Attachment Is The Seat Of Misery
This is a capricious, arbitrary and hostile world. It must be brought to heel, tamed and subjected to the exertion of control. My control.
This is why I must cause every appliance that I come across to become attached to me. From my next door neighbour who I say hello to and exchange banal pleasantries with for the sake of my façade (even though I would readily drive a rusty meat hook through his malformed cranium if he tells me again about the refurbishment details of his latest property acquisition) through to my friends who join me for drinks on a Friday evening through to the latest girlfriend that I parade, all of them must be attached to me.
The creation of my construct is the device which causes these individuals to become attached to me. That magnificent edifice which is created from the mirrors which I show towards those whose paths I cross. Make the ticket inspector smile on the train by supporting him dealing with a obstreperous teenage passenger, encourage a friend in his plans to lose weight, show that prospective IPPS her own hopes and desires so she begins to fall in love. All of that is the work of the construct which is designed to draw each and every source – from the tertiary through to the ever-so-crucial Intimate Partner Primary Source – to me and cause them to attach to me.
Whether the barista thinks I am a pleasant and loyal customer, a junior colleague considers me an inspirational boss, the lady I pass every other day whilst out running gives me a smile of acknowledgement and admiration, whether a friend considers me someone he can turn to for advice, whether she falls hopelessly in love with me; there are thousands of different ways for these appliances to attach to me.
It might be a jealous co-worker who seethes at my arrogance, the nervous supplier who dreads my call demanding what is behind his company’s latest cock-up, the weeping cast off who was once the apple of my eye but is now a maggot-infested windfall, all of them remain attached to me.
It is through causing these appliances to be attached to me that I can exert control as I assimilate them into my world. They are mine to control, to utilise, to extract from and through this I can then control my environment. By controlling my environment I aim to minimise the traitorous ambush or the treacherous mutiny. Keeping everything in its place, subject to my control and functioning as I require it, means I drive forward and order is maintained.
Attachment is the key to achieving this. I have to draw you in, hook you, grip you, I have to bond you to me, bind you so you do not escape me, clamp you in place, tie you down and secure the attachment. I will give you the illusion of the golden period, I will lie to you, I will give you generosity, I will show you largesse, I will even exhibit some form of manufactured intimacy, kindness and support, the promise of fuel and the years of practised scrutiny enabling me to give you what you want so I secure your attachment.
Yet for all these fuel pipelines that are connected to me, for all of the bridges that have been built, the links which have been carefully constructed, they are all one-way. It is you being attached to me. I feel no attachment to you.
That is why I am so able to turn on the person that I supposedly love and watch as the tears trickle down the disbelieving face as I lambast her for wearing the wrong shade of red or turning up two minutes late. That is why I can lie between the silken thighs of another and promise her the world whilst you lie awake wondering where I am and praying that I have not been involved in a road accident. That is why I can assure you that you will be promoted by year end and in the next meeting offer it to somebody else instead. That is why I can decide not to turn up to the dinner party you have spent a month planning and go and watch a film elsewhere. That is why I can smash your grandmother’s watch with a ballpein hammer as you observe, in a fit of hysterics.
My lack of attachment allows me to disappoint, renege, cheat, lie, provoke, hurt, torture and abuse. It gives me fluidity, mobility and efficiency. I am not hampered by guilt, nor remorse or a sense of obligation. I form no attachment with you. I do not feel it.
You may ask me what I might think of those who I interact with and I can conjure up the tributes and platitudes in an instant:-
“John? Excellent worker, never lets the company down, a key member of the team.”
“She is a wonderful woman, I do not know what I would do without her. She is my world.”
“He is amazing. First name on the team sheet every week.”
“NarcSide Inc? Fucking brilliant. Use them. I did once. Never gone anywhere else.”
But for all of this I feel nothing by way of attachment. I bolt you on to me, but I will not attach to you. What does attachment bring? Nothing but misery. Look around and you will see the woe and pain that being attached brings for people.
You become attached to a pet dog which will die in 10 years’ time and you cry for the loss of your furry friend. Why? Why attach to something that is only going to leave you?
You are attached to your employer and show loyalty? What for? So they can bend you over and shaft you by making you redundant and show you the door without even a tub of lube to ease the pain of the experience?
