I was the baby of three children. In my mind there was my dad’s favorite—my sister, my mom’s favorite—my brother, and the extra child—me. It seemed my parents loved me in a perfunctory way. Of course they loved me; I was their child.
But there was no call for anyone in our family to reach out, hug another or say the words. And for me to tell them I loved them? Well, first of all, it didn’t occur to me and if it had, I wouldn’t have risked the rejection.
My parents weren’t bad people. Somehow though, they took their parents’ failings and rationalized them into sound child-raising principles. When as a little girl, my tongue would get the best of me by offering some idea, or worse, my feelings, a towering figure condemned, “Who asked you?!”
At Christmas though, someone did. My parents asked me what I wanted. They…
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