How Sean Became Sebastian: Battling The Imago

Sebastian Cummings
It came to me yesterday at midnight while I walked from East Austin to South Austin, alone, contemplating the patterns in my life, “I always fall for your type.” Obviously we’ve all heard some articulation of this idea (I had Jamie Fox’s song on my mind) and suddenly all this shit started making sense!
Just last week, I got the Audio book, How to Receive Love. The authors, Harville Hendrix Ph.D. and Helen LaKelly Hunt Ph.D., say, “You will tend to fall in love with someone who matches an unconscious profile made up of positive and negative characteristics of your childhood carers. This profile is the imago.” Damn. Damn. Damn. Damn. Damn. But, we’ve heard things like this before; girls fall for their fathers, boys, their mothers… no one can explain gay and lesbian relationships?
According to this book, we seek out these people as partners to resolve issues of the past. Yes, you read that correctly. You are in search of someone with characteristics like your father’s, so that you can resolve the issues you have with your father… with your lover.
Why am I mentioning this? I’ve been doing my best to change and grow as a person, but there is still one area I have the hardest fucking time with…. MEN! What’s my problem, you ask? I find myself intensely attracted to men who show some admiration and respect for me, but maintain a state of elusiveness. Yeah, I’m that idiot who loves that guy who never calls, always cancels plans, and shows up to about one event a year. But, I swear, we are meant for each other!
What makes this situation even more insufferable is, I KNOW! This makes no sense! I shouldn’t care or even think about this man. But, he remains in my mind. It’s almost separate from me, it’s chemical. I find myself fighting with this natural instinct to obsess over such men. But, I’m starting to gather… this is the profile, the imago my mind has created over the years. My mother sent me away when I was 6, for 10 years and I spent those years, trying to find her address, her phone number, praying that she would show up and take me away. And now here I am, a 27 year old adult, attracted to beautiful, intelligent (much like my mother) men who keep me at arm’s length.
I thought back on it and every, EVERY relationship with a man I have had, has started with him pushing me away, but overcome by the resistance I apply. And they always come around and realize how great I am, but by then I’ve built up so much resentment for them, because they couldn’t see how great I was in the beginning, that it all falls apart… Can I please move past this? I’m working on it.
Last night, in a desperate attempt to improve the situation, I acted out in my mind, how our entire relationship would go; I would reach out and reach out and he would avoid and avoid and one day he would push with a force slightly more aggressive than normal and I would stop talking to him. He would feel terrible about this, but I would never give him the opportunity to apologize… and he would carry this weight with him. One day, we’d run into each other in public, I would avoid him to the best of my ability, but desiring forgiveness, and having a subconscious need to always be in a position of indebtedness to someone (I swear, they’re all like this) he would force his way back in my life. We’d get cute and sexy and after being together for a while, I’d start to think back on it, people will ask, “how’d you two start dating” and I’d start to resent him, I would have an attitude all the time, he won’t understand why and I leave…
Now, this isn’t what I want to happen, but this is my pattern. I thought by playing out the action in my head, it would help me to get over the situation. Like imagination therapy or something. Because I refuse to repeat this cycle, I don’t want it. I will not pursue a man who keeps me at arm’s length…
Why? Because I deserve better and I want better. And I hope everyone in the world can find a way to overcome obstacles like these in their own lives. It’s tough, but we can do it! So, now I’m going to throw myself into fitness so I don’t think about him anymore… It works almost every time… God, but he’s beautiful!

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