Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).
I am truly sorry to know about your situation. To be obsessed about a person shows how overwhelming feelings and thoughts have become, to the point of leaving you feeling hopeless about getting back a normal and stable life. The obsession becomes the center of your life consuming your energy, peace, and ability to enjoy what is positive.
Could you please tell me more about your obsession, how it started and evolved and what have you tried so far to rehabilitate from it?
People could experience very different types of obsessions, and depending on your personality, past experiences and other factors, these could become more or less dysfunctional, as well as tougher or easier to rehabilitate from it. If you share about it I'd be able to understand your situation and provide some feedback.
Thank you. Well it's not the first time it has happened to me. It's not that bad but I hate it. I met this guy about 2 years ago. We never dated properly. I didnt think much first encounter and then we arranged to meet again. Then I went back to shi place and he tried it on with me but I was shocked and left. Then a few days passed and I decided ot contact him. So we met up a few times but I felt the respect was gone as I allowed him to touch me. I didn't sleep with him until recently. Anyway, I used to live in Paris. He is from PAris. I now live in London. He lives in London too. So in a way, I felt there was a connection from the beginning, things in common. Also I missed PAris and it was like a bit of it was brought back to me and it made me feel safe. So as I said we never dated. BUt I started getting obsessed. He would travel loads and I would pretend I didnt care ( we had no relationship ), I also travelled a bit. Then we would meet up, and it would be dinner, the physical. I was afraid to say what i wanted as i was afraid to lose him ( we had nothing but anyway, he had a strong effect on me ). So no contact again for ages. Recently I contacted him. He said he met someone else and wanted to focus. I aid ok. Then (I know it sounds pathetic)...im embarassed telling you, I contacted him again and he said he was away but he was single again and he would ahve come over. So last week we met up, and we slept together properly for the first time. It was amazing. Then nothing. But he had said he didnt want a relationship. So I know it sounds absoloutely ridiculous, ut I cnat stop thinking about him. I was working and am now in between contracts. I am good looking and highly educated. BUt this happened before with a boyfriedn i had in Paris. I was obsessed with him too and he had nothing. I never told the guy in London how i feel because i didnt want to push it as i think as he said he doesnt want a relationship, i should (as any normal person would do) leave it. BUt i feel like I didn't express my feelings ever to him so he thinks I don't care and im just happy go lucky.
Thank you for replying.
I see. Then it has been a pattern affecting you from previous experiences, and it seems a core issue here leading to this self-sabotaging pattern is your avoidance to be truly open and honest from the very beginning through the whole experience.
When people repress feelings, emotions or longings, even thinking about something out of fear, or because of not wanting to cope with the issues or challenges they present, they end enabling such emotions - thinking more and more. Our mind has this compulsive tendency to attach to what feels powerful, whether positive or negative, and fear and emotions are very powerful experiences, thus when we avoid, deny or repress what we think or feel, we end pushing ourselves into a compulsive vicious circle, and depending on how anxious we happen to be, it would become a more or less dysfunctional situation affecting us in different levels.
For a person to enjoy a healthy and fulfilling experience, she needs first to come to terms with the fact that such good relationships cannot just happen, but we literally build them if we allow ourselves to be truly open and honest towards the other person, and truthful with ourselves. In this way you would not be self-sabotaging nor leading the other person in ways that would promote lack of understanding and unhealthy dynamics.
If what you expect from a relationship is real and fulfilling affection, respect and trust, in a real reciprocal way, then you need to work on being this truthful, this open and honest with the other person, and if he happens to be looking for the same and feels willing and wishing to work on it with you, then you could start exploring through sharing, learning from the process and finding out how truly compatible you happen to be.
You said you felt he already disrespected you because of what happened, but even then you remained fueling further attachments and expectations but without being honest and open about your feelings, needs, about what you wanted, what was not working for you. Without you directly telling the other person what and how you feel and think, there is no way the other person could know you and have a genuine response to you. he would be reacting to what you show him, and if it is just an aspect of yourself, distorted by what you avoid, deny or repress, then for sure it would not lead to anything truly healthy and fulfilling.
Can you see how you fuel this obsessive vicious circle because of this codependent approach?
