After more than 5 months in LAA I realise I'm a torchbearer and I've always been.
Before I was almost afraid of this word "torchbearer". It reminded me something very painful and I had troubles in admitting of being so.
I remember since my childhood (I have been sexually abused as a child) I crushed for actors, singers, teachers and boys...
I struggled in my desire, limerance and when I got my target all the passion desappeared...
I see now what a classic example of torchbearer I am.
I crushed even for my husband, when I met him, and this is the most lucky relatonship of my life cause is the only stable relationship with a man (15 years of marriage now).
I still love my husband.
Unfortunatly I met my PoA six years ago and I crushed again and felt a great pain cause I didn't want to destroy my marriage but I couldn't avoid to feel huge feelings for my PoA...
Now I just have still thoughts about POA, it's what remains of obssession, I hope these thoughts will decrease...
With my husband I found stability and happiness since I met him. I don't understand why I "fell in love" with my POA, probably just because I'm a torchbearer...and because my POA is a talented artist..this hooked me...
any suggestion to stop fantasizing and thinking about my PoA?
As love addicts we tend to focus on the positive, wonderful aspects of our POA's. We only see what we want to see. And most of the time it isn't real. Those wonderful fantasies we create in our minds are what we feed on. Our POA's take on an aura of perfection in our delusional minds.
It requires us to remind ourselves what is real, and what isn't. The POA has many less desirable qualities, imperfections, flaws. We need to take inventory of those negatives and force ourselves to accept that as the true reality.
For example, I remember feeling my POA was the perfect person for me. Everything I had always looked for in a woman. But in reality she was a very shallow, selfish person. I just refused to see it. So every time I start to think of her now I focus on how selfish and shallow she is, and how my relationship with her wasn't real. She made her husband miserable, and if she was married to me she would do the same to me. This makes thinking-about-her not as alluring. The bubble is burst. And so is the obsession.
I am very aware of my POA's negative characteristics, yet I still think about him on a daily basis. The thoughts range from positive to negative to neutral. I feel like I'm neutrally obsessed with him if that makes any sense. I guess I could try focusing more on the negative and see if he goes away from my mind.
However, I'm starting to think I just have a tendency to get obsessed with things that are novel, interesting, and/or I can't figure out...almost from an academic perspective. My mind just wants to make sense of it and it won't let it go. I feel like I have to wait for the next obsession to come before he will go away...
I wish I had some advice for you, Light, but I'm in the same boat as you...not sure what to do.
thank you so much for your advices, Rilly and Besatt.
Rilly, it's true, I'm aware now that in my mind my PoA has an aura of perfection as if he was an HP. Using my logical thinking I know he is not perfect at all and that my husband is much, much better than him. But some weak, fool part of my mind still sourrounds the figure of my PoA with an irrational power over my feelings.
Like Besatt wrote, during the last months I had some kind of neutral obsession (it makes so much sense to me this definition, Besatt)! toward my PoA.
After 2 months of n/c I made the mistake to e mail my POA I was healed and I was happy again, I just created a "drama" during all these years and I would have liked his friendship. I see well now how childish and naive this mail was and how unkind to myself I have been writing it. I just had to go on with n/c and let him go.
That idea of perfection about my PoA pressed me to write that mail, looking once more for his validation. I have the idea he cares about me even he didn't respond to my mails during the last year. But my life, what I do and what I think are not his business anymore, we must remain separeted in our different distant worlds.
Before I wrote this mail I had found a peace inside of me, although I still had thoughts about my PoA. But now I feel as I reopened a very fragile part of me, of my mind. Now I obsess over the idea I 've hurt him writing it was just a "drama" I created and I didn't really loved him.
I had stopped suffering with n/c and now I feel disquieted again. Writing that e mail I had the intention to show him I'm not crazy but I'm afraid I got to the opposite result and now the feeling he sees me as an unstable person makes more difficult to me to let him go.
It is a trick of my mind, I know, and I know it ia a metter of pride and weakness...
