This is the scrip of a Ra’al Ki Victorieux (Iris Atma) video with dolls, to present a book. It’s a Bratz-Barbie style Book Review Video, Yeah. The book was a bestseller, “Women who love too much”, of Norwood. Work to introduce us to the reality of addictive love situations, to transform them into a life of self-esteem and healthy relations. It’s about heartbreak, with psychology tools to help us to heal our emotional life.
-Jill: I’m doing this -seeing a therapist, I mean- because I’m really unhappy. It’s men, of course. I mean, me and men. I always do something to drive them away. Everything starts out fine. They really pursue me and everything, and then after they get to know me, it all falls apart.
I want to know what I’m doing wrong, what I have to change about me -because I’ll do it. I’ll do whatever it takes. But nobody cares. I’m really a hard worker. It is not that I’m unwilling. I just don’t know why this keeps happening to me. I’m afraid to get involved anymore. I mean, it’s nothing but pain every time. I’m beginning to be really afraid of men.
I don’t want that to happen, because I’m very lonely. In law school I have lots of responsibility, and then I’m working to support myself, too. These demands could keep me busy all the time. In fact that’s pretty much all I did for the past year -work, go to school, study and sleep. But I missed having a man in my life.
Then I met Randy, when I was visiting friends in San Diego two months ago. He’s a attorney, and we met one night when my friends took me out dancing. Well, we just hit it off right away. There was so much to talk about -except that I guess I did most of the talking. But he seemed to like that. And it was just so great to be with a man who was interested in things that were important to me, too.
He seemed really attracted to me. You know, asking if I was married -I’m divorced, have been for two years- if I lived alone. That kind of stuff.
He made a business trip to Los Angeles and he extended it an extra hundred miles to visit me. At dinner I offered him to let him sleep at my apartment, so that he could postpone the drive back until the next day. He accepted the invitation and our affair began that night.
It was fantastic. He let me cook for him, and really enjoyed being looked after. I pressed his shirt for him before he dressed that morning. I love looking after a man. We got along beautifully.
When he returned to his San Diego apartment, the phone was ringing. I told him that I had been worried about his long drive and I was relieved to know he was safely home. I thought that I sounded a little bemused, so, I apologized for bothering him and hung up, but a gnawing discomfort began to grow in me.
Randy told me once not to pressure him or he would just disappear. I got so scared. It was all up to me. I was supposed to love him and leave him alone at the same time. I couldn’t do it, so I just got more and more scared. The more I panicked, the more I chased him.
Soon I was calling him almost nightly. Our arrangement was to take turns calling, but often when it was Randy’s turn the hour would grow late and I would become too restless to stand it. Sleep was out of the question anyway, so I would dial him. These conversations were as vague as they were lengthy.
He would say he’d forgotten, and I would say, “How can you forget?” After all, I never forgot. So then we’d get into talking about why, and it seemed like he was afraid to get close to me and I wanted to help him get through that. He kept saying he didn’t know what he wanted in life, and I would try to help him clarify what the issues were for him.
I can not accept to be without him. I think he had decided that he did not want me. But I think he needs me.
Twice, I flew to San Diego to spend the weekend with him; on the second visit, he spent our Sunday together ignoring me, watching television and drinking beer. It is one of the worst days I can remember.
Therapist: Ah, I understand, was he a heavy drinker?
Jill: Well, no, not really. I don’t know, actually. I never really thought about it. Of course, he was drinking the night I met him, but that’s only natural. After all, we were in a bar. Sometimes when we talked on the phone I could hear ice ticking in a glass and I’d tease him about it -you know, drinking alone and all that. Actually, I was never with him when he wasn’t drinking, but I just assumed that he liked to drink. That’s normal, isn’t it?
You know, sometimes on the phone he would talk funny, especially for an attorney. Really vague and imprecise; forgetful, not consistent. But I never thought of it as happening because he was drinking. I don’t know how I explained it to myself. I guess I just didn’t let myself think about it.
Maybe he did drink too much, but it must have been because I bored him. I guess I just wasn’t interesting enough and he didn’t really want to be with me. My husband never wanted to be around me -that was obvious! Neither did my father… What is it in me? Why do they all feel that way about me? What am I doing wrong?
Therapist: Dear Jill, from the moment you became aware of a problem between you and someone important to you, you are willing not only to try and solve it, but also to take responsibility for having created it. If Randy, your husband, and your father all failed to love you, you feel that it must be because of something you have done or failed to do.
Your attitudes, feelings, behavior and life experiences are typical of a woman for whom being in love means being in pain. You exhibit many of the characteristics that women who love too much have in common.
Regardless of the specific details of their stories and struggles, whether they have endured a long and difficult relationship with one man or have been involved in a series of unhappy partnerships with many men, they share a common profile.
