I Want To Be Adored
The only time that I have felt safe when I was young was when I felt powerful. There were two ways that I was able to achieve this. Adoration or fear. By causing someone to adore me, I felt powerful, I felt myself swelling inside, a warmth sweeping across me, a sensation of unlimited potential. I have realised now that this gave me a sense of feeling omnipotent, invulnerable and capable of doing anything. Indeed, the achievements that I accomplished, through academia, sport, hobbies supported this sensation that so long as I felt powerful I could do anything that I wanted but most of all nobody would hurt me. Of the two catalysts for this, people adoring me or people fearing me, it was adoration which arose first. When I am forced to think back to my childhood (since it is not something that I voluntarily do) I remember that those isolated and they were isolated, those isolated moments of adoration shielded me from everything else that went on.
When I was praised, complimented, lauded and applauded I felt this sensation of power surge inside of me and this overcame the wariness and nervousness that otherwise governed my day to day existence. You see, I learned that it was wiser to remain in the shadows. Out of sight meant out of range and therefore the caustic criticisms and cutting chastisement could be avoided, but only for so long. I cannot recall the first time that I felt the power which rose from praise but I do remember on one occasion I had finished first in the class in respect of English. I did not know what my position would be and I passed the sealed envelope to my mother who loomed over me as she always did. I waited for the irritated sigh, the articulation of disappointment or even the stinging slap of annoyance but none of these familiar mechanisms visited me this day.
Had I misheard? No, I had been told that what I had achieved was excellent and I felt the warm surge which I would later come to know as the power. I tried to reach out, emboldened I suppose by this feeling of safety, to hug my mother but she sidestepped my attempt and moved away. For once though I did not feel that crushing sensation whenever she did such a thing to rebuff me, I felt good, I felt safe and it was because she had praised me. It was only much later that I began to understand the connection between being praised and adored made me feel so much better inside. I was always pushed, driven, instructed and commanded to excel and I knew that the achievement of excellence would surely draw more of this delicious praise that I craved so, so much. Little did I realise how elusive this place of safety caused by adoration would prove to be.
The following year, my first at secondary school and I received a mid-year report, around the end of November. With the change of school came the change of practice, for we were allowed to see our list of placings follow the mid-year examinations and besides the placing was the percentage score achieved, the grade and comments thereafter. I recently located all of my reports and sought out the very first one from my secondary school as I needed to check that my memory had not rusted given the passage of time. It had not. There amongst the results was the one for English Language. I was placed first, the percentage achieved was 76%, the grade was B+ and the comments are best described as cautious encouragement. I was first again. Top of the class. I felt the anticipatory surge of the praise that was sure to come once this report was passed to my mother.
Later that day I handed the report to her. My results were very good, I realised that, but it did not matter. I wanted, I needed her to tell me and make me feel good.
“I came top in English again,” I commented drawing attention to one of many highlights. There was no response as my mother took the folded sheet, opened it and examined the paper for evidence to support my assertion. I waited for the praise to come, relishing the warmth that would rise inside of me.
“Edward!” exploded my mother calling my father’s name. My father dutifully entered the living room from the adjoining study.
“Yes dear?” he asked.
“He came top with seventy-six per cent, just seventy-six per cent. That was enough to top the class. Have you placed him in a class of idiots? This is not good enough.”
My father began one of his protestations as he sought to mollify my mother. I do not recall what he said or what she said by way of response as their voices became background noise as I felt the anxiety and fear sweep over me. I was not good enough. I came top just like last time but it was not good enough. I turned and ran upstairs, the shame burning through me. There was no power. I felt unsafe, exposed and vulnerable. On the landing I passed my sister, Rachael, who had no doubt emerged as a consequence of my mother’s screeching and my father’s bumbling replies, ready to try to pacify the eruption as she always sought to do.
“What is it HG?” she asked.
“Nothing,” I snapped at her. I didn’t want her mocking me as well.
“Is it your exam results?” she asked. I nodded.
“Did you come top again?”
“Wow, that’s great, you are so clever HG,” she smiled and hugged me. I did not respond. I felt stiff and awkward but her comment caused the shame to lessen and a slight surge. It was not the same though. I broke away and headed to my room to curl up on my bed and hope that the still lingering shame would leave me alone.
I so desperately wanted that sense of power again and it had been denied to me. I felt useless. I knew however that there was only one thing to do. Work harder. Apply myself. Try harder and then she would give me the praise that I wanted and needed and that was rightfully mine.