I know the solution is surrendering to my HP all these thoughts and feelings, I can't add anything to my "dialogue" with my PoA, I said even more I could say. This is the time of silence and real life.
E-mailing your POA was a mistake, but is probably much bigger in your mind than anyone else's. It is something that is not worth worrying too much about. Don't let the guilt, or anything else associated with it, take on a life of its own. Just move on. We have all done the same thing. It is OK. We all slip. Dwelling on the slip, and blowing it up too much is the bigger mistake. Sometimes it takes a while to completely move on. It seems like our POA's are just under our skin, lurking sometimes. We have to be aware.
I'm a torchbearer and what I do is to kind of rationalize and plot things. Like I'll say "in 5 years time, I don't see any reason why we can't be friends..."
I'm no contact with my original POA....but I did send a flurry of emails from say August to October of last year. They were very casual, how are you doing kind of notes and he returned them all. But then when I realized what I was doing, and I realized that he's not even an interesting person to talk to, I stopped cold turkey and have not sent another one. I was tempted to tell him how interesting he was NOT, but held back. I've sent enough mean notes to him to last a life time. I need not send anymore.
I do not want to be friends with this man, despite my actions. Deep, deep down inside I do not even LIKE him. I can think of only negative things about him. But I still think of him all of the time. Every day. So I've come to tell myself that I can't help it, it's just neurons firing away in my brain and thinking of him really has nothing to do with me.
My job is to not allow my thoughts to trigger action.
I appreciate everything being said here. But please explain this effect. As I am grieving the loss of phyical contact with my POA, I am beginning to see her as a real person again and am falling in love with this person as a flesh and blood flawed human just as I am imperfect. I see her compassion, empathy, vulnerability, honesty and inner beauty. The more I heal and work on my recovery, the better she looks. She has started recovery as well and I see wonderful progress in her focus and determination to be a better woman. I respect her so much more for her finding her morality and heathy shame. And I am proud of her. I know she is trying the best she can. I cannot say this holds true for my past torches. I made them out to be perfect romantic time frozen lovers. I just thought I might balance out this discussion that we are talking about precious living beings of some or great value. Love you guys. Nickyg
Nickyg, do you still have contact with her? Im guessing you might do as you know about her progress in recovery. If that's so, then I'd step away from her if you're going to the same meetings etc. You're recovery is more important for you than her recovery. It could stunt your progress to be watching her get well.
I know what you mean about our POAs being precious beings, your POA probably is a beautiful person, but if you were in a triangle and want to stay with your wife, you need to bare the feelings of love you have, bare all of it, and you will be able to as you carry on with your recovery. Just flagging that up for you, because in early recovery it's so easy to focus on the other, even if it's just apparently in a spiritually loving way. You may not be doing that, but I'm going to add this in just in case you are I'm sure you will have a truer sense of who your POA is as you heal, as you love yourself more, the projections about other people fall away and you see them more clearly. But if you want to stay in your marriage and you want to get well, you'll need to learn to bare those feelings, and that will happen. It's very hard to feel that and learn to be present with a spouse, but I've done it and others here have too, lots of people find themselves in that position. In time, feeling spiritual love for your POA and knowing that they are perfectly imperfect people and on their own journey will be enough. In that sense I love my POA and wish him the best, knowing full well that for me to have him in my life would be an absolute disaster. P.
I saw many good qualities in my exPoA as well from a far. The only thing was, they were never for me. I too root for mine to find peace, success & happiness...as much as I hate that it wont be with me...I know that I want that for me & he equally deserves the same.
I could go on about all his good qualities & I can not deny he had them...but the reality is, they were never for me. I came up short every time. I see him on occassion & I know what he has to offer good & bad...& it's not for me.
You have decided it's best to stay with your wife for a reason. I have decided not be with my H for a reason. We have both decided to recover from our Love Addiction for a reason too.
Remember the pain & the intensity. You noticed something humane in someone that represented hurt, nice. It actually does help when I've seen he is human with his own hurts & issues & was not there just to hurt me for strange pleasure. Him being human does not mean I must be with him today.
