July 30, 2013 at 12:18 am #39429
This is an extremely shameful revelation, as I have always considered myself a strong, independent person. Two years ago, I visited a friend in Oregon from my home state of California. We reconnected with an old friend while there. We ended up hitting it off and after a few drinks, got intimate. To this day I cannot understand what on earth came over me, but I was instantaneously hooked. I needed this person like a drug. It seems weird considering I hadn’t seen this person in years and obsessing over things was not my nature, especially over people. I returned to my great, professional, comfortable job in California after the trip, to all of my friends and family, and almost immediately began looking for jobs in Oregon. I was ready to uproot my entire life, everything I knew, everyone I loved, to move to Oregon and “see where things go.” Of course, this man had no idea this was my plan– we were just friends who happened to have a boozy hook up, but I just FELT it.
I found a job, moved within 2 months, and over the next few months we remained friendly, but intimate. As far as he was concerned, I moved because I got a great job opportunity and just REALLY loved the city. I wish that was the whole truth. I’d respect myself so much more. As best as I could describe it, we were “friends with benefits” but we had started to develop a very strong bond as friends. It was also apparent that we both deeply cared for each other. I came clean a few months down the line and confessed that I was developing some pretty heavy duty feelings and wanted to know if he felt the same. Pretty sad that I had to initiate any talk of feelings after hooking up with this guy for so long. He got really anxious and said he didn’t know.
Since this moment, I have been in rejection overdrive. I KNEW this person liked me and WHAT else did I need to do to bring those emotions home for him? How could I get him to admit them to me without seeming like a needy psycho. I needed to play it realll cool, so I just continued on being a “cool” friend, who would occasionally have sex with him. Again, sad. I would analyze every text, Facebook stalk like it was my job, wonder why he wasn’t calling me, etc .etc. I put this person was so high up on a pedestal I couldn’t even see anymore. My whole world from waking to sleeping revolved around this person’s interactions with me.
Now I find myself here. Me, being the “cool” friend I am, encouraged him to submit for a post-collegiate program that sent him out of the state. I wanted to be supportive. Maybe he would realize how much he wanted a supportive girl in his life. I am just as obsessed as I was from day one and now am even considering moving AGAIN just to be around him. He has told me plenty of times to move, and every time he says it it’s like hearing angels sing. BUT i know that this is the wrong move. I am consumed with this person. Happiness only exists in this man. I don’t know how to be a good friend, daughter, person, employee, ANYTHING– I am so consumed with this person. He’s been gone for about 2 months and we haven’t gone 5 days without talking. We talked today and he had a female coworker in his kitchen. Of course, I took my mind to the darkest place possible over this situation. I realized it is so incredibly unhealthy how badly that information killed me inside. I cried for an hour JUST KNOWING that there was a girl at his apartment. Of course, I would never give the slightest hint of this as I’m the “cool” friend who has moved on from any feelings. I feel like I’m dead. I’m just this sad shell that doesn’t know how to be happy anymore without this person, but am realizing that the situation mostly makes me sad. I am always disappointed. You’d think that would be enough to get me off the “drug.”
I am completely disgusted with myself. This is the most debilitating feeling of my entire life and I want this chapter to finally be over but I don’t know how to live without it. How can I bring myself back to reality and rid myself of this horrible, shameful lie I have been telling myself for almost two years, which is that this person will actually build a life with me someday. I literally live in a fantasy land, playing scenes of our life through my head constantly throughout the day. I am starting to feel extreme mental health issues when it comes to this. I need help. This is not healthy and is borderline psychotic. I feel like a strange imposter most days. Seemingly normal to the outside world but internally struggling with a horribly sick addiction. I carry the shame and guilt of this secret with me everywhere.
Any advice or empathy would be greatly appreciated right now.July 30, 2013 at 10:17 am #39435
Hi Che, my heart goes out to you. I have had a similar relationship( or “ship” as I always called it, cause I feel I have been sinking ever since) for the past 5 years but we have only became a couple last year. Same obsessions ect but I made the choice to clean myself fror it 3 months ago and up until this weekend I have stuck to it. This weekend say the return of the sneaky text…you know the ones I mean! I do believe I will always love him but I had to break away from it and start loving myself. The anger has quietened down inside me now and this is the tricky time cause once I have forgiven I start missing him again. I am treating the breakaway as if giving up cigerettes, ie very difficult but gets easier every day and the health benefits outweigh the perks. Keep reading inspirational blogs everyday , exercise and love yourself. xJuly 30, 2013 at 11:01 am #39437
You’ve expressed alot of insight into the relationship throughout your post. These behaviors are indicative of what’s known as codependency…being “other” focused. It’s never healthy to be so wrapped up with another. There’s actually a 12step support movement out there known as “CODA” which stands for codependents anonymous. Glad you’ve reached out here for support.