You are attached to your house, but you have to sell it, or it burns down, or it is flooded, or someone breaks in and yet more pain is dumped on you.
You are attached to your friend and share everything with that person and then one day he is mowed down by an articulated lorry and is left nothing but a smear on the road. You are distraught, besides yourself with grief because of your attachment.
You attach yourself to a lover, a girlfriend, a husband, a partner only for them to cheat on you, to leave you for someone else, to shuffle off this mortal coil pumped full of morphine or grasping their chest as a heart attack takes them from you. Your world comes crashing in, you are shattered, besides yourself with grief and it is all because of your attachment.
You attach yourself to offspring only for them to disappoint you, leech from you, turn to an unsavoury lifestyle which embarrasses you and dismays you because you are attached to them. Or you are always worrying how they are getting on at school, will they secure that job, pass their driving test, find a good man or woman? Your feelings are put through the mill owing to this attachment.
Oh I know you will tell me that you gain so much from these attachments, love, happiness, support, understanding, companionship, joy, loyalty, a sense of achievement and more besides. I have heard it before, but I see over and over again the misery that always arises from these attachments. It is not worth it.
It is far better to never become attached in the first place. I cannot trust. How can I when I was given a salutary and compelling lesson that if you try to attach all you receive in return is rejection and misery. Better not to bother. Build the wall, dig the moat, put up the barriers, do not allow anybody in and in so doing you prevent these weakening attachments from occurring and you save yourself the inevitable, and it is always inevitable, misery that is waiting around the corner.
Yet for me, I do not even have to contemplate creating that tower or ensuring that the ditch is dug deep. I do not have to roll out the figurative barbed wire and electric fences to keep people out. This is all done for me because I do not know how to connect with someone. I have no idea how it is done.
I can attach them to me. That is easy. I have been doing it for as long as I can remember. A combination of brilliance, charm, magnetism, manipulation and the identification of those from the strong to the weak and back again who are the best for succumbing to being attached to me. I can bring that about through all of the various seduction techniques I have described before.
Yet for all of that power of attraction, which few can resist, from tertiary to secondary to primary source, I do not know how to form an emotional attachment with someone. I may align interests and outcomes and sense a mutuality of purpose but I feel nothing for these appliances. There is no bond. There is nothing attaching me to them. The emptiness within me, the void which I seek to fill with fuel from all those in my fuel matrix pervades my relationship with those in that matrix. I am hollow and that echoes in my relationships with all those around me.
Whatever it is that compels you to feel connected to somebody else, whatever you describe it as and I have heard people do so on many occasions, I remain unable to sense and experience it myself.
There is just nothing there.
Does this trouble me? No. I see the misery that comes with attachment and I see my inability to connect to anybody as an advantage so I am spared what happens to so many others.
The Creature had all of that and it can keep it.
I rose from the seat of misery and I found a new throne.
51 thoughts on “Attachment Is The Seat Of Misery”
I disagree with the part that it is not a learned behaviour.
If you have your heart broken enough then you become “numb” and it makes it hard to form attachments, especially romantic ones to anyone else.
You also become a master of your emotions, able to switch them on and off at will. If you feel those butterflies in the stomach, they can be quickly made to flutter away.
Hi Anna, I agree that for me the not attaching was learned, it was a safety issue to preserve my sanity I believe. Had I been a CoD I’m not sure it would’ve worked. And, to some extent I have been able to overcome it though I still hold on loosely to people and usually reject situations if I know my heart will likely be hurt in the end. Though it took a lot of effort, I am attached emotionally to my kids and grandkids but even there I don’t try to involve myself in their lives really, they have complained about it at times. But it is very hurtful to see my son in law make hurtful comments to my daughter, for example. We believe he is a narcissist and until/unless she decides to change things, that behavior toward her will continue, I don’t need to see it. I spend time with her and their kids without him around mostly. But aside from that small group of people, i am not attached to anyone else. Okay, maybe HG, but that’s for a specific reason.
If my kids and grandkids hurt me, I will live, I will still love them, I may move myself to a position of safety away from them for that period of time, but I’ll be there when they figure it out. With anyone else, I would accept apologies but generally either don’t need them because I’ve not been close enough to be hurt or they are kept at a distance going forward, why risk it again.
