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I'm just a girl in the world.. that kind of likes to write. Mom of 2 teen girls & work as Talent Attraction & Marketing professional. Oh, & I'm addicted to my phone, Social Media, HR/Talent Marketing & Caffeine... you can learn more about me at www.linkedin.com/in/theonecrystal

You’ve Been ‘Covered’

Everyone wants to think they’re an original.  That there’s no one out there who’s just like you and so no one can ever really take your place.  If I’m really “being Crystal,” I’d tell you I always thought that was me.  And it was… right up until the day it wasn’t anymore.

“I’m seeing someone.”   It had been awhile but I was still a little hesitant; how was I supposed to respond here?  I’d ended it; but still sort of expected it to hurt.  It didn’t.  Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t doing cartwheels… but, over the years?  I’d moved on, too.  Let the pain that comes with a failed relationship go.  I murmured something about that being nice; and that it was good to see him happy.  I meant that and it made me smile.  And then she walked up.

Pretty sure my mouth dropped open.  She was me.  Seriously.  She almost could have been me.  She dressed like me: whimsical skirts & camis – except she looked effortlessly put together.  Where I wore wedges, she was in flats… but, she didn’t need the height like I did.  I had recently taken to wearing my dark hair straight – hers was dark & curly like mine used to be.  We chatted for a few minutes – she was in recruitment, too; she was divorced with a couple of kids, too.   She was someone that, were she not sleeping with my ex-boyfriend?  Probably would have been my friend.  But, since she was?  I just kept looking at her feeling like she was my ‘cover band.’  It felt ookey, honestly.

Several months later, I ran into him again… sans my ‘Crystal-Clone.’  My personality such as it is & the fact we were on amiable speaking terms pretty much dictated I ask, “WHAT THE HECK WAS UP WITH THAT?!”  He hemmed and hawed a bit; but ultimately said that there was something comfortable and familiar feeling about her.  Not gonna lie, that made me smile because obviously that meant I? Was pretty memorable, indeed.  In fact, I was starting to feel 10 feet tall; right up until he said, “Yeah, actually, I guess she’s just my ‘type’- I’ve been dating girls that look pretty much just like her since high school.”  yeoouch.  That’ll bring the self-esteem back down from the stratosphere.   Turns out??  I was a clone, too.
What my ex- was likely experiencing was a psychological phenomenon:  interpersonal transference or parataxic distortion. (1)  Basically, we will distort reality and create a new one based, at least in part, in fantasy – transferring our memories & attributes from a relationship with a past person of significance into a new relationship and/or person.  Typically, we don’t even really realize we’re doing it;   We’ll use those memories to interpret what the actions of this new person means based on what it would have meant with that past person… which changes the way the new person is even able to interact with us!  So, for those of us with a ‘Type’ like my ex-boyfriend?  What we may really have is a memory or few stuck in our subconscious… which means, if we care much about being emotionally healthy?  We’ve got some work to do.

For me, this made all kinds of sense and kicked off a pendulum swing.  I went from dating the same guy (2) over and over again to dating anyone BUT that guy.  It’s really only in the past year or two the pendulum started hitting back toward center… when I took the time to understand and work through what kept drawing me to the self-absorbed.  Turns out?  I’m really drawn to those who have ‘self-actualization’ mastered; but, the overshot of that IS self-absorption, I think.   Kinda hard to tell if someone’s got a healthy grasp on that when you first meet them; which is why I always say it takes crazy 90 days to come out and play. (3)  So that’s me.  For my old ex-boyfriend?  Who knows… I didn’t try to find out or even get into it with him.  A few months after that – which was actually a few days ago – I saw him out with another clone – a little different, but not too far gone from the last one.  Just had to laugh a little… as I looked over at my date, who looked/acted nothing like my typical ‘type?’  I couldn’t help but think about the whole cover band/original artist correlation.  Cover bands can be good – really good, even – but I think I’ll stick with investing with the originals.

(1) Transference = Freud (1912/1953) | parataxic distortion = Sullivan (1953)

(2) not really the SAME guy; but the same type of guy

(3) although, I’m considering amending this to a few months longer because some people? Hide it REALLY well.

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