A WOMAN'S DISCOVERY OF SCHIZOID FANTASY
BY R. B. STUART
Over the years I took my idealistic notions of love and romance to such a degree, I'd literally carry on a romantic conversation and fantasy sexual encounters with my latest conquest, in my own mind. In time, the disinterest and endless rejection from my object of affection, would eventually slap me back to reality. That is after I realized my lovely wasn't able to wake-up and smell the obsession. The hope of my desires being returned would ultimately go unfulfilled and the heartwrenching discovery became apparent that once again I latched onto unrequited love.
It wasn't until I was able to detach from my constant longings and talk freely and humorously about them, did I finally perceive that it wasn't normal. That was the day I plucked the Merck Manual (a Physician’s Reference) from my bookshelf and stumbled across a medical term for my neurosis: Schizoid Fantasy. In black and white I read that my symptoms were of a psychological illness. In horror and amusement, I deemed myself mentally ill. The description of this neurotic disorder was: "One who imagines and creates fantasy relationships in order to avoid loneliness." Loneliness? I never considered myself as lonely. I'd always perceived myself as an extrovert since I am extremely social, optimistic and carry an organic sense of humor and joy in my heart.
Seven months later and still in denial, feeling locked in extreme sadness and depression. A friend sensed in my voice that something was wrong. Over the telephone I shared with him my lowly thoughts. He replied, "Darling, you're lonely." I am? I thought as a dam of tears burst forth. We hung-up. While laying in the hammock of my loneliness I cried uncontrollably for quiet some time. I reached for my journal to write what I was uncovering. I wrote about the empty loneliness I felt.
It was then I observed my own mind, it wasn't cluttered with the obsessive thoughts of a man. The fantasy obsessions were for many years a distraction for the lack of a man ----the void of love in my life. Without the daily pining over a man, whom didn't want me I was finally alone with the emptiness of my own heart and mind. Strung along with it was my dejected spirit and negative feelings of self-worth and unattractiveness. The more I scribed and reflected, I began to put the pieces of my emotional and psychological puzzle together.
I had many fictional relationships begin and end in my mind. Each ending was as traumatic as in real life. Aware of my regrets and my mistakes, with each termination I learned more about myself. I'd joke with my siblings that I was the only person to have relationships in my mind, causing infliction upon myself and learning from it without ever touching or involving the other person. Saving myself from a partner with unsuspecting sexual dysfunction's or diseases, pregnancy or the dreaded, awkward confrontation of clearing out your clothes or his, and asking for the return of apartment keys. My way was less messy. There was only one hurt partner. One side of the story. And after I woke from my hypnotic obsession, I'd wonder what I ever saw in him anyway.
It wasn't until 2000 while writing my memoirs did the emotional eruption clear the dead wood hanging around the attic of my heart and mind. It had been gaining momentum with each memory unleashed and relived. In order to write about it I had to re-experience it. During a moment of being stuck in a deep fog of emotional pain from the past. I came to realize while walking through the fire---that somewhere along the way I stopped needing people. The endings of important relationships, the loss, the deaths stacked upon one another until I closed my heart and stopped needing and loving others. In the interim it was safer to fantasize relationships. Ending a fictional relationship was still hurtful for my young heart, but less permanent. The obsession was created as a need to not feel any more pain or loss, I was already filled to capacity and needed to empty.
The vessel I searched my lifetime for, to pour my love and adoration into, wasn't a man after all. I mislead my heart in a continual quest for "the one" who could handle such powerful love and devotion. The prose tumbled around my heart while I waited for him. I had so much to share with this creature, where is he?
The years of suppressed emotions saddled with the inability to communicate laid dormant no longer. As I hovered over my laptop rewriting the past, the sorrow and pain surfaced. A cluster of tears dripped from my eyes and through them I found my way clearly---the vessel I searched lifetimes for was written in the pages of my life. The paper was my vessel. I poured all the love, sorrow, regrets and heartache into my memoirs; it was strong enough to handle the abundance of painful words. In its silence, effortlessly absorbing the overflow of what I could no longer contain. Unconditionally accepting everything I offered.
The stream of consciousness no matter how light or dark---the paper remained unfettered. Bending backwards and sideways for me as my body contorted with memories. All the while maintaining an un-bias stance of my prose. Watching my pen tickle across the lines of the page---never changing its form or color. This vessel is the holder of my passions. And what I poured out, in its own way pours back into the Self in the form of self-expression, self-awareness, acceptance, understanding, accomplishment and unconditional love for who I am; a vessel for my Soul.
(My new obsession is writing.)
Originally written in 2001.
Copyright 2001 R. B. STUART, All rights reserved. No reproduction of this blog in any form.