Sons and Lovers

¡Hola! Everybody…
Could you imagine yours truly in the Deep South, line dancing with an impossibly tall, impossibly gorgeous, outrageously horny cowgirl?

Well, believe it, it’s happened and more than once. I’ve had the pleasure of sharing a bed with women from Down South. When I lived in Texas, for example, I was like a kid in a candy store. The women were fine and friendly! LOL

As is usual for me on Thursdays, I will be away at the women’s prison all day. Later this evening, I will be attending a free Terence Blanchard concert. If you’re going to be there, give me a shout out. I’ll be wearing powder blue shirt and pants with a cream raw silk jacket.

* * *

-=[ Sons and Lovers ]=-

Maybe you’re just like my mother
she’s never satisfied.
Why do we scream at each other?
This is what it sounds like
when doves cry.
— Prince, When Doves Cry

Some of you may recognize today’s title, borrowed from the great D.H. Lawrence classic. Part of the novel’s significance is in its use of psychological themes and its exploration of how our early childhood relationships impact later ones.

I know a woman who will only respond to me if I am cruel towards her. Acts of kindness, expressions of affection, only serve to drive her away. No sooner as I become uncaring or distant, or utter an unkind word, she’s on me like the proverbial white on rice.

This woman seeks ways in which to feel unworthy and when she succeeds, it’s almost as if she’s asking to be punished. At her core, she is an extremely unhappy and miserable individual. At one time in my life, I would have fit her personality perfectly, playing the abusive and manipulative lover to her tragic heroine (she’s a victim in all this), but I’ve long ago moved on from that form of relating. The result being that it cuts down on the poosie I get, but also affords me some measure of sanity. *grin*

You may already be forming an opinion on this woman, or you may be thinking of someone you have met who approximates this type of behavior, but before you go there, keep in mind that we all play out relationship patterns. We all possess “neurological imprints” from our formative experiences that compel us to act in certain ways.

We learn from our early experiences the pleasure love can offer, and the pain. We repeat and repeat these lessons all our life. Some of us may even be able to say, “Oh boy! Here we go again.”

But sometimes these repetitions are outside our awareness.

And oftentimes the lessons we learn are not so wonderful.

I have a friend who is incapable of forming true intimacy. She will abruptly distance herself and walk away. She seems to be saying, “I’ll leave you before you leave me.” And I often wondered what compels her to leave what she loves before it can hurt her until I learned of the trail of loss and abandonment of her early life.

I was observing an older mother with her young son and she kept pushing him away, telling him to leave her alone, not to bother her. I also watched as he banged on her locked bedroom door in rage and pestering her for attention. And I wondered what he would be doing with a woman twenty years from now; what his needs will and what he will want women to do to him.

It is our nature to possess a compulsion to repeat. In psychoanalysis, it’s called the repetition compulsion. It impels us to repeat what we have done before, to attempt to recreate an earlier state of being even when that state is painful. This compulsion impels us to transfer the past – our earliest longings, our defenses against those longings – to our present. Indeed, transference is most like a map we carry within us and sometimes those maps are outdated and map out a landscape that no longer exists.

In this way, who and how we love are like summer TV reruns – unconscious reruns – of early experiences that have left deeply embedded neurological imprints. And whether we chose to play victim of victimizer, the fact remains that we will all act out the same old tragedies unless we bear our awareness and create newer, healthier imprints.

The little boy, for example, may play out his experience of impotence as a passive, submissive lover. Alternatively, he may play out his rage as a wife-beating husband. He may instead choose his mother’s role and become a cold-hearted beg-me-for-it-biatche partner. That little boy may eventually marry the psychological spitting image of his mother, or he may work her over until she becomes that mother. He, for example, he may ask his wife for the impossible and when she refuses him, he may rage, “You always refuse me – just like my mother!”

I realize that making the following admission is somewhat dangerous because there are women out here that would love to take advantage of this insight, but I’ll offer it anyway. You can only hurt me as much as I allow you. For a long time, I would be attracted only to emotionally unavailable women. I’ve had some of the most beautiful women come to me and practically throw themselves at me, but I wouldn’t pay them any mind and chase after a less attractive (both physically and otherwise) woman who would then withhold love from me. It was a painful pattern. Part of a continuum of patterns that would see me move through clinginess to cold-hearted ma’fucca.

We repeat the past even when we are consciously trying not to repeat it. Repeating the good makes sense, but I think we all have trouble understanding the compulsion to repeat what causes pain. Freud attempted to explain this compulsion as part of a shaky concept called the death instinct. I think it makes better sense to see it as a hopeless effort to undo – to rewrite – the past. Put simply, we repeat the past because we hope that by doing it and doing it again and again that this time it will be different. We keep repeating a past in which we were helpless and acted upon in a dysfunctional attempt to master and change what has happened.

In repeating painful experiences we are refusing to put to rest the ghosts of our childhood (our neurological imprints). We continue to desire for that which cannot be – a father’s attention, a mother’s love. I have an actor friend who told me that no matter how hard they clap for her now, they will never clap for her then.

We have to let go.

We love because it is the only true adventure and because without a sense of connectedness die and we whither. As humans we possess the gift of insight – we are life being aware of itself. This awareness includes an awareness of ourselves as a separate entity, of our own short lifespan, of the fact that against our will we were born and against our will we will die. All this makes of our separated existence an unbearable prison. We would become insane if we could not liberate ourselves from this existential prison and somehow connect…

Loss is necessary – there can be no love without loss. However, it is through our love that loss can be transcended.



When doves cry – Prince


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