Imprisoned By My Own Thoughts
I am a love addict. There is always someone I am obsessed with. At any given time in my life, if you come up to me and ask me who I’m obsessed with, I will always have an answer. My whole life revolves around that person. Everything- my thoughts, my work schedule, my free time. Every minute of the day I think about that person and I plan my life around them.
I get up each morning smiling, thinking about my obsession, excited to see him, whenever that may be, I fantasize about him during the day, and I dream about him at night. But I can’t have actual romantic relationships with my obsessions. Oh, it’s not my choice, consciously, anyway, but there’s always some barrier in the way. Oh, it’s not too bad, I’m use to it. I’m use to the fact that I will never have a happy relationship because I am never interested in the people I actually date, only the obsessions I can’t have. I barely have relationships of any kind at all, and they don’t last long (one week, tops) because I’m not interested in anyone besides my obsession, and also, I’m afraid I’ll get hurt. I’ve been hurt by people all my life- the best relationship I’ve had of any kind was with my adoptive parents, and they neglected me. I raised myself and got hurt every step of the way by people, and I had no one to run to for help when they hurt me, no one to go to when I was scared. I always wanted a family, but never got one.
Ever since I was a child I’ve had obsessions, and until after college my obsessions were always teachers. I have always been teacher’s pet. This is part of what made college so fun for me. Every day I would pretty myself up then go to class, eager to see my obsession, and every week I would go into his office hours. Going to office hours was the highlight of my week- not only did I get to talk about what I love most in life (besides the person I’m obsessed with), but I would be talking about it with my obsession. It was almost heaven to me. I get such a high from being around my obsession. Such a rush. It’s so much fun! Sure I could never be with any of these obsessions because they were all married and in a position of power over me, but it was such a high just being around them. And Every night when I got home I would open this little book I have on body language, and analyze my professor, and I would read his whole facebook profile, every word, and look through all his photos. Every semester I had a new obsession to look forward to- on the first day of class I would always wonder which professor I would become obsessed with (I can’t consciously choose who I become obsessed with).
After college, things got interesting. For one thing, I have more free time now that I don’t have homework. Now my preparation to see my obsession is more involved. Before it was put on a little eyeliner, lip gloss, and a cute outfit, but now preparing myself to see him has become a compulsion- a super-fun compulsion! Every day when I get home from work I work out. And work out, and work out, and work out. It feels good- gives me a little bit of a high, and makes me super-hot. I also constantly check-out books on beauty and fitness from the library. And the day before I see him is “spa day”- from head to toe I give myself beauty treatments and relax with a magazine, flipping though each page asking myself, “would he like me in this?” or “would he like my hair like that?” The day I see him is huge. I spend all day preparing myself, and when I’m finished I look like I’m about to sashay down a runway. No, don’t worry, I don’t look like I’m going to the prom, just extra-super-duper hot. You see, I’m convinced that if I look good enough, maybe he’ll be with me, and yes I’m pretty, but pretty isn’t enough anymore, you know? You have to be the prettiest now of days.
Yes, it was very fun to be a love addict…. until I got to know one of my obsessions. I mean really got to know him- not who I thought he was, or who I wanted him to be. You know, it’s all fine and good until you get to know someone. My latest obsession was the first obsession I actually got to hang out with outside a professional environment (no, not on a date though), and I found out what he truly is: he’s horrible! I mean, just a really horrible person who did a really horrible thing to me (which I won’t discuss)…. but I can’t stop thinking about him!, and for the first time in my crazy life, that’s a bad thing. I don’t like him anymore- I don’t! And I truly, genuinely mean that….. but I can’t stop thinking about him! At first it made sense because I kept making excuses for him, telling myself that maybe he really wasn’t that bad, maybe he was still the person I thought he was, so of course I was still obsessed with him. Then one day, after coming to my senses and realizing that there was no excuse for what he did, I wrote down a list of reasons I shouldn’t like him, and you know what- I didn’t like him anymore. And I really, really don’t, and yet, he still pervades my thoughts and I still fantasize about being with him, and every single time I do, I feel violated by myself. How dare I fantasize about such a horrible person? I don’t want to do it, I really, really don’t. At one point, I actually did manage to stop at least fantasizing about him for a few days, then something really bad happened to me and I needed to be comforted, and there I was, fantasizing about him, fantasizing about him comforting me, and about going to see him again. I came to realize it’s how I deal with things, how I comfort myself. I felt so guilty afterword that I cried. It’s not fun anymore. It’s not!
Since then I’ve been waiting for his replacement to come around because it’s the only way to get over an obsession. Unfortunately, I can’t just go and pick someone to fall in love with. It’s not my choice, if it was, I wouldn’t be obsessed with this guy. Unlike a sex or relationship addict, I can’t just go and choose someone else, I have to just wait for it to happen. I can increase my odds by being around “parent figures” (authority figures, people in power, etc.) because those are the types of people I become obsessed with, but that’s all I can do.
I tried therapy- it doesn’t work, plus it’s very, very hard to talk about this with someone who doesn’t truly understand, and since love addiction isn’t well-studied, it’s hard for the therapist to treat, anyway. And I tried a “12-step,” but the only one available where I’m at is mixed with sex addicts, and I’m sorry, but not only did it not work because I can’t relate to sex addicts (we ARE very different, you know), but I’d rather not be in a room with sexual predators, and I did get preyed upon. Also, I know a love addict who went to the same 12-step- everyone thought she was getting better because her love addiction faded, only to realize that she just replaced one addiction for another- she became a sex addict and within one year contracted AIDS from another member.
So unless we sit in a room full of sexual predators or try to get help from someone who doesn’t understand, there’s no help out there for people like us.
So here I am, a prisoner of my own thoughts, waiting for the next obsession to come along.