It’s Easier to Build Up a Child Than Fix an Adult

We learn our social, relationship, and interpersonal skills from the adults that raised us.
In order to understand why I’d stay with someone like Clyde, we’d have to explore my past.

So back to my roots…

I was raised in the suburbs just outside of Salt Lake City… brought up in a Mormon family. I took away both good and bad experiences from it, but I definitely never quite fit in.
I was the typical latch-key kid who raised myself and four siblings in the 1980′s while my parents continued to focus on their own lives outside of the family. I believe having such little guidance helped me develop the ability to think logically and independently but it also made me very emotionally dependent on others.

My parents were both active in our church. They looked nice and normal on the outside, but hugs and praise were a rarely given out by my parents and there was a constant feeling of walking on eggshells around our home.

My maternal grandmother died when my mom was very young. Within a year following her death, my grandfather remarried a woman who didn’t care much for my mom or her siblings. I’m pretty confident those circumstances contributed to my mother’s extreme fear of abandonment and attachment issues. I felt that men were always a priority in her life and it really bothered me to watch my mom choose guys [jerks] over her children.

My father was often unemployed while we were growing up. He wanted all boys and believed that women were put here to serve men. I only remember him being very bitter and angry – especially with us. He would yell at us… demean us… toss us across rooms. When we were little, he used us as spies so he could keep a watch on my mom – especially after they separated. When I became a teenager, he often kicked me out of the house and then would call me in as a run-away; thus, I earned the title of “the problem child”. It was so bad that I decided to get married at 16 so I could escape the broken family legal system and become an emancipated adult. I cut off contact with my father a year later and it’s a decision I’ve never once regretted.

So that’s the quickie version of my childhood. An abusive, controlling father + submissive, needy mother… mix in a little misogyny and religious oppression… the rest of the story isn’t a hard puzzle to put together. It’s also shouldn’t be too shocking that I wound up with someone like Clyde. I think there are certain types of men out there who purposely seek women with “daddy issues” because they’re easier to control.

It took me a long time, a little bit of world travel, and lots of different life experiences to figure out why I kept attracting the “wrong” guys. I studied psychology and learned about personality disorders. Then I finally had my “aha!” moment.

I re-evaluated every single male friendship/relationship I had and was shocked at the results. I finally came to terms with my subconscious desire to “fix” all the men in my life and I have a new understanding of why I am the way I am. I’m able to cope with the lack of control I had back then and let go of the controlling behaviors I have now… although it’s a work in progress.

To put it simply: Now… in my 30’s… I finally love being me! And because I can be happy with myself and I’m okay with spending time flying solo, I can say with confidence that I’ll never settle and date another “Clyde” again.

There are definite signs you can look for to single out the bad ones. The next pages will tell you of a few (although there were many) I saw with Clyde.

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