I am beginning to understand that the seeds of my need to be adored were sown through instances like this. Adoration created power which created safety. Adoration created power which created the ability to do more, achieve more and gain even further adoration. Hers was always the adoration I wanted the most for with it I felt more powerful but I also found that any form of compliment, praise or adoration achieved a similar outcome. I knew that in order to be the powerful figure I knew that I actually was, all I had to do was ensure that I was adored. Achievement and accomplishment were the routes to gaining this adoration but then I realised that whilst I was successful, it was actually the image of success that mattered. Who were people to know that I didn’t actually hold the school record for swimming 100m when I recounted such an achievement years later? They did not know but the looks of admiration came nevertheless. All I had to do was show that whatever boast I made was vaguely credible. My physique being athletic meant that nearly all sporting achievements could be passed off as my own and I began to supplement those that I had with the bogus ones. The results were just the same if not better. Thus it became easy to tell lies. I did not stop securing achievements, I still had to be the best in my chosen fields, but I began to tell more and more lies to achieve the looks of admiration and adoration. I realised that it served my purposes to acquaint myself with other successful people because firstly, I belonged to such a group and secondly, I could listen to their achievements and then go and use them as my own. I could build up my suit of armour with a combination of my accomplishments and those stolen from those I interacted with. All that mattered was that I gained the praise, I received the admiration and the adoration. This desire infected all of my relationships and as time went on, I wanted and needed this from the man I passed in the street as I walked to the convenience store. I wanted and needed it from colleagues, friends, strangers in particular from those that I coupled with in the form of an intimate relationship. This was what mattered. I had to be adored because once I was I felt powerful, I was the person that I was meant to be. I ruled. I conquered. I felt safe. Nobody could hurt me when I felt this way. This is why I want you to adore me, each and every day, to praise the way I make a cup of tea for you, to compliment the way I dress, to admire the money that I make, to laud how popular I am, to adore the way I lead you by the hand into the bedroom.
She taught me that to survive I had to be praised. If this did not happen I felt weak, crushed and useless and such a sensation would arise from any and all criticisms that I perceived in respect of people’s treatment of me. The fact that praise was not forthcoming meant that this must inherently be a criticism and this wounds me, makes me feel small and pathetic and I am not those things, but you make me feel like that and that is why I lash at you. That is why I blame you because you do make me feel like that when you have it in your gift to adore me and make everything better for me.
Isn’t that what she was meant to do? Make everything better. I need to you to do that now. I want to be adored.
22 thoughts on “I Want To Be Adored”
SMH and Mommypino: Remember Tonya Harding the figure skater and the attack on her competitor orchestrated by her bungling husband and his friend? And of course do you remember her mother the Matrinarc also depicted in the movie based on her life called: I Tonya. Here is the movie clip from youtube. https://youtu.be/d2iy5y0YjGM >She suffered physical and emotional and psychological abuse and violence growing up from her mother, especially after her dad left the family, which broke her heart when she was very young. She did not want to be left alone with her abusive mother. And later she was beaten by both her mother and then her husband. https://youtu.be/JLZthGjSnfMFact: Harding faced abuse from family members throughout her life. Mommypino and SMH, I heard that Tonya and her mother are still estranged. Ice is all that Tonya Harding enjoyed in her entire life. However she was banned from life from competing after the trial for the physical attack on Nancy K. incident, that she said she had no part in. Did she? Who knows. I do not know if the ban was ever listed, though. This is one of those movies I went to see alone, because I like figure skating. Ironically, there was very little skating in the movie, and I was surprised to learn about Tonya Harding`s upbringing! Tonya later told her mother that she created a Monster, in response to when her mother told Tonya that she created her to be a Champion.
`The movie includes many scenes depicting Harding’s mother both physically and emotionally abusing her. Her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly is shown doing much of the same, both before and after they split. In real life, Harding alleged that Gillooly beat her, while family and friends told reporters that her mother, LaVona Golden, was violent.
He hit me, but she hit me, but they loved me,” Harding says in The Price of Gold. Footage in the documentary… Harding has claimed that her mother once threw a knife in her direction, a moment that is depicted in the film.
Both Golden and Gillooly, who later changed his name to Jeff Stone, have denied the allegations of abuse` ~~Time magazine.
Loved that film, PSE. ‘Wholesome American family.’ I think maybe the Hollywood filmmakers exaggerated a bit because, you know, ‘trailer trash’ – the audience expects that kind of behavior from people living a hardscrabble life.
