For a long time, much of my life I would venture to say, I believed in this. I believed in the good in people. I believed that even flawed people are inherently good at heart, the way a destructive thunderstorm still replenishes the earth; the way a long winter grows appreciation for summer.
PC did a number on this assumption. I remember in the beginning, stating that I was never again going to be the carefree, trusting, happy-go-lucky person I once was. That part of my soul was gone. That wasn’t totally correct; over time, a hardened surface smoothed out a bit. The blessings that came with PC’s abhorrent departure from my life far outweighed the damage. Healing took place. Reminding myself that this is my life, no one else’s, and I have every right to live it as I wish took place.
And then, The Plumber happened. And all of the sudden I dropped all the things I learned and did exactly what I’ve always done: threw myself at the mercy of kind words and affection. I can read back about The Plumber in this blog, and know that even from the beginning he was showing me who he was. The problem is, I didn’t want to see that side, because I was enamored with the other side. The flaws fell away because the inside, the core of who he was, was more important.
Except. It turns out The Plumber is just like every other man. And while flaws are flaws and we are all damaged in some way and we are all fucked up to some degree, there are certain things that stand out above mistakes and one of those things is lying.
And you, dear Plumber, disappoint me. Truthfully, I’m crushed. Because I thought I knew you, your core, it turns out you are not, in fact, who I thought you were. So much so that maybe you’ll be referred to as Not The Plumber from here on out.
(And because I hate vague-booking I’ll provide the Cliff-notes version here:)
Not The Plumber: We can’t be together. I have to focus on my kids. It has nothing to do with my feelings for you.
Me (Drunk-texting several months later): I miss you.
Not The Plumber: I have no time. Kids have me so busy. I hope one day they realize all I give up for them.
My Friend With The Black Heart: Not The Plumber has a girlfriend
MFWTBH: Yes. I know this for a fact. Here’s proof (tells story about running into them)
Me: Does sleuthing. Confirms truth.
Me: What the actual fuck.
There are two ends to look at here. One: Not The Plumber and I have not been a “couple” since December and we were officially over, dead and done, in January. That’s 5 months. He has every right to see someone else, as do I, and I have no right to be upset about it. I should wish him well on his journey in life.
And the other end of it…why insist and portray that the reasons we could not be together were only because you had no time? Were only because you needed to focus on the kids? Because certainly, if that was the case you would not be able to fit your new girlfriend into your life. If it was truly because “its hard for me kids to see me with someone else who isn’t their mom” (which you told me several times) would your new girlfriend be emmeshed in their lives already?
So you see, what happens now is that I go back to the beginning. And I question everything you ever said to me. Were your proclamations of love and soulmates just sweet talk to woo me? When we parted ways and you promised that you would always be my friend…was that just bullshit as well? Because that’s the problem with lying, directly or indirectly. It completely rewrites history. We were not, in fact, star-crossed lovers but instead just a plain old rebound story of inconsistency and filling voids.
And it also puts me in the position of once again, questioning. I could not trust my husband (granted he was a rotting appendage, but still). Not The Plumber restored my faith in the good and yet he, too, proved himself to be untrustworthy. And it takes me back, way back, to something else I’ve written about. The truth. The truth in everything.
Its always going to come out. Its always there, no matter what is said, or hidden, or lied about. Lies change nothing except ones perception of the liar.
Seriously. If Not The Plumber had had the stones to man up and tell me Hey Charlotte its been great but I don’t think this is right for me, I think we should break up, I would have been crushed, yes. But there would have been a truth in it, and it was a truth I knew already: Not The Plumber and I were never gonna work out. For a lot of reasons. Our lifestyles could never have fully meshed. Our parenting styles were polar opposites. He thrives in chaos and I must have order and routine or I’ll die. We are not intellectually on the same wave.
So now where does this leave me? I think, in the days after we split but before he started avoiding me, that I imagined myself in the future talking about him with a fondness, as if he were part of my story, a sweet part, and I would always have a soft spot for him. Now, instead, that story is rewritten and its an open wound, one I keep touching and disturbing and (knowing myself and my need to overthink and process all the things) will for awhile.
And when I’m done what will be left will not be a sweet little love story but instead a furrowed scar, a reminder that trust comes with a price. It will be tale of how The Plumber (who once told me with utter conviction “I will never hurt you”) became Not The Plumber. How the flawed but noble lover became just another disappointment.
Although. At least I can hold my head up. I might be needy. I might be obsessive and I might overthink and I might be unable to shake things off…
But I’m not, nor have I have been, a liar.