In 1992, I was married to Donna Suppes aka Donna Damron aka who knows what moniker she takes on now.
Our marriage was on the fritz. I fully recognize I was being a controlling asshole, and not knowing I was Q at the time, I in a literal sense caused the affair to happen between her and one of my best friends – Leonard Jacinski – by interrogating her until her mind broke and she relented and my paranoid truth became her reality.
It was the first time I saw that look in someone’s eyes.
And I hated myself for it.
Unable consciously to understand what I’d done at that point with her mind, but consciously fully aware of the hurt I’d caused – I looked at myself – and began – in earnest – asking myself questions about why I was so damned insecure and what caused this paranoia.
It was, after all, not that hard to realize that my paranoia had motivated me to pursue this line of inquiry with her until her mind broke. But just what that meant and how I was supposed to better understand myself while being more delicate with the minds of the people I loved around me was like tap dancing on egg shells not wanting to break them.
So I started paying attention.
And to others.
And this began a long search for what ultimately would result in my becoming Q.
But it started simply.
One day, I noticed that Donna farted whenever she ate Broccoli. For such an adorable and dainty little thing, these farts were horrible – the kind that can clear out a building and have the CDC called – an odor so horrific that it defied me, logically, how someone could take such pleasure in something which such an extreme end result.
I asked her.
She said, simply “I LOVE BROCCOLI”
She loved the taste. The smell. I don’t know.
I quite frankly found the smell, both before and after she ingested it, repulsive.
As I had since my grandparents tried shoving it down my throat when I was 8 years old.
.. That’s clearly an exaggeration, but you get the point.
In any case, one day, she was ‘working late’, as our marriage was being tested anew by what I – again in a paranoid way – was suspecting was an office affair.
By this point, I’d been a programmer of computers, professionally, for about 2 years, but an amateur one for nearly 11 years by this point, a profession which was already inspiring me to analogize my mind to that of a computer as I began to ask myself…
“I am thinking in a way that doesn’t feel good to me. Not only that, but that thinking is having me act in a way with people I care about who respond in ways that make me not feel good about myself. How can I better understand my own behavior patterns and change this?”
Or put in more direct terms.
How do I reprogram the way my own brain thinks?
It started simply.
That day night she was working late.
I’d already accepted that things between her and I may be to the point of no return, but at the very least, I could use the experiences I had with her as a way to refine my personality rebuild.
So that night. I cooked Broccoli.
The smell was horrid. So I plugged my nose, and focused my attention to the texture, and fortunately, Broccoli doesn’t have much of a taste.
As I chewed. slowly, still repulsed, I kept thinking “This isn’t bad”.
The next bite. Same thing. Held my nose. No problem chewing it this time, not nearly as repulsed by it.
Bite after bite, and finally – on the last two bites of a healthy helping of Broccoli, I stopped plugging my nose.
Immediately, I smelled the smell, but this time, I wasn’t nearly as repulsed.
While Donna and I ultimately did go on to get a divorce, we remained friends for years, and among the experiences we shared together, I carried the personal experience of overcoming my mental objection to Broccoli and a greater understanding of my own mind and how it functioned as we broke up.
When we broke up, I was feeling extremely lonely, and not being good with women in general in social situations, I got the bright idea of going to “Dream Palace”, an all nude club where I could pay for the attention of an attractive naked woman.
When I first showed up there, what I expected was not what I got.
What I anticipated was seedy, dingy, and something I wouldn’t really enjoy.
What I got was seedy, dingy, and something I REALLY ENJOYED.
The thrill of seeing a woman who felt so comfortable in her own skin that she didn’t just dance nude in public, but she did it for a hundred guys who gave her all the attention thrilled me.
I was maybe 23 at the time.
Not long after this visit, I started attending Arizona State University as a joint Computer Science/ Psychology major as I rushed the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity there.
I’d chosen the PIKE house because I wasn’t a jock or sports dude. I wanted to fit in with the guys I’d thought were cool in high school but I resented because I didn’t have the build or dexterity, and one of the guys in the house was the younger brother of just one of those dudes.
