JewBu Quest: From Abuse to Happiness

JewBu: a Jew who practices forms of Buddhist meditation & spirituality. This blog documents my quest to 1) heal from sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse, 2) come to terms with losing Mom and Grandma to Alzheimers, 3) find balance, explore the spiritual, stay present. Bascially, I've experienced some pretty crappy shit in my life and want to find a way to move past it and find happiness.

Friday, October 13, 2006

My Therapist Thinks...

Okay, so don't get me wrong, my therapist very much does NOT just tell me what to do with my life. But, it is very clear that she thinks that my relationship with *A* is trouble. But, then again, if you've been reading much of my blog, you've probably figured out that for yourself.

She suggested that the only way to go with him is to just accept him for who is and his limitations AND accept our relationship as having these limitations: he won't be consistent, he won't always be there for me, he will push boundaries, he will do a dance of distancing/pursuing. So, I can either just be happy with this or move on, accordint to my therapist.

This is so hard. Do I really have to just accept that our relationship/friendship/whatever will be unhealthy and that he'll be completely unwilling to work on it OR do I just let go and move on with my life. The thing is that I love him, that I need his friendship, and that I want him in my life.

I'm pretty heartbroken about this, but I'm going to try to take it in stride. I'm still going on my date tonight, and I'm going to try to be open to this new guy. I'm going to try to keep branching out to meet new people and create new friendships. And, as much as it breaks my heart, I'm going to try to let go of things with *A* as much as possible, and take advantage of this time when he's being a jerk and can't be bothered to see or even talk to me.

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Blogger Gail Rae said...

Oh, man, Karma, I have this feeling I'm about to get myself into deep water...certainly I'm going to say something I never thought I'd hear myself saying. I've even considered that, if, when I was your age (oh, dear, I think that's the first time I've used that phrase...I'm already sinking) someone had told me what I am about to tell you, I expect I wouldn't have believed it. The only reason I'm telling you this is that I'm thinking, "Well, maybe I would have, sometimes, and, if I believed it only sometimes, it would have made the rest of my life a whole lot more understandable, and a little easier, sometimes." One more bit of prologue: If I had ever, at your age, thought that I would ever, at my age, say something like, "...when I was your age..." I would probably have vowed to shoot myself long before I reached that age! But, anyway, here goes:
What makes sexually based relationships so difficult, understanding them so hard and the ability to let go close to impossible for long lengths of time has nothing to do with psychology. It's hormones. Believe me. It's true. With all due respect to theories such as "Imago", etc., and those who believe they've been helped by them, the truth is, as long as sexual hormones are coursing through your body (which continues through the first years of menopause, in my experience), you truly are not going to be able to think clearly, let go easily, avoid fear, avoid jealousy or make all the "right" decisions. Some of a person's relationship profile, yes, has to do with prior relationships, especially parental relationships but, Karma, now that I'm on "the other side" of the sex drive, I can see that these considerations actually have so much less to do with how relationships between men and women progress (or digress).
It may seem as though this renders love relationships between men and women somehow less meaningful, frivolous, really. Nothing could be further from the truth. Because of the primacy of the sexual drive, these relationships are so important they will only be eclipsed by your relationship with the children you have.
This also doesn't mean that psychological profiles have nothing to do with whether someone eventually and successfully mates, as in has a realtionship as well as sex with someone. They do. And they are important to the success or failure of a relationship. But, but, but, the reason why you can't let go of *A* is because your sexual drive was aroused, no other outlet is in sight, at the moment (although, maybe, hopefully, you are, as I write, on a date that will divert that arousal from *A* to *BD*), and your sex drive WILL NOT BE DENIED, even if it provokes completely illogical psychological behavior from you.
Advice? The only advice of which I can think is, try not to suffer over your inability to let go. The moment your sex drives spots another obvious prospect, you'll find yourself letting go faster than you imagined, including your emotional attachment. Believe me. You'll amaze yourself. It would be inaccurate for me to say to you, "You're not really in love with *A*." You are really in love with *A*. What you think of as your hopeless attachment to him, though, well, your sexuality will take care of diverting that. You, of course, will have to do a little work to transform your emotions for him into something without sexual underpinnings, as long as no other sexual-emotional outlet is around. But, if you remember how involved your hormones are and how important they are, it might be a little easier for you to bear.
One resource that may or may not help, but it will certainly give you a different perspective: A book by Dorothy Tennov called "Love and Limerance: The Experience of Being in Love". I just looked it up on Amazon and, although available through private sellers, it doesn't look like it's in print at this time. However, I'll bet libraries will have it. I checked it out of a university library, when I read it, which was right after it was published. I also pulled a Google search on it and it seems it's not unknown in the field, although I'm surprised it hasn't received more acclaim. Anyway, look for it, give it a try. It will explain a lot of things to you. It never kept me from obsessing about love and sex (and, now, from the other side, I understand why), but it allowed me more clearheaded and less guilty obsessions!

Friday, October 13, 2006 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger Karma said...

Wow, thank you for such a thoughtful comment Gail. The thing is though that this summer I did have a sexual relationship with someone else, but it didn't erase what I feel for *A*. Actually, in the 15+ years that he and I have known each other, I've dated several other people, had sex with other people, even fallen in love a bit with other people. But, at the end of the day, he was always there in my heart. That connection that I feel to him is always there. But, yes, it will help to try to move on with someone else, and I know that I have to at least try. And, Gail, you're right that obsessing about it clearly isn't getting me anywhere. I just feel like it is so clear that I have to move on, and it feels so impossible to do so. But, maybe that's okay too.

Saturday, October 14, 2006 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger Gail Rae said...

Perhaps, too, Karma, your response just made me think of this because, believe me, I've been in the same boat as you, your hormonal instincts are looking for someone who smells, literally, the same to you as *A*. Maybe, he's the perfect smell fit for you, you just aren't so for him. Or, maybe you are his perfect smell fit but those damned emotional blue balls (god, I still love this phrase) are hanging ominously between his nose and yours. Ew! Not a pretty picture!
Anyway, one of the reasons I recommended the book by Tennov is because it does not denegrate the inability to let go. In some subtle ways it even glorifies it. If read as objectively as possible, despite the angst you might be feeling about an unrequited relationship (some of which covered in the book lasted for entire life times), I think you might feel better about feeling agonizingly unrequited. I was attracted to the book because, at the time, I was out of my mind in unrequited love. Reading it didn't stop my feelings for the person; time and some very bizarre events did. But, I felt better about being so obsessed, stopped blaming myself and stopped looking for "cures", internal or external. What I can tell you, from this vantage point, is that being invited, by the book, to appreciate my love-angst actually lightened my load by relieving some of the suffering. I no longer felt like I was being unreasonable or stupid. I was "just" being human, and an sexually-emotionally driven human, at that. Nothing wrong with that.

Saturday, October 14, 2006 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Karma said...

It does make me feel a little better that I'm not the only person who has been in such a situation.

Ah the smell. I wish that he would be in a successful relationship with someone else, so that I really could believe that he's really meant to be with someone else. He hasn't even been on a date in years. I worry that we're both just so caught up with our own neuroses that...god, I can't even say it. I should just step back and go read this book Gail's recommending.

Saturday, October 14, 2006 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Karma said...

The more that I think about this, the more that I realize that not giving into *A*'s view of me as being unreasonable and stupid about this - that I just accept that I've loved him for all this time and realize that this doesn't mean that I can't love another....

Saturday, October 14, 2006 10:25:00 PM  

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