Personal Possession

A few days ago, a friend reached out. He had just met someone online and connections between them developed quickly. Too quickly. Although the only encounter they’d ever shared was through globe trotting airwaves, the person with whom he communicated had already decided that they were destined to be life-long partners.

How, my friend pondered is it possible to decide on absolute attraction without ever having heard one’s voice, or witnessed their facial expressions when showing emotions? How, he pondered can one commit before knowing one’s personality? The person on the other end clung to hope, and fantasies. Meanwhile, my friend stirred in a whirlpool of anxiety about feeling personally possessed.

Thankfully, with firm words, my friend was able to break free from the admirer’s psychological clutch.

I think, in many ways, we’ve all been in similar situations; most of us on both sides of the coin yearning for someone unattainable, unreachable, unrequited.

Most of us sit in our minds far too long, comfortable in our swampy fantasies of people changing, waking up and noticing us, or suddenly caving to our persistent ways.

We’ve all been carved out to be both the villain, and the prize in romanticized stories of our lives: characters that we never asked to play, or roles that we assigned ourselves without thought, or care about the leading characters that we cast. Yes, we cared, yes we thought, but in our own fantastical ways, not in the reality that they wished to stand in our lives.

Maybe we are driven by hope? When Pandora released the last ghost from her box, Hope set upon humanity giving us purpose, giving us goals, dreams, and most of all, tenacity.

Most of us are incapable of politely accepting rejection. We may degrade ourselves to the point of self-deprecating talk, lowering our opinions of ourselves, putting ourselves down, questioning our worth, but deep down, under all of our self-doubt, we truly see ourselves as worthy, and we want to be loved, respected, and cared for. We want to love, respect, and care for others too. When we put ourselves out there to the wolves of romance, we become raw, vulnerable, and exposed. We display our best of everything, and rejection sears scars into our souls.

Why wouldn’t anyone want us at our best? How, when we put ourselves out there promising love, romance, friendship, and everything that we can offer, can we possibly not be “good enough” for the person we crave?

Maybe we try too hard? Maybe we stop listening, or valuing what the other person needs, and only focus on our own personal goals? I can’t define every situation. I know I’ve been on both sides of the coin though, and each hurts just as much as the other.

A dear friend once told me that he believes when people are “madly in love,” they are displaying a form of mental illness. Initially, I was shocked by his flippant views of mental health, but after listening to him, and after witnessing the darker side of possessive love, I can’t help but wonder if he’s right.

My friend explained that when people are “madly in love,” they are one-track minded, only thinking about the person they desire. They focus their entire lives around what they believe the other person wants, or needs. They invest every moment thinking about, trying to be with, and doing things for ONE PERSON. One person becomes their world, their raison d’être.

One person can’t be your world. One person can’t be your only reason for existence. One person can’t be your only thought. One person can’t be the reason behind you transforming your life, unless of course, that one person is YOU!

My friend went on to say that when people devout their entire thoughts and soul to one person, they lose themselves. They lose sight of where they end, and the other person begins. Two people literally becoming one, losing sight of who they are isn’t love, it’s personal possession.

Relinquishing your time for one person, putting all of your focus on one person, living your life for one person, other than yourself, creates an extremely unhealthy dependency. That sort of dependency is not the foundation of a safe, or healthy relationship. Dependency of that nature is truly concerning. It’s not based on trust, or commitment, it’s personal possession: collecting someone and keeping them in a jar for only you to enjoy. It’s jealousy. It’s greed. It’s the desperate sign of major insecurity. It’s stalking. It’s scary.

Take note in your relationships. Take note of your actions, and the expectations that you are requested to commit to. Are you constantly having to check in and ensure that your partner knows where you are, what you are doing, and how you are? Does it seem like caring at the start of your relationship, but then slowly creep into having to constantly justify your time? Red Flag.

Are routines created in order to manipulate, and occupy most of your time, preventing you from interacting with other people, or things that you enjoy? Red Flag.

Are your thoughts about your partner, obsessive? Can you not go a day without hearing from them, or questioning their intentions in your relationship? When you don’t hear from them, do you jump to negative conclusions and assume that they are leaving you, or cheating on you? RED FLAD! RED FLAG! RED FLAG!!!!

Do you find yourself sacrificing your pleasures, either time, communication, friendship, sexual, or work for your partner? RED FLAGS ALL THE WAY!!!

Do you cave? Give into things that you are not totally on board with because the argument isn’t worth the “no?” RED FLAG!!!!! RED FLAG!!!!! RED FLAG!!!!!!

Are you so entwined with loving someone that you base your entire existence on what they are passionate about? Are you compromising your personal principles in order to be accepted? RED FLAGS!!!!!

Do you unknowingly silence someone’s voice in order to get your own way? RED FLAG!!!

Is your voice silenced, and your opinion discarded in order to please your partner? RED FLAG!!!!

Do you find yourself getting anxious instead of pleasantly excited when communicating with your partner? RED FLAG!!!

Does your daily pattern revolve around when you can interact with your partner, no matter what sacrifices you must make to your own time, needs, or wants? RED FLAGS!!!!

Sometimes, in their budding stage, these red flags appear to be the anchors of a decent relationship. They feel like caring, or love. They feel like protectiveness, and concern. They feel like safety, and spoiling. Eventually however, they bloom into personal possession: time monitoring, control, guilt tripping, manipulation, stalking, emotional abuse, and worse. You start feeling smothered; owned; scared. You start to question yourself.

The gaslighting sets your world aflame. Suddenly, you question why you don’t want what’s right in front of you. You’re told that it’s perfect, but you’re not okay. You’re wrong for not wanting what you have. You’re broken. You’re not worthy, or good enough. You should be grateful that you are lucky enough to have someone who is willing to do so much for you, care so much about you, and want to possess you. RED FLAGS!!!!!!! RED FLAGS!!!!!!!RED FLAGS!!!!!!!RED FLAGS!!!!!!!RED FLAGS!!!!!!!RED FLAGS!!!!!!!RED FLAGS!!!!!!!RED FLAGS!!!!!!!RED FLAGS!!!!!!!RED FLAGS!!!!!!!RED FLAGS!!!!!!!RED FLAGS!!!!!!!RED FLAGS!!!!!!!

I can’t scream this loudly enough: YOU ARE YOUR OWN PERSON!!! NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO GUILT YOU INTO A RELATIONSHIP. YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH! YOU ARE STRONG ENOUGH TO BE ON YOUR OWN! GASLIGHTING IS REAL!!! IF IT DOENS’T FEEL RIGHT, TRUST ME, IT’S NOT RIGHT FOR YOU! YOU DON’T OWE ANYONE YOUR SOUL, YOUR BODY, YOUR HEART, YOUR THOUGHTS, OR YOUR TIME!!!!!!!!!!!

Personal possession is terrifying! When you feel owned, it makes you feel guilty all the time. It makes you feel unworthy. It’s confusing. It’s messy, and painful beyond words.

Personally possessing someone is just as painful. The rejection is agonizing. It almost catapults you into trying harder, which only results in worse reactions.

The cycle needs to be broken.

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