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Old 02-03-2017, 05:57 AM
 
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I wasn't referring to the love you feel for the person who died -- of course, that continues -- but that finds no expression in real life anymore (unless you build a shrine to the departed and spend your time in devotionals to it). I mean the love you still have to give.

I think it depends, too, on if that person was not only your primary "love object" (obviously, it's singular and can be only one) or if you love many people equally. Clearly, that wouldn't be a problem; you'd simply transfer your attachment to one of the others. It's likely more an issue for those of us who ARE loners, don't have others to love in place of the deceased, and are independent enough that we DON'T "need" people (immediately or even ever) and thus seek out a replacement. I'm an "if it happens, it happens" type.

But if it doesn't, it seems there'll be no love in my life, and I'm beginning to think that may be a problem in fully enjoying my life.
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Old 02-03-2017, 06:12 AM
 
Location: In a house
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I can relate. I feel like I exist but am not really living. Hope that changes!
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Old 02-03-2017, 08:20 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
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I also have been feeling like I just exist day to day since becoming a widow 6 1/2 years ago. It's not only the loss of someone who adores you but, like was said, you have all this love and no place to put it. I started volunteering at my local Humane Society and that has helped somewhat. I also adopted a dog from the shelter 4 years ago but she died in August so I got a cat that really needed to be out of the shelter environment.


It has helped a little but I still hate the holidays, especially Christmas and Valentine's Day. There is nobody anymore to treat me special and vice versa. :-(
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Old 02-03-2017, 09:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otterhere View Post
Anyone else feel like they kind of stopped living when they lost their main love object in life? I do believe loving and being loved is an essential part of the human experience on earth; life loses meaning unless we have someone with whom to share it and someone -- or something -- to give it a sense of purpose. The absence of that is, I think, especially noticeable after having been a caregiver for the dear departed. And, although I'm not one who needs another in my life or needs to be needed (I'm very independent and self-sufficient; even a loner), it does feel like I'm not fully living but just existing day to day without love in it.

Can anyone relate?
So sorry for your loss.

Here is my experience.

I felt that way for about 3 years after losing my only sister, in July of 2011. It only got worse after within a year and a half I also lost my last sibling....my baby brother, who I had grown so close to after my sister passed. So, it has been a rough last few years for me.

I finally started coming out of it somewhat last summer, when I realized that both my sister and my brother would be mad as hell at me for wasting away my time when I should be out gardening and spending time with other family....if not for me, at least in remembrance of them. It did help, just making myself do things.

This is the first holiday season that I felt almost back to normal.

I will never stop missing and wishing they were still only a phone call away....But I no longer feel like I cannot take a deep breath because of the grief.
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Old 02-03-2017, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otterhere View Post
But can the more casual, shallow, general love for friends and family take the place of a "love object" as meant by Freud? Again, it needn't be romantic or sexual at all -- it could be your spouse or a sibling or a parent or a child; I suppose even a pet -- but that one other living being you love more than anyone else and who, for better or worse, becomes the center of your universe. You can "love mankind," but it's not the same thing.

It's like we have love to give, and it has to go somewhere, but the place where it went isn't there to receive it anymore. So it...dies?
As an introvert in real life, and very selective with who I allow to even approach me, I most certainly can relate to what you are expressing. My wife and I were amazingly close and connected. I wouldn't use Freudian terms for various reasons, and trying to simplify Jungian thought is almost impossible. Jungian analysis is not just a "fix-it" type of therapy but one that allows the development of insight and introspection. If you have been going on three years and still are relating to life as you describe, it could allow you to get to a more comfortable place.

Where you are at is not "wrong" and while the general concept in the disease model of psychology is that you only fix things that are a detriment to your life or the lives of those around you, you are expressing psychic discomfort. From a personal growth standpoint, life is a constant learning and improving of your essence. I'll try to give a five cent tour of one possibility - not to diagnose, but to give you an idea of whether you might be interested in trying to find a personal growth therapist and exploring and getting beyond your block. (Warning - it can cost serious money and not be covered by insurance.)

Your key statement is "becomes the center of your universe." In a word - no. Although it is possible to project feelings, values, emotions onto other people or pets or objects, the "center of the universe" for an individual HAS to be completely within that person. Even if you earnestly believe the center of your universe exists outside of you, it cannot. That is a projection.

