Post by Susan Peabody on May 13, 2011 17:10:21 GMT -8
This is such an important concept that it needs its own thread.
From Lovely June . . .
But I think NC and LC concepts NEED to address the fact that they are not only established to promote physical distance from a PoA, but mental and emotional as well. The reason I say this is because some people can keep NC for very long periods of time with no problem, and yet, they are constantly imagining, fantasizing, thinking, and dreaming of their PoA. What then is the point of NC to a torchbearer?
The goal of NC, I believe, must also incorporate the surrender of mental and emotional thoughts of a PoA.
Post by Susan Peabody on May 13, 2011 17:18:19 GMT -8
The fantasies are the last to go because they come from indentations in the brain that grow deeper and deeper from by endless repetition. They cannot be erased. Like the old tapes they can only be copied over with new fantasies and self-talk.
See our forums about "thought stopping," and "positive thinking." Also watch out for articles about building self-esteem with self-talk. Our brain does not believe the truth, it believes what we tell it over and over again. Strange but true. Just look at the roots of prejudice in children.
Post by soulseeker on May 14, 2011 12:58:25 GMT -8
I agree with Susan that the brain does not believe the truth; it only believes what you tell it.
I also know that the brain has amazing abilities to build new neural pathways. Your brain has billions of neurons waiting there for you to power them up. Where you put your thinking/emotional energy is where the network becomes strong. The pathways build and strengthen with the information that you feed it. Likewise, when you stop feeding that neural network with thought/emotions those connections begin to weaken and become less active.
Your brain connections become stronger in the areas that are being heavily utilized.
For me, to visualize that network in my brain and being able to create a new area of strength has been helpful. This area is self-loving, kind and believes in me. I also visualize the areas of addiction as losing their connections, due to all the activity over in the self love area.
Lately, I have been having lots of breakthroughs and realizations. I have been digging deep into self.
I have been NC for over a year now with good success. The other day, I was reading/journaling about some new ways that I screwed up in the past and hurt people including PoA, (another piece of humble pie) and I thought about how my actions and words hurt my PoA. Of course this will happen, when we see how we were so wrong and hurtful in our actions. Yes, I was unaware of it and did it with the best intentions, but only now do I know how badly it hurt him.
I spent a minute there and sent an intention that I would try not to hurt people that way again, and that I was sorry for hurting PoA that way.
I think that is ok, I was not fantasizing, or angry towards him. I still consider myself NC.
Last Edit: May 14, 2011 13:22:11 GMT -8 by soulseeker
Hi soulseeker, I read your post and I have a question for you or anyone. You are realizing how much you hurt POA by your actions. With this whole process of recovery,should you contact him to apologize? Isn't making amends to the ones we hurt part of the recovery? Or is this counterproductive?
Once I habe had some distance from my POA, I realize how bad I was the end. I just could not handle him breaking up with me. I was devastated. I said bad things. I hounded him constantly begging him to not let me go.I pushed him away to the point he said he never wanted to hear from me again. I have accepted my repsonsibility for this and I now know what he did to me too during the relationship. He treated me like stuff on some things too. And I will not go back to that life and don't want to. But I still have guilt and shame for how I acted. How do I handle this?
Post by soulseeker on May 19, 2011 19:23:10 GMT -8
I think forgiving myself for being so horrible is enough. Remember forgiveness is something you give yourself.
I got caught in a trap of thinking that I could have closure or some sort of ending that was satisfying. In reality it was just me acting out co-dependently. Wanting to control it, so I could feel comfortable. So selfish.......
So NC is the gift I give myself. I can say his name and say I am sorry, but that is as far I care to go. We couldn't fix it then, and I doubt we could fix it now. And besides, I would never go back.
I don't know about you, but for me, NC ended the crazy making.
When my head starts going there I have to actively tell it to stop. When I fantasize about the ex I always see him as happy and with another woman. But now I catch myself and tell myself not to go there. And then I replace those thoughts with something that hooks me just as well but is about my life and is not a fantasy. Such as a work issue or a kid issue or a house issue. The diversion helps. I remind myself that God wants me focusing on me and not on everyone else right now.
"Nothing in life worth having ever comes easy" Bob Kelso
I don't know if this board has an official definition but I will tell you that a POA is someone who you obsess about to the point of that obsession having a profound impact on your daily life. You think about them constantly and thoughts of them will affect your mood, way of life, happiness, work etc. It's not a healthy way of life. It's possible to have someone you consider your POA and also be a POA to someone else.
Man do I fantasize. I'm in school on Monday's for 8 hours. Boring stuff too. So today I noticed how much I would fantasize about the girl that sits in front of me who is like 17 years younger than me. LOL She's a doll baby and VERY avoidance. Rest of the girls don't like her or think she is weird., but she opens up to me. LOL SEE! HERE I GO.....anyway on my ride home, i noticed how I would daydream as I drove home. So I brought myself back to the here and now. I realized that I was hurting. So i allowed myself to cry. Hopefully I will start practicing "being in the moment." Even if I'm bored.