She is not in recovery to win you back so notice & then back to your own recovery ok! I remember your hurting days, it was awful...onward my friend. :-)
Actually Ok2bme, I have decided just the opposite. To say goodbye to my marriage because it is a lost cause. And I feel I would end up looking for someone else who I could love and be loved by. That person is embodied in my POA. I would see myself just repeating this long endless futile search for the perfect mate. I don't need to look that far. I still love my POA dearly. And I believe the feelings are mutual. I think a separation is in order at this point and some clarity gained from this experience. I brace for the trauma in this change and see it as tragic but necessary for growth and happiness for the three of us. My wife has been through enough and doesn't need a husband who likes her but feels no passion towards her. She deserves a happy life and I see myself as an obstacle to that. And I want to be happy too. I still love my POA and want to be with her. I think we will be a happy couple despite all our faults and issues. I do not see this as a fantasy with a happy ending. This is real life for me and I am working towards it. I can just imagine the responses that will follow this post. Most everyone will try to talk me out of this line of thinking. And point out how hopeless or dysfunctional my desires to be happy are. I see this in a step towards being real and not living in a fantasy world. It has given me a reason to get up in the morning and a reason to stay in recovery and heal. It has given me the desire to reconnect with myself and my God. I want to love and be loved. Can anyone offer me the best way to go about this? nickyg
Oh, I thought you were attempting to stay married when I posted that. Um, just my personal input & no reflection of others opinions...I do relate to your willingness to make your life more honest. I relate to willingness to let your spouse go & not hold on for security. My spouse is moving on just fine without me. He always did & that's what led to me latching on to someone new. Like you, I too would have always been hoping to have a companion & relationship as I did for 25 years & since my H is not willing to share a marriage with me. I had to see further to move on this time. So seperation it is, seeking independence & healing it is too.
So you are willing to stay with the recovery process & get out of a triangle, well, I think you are doing what can be done. Face your discomforts head on with honesty since you have decided you will not be with your wife. Don't sit in the luxery of time for your benefit & find yourself back in a triangle. It is real life, it still will not be easy & it still may not work out as you envision. Know that.
I know that my marriage has nothing more to offer either of us. I know that if my life crumbles it will be for once, what it is meant to be. My prior life was based on fear of being alone & high allowance to neglect & lies & hurt. When I became a liar I knew also, it was time to go.
Oh...PS...I am not with my H & nor with anyone else, just me & recovery. I am in favor of alone time between the ending of a marriage & the next relationship, even if you have someone in mind. Recovery is an important space to be alone in for a while if you are certain you do not want to continue with your spouse. Addiction gets worse if untreated.
Nickyg...lost internet yesterday while on board, back on today...
Do you feel you are growing at a faster rate by being alone? YES, I did not seperate just to recovery, we seperated because we felt it was over. BUT I feel I'm growing as fast as my withdrawal from addiction would allow, the pain of withdrawal is what takes the bigger toll on me. I am free to hurt without explaination. I feel like I have more freedom for recovery too. I have my own room, I can wake up any hour & read a book, answer questions, write in my journal or kneel & pray, listen to my sounds of the ocean or forest & go to sleep.. I can receive & make 12 step calls anytime. When I was with my H, there was none of that. The alone time would normally send me into a desire for someone good for me & I am more eager to walk through this self discovery first.
Was it your choice? My H has always been mentally & emotionally seperate from me. I had been in denial about that although it pained me for years. When he checked out with his drinking about 2 years ago, I checked out of him for the first time ever. I moved out of his room & into my own, in the same house. After he sobered up, almost 6 months ago, I did not find desire to check back in with him. I had over a year to reflect on our relationship. I had time to get aquainted with my addiction & saw him in there too. After avoiding each other & the issue for months our HP finally paired us up on the dance floor unexpectedly & by the smallest chance in heck that we'd both be there at the same time. (he was with his date). That made it impossible to ignore. (Ironic our relationship began on the dance floor). The next day we talked & agreed, it's over. We mutually do not have anything new to offer each other. We mutually need different than the other can offer. We mutually do not wish to continue or work on our marriage, we are officially seperated in all aspects. We did agree we love our children, we love our dogs, we do not wish to be destructive with the finances just because it's over & that we both want each other to find our own way to happiness. We also agreed to a no sex in the house with others, that was his rule & I'm fine with it...ewww.
