The Parameters of Love

There is a concept that I have been debating, for a very long time – what is love?  I keep hearing so many conflicting definitions.  Maybe it’s because my overwhelming depression has made it so that I don’t know what it’s like to be happy, but the truth is – I don’t know what love is anymore.  I want to know.  I want to know what love is.  Now, the obligatory song by Foreigner (which I actually love, by the way.  Totally bring emotions welling up, each time) –

Still, love has so many parameters, and it all makes me confused.  There is the romantic love.  That kind is the easiest to understand.  At least for me, anyway.  Romantic love is an attachment that makes the most simple of things have the most meaning.  It is when you have an emotional commitment to a person that transcends all your other commitments.  That kind makes sense.  Even think I’ve felt that, once or twice.  Always leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, because it is has always ended poorly.  Never in my life has love done right by me.  Never.  It’s always found time to fuck me.  That’s life, right?  In any case, nothing one can do but keep rolling with it.

But then there is the love of family.  First, a little bit of context.  I had a head injury when I was 14.  I came out of that and was a totally different person.  The world of the life beforehand was alien to me.  I didn’t know the person whose name they called me.  It was all completely alien to me, and I didn’t honestly like being referred to by that name.  I still don’t.  So, yeah, these people were alien to me.  I knew who each of their names were.  I knew what their relation to me was.  I knew that they would never leave my fucking hospital room, when all I wanted most of the time was some privacy.  There was ALWAYS someone in there.  That still has a bitter taste, to me.

As time went on, I gained remarkably-different emotions toward these various family members.  For the most part, I felt nothing toward them.  Not negative or positive.  Just, nothing.  To this day, that’s how I feel about most of them.  There are some whose company I would rather avoid, but there isn’t enough negative emotion there for me to truly care about them one way or the other.

There is, however, one family member who I am being told that love is a given for, yet I can’t understand why I should do so.  It is a person who clearly doesn’t like me.  They continually rail on me for how many awful behaviors I have, and have even threatened me with physical violence (that I feel very certain was genuine, as they were moving to attack).  Why on Earth am I supposed to “love” that person?  What does that even mean?  I am trying to wrap my head around it, but I can’t.  My vast intellect can’t seem to process something that I am told is simple.

This isn’t the first time that it’s come up.  I have heard family members do nothing but trash-talk other ones behind their back, and I think to myself – what is love to people who clearly have nothing but negative emotions toward a person?  What does that mean?  On a philosophical level, how on Earth can that be explained?  Is there something wrong with me by not getting this?  It is a mystery, and one that I wouldn’t mind a little help solving.  I have thought about this, for hours.  Yet the more I try to wrap my mind around it, the less it makes sense.  After all, isn’t love a positive emotion?  If all you are able to express about or to a person is negative emotions about said person, then what is this “love” that you have for them?

For real, audience input.  What is love in the familial sense, toward people with whom all interactions are negative?  Am I just a sociopath or something?  I don’t think so.  There are several people in my family who I care a great deal about.  Some who I have some begrudging respect for.  Others who I have some more convoluted feelings about.  Still, we have emotions.  It’s not like I’m going to harm anyone or anything.  I’m not a lunatic.  This just doesn’t make any sense to me.

My coma destroyed the connections I made with people.  I knew who they were on an intellectual level. On an emotional one, it was a blank page.  Now, I am very confused.  Very, very confused.  Maybe, if I could remember that person who they all call me, it would be simpler.  But I don’t.  His memories are mud, having been replaced by new ones.

So yeah, a question for you – what is love between family members, to you.  Is my viewpoint totally effed?  Let me know, because I might have stumbled on to a fascinating question.  Or proved that I’m an effing lunatic.  Unknown.  Let me know in the comments section.

Until next time, a quote,

“I’ll start working on an answer.  Just give me a few hundred years.”  -Cortana, in response to the query – what is love?

Peace out,



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