More about motive

I realized that I intended to write a bit more about "motive". It's such a disarming thing to deal with because I've come to realize that in spite of my consciously good intentions in my dealings with people, I have dark, self-absorbed and needy motives underlying some of my actions. This is quite disturbing to me, although I realize that it only makes me human like everyone. But...I wanted to be so much BETTER! (sigh) The things I've come to learn about myself ever since I stopped eating addictively (thank you, God) have been both alarming and enlightening.

So I did manage to write about the message I absorbed in early childhood about being a woman and feeling less than a man. But I didn't talk about how that has affected my life. The best way I can describe it is that growing up a tomboy was one way I coped with that deep-seated feeling of invalidation. It was very empowering to be able to beat the boys at their own game. Unfortunately, that lasted as long as the onset of puberty, which for me was at age eight. Misery. First one in a training bra. I couldn't deny being "just a woman" anymore. The boys discovered a way to get me to back off during a fight--they just reached out and grabbed.

In reviewing my life, I began to see some patterns. Based on my tomboy experiences, I saw that I had developed a theory that I was either equal to (at the very least) or better than most men I've encountered. I know what you're thinking: how arrogant can a person be? Aries. That's the only explanation I can give. But I also know that the theory was only a cover-up for the feeling of unworthiness. And it didn't apply to all men. Strangely enough, it was never wealth, fame or power that has intimidated me. I've been in close association (usually through work) to men who have had all three, and I didn't give a first or second thought about their socio-economic status.

But if a man demonstrates a very naturally powerful command of knowledge and experience, I am awed into absolute silence and terror. I can't tell you how many times I dreaded going to see two of my male English professors during their office hours. I would force myself to walk to their doors, then stand outside their offices, fearful of knocking and possibly disturbing them. Did I act that way around my female professors? Absolutely not. I would just walk into their offices and start talking as if they were my girlfriends. It's not that I didn't respect them. I did, tremendously. But I wasn't scared of them the way I was around Professors Bertanasco and Ridley.

I have no idea why I'm like this.

The only thing worse than that is what happens when I'm attracted to a man. I don't even want to get into that. Shameful. Let's just say that my thoughts and feelings about myself are less than zero in those situations. Perhaps that's true of a lot of people and I'm being unreasonably hard on myself. But there's nothing worse than suffering from a short-circuit in your brain and suddenly babbling like the village idiot just because you can't control your hormones. That's so unattractive. Especially at my age.

What it comes down is the underlying emotional motive for the attraction in the first place. It's no coincidence that I'm drawn to men who are intellectually stimulating to me. (That hasn't always been the case; I've done the "thug luv" thing, albeit many years ago.) I've had to come face to face with my deepest fears about this as a result of my recovery work, and I don't like what I've seen. Bottom line: I'm judging myself by the standards of men who are by nature, very analytical and critical. And I wind up feeling lower than someone who's been trampled by rampaging elephants. With that in mind, I invite you to look over the 40 questions that I copied and pasted from the website, http://www.loveaddicts.org/. Let me know what you think of the test. I'm going to answer them, too. Really. One day. Soon.

Love Addicts Anonymous

40 Questions
To Help You Determine
If You Are a Love Addict


If you can answer yes to more than a few of the following questions, you are probably a love addict. Remember that love addiction comes in many forms, so even if you don’t answer yes to all of the questions you may still be a love addict.

  1. You are very needy when it comes to relationships.
  2. You fall in love very easily and too quickly.
  3. When you fall in love, you can’t stop fantasizing—even to do important things. You can’t help yourself.
  4. Sometimes, when you are lonely and looking for companionship, you lower your standards and settle for less than you want or deserve.
  5. When you are in a relationship, you tend to smother your partner.
  6. More than once, you have gotten involved with someone who is unable to commit—hoping he or she will change.
  7. Once you have bonded with someone, you can’t let go.
  8. When you are attracted to someone, you will ignore all the warning signs that this person is not good for you.
  9. Initial attraction is more important to you than anything else when it comes to falling in love and choosing a partner. Falling in love over time does not appeal to you and is not an option.
  10. When you are in love, you trust people who are not trustworthy. The rest of the time you have a hard time trusting people.
  11. When a relationship ends, you feel your life is over and more than once you have thought about suicide because of a failed relationship.
  12. You take on more than your share of responsibility for the survival of a relationship.
  13. Love and relationships are the only things that interest you.
  14. In some of your relationships you were the only one in love.
  15. You are overwhelmed with loneliness when you are not in love or in a relationship.
  16. You cannot stand being alone. You do not enjoy your own company.
  17. More than once, you have gotten involved with the wrong person to avoid being lonely.
  18. You are terrified of never finding someone to love.
  19. You feel inadequate if you are not in a relationship.
  20. You cannot say no when you are in love or if your partner threatens to leave you.
  21. You try very hard to be who your partner wants you to be. You will do anything to please him or her—even abandon yourself (sacrifice what you want, need and value).
  22. When you are in love, you only see what you want to see. You distort reality to quell anxiety and feed your fantasies.
  23. You have a high tolerance for suffering in relationships. You are willing to suffer neglect, depression, loneliness, dishonesty—even abuse—to avoid the pain of separation anxiety (what you feel when you are not with someone you have bonded with).
  24. More than once, you have carried a torch for someone and it was agonizing.
  25. You love romance. You have had more than one romantic interest at a time even when it involved dishonesty.
  26. You have stayed with an abusive person.
  27. Fantasies about someone you love, even if he or she is unavailable, are more important to you than meeting someone who is available.
  28. You are terrified of being abandoned. Even the slightest rejection feels like abandonment and it makes you feel horrible.
  29. You chase after people who have rejected you and try desperately to change their minds.
  30. When you are in love, you are overly possessive and jealous.
  31. More than once, you have neglected family or friends because of your relationship.
  32. You have no impulse control when you are in love.
  33. You feel an overwhelming need to check up on someone you are in love with.
  34. More than once, you have spied on someone you are in love with.
  35. You pursue someone you are in love with even if he or she is with another person.
  36. If you are part of a love triangle (three people), you believe all is fair in love and war. You do not walk away.
  37. Love is the most important thing in the world to you.
  38. Even if you are not in a relationship, you still fantasize about love all the time— either someone you once loved or the perfect person who is going to come into your life someday.
  39. As far back as you can remember, you have been preoccupied with love and romantic fantasies.
  40. You feel powerless when you fall in love—as if you are in some kind of trance or under a spell. You lose your ability to make wise choices.

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