I'm fairly new to understanding Love Addiction, but it seems I'm a pretty classic Torchbearer.
The biggest obstacle I'm encountering is that the object of my fixation (an ex who I decided I wanted to get together with again) works in the same office as me. Worse still, when I/we tried to rekindle the relationship, she was beginning to date her now-current boyfriend...who also works in the office. In fact, I walk past his desk about five times a day.
I see her and him around the office several times a week, we share friends, get included on the same emails, she pops up on my Facebook feed—all in spite of un-friending/avoiding/trying to get some space. She even lives less than 5 minutes from me and the view out my window is the road I only ever used to go to her house.
I feel like if I was able to avoid contact I would be faring much better. It just doesn't seem possible, and all the reminders set me to obsessing when they pop up. Which is frequently.
Does anyone else have similar experiences? What do you do when no contact is not possible?
Post by michgirl70 on May 25, 2014 20:08:39 GMT -8
Ugh. That sounds toxic. I agree in that I believe there are more blocks/privacy controls to implement. Also maybe change up your routines and environment. Move furniture around in office and home, go a different way to work, take breaks at different times, go somewhere new at lunch...keep your distance as much as possible from her/new bf. Can you take a vacation? That would at least give you some time away and maybe allow you to gain some perspective and regroup. Do something with friends or family that have nothing to do with this situation and who make you laugh.
Give it a time frame...if symptoms do not start to improve within X amount of time then you may have to find a new job to keep your sanity. But if you like your job other than that situation put a plan in motion and set the intention to be completely disengaged...you will know after a short while if you feel it is working and can then reassess. Also...don't talk to her or him unless absolutely necessary for work...and when you do keep it detached and professional. Your unemotional indifference will be key. Then in 6 mos when she does the same thing to the current guy you can advise him on how to handle his "limited contact" and PoA.
(Ok maybe that last part is wishful thinking lol but it's fun to think about!)
Post by CodepNomore on May 25, 2014 21:20:03 GMT -8
I resigned from my job to make NC possible since my recovery, sanity, self-growth, are more important to me. So I chose to find ways to do NC rather than stay stuck. Generally, with every change we make there is a price for it. But its rewards make it all worth it. I am very glad and proud of that choice. Sometimes we have to make a radical step for a radical change.
I couldnt go to my sons school. I stopped going to parent teacher conferences, couldnt attend his wrestling matches, it was very sad. My poa worked at my sons school. Just the thought of going there was a trigger and made me feel sick. My son left the school about 2 months ago. That helps greatly with my recovery.
I just want to clarify that I wasn't suggesting you remain in this toxic situation if you know it will never get better. I guess my ideas were to use in an immediate sense...like if you can't just quit without having another job lined up first etc. No job is worth your psychological well being. Best of luck.
I am in a no contact is not possible situation too. We work together and have mutual friends and it's complicated. (aren't they all?) I'd be happy just to turn down the volume on my obsessions. I think I can achieve this by putting up some really strong boundaries. I will work really hard on this and re-evaluate where I am in about 6 months. You are NOT alone whatsoever. I am overwhelmed by the amount of people with this problem. It's nice to have this support. Take it one minute at a time.
Thanks Molly! I've noticed that the process of "talking myself down"—feeling that obsessive speed and going through the mental exercises that bring me back to reality, and my own life—gets faster by the week. I don't get the same stomach jolt, and the amount of time it takes to calm down after an encounter almost gets exponentially better over time. One of those "the work really does work" things, I guess. For me it's a nice step to feel good with progress instead of perfection.
Inky, glad to hear it. When I wake up, my first first thoughts go to that situation and I know that feeling of obsession. My biggest fear is not changing the relationship for the better, but that THIS feeling will never go away. I keep telling myself it's a biological reaction (withdrawal) and my brain will rewire itself eventually. It can't NOT rewire itself if I do the work..