I think for the narcissist though it is not accomplished in the same way. I think it’s more of a complete takeover of them by the narcissism, they aren’t given a choice at that point or later. Like, I still had myself, even with the detaching, that’s how I saved myself in fact, and I can make a choice to attach. But for them, they lose themselves, they become the narcissism, they lose the ability to choose along with the ability to attach. That’s my understanding anyway. I’d be curious to hear others thoughts about this, maybe I’m wrong.
Ahh, but do we have free will? is everything programmed? NPD is a defence mechanism, albeit a malignant one. The choice is made when the thought enters the brain, the person chooses to either bite their tongue or lash out! Razor blade tongues. It is a matter of self control after all. I am lucky in that I can choose whether I feel or not. I can turn it on or off. It is a choice. It all begins with the primary caregiver. Why keep knocking on a door when you know noone will answer? Is it not better to be self sufficient when those people always let you down? Caring about people deeply is sometimes enough. It does not always require emotion.
We have free will, some things are programmed. I do not believe the narcissism allows the narcissist free will. I believe it controls them, it is the driver behind their behavior, they’re choices. And all focused on obtaining the prime aims. So yes, the narcissism makes a choice when deciding which will benefit the narcissist more, being kind or lashing out with their tongue. I agree, there is caring without emotion that works also, in some circumstances. HG recently sta6rted on one of his videos that he has the ability to care for someone, as in take care of their needs. But he does so without emotional empathy for them.
Upādāna is the Sanskrit word for attachment, which invariably brings forth dukka or suffering, according to Buddhist practices. Ironically, upādāna also translates for “fuel.” Who has a stronger attachment, an Empath that creates bonds with other people, or a narc that depends on the fuel of an Empath? And which of the two forms of attachment brings forth more misery?
Attachment, stability, gives you the energy you need.
That is why it is very valuable – no matter how many times it is disappointed or torn apart by external factors.
I will never lose everything. I always have myself. Everything is in me. Even when it’s gone, it’s still.
Such magic-mary 🙂
Absolutely. A strong sense of self. A strong inner core. Well being. Self sufficient. This is the key to survival. To truly love yourself. To be able to laugh. Happiness. After an empathic supernova, you can become a Heyoka Empath. The most powerful empath there is. I myself suffered over decades from narcissitic abuse. Emotional, physical, sexual abuse. Horrific. Unspeakable. But I am alive, and I have never felt so alive. I also felt the pain of my abusers. It was terrible. Unspeakable. I do not feel hate. Nor do I desire revenge. Both of which are a waste of precious energy. Rather I look to the future, and enjoy the present. Enlightenment is the key to well being.
This article is on my mind this morning. Indeed… attachment IS the seat of misery. And so few people in my life has attached back to me.
Are there any strategies in which the empath can practice detachment? Are we able to successfully detach ourselves from those we feel attached too? Or once we are in… is it too late?
I was thinking one thing I could practice is not opening up and sharing my feelings. With this new guy I tried to date I let all my cards out on the table. Is it better to hold our cards close to our chest until we feel the other person may have developed a type of attachment as well?
Hi Empath 007,
I think it largely depends on how you are naturally. Some people naturally give up a lot of information about themselves very early on. If you are that way inclined I think it’s likely quite difficult to withhold information because it’s a fundamental part of who you are, part of your communication style.
Confiding does lead to attachment in my view yes. It isn’t so much the talking about yourself that is the problem. I think it is the repeated sharing of innermost thoughts and feelings that leads to the attachment. The feeling that someone truly ‘knows’ you.
I don’t confide. That’s my natural way of being. I sidestep personal questions and read the way a conversation is going so that I can actively change the direction. It’s almost a game with me. On the surface I have lots to say. I’m jovial, entertaining, plenty to talk about, but I don’t confide my deeper thoughts and feelings, not until I’m very sure of someone, even then I don’t confide all.
In terms of tips to avoid confiding; usually I lead the conversation so that people talk about themselves. People in general love to talk about themselves and being an empath they open up quickly so we talk about their stuff, never my stuff. It’s a bit like playing chess, read the conversation, anticipate the question, change the game play to redirect the question. Parents of young children redirect a lot too!
