I am a torchbearer. I tried redirecting this empty hole in my heart but nothing really worked. The burning hole was always present. This went on for 18 years with limited relief even with recovery. Flash forward to today. I hope this helps someone. I was away from my last affair that lasted 6 months. I was feeling aches across my chest and I did not know how much more of this I could stand. I visited my fathers grave nearby. I got in touch with the day everything went wrong and my father was not there to protect my mother and I. I cried and prayed to God. I later called a friend in LAA recovery. She helped me from acting out. I went back to work where all these memories of my NC kept coming at me. I was feeling awful, grieving. Then later a miracle! 'Wait for a miracle' - heard that before. Later that day while in pain and doing my job, I decided to REDIRECT my pain. I began to write a song about how Cupids arrows feel good going in, but are so painful as they are being pulled out one at a time. Then it hit me. I WAS LOOKING FOR THREE LITTLE GIRLS MY FAMILY TOOK CARE OF AT THE TIME OF THE ABUSE. They were my joy during those days. I was seven and they were age 5 , 4 and 2. I realize I found and married the 5 year old (metaphorically). Acted out in an affair with the the 2 year old (metaphorically) and just recently had an affair with the 4 year old (metaphorically). I sought women out that reminded me of them. The ones that didn't remind me of any of the three were very short lived affairs. I hope this concept of TRYING TO RECREATE THE FAMILY AT THE TIME OF THE ABUSE helps someone, anyone. It was one of the Aha moments of my life. The burning pain is now gone. It was nothing short of a miracle.
I absolutely understand what you mean nickyg. The day I met my POAs mistress it was so clear to me that I was replaying my incest triangle. My POA was my father, his mistress was my mother. I haven't seen my POA since that day (over 2 years ago) I replayed my abuse so perfectly that day, but amazingly I also changed the script as I felt compassion for the other woman (I never felt compassion consciously for my mother)
Sadly, that didn't of itself free me from the addiction, but it did break a spell of sorts for me with my POA. It began my flight from him, and it also broke through an old barrier of resistance towards my mother. I called her that same night and we talked very honestly about the incest triangle that we'd been part of when I was a child.
I envy you that your insight freed you from your obsession. I hope that will happen for me. I am sure there is still more for me to unravel about my torchbearing. Best. Primrose.
Only the ego can struggle, the soul lives in ease and joy.