Here’s the link f/ CODA (list local and online meetings)July 30, 2013 at 11:10 am #39438
Whew! I really love how your words capture your point of view, the pain, the chaos, the love, all pouring out of your heart and mind through your words. You have quite a talent! I’m sorry for the difficulty your experiencing, but don’t despair… there is always a path to joy.
It seems there are a few pieces to untangle, so let’s get started! First, I’m sorry to say, you are normal, ordinary, and not as dramatic a case as your head makes you out to be. You fell in love. What you did with that love is both inspiring and foolish, but romantic spirits follow their feelings. This is actually quite impressive! Moving for love, letting go of your job and home to move closer to the one you love… these are amazing! You beat yourself up over it, but I reject that. Outright. Sure, you’ve done dumb things, but jumping off the cliff after the feeling is not one of them… that was proof of your intrepidity and/or courage.
What its grown into is a bit of a monster, however. Sometimes our love can inspire a future dream, which can be very alluring. In the present moment, we are lonely, sad. In the fantasy, we are happy and secure. This makes us wish to stay in the dream rather than facing up to the truth of what is around us. In this case, it seems like in your fantasy the love is returned, and in the present, it is not. This is so painful that you try to avoid it by staying in your dream. So instead of owning your feelings and being honest and open with him, you created a fake personality who was “cool” and “supportive” and “indifferent” and so on. This is very draining to our energy and becomes painful… we are unloved because we are not vulnerable enough to grow it.
The pain in your heart is only there to make you alert. By ignoring it, you’ve stopped self nurturing, which leaves your heart empty and craving. Said differently, our partner doesn’t ever fulfill us, or if they do, the connection becomes unhealthy quickly. The solution for this puzzle is to bring our attention back into the present moment, confront our painful emptiness, and cultivate self love.
See, the Che I see is very different than the Che you see. I see a brave girl, diligent and hopeful, full of potential and skill, yet burdened with ignorance with what to do with her energy. You see a broken and pathetic addict. Neither one of us is “wrong”… its that each of our views is influenced by our past decisions. Where you spend time absorbed in the dream, I spend time on a cushion letting go. This gives me the space to see a balanced view of a person, with both skillful and unskillful patterns present, but not sweeping me into seeing those patterns as permanent or equal to the person. Because you spend time absorbed in the dream, your view is a tense comparison between “what is” and “what is wished”.
So, quitting the drug is not quitting him, but quitting the dream. When you fall into patterns of fantasy, get your butt on a cushion and practice meditation. Ajahn Jayasaro has a great series on YouTube which includes a counting breath meditation that helps an agitated mind find some concentration. If that doesn’t work for you, consider a zen practice of counting heartbeats. The goal is to recognize that your mind is pulling you into the fantasy, and removing your attention from the present moment. This is like a person who is so hungry they shut their eyes, which prevents them from seeing the delectable feast all around them.
Finally, there seems to be a lot of self loathing in your self view. This is both painful and stupid. You’re one of millions of girls who act like you have. Every one of them deserves love, and is not broken or helpless. So, drop it. Instead, realize that you’ve neglected your heart, and so stop neglecting it. As Sammy nurturingly said, love yourself. If you can see that the old pattern didn’t work for you, and left you with an icky view of yourself, perhaps you can let go and try something different.
Perhaps you could go for a walk in nature and try to see the trees, the animals, the bugs, the flowers. Barefoot would be even better! Or, take a bath and spend time massaging and saying nice things to your body. Perhaps you could write a page full of your desires, which have nothing to do with anyone except yourself. What you would like to see as the qualities inside yourself that seem missing or quiet in this moment. Do some activities that are kind for yourself. If you don’t feel better afterward, do another! It will take time and effort, but its pretty clear that when Che wants something, there is almost no end to the creativity and inspiration to see it through. Good luck!