Not confiding has its advantages but it also has its drawbacks, definitely. If you are naturally open I don’t think you should have to change that about yourself at all. It’s a positive behaviour in my opinion. I think you might find that getting very adept at spotting the red flags early on is likely the best form of defence. That way you still confide, you are still true to yourself, but you confide in the right people, at least people who won’t exploit your confidences.
Thank you! I am just seeing this. Yes, I naturally and easily talk about very personal things. On the flip side – others naturally open up to me about very personal things. I would disagree it’s a good trait. I usually get used and feel drained.
In terms of this new guy I saw all the flags and ignored them. I’m very unlucky in love lol.
Thanks for your thoughtful response 🙂
Hi Empath 007,
You’re welcome lovely. I think the new guy likely upset you then threw you into a tailspin as your ET shot up. Then the original narc seemed so much ‘better’ by comparison.
I understand that you feel you have gained the closure you needed from the original narc. Just remember what closure is. It means completion, no going back, no looking back, no further interaction. No watching his Facebook!! Haha! If you find yourself wanting further interaction, it wasn’t closure, it was ET and it’s out to con you. You know this already, don’t fall for it. It’s a slippery slope, watching his FB, liking the odd comment, sending the odd message, having the occasional chat, dinner, bunk up. Then before you know it, it isn’t closure, it’s an almost relationship on his terms, never your terms.
They are what they are. They never change. We are the ones that end up getting hurt, locked in the past and prevented from moving forward. Your narc will drag you back to the past given half a chance nomad or no nomad, it’s all good fuel to him and costs him nothing.
We say bollocks to that. That’s what we say Empath 007!
You are so right … about all of it. I was thrown into a tailspin about the rejection and reached out to the narc to help me feel better.
And while I could have closure I have been reaching out and letting him peep my stories on FB… sometimes putting specific ones up for him!
I think he’s pretty finalized with me but if he were to change his mind I’d be screwed!
I’m just so upset about the rejection… it’s like the narc could do no wrong right now haha.
Time to snap out of it. While I still can.
so many things we can do, NC and not checking social media, not wondering what they’re up to.
But as you point out don’t share anything with them which will make you feel ‘shitty’ later on. They don’t care anyway so why bother. I don’t share anything with Ns unless I either couldn’t care less they know or not or I just make stuff up now too. I never used to tell lies, everything had to be truthful because I needed to be true to myself. I don’t feel that way any more at all and if it serves my purpose or even if its just for fun then I will. the only difference between me and an N is i don’t do it to hurt others, its self preservation and I also know when I’m bloody lying lol.
the other thing I’ve noticed is that listening to all of their problems also causes us to attach to them, its like it gets imprinted on our brain. We care about others and are naturally going to ponder on their problems even when they’re not around. But do you think they ponder on ours, no way!! they only want to listen to us offload to use it against us should they ever want/need to.
So don’t over share or over listen would be my advice. And when they are oversharing with you, just always keep at the back of your mind that they don’t feel the same way we do, they don’t feel the way they are describing it is only ever about control. It helps you to not over think about their problems later on. xxx
Such great advice! I find even when people aren’t narcs… those that truly care enough to support us are rare. And you’re right – being someone’s support makes us feel attached.
I’m so thankful for narcsite! Makes me remember I don’t need to think about these people !
And validated my no contact
Empath007 – Why do you want to change? Live in harmony with yourself.
Reconciliation with failures and misfortunes are part of life. Same as happiness, enthusiasm and joy 🙂
This is the only way you can feel fulfilled.
Honesty is very important. If you want to be in a close relationship with someone, don’t pretend to be someone you are not. If he goes, let him go, don’t stop. You are not able to stop anyway.
Attachment is beautiful as long as you realize and accept that EVERYTHING ends.
I wanted to write back earlier, but I missed this thread somewhere.
You wrote, that you haven’t had sex in 4 years.
My answer for you:
Pfff! Novice! Greenhorn! This January, it was my 15th anniversary without sex. And believe me, I have never been a “nun” 🙂 It’s a pity, but I will not despair, there are so many other interesting things, that attract and fascinate, or at least take up my time.
Desperately looking for a sex partner will make you feel worse and worse. Not worth it.
