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Got Dating Ish?
Are You A Psycho?
I've been reading an interesting book that asks the questions posed above. In my mind, seeing myself as a psycho wasn't even near the most remote possibility of coming close to reality...that was, until I read this book. Now, am I saying that I'm a total psycho? No, of course not, but am I saying that I have dabbled in the land of psychos at least once in my life? Yes, unfortunately, I am.
I have to say that I was actually surprised to find out that I had, on some level, exhibited psychotic behavior, because most people never think that they behave that way. However, after encountering this book, it illuminated psychos and what it means to be a psycho in a whole new light, especially when it comes to interpersonal relationships with others. What book am I talking about?
The book is called, “Don't Date a Psycho: Don't Be One, Don't Date One,” and it is written by Dr. Keiron Brown. Dr. Brown is a psychologist who studies relationships, and not only devised this brilliant topic for his book, but has created a dating website of the same name, in which he assists clients in determining their psycho behaviors and patterns from their dating history, so that they can stop making the same inane choices, and finally find the right match.
Would you take a quiz to find out if you're a psycho?
Holding On To Harmful Behaviors
As I was perusing this book, I found that in every chapter, I saw something that I could relate to. What I mean is not that I related to being a psycho in every chapter; but that there was a principle which he discussed, that was easily understandable, and relative to practically everyone.
For instance, the very first chapter talks about how our behaviors are learned, mostly from our parents. In the second chapter, he discusses emotional hoarders, and the fact that despite having learned both good and bad behaviors from our families, many people never let go of anything. Their choice to hold on to behaviors that are harmful removes the responsibility from their parents, because at certain points in your life, you have to mature.
I was thinking about the emotional hoarder, because I just had an encounter, fairly recently, with a physical hoarder. Now mind you, this was not someone I dated, but simply an associate. However, I have been in a struggle to de-clutter my own home. My clutter issues pertain mostly to paperwork, which I now have under a modicum of control. The difference between when I moved into this house with both a full size lateral file cabinet, and a regular 6 drawer file cabinet, which extra paperwork still in numerous boxes; versus the one 2 drawer lateral file cabinet I now have, and 1-2 boxes of paperwork, is vast. It took a lot of time and effort to challenge that mountain of paperwork, and I still don't have it beaten completely, but it is considerably better than it was.
I have always been of the impressed upon opinion, that the state of your house reflects the state of your mind. However, if you aren't the only person residing there, I think that alters the overall picture. Nevertheless, I was thinking of this hoarder that I know. I feel for her because it is so obvious to me that she is struggling, and she probably doesn't know what to do, or how to even begin to defeat the mountain of stuff she is now dealing with that seems to have been accruing even before her last child (now 15) was born.
When I consider my impressed upon opinion in regards to her situation, I know she is struggling. She is bogged down with worry. She is living in fear. The mountain she faces is tremendous. Her clutter fills her home, which is falling apart. Some of it reaches close to the ceiling. It is like a delicate extraction procedure, just to attempt to move about in her house. Every room is packed with stuff, and it spills into her open carport, and her back yard. It was obvious to me, from her statements, that she was embarrassed about the condition of her home, as she felt the need to explain some of it to me. I'm not judging her. I feel for her situation.
However, when I read the section of this book about emotional hoarding, and I reflected on this person's home as a parallel, it blew my mind. It was mind boggling to think that on an emotional level, someone could be hoarding their past dealings with psychos, or even their own past psychotic behavior in relationships; emotionally holding on to that baggage like this woman holds on to her clutter. It explained a lot.
Vanity: A Fool Trying To Be Something He's Not
Similarly, I found something that was very easily relative in every chapter of this book, whether directly or indirectly. For instance, the third chapter talks about not being as old as you look. When I read that chapter, it made me aware of the reason why the scriptures indicate that maturity doesn't come to full fruition until one reaches the age of 40. And mind you, that still doesn't apply to everyone. Just the other day, I was telling my mother about this fool of a man I saw at the bus stop. This guy was obviously over 50, yet carried himself like he was some young, ignorant jit (that's street language for a teenage male).