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX interesting and sounds right to me. But I wasn't that interested in the beginning when I met him, because he was too forward and I said I can't work like this, I need to get to know you. But he seemed to not care about that so I said well we cant see each other then. And a few days later, I contacted him as if to confirm, Im ok with the way you're behaving so it's kind of my fault. THen I started ot get obsessed. He has a life that I think is amazing though. I would ahve been open and honest but he made it difficult for me. I don't think he wanted to hear any of that stuff. BUt i was never direct with my feelings. But we did't spend enough time together either. I don't know what to do about it. Everybody tells me to forget about him. I'm afraid of being a doormat if I tell him how I feel and just give him an ego boost. Everybody tells me it's clear he has no interest. I think he just sees me as a sexual object. It's not all my fault that i cant tell him how i feel. I send himan email recently saying instead of being negative and critical it would be good if he gave me advice or support But he replied and said I was right but he doesnt want that type of relation so he doesnt think we should see each other. I think its very obvious he's not interested and despite this, I still feel I didn't express myself properly. I'm reading your repy again to understand. Thank you.
i see. Then it is obvious to me to that this person is far away from a good -healthy match for you, he does not deserve you and is looking for something very different than what you seem to need and expect. You were very accurate when stating he seems to be using you for sexual gratification, while openly telling you he has no interest whatsoever in understanding or supporting you at any level. You long for real companionship, meaning and fulfillment in relationships but with the wrong person, and with the wrong approach, since you continue enabling him, whenever you show you are there needy and willing to allow him to use you even when you do not truly want that.
You see how you got attracted to him, but even when he told you from the beginning he was not interested in what you were looking for, you pursue him and expose yourself to it? This shows how much you need to work on your sense of self-worthiness, self-esteem, for you to become more confident and assertive, to the point of not exposing to anybody who could use, abuse or neglect you, since this happens whenever we do neglect or abuse ourselves. You need to work on learning how to better respect, understand, love and support yourself, from there you would know how to be truthful and consistent with what you want and need, able to set healthy and clear boundaries and limits, and to confront any dysfunctional or destructive behavior you could see in other people, while redirecting yourself when deviating from what you know you need and want.
Have you worked on yourself with counselling or psychotherapeutic support before in order to heal and grow from these challenges and problems?
If you haven't, I really suggest you to seriously consider professional counselling-psychotherapy support to work on yourself, the core issues behind this self-sabotage pattern, to eradicate any codependent tendency, to improve coping skills and to learn how to relax, reduce anxiety and be more assertive taking care of yourself and when working on relationships. An obsession shows you how your mind has become excessively and distortedly vulnerable, and attached to illusions, to experiences that would not help you be and feel better, but to situations that would deepen unhealthy tendencies, taking your own power away, the one you need to take good care of yourself, to enjoy life and to develop healthy and fulfilling experiences with those who happen to share your same value and belief systems, compatible personalities and life styles. Does it make sense?
I am here to support you. Please feel free to reply if you have any further questions or doubts, since I'll be here willing to assist you as much as possible. Thank you for your trust.
Thank you. I felt he did have the same values and belief systems I want but that he didn't want that with me. I read and understand what you wrote. I realise now I need to stop thinking it would be great with him, an illusion, and see it for what it is. I kept thiking i wasan't good enough for him to want anything with me. And I still sort of think this. I had a very unelathy relationship with the person in Paris too ie. never felt like i was good enough. Even though from the outside, it looks as if 'what am i doing with him?'. Also I am extremely indecisive, I never feel right in a job I'm in and as if I'm jsut waiting for them to get rid of me, which usually happened. I am very educated but I swap and change areas and I never really feel I can do anything well. Even though everyone thinks I must have great experience and what is my problem...but inside im dying and cry a lot. When i see people, like him, who seem so stable, so decisive, so in control, I am intrigued by them because i want to be like them. Even though in the beginning they think I'm like that.
You're very welcome. Then the main issue here could be your poor sense of self-worthiness as mentioned before. The way we see ourselves, feel and think about our worthiness, abilities, what we deserve and can achieve and experience in life is literally shaped by our experiences from infancy and childhood to young adulthood. Then most experiences after these periods use to be processed based on what we learn before, through those lenses. Thus if you want to be able to truly change and make improvements in the way you think, feel and take care of yourself, you need to identify core negative experiences from the past fueling such distorted and unhealthy mental and emotional patterns, leading you to self-sabotage the way you do, then you would be able to truly respect, love and support yourself, knowing who is good for you and what type of sharing and relationships could be healthy and constructive, and which would expose you to neglect or abuse, or any form of dysfunction.
Your words show you could be very depressed and anxious, which is not uncommon for people when having low self-esteem, and similar problems perpetuated and worsened by negative thinking and self-sabotaging tendencies. Both, depression and anxiety disorders are tough conditions for anybody, and they require professional psychological support, for you to actually work on your rehabilitation process, and to process the negative experiences that led you to think and feel the way you do. Without addressing these core self-image - self-concept issues based on your core experiences, it would be unrealistic to expect any significant improvement in your life, since we all build our reality based on those core beliefs, feelings and mental outlooks we have about ourselves, others and life.