I will only give myself, when I love again 🙂
Joa, great comment. I agree with “don’t pretend to be someone you are not”.
15 years?! Wow. Impressive. Over 6 years or so for me, nothing wrong with being a “nun” 🙂
Some people may put too much emphasis on sex when it comes to meeting new people and forming new relationships. Your words “Desperately looking for a sex partner will make you feel worse and worse“, it may affect some people and not others. I recall being friends with a guy for around 9 months before he asked me out and we did not get intimate sexually straight away, it was mutual. We did “mess around” for some weeks until eventually, well. There was self-respect and respect for each other.
Thanks for the encouragement.
I for one, think there is nothing wrong with sex for sex sake. Sex is a beautiful thing. You don’t need to be in love. You can be friends with benefits. It’s easy to find but I add find someone who respects you and is your friend. Sex with love is nirvana to me but love cannot be manufactured. It’s rare. It comes to you. Until then….
I honestly don’t get sex as a sport but there are plenty of online tinder apps to join if you do. I Just don’t get why having sex with a trusted friend who you don’t love is wrong or even…. Not healthy
Some would see it as no attachment but there is an attachment, a need to placate a human desire with a trusted friend. A mature respected understanding to solve a basic need.
Contagious, everyone should live up to their inner voice. My voice says: All or nothing in love.
When I give, I give everything and I want everything. I am not interested in half measures.
I can satisfy my physical needs at the level you write about.
Closeness? I have it with many people.
I don’t cross these boundaries. I like to nudge them, create tension and sparks, but we always pull back when we rub too much against that line. Sometimes we heat up the atmosphere of friendship when it becomes too boring 🙂
I distinguish it:
A Friend is a Friend. And he is supposed to be a Friend in my life.
The Beloved is the Beloved. And he is to be my Beloved One in my life.
Lover? And what is that? Vibrator?
N2 offered friendship after years. Friendship with benefits, too. Tempting. Very. But I burst out laughing. He was my Beloved. He will never be my close Friend. He climbed higher. So either he will climb there again, or he will be the former Beloved/distant parent of our child/ATM (I wrote the last one maliciously and on purpose, for reasons known to me).
Everything or nothing.
Oh Joa ❤️ Your comment helped me so much this morning. You have no idea. When I told the new partner I’ve never had a one night stand he treated me as if I was pathetic sexually.
Then HE’S the one that can’t perform in the bedroom. Yes.. it is I who is sexually repressed 🙄 haha.
I miss physical intimacy but am similar to you in that I have to feel a connection.
Thank you 🙏🏻
I am glad that the selfishly and insistently described fragments of my extremely interesting life, ha ha ha, with no sexual relationship, could help you, even if it is only a temporary elevation of mood 🙂
Try not to be troubled by the reactions of other people/men. They come and they go. Their opinion of you is of little importance in relation to your own opinion of yourself.
I greet you empathetic girl and have a nice day 🙂
I must admit, I’m envious of your ability to avoid forming attachments. I’ve often wished I could learn how to stop.
Understandable. It’s not a learned behaviour it’s part of what I am.
Yes, hence my envy. I can only dream of being without attachment, whereas that’s fundamental to what you are. It’s frustrating to know I can never achieve that. But such is life. At least can hone my logical thinking to better outwit my emotional thinking. Thank you for that awareness.
It’s strange to me that some people feel sorry for you and/or try to convince you that you’re missing out by lacking emotional attachment. That seems to me the safest way one could live amongst other humans.
Safe yes, but, there is more to life than safety. But even with that, there is no convincing since the narcissism can’t be convinced. I enjoyed reading your comments, thank you.
That’s kind of you, thank you. I just wish I could avoid being betrayed yet again by someone who claims to care for me, you know? At this point in my life, I’d willingly sacrifice my empathy for safety. I get snapped at for crying over news stories about other people’s pain. It would be so much easier if I could stop myself from caring at all. Sadly, as far as I’m aware, only a traumatic brain injury or dementia can cause adults to lose their ability to form attachments. It’s a damn shame there’s no way to short out one’s empathy without causing damage to one’s brain that one doesn’t want or intend. If there were a way to do so, I would gladly take it. I would just be sure to give away my pets and move away from my family first, before I shorted out my empathy.