Hi PSE, I haven’t seen that movie. That sounds really sad. I’m not really familiar with figure skaters although I love watching them in the Olympics; I grew up in a tropical country. 🤷♀️💕
Wow this is really quite a vulnerable post. I want to go back as there are tons of comments/dialogue on the prior dates.
Wowww…you were a sensitive child, Mr. Tudor… And you still are. I dont mean that as a slight, either. I think its a beautiful and valuable thing for an adult to retain a semblance of his inner child. Though i can see that if memories are not good maybe one would not like to.
The only time i ever felt safe growing up was when i felt loved. 0-4, 24/7, glorious! 4-8, less so. 8-18, almost never. I learned in that second period to cultivate my own happiness within a bubble. I was born happy and i felt both the need and want to preserve it.
Its so funny how the development of perception varies from person to person, both between cultures and within cultures. And so the development of growth. What we value at an early age we pursue for the rest of our lives. Interesting. Your kind values power. My kind values love. And we both see what we value as the purest state of bliss.
What you write makes me think of my mother. She was supposed to make things better, too; something she rarely did. She yelled at me when i was 40, “If you just did what i said, everything would be better! But you refuse!”
Your kind vs. our kind. Your solutions dont work for us, and our solutions dont work for you. Both sides have delusional fantasies that we pursue. With the knowledge you convey i hope that my pursuits to this end will cease; that is the goal, anyway. But i know the fantasies will never end. And fantasies lead so easily to emotional thinking. Such a merry-go-round, and not the fun kind.
Thank you for this look into your development, Mr. Tudor. Fascinating and very much appreciated.
Thank you for your observations
Dear HG, I’m not sad for you. For the little boy–no, not even him. I’m guessing you neither want nor need pity. Your mother and father were broken. Likely their mothers and fathers were broken. So you are broken. Guess what? So are your good doctors. So am I. So is my narc. As broken people we can’t help but walk around behaving like broken people. I have said before, people who think they are good are the ones I call sleepers. There is not one who does good; not even one. Even the Lord Jesus Christ does not promise to unbreak you when He promises to save. Lambs continue on broken in a broken world, the only difference being now we have indefatigable hope.
Can you not look back with your obviously superior powers of reason and see her brokenness for what it was? If she is still alive, can you not still see it? It’s not your burden or fault. It never was. As a child you couldn’t make her “wrong” and had to turn it on yourself. As an adult, you now have the power to do what you couldn’t as a child. As an adult you can heal.
You won’t lose even a little bit of your powers if you heal. What might happen is you won’t need to bring the pain in your relationships eventually. You’ll still be able to, but you won’t need to. You’ve nothing to worry about should you heal. Your SM perhaps will get to keep you.
And if you dont adore them they paint you black and put you on an enemy list. If their tactics dont produce a reaction thats a form of lack of adoration which they try to punish you for. Its very sad.
This story makes me hate narcissism with a passion. So extremely under-the-skin damaging.
I’m having trouble believing you came first in English. ; )
Very sad, HG. In a way it is not so unusual. We all want praise. But your mother reminds me of all those cold Victorian British mothers one reads about – the ones who would put their babies at the far end of the house so as not to hear them cry. Maybe Margaret Thatcher is a good modern version. Is there any resemblance?
More to the point, it is clear why you do not trust anyone and I can see the will/need to succeed in the face of parental disproval. But I can’t see lying about accomplishments because then you have to live falsely within the facade – that is, you cannot trust even yourself. How do you even keep the lies straight? It takes much less energy to live authentically with integrity, and then you have all that saved energy for other things. No one will love you less, except maybe your mother, but she doesn’t matter anyway. It is not her life. It is yours.
Para one – reasonably accurate
“Dispelling Wetiko” by Paul Levy
Hmmm. Interesting. You paint a very vivid picture.
