When Lowell arrived at my office, he was middle-aged, divorced, and feeling like a sexual failure. His wife of 24 said she had known she was gay for a long time and that she was only hanging out for the kids and she left him (She had 3 but they are all adults now). Since then, he’s been dating for a bit, but has experienced erectile dysfunction. as if they were men. ” So there was a paradox here. His wife castrated him by not wanting sex at all. And now he felt castrated again by the women who would have chased him down the street and pounced on him.
Lowell found himself attracted to women who were reticent, shy, and sometimes reluctant to go to first base. “I think I am overcompensating for every Gorgon who tries to tear my pants off,” he said. There was a woman in particular named Lisa who fascinated him. She was teaching at the same private high school as a guidance counselor, and he had helped her get some pretty perks. But when he asked her out on a date, she complained about her. She seemed aloof and unattainable, and because of that, she continued to attract him.
I wondered about this fixation and thought maybe it had something to do with how his mother treated him. When we appear to be irritable or focused only on ourselves, we grow up to try to “fix” the situation, exhibiting similar dispositions and trying to get us accepted. associate themselves with members of the same sex who attempt to It’s like replaying your childhood in a different key, hoping for a happy ending this time. Only this time, we are adults and can feel sexually rejected. So I asked Lowell about his mother and their relationship.
Apparently, she became introverted and moody after the death of Lowell’s father when Lowell was nine years old. I fell. Lowell had to stay with her aunt while her mother received treatment. By the time they met again, they communicated very little.
His mother rejected his offer of support and the affection it represented. In effect, she rejected him and seemed to prefer the memory. I rejected my son. I couldn’t bring her back, at least as far as Lowell was concerned.
Lowell, in his fifties, was editing and rerunning tapes of his life. He pursued an equally indifferent woman, so that the early trajectory of his life – rejection, a feeling that made him pale when compared to other men – had a happier ending. did not live in the real world. It was, in a way, a retreat from grief, like his mother. It helps us understand the present. However, we shouldn’t try to recreate it as something else to erase how it still makes us feel. We should be more aware of our feelings and address them directly.
I pointed out to Lowell that he was using Lisa to his advantage, whether he meant it or not. and you need a man to confirm your sexuality, what do you do?” I asked. it hit him. Love, and all the erotic urges that come with it, should not be bound by the personal grief we are trying to alleviate. Love is about the other person as a stranger, not the vague version of yourself you want to hone.
Thus, the pursuit of happiness inevitably involves other people, but we must pay attention not only to who they are, but also to whom they represent. If they are (unbeknownst to them) playing the role of the aloof, neglecting parent, we need to ask ourselves: to satisfy ourselves? If the answer is yes, then you should ask more questions. Will this lead to our happiness in the long run as the fantasy unfolds and we face real places again?
Happiness is living in the present. Often we construct a coherent worldview that is still completely wrong. In other words, it contradicts the world outside the head. You have to find a way to break that view and eventually leave it behind.
Of course, in Lowell’s case, the fantasy continued to coast. Nothing stopped it. Each time he made the same mistake with a woman, it only strengthened his idea that he was unloved. With no room for her, she wondered about him.
He had to stop asking himself that question. You test people and demand from them that they are not ready to be satisfied. They may feel uncomfortable and just walk away. At worst, you end up choosing someone as indifferent as Lisa.
Lowell is trying to come to terms with a hangover from the past. This is progress. “I know it’s unfair to take advantage of others to increase my sense of self.” He’s now working more to meet women who share his hobbies. It’s not easy. But he’s focused on what he has to offer, not what someone else might fix.