You’re welcome Poison, the good news is that being here, if you apply the knowledge and are vigilant, you can avoid being betrayed again. It takes a lot of work and is an ongoing process, sometimes for quite a long time. But HG’s work does work. You will begin to see benefits before you know it. And, we are all here to encourage and support you as you need, as we can. I promise it can be better, I know this from personal experience! The pain is what got me here and now I’m actually thankful that I could feel it. 💕
I used to share your view that lacking emotional attachment would be preferable, but that has changed somewhat. It depends on one’s view/definition. Although it may be seen as a plus in some instances (in competitive arenas for example) I don’t necessarily see it as keeping one “safe”altogether. Narcissists are not devoid of emotion. They can still be wounded and affected negatively by people they would not be considered as being “attached” to. This causes them to seek fuel to address the wounding and negative feelings that they do experience, so I do not consider that “safe” or even wholly unattached in that sense. They need others, and where there is need there is a form of attachment in my view. Just not in the same way you experience it. They need us. We do not need them.
Your observation that you can hone your logical thinking to better outwit your emotional thinking is a better option for a non-narcissist. In that way, you do not have to lose anything. You can create balance to fully experience life if that’s what you want. Something they can never achieve.
NA, definitely! Poison, I don’t understand how you can envy lack of attachment. This is one of the most beautiful things we have 🙂
Humanity is an attachment to values, family, knowledge, history, achievements, places, people. Without attachment, we would cease to exist.
Train resistance to life blows. Learn to endure and overcome them. Continue walking with your head held high and smiling.
Don’t try to counter the blows of life. You can’t. So, it does not make sense.
I wish I could control who I attach too. I don’t mind being Attached to my children for instance. My Attachment to the narcissist made me stupid and weak. It made it very difficult to break away. If you have sex with me forget it. I’m yours for life! 🤣
No, attachment is living, the joys and pains that go with it are necessary to fully experience life. Without them there cannot be a complete life though I understand why this must be disputed, even the disputing is a defense.
Attachment isn’t always a “feeling”, sometimes it is a choice or even a lack of choice, hosted on a person by another, but accepted anyway. As was the case with my large dog. Having been through it once already, I did not want a dog because they die and it’s more pain than I can take. But as usual my, my protests went unheard and unheeded. Of course, the dog was mine, I loved that dog regardless of my attempt to reject having one. Twelve years later, he died. A piece of my heart died with him. Now, almost twelve years since, I am so happy that I experienced that dog. The wonderful memories of his life so much surpass the pain of his death, my heart has been restored and is even a bit bigger for having known him.
Fascinating article to see the narcissistic perspective but I am glad for my attachments. And though they would agree, I am sad for the narcissists inability to attach.
AV, what a beautiful statement! I’m delighted! 😊
Hi Joa, thank you, I’m glad it delighted you. I feel the same way about everyone I know who has passed away, even my narcissist Dad, my life is fuller in some ways for having known him. I also can get angry at him for what he did not teach me about life. He taught me the things you get in decent love bombing, to recognize and appreciate the good things, to love to learn, how to ride a bike, throw a ball, drive a stick. He did not teach me how to live in the world ie setting boundaries or about compromising etc, or that my education was important, how to have a relationship, that I had value. I did not, do not, have strong attachment to my family of origin. Because my siblings left and I don’t know them, he was the strongest attachment I had. I wanted to help him with his end of life stuff. Had I known he was a narcissist, I may have decided differently though I am glad to have done it for him. My mother, I believe, I will send to a home. I think she is aware of how I feel and hates me for it. But she already hated me anyway. It has been really hitting home lately that these people are mean, just mean, and part of their meaness is expecting others to just take it from them. That arrogance is mind boggling to me. They, their chaos, make me feel like I’m living but I’m really dying when I’m around them, I’m not living. NC is truly the only way.
Victor: you love and were loved. Attachment to me is a diminishment of love. To me, dogs are angels. Can you imagine a world without them? Imagine. No pets. None. How sad it would be x to me every death is a chance to celebrate how lucky we were to have them… human or dog. Woof
Hmm… A world without dogs, no. My home without them, yes. Haha! I look forward to that day!! Not their deaths, just their going with their actual owners, who is not me.
