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Obsessed with old friend

Petra wrote:

The gist of my question is how to get over someone I am apparently obssesed with. It's making me crazy. He's someone I was friends with about 13 years ago, who had feelings for me. We were never a couple, though. I'm going to try to condense my story a little, but I think the details will help, so I apologize for the length.

When I was 18 I had a friend named Greg. He developed a huge crush on me as we grew closer as friends, but I just didn't see him that way. He was geeky, insecure, etc. But sweet. And I knew how he felt (he told my best friend everything) and I appreciated his feelings for me. It made our friendship that much sweeter for me, to know that he really cared for me that much. We hung out ALL THE TIME. He was friends with my brother, so he even slept over a lot and had his own toothbrush at my house!

I got a boyfriend about 6 months into our friendship. At this point Greg started getting really into drugs. He also developed some confidence and became somewhat of a ladies man during his senior year of highschool. I got jealous. We talked a lot and just hearing him tell me about these girls made me crazy. I started to crush on him BAD, but I didn't tell him.

Then he went away to college, used all sorts of insane drugs, discovered the joys of casual sex, and happily told me all about it. He would also get semi-inappropriate with me, asking me sexual questions, like what sorts of things my boyfriend and I had done, etc. But I still wanted to be around him. He came home from college for his Thanksgiving break and we got together... we had a little "messing around" incident in his basement. Nothing huge, but enough to make me freak out at cheating on my boyfriend. I think he felt bad about it, because I ran out of his house before he could even say anything. Our friendship was immediately awkward, obviously.

Then he got busted for drugs and went to jail. We wrote letters, and I got VERY flirty with him. I also told him that I'd developed feelings for him (really STRONG feelings) and I addressed the basement incident, of which he didn't have any excuse for (he was the aggressor, I just kind of sat there and let him DO things). He asked why I'd developed feelings for him when we never saw each other, instead of when we were hanging out every day. I don't remember what response I gave him.

The next few years I didn't see much of him. Sometimes I'd see him around the mall or around college (he enrolled in my college after he got out of jail). Things were awkward between us. I don't think either of us knew what to say to each other anymore.

We lost touch, and then a few years later ('99) I sent him a Christmas card. He called, we chatted, and then we went out to lunch. Nothing big, conversation was superficial. We lost touch again. A few years later ('02) I found him online and contacted him. We IM'ed, emailed, and hung out once. He told me he was in Narcotics Anonymous and he told me about his relationship troubles... he knew that the kind of girl he was looking for (i.e. a good girl like me!) would never want to date a drug addicted felon. He also talked about his mom's bad relationships and how that messed him up. It was sweet, but we still seemed to be awkward around each other. There was this HUGE elephant in the room neither of us would address. I feel like I intimidated him in a sense -- in terms of where we both were in life, I got the feeling that he felt he didn't measure up.

Again, we lost touch. Every time we've lost touch it's been because he stopped responding to me.

All this time... after 13 years, he is STILL in my heart and in my head. I have dreams about him every few months. I've never been in love with him, but I've loved him as a person. I've often felt like a crazy woman searching for him online, wondering what he's up to, if he's happy, if he has love in his life. I can't explain why, but I desperately want to be his friend. I want to be in touch with him. I want him to know that I care about him and that I'm here for him. The friendship that we developed when we were teenagers was SO significant to me. And I worry that I've exaggerated the significance of our former friendship in my head. Plus, I most definitely am still attracted to him, though I haven't seen him in 4 years.

I need closure, I need resolution, and the only way I think I can make this happen is to communicate with him. I can't continue the way I am... I've tried ignoring my feelings and that's when I start having dreams about him (the last one had us making out). These feelings will not go away and it's making me CRAZY.

I sent Greg a letter through email spilling my guts. It's been a few days and I think it's still unread. I worry about not getting a response from him. I'm afraid this will make it even worse, though I did promise in the letter that if he didn't respond I'd leave him alone forever. YIKES! Just the thought of that is scary.

I know it seems counterproductive to want him in my life (seeing as how I'm married and my crush is pretty serious), but I've tried ignoring my feelings and despite 4 years of no contact with him, that hasn't worked yet.

Dear Petra

A bit too late to ask advice now; you've done it. And what seriously amazes me is that you've told the whole sad story without a single word of concern for your marriage or your children. And you stand to lose both.

All I can say is Good Luck - and I suspect you'll need it.

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