Thursday, 10 January 2013

c-0-r-r-e-s-p-o-n-d-A?-n-c-e

Thinking of a different time:


A time, as it happens, when i lacked the courage of my convictions more in some areas and less in others than nowadays (really must talk about temporal asymmetry some time soon).

This video is of course about Nyarlathotep - She Who Must Not Be Named.  It is in fact quite risky for me even to think about her because of the bottomless black hole she forms in my thoughts.  Whoops, forgot:  need to do this:

What if you're in love with someone who doesn't love you back?

This is what's called unrequited love.  The initial flush of excitement you feel when you meet someone special and new sometimes ends up with the two of you together but often it doesn't.  This feeling has been labelled "limerence" by the late lamented Dorothy Tennov, who wrote several books and researched on this subject.  A review can be found here:

http://dannyreviews.com/h/Love_Limerence.html

The reason for the word "limerence" is that it removes the concept itself from the debate about whether a feeling is romantic love or infatuation.  Tennov found that there was often a common pattern to the development of persistent limerence in the absence of any return of feelings which was not the same as erotomania or stalking.  If something happens when the process would either end in falling in love or rejection followed by a short period of depression or sadness which frustrates resolution, in my case going on a tour of Europe with her partner/boyfriend, the normal process is disrupted and almost anyone can become fixated on the object of their affection involuntarily.  The personalities of people with this problem are not more likely to be obsessive than others in other areas but they are unable, sometimes for many decades, to get the person out of their heads.

My answer to this problem, which worked for me at least, was Stoicism, basically.  I believe that it feeds on resistance and the answer is to let yourself feel what you feel for that person and sort of stand back from it.

There has been a helpful support group here:

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/unrequitedlove/

I'm not sure if it still works.

Please tell me about your experiences because outside people who are going through or have been through this, there is remarkably little sympathy and understanding and it's frequently seen as like stalking or erotomania, which it really isn't.  I fought incredibly hard to get rid of the feelings i had to no avail.


There is one word missing in this description compared to the doobleydoo.

The reason i've returned to this yet again is the uncharacteristically positive result of the kidnapping i mentioned the other day.  Clearly i have a jaundiced view (ha-ha) of a particular person, but in her defence i have to say that that one time she did come to my aid when i needed it and i appreciate that even now.  It's probably quite bad news to appreciate it and i shouldn't appreciate it more than absolutely necessary, but she really did help me move my stuff out over to my new house when i needed to get away from an address where i was in danger and it was great that she did that.

The source of the whole problem is really my reaction to lack of information.  This was originally triggered by the fact that just as i was falling from her, she went off on holiday with her man.  I was trying really hard to ascertain whether she was attached in order to nip any burgeoning affection in the bud before it got out of hand but was unable to do so because from my perspective she disappeared.  I eventually got an intuition that she would be in a particular place at a particular time and found her there with him and the dog, but although things went quiet for a bit emotionally after that, everything later came rushing back and it went on and on, culminating in the creation of the username "nineteenthly", moderating the online support group, accidentally on purpose pranging a car, getting irked by a misspelling of the word "correspondence" and participating in the Channel 4 documentary. A sterling example of the butterfly effect.

The real point i want to make about all this though is that whereas i myself am indeed obsessive, think too much or in the wrong way and have issues around sexuality, even without any of that this could still have happened because of the circumstances.  The problem of persistent limerence can happen to anyone if they are unlucky enough to encounter the wrong combination of conditions.  There are other factors such as an abusive childhood, depression and not having needs for validation and approval met, but if something happens to frustrate the resolution of an initial attraction to someone, it can act as a trigger for this nightmare for most people.

So, if you should ever come across someone who seems to be endlessly spinning her wheels in a void, hopelessly pining after some unattainable person, rather than just looking at them as unhealthy and sick, why not try thinking "there, but for the grace of God...", because it's true:  that could be you.  I had insight into the situation, possibly more than she had, but nobody was prepared to acknowledge that fact.

I would have hoped that a professional psychologist would have understood the reality of the situation and realised she was making it worse, but apparently not.  I mean, i'm way over it now in an emotional sense, but sometimes it's important not to get over things intellectually if you can still use them as a resource for wisdom.  That would be my justification for choosing to keep the scars.  No cosmetic surgery for me thanks.