Many of us live in recovery from abuse. We connect with others who act as our reflection. This often leads to situations where there is intimate involvement. Affairs, such as these, can be considered a form of pain management. When a damaged person has someone shower affection on them, it can act as a salve. However brief. The attention soothes the battered esteem. This is a natural response of a human being. Comfort, and touch, from another soul does wonders. That is science. Yet, these shots of dopamine can lead to escapism. Affection addicts can create a prison.
If at any moment the affection is not available, in the high dosage required to placate the ache, both parties may have to tolerate an uncomfortable withdrawal. Results can be dramatic and violent. The troubled fellow soul is the nurse who administers the medicine: An unprofessional accidental practitioner, running from hurt and loneliness. It’s a mess. Time heals all wounds. Subsequently, time allows injuries to fester. A heart not properly developed can delve deeper into darkness. Regardless if a pair is linked romantically, in order to grow they have to take the correct steps.
Recently, it occurred to me that I was a man to recreated cycles of pain. Abused and abuser were who I entertained and attracted. We used each other for a ‘safe’ haven; One that was predominately based on a lack of self worth. I formed eternal bonds with women who had endured similar versions of trauma: emotional abuse, rape, domestic violence, and substance abuse. We procreated and brought lives into this world that then lived through the same things. A cycle repeated…
Keep in mind I have 8 children. Their mothers number 5. Not one of us has managed to consistently maintain a stable foundation, household, or frame of mind. Even outside experiences mirrored this. Two of my son’s have grown up while their parents are fighting the same battles.
I sought to be a healer when I was still crippled. I neglected to give attention to the severity of my condition. I was ruthless in making a tortured companion feel responsible for my well being. None of us were ignorant of the weight of oppression yet, we fell into the traps.
You can’t use when In recovery. That’s considered relapse. Working to be whole requires staying away from your comfort zone. When attention is the drug, that fix could mean a tryst in someone’s arms. Pain management and relief can become escapism, abuse, and addiction easily. Pharmaceuticals and substances pose the same risk. Perhaps we are more easily deceived when it’s the company of another person providing a ‘mutual’ feeling. Any time we misuse a person because of how they make us ‘feel’, that relationship is unstable. The problem is: as an addict, you are more concerned with being the recipient of attention and affection, than giving Love. Even receiving love is not something that an abuser has a full appreciation for. They don’t know how to recognize it. It’s clouded by their desire to maintain a constant supply of their favorite drug which they will take in any way regardless of the quality.
This behavior only masks the pain that comes with a lack of self love and self worth. The true cure and ultimate recovery for the affection addict is unconditional love for self and others. Only then can emotionally mature and functional relationships be formed. When that value of self evolves, then the value of life, and intimate connections will be reflected.