On not being crazy

Dear Coke. I am incapable of being happy in a stable relationship and I need you to kick my ass/point out the obvious/whatever magic shit you do that makes things seem so clear and solvable.

I am a total head case. Background details: I was abused as a child (nothing sexual, just your average run-of-the-mill daily beatings), and when my parents divorced my mother blamed it on me and continues to blame it on me(she says I didn’t try hard enough to get my dad to come back home, obviously my mother belongs in a psych ward somewhere), plus due to psychological damage caused by abuse+crazy mother and generally bad fashion sense the adolescent period of my life was a series of embarrassing and painful experiences.

Fast forward ten years later: I am at a great place career-wise, am physically attractive, and I am confident and happy-looking in social settings (I used to feel like vomiting/passing out/hiding out in my room until I died rather than socialize). On the surface I look like I have it all good, but Coke, seriously, I am fucking mess.

I am in the third year of what looks like a great relationship, but inside I feel nothing and I do and say things automatically (because I think thats what I am supposed to say/do).

He “gets me”. Our conversations are still interesting and enjoyable, he knows of my “past” and shows the right amount of empathy and understanding without making me feel like I’m a freak, and he doesn’t run away or shut off when things get rough. He is ridiculously intelligent, he cooks and he makes me laugh. And he is hot, seriously(which is the least of reasons, but just wanted to throw it in there).

I know the “right” thing to do when you have stopped loving someone is to end the relationship, but I am aware that I have serious mental issues, and that this isn’t him, its me. This is the third great relationship in which my heart fizzles out and I am sick of myself. The first time I pulled this shit my friends all thought I was having a mental breakdown (because the guy I left was really really good to me, and I couldn’t even articulate a proper reason for leaving. It was just “I don’t feel anything.”)

My therapist says that this is a defense mechanism and that I just need more time to “heal”. The main question that I have for you is: Is it fair for me to stay with someone I dont love (or feel anything for) because I know my lack of feelings is due to my insanity?

Thank you for reading. And you rock. Now kick my ass. Please.

First of all, you’re not crazy. Not even a little bit. By LA standards, you’re barely even damaged goods.

Yeah, you got smacked around as a kid and your mother is batshit. Big fucking deal. That doesn’t even get you to the first commercial in a slow episode of Behind the Music.

Everyone’s adolescent period is a series of embarrassing and painful experiences. So what? Stop putting your “past” in quotations marks. It’s getting too much attention as it is.

As for your relationship issues, grow the fuck up. The closest thing you have to a serious mental issue is immaturity. Your expectations are girlish and unrealistic.

There is no such thing as “happily ever after.” Shit fizzles. Always. That’s when couples have to start grinding it out. Generally, it’s known as the seven year itch. For you, it’s three. Whatever. Point is, if you build your relationship on more than just puppy love and rainbows, it will mellow into a deep bond of mutual respect. That’s what most people end up calling love.

The man you’re with sounds great. You still respect him, and you care for him deeply. All that’s happened is that you don’t have a crush anymore. You love him, but you’re not “in love” with him in the classical sense.

Unfortunately, you’re burdened with all these things that you think you “know.”

You “know” your lack of feelings is due to your insanity. You “know” to end a relationship when you fall out of love. You “know” the right thing to do.

It’s time to start unknowing some of this shit. These things you insist you “know” are actually horrible patterns of childish behavior that you learned from your fucked-up parents.

Let that shit go.

Yes, it’s fair for you to stay in your current relationship, especially if you’re honest with him about what you’re feeling. You don’t have to get hearts in your eyes every time you look at your man. It’s enough to respect him and enjoy his company. Hey, you never know. You could always fall back in love.

Also, get a new shrink. The one you’ve got is phoning it in. Defense mechanism? Please. You need more time to heal because he needs more time to bill your insurance.


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