Over the past week all the journaling, talking to friends, my therapist and just getting more days between Scott has helped me to sort through all the different layers of things that were intertwined and which I couldn’t seem to unravel well enough to see what was clearly in front of me HAD I BEEN HONEST WITH MYSELF.
I have resolved to rake over as much of my memory while it is still intact as I often bury and forget thing in order to move on, it has always been my own way of compartmentalizing trauma. So, if I don’t get this stuff out of my head now, I won’t be as clear about it later. It’s important now as it is as close to reality as it will ever be.
I was raised in a home where lying was the order of the day. My parents lied to us and trained us to lie on their behalf for a multitude of reasons. I learned to lie well at a young age. However, as I grew independent in my own relationships in life and away from my parents, I realized how much I hated lying (much like I hate smoking) and resolved to try and live a life that was more transparent. I had probably already indirectly acknowledged this at a very young age and its why my personality is so direct and critical, I want things to be right, true, not false – because it felt like everything around me was false, I could never really tell if and when my parents were lying. Then I married a man who did the same and the pattern continued. I even have one son who can’t help himself, he lies for sport and he knows it. Lying can make me anger almost more quickly than anything else, it is probably one of my worst triggers and the hardest for me to control. I think part of the reason it sets me off so badly is I hate when I don’t see it coming, and, of course, I am often fooled because I always believe in the good of people.
I believe people genuinely want to be good and honest and this isn’t always the case. Honesty for me may be one thing, and it may be entirely another for someone else. People talk about some types of white lies being ok, and I get confused about where you draw the line at that. Sometimes a type of storytelling or embellishment to a story is a bit of a lie, right? I guess it’s all in your perception of what a lie is.
And, for me, this is a very, very unclear line.
Scott is a storyteller. He loves to embellish a story and refers to many of his stories as “legendary.” In the beginning I was a little confused by the voracity of his stories, some seemed so outlandish, but as time wore on, and as he repeated them (often as it turns out) I understood the stories to be almost entirely true. Almost, but not quite. Let’s just say close enough to the truth. Over time, when the story was repeated I could glean the different details and sometimes could ask a question or two and get the whole (truthful) story out of him.
I think that I have been lied to so much over the years in my relationships that I tend to try and believe what I am being told instead of what my gut is telling me, or worse yet, what I am seeing with my own eyes.
Scott’s first lie was about smoking. But his next was about a woman.
And, I should have had the courage to end it right then and there – that night – except I was in another state with no transportation at his mercy. We did argue, pretty badly that night – when I heard the lie about the woman and the lie about the smoking and he went off the rails at me with anger. I tried to fix it then too, because up until that point things with Scott had been fun, happy and good.
I wrote about that first bad argument in early December. All the signs were there.
I saw them. I wrote about them. And I looked the other way for fucks sake.
From December until the end of March, I let the same behavior get worse and nothing I could do was going to fix it. Mark my words, whatever set Scott of initially, whatever trigger I pulled – that lever never came back level. Not only did his actions become more disrespectful but I allowed it to happen.
The question is why.
The question has always been why.
I thought, by being with Scott, I was striving to be better – I was dumping so many of my old scripts out the window. It wasn’t easy, it really wasn’t easy – and I wasn’t asking for anyone’s applause. I wanted Scott to see me, to ask questions, to understand how I had changed and how I was growing and how hard it was for me, just how much I wanted to do it. I took his criticism of me to heart, I wanted to hear what he said so I could be a better person, but while doing that, I was also stepping over my own boundaries and sending the wrong message time after time.
I suppose in hindsight the message was that if I can’t value my own boundaries and standards, neither should Scott.
Everyone can preach about self love. My therapist wanted to introduce to me to God yesterday and it took all my power to not quit her on the spot (I do not know what I believe, but I do know this is not something I want in my therapy. Also, to be fair, I made this clear when I hired her long ago, I did not want God or religion brought into therapy ever as I know she does religious therapy). Self love, God, self-worth, gratitude, acceptance – I know, I get it – these are all the valuable and important internal mechanisms I am missing. People can repeat these words to me until they are blue in the face but I do not understand what it means. I only seem to understand the pain and abuse. I only seem to understand the neglect. I do not truly understand how to get away from it and just sit with myself and be happy with just myself and what I have. I have also read extensively that some people just can’t do it alone, some people need a relationship to be successful at finding that self-love – what if I’m one of those people? What if I can’t do this alone?
All I can say is I feel very, very alone.