this situation, and I hope I’ll never be, I would be ravaged.
Because on one side I would wish I could hate him as a sick bastard, but on the other hand, I would alway have to realize he’s my child.
And that’s not a connection I can break.
This was the first part of my post.
In the following part, I’d like to answer a comment of quite active reader, Anoxxx.
He was one of the very few readers who gave an elaborate answer to my question. (A very tricky question, apparently) ‘Would you cast off your child because of prostitution?’
And as I’d expected, he gave an answer that clashed with my mindset and understanding. And it clashed, seriously.
I’ve been trying to understand him and other people with his opinion.
But honestly, up to this moment, I haven’t succeeded in that.
It’s something my mind can’t grasp.
Maybe it’s because I don’t have rigid rules and norms myself,
maybe because I like to look at the individual rather than at society,
maybe because I’m a heavily curious woman who like to discover new dimensions instead of judging,
maybe it’s because I’m raised in a more individualistic society.
Or, maybe because my commentator sees prostitution as crime comparable to robbery and drug dealing? Hopefully Anoxxx will brighten that up for me?
Now, y’all probably know my answer on that question.
But now I’ll postulate it, loud and clear.
NO, I don’t see the slightest reason to cast off my child because of that.
One, because I would be the greatest hypocrite ever, if I would do that.
Two, because I don’t see prostitution as a crime.
Third, because the only reason I would do that is when my child forms a direct threat to me. f.ex. when he/she had tried to cause me intentional damage.
However, if I try to think for Anoxxx (what I can’t actually), I can understand my child forms an indirect threat, ’cause the condemnation from his environment and society would be greater in his case than it would be in mine.
But then, I wouldn’t cast my child off by choice, only because I have to.
And I would regret it, always.
Fourth, because then I fail to see my child as a human being with motives and feelings.
And fifth, because I could have know it.
And now I’m not talking about whether my upbringing has been sufficient.
I’m talking about my view on humanity.
If I were a parent, I’d hope that my child would turn out to be a successful and ‘appropriate’ individual.
I HOPE that…but deep in my heart…I know I can’t expect that.
No, I formulate it wrongly.
I can expect EVERYTHING from my child.
Because there are situations in which I can’t run the show.
I can raise him/her as good as I have in my power, but I can’t control their lives,
I can’t pull the ropes as I wish. Yes, maybe I can, ’till a certain degree.
But my child will always be one too many for me, as I can’t read his/her mind and see through the plans made in there.
You’ll realize that this last paragraph is more about explicit rejection than on rejection in your heart.
But then, I wonder if explicit rejection does mean rejection in your heart?
Does that mean love stops?
Maybe another question to ponder on…
To summarize my answer:
My child being deviant is not a good enough reason for me.
Not if the only thing that my child has done ‘wrong’ is prostitution.
My child being a downright callous and cruel towards me or other love ones, and lacks remorse…Then, maybe…but it’ll be a great pity. Because I’d still want to see her/him as my child.
Hehe, my post is finished, finally.
I hope I didn’t push the buttons too hard, as I didn’t want to hurt anyone.
If I did, I’m sorry.