Life is short. Enjoy the ride with love as your guide~I said that.
Post by dorkestbeforedawn on Jun 6, 2011 15:15:44 GMT -8
I did that too...she sat next to me and was there to learn. Not super usual for her age. But she was going through a tough relationship "time out," and I was there to comfort her. Lord she was like 20 years younger but I felt like she had an old soul or some similar bullstuff.
Once the semester was over, she blocked me from Facebook. Like, the day of the final as soon as she got out of class. Hahah what a wakeup call!
I personally needed NC because I shared so much with my POA. For example there are some authors that we read togethr so for years and years I couldn't read books by certain individuals without thinking of him. I couldn't read certain news items because we'd talked about them in depth and they reminded me of him. NC meant no new sharing.
During NC I would read a great book and FORCE myself not to send him an email to tell him about it. So now I have hundreds of books that I've read that have no association with him whatsoever. He's fading away a little more each and every day.
Post by looking4direction on Mar 9, 2012 22:26:50 GMT -8
I will break it with a reality thought.
Maybe I'd better start saying to myself, "Carol, if you meet your mountain climber, he will probably say, 'What mountains have you climbed?' and you will not be able to answer! You'll say, "Gee I don't now." and feel like an a!"
That might break the fantasy.
A little reality.
Last Edit: Mar 9, 2012 22:28:50 GMT -8 by looking4direction
Post by hopeful2012 on May 16, 2012 18:08:01 GMT -8
This was a good thread for me to read because even though I am NC with POA for 21 days, I am now starting to have fantasies about him. Ever since I was a little girl I been comforted by my ability to enter my little dream world and soothe myself with fantasies. Now I am seeing that is is unhealthy for me as a coping mechanism. My fantasy a few years back turned into reality and so i can see the progression of addiction now.
I like the breaking it with a reality thought, such as, he is home with family and so am I. This is where we are suppose to be. This is our reality. There was no other road, ever. And I tell myself to stop. Funny thing is I get really sad and actually start crying and feel all these emotions of loneliness and missing him. But the good thing was I started feeling my feelings which the fantasy covers up. It was good to make the connection. To see how this addiction covers and stuffs our real feelings so they then come out in negative ways in our life.
Last Edit: May 16, 2012 19:23:32 GMT -8 by looking4direction
Yes...excellent thread! I think there was some discussion about defining NC in another thread and I fully agree w/ the first post here: though I have had no direct COMMUNICATION w/ my PoA for a bit over a month now...he has seldom been far from my thoughts. Ergo, that isn't truly NC. My thoughts, ideas, fantasies, prep-work for IF he does make contact (big talk which in the past I've miserably failed to implement when it came to pass!)
At some point here...I'm going to have to grieve (I think that's what Hopeful is addressing.) For, only when the fantasies are truly dead, and I fully accept this is never going to be, will that process really begin. I hurt, yes...but it's tempered w/ "hopeful expectations" (at times, only at times) and that serves for me to not fully face the pain of an ending.
On the plus side of life, I'm really making progress w/ not trying to keep up w/ his life via the internet. Coming here instead has been a huge help w/ that. Also, even when I do falter in that regard, I've been able to limit it to fairly harmless information, not about what he is doing or with whom.
I'm not a religious woman, per se. I've a belief in an "entity" but not so much in organized religion. However, of late, I have found myself praying w/ great frequency....I pray for the day when I have a sudden realization that not a single thought of the PoA has crossed my mind for day ...that would be a wonderful gift.
EDIT TO ADD: This am, I went thru my usual, on auto-pilot routine of the past 2 yrs, which wraps up w/ sipping my coffee while at the laptop, before heading for work. Suddenly, I became aware that a part of that "routine" is to look at my PoA's latest music post!!! Once upon a time, our first exchanges of the day would be based upon those postings...it was harmless and fun THEN.
Now...of course, this is neither harmless nor fun. In fact, how can I possibly expect a "PoA-thoughts free" day when I start my day with his name??? Sheer insanity, all the more so because I was doing this before my brain had fully engaged for the day....
Leaving a post it on my laptop tonite that tomorrow I'm to come here and read while having morning espresso
Last Edit: May 17, 2012 5:09:11 GMT -8 by gypsysoul
Post by hopeful2012 on May 17, 2012 5:33:07 GMT -8
Gypsysoul, It sounds like you are doing really great. NC and having victory with looking him up online. You seem to be in touch with what you have to do for yourself. I know for me too i have been checking less but it is because I have to not get on my laptop as much. When I am reading recovery stuff or whatever I get tempted to check on him and even check on previous guys I have chatted with in the past. Tempted to contact them...this is my addict acting out.
But you are right, I started grieving and it felt good. I want to get this out of my system and never return to this place again. But to do this i realize i have to get to the core of my issue ( which I believe is loneliness even though i have a family) and get in touch with my true feelings to begin to heal. The onion is slowlyyyyy coming unpeeling. This is not easy work but necessary if i do not want to keep repeating myself and doing the same things. Because they are not working but only making me miserable in the end.
