How to Defeat the Ghosts
October 8, 2001 Ask Dr. Love Advice Column
I have been seeing a great girl for a while now. She is kind, caring, and shares the same interest. My problem is that I keep having thoughts of my EX that I left a year ago. I had a perfect relationship with her at first but then she cut herself off from me. She was passive- aggressive and I couldn't get her to communicate. I still don't really know what the real cause was. I tried for years actually and finally gave up. This girl I'm seeing now isn't as pretty as the EX but great in every other way. I keep have these thoughts about the EX even though she was very cruel to me at times. I am still hurt by her aborting my baby among other things. How can I defeat these ghosts????
As I have said many times, whenever a person can't shake a feeling, a memory or can't let go of a person or relationship that is damaging or whenever one experiences a disproportionately strong reaction to a given situation, it is sure that unfinished childhood business is afoot. Your problem is that you can't let go of the ghost of your ex.
To let go, you need to figure out how your attachment to your ex. relates to your childhood. Who does she represent for you (mom, dad, a combination of both)? What painful aspect of your childhood did life with your ex. recreate? You spoke of your ex. having being cruel to you. You need to ask yourself, 'Who was cruel to me when I was growing up?' When you make this link, you will understand more about why you can't let go of an ex. who was cruel to you. Clearly your unconscious mind drew you to a woman who mistreated you the way one or both of your parents did. You made this choice of partner, partly because it was familiar (familiar pain is comfortable in an odd way), but also because you were hoping to heal your childhood wound: the fantasy being that this time around you would succeed in getting your ex. to treat you better than your parents did; and if and when this occurred, your unconscious mind would feel as though you succeeded in obtaining better treatment from your parents.
The reason why you can't seem to let go of your ex. is because you can't let go of the hope of healing the childhood wounds that still plague you. Hanging on to her is a sign that you are still yearning to heal those wounds. Enter therapy and you will find a safe haven to heal the wounds of the past. As you heal the wounds of the past, you will soon find that your craving for your ex. will fade. Your attachment to her is merely a symptom of the fact that you have some unfinished baggage that needs handling. Let me know how you make out.
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