sex and love addiction

My last love.

It took me a while to decide whether I wanted to post this. I guess I find writing and documenting this journey therapeutic in itself and at the moment I feel so raw I don’t know what else to do, I have already called 2 people to help me talk it out.This process of introspection into what has been an addictive pattern of relationships, the type of people I chose and the types of situation I got myself into were all a part of my journey, shaped me in some way and had served their own purposes. Just like self-harm which serves a purpose, some of these relationships were my brain’s way of trying to re-live the trauma of my childhood and to solve it. I was abandoned and left to myself often as a child spending most of my time in play with my sister, I have a hole where I needed nourishment, emotional bonding, attachment and love. Through therapy I have long since detached from seeking this from my mother as I have come to accept that she never could and never will be able to give this to me. It is just who she is. My therapist had called this ‘cutting off the psychological umbilical cord’. It was a life-changing time for me in therapy and yet the hole remains. I now know I sought to fill this by another relationship, after all if my parents couldn’t give me love, a boyfriend/husband surely could. I would attach and feel as if I was on another realm, a high, all was right in my world, until life would inevitably happen, he would be getting married to somebody else, or he would be breaking up with me because he ‘can’t give me the life I deserve’ or ‘because we always end up in the same cycle’. Those are just 3 of my loves.

The questions and the book ask me to dissect my life, take specific experiences and examine them with a curiosity that is at the same time painful. I feel like I am on the floor and instead of reaching out for a new relationship or a new interest, I am left to get myself up. An inner part of me is screaming with each new realisation. Someone takes an interest in me, I fall in love, my fear of abandonment takes over, I cling, we spend all our time together, for some reason we have to break up. I face pain. Someone takes an interest in me, I fall in love, my fear of abandonment takes over, he’s not available, we break up. I face pain. I have been doing this for 10 years. 10 years and only now am I staring at it in the face.

I don’t know if I’m comfortable sharing each relationship or if that would even help me but I do feel like I need to examine my last love. It was telling of a change and at the same time of where I’m still stuck. We spoke online, I had messaged him first. Something on his profile about being loving made me know he would like my personality. I am all about grand gestures, sweet nothings, sundays in bed, for some of my ex’s it was a dream come true, for others it was too much, suffocating, ‘trying too much all the time’. I saw his picture and I knew. He was the type of person I wanted. I didn’t expect it to really go anywhere as part of my fear is fear of real intimacy so anyone who is actually available or isn’t feeding my addiction of the initial stages of being ‘high’ or ‘exciting’ as if life and all it’s ills have been put right again – I find as ‘boring’. AKA the normal process of getting to know someone over a reasonable amount of time, including taking it slow so that you can really evaluate whether you are good for eachother the little addict part of me finds boring.

Our second ever phone conversation lasted 12 hours. 14 in total that day. I was already being touched on a level I didn’t realise possible. A level I found terrifying. Pretty soon I was hooked. I was in love. He was the first person to really see me including beginning to understand my BPD. I was comfortable enough to tell him all about it, BPD, my therapist, my past, the self-harm, the self harming sex, all of it and yet none of it stopped him loving me. He had an even temperament, for the most part he had a stable upbringing and it resonated in his personality. He was calm, caring to a fault, sometimes too polite. He had boundaries with me, he would always ask if I was feeling comfortable. If I was upset or angry he would ask me what’s on my mind and let me talk it out. If I had a BPD moment and said angry things to him he said he still knew the real me. That meant a lot. For the first time in a long time someone trusted me and I trusted them, someone was emotionally right for me and loved me despite my BPD and his mix of personality actually meant my BPD was somewhat tamed. Not like my marriage where my ex husband had anger issues of his own,  the result would be disastrous 3am fights with drives back to London to stay at mums for a week or two to let things calm down. Sadly, there was physical violence on both ends. This was nothing like that, this was so much better, such a sign of recovery. That I had chosen someone so stable and charming and blue – eyed handsome. So what then was the catch? Of course it is now in the past tense so there was a catch. And what a huge catch it was. He was married. I still loved him.

I know that was horrible of me, I did feel bad, I have apologised in my mind to her many times, yes I have left him completely alone, yes I wish them a happy life together. I wish her a blissful life and for her to continue to recieve what I so desperately crave/d. I just wish that that wasn’t my reality but it is. And so I wasn’t/am not truly recovered because despite choosing a healthy personality I had chosen to drop my defences in an impossible situation. My fear of intimacy, from someone who’s really available, my lack of belief that I truly deserve that means I dropped my defenses in a situation guaranteed to fail. I didn’t have to hope heart break doesn’t happen – I was virtually guaranteed it would happen. I could abandon or be abandoned and it’s a self fulfilling prophecy. I didn’t have to live with ‘what if he leaves?’. My times with him made me so happy sometimes they felt like a dream. I didn’t want to wake up. Wake up and face reality and face my BPD and face the fact that actions have consequences and my heart break was the consequence.

I don’t cry much, even when I want to. I cried while writing this because the inner wound of abandonment is so very real. I understand and see it was all a survival mechanism. The truth is nobody can really guarantee you that they will never leave. Even if they intend to live the rest of their lives with you in bliss, death can also, as I so painfully learnt through the death of my aunt, separate you.

I’m sorry little-me, I’m sorry I used to hate that you had these needs. I’m sorry I used to ignore your need for love and compassion and understanding and instead stuff those feelings down with whiskey, weed and men. I see now that recovery means I will have to accept my history, show myself love regardless of it, compassion because of it and understanding through this journey. I see now that if I choose love I have to first believe I deserve it, despite my BPD, despite my past and my fears and I have to believe it can come from someone not only with the right set of traits to support me but also to truly be available for me, in their life, in their heart and in their mind. I can’t put walls up, I can’t choose narcissists anymore, unavailable people, people who because of their life situation can’t be around for me. I need to choose, I have that choice and then I need to choose that while they can’t guarantee they will always be there – no-one can. I have to choose to let them in and love them anyway.

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