Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Saving Superman(Woman) from Relationship Kryptonite

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 ├╝berPisstivity". 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 d├ętente 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.

"Please share."

"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.

40 comments:

Sarah said...

Very good post. You see. This is why I visit. In a couple of paragraphs, you have summed up and articulated something I've been thinking about the last couple of years. And you have made me feel better about the decision I made a year and 1/2 ago to leave my last boyfriend. Some situations can't be fixed no matter how hard you try or how much you want them to work out. I'm sorry that Chele has been through the wringer again. I hope she takes your advice and her spirits rise soon. I'm not trying to advocate selfishness, but your life is there for you to live it and the older you get the more you realize how important it is to chose how you spend your time, your mental energy, and your love.

ASmith said...

Excellent analogy there. I've long tried to think of a way to make that statement "Love isn't enough" palpable and tangible for folks. It can seem like a go-to statement when you don't know how else to explain why a relationship didn't workout but doesn't do much to help when the person feels like they went in 110%. It can be frustrating when a person is so close to being who you need them to be, but falls short everytime. Makes you wonder how selfish you gotta be to keep showing up (and out, and not in that good way) in a person's life only to leave them damaged everytime.

On a personal note, I think we find kryptonite in all kinds of unexpected places and it can be oh so enticing (I think that's part of why it's so bad). I've typically not handled those situations so well, mostly because it can be really hard to see what it truly is, when you're in the middle of it. Once on the other side (should you make it to the other side) everything is so apparent.

As for a fortress of solitude... I'm working on that...

I'm pretty sure I'd have to be Catwoman. I love gadgets.

Steve said...

I officially hate the Ex-SO. Moving on... Love this post. It's just flat-out true. Some people may be harmless for others but poison for ME.

My Shower is my fortress of solitude so keeping on the water theme, I'm going to go with Aquaman.

Sweet N Tart said...

The part that really hit me here is that it makes no difference whether dude was intentionally doing harm or not, points is he is harmful BY EXISTING and there's nothing you can do but stay away. WOW.. that's deep. I wish I'd read this years ago. Great analogy.

p.s. I follow Chele on Twitter, NO indication of all this drama in her world. She keeps it classy. Respect.

JaymeC said...

Well said, life is definitely too short to spend with someone who does uplift and enhance you.

JaymeC said...

That definitely is the problem with kryptonite - it's so very pretty and seductive that you don't realize how harmful it is until you are close to it.

Yes! Get the fortress. Catwoman is definitely that Alpha Female. Got the leather catsuit yet?

Rob said...

Really like this. The thing that attracts you but is no damn good for you... this one hits home. I also embrace the concept that love is NOT enough. It's great when it works. Epic when it doesn't. I'm a Comic book stan so the idea of archenemies in everyday life resonates.

storm529 said...

This was a very insightful post. Loved it. A big fan of CW's Smallville, I especially enjoyed the Superman and Lex Luthor mentions.

Now I see why Ex-SOs seem to be a recurrent theme in on this blog -- OneChele has been dealing with the issue personally.

In my mid 20's (I am in my early 40's now), I tried a few boomerang relationships with ex-SOs. Invariably, our attempts to raise the dead failed; the underlying issue(s) that caused us to part originally, always reared its ugly head, leading to the demise of the reunion.

Now, I will never look back. It is just not worth the time and the potential disappointment and heart-ache. While I cherish each of my ex-SOs for the love, experience and lessons learned, I realize that by constanting looking back and holding onto what still might be between us, I am blocking any blessings that are meant for me in the present. For each person, there is a season. It is better to move forward.


P.S. The Bionic Woman (and Bionic Man) were two of my fav TV shows when I was a youngster. Had the dolls for the Bionic Woman and Wonder Woman.

careycarey2 said...

**KER-SPLAT** **SMACKO** **SOCKO** **SPLING**

Oh! Excuse me Dr. Jayme, for the kids, that's not Twitter Talk, that's comic book talk. Your analogy was great, but we need to give OneChele something she can feel.

Well, that's Peek-A-Boo, she's a super hero. For real, her name is Lashawn Baez. After she transforms, she becomes Peek-a-Boo, a super hero with the power to vanish away. She's a Medical School graduate student. Well, she's the brainchild of Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins of DC comics.

Yep, with a name like Lashawn Baez, you know she has to be black. Sooooo, when OneChele (or any black woman) meets their Kryptonite, they can do just like Peek-a-Boo, simply vanish away. Now see, that will jack-up the mind of any brotha. Can you imagine that? Your Kryptonite puts his magic on you and you start to melt away faster than The Wicked Witch Of The West (you know, that water thang) then, in your last dying moments, when his charm (and BS) has you down for the last count, **BLINKOO** **SLIP-AWAYO** you're gone!

Now see, those powers can work in any given situation. You can even use them on mister right, when he's doing wrong. I mean, sometimes we can't find the right words to express our ahh... ahh, well, dissatifaction with a little probelm. Okay, let me get to the chase. Sometimes the brotha just ain't hitting all the right spots (in bed,oops). Soooo, **VANISH-OO**!

Yes sir, that's dead-air to the 10th degree. I know that's cold but so is Kryptonite and lousey sex :-)

But see, why ya gotta talk so nasty [Jamie]? I mean, why oh why did you put Ol'girl's bizness all in the street. See, I think you'd better rush off and read Ms. Smith's last post. It had something to do with friendships and "another love TKO".

But maybe... just maybe, she'll forgive you. Because, heck, she did invite you to her house, and she had to know that you love to talk, so yeah, she might forgive you. If she gets in your face, and asks you why you put her dirty laundry on display, tell her the story of the frog and the snake. *snicker*

Peek-A-Boo... it can be all of you. Dorothy clicked her heels and went back to Kansas. You can slap a brotha and tell him to get out of yo damn face or you can play with the puppy until it licks you in yo face. Or, you can just walk away.