Nick Wolfe. His brother, Mark Wolfe, was someone I’d long admired in high school somewhat enviously because of how naturally magnetic the guy was with women, and how good he was with sports, something I myself sadly lacked any abilities with.
So one night, I’m with Lisa Milot in my fraternity room.
We’re about to have sex. First time since my ex wife, Donna.
And she has a confession to make.
“I am a nude dancer at a downtown cabaret,” she said.
I was stunned. Having been raised in a somewhat conservative household, it was one thing seeing and paying for a girl on the stage and going home alone, but it was entirely another considering becoming emotionally intimate with a woman I’d clearly have to share.
I smiled. And thought about the Broccoli.
“Do you enjoy it?,” I asked her.
She smiled, an unexpected smile.
“Definitely. It’s great money, great hours, and ,” she started to say as she took off her clothes with a smile on her face.
“I really enjoy being naked,” she said.
I smiled, grabbed her now bare ass and pulled her closer to me as I went in to kiss her as I said “Well if that’s the case, then why would I have a problem with it?”
It was then that I quit focusing so much attention on the need to own or possess my romantic partner, and instead began the shift into focusng on enjoying the time I had with her.
But the principle I was reinforcing yet again was simple…
From my own experience and background, historically, I should have rejected her, but instead, I chose to go along – and along the way – I had some of the most amazing experiences I have ever had with a woman.
No, it didn’t work out ‘for all eternity’.
But for me being an eternal being known as Q, I know that’s an impossibility, which is why it had subconsciously become of tantamount importance I teach myself how to appreciate the time I had with someone when I had it.
Amy Newton drove me nuts.
In a literal sense.
She’s my third wife.
Shortly before we’d begun living together, only a coupe weeks after we began dating, I saw her with her two Boston Terriers – Spencer and Fiona – out on the grass in front of the apartment we were living at in an upscale area of Phoenix.
As I watched her with these dogs, it was obvious – these were her children.
She cared, deeply about them, especially Spencer.
She loved them. Like a mother loves her children.
That’s when this little voice comes inside my head, and says.
“If you love the dogs like she does, she will love you”
While I enjoy dogs, I really enjoyed Amy – so I stepped it up a notch and showed the same level of affection that she did with her animals – without being over the top obvious about it.
I’d been married twice before, so my acting skills were top notch by this point.
This accelerated the relationship, which soon became marriage, and within a year resulted in our divorce. Amy had, in a literal sense, nearly drove me insane by her presence in my life, and I have no doubt that was reciprocated – and while I loved the woman – for our own mental health we parted ways.
What specifically drove me insane?
She was a clean freak. I LOVED it at first. It’s a part of what attracted me to her.
But over time I came to realize there’s a point of too much, and as I became uncomfortable living in my own house, I finally said this was enough.
Over the years, not just in marriage, but life in general, I’ve found that friendships and relationships are easy to establish when I share something in common with them.
But quite often, that’s not too easy to find, and when someone would catch me acting like I shared that special something in common when it was somewhat contrived, such is the case as I had with Amy – then that relationship can crumble like a house of cards.
Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy dogs. But Amy’s obsessive personality had her dressing the dogs in Halloween costumes every year, we’d go across town to get specific dog food for them, and when we left town on a plane – the dogs spent $40 a day in overnight doggie day care.
Myself, as Q, the things I soak in and learn new things – effectually programming my world – those things expand and diversify the options available in my real world.
So what I’ve found is – friendships are wonderful with commonalities.
They definitely help to solidify the relationships and expand the possibilities, but as Amy demonstrated to me, it has to be genuine.
I love dogs. But I don’t obsess. Nor am I interested in obsessing like that.
Over the years, I’ve come to accept that relationships may be temporary, and that’s ok.
To extend the time of the innate temporary nature of relationships for me, I’ve come to find something that this individual and I have in common that they care about and that I do as well OR that I WANT to care about – which helps stabilize the relationship and potentially make it possible to spend more time with that individual.
These kind of relationships feel more authentic to me.
And for you, if you’re interested in developing genuine relationships, this tactic may very well help you achieve the same thing.