Loving too much does not mean loving too many men, or falling in love too often, or having too great a depth or genuine love for another. It means, in truth, obsessing about a man and calling that obsession love, allowing it to control your emotions and much of your behavior, realizing that it negatively influences your health and wellbeing, and yet finding yourself unable to let go. It means measuring the degree of your love by the depth of your torment.
We all have strong emotional reactions to words like alcoholism, incest, violence, and addiction, and sometimes we cannot look at our own lives realistically because we are so afraid of having these labels apply to us or to those we love. Sadly, our inability to use the words when they do apply often precludes our getting appropriate help. On the other hand, those dreaded labels may not apply in your life. Your childhood may have involved problems of a subtler nature. Maybe your father, while providing a financially secure home, nevertheless deeply disliked and distrusted women, and his inability to love you kept you from loving yourself. Or your mother’s attitude toward you may have been jealous and competitive in private even thought she showed you off and bragged about you in public, so that you ended up needing to do well to gain her approval and yet fearing the hostility your success generated in her.
We cannot cover in one session the myriads ways families can be unhealthy: that require several volumes of a rather different nature. It is important to understand, however, that what all unhealthy families have in common is their inability to discuss root problems. There may be other problems that are discussed, often ad nauseum, but these often cover up the underlying secrets that make the family dysfunctional. It is the degree of secrecy — the inability to talk about the problems — rather than their severity, that defines both how dysfunctional a family becomes and how severely its members are damaged.
A dysfunctional family is one in which members play rigid roles and in which communication is severely restricted to statements that fit these roles.
Members are not free to express a full range of experiences, wants, needs, and feelings, but rather must limit themselves to playing that part which accommodates those played by other family members. Roles operate in all families, but as circumstances change, the members must also change and adapt in order for the family to continue to remain healthy. Thus, the kind of mothering appropriate for a one-year-old will be highly inappropriate for a thirteen-year- old, and the mothering role must alter to accommodate reality. In dysfunctional families, major aspects of reality are denied, and roles remain rigid.
When no one can discuss what affects every family member individually as well as the family as a whole — indeed, when such discussion is forbidden implicitly (the subject is changed) or explicitly (“We don’t talk about those things!”) — we learn not to believe in our own perceptions or feelings. Because our family denies our reality, we begin to deny it, too. And this severely impairs the development of our basic tools for living life and for relating to people and situations.
It is this basic impairment that operates in women who love too much. We become unable to discern when someone or something is not good for us. The situations and people that others would naturally avoid as dangerous, uncomfortable, or unwholesome do not repel us, because we have no way of evaluating them realistically or self-protectively. We do not trust our feelings, or use them to guide us. Instead, we are actually drawn to the very dangers, intrigues, dramas, and challenges that others with healthier and more balanced backgrounds would naturally eschew. And through this attraction we are further damaged, because much of what we are attracted to is a replication of what we lived with growing up. We get hurt all over again.
I hope that during our sessions we can find a way to your healing. I hope our dialog helps you to recover your self esteem. Because to love to someone else, first we must love ourselves.
Jill: Yes, thank you. See you soon.
Therapist: Dear friends, today we are gonna talk about the characteristics which are typical of women who love to much:
- Typically, you come from a dysfunctional home in which your emotional needs were not met.
- Having received little real nurturing yourself, you try to fill this unmet need vicariously by becoming a caregiver, especially to men who appear in some way needy.
- Because you were never able to change your parents into the warm, loving caretakers you longed for, you respond deeply to the familiar type of emotionally unavailable man whom you can again try to change through your love.
- Terrified of abandonment, you will do anything to keep a relationship from dissolving.
- Almost nothing is too much trouble, takes too much time, or is too expensive if it will “help” the man you are involved with.
- Accustomed to lack of love in personal relationships, you are willing to wait, hope, and try harder to please.
- You are willing to take far more than 50 percent of the responsibility, guilt, and blame in any relationship.
- Your self-esteem is critically low, and deep inside you do not believe you deserve to be happy. Rather, you believe you must earn the right to enjoy life.
- You have a desperate need to control your men and your relationships, having experienced little security in childhood. You mask your efforts to control people and situations as “being helpful.”
- In a relationship, you are much more in touch with your dream of how it could be than with the reality of your situation.
- You are addicted to men and to emotional pain.
- You may be predisposed emotionally and often biochemically to becoming addicted to drugs, alcohol, and/or certain foods, particularly sugary ones.
- By being drawn to people with problems that need fixing, or by being enmeshed in situations that are chaotic, uncertain, and emotionally painful, you avoid focusing on your responsibility to yourself.
- You may have a tendency toward episodes of depression, which you try to forestall through the excitement provided by an unstable relationship.
- You are not attracted to men who are kind, stable, reliable, and interested in you. You find such “nice” men boring.
Okey friends, that was all for this session, I hope to see you in the next one. Kisses!