Good post Doc. Yep, it was very inspirational.




The name Peek-a-Boo seems to fit an array of women that stand behind great men. Some of those woman find themselves in the unenviable position of supporting their husbands while standing in the quiet abyss of obscurity.

Mocha Dude Speaks said...

I'm a SpiderMan dude and I think every one could use a little "Spidey-Sense" when people like this Ex-SO come around. Something that tingles (in a bad way) to tell you that something is really, really wrong no matter how it looks on the surface. I like it.

AppleBerryMIA said...

Just sent this to my best fried who NEEDS the real talk. Recognize that kryptonite before it knocks you completely on your ass.

OneChele said...

If this is the worst of my exploits she puts out there, we're all good.

JaymeC said...

My husband showers for an hour, I keep asking - WHAT are you doing in there? I now suspect he's getting his fortress time on.

Hidi said...

Good Post :) and I love the analogy. My aunt needs to read this.

JaymeC said...

Yes, it is sometimes worse to realize that the person hurting you doesn't even mean to do it.

datdudeincali said...

Damn! Damn! Damn! Brothas got a lot to answer for. Imma say this to my brothers and my sisters - if you not gonna love right, don't love at all.
Okay now watch me work - you know Chele, if you needin' a shoulder to lean on, rebound type cat... come round my way. #justsayin'

JaymeC said...

Whew, thank you Storm. Thought I was only one to remember the Bionic Duo!

OneChele said...

*snickers* Thanks for rebound offer. That is sweet(ish). Keep it pimpin', pimpin'.

Troy said...

Son, I think I read somewhere else in BougieLand that there's a line. Good luck getting a turn after I come through. LOL!
Great post Dr. Jayme.

careycarey2 said...

OneChele, you are absolutely right. "Friends", what are the good for? Well, sometimes they tell us what we need to hear. And, sometimes it souldn't matter who's listening. My mother would say "you have to get that ass where they do dey dirt"

Bailey Quincy said...

I'm going to go Hulk with my inner SuperHero because that side of me only comes out when I'm mad. "You wouldn't like me when I'm mad..." LOL - great post.

Bailey Quincy said...

She's also gotta have the boots!

careycarey2 said...

I don't know fellas, yawl might want to be careful of what you ask for. You know OneChele gotta "Love Coach". And pimpin' ain't easy.

Steve said...

Plus all of BougieLand can attest to the fact that I was first in line. And I'm not moving. @careycarey - eff a coach, I got skillz, son.

Mocha Dude Speaks said...

As a gentleman who knows Chele in real life and witnessed most of you on these innanets... all of you would need to step your game up. Exponentially. For reals.

JaymeC said...

Plus they need to get through me and Ms. BB - and she don't play.

JaymeC said...

Thanks, I thought it somewhat universal.

JaymeC said...

I love how they all start out mild-mannered (David Banner, Clark Kent, Peter Parker) and turn super. Such a great metaphor.

careycarey2 said...

I hear you Mister Daddy Long. And although Mr. Mocha Dude is trying to drop salt on your game (better known as "C" blocking), I feel you. See, what Mocha speaks (all exponentially), might not be what OneChele needs nor wants. She might need someone like the above brothas. Yelp, she might need (and want) a Pimp-a-Million Young Thug to ring that bell.

You're right Steve, I say she should drop the "love coach" and find a hypnotist to bring out her real desires *lol*.

careycarey2 said...

Come on now JaymeC, you have just peaked every man's most inner secrets. What you are saying sounds like a love triangle *smirk*.

but seriously, although you say that you don't play, you know when the cats away, the Philly will play. Now see, the "client" doesn't tell all of their secrets. Plus, from what I hear from the brothas in waiting, is that they are bringing some new type game. I mean, first, they could be sincere in the quest to find lasting love. So, since you found your love connection over 20 years ago, it's possible (given that the world has turned) tha tyou might not be in possesion of the new road maps.

Well, I'm gonna say it like Dr. King "I wouldn't stop there". But who knows, you may be the tie that binds.

JaymeC said...

Whew - Chele, your readers... God Bless them every one.

thinklikeRiley said...

I'm going with Undercover Brother - FTW. And I will be calling some chicks "Krypto".

Diana said...

Great post. This resonates.

bougiesis said...

Excellent post Jayme! I'm going to opt for Batgirl with all that purple and gold, she didn't have super powers but she could kick a** in some mean high heeled boots!

Kandia said...

All I can say is WOW.....love the analogy. Sometimes love just ain't enough for all the changes a person can take you through. Been there.

Lisalis said...

Thanks Dr. JaymeC! I'm going to put this in my goodie bag to pull out later when my own personal next version of Kryptonite shows up! I love it that having this kind of "weakness" doesn't mean you're not strong...heck we are talking about Superman/Chele.

Oh and your commenters are hilarious!

Miss Jenkins said...

Wow. Great post! Sometimes, we spend so much time looking for the complex reasons for our feelings or behaviors, that we overlook the simple reality of it all (that's not to minimize the cause of the issues). You have really put words to something that I have been struggling to figure out for a while now. That analogy was so on point. Now on to understanding my vulernability to the kryptonite and learning staying away from it...

ithopiamckinney said...

I have or had i think its had my own kryptonite he ripped my heart out and I could not get over him for a long while. The key is to find a way to deactivate its power without getting too close. Like put on your invisible woman outfit and go in and turn off his spidy senses to get under your skin and then deactivate you own vulnerability to fall for it. Trust me its hard work but make sure not to get too close! I will definitely be Wonder Woman or the green powerpuff girl who kicks butt

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