Love involves more than just feelings. It is also a way of behaving. When Sandy said, "My parents don't know how to love me," she was saying that they don't know how to behave in loving ways. If you were to ask Sandy's parents, or almost any other toxic parents, if they love their children, most of them would answer emphatically that they do. Yet, sadly, most of their children have always felt unloved. What toxic parents call "love" rarely translates into nourishing, comforfting behavior.
Most adult children of toxic parents grow up feeling tremendous confusion about what love means and how it's supposed to feel. Their parents did extremely unloving things to them in the name of love. They came to understand love as something chaotic, dramatic, confusing, and often painful--something they had to give up their own dreams and desires for. Obviously, that's not what love is all about.
Loving behavior doesn't grind you down, keep you off balance, or create feelings of self-hatred. Love doesn't hurt, it feels good. Loving behavior nourishes your emotional well-being. When someone is being loving to you, you feel accepted, cared for, valued, and respected. Genuine love creates feelings of warmth, pleasure, safety, stability, and inner peace.
Once you understand what love is, you may come to the realization that your parents couldn't or didn't know how to be loving. This is one of the saddest truths you will ever have to accept. But when you clearly define and acknowledge your parents' limitations, and the losses you suffered because of them, you open a door in your life for people who will love you the way you deserve to be loved--the real way.