This is a strange post for me to write.
In the past (nearly) 10 months, I’ve had to face a lot of truths. That the person I was married to was not the person I believed him to be. That despite my idyllic upbringing an the stable homelife I created for my children, my world could morph into an episode of Maury Povich, just like that. That PC is, in fact, not just an asshole or a jerk but very likely someone with a mental disorder in the realm of psychopath. That none of this is my fault.
As simple as this sounds to believe, its hard to see in the thick of it. I questioned my faith in God, in the universe. I questioned my faith in myself. In reality, this makes sense. My entire world that I believed in, trusted, was upended. Why wouldn’t I?
Ten months of time, therapy, and education on how to deal with narcissistic psychopaths have led me to a point where, kind of, I’m okay. I know, intrinsically, that none of this is my fault. I know I’ve stayed true to myself and my beliefs; to my children and being a good person. I’ve learned not to engage (somewhat…hey its only been 10 months.) I’ve learned to see his threats as just that: threats. Just because he says he’s going to report me to the federal government or “sue me for full custody” every time I don’t do what he wants, doesn’t mean he’s going to. Or that he even can.
I’ve learned things about myself. That I’m stronger than I thought. That there was a very authentic part of me that he stunted for so many years. That I am capable of forgiveness. The power of forgiveness. (You’re welcome, Trollup.) To trust my gut (hey, former family member…I knew all along I shouldn’t trust you. I should have trusted myself enough to stand by that.) I know better now. So, I’ve learned.
I’ve gotten better at being alone. I have always hated being alone…okay sure, in short bursts. But in general I crave company. Human contact. I haven’t been alone in nearly two decades…especially the past 10 years with kids. I should relish in it, but of course, I don’t. I hate it. But…I am finding respite. Writing. Music. Pounding nails into the floor of my fixer-upper and imagining PC’s face under it. I’ve even gotten comfortable going out by myself for a drink. But there is always an innate longing for…something. Company. Someone who can relate to you, someone who knows you. I have friends, lovely wonderful friends. But it’s not totally the same as sharing your life day in and day out.
Which brings me to my point. What, really, am I craving? Not PC. No. But the comfort, the familiarity, the security. And…while its been a long dry spell for me…what I truly crave is affection. And that, also, has forced me to face truths.
There was a serious lack of affection in my marriage. And I just…missed it. Didn’t think of it as anything missing. Because there was plenty of intimacy. Looking back, though…the majority of what I considered affection was only pre- or post-conjugating. In general, things like hand-holding, kissing, or hugging were simply…not part of “us”. And I just accepted this. DESPITE how much I crave and desire human contact.
There are times when I’m alone and the crushing weight of what I miss is surpassed by the reality that I never truly had what I miss. The things that I translated into love were not love. They were acts that led to sex (which I also equated to love) and obligatory public displays…the hand on the small of my back as we walked into a restaurant, holding my coat for me when we left. I ate those things up like crack, like love. Even though they never happened otherwise. I told myself that was okay. Not everyone is into PDA…except that was so warped. PC had no problem being affectionate and attentive in front of others….it was all about the image.
The thing is? This little voice in the back of my head all those years. Always nagging that you deserve more and this isn’t normal. I defended PC even to myself. It was his shitty upbringing, his neglectful father and his difficult mother. It was his reserved personality. It was his weirdo OCD tendencies…he didn’t like being touched. It balanced with our intimate life…which was active and frequent. So it was a balance. I traded expectations in my head.
I blew it off as “PC is difficult” but the truth of the matter is PC did not love me. He. didn’t. love. me. Maybe he thought he did and I definitely thought he did. But that’s not love. And I settled because I couldn’t see the forest for the trees.
Guess what, PC? I can sure as fuck see it now. So. Fuck you. Thanks for wasting years of my life. And…thanks for not wasting the next 20-30-50 years of it. Thanks to your arrogant, selfish behavior I’m free. Maybe not totally free of you…but I’m working on that. But really…thanks for the opportunity to recognize that being lonely by yourself is a hell of a lot better than being lonely with someone else. Its authentic, its real, its salvageable, its productive. No matter how horrible this phase continues to be, the bottom line is you cannot take that from me, ever again.
And, I’ve learned after a brief hiatus in my beliefs, karma is real. She’s still there, and she’s real. Patience is the key. It’s not up to me to forgive you…only to learn what I can and move on. As much as I want to be the one to dig the axe, to twist the knife in your karma…the reality is that’s between you and God and yourself.
In the words of Kesha:
Oh sometimes I pray for you at night
Someday, maybe you’ll see the light
Oh some say in life, you’re gonna get what you give
But some things, only God can forgive.