I hit post instead of save for this piece of fiction I began writing. Never mind. 😉
“No one can love a person who doesn’t love himself. That’s been drummed into me since I don’t know when. I guess that’s why I’ve always understood, deep down, why I’ve never felt loved the way I envisioned love ought to feel. Sure, I’ve felt the love of my mother and father and my siblings and my wife. But I’ve always been suspicious that the love was given not freely without strings but, rather, as an obligation. Because that’s the only reason someone would love me. Out of a sense of obligation. I’ve tried to view myself in other ways. I have exchanged the lenses through which I see myself, dozens, if not hundreds, of times. But there, at the core of that man who looks at me in the mirror, is someone who isn’t worthy of love, who isn’t sufficiently honest and open to warrant love. No, what I should get isn’t love but scorn. Contempt. Dismissal.
Is it any wonder, then, that I grew up skeptical? Is it any wonder that I questioned the motives of people who spoke well of me? Is it any wonder that I didn’t trust people? Why should I? People who would lie to me, people who would say things about me I knew were not true, were not to be trusted. They must have ulterior motives. Otherwise, why would they lie to me? Why would the suggest I was worth their praise?”