Friday, December 16, 2016

Looking for Love - overcoming childhood trauma - a pathway of limerence

Looking for Love - overcoming childhood trauma  - a pathway of limerence

A reader's experience
Age:36 - 45
United States

Around third grade I began to experience "crushes" on boys.

 I fantasized about them saving me, protecting me, even weeping for me as I lay dying. I remember thinking my boy crushes would love me; that they would complete me, and finally I would feel the love I had always wanted.

 I know now that I didn't feel loved or wanted as a child. I don't have memories of my mother comforting me. She didn't hug me or hold my hand. 

I do remember the violence in my home - my father was unpredictable and would lash out, often beating us violently. I remember passing out and waking up to find him still beating me. 

They told me that I belonged in the family and that therefore I was loved, that I should be grateful for being housed and fed and that meant love, but I don't believe I experienced or felt love.

 I often turned to teachers (usually male but sometimes female) to fill the void of a positive adult figure. If anyone gave me the slightest nod of positive attention, I worshiped him or her and soon after, the fantasies would start. I imagined I was the most important person to them. That they would do anything for me. That I meant so much to them.

These limerence fantasies ended for me after I sought therapy for trauma recovery, and after I cut ties with my parents completely. Through therapy, I also uncovered memories of sexual abuse by my father, in addition to the traumatic memories of physical violence. I began to understand the emotional and mental abuse I had gone through, as well, and that my upbringing was not healthy and positive.

I used to feel badly and wonder if something was wrong with me - my nature - for the obsessive crushes, especially as I got older and I began to act upon them by calling my crush, reading into his words too deeply, stalking him on the Internet. 

I forgive myself for these behaviors now; I know they stemmed from the lack of attachment in my childhood, and from the trauma of abuse.

I'm so glad I finally went to therapy.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Overwhelming love

A Reader's honest story. 

I was struggling with both the overwhelming love and need for this other woman

I had never expected that out of the blue I would feel obsessive about one of my women colleagues. 
She is happily married with kids as old as 10 years.

That I felt I had a special link, that time spent away from her was time wasted. 

I also loved and valued my family, did not want to hurt them, did not want to “upset the boat” .

I was struggling with both the overwhelming love and need for this other woman (LO) and the inability to think about the consequences. My rational mind knew I was being a “fool” but I also knew that LO was my soul mate, they were meant to be, LO was truly my significant other. I couldn’t stop thinking about her, I didn’t want to stop. Everything reminded me of our unique bond.

 As time went on I frequently wept to lessen my emotional pain.I had gotten to the point where I was desperate to move on and get back to being what I call “normal” again, to feel on an even level and not on an insane roller-coaster of emotions and thoughts. In my case, the humiliation I felt when I overheard some nasty comments from LO, and my sudden fear my behavior was making me notorious and a butt for unflattering jokes were helpful in supporting my desire to be free of LO and limerence. In fact, I felt deeply ashamed, appalled at what I might have done and might have gone on to do, desperate to escape from the whole situation, and very afraid that my family and friends might have gotten an idea of what went on. 

Actually, very little had gone on in one sense. I had smartened up, taken to spending more time in Whatsapp as LO seemed to be there more frequently.I had started sending messages to her through Wapp.I described how beautiful and glamorous she was, and how I have never felt anything like this before.The girl was seeming to like these things.I was in euphoric stage for quite few days.Life's major problems did not matter for me at all during those seven days .In fact they were pushed to the back ground.I had a new found energy within me.

Only her and thoughts about her preoccupied my whole being.I was in the cloud nine- the walking in the air stage.

The otherwise recluse LO Began to send me letter, sometimes praising my English and sometimes praising my pranks and lively jokes.I thought the limerence was mutual.She visited my room frequently.

Then what happened - 

Then the girl begun avoiding me like a leper.I was now alternating between seeming paralyzed with fear and being hysterically afraid of being exposed, all the time with the limerent thoughts darting in like arrows of fire to sear my being with false hopes. Slowly,I tried to regain my emotional composure. I made myself avoid places and situations where LO was likely to be, and while this seemed impossible initially, it did, over many months, become easier. 

Still not fully recovered yet.I couldn’t believe what I had experienced. I felt humiliated, felt deeply bereaved and angry that she had not been the soul mate I had believed. I had tried to bargain with a god in whom I did not believe that LO and me could become true friends, with no limerence. Then I felt apathetic: what was the point of working, talking, being alive when I had lost the most significant person in my life? I struggled for a year and half ?Then I felt I am beginning to get relief.That relief does not last, but it returns and as time went on, the relief lasted longer and occurred more frequently. 

Two years on from our first meeting, I seem to back to being in balance with my world—family, work and leisure. But problem still persists.I get mad if I don't see her for once in 2 or 3 days.Though I am recovering,I see my LO- still not ex-LO -as the embers of a small fire, just enough warmth left to give an occasional tiny bit of discomfort, and even this will probably fade more with time.

 I see myself as “older, a bit wiser, a lot more aware and careful”, but also not totally regretting the amazing emotional highs and inspiration I have experienced.