I am not a fan of conditional things. If I am in, I am in. If not, well, then--I don't play around. I don't believe in playing with people as though they're toys.
Conditional love is like a tease. "I love you, but not enough to tell everyone about you." The person on the receiving end--at least in my case--feels sad, unworthy, filled with self-doubt. Of course, the conditions speak more to the person laying them down than to the recipient, but they are insidious. They permeate and ooze through the souls of both parties, darkening it and demeaning them.
I don't understand first parents who are in "open" adoptions but keep their placed child a secret. The adoptee bears the brunt of what's hidden or denied. Secrets are to protect the parents, not the children, just as in the closed adoption I grew up in. I have been reading so many stories of adoption secret-keeping and first parent denial recently that I feel an overwhelming sense of sadness. It so very seldom is about the adoptee.
Unconditional love grounds you. It helps you see yourself and love yourself. Conditional love is poisonous and damaging.
I accepted conditional love for far too long in my life. I didn't think I ever was worthy of the real thing. I had an ex who once told me, "I love you, but I don't love you enough." At least he was honest.
I am wondering if and when my brother decides he can have a relationship with me, whether it will come with conditions. He did, after all, tell me that he doesn't have a clue how to tell my nephew who I am. Really? How about trying the truth? And if he won't, can I accept conditional love?
I did feel unconditional love yesterday from my amom. We were sitting in a hospital cafeteria, waiting for another of the interminable tests I'm undergoing to try to deal with fallout from surgery I had two years ago. Surgery for a condition I inherited from my fmom. Had my fmom told the confidential intermediary two years ago that we have a family medical history of abnormal blood clotting, I might not be in chronic pain right now. Then again, she doesn't consider me her daughter or her family, so that she felt that information was of no consequence to me. Anyway, my amom was talking about wanting to write a letter to my fmom, telling her that in hurting me, she hurts everyone who loves me. That as my mother she can't stand idly by while my fmom keeps secrets to protect herself and sacrifices my health. My amom is willing to stand up for me, as it should be.
Why can't other moms--fmoms and amoms--do the same? Love their children unconditionally, tell the truth? Words mean nothing unless they are backed up by actions. Many adoptees are great at smelling bullshit from miles away. That's how we cope and survive, even as kids--because we are our own best support. And then sometimes you have to lie to yourself just to get any love at all.
It shouldn't have taken me 40 years to discover that I am worthy of unconditional love. It really shouldn't.