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Situation in review - my story (dry, long)

Tell us your story. What has been your experience?
Rocinante
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Re: Situation in review - my story (dry, long)

Post by Rocinante » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:59 am

Aside: Just by coincidence. I know someone who runs a Twitter “horror account” that sort of sounds like If HP Lovecraft wrote superficial dating advice.

He has a great definition of jealousy in one tweet:

“A WRITHING FRAMED MIRROR THAT REFELCTS NOT HOW YOU ARE BUT ALL THAT YOU WILL NEVER BE”

I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading, watching and so on about jealousy/envy. I will probably make a separate thread about this in the next bit.
Rocinante • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocinante_(disambiguation)
RECLUDET PRATERITIS! <-- Current mantra / magic spell ("Quarantine the past!")

Rachella
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Re: Situation in review - my story (dry, long)

Post by Rachella » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:03 am

it seems like I’ve moved on only with time and distractions and space to invite other good things into my life.
Exactly. Distractions do not always mean escapism. When we focus on what we have/we can improve/we can make happen, rather than what we want but can't have, our own perception of reality shifts.
I do think it’s a blessing that some of us (Rachella, SoH) are (now) far away from the triggering person!
Oh well, speak for yourself! :))

I'm only kidding of course. You're right here, but... a life without LO is not trigger free.
I haven't seen him in one year ( :-s ) so evidently he can't trigger me (unless telepathically from a distance B-) ). Still, there are all the other daily interactions. Wounds and traumas surface in each one aspect of life (friendship, work, family, ect.) But it seems that only "love" shakes us to the core, and only when we suffer because of love we realise we have issues that need to be solved.

PS: Loved the Lovecraft quote, creepy enough!

songofhiawatha
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Re: Situation in review - my story (dry, long)

Post by songofhiawatha » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:26 am

Thanks Rachella and Rocinante. Looking forward to reading more on 'jealousy'. So wasteful of mental energy.
Have not totally broken free of LO geographically and there is a danger today that we may both be at a local village fete, possibly also with one or both of our partners present. I will try so hard, unlike on previous similar occasions, to be in 'normal friendship' mode. Actually, I am a bit distracted at the moment by my health issues, just having had a largish excision on my scalp, with accompanying skin graft, after biopsy from earlier incomplete excision showed up a malignancy - just hoping that it is not a melanoma. But even that has not in any way dispelled my limerence.
As many of you say, it is probably due to insecurities in the distant past - perhaps, in my case, due to the scourge of war as my father was killed in Normandy when I was less than one year old - despite having subsequently had a very good stepfather.
Sorry about my rather self-centred posting but am generally feeling a tad sorry for myself in spite of very loving support from all members of my family. I consider myself unbelievably lucky and privileged in life, but things are apt to change around the age of seventy, I am learning, however comparatively fit one considers oneself to be.
SoH

Rachella
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Re: Situation in review - my story (dry, long)

Post by Rachella » Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:45 pm

@songofhiawatha you'll be fine today! Hope everything else works all right for you! Sending virtual hugs :ymhug:

Rocinante
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Re: Situation in review - my story (dry, long)

Post by Rocinante » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:16 pm

songofhiawatha wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:26 am
Thanks Rachella and Rocinante. Looking forward to reading more on 'jealousy'. So wasteful of mental energy.
I started the jealousy / envy thread here:
viewtopic.php?f=73&t=4985
songofhiawatha wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:26 am
Have not totally broken free of LO geographically and there is a danger today that we may both be at a local village fete, possibly also with one or both of our partners present. I will try so hard, unlike on previous similar occasions, to be in 'normal friendship' mode.
Retroactive good luck SoH! I hope it went well.
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RECLUDET PRATERITIS! <-- Current mantra / magic spell ("Quarantine the past!")

Rocinante
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Re: Situation in review - my story (dry, long)

Post by Rocinante » Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:13 am

All right, so, an update.
(Apologies in advance that this sounds like a bit of a journal entry to myself. It is.)

Tomorrow: I go see a therapist. I've made a list of things I want to talk about.

