There was a time in my life when I would see a person whom I thought was a little out of my league. I would set my sights on dating this person. Then I would try to find ways to prove that I was a better person than all the other people he or she was dating at the time. I would cook meals. I would give massages. I would take care of dogs when he/she was away. I would provide rides to doctors, airports, car maintenance. I would be a better friend and partner than this person had ever known, without asking for anything in return. In other words, I would show that part of me that is a complete and total caregiver.
So, when the person would eventually fall for me—which often happened—because of all the tremendous good I brought to his/her life, I now had placed myself in a role of complete codependency. Usually the person was an avoidant personality, not even looking for relationship. I had to convince the person that I was the ideal mate by only being available when he/she had time. I had to repress all signs of need during the dating process to keep the person interest and free from fear of running away.
Of course, my insides would be thinking, when I get this person in a committed relationship, I can be myself. There will be time to help this person see that he/she, too, can learn to be a giver. But it never turned out that way. Avoidant or narcissistic people tend to not change behavior very easily. When I think about it, why should they? I showed them a picture of a relationship that was ideal for their lifestyle. I would be there for them whenever they needed me, and they pretty much just had to provide a modicum of intimacy and be arm candy in return. I took care of all the rest.
Damn, when I look back at my life and look at the picture of what I had created over and over again, I want to pull my hair out and scream. Is it any wonder none of my relationships ended up working out? Eventually, the person who is the needy one—me—grows up and realizes he/she doesn’t need to be extorted to be valuable in anybody’s life.
But here’s the thing, my friends, this behavior doesn’t come from adult neediness. It comes from attachment issues as a child. You have to begin to understand where your anxiety for attachment started to really repair the problems that were created in your psycho-genetics.
I know for certain that when my mother left my father when I was in third grade that there was a need for two things, a compassionate loving woman, and a masculine love that I had no idea how to get. I had neither and could gain either by being idle. I cooked dinner for six children and my father. I baked bread and cupcakes for lunches for all the children almost every day. I went grocery shopping, carefully tallying every cent spent, so that there would be ample food for every day; otherwise, we would be left eating “hot rock soup” at the end of the two week pay period. And this was when I was 10-13 years old. I learned to be a great piano player and singer to impress my father and his friends, because I knew I would never excel in sports, where his interests were. I carried a 4.0 in high school for two reasons: I wanted the hell out of that home, and I wanted to always have a reason to have my father’s praise. “Be the best, be perfect, do more than everyone else in the family, and then you will get noticed.”
Did it work? Yes, most of the time. Did I end up with Dad’s love? At the beginning, but then I ended up his worst enemy when he discovered I was gay by reading a personal letter to my sister Cheri. Years went by before he would even say he loved me. Again, the work for love and to impress started. I began to create a life that was bigger than all the other kids in my family, more money, better cars, more schooling, more accolades, nicer everything. I wanted him to see that I was worthy.
Or was I was just trying to prove to myself that I was worthy? It came down to understand that point and that point alone.
When I saw that the entire process of trying to impress him, the dates in my life, and friends, I realized that my life was a sham. I had to start over and let go of everything that I thought mattered and begin assessing what was authentic and real in my life, including every relationship to everything in my life: work, friends, partners, things, my art, and my writing. Everything had to go through a major ego-dissemination transformation. This is what made me drop my writing contract and begin writing my “Finding Authentic You” blog. It was simple. It was from my heart. And it had no preconceived ideas about what it may lead to. It was a commitment to my own soul to do something for God and those reading it. That’s it.
As for singing and performing, last week was the first time I sang for over a year. It felt good to be unattached to the results. The more unattached I felt, the better I sang and performed. The end revelation was perfect and pure. I want more of that in my life. You can’t ask for more than two standing ovations with people yelling and whooping.
As for relationships, I want only those in my life who accept me for all of me—my faults and my good. Part of that responsibility is on me. I have to not be afraid to show my vulnerability and my weaknesses at the beginning of relationships. I also can’t lead with dependent kinds of behavior. Dependency happens naturally in any secure relationship when it is established with mutual giving.
Remember, you only have to be what you are. Growing through your trials and old relationships to be a better person is a great thing. I look at mistakes as a perfect opportunity to get life right. I hope this next person in my life is ready. I have so much good and insight to bring to the table. They better know they are going to be blessed!
* * *
Bo Sebastian is a Hypnotherapist and Life & Health Coach, available for private sessions to QUIT SMOKING, Lose Weight, New Lap-Band Hypnosis for Weight Loss, CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR LIFE! at 615-400-2334 or www.bosebastian.com.
I am trying to spread the word about my blog and I need your help. Please let your friends know it exists, if it gives you hope and blesses you each day. If you are looking to enter the RSS or Atom Feed, you have to go to the home page of the blog to get there. Also, I write this Blog as a part of Finding Authentic You Ministries. If you would like to send an offering or a tithe, your donation would greatly be appreciated: 5001 Maywood Drive, Nashville, TN 37211.
And I would be greatly pleased for you to share anything that you read by clicking the share button in Facebook.com/bo.sebastian, or add it to your Twitter at BoSebastian; or LinkedIN at Bosebastian5@gmail.com; or find this blog home at www.FindingAuthenticYou.com. Any of my books can be found on Amazon or Barnes and Nobel, just by typing my name in the search header.