This Might Hurt a Little …

The Word of the Day is "Repetition Compulsion"

In 1986, one of my favorite shows — well actually, there were two of them. “Reading Rainbow” with Lamar Burton, who coincidentally played Kunta Kentay in Alex Haley’s “Roots” was the first and “Today’s Special” featuring two adults, Sam (who was actually a mannequin with a perm) and Jody along with a fabulous rodent named Muffy that lived in a posh pent house and drove a convertible pink Fiat. She was the coolest.

Regardless, I was a faithful viewer and rarely missed an episode — keeping in mind I was at the mercy of my parents dysfunctional marriage and availability. But I digress … The thing that I loved about these shows is that I was constantly learning something new. “Butterfly in the skyyyy, I can fly twice as highhhh – Take a look, it’s in a book, a reading rainbowwww!” We’re talking inspirational goodness, wrapped in literary delight and catchy theme songs. I was hooked.

The theme song for “Today’s Special” is a bit on the hazy side, for some reason I keep singing it to the beat of “Rapper’s Delight.”  Blame it on the al-uh uh uh al-cohol. However, I do remember the “word of the day.” And often times, when said word was revealed there was a Eureka moment on my end. It may be important to note that I graduated first in my kindergarten class, excelling in shapes and colours. So what does any of this have to do with life as I know it today? Gather around dolls, It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

A few days ago, I wrote about my attempt to passive aggressively break things off with NsSA due to a lack of engagement in his life. Not engagement in the form of an ascher cut diamond nestled firmly on a thin band of pave’ diamonds — in case you were wondering. But engagement in the how-was-your-day connection, that many of us take for granted everyday. I too have been guilty of this a time or two. I am constantly working to self correct myself and I feel much of it comes through self awareness and being present in the moment … and more importantly, the willingness to divorce yourself from the past. Which is a constant challenge for me as you may understand after the jump

This morning, I was reading and came across a term that teleported me to my “Reading Rainbow” and “Today’s Special” days. The term you ask — “repetition compulsion.” Repitition – whosy, whatsy?? Repetition compulsion.  Well kids, repetition compulsion is a tendency to be drawn toward a situation or person that is reminiscent of a trauma or loss in one’s past. For example, someone who often felt emotionally abandoned as a child may be unconsciously attracted to people who become close and then suddenly detach and leave. The repetition compulsion can be an instinct to go ‘home’, to return to the familiar. Or private dance it to the mall for some retail therapy — either way. It can also involve an unconscious reactivation of old attachment injuries in an effort to gain mastery over them or heal them. To quote “W” — “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, well … you’re just not gonna fool me again.”

For me, my repetition compulsion is that when I meet someone and start to develop serious feelings for them I bail. I’m like a fainting goat. I think I might like this person, and BOOM! Something happens … I don’t like it … I gather my belongings, write a blog and sashay away. Roll credits.  Suddenly, there is this overwhelming feeling that something bad will happen if I stay and its my job, nay it is my duty to flee. Whereas other’s might weather the storm I take a “Let’s not and say that we didn’t” approach to love.

I believe I’ve mentioned a time or two, that a few years ago I fell in love with a man who had the straight eye, for the queer guy. My super hot, super smart, super affectionate ex was/is super gay and living on the down low. What I didn’t tell you was that I went on the down low for over a year living as a straight, gay man on Adam4adam and  

I wanted to find out how these men happened upon the lifestyle. I threw cyber sex parties in seedy out of the way hotels (I would always cancel the party the day of). I chatted with men between six to eight hours a day and probed (pun intended) as to how they kept their wives and girlfriends off their trail. I talked about my own fictious girlfriend, and how I loved her but sometimes I needed something else she couldn’t give me (namely, a penis). I was a verse-top, thank you very much.  They all agreed, they weren’t gay — it was a temporary itch they were scratching. I did all of this and more for twelve months, gathering material for a book about my ordeal. 

I would not wish what happened to me on the devil himself. It was painful and scarring and crippled me for quite sometime in my dealings with the opposite sex. I saw a wonderful therapist, Andy, who happened to be a lesbian who turned out to be extremely helpful and knowledgable.  When it was all said and done, I realized that my trust above all things had been breached in a MAJOR way. And I made a promise to myself that instead of thinking my way through something and rationalizing things away; I would instead rely on my feelings. If ever I feel something isn’t right, or it doesn’t feel “good” I take action to reconcile things on my own. Sometimes that means cleaning house … Other times that means being verbal about how I’m feeling with the other party.  After reading about repetition compulsion I realized that while I feel like I’ve taken the steps to protect myself, I may be indirectly hurting myself. 

Google “How to Get Out of a Failed Relationship” and the internet is chalked full of top 10 lists and cheeky anecdotes from how to cleanse your house of the dating energy to daily mantras. You will find happiness … you are a lotus blossom who deserves love.  The information for breaking things off is limitless. Tips on weathering the relationship storm are not quite as plentiful.

I’m reminded of my thoughts on soul-mateness. For the record, I don’t believe in the idea of there being one perfect person out there for each and every one of us. I believe in good, better and best. You may find a good person, that might be a better fit for someone else and not the best fit for you. I think that’s more plausible. The challenge is knowing the difference between the three.

Regardless of how any of this plays out in my life with NsSA (and I’m still a bit unsure at the moment) I am sure that I may in fact love this man.  While we are very different in our approach to our budding partnership, he brings a balance to my life, that I’ve lacked in the past.  I like to think that I bring a touch of crazy to his … maybe passion is a more fitting descriptor.

Futhermore, it’s such a HUGE deal for me to even write that (the love – part), because I did not at all see it coming and I’m not sure I’m able to say this aloud to him at this point. Though, I’m sure he’d be his usually cool self. I am not that cool. More importantly, occasionally he reads my blog — God help him, but he does. Perhaps, he is a bit of an emotional cutter, who knows … As for me, I do know one thing, in all that I’ve learned from having my heart broken, I wish someone would have warned that falling in love the 2nd and 3rd time around that it’s not as easy as it seems. Not that it seems easy, it doesn’t.  There are peaks and valleys … waves of emotions … and wading through murky, and sometimes ambiguous grey area marsh. The heart I worked so hard to close, is slowly filling with joy as I realize falling in love is anything except easy. In fact, this might hurt a little.


About The.Pretty.One

"I will never be the woman with the perfect hair, who can wear white and not spill on it.” - Carry Bradshaw The Pretty One is the youngest daughter of a former 70s pageant queen and her first husband, a wealthy financier. A former debutante and southern belle, this Steel Magnolia is anything but. A visionary, she is the owner and creative mind behind a successful boutique communications and event firm. But what I really want to do is dance ... and blog.
This entry was posted in 80s Nostalgia, Being Single, Break-Up, Cheating, Fate, free advice, Gays, Girls Who Like Boys, Love, Memories, Men, Notes To Self, Relationships, Uncategorized, Unchartered Territory, Why You Have No Boyfriend, Why You're Single, Women. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to This Might Hurt a Little …

  1. says:

    wonderful wonderful post. can’t wait t osee what happens!

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