What is it about the toxic 'love' relationship that makes it so hard to let go?
The movie What the Bleep Do We Know? addresses the physical, chemical alterations our brains go through when we continue to reinforce beliefs. Beliefs about ourselves and our relationships with others and the world in general. It makes a lot of sense, and (this is my shorthand, simplistic explanation) says we can in fact change ourselves and our reality through positive thought processes. Of course it's not so simple, nor so easy. But I believe it works. Of course if I were really adept at it you'd be reading this in a best-seller that was *cha-chinging* cash into my bank account while I was laying in a hammock on the porch of my Mexican beach house while my 'friend' Fernando, wearing only a gold lame loincloth, was peeling mangoes and humming Niagaras tunes for me.... but I digress.
I was talking to a friend, not the imaginary Fernando, about this today. He went through a very toxic long-term relationship with someone who really played with his head and even though he's out of that relationship, sometimes he falls back into the thought processes he developed during it. And it is tough to break those thought habits.
And when I say "I was talking to a friend" I really was - though the truth is the same thing happened to me. It's helpful to know that you're not the only one who has been in one of these psycho-relationships.
The trap is that it does seem to actually alter your brain chemistry. Okay, okay I'm not a doctor, I'm not even a Ph.d., but you don't need a degree to get this stuff. It's something in your head that keys into the addiction, whether that addiction is a drug, coffee, cigarettes, food, or a person. Habits become ingrained and then you forget what it was like not to have them. What was life like BEFORE I met 'psycho' (or had my first cigarette, or whatever)... you FORGET! You forget that you didn't need the object of your addiction BEFORE... you simply forgot what it was like not to have it. And that you were just fine, if not healthier, before you 'met'.
I have TONS of addictions... it's part of the brain chemistry I inherited from generations of addictive personalities... but I got rid of the worst of them. And that one was the one I 'thought' was the love of my life. If he was, I am soooo screwed. :) But it seems the only way to realign your head to the BEFORE is to completely erase the object of addiction from your life. Not to say you should forget the lessons learned from the experience, but you can remember the lessons without keeping the textbook open on your lap for the rest of your life. It's the old pulling off the band-aid conundrum... do you rip it off or pull slowly? I say RIP THAT SUCKER OFF! It takes a bit of balls... but it's so worth it.
Now I'm going back to Fernando, fresh mangos and the Niagaras.