What may have happened is that you had a deep sharing (words fail to express how fully sharing this can be), and parts of that sharing are no longer available. Rather than re-integrate and re-center yourself, the desire for a continuation of the sharing has been left without a method of acceptance of reality and re-forming of the self.

There are other possibilities, and your own history may be entering into your feelings. Again, do not take the above as a diagnosis, just an indicator of how working with a Jungian analyst on personal growth might proceed and where your work might lie.
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Old 02-03-2017, 11:16 AM
 
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Interesting! I say "center of universe" in that I was a 24/7 caregiver to a completely helpless loved one. That truly DOES take over your entire life in a way that just a regular relationship wouldn't (and shouldn't). I'm functioning fine (but thanks for the free analysis). I'm just curious if you need that one love object, as Freud called it, for complete fulfillment in life.
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Old 02-03-2017, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otterhere View Post
Interesting! I say "center of universe" in that I was a 24/7 caregiver to a completely helpless loved one. That truly DOES take over your entire life in a way that just a regular relationship wouldn't (and shouldn't). I'm functioning fine (but thanks for the free analysis). I'm just curious if you need that one love object, as Freud called it, for complete fulfillment in life.
What I wrote was only a possibility and doesn't come close to an analysis process. Yes, being a caregiver does take over, and yes the shock of having that change in an instant is stunning (in a literal sense).

It is with trepidation that I write the following:

In direct answer (as direct as terms will allow), the "love object" is not external. It is the projection that you have placed on what appears to be external. Freud did not go as deeply as Jung. It is convenient to say that a person is a "love object" because of the way we have used language and accept connotations. It is possible for language to get you stuck, through no fault of your own. Breaking through language is actually one of the harder aspects of personal growth.

I'll try to take it out of the personal so that I don't automatically get blocked by preconceptions. On a much smaller scale, I once had a '68 Nova. I knew that car inside out, knew its quirks, understood every sound it made, and "loved" it. When a drunk ran into me and wrecked it, I was p*ssed off and there was grief in letting it go. You could say that the car was a "love object." When it was gone, I still had all the feelings, all the knowledge, all the understanding - but it was no longer there. All of my "relationship" with that car was in my own mind. It was a lump of metal and parts. Any personality I imbued it with came from me. I projected onto the car. I could not be in that car's "mind" because it had no mind. As an insensate object, it had no way of "loving" me.

When it comes to people - which are complex beings far removed from mindless automobiles - one truth remains in the "love object" concept. It is not possible to be "in the mind" of another person. We can intuit, we can guess, we can judge reactions and create a mental interpretation that we label as that person, but as people who have unknowingly been married to bigamists can attest, we can't have a perfect understanding and can't really experience through them. That in no way precludes love. That in no way diminishes the value of the relationship. That in no way negates the bonding. What it means is that we have to own and own up to our own emotions and reactions as being ours and ours alone.

When you ask if a love object is "needed" you are more accurately asking if the discomfort you are feeling because of your representational system is something others experience. A trite answer is that you need to love yourself fully before you can have a full love of a "love object." However, if you fully love yourself, your love becomes incapable of turning other people into "objects." Again, it is frustrating trying to use words to get the concepts across, as they can confuse and be ill-received.

Recognize your desire to love. Recognize that you have good feelings when you are able to love and it is appreciated. Recognize that depth of love and appreciation take time to grow and are not really lost even with the death of a partner. Learn to accept the possibility of being at peace while still living a fruitful life, even without the affirmation of you that comes from actively being loved.

I hope I haven't muddied it up too much.
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Old 02-03-2017, 01:07 PM
 
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I think you're overthinking it. But I appreciate your input!
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Old 02-03-2017, 03:01 PM
 
Location: The house I built
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I guess I am one who needs that "love object" if I understand the term correctly. I think a lot about how she would always smile when I gave her a kiss or a hug. I need that love connection. And I knew that I needed that when I was 6 and discovered pretty girls. I had no clue except that all I knew from that day forward is "I gotta get me one of those".

I can live a decent life from an outwardly perspective. People would never know. But on the inside the emptiness and the godawful loneliness is just something I really want to do without.
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Old 02-03-2017, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Marin County, CA
681 posts, read 346,426 times
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I can't relate, not now, but I have been in that state of mind before.


For anyone in that situation, I would love to chat.


Assuming you are single, and female, of course.



Positivity can truly be life changing, and yes, we all do need someone.
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