We respectfully share the house as roomies for now. I am seeking independence & recovery. He is as well. We just decided there was no reason to make one move when we have proven to live seperate in the same house fine. If one decides to be in a serious relationship we agree to change living arrangements if not already changed by then. He chooses to date, I choose not to (growth for me!). We do not have the same issues so he does not get hooked on people...I do, today I know that & I don't want the interference from something that can improve the quality of my future life.
Do you still speak with your H? In passing. About what he made or what I made to eat to share. Um, about if one can feed the dogs if the other will be away. Rare, like roomies. If my door is shut he NEVER enters, if his is shut I knock because the bathroom with my stuff is in his room, I only touch my stuff & when I must go in there.
Thanks Ok2. I helped me to have a glimpse into your life and struggles. I sometimes think in polar opposites like run or stay. But your life illustrates other options as you transition. Where do you see this going? Or is this a day by day evaluation. What does your therapist or sponsor recommend? With empathy Nickyg
Nickyg, Yes, run is a common assumption to our seperation. & It was our initial reaction but we talked & realised we HAD been living seperate just fine for over a year so it would be more destructive & disruptive to the financial storm we are riding through & the dog situation. We have both worked well as a team, rarely seeing each other & were both in a new process of self discovery & all the running would just put our efforts there when we have more pressing things right now. If our emotions were high for each other OR one for the other, it would NOT work, but that is not the case.
I see me working toward independence, my own career more secured, my own place, a bit frightening because I've never had such a but my own life. We both hope he keeps the house for him & his boat & our very much loved special dogs. He will allow me to visit them should I move. It just crushes me to no end right now to think of not living with them but it's unlikely I could house them on my own means.
About recommendations...it's working so none seeked on that matter. As far as the divorce day & decision, we would not seek that from outside either, him or I will be the only ones to decide. We both agreed we did not want to put our efforts into a divorce/move at the moment but if the other felt they needed to, we would both be accepting of the project.
I can't see much further than coping with my recovery & seeking independence. It's not a life plan but it's an agreed now plan.
Hi Ok2. I was having a really hard time with this separation. Just feeling like I am such a failure in my marriage. I had this burning sensation in my stomach and chest and neck. I called a friend who just lost her dog. I found out what my feeling was. I had a dog that drowned many years ago when I was 14. I kept it a secret from my family instead of sharing this grief. When I realized that my current pain felt the same I discovered relief. I realized I was repeating the same behavior. I was keeping my current pain from my family by not sharing my separation. I was always the family star. And I am afraid to change that image I myself. I need to share this with my Mom and sister. Now I feel better. How long will it take me to learn? The truth sets me free!!!
Ok So here I am thinking I am obsessive LA and then I realize and am told I could be a torch bearer as well. Can you be more than one or several? Sometimes I need to step away because although all of this is so helpful, it is also overwhelming and confusing. I have always had fantasies obsessions about tv stars, singers, etc. but I thought most people do have that. I have a friend who loves Patrick Dempsey another a baseball player. So, where do we draw the line? I have always been an obsessive type to "real" men. I could also easily be a romantic addict as I am married and feel the pull to have other partners. Gosh, I don't know what I am anymore.
Last Edit: Mar 15, 2010 15:16:16 GMT -8 by nolove4me
You are right. The definations can be confusing. I have traits of obsessive LA because I obsesses a lot about my POA`s. I have traits of torchbearer because as long as I can remember, I was always crushing on one man or the other, even TV stars, teachers, etc, and transfering my addiction from one man to the next. I have traits of romantic addict because I`m mostly interested in the romantic and sexual attraction part of the relationship, with no interest whatsoever in a long term, affectionate, and reciprocal relationship. The thought of loving someone who loves me back makes me extremely uncomfortable.