All my life I’ve been told to stop being so negative. Stop thinking the worst. Stop assuming everything will go wrong. ‘Don’t be such a pessimist!’ they’d say.
When I met John (which you can read about in this series), my negativity had reached a low point. Negativity already being a low point, I suppose this is redundant, but it fits. I hated my life, my loneliness, my roommates, my job… everything sucked. And I couldn’t hide how I felt. I hated that this would be John’s first impression of me. But somehow, he looked past all of that. Maybe my boobs looked really good that night.
I knew the negativity would never leave me entirely, but I did lose some of it. When it left me, I suppose it needed a landing site. A nice fertile brain where it could grow and blossom into a giant ball of doom.
And it now resides inside John.
He is more negative, more pessimistic, than I have ever been. (I suppose that may be an exaggeration, but it feels accurate.) When this part of him surfaces, I find it difficult to be around him. It’s always there. But when it takes him over full-force, I just… can’t.
I’m a hypocritical bitch because it broke me when everyone abandoned me for being the most pessimistic person in any given room. But I think this is precisely the reason I can’t be around John in his extreme-negative state. It’s not him. It’s me.
I’ve been in that deep hole of misery. I’m still there – I’ve never gotten all the way out. But I’ve clawed my way up from the bottom. I’m in the middle somewhere. I don’t want to be pulled back down. I know – hypocrite.
But, dammit, I try to be positive. I realize that probably made at least half of you laugh. I’ll wait for you to pick your laughing-asses up off the floor before I go on … … …
It’s true – I do try! Especially around my children. Zach is only 11 and he worries about everything! Things no 11-year-old should even think about. I hate that he has inherited that burden from me (I always assumed it was just from me, but maybe it’s from John, too). I don’t want the kids to hear either John or me saying anything overly negative and hopeless. Sometimes, I totally feel that way. But I don’t speak the words aloud when they’re in earshot.
John was a healthier, more positive person when we met. Over the years, while I’ve worked my ass off to cheer the fuck up and become healthier, John has done the opposite. He has become super negative, doesn’t take care of himself, eats junk and puts on weight, spends money somewhat frivolously.
He knows I struggle with happiness (and unemployment). He knows I want the kids be exposed to a positive, healthy atmosphere. We’ll never be perfect, but we have to try. Right? He doesn’t try. Not really. I’ve heard him tell the kids, ‘do as I say, not as I do.’ That doesn’t fly. If Daddy’s having a pile of Doritos (from the big-ass family-size bag that I hate having in our house in the first place) with his lunch, the kids want them, too. Of course they do! They see him eating them. And fuck, they’re kids! I’m just glad they both think soda is gross because John brings that into the house, too.
I have become less negative (and continue to work on that). And John has become far more negative. I’m not sure exactly when we crossed paths on my way up and his way down, but we’re nowhere near each other in that pit.
Is this turnaround – this transfer of negative thinking from me to John – is it my fault? I think I brought most of the pessimism into the relationship. Did I wake up his dormant negativity? Did I do this? And if my negativity made him this way, why don’t my strides in the other direction ‘rub off’ on him, too?
To anyone looking in from outside, he is the downer in our relationship. And I am the happy one! Me!
When did this happen?
We’ve had a personality exchange. Or at least a personality-share.
Hell, today I was in the shower (where all my revelations are born) and I came up with a detailed hypothesis about the new Star Wars movie. Definitely from John’s personality.
Transference of doom, indeed.