Please take this new painful experience as the very chance you need to get necessary support for you to work on your own healing and growth, in order not to put yourself in similar scenarios, and to grow stronger and wiser after painful situations you face. You would see that these incidents are not useless or just destructive if you choose to slow down and reflect on what they are showing you about yourself, people and the way things work, but with a clear and insightful eyes and not with distorted lenses like you do when evaluating your experience with your fears, negativism, and other unhealthy thinking and emotional patterns from your past.
Things can and need to change for good, but it depends on what you do about them, and how good support you get to work on yourself. It;s not easy but tough, and it's also necessary and absolutely worthy. Please reflect on it and take consistent action to start transforming your reality to create and enjoy the stability, fulfillment and joy you long for and deserve.
Hi, thank you. I don't see it as negatively as you. The problem with seeing a psycologist is I keep stopping myself because of the money and also I feel like I should be looking for a new job and doing other things instead of focusing on my 'issues'. A sort of waste of time amd money and only focusing on the problem more instead of taking action to improve things. I'm sorry for saying this but i can't help thinking it. One side I think it is totally right to see a psycologist and the next minute I think, just get on with it, you know what to do and don't waste any more time. It's true I feel terrible lots of the time but I assume that's just life. I feel trapped a lot. It was great to read your replies last night, it helped so much. I feel like everything is an urgency even though i dont have childeren or am married.
Psychotherapy and counseling, provided by professional psychotherapist, who happen to be competent, ethical and experienced is not about getting limited and trapped by focusing on your issues while remaining passive about real life. It is exactly the opposite, it is about ending any form of denial, avoidance or repression about unresolved chronic or recent issues that would not just disappear by themselves, but get worse with time if we keep neglecting ourselves from such necessary therapeutic work. It's like having a broken bone (leg), the pain from it is very intense and initially could shock you a lot limiting your walking. If you use anesthesia you could numb the pain for a while, but it would come back once the cause of it remains the same. Ideally we would stop moving, look for medical support, get treatment, a cast, rest, then focus on rehabilitating from it until we heal from it. The healing process is not easy and its painful too, but we know it's necessary for the healing to occur. What would happen if we decide out of pain and fear not to look for adequate support, numb the pain with anesthesia and keep walking, running and jumping? The pain would come back stronger since the damage would increase, no matter how much we long for not feeling it. Pain is the messenger our body and mind use to let us know something is wrong and need our attention, for us to stop doing things the way we do, and take care of our needs, without disregarding what is hurting us. Denying the wound, avoiding coping with it, repressing the pain would not help. The anesthesia could help in the short term but the price we'd have to afford would be much higher, and some.times people could become disable, unable to run or even walk because of the bigger damaged caused.by refusing or delaying treatment, the essential rehabilitation process.
As you see, there is nothing passive about real and effective psychotherapy, it is the opposite, it is about truly taking good care of ourselves, acknowledging what is hurting us, working on stopping the unhealthy behaviors, ending any further exposure to destructive scenarios, and focusing on our real healing, which starts by acknowledging the issue, identifying its core, and then working on doing something assertive and proactive about it, with the right tools and support. People could try to heal a broken leg by not waling, but the healing would never be the same as if they get to a doctor, get pin as necessary, a cast, then physiotherapy .
it is very important to be aware that unhappily there are many bad psychotherapist and counselors out there, no only without competence to provide effective support, but with serious personality, mental health or life issues even more serious than those affecting clients. This is why it is essential to take the time to assess at lest three potential psychotherapists in order to find the right one for you, and keep a very open, honest and direct communication to see if the support you get is what you need, making necessary adjustments, and if you find yourself not getting adequate support, then look for a better therapist. Yes, it is very frustrating to face such reality, but the mental health filed is not immune to having poor or very bad professionals, and it uses to attract people who have even more issues than those in other professional fields.
If you feel your current job is not truly fulfilling, in consistency with your vocation, abilities and expectations, for sure you should look for a good one, but if you happen to feel like leaving a good job you love, mostly because of anxiety or depression related to low self-esteem and coping problems, then please do not make any important decision too fast, much better to carefully reflect on what you truly want, assessing the pros and cons of each main option, for you to choose what you really want and need, and if that means looking for a better job, then go for it, while working on yourself. Again rehabilitation with psychotherapeutic support is not like using psychiatric drugs where people could passively take them, without spending a second about what changes they need to actually do in themselves and lives for them to be and feel better, they just hope the drug would make them feel happy, relaxed, hopeful or pain free, while they remain being exactly the same in the way they think and do things. Working on yourself with psychotherapeutic support is exactly the opposite. It requires the person to understand that no positive change or healing could happen unless we work on making such core changes within ourselves, at emotional and mental levels, in our personalities and concrete lives, There is no passivity or destructive pattern is this approach at all but the very best way to truly take better care of ourselves, owning our feelings, taking full responsibility for them, our choices and actions, and focusing on making necessary changes pointing at objective goals and changes. This is tough work, a long term process and most people would not easily opt for it when still beholding denial, avoidance, repression or any other form of numbing to help them keep going with less pain. The problem is that the easy ways are most times the most dysfunctional ones too. While the tough ones lead us to what is truly worthy and effective.
