Random Musings, relationships, Well being

Infatuation, obsession, and self-esteem

Infatuation, obsession, and self-esteem by Suzanne Allen

12/13/2022

It was just before 5 am when I got a text from the online person.  He promised to call me after our chat the night before but again he came up with another excuse for why he could not.  I was disappointed, to say the least.  It seems more and more how our conversations have been going lately.

He says he is having all these issues going on and I believe him. Why? Because I always believe people, they are innocent until proven guilty, or something like that.

As time has gone on, none of these issues have seemed to be resolved, they just seemed to have gotten worse. The reason for my concern? Well, because of these issues, it is delaying his coming here to see me. Am I finally seeing the big picture? Is he ever going to meet me? Did he ever intend to? 

I texted him what I thought, and everything blew up over it, and right now, I do not have time to sort through or discuss any of that. I muted my notifications.

I am preparing to be interviewed and have a photo shoot done for a project that I have been a part of for the last 6 months.  I am trying to put him and those thoughts to the back of my mind for the moment.

As I sit here and wait for the interviewers to get here, a few thoughts came to mind about this “relationship” that I need to get out and into the open.

First, these feelings and thoughts stem all the way back to 2017 when I first went online to meet someone.

The very first person I met through a dating app was too good to be true.  He was charming, kind, and sweet. He said all these beautiful things to me, and it made me feel good about myself. The person I video chatted with at that time matched the pictures that I was sent, and I trusted that was whom I was talking to.

Then it took a turn for the worse, over money, and the lack of confidence in myself.  He thought it was about the money, but I told him what I have always told my kids; life is not about money or material things.  You can make money, lose it, and make more.  Never stake anything in life on material things, you’ll never find happiness that way.  It all bubbled up and turned ugly. I was hospitalized and it ended.  I never forgot him though.  I was infatuated with the idea of him.

Infatuation – “an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for someone or something.”

Then as time progressed over the last five years, things began to change about how I felt towards relationships and how they should be.  I spent a great deal of time on introspection and thinking about how I felt about myself overall. 

I changed how my therapy and counseling interactions were going and started involving myself more in group settings.  I wanted to know how others were handling relationships while dealing with depression and anxiety.  I also wanted to know how others were dealing with their PTSD and MST.  I wanted to know how it affected relationships romantic and non-romantic interactions with others.  How it affected their ability to trust others and whether there were trust issues.

I wanted to find out if others were able to have meaningful relationships and whether they were finding any happiness, the one thing that was missing from most of my interactions with others.  I was becoming obsessed with the notion of determining what truly made me happy or what I thought was happiness.

Obsession – “an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind.”

This preoccupation or obsessing over the thoughts of happiness and what it means to me became the basis of remaking whom I wanted to be, the person I believed that I truly was, inside. I started focusing on the things that I liked to do. 

I started working more on my own creativity.  I found the passion again for creating beautiful things.  Discovering the little things that made me happy.  I started discovering other things that I had always thought about trying but never attempted.  I started gaining confidence in my own abilities again.  The one thing that was lost to years of dealing with abusive people in my life.

All the while I was thinking about these things and focusing on my own creative thoughts, the thoughts of the first person I interacted with, were still there.  Those thoughts began influencing how I was viewing others that came in and out of my life.  I started obsessing over how I wanted others to be, even though it was unrealistic to think that the interaction with others would feel the same or give me the same happiness.  It was something that I was missing.  I was missing that person.

I went for several years and tried online dating again but was disappointed with the outcome.  The people that I met had many more issues than me, and I was still dealing with my own.  It was never a good fit, and I ended those relationships just as quickly as they had started.

I continued moving forward and finding more of myself along the way.

After several more years, I met someone that made me have those same familiar feelings from before, and once again, I felt happy with how it was moving.  We got along well, and it seemed to be going fine but then the pandemic hit.  Everything went awry for everyone to include him. 

We started arguing, and he shut down emotionally and quit talking.  He left our conversations for almost three weeks, but I kept trying.  I would text him every day just saying good morning and good night, hoping he would eventually come back to our chats.  He finally did but then another huge argument ensued, and he left.  This time he closed all his social media accounts and never called again.

I felt heartbroken and saddened by everything.  I was feeling down but pulled myself back up to keep moving on.  I had my family and a still ongoing pandemic to contend with.

At that same time, I was also dealing with an injury and post-surgery recovery.  These events resulted in a job loss and the beginning of struggling financially. Luckily, I was able to get approved for my VA disability to help us through. This is how I have lived for the last two years, and it was going well.

Fast forward to two years later and the person I was speaking to prior to the pandemic came back again.  At first, I was hesitant to speak to him, the sadness, and the anger of how he left was still there.  It took him a couple of weeks to convince me to talk to him again.

Self-esteem – “confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect”.

During these interactions, the problem that has become prevalent in our misunderstandings or miscommunication has been anxiety, depression, mental well-being, and how it affects my self-esteem.

These flaws in my thinking affect how I view myself.  The issue is, I do not believe that there is anything wrong with me as an individual, the issue is how I carry myself in a relationship.  I have never been that confident in relationships.

In a relationship, it is not just about yourself anymore and you must consider the other person. The whole person, their good qualities and their flaws. They must consider yours also.  It is mostly trial by error, and for this relationship there is the added stressor of distance and time.  

There is also communication styles. I have, through therapy over the last 8 years, learned how to just be vocal about everything that I think and feel, while he is closed off at times. This has caused some issues and misunderstandings.

There is also this need to be reassured at times that everything is okay between us. I assume he gets annoyed by it and keep apologizing, which he tells me not to do.  To not apologize for how I feel or what I think, to let him know.  I think that sometimes, I say way too much, then I overthink which makes the anxiety go up. It becomes this vicious cycle which has caused some arguments between us.

I keep making the assumptions, because of my insecurity and self-esteem issues, the relationship is coming to an end. Despite having no evidence that it is ending. This has also caused problems between us.

In all the years, since the first time I had a boyfriend, these were the main issues in all of them. The biggest difference has been that in this relationship, he listens to my concerns.  The others would just blow me off or say it was my issue and not theirs. He makes me feel like I matter, and he values what I say. It has made a world of difference in how I feel about the relationship overall, but we still have our moments to work through.

As we continue, the insecurity is still there but it is lessening.  All I can hope for now, is that this relationship continues to grow, and keeps moving forward.

After my photo shoot was completed over a two-day period, we talked and worked things out, again.

We still text and have phone calls, not as much as I would like but I understand he is dealing with life and so am I.

I cherish the moments we get to share with one another. It is not perfect and there are issues at times, but those brief moments make the days seem brighter and happier. It gives me something to look forward to and our communication is slowly improving.

As we continue moving forward, it must be taken one day at a time, because there are no guarantees this will work out the way we want it to. There is never any guarantee that any relationship will work out, you have to be willing to take a chance.

As I keep moving forward with my own mental health and well-being, that also must be taken one day at a time, and I will have to learn how to be more patient with myself.  It was years of trauma that I am dealing with, and I am still moving through everything.

Only time will tell.

Thank you for stopping by.

Have a wonderful week!

Peace, love, happiness, and good vibes, always!

Suzanne