Post by Shelley, not Admin!
I am here to share to you what obsessive love is, it is not known to many and many, who would be trapped in this vicious circle, would be unable to realise that this form of love has turned obsessive. I have seen quite a few people begin to fall into the trap of obsessive love to who I have stopped and share my own personal experience with.
Obsessive love is a form of love where one person is emotionally obsessed with another.
Obsessive love is highly dangerous and can be the cause of murder, stalking, rape, suicide, among other things.
“The Obsessive Love Wheel”
The “Obsessive Love Wheel” (OLW) is a hypothetical sphere originally described by John D. Moore in his book, Confusing Love with Obsession. The wheel illustrates the four stages of Obsessive Relational Progression as part of Relational Dependency (RD).
The initial phase of ORP, (Obsessive Rational Progression), is characterized by an instantaneous and overwhelming attraction to another person. It is at this point the relationally dependent person becomes “hooked” on a romantic interest, usually resulting from the slightest bit of attention from the person they are attracted to.
Phase one: Attraction phase
- An instant attraction to romantic interest, usually occurring within the first few minutes of meeting.
- An immediate urge to rush into a relationship regardless of compatibility.
- Becoming “hooked on the look” of another, focusing on the person’s physical characteristics while ignoring personality differences.
- Unrealistic fantasies about a relationship with a love interest, assigning “magical” qualities to an object of affection.
- The beginnings of obsessive, controlling behaviors begin to manifest.
When I first met a girl named as Rini, (Serenity), I became instantly attracted to her. But the most embarrassing thing of it all is the fact of the six and half age difference plus the fact it was online and we lived over 3000 miles apart. I lived in the UK and she lived in the USA, Illinois – Chicago.
She made me happy and before I realised it I had become hooked to her. I wanted to be with her, I wanted to make her mine but there was one problem that I am deeply ashamed and embarrassed about. This was an unrealistic fantasy, and why? I was fourteen she was twenty-one. I fantasied deeply about things that would never happen because of the age difference. But how did these grow? She knew I liked her as any person would be able to notice. I was inexperienced in the ‘love game’ and my feelings just exploded all around the room. She joined the game with me, flirted and led me on. And then when I was hardly seeing her did my obsessive and controlling behaviours being to manifest. I couldn’t stop thinking:
“Why had she gone? Would she be back? Had she left me? Doesn’t she want to be around me anymore? I need to ask why she’s been gone. I need to make her stay. I need to ask her if she feels the way I do.”
Phase two: Anxious phase
This phase is considered a relational turning point, which usually occurs after a commitment has been made between both parties. Sometimes, however, the relationally dependent person will enter into this phase without the presence of a commitment. The relation can be severed here, resulting in a depressing time for the controlling party. If not severed by this time, psychological help will be required. This happens when the afflicted person creates the illusion of intimacy, regardless of the other person’s true feelings. The second phase of ORP behaviors can include :
- Unfounded thoughts of infidelity on the part of a partner and demanding accountability for normal daily activities.
- An overwhelming fear of abandonment, including baseless thoughts of a partner walking out on the relationship in favor of another person.
- The need to constantly be in contact with a love interest via phone, email or in person.
- Strong feelings of mistrust begin to emerge, causing depression, resentment and relational tension.
- The continuation and escalation of obsessive, controlling behaviors.
- Feeling the other partner doesn’t and shouldn’t need to contact, meet, bond and/or speak with others.
- Violent reactions (verbal and physical) directed to the loved one and/or to oneself if the controlled person starts denying the obsessive demands.
As she was hardly around I began to fear she had left me and would not be coming back. I began obsessing about her friends and kept pestering them to where she was and to get in contact with me so she could be with again. I wanted to be in constant contact with her I would wait hours and hours just to be with her but at times she would not return until the early hours because of work. My obsessive behaviours began to grow even more as she become more attached to me. Our flirting began to to increase and then she, herself, became sexual towards me pushing me even more to follow her.
