I was sitting in Saravana Bhawan with my therapist Avani. I sought her help to cope from an unrequited love. She listened to me with rapt attention as I unfolded the minutest details of that relationship. After I finished, I thought she will come up with a magical elixir to heal my hurt heart.
But she left me startled as she asked me about my childhood and my relation with my father. How does that history fit into the current scheme of things? I spent the next two sessions with her talking about my childhood. She would not be content and asked me questions that were buried deep in the details of my childhood. I was not convinced with her approach as I failed to understand how my adult love experience is linked to my relationship with my parents? I called off the session.
& How wrong I was
‘No history has a more lasting effect on our adult loves than the one we write with our parents. Did our parents held us or rocked us? Did we make an eye contact with them? Did we turn to our parents for protection or did we flee from them? Were we humiliated or abandoned? Did we receive or were we denied? All these experiences shape our beliefs and our expectations from our adult love’ – Esther Perel
Ironically, what excites us most often arises from our childhood hurts and frustrations. Our erotic desires serve to heal the trauma of our past. When I look at my relationships in the light of this knowledge, I have some answers.
My parents did not have a harmonius relationship. My father had an affair and my mother was in constant despair. While I empathized with her condition, I went on to become like my father. I became the seductress, the opposite of the abandoned wife.
Love became a conquest for me. Its root lied in my childhood struggle to gain the love and attention of my emotionally unavailable father. I seek the best men in the business and the desire is stoked in my mind by their unavailability. And I notice that once I conquer their mind, they become instantly less attractive. There must be an obstacle to clear in the path of love or else I cannot gauge my value. In doing all this, I seek to confirm that unlike my mother, I’m strong and independent, I’m the one calling the shots, making the choices, and thus purging my childhood vulnerabilities.