Monday, June 20, 2016

End of An Obsession

Breaking my silence to address a stupid issue that shouldn't be one. But first, a little background:

A lot of people don't know this, but I am an extremely high-functioning autistic woman. I have Asperger's, to be precise. I wasn't officially diagnosed until about 7-8 years ago. A then-friend had a less high functioning son and a lot of what she described him experiencing sounded oh so familiar. She had suggested that I might have the same condition, which I took with a grain of salt for reasons I won't go into.

Anyway, I was seeing a therapist for work related stress issues and something made me bring it up. The therapist agreed that I might be on the autism spectrum and sent me to a colleague for testing/evaluation. Yeah, I am. In retrospect it seems like someone should have seen it sooner, but the doctor explained that I probably have been mimicking "normal" behavior most of my life in an effort to be like everyone else. "It wouldn't have worked if you were less intelligent &/or less high functioning. But you got so good at it that it became a way of life for you. To be honest, I'm amazed that you've been able to cope at this level for so long."

I *tried* to share this information with a few select friends & family. The general consensus was that I "let this friend put ideas in my head" and "there's nothing wrong with me." So I generally keep it to myself and try to continue carrying on.

Among my many issues, are the problem that I take things way too seriously & I get obsessed with people/things. (Not to the point of stalking anybody or wanting to kill them if I can't have them, I just get too emotionally invested) I also take things personally that aren't meant to be. Combine all this with the bipolar disorder that I inherited (did I mention that I'm a walking fucking mess?) & you have a recipe for disaster.

So, as you may have seen from other posts (if you've followed me or if you're a FB friend), one of my obsessions in recent years has been the actor Tom Hiddleston. He's British, gorgeous, has a voice like melted sin, and just seemed too good to be true. I loved that he hadn't "gone Hollywood" and wasn't a media whore,constantly promoting himself. Tom came across as a gentleman, a scholar, a compassionate man who did a lot of charitable work without making it seem like he was in it for himself. He was also more or less single, or at least kept his relationships quietly under the radar...until recently...

A few months ago, Tom attended the vulgar display known as the Met Ball Gala. It's one of the most excessive "look at us" celebrity things out there. I was kind of disappointed because I felt he was better than that. Pictures surfaced of him dancing with Taylor Swift- ugh. My uneasy feeling grew stronger. She had a boyfriend at the time, but I just had a feeling...

Sure enough, her relationship ended almost immediately after the ball. And very shortly after that, she & Tom were pictured making out on a beach, traveling together etc. I felt like I'd been stabbed in the heart. Why? Partly because she is known for hopping from guy to guy & writing songs about them when they crash & burn. Her life looks like a carefully crafted series of photo ops designed to keep her in the public eye. It doesn't help that he's hot, career wise, right now and she had largely fallen off the radar except for posting vacation pictures from her 1 year anniversary with her now-ex, until she took up with Tom. I don't know her. I was actually a sort of fan of her music (which I can't bring myself to listen to right now) but I suspect she isn't quite nice girl she makes herself out to be. Doesn't matter, it's none of my business.

Yet...Tom isn't blameless here either. I don't think he chased her, but it just bothers me that he took up with her so soon after her breakup. It made me realize he isn't quite the good guy I wanted him to be. (Again, part of this is my idealizing him, and is not something I can blame him for) It also hammered home the point that I would NEVER have a snowball's chance in hell with him if I ever did meet him as he seems to have a thing for young, skinny blondes (first Elizabeth Olsen & now this) which is something I can never be. The fact that he's allowing himself to become part of Taylor's media circus just hurts, because he wasn't like that before. Or was he?

Anyway, that metaphorical dose of cold water hit me, hard. Too hard. One of my coping mechanisms is to cut out/off things & people that hurt me. Not the healthiest reaction, but it's what I do. My first reaction was to quit every Hiddleston fan group I was in on FB, before I took myself off FB for a couple of days. (Not just because of Tom, there's some other stuff going on that may be another post someday, but constantly seeing him in my news feed was not going to help) I asked people not to post anything about this to my wall & in the group I started. (Which was marginally successful) Then I started the physical purge- I sold nearly all my DVDs that he's in, threw out the magazines with articles about him (including the GQ that ironically has Taylor on the cover), deleted most of my stored photos, and am planning to give away the pillowcases & pictures I have of him. (Yeah, obsessions are a wonderful thing)

I'm keeping (with reservations) my Loki collection for now. I can differentiate between the man & a character he portrayed, and I still love the character. I'm not displaying any of it right now as my emotions are still a little raw, but I'm not quite ready to give those things up.

I don't hate Tom. I just don't love him right now. I want him to be happy & have love in his life. I don't think this is the way it's going to happen, but it's not my business. I have to give him up now for my sanity, such as it is. I have an amazing group of online friends that I met because of him, and will always be grateful for that. I hope we'll be able to maintain those bonds now that I've given up on him.

So yeah, there it is. Roundabout babbling, but the end of my obsession in a nutshell.