Today: I talked to a friend who just got out of a 10 year abusive marriage. She sent me a message out of the blue this week after I hadn't heard from her in years. She's doing okay, in spite of her circumstances. I'm so happy for her and that her kids are safe— very uplifting/relieving. It was really great to hear from her, just like true blue friends again. We reminisced about when we met and how different we were. She said that she reached out because she started reading all of the emails we sent each other for a long time were really long and detailed and reminded her of what she was like at an earlier time in her life, before she became this smaller person in this abusive relationship. It made me feel a little less crazy, I think, knowing that we're not locked into 7-year-average friendships that all are destined to fade, and that I'm the only one who remembers any kind of connection.

During last week:

I went for beers with a friend— the first time I've done this in 9 months— and we talked about one of his limerent experiences. It was a great story. If you can believe it, his went down almost exactly like mine. He was infatuated with someone for years, and then, like me, travelled to her city to see her after she invited him to a party. On the way there, he made up his mind that he was going to tell her. Only instead of the evening where her boyfriend shows up — it turns out that it's his LOs engagement party.

So, she gets married. My friend goes back to his life. Five years later, "his" LO gets divorced. About a year after that, he ends up going for coffee with her, thinking that he's not going to say anything. But then this whole thing comes tumbling out and he says "I've had a crush on you for 10 years."

She looks at him blankly. She says "I need to go have a smoke," and goes away for quite some time, and he gets worried. But she comes back. And she tells him,

"Well this is funny, because I've had a crush on you for 10 years."

But they talk about it rationally (their distance and different cities, for starters) and for a whole bunch of reasons, the answer is, "We're never going to do anything about this." Perfect anticlimactic ending.

He's a pretty happy guy these days with a great partner who is not "his" LO.

Anyway - it made me feel a lot better to get away to socialize with someone but to suspect that this is probably really, really much more common than we think it is.

Yesterday:

I went back on Instagram for a half second (my 30 days was up) and first photo, no scrolling, is her.

Pregnant.

Also she's in an exotic location that she worked hard to get to (she got a grant to travel there— a particularly hard to get grant, I know, because my partner also got it— good for her).

I was bothered by it for a couple of hours but then weirdly, I just as quickly stopped being bothered by it.

I realized that my relationship to the LO which happens mainly through social media is starting to feel like

1) following a celebrity who only informs you of what's going on in her life via updates to everyone,
2) being snapped from my reverie from 8-10 years ago into a very different future, aka today's present reality.

Maybe the absurdity of the whole thing is beginning to feel more real to me. The LO could basically be a very different person. Life / family / career is moving very quickly for her (and for me), and I have only the most superficial connection with her today. (Edit: I realize that this is also because of me and my ambivalence toward the friendship over many years, where if I'm being honest, she kind of had to chase me for correspondence. It's quite possible and even likely that I've been a difficult or confusing friend.)

I started having whole half hours today where she wasn't floating in the back of my mind.

I did have serious pangs of envy, and the running "comparison" monologue. It kicked off really "grass-is-greener-over-there", "I'll bet she's having a way better experience of pregnancy than we did, because she probably is on the euphoria trip of her honeymoon, is in better shape and health than my partner, and has and a great partner who she probably doesn't have strife with, so she's going into this so whole-heartedly," and from there I started to warble into the usual self-pitying/self-torturing narrative of regret again— the feeling that LO is somehow living the life I could've led if I'd made all the right moves, which would've involved a supportive family like hers, me being born 15 years later, etc. etc.

BUT! >sccreeeeeeeechhh!!< What put the brakes on this really punishing external comparision is that I realize I'm feeling envious of... everyone.

It's starting to dawn on me that I feel pretty adrift after 8 years of freelancing, and to be honest, the job that I eventually got out of it. I'm glad I have something that supports my family but after arriving here, I realize that I don't like it, and I am going to have to scheme my way into something else. I just don't know what that something else is, while right now — it seems that everyone I know has their mission. I feel that I'm totally driven by the external pressures (contractural obligations) of work and freelancing and not by any internal passions in particular. Everyone else (OK— I know not 'everyone') seems to have a "thing" that they're discovering and doing and can say they're about— even with hobbies on the side and with children.