SHM. ~~~~She is a Dr. Frankenstein!!!! She tampered with him, and pitched him against his own self, to fulfill her own fears and disappointments and regrets, and to make him become her own selfish Creation. She should not have done that to him. It was not good for him. He was too young and dependent to integrate all of her intense and constant barrage and stimulation to create within him a forced personality that was her own desire, with utter disregard for his own special and unique personality and talents. He had to shut some of his self off, just too survive! She went too far and justified this violation to herself. She made a self-fulfilling wager, and she failed. He knows that she failed, even if she failed in a very different manner than she can perceive or believe. But, he knows she failed. whether he tells us how, or not. He knows. And she took something from him and there has been no justice, and no recompense. Just time, multiplying what she took in so many ways that he has to always address on his own. He survived by fighting her back and by `joining her`. If you can`t beat them, be like them. This became his habit on how to survive her. She violated the male and female dynamic. She violated the feminine admiration that a man usually has as part of himself to assist him in a successful relationship. She isolated him. A horrible isolation. In plain sight of many people, including his own immediate family. . She placed him in a veritable `house of horrors,` within his own family. Like a mother bird selectively kicking one of her baby birds out of the nest before it was time. And the father bird is away or too weak to stop her. Then she praises the same baby bird for surviving, and fluffs her feathers and then wants to be admired by the same baby bird for her cruel actions, because he survived the fall, but with a broken wing or 2? This is not happening. A wise proverbs says to not be overly harsh with one`s children because they will grow to hate you. How could he possibly admire her femininity of being a `mother` in the way she behaved with him? This Dr. Frankenstein is his first introduction to: Woman. ~~~~He barely had any chance to be his own person and his own man with her. She constantly emasculated him, and he fought her back by becoming the Ultra Alpha. But even as the Ultra Alpha male, He has still been taught and he is habituated to focus on: the other. To be better than the other, to scapegoat the other, etc. etc. But, what about him? What, about the real him that is his innate desires and talents. This did not matter to this Dr. Frankenstein except, in that, he was better than the others, once again–the others, in whatever he did. ~~~~But, we, on here, still see a lot of the real person within HG Tudor, even if he can not see it, himself. He is more than just a construct, against all odds. No one can see themselves %100 percent. People repeatedly tell me the same things about myself that I do not see At All. ~~~~In the movies, the Experimenting Doctors Frankenstein always have to answer to their Creations, on a certain day. There is always a reckoning. The Doctors have to finally take responsibility, because the Doctors are always cornered at some point, by their Creations. The Doctors usually end up weeping and pleading on their knees for forgiveness and mercy in the movies. In some movies, the Creations presents them with a non-negotiable list of demands that the Dr. Frankensteins gladly accept with trembling hands and bowed heads, and the Creations tell the Doctors Frankenstein, after fulfilling the demands, to never show their face before him again, or something similar. The Doctors Frankenstein accept the terms of the demand. In some other movies, the Doctors laugh and scoff, before the Creations stealthily pushes them off a cliff or something. The Doctor Frankensteins always have the most puzzled and shocked and stupefied look on their once arrogant and smug and callous and disdainful and self-righteous and rebellious and un-repenting faces, during their long fall with sheer disbelief and terror, before they hit the floor, so to speak, and then go into the abyss. The Creation always watches closely and intently their fall, to the very last second, to make sure that it is all a fait accompli, after which, the Creation walks off in a quiet and resolved and somber gait and manner.
Interesting analogies, PSE. Of course what you say makes sense but as someone who also has a Matrinarc, I know that these creatures have very strong survival skills. My mother also subsumed me. Because I am female, she saw me as an extension of herself. The only way I mattered was to maintain the facade. She could not see me as a separate person, and that is at the heart of it, no? Whatever HG did reflected on his mother and whatever I did reflected on mine. My mother is kind of shabby and was never pretty, so she tried to live through me. That meant telling me how to dress, how to wear my hair, what sort of profession I was meant to have, etc. But it went beyond that – it also meant competing with me for the affections of my own child from the day he was born. That is why he is the golden grandchild – because he is mine and she can erase me by bonding with him. (He’s a good kid – and doesn’t get embroiled in this stuff.)
I was extremely rebellious starting from the age of 12, almost died at 17, and left on my own for a year because no one else was going to save me. Leaving did save my life (I would have been dead in a gutter otherwise) but from Matrinarc’s perspective, I didn’t leave so my life would be saved. I left so her facade would not crack. To this day she will not discuss it anything about that period. I am just remembering the first time I saw her when the year was up. She cried and I was stone faced cold. Why? She only cries for herself. I had zero feelings for her. To this day, I hate for her to touch me and I hate to be in public with her because she is all id and will make everyone – strangers included – attend to her needs. My father was also somewhat absent in the way that HG’s was (though my father also had anger management issues). While I did not turn out the way HG did, I guess because I do not have the genetic predisposition, I still think I can relate. I don’t try to fight the battle with Matrinarc anymore as I know it is a losing proposition for me – I could not go as far as HG will go — but I sure keep as much distance as I reasonably can.
PSE that was a really apt analogy. She was a Dr. Frankenstein. She had an amazing gift from God, a brilliant and beautiful boy who looked up to her but she was too vain to appreciate it. She wanted to create her own creature and in the process she morphed and distorted his appearance where he could not recognize himself anymore when he looks in the mirror. But inside he’s still the same brilliant person that he was always destined to be. And he is that brilliant person who is helping a lot of people right now.
