If romantic relationships were nothing more than cuddly friendships I'd have no problems. While I fear the closeness of physicality I also love it and, when I'm in a romantic/sexual relationship, I can become very physically demonstrative. I also like sex and, therefore, have sexual feelings. But as soon as I'm with a partner I close down sexually.
Part of this has to do with issues from childhood, of being betrayed by every father figure in my life - the "bad Zeuses." Part of it has to do with specific incidents. That combined with my almost pathological fear of displeasing people means I can't relax when I'm with people - my mind is always going, always watching for the tell tale signs of disapproval or boredom or dislike. And if you can't relax you can't feel sexy. It could also be that Persephone is constantly trying to replay her relationship with Bad Zeus - who just uses women - and find a better ending for them.
Which leads to another problem; my attraction to selfish, domineering and controlling men (bad Zeus!) That's why I could never return the feelings of any of the wonderful men who've fallen in love with me in my life, with one lovely exception. And even with the lovely exception I felt romantic love and merging but almost no passion.
Thank god(dess) for Hecate and Athena. I can think of a couple of instances in particular when she protected me... and I'm sure there were many more. Hecate is the protector who rises up in me when I'm being shit on by somebody, who gives me the anger to mow down whoever is trying to put me down. And she's actually stopped me from some bad relationships.
Persephone seeks out being put down. I'm still not sure why but I do know for a fact that she loves playing the martyr. Loves it! But it's becoming clear that this is really, really not good for her (or me). As long as she doesn't own her power she's going to continue to seek out people, and even situations, even illnesses, to hurt herself. I'm not sure why. Is it because she think she deserves it? Or is it that by refusing to own her dark side - her power, even her ability to hurt others - she's pathologically driven to hurt herself instead? This is a common way for women to express our repressed rage; when we become anorexic, or cut ourselves, or push ourselves down into the depths of depression. The recurrent theme of the self sacrificing female, brought to vivid and repulsive life by the super misogynistic Twilight series for example.
When women can't be "mean" or "bitchy" but must stay "nice" in order to be approved and petted by society... then that darkness eats out of them. Sometimes it may eat out through Hera, controlling and manipulating those around her to give herself a sense of value. Or it may turn inward, against herself, which is what Persephone does when she refuses to integrate the Queen of Hell into her self.
This post seems to be leading to the heart of my Persephone problem, but I have a long way to go. These are still very vague and early thoughts. I will continue to keep my ears open to her whispers as she leads me further into the Underworld.