This guy aggravated me because he was dressed like a teen with his pants hanging off his butt, and was gyrating and grinding to some rap music that was blasting from his earphones. This was not like someone who was just enjoying the day and their music. He was purposely gyrating like this at the bus stop for attention. What annoyed me even more, is that he thought that he was impressing me and anyone else around that could see him! I was disgusted - and the only impression I had, is that he was an idiot.
It is guys like that; which I see quite regularly no matter where I go, which completely turn me off; that are the reason I'm not dating. It's always either the ones pushing their agenda, or these idiots, and I'm not interested in either. However, this whole immaturity issue also had me looking at my son. I realized that my frustration with him is for the same issue, but thankfully, not for the same behavior.
The Frustration of Emotional Immaturity
I'm always telling him, “Why do I have to keep saying the same things to you? You aren't 10 years old!” But in actuality, emotionally, he might be, and this is probably why he is acting with the responsibility level of a 10 year old. He's actually 19, so I'm guessing that for most boys, this is about the right the ratio between their age and their maturity level. Considering that, and the fact that scripture indicates that he may not mature until he reaches the age of 40...makes me tired. It means I've still gotta long ways to go!
Regardless of my issues with immature men, I strongly recommend this book. I am actually rereading it, because I promised to review it, and I blew through it the first time due to my fascination with it; then didn't have the time to review it right away. My fascination in part, was in discovering areas in which I, myself, had been the psycho in a few of my actions with past relationships. Nothing major, but just catching on to it was a revelation. You just never think that your behavior could possibly be crazy at the time.
When I was still working with my former employer, I told one of my patients about this book. In observing this man and his stature, I noticed that he seemed to have given up on himself. He was at the office to see me about his physical pain, but I noticed his emotional pain as well. This man was very tall. He looked like in his younger days, he could have had a similar look and stature to Christopher Reeves, when he played Superman. Yet, at the time I was treating him, he looked slumped over and depressed, and very defeated. I told him that the impression I had when I first saw him, was that he had been very stately. I could imagine him in Armani suits, and that in my mind's eye, he had been something like an attorney, in his past occupation.
He confirmed that he had been in similar business attire at one time in his career, and when I asked him what happened and why he seems to have given up on himself and on life; he said that he had a very traumatic experience. I knew immediately, it was a relationship gone bad, and the wound from it was so severe, that it had significantly hampered his life from that moment on.
I had the book with me, so I showed it to him. First of all, the name of the book grabbed him, and his eyes began to water as he laughed at the title. As I began to tell him things I found relevant in the book, he began to laugh, and I saw some of his depression lift.
He confirmed that it had been a relationship gone horribly wrong, and despite the fact that this relationship had been several years ago; this towering man was afraid. He stated that he was afraid to leave his home; afraid to go out and be social; he just lost himself after this situation he experienced. But, he laughed so much as I was telling him about this book. I could see some joy returning, and he stated that he definitely was going to buy the book, which he did. I was happy to help lift his spirits, because I had noticed this depression he had for quite some time; and had been trying to figure a way to get him past it so he would take some interest in the muscle maintenance I was recommending.
The other fascinating tidbit I'll let you guys in on, is that I wondered if the author was actually describing me in certain sections of the book that I personally found relative. I'm sure he wasn't, but have you ever been in front of a speaker, whether a pastor, or just at a seminar; and that person told a story related to a point they were making that just smacked you in the face, because it was like they were telling your story? This book is full of that. For me, even more so, because the author was my very first boyfriend years ago (I won't say how many years ago, so don't ask), so I had to wonder if there wasn't a smidgen of something to do with me and every woman he has ever dated present in this book; aside from his studies of relationships as a doctor. I'm sure that I'm not anywhere in this book (wink, wink), but, if for no other reason than that little tidbit I just dropped; get this book. It is worth your time.