Phase three: Obsessive phase
This particular phase represents the rapid escalation of this unhealthy attachment. It is at this point that obsessive, controlling behaviors reach critical mass, ultimately overwhelming the RD person’s life. It is also at this point that the person being controlled begins to pull back and ultimately, severs the relationship. In short, Phase Three is characterized by a total loss of control on the part of the RD person, resulting from extreme anxiety. Usually, the following characteristics are apparent during the third phase of ORP.
- The onset of “tunnel vision,” meaning that the relationally dependent person cannot stop thinking about a love interest and required his or her constant attention.
- Neurotic, compulsive behaviors, including rapid telephone calls to love interest’s place of residence or workplace.
- Unfounded accusations of “cheating” due to extreme anxiety.
- “Drive-bys” around a love interest’s home or place of employment, with the goal of assuring that the person is where “he or she is supposed to be.”
- Physical or electronic monitoring activities, following a love interest’s whereabouts throughout the course of a day to discover daily activities.
- Extreme control tactics, including questioning a love interest’s commitment to the relationship (guilt trips) with the goal of manipulating a love interest into providing more attention.
As I said before throughout this whole time period I could not stop thinking about her, how she made me feel and how when I would see her again and so forth. There was an increase of me asking her friends where she was because she had disappeared soon after we had become sexual with each other and I did not understand why. An extreme fear of abandonment kicked in and I would stay up hours and hours to wait for her but she did not appear. And finally I could not take it anymore I thought she had really abandoned me and I took my first overdose, (fluoxetine and ibuprofen). My mate had watched me do it and thought I really wouldn’t. A few hours later Rini appeared again and we talked, I stayed calm but I didn’t tell her. And then I snapped, I started getting the side effects of an overdose and I broke down. I told her what had happened and she begged me to tell my mother. I did so.
Phase four: Destructive phase
This is the final phase of Obsessive Relational Progression. It represents the destruction of the relationship, due to phase three behaviors, which have caused a love interest to understandably flee. For a variety of reasons, this is considered the most dangerous of the four phases, because the RD person suddenly plummets into a deep depression due to the collapse of the relationship. Here are some of the more common behaviors that are exhibited during phase four of ORP:
- Overwhelming feelings of depression (feeling “empty” inside).
- A sudden loss of self-esteem, due to the collapse of the relationship.
- Extreme feelings of self-blame and at times, self-hatred.
- Anger, rage and a desire to seek revenge against a love interest for breaking off the relationship.
- Denial that the relationship has ended and attempting to “win a loved one back” by making promises to “change”.
- The use of drugs, alcohol, food or sex to “medicate” the emotional pain.
- Suicidal thoughts may manifest. Without emotional counseling, suicide could become a reality.
After I came out of hospital my family went on vacation. My obsessive manifestations were still there I would always pester my grandad to give me his phone so I could go on the Internet and email her and check my mail. I must of emailed her at least four times and the rest spent checking a reply. I remember being embarrassed because just checking on the Internet for less than a minute for god knows how many times cost my grandad £12, (roughly $25 back then).
When I came home I couldn’t wait to see her and then she eventually came online. I was delighted but disappointed when I realised it was her friend. I was confused, deeply confused. Why would her friend be on her MSN and not tell me where she was or what she was doing? This ‘friend’ flirted with me. I ignored it as a good hearted person I stuck with it, not flirting back, but making whoever it was laugh and just be a friendly person. I myself personally enjoy making people happy so being funny is a way I make people happy. This ‘friend’ abruptly left. I waited roughly about three hours and finally Rini came online and this was the worst day of my life. Not because she abruptly left me but the worst emotional pain that followed that will scar me for the rest of my life.
At first I wouldn’t accept it and I still remember the date and time, Sunday the 1st of June at 1:05am. I stayed calm for about an hour obsessing in my mind it wasn’t over. Although I had never asked her out or asked her if she liked me, (although she played a sick game on me where she said something close to ‘I love You’ thus leading me to say it back to her because it was how I felt), I had just grown to the idea we were in a relationship together.
However I broke down after about two hours and I began to cry. I began to break down mentally and emotionally thus leading to self destructiveness. I became extremely depressed, I felt numb and completely empty inside now Rini had abandoned me. I blamed myself for what had happened, I began to hate myself. Due to this hatred I began to starve, abuse solvents and mutilate my body. I began to become obsessive in the idea that it wasn’t over that she hadn’t ended the ‘relationship’ with me. I was in pure denial and I would constantly email her just to try and get in touch with her so she could stop the emotional pain. But no answer came.