I just ordered Susan's book from the library, Addicted to Love, i think it is called. Looking forward to reading it.
Post by Loving My Life on Jun 29, 2012 5:51:30 GMT -8
I have gone thru all of these NC and NIC (no initated contact), LC and fanstasies. As of today I am no longer in fantasyland, the picture of my poa is crystal clear. And he is not the person he said he was, or the person that I put up on this pedestal, looking back now, d**n i was in complete limerence, all of my endorphins were running the show. NC and LC were necessary in my recovery so I could pull myself out of the abyss of my poa. And a year later im not obsessing any longer, i have no desires for my poa any longer, i finally have all of my focus back on me, and how i can make myself happy. It feels good now to be balanced again. Hang in there, it is alot of work, but we are worth it.
One day at a time :-) :-). . .We can do together, what we could never do alone. :-) And a problem shared, is a problem cut in half. :-) :-)
some people can keep NC for very long periods of time with no problem, and yet, they are constantly imagining, fantasizing, thinking, and dreaming of their PoA. What then is the point of NC to a torchbearer?
That is me. I am a very stubborn torchbearer. I read a post on here about rewiring your brain with new experiences. I think that is what I need to do. I could do NC for the rest of my life and not get any better. The fantasy began (I believe) when I was a baby, and it's not going anywhere besides from one POA to the next, until something changes, and I'm convinced that that would be to experience some positive, mature, reciprocal relationships with other human beings, in person. Probably I'm not ready for dating now, but to start with healthy friendships and mentor-type relationships. The challenge is finding them. I tend to be a distant person and suffer in silence. I hit rock bottom again recently, and it seemed to show me the hard way that how no matter much I *know* better (in my neocortex), read, write, meditate, or think, the addict/wounded child in me will continue to overpower the logical part, unless I develop some better connections. I can read that I need to be vulnerable, for example, but it doesn't help unless I actually do it. I decided to post this reply because that was a good post for me to see right now, as I am fed up with my LA condition. I'm not religious, but praying anyhow, Blue70rose
hopeful2012, thank you for sharing. our experiences are similiar I think. My core issue is loneliness, even though I have a family too. I am 2 days NC and 1 day not checking her facebook. I couldn't stop doing that, part of the additction right! I know now that I must not look at her facebook, it only prolongs the addiction and the intense pain and suffering. Also, the stuff I read on here about not putting her on a pedestal has really helpled me. I still think about way too often every single day. I've been praying a lot lately, haven't prayed in nearly 30 years, but this affair has brought me to my knees. I pray also pray for the day when I don't think about her for the entire day. That will be a huge milestone for me. I'm so glad this site exists and that I can find comfort in knowing there are others going through the exact same suffering that I am going through.
Post by loveanimals on Apr 7, 2013 21:16:50 GMT -8
Affairs can be the worst addictions because you only see the good part of the person - at their best. You don't see them with bad breath, smelly and their dirty laundry. You only see the passion part. I remember reading a book by Dr. Harley where he treated affairs like drug addictions and suggested ceasing all contact and putting the person on antidepressants. Thank you for sharing and keep coming back!
Post by alabeachgirl on Dec 2, 2013 18:50:52 GMT -8
I am a total torchbearer. Didn't know there was a name for it until I learned about love addiction. I ended something about four months ago and true to form...walked away and acted as if it was easy to let go...but have not been able to move on. The relationship only lasted four months. But, it is the one that made it clear to me that I was a love addict...the "highs," not being able to stay away even when I wanted to, the "craving" that would kick in from just the smallest amount of contact.
Now, I am about three and a half months with no contact with my POA...but have not had a day free from thinking about him. On a good day, he is just running in the back of my mind. Other days, most of them, I am in some form of fantasy and on bad days, I am totally painfully obsessed. Today is somewhere beteween the last two. I am embarrassed because I feel delusional...looking for some sign that he is thinking of me or trying to reach out to me...and he's not. Also, he's married...a first for me and it was my "bottom." So, I fantasize about him and her and how wonderful there life is...his recent promotion, their new house in a nice area...and, he was always telling me how happily married and content he was. So I torture myself by going between fantasizing that he is checking up on me, missing me or tortuting myself with thoughts of how wonderful and happy his life and relationship is and how quickly he moved on from me...how little I meant.
Thought stopping helps somewhat...reminding myself of all the good things about me also helps...but I am afraid I will never be free from this...I am so discouraged and ashamed.
alabeachgirl, I understand the feeling and the fear that you will never be free from it. Sometimes I fear the same.
The thought of him is always in the back of my mind and I sometimes torture myself with thoughts of him being happy and not giving a sh*t about me. Try and find the sections here in the forum about "thought stopping", these are very helpful in understanding how your mind works. It takes a lot of time and is a painful process. But freedom is possible, we need to believe that.
Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more. Men were deceivers ever, One foot in sea, and one on shore, To one thing constant never.
Then sigh not so, but let them go, And be you blithe and bonny, Converting all your sounds of woe Into hey nonny, nonny.