On a more serious note, I’m curious what you mean by “Attachment to me is a diminishment of love.”? I thought most people consider love to cause attachment, in the emotions and through choice also. It sounds like you have a different, and interesting, perspective.
Victor: just love to me is from the spirit from the soul, attachment sounds more psychological! How wonderful you are watching others little angels:)
Thank you for your explanation Contagious, I appreciate you sharing it. That is funny, I think I see it just the opposite and I don’t think either of us is incorrect.
AV, it what you describe about a dog…
There are always dogs in my family. Each of us women knows, that happiness is always accompanied by some pain – or happiness comes with pain in the end – we accept it.
I’ll add even more. I have NEVER regretted meeting N1 and N2. Despite all the pain, or maybe even thanks to this pain, I was able to experience emotions that, as a child, I only read and dreamed about. I touched life so much, I lived the strongest possible life. I still live…
Sometimes I wonder if it was they, who dictated the conditions, or if they just fulfilled what I wanted most… To taste life in every color, shade, experience all possible sensations in every intensity.
Okay Joa, no, I did not know that “happiness is always accompanied by some pain – or happiness comes with pain in the end”. I learned it when my first dog died, I was never going to have another. The one I wrote about above was my second, he was forced on me by my ex, it was a source of contention from him to me through the rest of our marriage, sadly. So I have been forced to accept the fact that pain can go with love, against my better judgement. Of course, if I am thinking about this, I do see that I loved my parents and they repeatedly and often hurt me, I did stop feeling love at some point. So there it is true but they were narcissists, so now I’ve learned that was to be expected with them. I think with a normal, healthy relationship there is much less pain. Someone will die eventually, that can’t be avoided with people or pets, but there is a weighing of attachment vs years spent vs happiness quotient etc that makes some pain less necessary, for me anyway. With those dogs I was all in, they never hurt anybody, until they died.
Yes AV, that’s what I meant. The most important things in life are related to pain. Even the children.
Maybe I look at it a little differently. I love pain and everything beautiful, that comes with it. I wrote many times, that I am a masochist 🙂 Then, I know that I am alive… I am still alive 🙂
I hate apathy and boredom. It’s a denial of life. I don’t take it well.
I see your point. There can be no pleasure without pain. No joy without sadness. One cannot exist without the other. I also have an aversion to boredom and the mundane. I have grown to value peace over pleasure. I now subscribe to happiness as emotional stability and find joy in still waters.
Joa & A Victor,
I don’t know that I feel like happiness is always accompanied by pain or that happiness should even be accompanied by pain.
But I think we don’t learn to truly appreciate “happiness” – or contentment without some experience of pain.
I think we are conditioned to believe that there is some natural link between happiness and pain.
AV, when I wrote about women, I meant the women in my family.
WhoCares, if happiness were not interspersed with pain, it would become “daily bread”. As you write: suffering makes you appreciate ordinary things, they start to make you happy. Eating cherries straight from the tree. The scent of flowers. Clouds moving across the sky. The smile of a child waking up from sleep (this is what I have little enough lately, Miss always pouting and dissatisfied, but when she finally gives me a smile, my heart jumps out of my chest and goes around the house bumping against the walls as if it was drunk, ha ha ha :)).
We give birth to children in pain, and they are happiness. We come into the world in pain. We endure adversity by suffering. Closeness to other people also means various kinds of wounds. Too fast a word, understatement, anger. Fortunately, we have the ability to understand, empathize and forgive (for me at an express pace – as long as you are not doing something on purpose, deliberately and repeatedly). The death of loved ones/animals is pain.
Happiness and suffering intertwined like a braid. Sometimes one strand is thicker, the other is thinner, and then it changes. Differently.
Constant happiness is impossible, regularity is ordinariness. And happiness is not an “ordinary” state 🙂 It is a state of elation (raging happiness) or slowly expanding warmth (longer satisfaction, smile, joy).
That’s how I see it.
Hi Joa, thank you for this comment, it really helped me understand what you meant and I agree with this perspective. I also think you could say many women outside of your family would see things this way also. I was thinking more within relationships, person to person, having that love/pain connection is not, in my thinking, necessary. I have read before that you are a masochist so we would see that piece of it differently. Your comment here is really great.
