When broken people meet in romance, parts of the self hiding in the subconscious meet each other to play out trauma stories.

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When broken people meet in romance, parts of the self hiding in the subconscious meet each other to play out trauma stories. The greater the similarity in underlying emotional issues, the greater the connection. In the game of love, partners are polarized in a power play, taking the role of either the child victim or the adult abuser. In the beginning of such a love cycle, there is admiration for the love object, so that person is lifted up, the way a child looks up to an authority figure. As long as the love object is invested with power, they represent an original, scary power figure, and the powerful love of the victimized child for that caregiver is felt. The love object's power may consist in as little as that they are less open, and seem unattainable.

In my young adult years I had relationships with some very nice men who consistently adored me, but I felt unworthy of their love and always felt guilty for not fully reciprocating. However, the love of these men was based on me being emotionally unavailable. They needed my guilt because it proved their innocence. They wanted to remain in the role of the parenting child. Their love was suffocating, and I ended up proving myself guilty by kissing other men, sending us into the latter part of the love cycle, unlocking the pain and anger hiding behind my boyfriends' young part's love. On my end, I felt evil - as I had been made to feel my whole childhood long. I've spent these last years in celibacy to reclaim my original innocence.

Grounded in emotional safety, I will not remain cool and unavailable. If I'm rejected I may feel the repulsion and derision lurking behind that love, as the good little boy switches roles and sees his own vulnerable, unloved child self reflected. However, I'll never again take on anyone else's guilt and shame, and will reject negative projections. Next we may both experience the deathly fear we suppressed to survive our parents, and feel it for each other. Maybe right within that fear, a teenager's awkward giddiness will awaken. I'll want to shatter all roles and move beyond to uncover deeper truths, but with self love, coming from a place of wholeness.

M Becker