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.

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