As Smart Guest Post Week continues, we turn the keyboard over to frequent commenter, the wise and witty, Jayme C. That's Dr. Jayme to you. Jayme is a professional life coach, mentor, licensed psychiatrist, marriage counselor and friend. She has been married for close to 20 years and seen all manner of relationship tomfoolery yet for some reason, given the opportunity to write about ANYTHING in the world on my blog, she decided to write about me. Serious side-eye. At any rate, I did not (though I was SORELY tempted to) edit her discourse but instead present it to you in all its goodness. Without further ado – Dr JaymeC:
Sometimes my roles as mother/wife/life coach/counselor/friend/sistagirl overlap, merge and meld together. Such was the case when Chele called me the other night in what she calls "a state of überPisstivity". Her ex-boyfriend (the one I used to root for) had been calling and they were (for lack of a better term) negotiating the terms of reconciliation. A détente if you will. People, these talks were more delicate (and more explosive) than the Geneva Convention. They held nothing back, pulling out beef they had held onto since they were aged 15, 26, 33 – they went all the way there and back again. In the middle of their negotiations, Chele found out that he lied (again) about something major (again) and when she confronted him, he tried to repair the damage by acting as if she misunderstood the situation (can any of you imagine Chele falling for Ye Olde Okey-Doke - picture that!). It was the last rip in an already fragile and over-mended fabric.
Needless to say, she was understandably hurt and ticked off at him for pulling her back in and at herself for falling for it. When she finished telling me the story, I sat quietly and let it sink in for a minute. Though she sounded only a little down, she is the type to assess and analyze and dissect something over and over again trying to see if something different could have been done, if there was a clue she missed to avoid this outcome. And I knew she would beat herself up about it long after she flashed her trademark 1000-kilowatt smile and said all was well. Rest assured, she will bounce back as she always does and in time we will read a completely hilarious and candid post about it. But until then…
I hurt for my friend but I was also mad at myself for encouraging her to give it one more shot. If ever there was an example of love (even a great deal of love) just never being enough this relationship was it. I always felt that in his heart, her ex-SO really (truly) loved her and wanted to do the right thing. But now I realized he loved himself more. At his core, he was incapable of being who she needed him to be and instead of making a clean break and allowing her to heal, he kept coming up with new and different ways to deceive and hurt her. Whether he did this intentionally or not, I don't know nor do I care any longer. But at this moment, I did realize that my role was reassuring her that walking away (and never looking back) was absolutely the best policy. Finally, she noticed I hadn't said anything in a while.
"Umm, hello?" she asked.
"Yep, I'm here. I just figured it out." I told her.
"He's your kryptonite."
She laughed, "My what?!"
"Your kryptonite. That thing that takes away your power, makes you weak and puts you in fight or flight mode. The one thing against which you have found no viable defense." Chele loves her superhero movies so I knew relating this situation to Superman (she calls him Supey) would get my point across the quickest.
She snorted, "Hmmph, more like Lex Luther."
I disagreed, "Hmm, I don't know. Sure, Lex is evil but he needs help to bring down Supey. Kryptonite destroys just by showing up and existing. Lex is just an archenemy, you can put him behind bars and not think about him for awhile. There's no cure for kryptonite except staying the hell away from it… forever. Kryptonite may come from a place you love but it's no damned good for you."
"That's kinda deep... and ironic. Okay, I follow."
"The thing is – you keep bringing the kryptonite into your Fortress of Solitude. When the fortress is threatened, Supey doesn't have any safe place on the planet to hide. Long story short, I'm telling you: Jettison the kryptonite into outer space, rebuild the fortress, re-tie the cape and go make the world a better place."
"Jayme, you went all in on the analogy."
"Hey," I told her, "if you aren't the superhero in your own life, who is?" We ended the conversation soon afterward.
My point to Chele and to you, BougieLand is this: Learn to recognize the differences between the Lex Luthers and the Kryptonites in your relationships. One is survivable and you can stay and fight, the other will kill your spirit if you don't get away. Don't beat yourself up if you cannot recognize the Lex's right away. In most comic books, the archenemy generally starts out as the hero's ally… right up until he's not. Own up to your inner SuperHero and claim the power! If you fail, get back up. Even Superman didn't save the world on the first try.
Readers- If you have encountered an archenemy or a power-sucking spirit killer, what did you do? Do you have a fortress of solitude (a place you go to renew and revive)? If you could be any superhero, which one would you be? Why?
(For the record, I'll take Wonder Woman or Jaime Sommers <- -you young folk don't know nothin' about the Bionic Woman. Wonder Woman had the kick ass boots and Jaime could hear everything, run really fast and never have a hair out of place). Thanks Chele for letting me share (even if I did put some of your business in the streets). Okay BougieLand… the floor is yours.