Part 44 Horribly Beautiful Limerence
As the clock stroke midnight on the last day of December, a strange mix of excitement and fierce determination hung in the air. This new year, the year 2011 would be THE year when everything would fall into place. Her life would change forever. Gia was sure of it. And while the day and night took their turns, thoughts of Lokie and the possible answers she would get were constantly on her mind. It was an endless stream of happiness, a non stop film of possible outcomes in front of her very eyes that sustained her life.
Gia knew by now that she could not move on with her life without confronting the past. Only then she would finally be free like the wind howling outside the window of her old house. Free of the pain and the curse, stretching her wings like the birds flying in the sky without a care. Free to be happy, free of the obsession and the unwanted thoughts hijacking her brain for so long. Free from seeing signs in everything no matter how insignificant or trivial. How might that feel? She couldn’t wait for life without Lokie, her constant unwanted ghost companion. Since she was a teenager he was there, he became a part of Gia and would not let her go. This was it. A giant boulder that she struggled to roll to the top of a steep mountain for so many years was finally there, all set and ready waiting to roll down.
She already planned a better life, taking control, looking for a job and being on a journey of self discovery…Just the thought of it was filling her with joy and excitement. The possibilities were endless. Gia knew that she could do anything she put her mind to it. The girls had already decided that the reunion would take place at the end of May, and as Gia purchased the plane tickets, it had became more real in that very instant. She so wanted for Lokie to know, to relieve him of his sadness, to give him hope…
31st of January 2011
Leni suggested the end of May for our 15 year reunion. What do you think? I hope that you will make it this time 🙂
Take care for now.
Gia could picture Lokie opening the email and smile. There was no reason to be sad anymore about missing their last reunion. He just got another chance. How wonderful! But as the days rolled into one another, there was no joyous response from Lokie. There was no response at all. Something was wrong. This was not supposed to happen. What was going on? Did something happen to Lokie? Did Gia do anything wrong? Did she scare him by the intensity of it all? She was extremely careful not to, but what was she thinking? She couldn’t fool him, he could sense the intensity, the force of her determination to make this happen. The vast physical distance was not a barrier to her feelings getting through. Damn!
Yes, he sensed it, but how did he interpret it? Oh, please Lokie, please do not think that Gia wants you, you know as a lover or a partner because that’s not it! All she wants is a cure, a cure to her madness, and some answers, that’s all. Please! Oh, God what if he is right? Was that really all she wanted? Had she been fooling herself? No, that was impossible! Either way, to know for sure she had to see him. But now Lokie reverted into his old mysterious self, and Gia had no idea if he would even go to the damn reunion.
She was standing atop of the windblown mountain right next to the giant boulder staring into the dark abyss down below. Pain was with her, as well Frustration, Fear and Anger together with the agonizing Helplessness, they wouldn’t leave her alone, tugging at her bones and insides, getting ready for a feast. Their salivating was too much to bear. Gone are the days of Happiness’ visits. It seemed that the dark Obsession of uninvited worry and the unwanted Desperation for answers had moved in permanently, refusing to leave. And in her clouded mind Gia thought she had done all she could, she refused to give in. No, there is no way they would win! Because she, Gia would get throughout this with or without Lokie! If he won’t show up, she would smash Madness to pieces on her own because this was no way to live.
But there was still time and Hope. The cursed Hope that pretended to be her best friend when in fact she was helping the Madness bunch all along keeping Love away. Gia tried to shun her away but she insistently whispered in her ear, ” Let me and Patience help you, Gia, you know the possibilities!”
“No, Hope you are wrong! Leave me alone!”
“Gia, dear think about it, there is a perfectly innocent explanation for Lokie not answering your email, and he is like you, you know that, don’t you? He also wants to see you, to look into your eyes one more time, to take journey into another world-.”
“No, Gia remember Lokie? Think of him, of all the answers he has for you…now now, here sit with Patience, it won’t be long now…”
“Please Hope, don’t do this…”
“I am not trying to hurt you Gia, I am trying to lead you to Happiness and Love, but if you really want, I’ll go and leave you alone with Madness.”
“No, please do not go, you are right, I have nothing to loose, there is still time…I’ll wait with you and Patience…”
“Good girl.” smiled Hope.
Although Gia was defeated by Hope again, she wouldn’t give in completely, she was sure there was another way or reason for all of this. Surely Lokie was not the only one with answers? What if he couldn’t help her to fight the Madness even if he wanted to? There was another entity that could have some answers. The Internet. Sure enough there it was – her Madness had a name.
According to Wikipedia “Limerence is a state of mind which results from a romantic attraction to another person typically including compulsive thoughts and fantasies and a desire to form or maintain a relationship and have one’s feelings reciprocated. Psychologist Dorothy Tennov coined the term “limerence” for her 1979 book Love and Limerence: The Experience of Being in Love.”
Gia was astonished. Tears of recognition and relief were falling in her lap as she read everything she could find about limerence. This was the closest explanation of what she was experiencing. It was all there – the intrusive obsessive thinking, shyness, daydreaming, the desire for emotional reciprocation from Lokie-her Limerent Object (LO). She recognized the intense joy when Lokie “reciprocated” back at school by locking eyes with her and the extreme despair when she thought he didn’t care. She knew she was addicted to the strange euphoria that limerence brought her.
Limerence makes you loose your mind, no matter how intelligent you are or where you come from. It hijacks your brain against your will, it makes you analyze LO’s actions, looking for signs of reciprocation. And the more obstacles or barriers to your “relationship” unfolding, the stronger the feelings become. It could be caused by low serotonin in the brain similar to Obssessive Compulsive Disorder sufferers, but due to lack of proper research limerence has not been recognized as a mental disorder yet.
A fog had started to lift from Gia’s brain, she was not totally crazy. At least she was right about one thing-this was definitely not love. Lokie had been her Limerent Object. Her addiction, a downward spiral to another world she escaped to in times of life hardships. It all made sense. The constant replaying of what transpired with Lokie over and over again in her head, daydreaming of different outcomes and different future scenarios.
Remember Cinema Paralysis or Bus Stop Shock? Yep, limerence played out in all her glory, including the physical experience of it. The shortness of breath, incapacitation, pounding heart, flushing and weakness…., insomnia and loss of appetite, extensive anxiety and incorrect behavior…
Tenov said that sexual attraction is necessary, but it’s almost never the main focus. The “return of feelings” is the main goal of a limerent person. Gia couldn’t believe that someone described her own feelings so perfectly. She could never understand why she was drawn to Lokie in such a powerful way yet didn’t desire or daydream about physical intimacy with him. Even now as a grownup she was convinced she didn’t want anything to happen between them, all she wanted was to talk to him, to be acknowledged…or what? What was it she wanted from him? She was not sure exactly, she hoped she would know once she saw him…
Original writing and photo © Gia Joseph and Giasuniverse, 2015