Thank-you for your reply. I really enjoy your comments. You write with an emotive and beautiful style, and the emotion is almost palpable in your words.
“WhoCares, if happiness were not interspersed with pain, it would become “daily bread”.”
Yes, I agree. I am reminded of a simplistic, but good example in the children’s movie “Inside Out”, of the character “Joy”…who thinks life should always be about joy & happiness with no space for other emotions…which, in reality, would actually make life pretty one dimensional. But, of course, to be able to recognize the state of ‘joy’, one has to have a comparison…otherwise you would be oblivious to what joy actually is.
“We give birth to children in pain, and they are happiness. We come into the world in pain. We endure adversity by suffering.”
Yes, I fully understand both the pain and joy that comes with childbirth and childrearing, etc.
“As you write: suffering makes you appreciate ordinary things, they start to make you happy. Eating cherries straight from the tree. The scent of flowers. Clouds moving across the sky. The smile of a child waking up from sleep…”
I have many wonderful memories of my time in ensnarement – even during the sustained devaluation – many of them are related to watching my son enjoy things…roasting marshmallows over a bonfire, sleeping under the stars at night, rescuing a dragonfly from our shaded gazebo and feeling its wings vibrate in the sunshine, as it rested in our hands, until it was capable of flight again…watching my son play ‘imaginary ice cream shop’ (with mud for ice cream scoops!) with his first real playmate…hearing them giggling and reading books under a tent that they had created with lawn chairs and blankets. And I would agree with you that “suffering” would cause us to more greatly appreciate such experiences. However, what brings on the consequently suffering? Yes, sometimes a natural event causes the suffering…but what about when the narc is the cause?
My son lost his first real playmate (in the examples above) as a consequence of his father’s actions and driving a wedge between us and the little girl’s family so that she would no longer come to play with our son. It still makes me deeply sad to reflect on this. For weeks after, my son would ask me, “Where’s Peyton?”…”Is Peyton coming to play today?” So, the consequential pain of the loss of that burgeoning friendship was not “natural” – there was no *real* good reason on earth why those two children shouldn’t have been able to continue to play together – except the experience was made “painful” following the actions of his narcissist father.
The issues I have are the assumptions that pain is intrinsically linked to joy and the romantization of the relationship between joy and pain, within relationships, in general. That is not a natural, in my opinion.
When I was a child, I used to wonder why life was so full of pain. (Like, I would literally ask the universe why it was this way.)
Why should it be that way? But what I didn’t realize then was that I was under the influence of narcissistic abuse – and I probably was feeling much of the pain of my father’s experience at the hands of my mother (I have small percentage of Contagion) and the general stress of their relationship. I think I was spared the worst of it (although my father was not) and I took refuge in art, books and school.
But, still, to this day (although, it’s got better) I have a difficult time of just enjoying a moment of ‘joy’ and or peace…or fun. Because, for me, those experiences are linked with a follow-up feeling of doom – like something bad is going to happen or the other shoe is going to drop. This is because past experiences of ‘happiness’ or ‘joy’ were always impacted by or trampled on by my mother. So – that’s not natural…that is the product of conditioning.
(This residual experience from my childhood is what motivates me to endeavour to never trample on my child’s joy – if possible – and I can see its effect, because, for the most part he is a very happy-go-lucky, joyful child. Not always, but mostly – and that, in turn, makes me happy to see it.)
Yes, shit happens and it might very well happen immediately following something good or a joyous occurrence – but the assumption of relationship between the two experiences shouldn’t be automatic.
Yes, WC, I can see how the contrast would likely make us more appreciative of happiness/contentment. Also possibly less judgemental. I am that only because a good friend recently was taking about her amazing childhood, it really was, and how she didn’t know darkness in life until she married an alcoholic. And how that had made her less judgemental of others who have struggles. But yes, I also feel we are conditioned to associate happiness with pain, also love. When the same person who beats you then tells you they love you, especially as a child, that would bring conditioning.
On so many levels this is a sad way to be, but on so many other ways it is logical and necessary.
I saw a comment from you momentarily at one point, a couple days ago, about my daughter I think, I got a call just then and lost it. But I wanted to say thank you, it was encouraging! 💕