It may be too soon to write this but sometimes I come to the page to process, to take something so huge and so messed up, I cannot wrap my brain around it. So here I am at the page, a place where he and I met, I fell in love, and all good and bad things happened. Multiple beginnings and endings, courtship and extended silences, cries for help, laughter, inside jokes and secrets; the last part were unbeknownst to me. I am reeling with the news that someone I once loved deeply and for a long time was not only not who he portrayed himself to be, but did so for the entire length of our relationship. Yes, the entirety of our relationship, for years and years was a lie. I have spent a good amount of my days after getting the email with this news going through the cycles of grief and trying to process white is now black, good is now bad. What do I do, how do I feel, what is the result of knowing such things? Blah!
What I do know for sure is how I felt, the memories of the relationship I thought I was in, the passion, the laughter, and the adventure of that for me was true and real. I will keep all that because that is my only truth here. Because his every single word, gesture and memory of what he put out there is called into question, as they were built on lies and sustained by lies. I will never know what he showed to me was true. I suspect someone who could do such things might not be capable of love or truth, but I do not know and honestly it doesn’t matter at this point. My choice is what to do with what I now know and how to proceed in being open, trusting and vulnerable as I walk through the world.
I understand when people lie it has more to do with them than with us, not that it does not wreak havoc and inflict pain on others, but never-the-less we are not the reason or the cause. Sometimes they lie out of fear, sometimes they want to manipulate you. There is a host of reasons but the black seed starts with them. Here I sit and think about him and what good can come of bad, pain, betrayal and cruelty. I can understand a need to bike up Mt. Ego, but what I don’t understand is running over and dragging innocents under the wheels on the journey. I guess that the practice of protracted cruelty for ego is nothing new but up close it is leveling. It makes you question everything in a way that leaves you with a millions paper cuts to your heart.
So I am left wondering about what good will come of bad, specifically, this bad. I only have my history to examine what have been my takeaways after other bad things that have happened. Years ago I had back surgery; the scalpel at the hand of a not so steady doctor slipped and nicked my spinal column which holds that good-ass go-go juice. Spinal fluid is best kept in the spinal column, go figure. So instead of a 48-hour stay in the hospital I woke to the news of what had gone wrong. Needless to say, I was devastated that I now had to spend 9-10 days in the hospital flat on my back no getting up, no sitting up, nothing more than a 10% grade of my upper body. At the time I was working full-time as a Special Investigator for a government contractor doing background and security clearances for a host of government agencies. Let me just say the job was fun and interesting, but the badge was the real perk it was a kick-ass TV-FBI-esque shield in a bad-boy billfold, or as best as I can tell from my years of too much TV. So there I was with my full-time job and I was on my last semester of my master’s in counseling with an internship weeks away. With that internship I would be working full-time plus doing early mornings at a school site before logging my 8 hours doing investigations once sprung from the surgery. It would be a killer spring but I had a plan. Oh does the Universe laugh at our plans… Oy vey.
I was stunned from the botched surgery news. How would I make this all work? What kind of permanent damage, if any, would there be? I was flattened (no pun intended), scared and lost. I remember at one point a few hours after the news thinking about what were my options: I could be feeling like I was for the next week and a half, or try to shift my perspective. I chose the second option and decided I would soak in all the attention and love coming at me. I would revel in the experience of being waited on hand and foot. I would see my extended hospital stay as a paid vacation. I had been working full-time and going for my master’s full-time for 2 years; I was exhausted. So I took it as a holiday. I let my expectations and plans go and said WTF let’s see what happens next.
The short version of what happened next was I got out, I got a serious infection, and I almost went back in the bin but didn’t. This made recovery longer; I could not stand or walk more than 2-3 hours a day. So as a Special Investigator that is a no-no and I could not be cleared to go back to work. I was cleared to go to my school site for a few hours a day and do my internship slowly. The botched surgery and the infection were terrorizing. They threw my plans in a tail spin and pushed me to places that were fraught with fear of that bad “what if” game we play when we spin out. It was bad in the moment but hindsight made me see the gifts in this. So over the years as things happen they feel “bad” or they even feel “good,” I hold my judgment. I think, “Well isn’t this interesting,” and I try to see them just as they are. They are developments and pit stops on a journey.
I know from my past that good can come from bad. Whether it has been my sister Amy’s death, the debacle in the hospital, or a stint at unemployment with dwindling funds, all of these things were traumatizing but what I chose to do with those events were the gift. The events weren’t the gifts: those were props for opportunities to evolve, devolve or revolve. Those specific examples I list here whether by grace, naiveté or dumb luck I took the evolve route. I do not always, and I don’t think anyone does but we can try and damn I do try. So is this guy a gift for what he brought me to? Fuck no! He is a tool and I mean that in every sense of the word. What I do next is always up to me: react or respond, choose forgivingness, grace and compassion for all of us hit with this shite storm or bury my bitter diminutive skull in something that distracts me from my emotions, my pain or my truths.
I believe in Karma. What we put out into the world comes back to us in 3’s. It’s like there is an exponential factor to our choices and our actions. I also believe in forgiveness, goodness and grace, so I think for now I will stick with those, maybe have some very good wine and take a long road trip to wine country to blow off some steam. I am going to take time to let things settle, to just be, write, play and walk away from an old crash. Cheers!