Call me old fashioned, but I think I’ve learned a lot about love from my parents.
If anyone in my family is looking for my father, they know to call out to my mother first. Whether it‘s in the garden, the kitchen or the big old room with the smoky fireplace, it’s a sure thing he will be found lovingly beside her. Whilst they are independent in their togetherness, they are inseparable in their worlds, and to this day still teach me what it means to be loved.
If a man can make me laugh (and unfortunately at times snort), I’ll want to make him mine.
My Mum and Dad take on the world together and sometimes, just for kicks. Mum’s still Dad’s biggest fan when it comes to comedy and they’re often caught out together in fits of giggles that’s so contagious you can’t help but smile. If there was ever a typical dad joke, my dad was the one that told it and my mum the one that laughed. Considering they have been lovers now for 35 years, I reckon they must have repeated their own jokes hundreds of times. I can assure you, it’s been at least ten years since they’ve had new material.
When my heart has been broken or heavy with angst I am known to retreat in the warmth of my parents.
Many years ago when I first fell in love, I also fell into a heap that seemed near impossible to find my way out of. I remember swearing off love and sex, and envisioning my heart sealed away in a box, disallowing it to ever beat again for another. Whilst my parents gave me permission to carry out endless declarations on hating men and romance, they didn’t allow me to give up hope. They instilled in me the idea that I could love again through my mother’s tales of heartbreaks before her marriage, and my father’s endless rants about how I deserved a hell of a lot better.
By validating my hurt and providing me space, they had me put my chain smoking, booze and Morrissey days to rest. And they definitely didn’t sugar coat it. It. If anything they taught me that trial and error follows the journey of love. They relied on one another to send me back out to the world with the very real message that shit happens, and from there on knowing that when more shit happens, I’m going to be okay.
My mother and father have endlessly taught me how at the best of times, love can overcome trauma. They have shown me how love that is given through selflessness and received through strength can and will triumph over suffering and pain.
This is the teaching about love I carry closest to my heart, because this is the teaching that changed my whole life.
Through my own experiences of trauma I witnessed that love does conquer pain, and I learned how to trust in the process. Through the guidance of my parents, I learned this love does not always need to come from someone else to be supportive. It can actually come from within.
My parents have not only shown me how I can love another but most importantly how I can love myself. A gift I accept with grace and belief, and thanks to my gurus that gave it.
Amanda Joy Robb lives in Sydney, Australia where she works as a Sexologist/Sex Therapist and Media Commentator. Feeding her passion in supporting women, Amanda also works for a feminist organization where she is able to empower and support survivors of sexual trauma. Amanda easily gets excited over quality music, yoga, boxing, cats and putting pen to paper about anything and everything she can to do with the wonderful world of sexology.
Editor: Anne Clendening