Since envy was on my brain already this weekend, I was keeping up the usual schedule of after-bedtime viewings of TED talks & Alain de Botton / School of Life videos. (I insert my usual disclaimer here that I'm embarrassed to watch these, on some level, because they feel so basic. But I feel like no one's ever delivered this distilled, very basic wisdom that emotionally stable / non-limerent / people seem to just absorb to keep life's setbacks in perspective). These focussed on:

1) depression and motivation
2) envy and jealousy
3) narrating your life story in a more sympathetic and positive light
4) being your own best friend
5) not comparing yourself to other people

And I came to these conclusions:

1) I'm probably clinically depressed— at least temporarily. Maybe I always have this low-level depression running in the background, and somehow, my LE serves as extrinsic but deep motivation to do things. (A few of you here mention that your LE is kind of a motivating force.) I want to be able alive, actualized, content/happy, etc. and I keep this daydream alive that I'll run into her in the future and look like that. This is maybe also why thoughts of her take the form of a "spirit animal" / "patronus"— where I'll be doing something like cleaning the fridge and for no reason, I'll imagine her cleaning the fridge with me and some funny thing she'd say if we were doing that together.

2) I don't get anywhere with my career (or improving aspects of my life that I want to improve - e.g. better relationship with the SO, more focus, finishing work so I can get on to my projects) because I am waiting for "motivation" to make me passionate about doing it.

Whether 1 causes 2, or 2 is caused by 1, I've started to realize that I'm rarely intrinsically "motivated" to do anything. Maybe this is because of depression, but I have to force myself to do even the simplest things, like remember to set my alarm. So the biggest habit I am going to try to get into over the next few months is to get used to forcing myself to do everything until something different happens.

I feel that when I do get myself into this habit, though, I am going to be unstoppable. I was very helpful with chores this weekend and even made my fussy partner (who usually criticizes my housework) happy. I hated doing all of them— at least at first— but I did them.

This made me less envious of the LO and I realized that if I have to struggle for my motivation, maybe I can't really be friends— or focus on my connection, or desire a better connection— with someone who appears to find motivation easy to come by right now anyway, and gets a lot of external validation for her efforts. I mean — it's great for "my" LO that she's accomplished — but if my life is actually 5 times more "depressing" than hers, and she won't, can't, isn't in the position to, or has no desire to give any attention to mine — it's all the more reason to urgently devote attention to my life, completely without reference to her life, for the sake of myself and people who depend on me (e.g. my family and extended family).

My partner still talks about separating, but she and I actually had a pretty good weekend. She's also feeling kind of envious of her colleagues and their travel plans— someone we're close to is spending their sabbatical in Iceland and it's because their parents pay their mortgage. So we talked about being weirdly on the same page about something (being envious of colleagues and friends), and how we could try to make our collective life together better. We talked about how (if we stay together) we need to figure out how to reduce our debt so we can do some travelling on her next long stretch of time off a few years from now.

Also, I told her that I am very unhappy about living like roommates. We've tapered off into no emotional or physical intimacy for a year and a half, and this feels like we're both at fault. Mostly me — because I know I've created this situation by working too hard and burdening her with more childcare and the emotional labour that entails. She agreed and so we're reading some self-help books this week together (on emotionally focussed couples' therapy).

Onwards! (in gravelly mumbly forced-motivated voice)
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RECLUDET PRATERITIS! <-- Current mantra / magic spell ("Quarantine the past!")

mamasita
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Re: Situation in review - my story (dry, long)

Post by mamasita » Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:46 pm

Roc
Thanks for the update. Your realizations about yourself help us all. I also have suspected an underlying depression that exists under the surface. I have likely worn masks to function for as long as I can remember. When I remove the mask, its obvious depression. The limerent experience gave me a high that I cannot duplicate and that I quickly attached to with desperation, obsession & addiction. Forcing myself away from it feels cruel, but wanting it to begin with displays my level of unhealthy...not only to myself but several times to the LO. #-o
I think you are moving in the right direction in terms of urgently pouring your all into your family and repairing your relationship with your significant other.

Rocinante
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Re: Situation in review - my story (dry, long)

Post by Rocinante » Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:12 pm

Thanks. You guys are watching me go through a lot of changes about this huge issue more than anyone else has. I really appreciate it.