I have been talking to BurntKrispyKeen about how my mom was always unhappy with something about me and always tried to ‘improve’ me into some ideal child. I was too skinny, I was too gullible, I was too naive, I was too happy all the time, I should have gotten this award instead of the other kid, etc. And I have decided to just cherish the natural dispositions of my kids. They are like these gifts from God where as they grow more surprises about them unfold. I just wait as these things unfold. Although of course I still guide them but I’m very careful that my discipline doesn’t touch them as persons but stays to be about what they did or why that behavior is wrong. And I make sure that they know that they are always safe and loved in the family.
It is very sad what HG went through. I know a lot of ACONs like me can totally relate. Thank you PSE for your analogy because you did a really good job explaining how sad it is. And thanks to H.G. for being intellectually honest and brave to tell us about his past and his stories so we can all learn from them.
When the need is all-encompassing and the lie fills the void… Desperate, aching need. Right or wrong, sad or not, it just works. And that is all. Needs must be met. I get it. I used to do this very thing growing up😔
P.S. However, I did leave the MidRanger with my best friend on the job. Although I was his first Minister of Adoration, she is better than I in some ways, because she has great administrative skills as well. I was the one that kept pushing her up to him and pointing her out to him, when I arrived on the scene. I thought it was weird that he did not see what a wonderful person she was, and so full of good character and administrative skills ,and that he did largely ignore her. She is a bit too much overweight and he has high somatic traits. Now, he has ensnared her, of course. NIPSS. My bad. And whereas I was his first Minister of Adoration, she can add `Total` to her title, as the new Minister of Total Adoration. Whereas I popularized him more and legitimized him more, as my strength, because she is an excellent organizer, she can also totally organize his `supporters to provide their oft and repeated parades, rallies and demonstrations of blind loyalty, …to maintain [his] facade of popularity and devotion` as her added strength Putting together ceremony was neither my strong area, nor interest. If it were not for his 4 monkeys, he could have benefited from both me and my friend. Dumb monkeys, but thank you.
Thank you for explaining, it is so sad.
Nunya biz. Thank you for listening to me.
Dearest HG: I was in charge of the Ministry of Adoration for the Mid-Ranger. His first real Minister of Adoration. That is why his Flying Monkeys hated me, I know now. They had played him all those years that they knew him and he them, before I ever came along. In fact, they would criticize him a lot when he was not around and make jokes, and I would defend him and they would stare at me. So they stopped the negative talk about him, at least when I was around. He does not know about all this. And, there is no need for him to know. Good help is hard to find these days. Plus, people always talk anyway. No big deal. The 4 monkeys had fed him processed white bread, so to speak, the entire time before I came along and got away with it and stayed in his good graces, and I came along on the scene and was surprised by what I saw going on and unabashedly treated him to whole grain bread in front of everyone. Their life=their habits. My life =my habits. My bread strengthened him. I helped him develop his facade to an outstanding level for 3 straight years. They only praised him for their own benefit, and for what was good for them. They were not concerned for his future, nor did they think about what would be the best moves for him to make in his field to aid him when he became older. I thought of such things, because I am older than he is. And I liked him. So the monkeys had to start giving him more respect, after I came along, because I blew their spot up. It was not a goal of mine, but, they despised me for this. I had nothing against them and it took a while before I even realized they were his 4 monkeys. Then all the animosity and ill well fell in line. I understood. So, I avoided talking to him when they were around. Plus, I still saw him at his other locations, and the monkeys rarely went there, because out of sight out of mind, was the way they were with him. It is really the 4 monkeys that tired me out more than the Narc did. But, they are a package deal. They all 5 are in the same house of cards together. Way before I showed up 3 years ago. They have secrets on each other, as well. The narc and his `loyal` selfish monkeys. There is nothing I can do about it without wasting my life and destroying myself. So, I guess, in the end, they belong together, but the frequency they create together is not good for the long run. The monkeys actually did me a favor in the bad way they treated me. I just did not see it that way at the time. Thank you, bungling monkeys, I should say, for all you malign hoovering that I put up with, because of my ignorance. I am the odd person out. 3 years are a lot, and 3 years are not a lot. Both. But, it is definitely enough. You know what is funny–it is like being with a group of people thinking you all are watching a play, and not realizing that YOU are the play: For Them. lol. Like that movie, `Rosemary`s Baby.` You are the one not in on the dynamic, without realizing it. They are One. What an experience! So, I lost. And, I won. Both.