I have a forbidden secret to tell you. The story MUST be told. The issue must be discussed and it is not disgusting. I fell in love with one of my professors. For years, I have felt embarrassed about it-even ashamed of myself. Before you start judging me, I just want to reiterate that I FELL IN LOVE…and the translation? I was blind, did not consider the consequences, had tunnel vision and rose-colored glasses on, and I naturally wanted to take it one step farther.
The purpose of my sharing this with you is to take warning of Cupid’s arrow and take heart. Relationships develop, but BOTH professors and students can control how much. (Or can they?)
When he walked away from what would have been a huge mistake in his marriage and career, I suffered dearly for it I cried in my textbooks, I could not concentrate, I could not speak to anyone, and it put more doubt in my heart about other new relationships. Now, I am not here to gain sympathy. I am here to remind and warn future students that attraction can be dangerous, damaging, and damning…when you become that latched on to another. Otherwise if you are able to shrug it off…more power to you!
There are many females who feel insecure with themselves. So they do anything to get approval. They will dress for it, hang on to people’s every word, and sacrifice their own true selves and beliefs just for the sake of pleasing another by adopting the opinions they possess. In love, one really loses their mind! The professors can pick up on this and help females build self-confidence by being there for them. Out of that comes attachment and all this love can quickly get out of hand.
For me, it quickly turned from a mutual sharing experience that was beautiful to a sudden crack of the whip to end it. It was harmful and hurtful because we were once fulfilling each other’s needs and I did not want it to end. I needed someone to be there for me and he needed to feel appreciated. It feels great to be needed and useful. But I understand that it was reaching a boiling point. Professors have to maintain their position of power. They are human and they both need to feel important and thus crave attention, but at the same time, they can turn defensive in their role of protecting their own private worlds. Intimacy is a big distraction to their maintaining control and power.
But now years later, I feel fortunate to have experienced it. Yet to get to this point of finally expressing my experience, I had to go through hell. There were many passageways to go through, which were similar to finding my way through a labyrinth. I was angry, hurt, deceived, betrayed, sorrowful, bitter, revengeful, melancholy, delusional, and remorseful. Sometimes these feelings just kept going around in circles and I would repeat the pattern of feeling them over and over again. It was awful! And I do not wish those negative feelings on ANYONE-EVER! Now, however, since years have passed, I wonder what all the fuss was about. As if I should feel any apologetic or blameful feelings for being human. For being attracted and attached to another human …what does it matter that he or I were married at the time. The vibes were there…what else could I do?
My main thought was: ‘Why should I need to carry the burden while he walks off smelling like a rose?” (That’s funny because his wife’s name is Rose) i have since forgiven him and myself for the whole situation and simply came to the conclusion that we are all human. Thinking about it in other ways that were more positive also helped. As John Denver has aptly put it, “life ain’t nothin’ but a funny, funny riddle.” Since then, I ended up marrying a man who is a professor! I try to see the many blessings that came from the experience which was disguised as a curse. One of the best lessons I took away was that I am loved for more than my curvaceous body. I think he fell in love with my mind! When I say ‘he’ that means both professors as well as many other beautiful men…and women too. There are still ‘good’ men in the world who love their wives enough to be faithful. I do not need to cling to relationships with people because it is better to grow independently or if you prefer interdependently since you can’t do much as a hermit except talk to the four walls or God. Instead of seeing my college crush as somebody who was dousing out my fire, I now see him as a candle lighting another candle and then moving on. But I had to fan the fire to keep love alive inside myself and I had to continue loving him. When I say that I mean that I love him though I cannot have him. Even when married, one needs to ask oneself…do we really have anyone? It is like an ownership or possession and despite the marriage vows, we still have free will. Hopefully we use the free will in productive manners and not destructive ones because of karma.
Overall, I started to see the relationship as a bonus class I had not signed up for. But not everyone can come to an appreciation when something like love and betrayal happen to them. After such an experience, many are tempted to carry the negative feelings around with them for the rest of their lives and that is why I am here today. I want future students (and professors) to monitor themselves more. I want students to remember that no matter how special you think your professor is, that bond is temporary and it is going to end. The purpose of college is to take the knowledge and apply it to the real, outside world. Professors are, more or less, having the outside world brought in to them through their students. Perhaps I felt like bringing too much excitement into one professor’s life. I suppose I did it because I saw him as bored with his job or that he needed drama. Maybe I needed excitement and drama or just wanted to see what he would do with all the attention. In any case, I still want to advise students that too many good vibrations are rally, really addicting and bad. Anticipation of happiness is great, but the process of achieving it comes from the ho-hum nine to five grind, average chores, everyday duties, work obligations, family obligations, and in the meantime, a good old-fashioned walk, bike ride, or car trip. Visiting the bar or having a cigarette can take the edge off, but it never accomplishes much because they are fleeting moments that tend to perpetuate the inadequate feelings and one needs to think in their heart whether it is even necessary to repeat the past. When we share our perceived failures, betrayals, hurt, anger, or injustices, we only repeat the past and feeling really good isn’t happening if we need to dump it out so many times. (Yes, I have obsessive, compulsive disorder and probably ADHD too…hey…my stomach is growling & I’m hungry!)
The other point that I forgot about when I was hit by stupid cupid’s arrow is that professors are not only talking to you. You may seem like the only one in the universe and that he cares for while you two are together talking, but they also talk to other faculty members, other students, and their families.
What you see is not necessarily what you are going to get. It is easy to forget reality when he is giving you only one facet of himself for you to see. Because you only see this side, it is easy to let your mind wander into an ideal state of being, such as fantasy. You forget that you really do not know his home life. You only see his best side because he needs to act as a gentleman at work. He might be a slob at home, neglect his family, or kick the dog for all you know. The grass might not be greener. All you know and feel is that you are so happy when you are with him. Unknowingly, you have mentally crossed the line. For me, even though the line was crossed, I still wanted that bonding relationship back. That is what forbidden love does…it not only ruins your fantasy, but it can ruin your reality as well.
In my case, I did not let many people into my life nor did I communicate with others well. I had a bad habit of selecting a remote chosen few. Therefore, he became my everything! No matter how lonely you are or how little family you have to relate to, you should never let one individual become that important. It is like putting all your eggs into one basket. if it drops, it leaves an awful mess, your life is cracked, and you could say “this is my brain…this is my brain on love”! It’s kind of funny now, but at the time one experiences it, it is a private, psychological madness!
There really was not a soul I could talk to. So I talked to that invisible spirit instead. Yet, as I have said before, years later, I feel fortunate to have experienced it. Why? Because it created some of the best written poetry anyone could ever write! You see, they can take away a lot from you; your voice, your support, and our credibility, but there is one thing they could not take away from me, and that, my friends, is my imagination. Instead of my imaginary lover, my professor became my muse. It was the only way to hold on to the love, which I discovered was becoming transformed from love for him to inner strength and inner love. Against all odds, you would think you could never completely recover. Fortunately for me, years later, I did. We are platonic friends now as it should be.
Even so, I warn future students to be careful when it comes to relating to your professors. Love is beautiful, but there is also a thin line between love and hate. Involvements can turn deadly. People do a lot of stupid activities over love – so please, please, take care to take care of your hearts! This has been my pep talk to all of you. I wish you all the best with your academic endeavors and your relationships with your professors (or anyone else for that matter).
Well folks, it’s time for me to have that sandwich! LOL!