Life should not be about adjusting to feeling depressed, anxious, insecure or wounded. Life should be about experiencing real meaning, fulfillment, happiness and empowerment withing our own human vulnerabilities, getting stronger and wiser from them, but not dysfunctional or destructive. There is pain that is natural, part of life, necessary for growth and healing, for learning and change, and this pain should not be avoided, rejected or numbed. It is a helpful and real friend letting as know when something is wrong, destructive, for us to become aware of it, stop doing what we were doing the way we were doing it and commit to the learning process of doing things differently, better, in healthier ways. This is the original pain from the broken bone doing its job very effectively for us not to hurt ourselves even more.
On the other hand, there is another very different type of pain we create whenever we do not know how to cope with natural pain, when we numb it leaving the wound neglected, getting worse and worse, this way we create suffering or extra pain that was not necessary, but one we have to afford if we dismiss natural pain. It's my invitation for you to reflect on this and develop further understanding and insight on your reality, on what depends on you and to take consistent actions to work on your healing and empowering process, while being very present and proactive on what your concrete core needs and expectation are. Getting all the adequate support you may find from your support system and from professionals, reassessing and setting your priorities, and making of your integral health and well-being number one in such list.
Thank you for your trust and openness here. Take gentle care and consistent action.
You're very welcome
I am sorry to know things evolved that way. This is why being yourself and open from the very beginning or as soon as possible is essential for promoting meaningful, real and fulfilling relationships in case we happen to find the right people, able and willing to offer the same.
I am sorry for your loss. Then I see how much you need to work on rebuilding your support system, to make of it an active and healthy one, since it is very important for anybody to effectively cope and to feel supported, loved and understood. This is about fulfilling basic longings we all have as human beings; it is not easy but worthy to work on it.
Blame is useless and destructive, but taking responsibility is what we all need to do in order to learn from past experiences and mistakes, and to grow stronger and wiser from them, focusing on how we could do things much better in the present.
My suggestions have been around being honest and open, not about avoidance or withdrawal. Please read about codependency and work on eradicating any codependent tendency you may have, since it just undermines your ability to be yourself, set healthy boundaries and develop healthy and fulfilling relationships.
Codependency does always happen between two or more people, when you say that she influences you a lot, it shows you give her power to affect you, what you think, feel or do. It's good to know you are already setting boundaries not allowing them to negatively impact you, and that's the best you can do, everything else would depend on what they do choose to do about their own issues affecting your relationships.
Then I think you truly need to work on rehabilitating from codependency and developing a healthy and strong sense of self-worthiness with psychotherapeutic support, once these issues you describe are serious enough to justify sound professional support.
Psychotherapy means psychological treatment. An issue becomes serious enough when it significantly impacts your mood, mental health, functioning, relationships or well-being, just as you described around your relationship with your sisters.
I am hopeful to know you would meet a counselor soon. Counseling is a lighter version of psychotherapy, but if the counselor is truly good, experienced and assertive, she/he could make a good job. Based on what you described about this person's behavior and how you felt about it, it does not seem you truly feel comfortable with, not even respected by this person. He told you he does not want a relationship and even was interested in another person, even when you get sexually intimate. Because of this I'd suggest you to focus on working on yourself first and better understanding everything that happened around this person, before exposing yourself to any further emotional or sexual involvement.
You need to understand that what makes relationship work is rooted on how spontaneously both persons share the same level of interest, caring, affection and passion, plus have good level of compatibility at multiple levels. This takes time to be identified but from the beginning, if you see a person already presenting behaviors that go against these core requirements, it would not help for you to attach to nice expectations about this person and a potential relationship with him, while already experiencing many red flags and concrete concerns between you.
Yes, counselling is psychological support for not very serious life problems, while psychotherapy is ideal for every type of life issue or mental health problem requiring the best possible professional expertise.Thank you for your trust. I am glad to know it's this helpful. Take gentle care.