I remember constantly I would switch from fantasizing about a perfect relationship with her eventhough she had abandoned me to pure hatred. I would fantasize about murdering her even haunting her. And then it would switch back to love and affection. This constant switching back and forth is just a standard defence mechanism created in childhood where we all use fantasies to hide from our emotional pain and fears.
Eventually all this became too much and the suicide attempts because a living reality.
Shortly before I broke up from school for the Summer, (Wednesday 16th July – As you can see my obsessive thinking led to me to remember the dates), I took an extremely fatal overdose of a hundred and ten aspirin tablets, (55,000mg of paracetamol). I stayed calm for less than ten minutes and then the effects began. It happened quite quickly and I was surprised. I began to throw up and I remember doing so on my bed, (lovely thought isn’t it?), I looked into my vomit and realised only one remaining capsule hadn’t been properly disgested. The rest was moving throughout my body preparing to destroy my liver and kidneys amongst over organs. Fear began and I rushed to the bathroom and proceeded to throw it. Only shortly and gratefully I rose. I will always remember this, as I tried to walk I felt the world on my shoulders. I felt so heavy, my heart thumped in my chest as the fear began to rose and then I couldn’t see straight nor walk straight. My vision swayed and blurred and I wanted to sleep, I wanted to close my rooms and I knew if I did they wouldn’t be opening any time soon. I took my laptop out my room as I had already called my dad to clean up my sheets I rested on my parents bed. I said goodbye to one of my closest friends and I closed my laptop. I closed my eyes and I cannot remember when I woke up but my friend had done some searching asking all my other friends for my address and he had succeeded. And that was how I got to hospital but it still doesn’t explain why I survived. It is unknown but atleast I accomplished the morbid achievement of the most lethal and most quanity of paracetamol ever taken at Heartlands Hospital. Although depressing, a girl before me near enough my age at the time, who, (a couple of hours before me), had taken a twenty five paracetamol overdose and had to have a liver transplant if she were to survive.
I never once admitted to anybody why I had taken the overdose and I never admitted at the time of the girl I had met online and fallen in love with. I was hospitalised for a few months before I lied my way out. I see it as stupidity and they classed my case as basically just me curing myself which is utter bullshit if you think about a mentally ill person suddenly curing themselves.
To conclude I have put forward a friend’s ideas of why a twenty-one year old woman could do this to a child and we have reached the summary of this.
She abandoned me, she could’ve helped me and slowly overcome my infatuation, but she didn’t. She could’ve been more mature about how she handled it. I was helpless, inexperienced, unable to understand her. And all I did was try to but couldn’t resolve my love for her. She must of felt that she needed to end things with me abruptly due to her mind leading her into realization.
All those actions, all those things she said, they were her desires, I was the one channeling and responding. She didn’t know what to think about me, she didn’t know how to behave. She needed someone to love, but when her realization came it was too late and she abandoned me without explanation, as though she had come to some realization. And then she returned a second time before my overdose, only to repeat the same cycle. It was clear she hadn’t learned anything.
She loved me, she wished I was older, she wished I was what she was looking for in someone with her age and nobody could give that to her, and so she continuously exploited my feelings to make herself feel adored.
She was too weak to admit to herself what she was doing, that she could be helpful instead of abandoning, she felt imprisoned and she could not use herself to end it but used a mythical person to do so and thus running away like all cowards.
Overall as you can see Obsessive Love has devastating effects not only on the person who is obsessed but the victim they have become attached to and their family. Even after the ‘obsessive love relationship’ is over unrequited love can settle in. I never got over Serenity for over a year I rebounded in relationships although never sexual I still jumped from one to the next. And this is a very common thing that evolves trying to escape from the emotional pain so relying on another person to do so but once they see you are damaged you quickly move on to avoid any more pain. Another thing Obsessive Love can lead to is Obsessive thinking. Fantasies of murder, rape, stalking are all common and some become a reality.
If you believe you are suffering from Obsessive Love I would strongly advise you seek medical help.