Editor’s note: Joyce M. Short is the author of a just released book, “Carnal Abuse by Deceit.” The book chronicles her life with a predator, the subsequent aftermath and her road to recovery. It also provides advice for victims and their supporters, and discusses the issues surrounding criminalization of rape-by-fraud. Joyce lives in New York City, where she’s a real estate broker, professional tennis instructor and a strong advocate for her community.
By Joyce M. Short
Does Love Potion #9 Really Exist?
The hit record written by Leiber & Stoller back in 1959, Love Potion #9, was originally recorded by The Clovers and published by the Aberbach brothers who owned Hill & Range Songs Inc. It’s been covered by over twenty five other artists since its original release. Although it’s a spoof on a chemical concoction that makes people fall in love, it’s not so far from the truth.
Romantic love has recently been shown to be a chemical addiction, similar to drugs and alcohol, but, when all goes well, it supports life instead of diminishing it. The chief chemical component in romantic love is oxytocin, a neurotransmitter produced in the brain that creates a sense of trust and cleaves us to our love interests. When we are betrayed, although we may feel abused and defiled, we can continue clinging to the offender because of our need to replace that “loved” feeling. The immediate cessation of the chemicals we recognize as love, may cause us to long for the treacherous offender just like an alcoholic craves a drink.
“No Contact” is all about getting rid of the desire and longing that comes with separation. The victim must be able to gain perspective that enables them to see the forest, not just the trees. The bigger picture, the moral deprivation of the betraying party, is far too important to allow ourselves to camouflage their actions by attributing good feelings to them. It is too easy for a predator to misuse our brain chemistry to wangle their way back into our lives.
Interestingly, the Aberbach fortune existed in the backdrop of the harm I was dealt. They owned a 50% share of Elvis Presley, 10% of the Beatles, and 75% of the music coming out of Nashville. My ex was harbored by an Aberbach widow as he abandoned my child and defrauded me of child support. The irony of oxytocin being akin to Love Potion #9 is particularly poignant for me.