Go Away, Come Back

I’m lucky enough to be on the phone last night with a mentor who is holding me accountable for my behavior. Recently, my self-destructive tendencies have overtaken me again, and I have used others for my own selfish, personal gain. I explained the scenario, its crazy toxicity best described as something that feels like madness, worst described as a near-miss that could have derailed much of what I had worked so hard to build.

When I had finished, my mentor was kind enough to say the following: “John, what do you care? If the situation was bad, why would you not be happy with getting out of it?” And I think now, it is because I have discovered a pattern in my life, a pattern that I am seemingly unwilling to break.

Let’s use the analogy of interviewing for a bit. Let’s say I am interviewing for a new job. I will put the location into my phone so I know where I am going and how to get there. I will research the appropriate contacts in the department where I will be working to establish commonality. I will have my suit dry-cleaned and pressed. I will print my resume and know every dollar signs and percentage symbol inside and out. But it’s not just what you do, it’s what you choose to do. I choose to do the right thing professionally. I don’t always choose to do the right thing personally.

I can finally say it – wholeheartedly. It’s a pattern. Looking back now, I can honestly say that I have a difficult time managing emotions with those I feel closest too. It’s almost like I feel love one minute, hate the next, I push away and then I smother them to pull them back. It is simultaneous acceptance and the outright rejection. I have come to the horrible realization that I do this because I have a terrifying fear of abandonment. Because I do, I self-sabotage. I reject you before you reject me first. This feeling is so overwhelming, the emotions are so overpowering, the drama so poignant. I sometimes forget other people exist. I think it is just me.

And at 41. It’s time I figure it out. Stop the pattern. Just because a relationship is healthy, that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. I realize that I entered into these unhealthy relationships intentionally. I sought out this personality. I hooked them and the relationships always became toxic. They were fun. Full of adrenaline. Go away, give me a chance to miss you. Then say goodbye. I might want to kiss you. Or I’ll say, see I told you so. Or I will beg you to come back. Can’t I just have it both ways? Don’t you know the difference?

But that will never happen. Because I will have kicked you out long before this.

Honestly, I don’t know that love, care and compassion truly exist.

Do I have the courage to find out?

By John R. Nocero