I feel really shitty today and I realize it’s because I am having to come up with all of my own motivation, which involves summoning much more will from me. The LO isn’t some light at the end of the tunnel of any effort any more. Work today is hard.

Also I feel bad because I was a not so great friend to a good person (LO) in the end, who is pretty great, but I can’t do anything about that how. Just have to keep my head down, work, go to therapy, enjoy my family, figure long term plans out slowly.
Rocinante • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocinante_(disambiguation)
RECLUDET PRATERITIS! <-- Current mantra / magic spell ("Quarantine the past!")

Rachella
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Re: Situation in review - my story (dry, long)

Post by Rachella » Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:28 am

I did have serious pangs of envy, and the running "comparison" monologue. It kicked off really "grass-is-greener-over-there", "I'll bet she's having a way better experience of pregnancy than we did, because she probably is on the euphoria trip of her honeymoon, is in better shape and health than my partner, and has and a great partner who she probably doesn't have strife with, so she's going into this so whole-heartedly," and from there I started to warble into the usual self-pitying/self-torturing narrative of regret again— the feeling that LO is somehow living the life I could've led if I'd made all the right moves, which would've involved a supportive family like hers, me being born 15 years later, etc. etc.

BUT! >sccreeeeeeeechhh!!< What put the brakes on this really punishing external comparision is that I realize I'm feeling envious of... everyone.
Hi Rocinante, I think you're doing pretty well despite feeling stuck in a grey land. You just came to several conclusions about "your" LO and your own life; the most important being the one quoted above (in my opinion.) We tend to feel that the pain we experience due to love obsession is unique and limited to love; it is not.

During these last years I have learnt that all the feelings of not being good enough, of not being loved, not pretty or capable enough, they all belong to me, they are a consistent part of me. But, I must say, I have also learnt to achieve contentment on my own and step out of depression. I have achieved that by taking care of my body (eating well, exercising, etc.) spending time doing the activities I like and generally allowing good things and people to come to me. My life has not changed massively from the outside, but I feel happier and stronger, and people around me can see that I look different compared to the past.

If you think about it, when you're so wounded, even if a fairy tale miracle had to happen and you were to be reunited with your "love", next day you'll be miserable again. Even more miserable, because you would be anxious to lose LO again. (I say "you" in general, hope it makes sense)
Rocinante, I believe we are never too late to build up a happy successful life, we can do it :-bd

Hopefully there are not many refuses, I need to hurry up and go to work. I can relate a lot to the way you think and your ruminating looks a lot like mine! Soon it will be much better than this, you're on your way!
:ymhug:

Rocinante
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Re: Situation in review - my story (dry, long)

Post by Rocinante » Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:13 pm

Rachella wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:28 am
Hi Rocinante, I think you're doing pretty well despite feeling stuck in a grey land. You just came to several conclusions about "your" LO and your own life; the most important being the one quoted above (in my opinion.) We tend to feel that the pain we experience due to love obsession is unique and limited to love; it is not.

During these last years I have learnt that all the feelings of not being good enough, of not being loved, not pretty or capable enough, they all belong to me, they are a consistent part of me. But, I must say, I have also learnt to achieve contentment on my own and step out of depression. I have achieved that by taking care of my body (eating well, exercising, etc.) spending time doing the activities I like and generally allowing good things and people to come to me. My life has not changed massively from the outside, but I feel happier and stronger, and people around me can see that I look different compared to the past.

If you think about it, when you're so wounded, even if a fairy tale miracle had to happen and you were to be reunited with your "love", next day you'll be miserable again. Even more miserable, because you would be anxious to lose LO again. (I say "you" in general, hope it makes sense)

Rocinante, I believe we are never too late to build up a happy successful life, we can do it :-bd

Hopefully there are not many refuses, I need to hurry up and go to work. I can relate a lot to the way you think and your ruminating looks a lot like mine! Soon it will be much better than this, you're on your way!
:ymhug:
Thanks Rachella. You're great. I believe you can do it (and are doing it) too. :)
Rocinante • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocinante_(disambiguation)
RECLUDET PRATERITIS! <-- Current mantra / magic spell ("Quarantine the past!")

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