The Embarrassment of Facing Reality

Open forum ... what's on your mind? Want to vent or lament about your Limerent/Love Object? This is the ideal place.
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Lim
Posts: 131
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:54 pm
Age: 23
United States of America

The Embarrassment of Facing Reality

Post by Lim »

Hi everyone. I'm back after a long time away. Things are... better, I guess? I don't know. They haven't escalated at least. I have distanced myself from my LO and kept contact professional and only when necessary. I read a lot about transference, and student crushes on teachers/professors/mentors, especially English professors, and accepted my feelings as pretty common and non-exceptional, cliche even. Everyone thing makes sense and really isn't that big of a deal if I can just move on. At first, it felt extraordinarily embarrassing to see myself in these stories, not to mention invalidating, but eventually led me stop taking myself so seriously and romanticizing the "relationship."

Part of the embarrassment came from the stepping outside of the romanticized story I had been telling myself, and imagining/realizing how I actually looked to others. I had to confront my own narcissistic defenses and delusions. It was pretty painful to see how much I romanticized not only LO but also myself during this whole thing. This is really embarrassing to admit but in my head, in the story I told myself, I was this attractive, "brilliant," imaginative young woman, mature, different from her peers, troubled, but kind. A potential genius even! *cringe* I imagined myself as an unwitting seductress, whose innocence and energy enlivened the monotonous life of a depressed middle aged scholar. It was an almost spiritual meeting of minds, complicated by worldly reality.

What I've been realizing lately, the more I read similar stories, or talk to people, or see other similar situations play out in real life, is that my view of myself is so far from reality. It's really embarrassing (sorry to keep using that word) to think about and accept sometimes but it's the single biggest thing that has helped me get over it. I re-think the whole thing and no longer see myself as the sad, beautiful, irresistible, spontaneous, imaginative heroine, whose flaws are endearing. Instead I see a very lonely, socially awkward, slightly chubby, sexually inexperienced, painfully shy, self-loathing young woman with absolutely no confidence, who tries too hard to impress, cares too much, and really needs to make some friends her own age. Whose cliche crush on her professor is borderline creepy and extremely obvious to everyone around her. I see someone whose life is rather sad, a bit pathetic even, though not in a way that inspires sympathy and compassion in others, but in a way that makes them so uncomfortable it is hard to be around her for long periods of time. I see someone who others pity and feel embarrassed for. I see a nice, professor who tries to raise her self-esteem a bit, encourage her as a student and a writer, only to become the object of her obsession.

I might be a bit dramatic and black and white with my thinking. It's something I struggle with. Either I'm completely pathetic or completely amazing. Obviously that's not true. I tried to be somewhat realistic with my reality check. Still, I'm struggling to manage the painful feelings that arise during these "reality checks" because the embarrassment of seeing myself as I truly am (no rose colored glasses) can sometimes tip me into despair and shame which often leads right me back in my delusional limerence bliss because I can't cope with the feelings, my other methods of soothing aren't strong enough.

I sometimes feel like limerence is my only defense against a reality I'm struggling to accept or change (though I know I can change myself, it's a slow process).
I’m a 21 year old female (single).
My LO is a 54 year old male (married w/ kids).

MrSpock
Posts: 1021
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:39 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
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Age: 49
Argentina

Re: The Embarrassment of Facing Reality

Post by MrSpock »

Hello Lim,

Welcome back. I'm sorry to see you are still struggling with this. For what is worth, many of us still are (to different extents). This is normal (for us) because limerence has a long tail.

While reading your update I thought that maybe, the best thing for you to do right now, is to entirely remove the focus on what you are and concentrate exclusively on what you do.

That is, just imagine how it would be like to have some sort of amnesia, in which you have zero idea about yourself from the past. You wouldn't say that you are Awesomest Prime, but you wouldn't think of you as Morticia Addams either, because you just wouldn't know anything about yourself. Instead, you would focus on what you do here and now, and you wold construct yourself from this point forward without any attachment to the past.
Imagine you just don't even remember why you feel this way about your professor, but, not knowing what is that about, you just dismiss it and focus on what you can do now about it, which is nothing at all.
And not to mention about your childhood and the traumas you had to go through. Imagine that's all in the ancient past, you don't even know anything about it, and it has no effect on your present self.

Just an idea. I seemed to me from reading the extremes you bounce between that what you need is a clean slate. Give yourself one.

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Lim
Posts: 131
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:54 pm
Age: 23
United States of America

Re: The Embarrassment of Facing Reality

Post by Lim »

Thanks MrSpock. I so appreciate it. I’d never thought it that way before.

To be honest, I hadn’t even realized how focused I was on the past. It’s true though, I am always thinking about the past, because I am always trying to figure out and worrying about how others see me both in the past and in the present (and I figure it’s the best way to gauge that) but it’s really pointless because it doesn’t change anything.

I do like your idea. I need to construct a self. My locus, my main point of reference is so outside of myself, sorting that out/getting over that will be part of the hard part.

Anyway, I would love an amnesia pill, if only I could erase everyone else’s perception of me too. I suppose ultimately the goal would be, like I said, to not care so much what others think, or at least care as much about my view of myself. It’s strange how my opinion of myself is almost entirely dictated by what I think others’ opinion is...
I’m a 21 year old female (single).
My LO is a 54 year old male (married w/ kids).

MrSpock
Posts: 1021
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:39 pm
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Gender:
Age: 49
Argentina

Re: The Embarrassment of Facing Reality

Post by MrSpock »

You're welcome Lim,

In my own LE, which is like the direct opposite to yours in the sense that I am a married w/kids male and LO is a single girl about your age (both down here in Argentina... I clarify that because a limerent mind loves to play nasty tricks :) ), I noticed that I have a sense of who--or rather, how--I was, which is negatively weighting on my truer self, and which is mostly coming from the way others see me (or I think they do). I'm in the process of deconstructing that. And in that process, I try not to think about what I am supposed to do, or not to do, being "me", but, instead, I think about what I would do if I were who I really want to be.

JupiterTaco
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Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2015 6:12 pm
United States of America

Re: The Embarrassment of Facing Reality

Post by JupiterTaco »

I think MrSpock explained it perfectly.
"Byreeeeeeeen! Byreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen!"

marko
Posts: 1672
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2017 4:20 pm
United States of America

Re: The Embarrassment of Facing Reality

Post by marko »

Have you made the connection to the steps you take when the avoidance is others? That defense is what this is. We could sing the self loathing chorus. I now see how I self supported with all my relationships. I thought myself a lifetime loser and loner, but now as I become all alone, I don't want any part of it. I want to cling to those in that place, at that time. I also have no want whatsoever to be with anyone else.

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