Thursday, 2 October 2014
Like Moths to a Flame
Yesterday I sent him my blog about the crazy abuse moment in the car and he was in a reflective mood about it. He apologised gently for hurting me so much then. He had taken it to his shrink session yesterday, and his shrink had told him that this is how I need to survive this. Every time I remember one of these abusive events, it hurts me again, but it also strengthens my resolve to not go back into that relationship. It's a self protection mechanism. And John says that he knows he needs to own the pain he caused me and not resent me bringing it up all the time.
Of course, in the ideal world I shouldn't be communicating with him at all. And I do wish I was that strong that I could completely honour the No Contact rule. But in moments of weakness I just cannot help reaching out to him just a little bit. Ugh. This addiction stuff is SO hard.
And then he started telling me about his therapy process with his shrink. And I know my therapist says I need to beware of this - it's the way I get sucked in - I find the brokenness SO compelling. The more I learn about the pain and hardness he endures, the more I want to be the one to help him heal that. He knows that too, and shrink is worried that he emphasizes that to try to manipulate me.
He told me a lot about what he's learned about his Madonna-Whore issue. It's common to Narcissists: they idealise their loved ones and project them onto pedestals. He sees me as perfect, immaculate, goddess-like, and so cannot imagine 'debasing' me with his sexual fetishes. And so seeks out other women to do his bidding. He gets a short term self-esteem burst if he succeeds in persuading one of those women to act out his sexual fetish fantasy- perform an act that she had not even previously considered. He gets a temporary omnipotent control high. And then as soon as she has done that, he is dashed into a pit of debasement and self loathing that punishes him. It's fucked up stuff - all based in deep-rooted early childhood abuse and abandonment stuff. And he admits to being addicted to that.
Of course, that's no excuse for cheating - he is 53 years old and made a conscious choice every time he did that. I'm now too afraid to ask how many times that happened in our relationship - I'm just not wanting to give myself even more horrible movies to play out in my head. He says he is now working with his therapist to overcome this compulsion/addiction. He sees it as an alcoholic-like issue: the more days he resists his urges, the better he will get at staying 'clean'. He says it would take him 1000 days.
I know that my attraction to him is also about addiction. I am addicted to the intensity of our connection: when he projects his idealistic pictures onto me, I bask in the way it makes me feel - desired, sexy, beautiful, intelligent... I must not forget that it is my own brokenness that is attracted to his. My own dance with my narcissistic mother that formed this attraction as much as his brokenness caused his. It makes for extreme highs and lows and he has called it 'the perfect storm'. So as much as I would like to make him the monster and me the innocent victim, I would be kidding myself if I didn't also own my attraction. My comfort with being that victim because it so resembles my own primary relationship.
I have tried to meet and date the 'nice' guys. But I feel absolutely no attraction whatsoever. The lack of broken dysfunction bores me. I wonder if that will get better the more I heal? Will I eventually really love and cherish a man who loves me in a healthy and wholehearted way? Or will I consciously choose broken men but get better at protecting my heart when I'm with them?
When he left the coffee shop he kissed me goodbye. He lingered. Breathed me in. The electricity was extreme. Whew. I had forgotten how very strong that deep attraction chemistry is with him.