He says he loves me but how should I begin to believe him?  So many people have said they loved me throughout my life and have proved otherwise.

My dad said he loved me yet I haven’t had a relationship with him since I was 5 years old.  He has abandoned me.  Is that love?

My mother said she loved me despite the fact that she abused and neglected me throughout my childhood and we can no longer have a relationship due to her failure to respect my boundaries.  Is that love?

My first serious boyfriend said he loved me but when we moved in together at the age of 19 he cheated on me with his boss within the first month of living in our a shared home.  Is that love?

Abuser M said he loved me but he acted out his violent fantasies on me and then left me in the dust reeling with confusion.  Is that love?

My ex boyfriend said he loved me yet he couldn’t stand up to his abusive friends and family when I begged for his help.  Is that love?

I have said I love myself but I have put myself through a sort of constant torturous reenactment of my abusive childhood.  Is that love?

And he wonders why I hear those words “I love you” yet I still can’t believe them.  For if I were to believe his words, I would be exposing myself to more vulnerability and confusion.

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