It is but it is also necessary and worthy. Everybody having difficulty coping with any life situation or issue should consider professional counseling or psychotherapy, depending on the severity of their problems or challenges. Just allow yourself to commit to this process, and once you find a good professional to support you, things would start to change for better as long as you consistently work on yourself. Thank you again for your trust.
I am sorry I though you were talking about how you felt about counselling. Now I see that it's about dating. My recommendation is for you to work on supporting yourself and your core needs and longings, regardless of what people could think or want you to do, since nobody know what fulfills you but yourself. When people push you against your own well-being, disregard that and focus on taking good care of yourself. Psychotherapy and counselling help people to improve awareness of what is assertive and healthy, and what is destructive or dysfunctional, for us to know when to take what may be helpful from another person's opinion, and when to disregard it if unhealthy or inadequate for our uniqueness and reality.
This is a core issue you would need to work on with your psychotherapist or counsellor's support.
Yes, for most people it is, it's a natural and normal core need .
I agree and support you.
I truly hope you could feel and cope better soon as soon as you start therapy, support from a good professional could make a big difference. I need to leave now, thank you again for your trust.
There is where your need to build a healthy "support system" and social network appear as core priorities for you to work on. Again, everything truly worthy and fulfilling takes hard work and necessary tools, this is why psychotherapy or counselling would help you start this process.
You're welcome. Bye.
I am contemplating leaving London but as I will get this counselling here, maybe I should stay for a while. I am still quite obsessed with this man. I don't really want to stay in London but if the counselling turns out to be beneficial, maybe I should stay for that. I don't ahve a job at the moment so that's provided I get one here very soon. Thanks
Thank you, he is in London mostly but also Paris so leaving would be irrelevant. It's ok, I won't contact him. I used to live in Paris and have missed it since I came. I finished a contract here in London recently and have interviews here but I'm not very happy in London and always think about leaving. But I'm not sure what to do. I have another interview tomorrow here in London. I was not very happy in paris either. Part of my problem is I don't know where I want to be. I moved here as I got a job offer and the money was good. Since then I've had 2 jobs, money very good but contracts. Going back to my home country Ireland is also an option, Dublin. As I've just finished a year contract, the option of leaving London comes up as I can. So that's all but ideally it would probably be best to get another job here as it's easier. I'm sorry, it must be a headache for you, but my life is like that. I don't know which city is best for me but moving to Paris without a job may not be the best idea. But I would probably be happier there but there's no guaruantee either.
Yes thanks, I bought a book on codependency today. I don't think I have this, well some characteristics I could identify with, like staying in destructive relationships and always seem to be with somebody who is unhealthy for me. But the controlling part not me at all ie. I never try to control anyone. I thought this was more my sister. But it's very true as my previosu relationship in Paris, he had depression and I found it 'interesting' and it was a really unhealthy relationship for me. Also i found myself today trying to analyse why the person i am obsessed with is the way he is i.e.. wondering why he behaves as he does, so I definitely think I go toward these people ie. with problems, altho0ugh because the current one has lots of money, a great appartement and seems to have a great life, I thought he was a great 'catch' and overlooked any issues he may have. I still think this but maybe I'm seeing now he does have issues despite what I see from the outside. He doesnt seem to be happy, seems constantly frustrated, perfectionist. I don't know but the image i got made/still makes me overlook him as a person.
Also I realise I am so easily distracted away from focusing on my own life...I always avoid dealing with my issues because they seem so impossible to deal with as I can't seem to make any decisions or take any action to improve my happiness. It's true I definitely don't spend enough time improving my situation as I feel helpless but prefer to focus on other people or think about something for ages or dwell on someone. I really want to change that. As I end up being in situations I hate which is not surprising.
I am very sorry to know your situation has got this overwhelming. It seems truly tough and frustrating. Please remind yourself that speculating about what could have happened could lead you to an endless vicious circle that would only take away the energy and peace you need to build and take good care of your present.
Psychotherapy would be the best source of support for you to start working on making real and effective changes at all these levels. I hope you could start therapy soon.
Hello Rafael, I just wanted to ask something else. I think this person made it clear he was only interested in sex and I don't blame him for anything. Now it's up to me if I want only this or not. I think a lot of people do this and it's clear that there is no relationship but only sex. I am unsure what I want but I believe this is not enough for me and I will only grow more needy of him if I continue to sleep with him. But I'm quite confused as maybe it is just sex I want also. So I think it is clearer for me as it's up to me now what I choose. I just wanted to add that I think there a lot of people who do this i.e.. have sex with no relationship and it's clear for both, but I don't think I can do this but maybe I want this too. I am not sure. Thank you for your help so far.