What's also important to realize and know on a very deep level, is that your issues are not about her. She is the excuse you wish to hold on to, so as not to live your life. When you really decide to live your life for YOU (instead of being afraid to do so), her presence will have no bearing on you whatsoever. This is one of the basic concepts of love addiction--that it's not at all about love, but rather, avoidance of the self. WHen we focus and obsess over something we clearly cannot have, there is a reason for that and it's often not because we're crazy or naive or just can't let go. It's because we have created a defense mechanism to protect us from that which we fear. In the case of addicts, we fear living our life and facing our problems. You see, if we focus on someone else, we clearly do not have to focus on ourselves. If we are constantly going after someone who is unavailable, that keeps us safely from meeting someone who is available and real and would force us to be more intimate.
Start to ask yourself if this idea of "avoiding" yourself rings true. Just changing your location or your job is a superficial fix to a deeper problem. You will eventually want to get to the heart of the matter and work from there.
What's also important to realize and know on a very deep level, is that your issues are not about her. She is the excuse you wish to hold on to, so as not to live your life. When you really decide to live your life for YOU (instead of being afraid to do so), her presence will have no bearing on you whatsoever. This is one of the basic concepts of love addiction--that it's not at all about love, but rather, avoidance of th WHen we focus and obsess over something we clearly cannot have, there is a reason for that and it's often not because we're crazy or naive or just can't let go. It's because we have created a defense mechanism to protect us from that which we fear. In the case of addicts, we fear living our life and facing our problems. You see, if we focus on someone else, we clearly do not have to focus on ourselves.
I agree with this assessment 100%. I was at work the other day and I passed by two employees who were talking amongst themselves. I immediately began to feel uneasy because one of them does not like me. I felt myself stiffening up as I walked by and my thoughts went immediately to my PoA. I realized in that moment that fantasizing about a PoA has been a way for me to cope with rejection from women. As a child, I had trouble making friends partly because I was really quiet and shy. After a while, I noticed that I was being left out and overlooked by girls my age. The rejection was very painful so I started retreating into fantasy land. My first PoAs were not even real people but once I reached dating age, they became real. I'm much older now but my issues with women have not changed that much. For me, forming close relationships with women is even more challenging than forming them with men and so I've used LA as an escape. If I'm thinking about a PoA then I don't have to think about how this woman who is supposed to be my friend has hurt me.
Lately I've been trying to remind myself that my PoA is not responsible for my happiness and then I try to find something productive or healthy to do for myself. Sometimes I do get very frustrated because I have trouble coming up with ideas but at least I'm aware. So thank you Lovelyjune for your insightful posts.
I think my POA makes me feel special and valued and important. I don't know why it's so hard to let go of this need. I have a husband who treats me like the most special thing in the world. I feel like I shouldn't even be struggling with this. I have soooo many friends. I know this is something within me. I cannot figure out what to say to myself to bring myself back to reality when I start to get funky. I am still dealing with withdrawal
emptysoul….it gets better….I read something valuable on here last night. "Take your POA off the pedestal." That was very interesting. You have to bring this person in line with everyone else in your life. All your love and validation needs to come from within, and we DE-value ourselves when we chase after things that are not good for us.
Yes, indeed. Take POA off the pedestal. I have talked about that on these boards. I have a history of putting the POA du jour on a pedestal. Enough already! My (hopefully) last POA is a love avoidant sex addict who does not know (he admits) what true intimacy is. He is cross addicted into gambling, is $40,000 in gambling debt and is fixated on young girls. He'd be an active pedophile if he could get away with it. He finds his women at SLAA or AA meetings. He preys on the women who are most vulnerable with almost no recovery under their belts. In fact, I met him an at SLAA meeting, brand new to the program and he 13-stepped me. Emotionally healthy women are not interested in him.
Quite the catch, huh? And I put him on a pedestal because?? He said and did all the right things for a Love Addict such as myself. I chased him like a drug addict chases his/her next fix. And my addictive brain threw him up on that pedestal, mistaking lust for love.
And yes, like molly66 points out, it DOES get better. But you have to do the work of recovery, and do it every day...
p.s. -- Susan Peabody counseled me NOT to attend this particular SLAA meeting, because it was open to both men and women. Given the nature of the addiction, she said it was opening me up to dangerous, vulnerable situations. Did I listen? No. I have since learned to listen to the wisdom of those who have gone before me...
Last Edit: Jul 10, 2014 7:22:18 GMT -8 by Havefaith