When I was a kid my relatives used to ask me this question :
HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE ME? -
'ME' was always replaced by a function, a role such as 'MUM/GRANDMA' or a NAME, this question was always spoken at the third person as it would be suitable to Royals (fuckups, in this case).
When I look at myself experiencing this question I can clearly see the FEAR, I see my FEAR that I would pick the wrong answer as the Implied/Required AMOUNT of LOVE to show as a testimony of the tie, the bond of the FamiLie That keeps us bound together, within the pretense that, at least within the Family, we are SAFE, all is good, we don't have to FEAR each other.
My replies were always SAFE describing a HUGE QUANTITY of LOVE, "I love you to Infinity, to Eternity, like the World, like the Universe"- that's how much I FEAR you as well, as I see my thoughts and calculations about this simple answer and so I imagine you are thinking and calculating too but I am too young, I lack Data, cannot compute the dangers YOU could expose me to in detail, so I FEAR you like The World, the Universe, to Infinity while we lie to each other to stop the Fear, to pretend that all is FINE, that we had no reason to FEAR to start with, REJOICE, LOVE is HERE.
I FEARED my mother all the time, I feared she would leave me somewhere and not pick me up and I would not survive, when I was a kid and they taught me where I lived in case I got lost and noone would care for me I lived in FEAR that I would forget my name and where I lived and that I would be left alone in this Fearful world, I feared new things/new people because they would bring up the FEAR of not knowing how to relate, how to behave, if I had the right character set in place for the required interactions. What if they did NOT Love 'Me'? Who will take care of Me if they don't Love me, aren't only the ones that Love Us the ones supposed to care and feed us and clothe us? Who will I 'Belong' to when the Ones that LOVE 'ME' and to whom I 'Belong' won't be not around, whose responsibility am I if not the one of those that claim to LOVE me? Stick to them Ele, give them what they want, LOVE Them, whatever that means.
I Feared to be asked HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE ME, and that I would know that whatever I said I knew I was lying, I feared my lies as a kid, the lies that I said to guarantee that I would be kept and fed as I had no tools to evaluate WHAT would happen to me if I said 'I don't love you', I don't even understand what this loving business is all about short from the fact that I am supposed to feel good because you feel good when I say 'I Love you like the World, the Universe, to Infinity...and MORE' and watch You Adult giggle, relieved for a moment from your Fears, of this world, of this existence, of ME, the FEAR that you too could be left out there in the Truth of The World with NO MONEY in your pocket and then you would face how far the Love you are piling up as a blanket against the Cold of Fear would take you.
I feared being told 'I Love you' too as I KNEW that there is always a REASON for such empty statement, as its hooks are clear and visible and that the bashing starts with the loving, where I was held Hostage or as I Hold Another hostage of a 'good' feeling and an obligation now that I spoke the spell 'I Love you', come on lay down your arms, look at me, I'm not a menace, I love YOU, even when you don't DESERVE IT, -parents tell us this, they have all twists and turns around the loving concept-, I Love You EVEN NOW, EVEN IF YOU 'DON'T DESERVE IT, I LOVE you because you are MY Kid, it's my obligation/duty/job to Love YOU NO Matter WHAT. No MATTER What.
And that would be about the only honest thing we say about Love, 'No Matter Wha't, because Love doesn't MATTER, it's an idea, it's a belief, an OPINION that we pass on to Each Other, to hide the dis-ease of FEAR that we then call LOVE to ensure FEARS are never spoken about out loud because as Adults we have not yet found ways out of them, but we have the LOVE to trade, the Jack of All Trades, when FEAR comes up, trump the Love Card, it's a winning move, everyone freezes, everyone rolls over and takes whatever follows in the Love footsteps, SPELL IT RIGHT, L O V E, and then look innocent, as it takes a lot of guts to keep the LOVE lie going, looking INNOCENT AND MEEK is KEY, or I/You will Remember the Truth of the Lie and run away from LOVE as much as I/You run from my/Your FEARS.
Self forgiveness and Self Corrective Statements to Follow