Fog. Smoke and mirrors. The Wizard of Oz and the Yellow Brick Road.
I hear him lie, and I am so scared.
I wish I weren’t scared. I wish I would stop talking myself into hoping that he is in real recovery.
He says that he has never gone more than 3 months without starting up smoking again. The truth is, he has never gone more than 30 days without smoking. As far as I can tell, it is sex he has never gone more than 3 months without indulging his lust, giving in to the craving. Like he came in Saturday night and said ‘The retreat is silent. I’m not talking right now;’ so he tells himself ‘I’m sober, I’m not having sex right now.’ He can convince himself that a strip club isn’t having sex. He can use the standby of ‘I’ll never do that again’ to convince himself he is still sober even though he just completely relapsed. Just like he can ogle women and lie even while he is staring at them.
I read someone else’s blog about the way their young son twists his reality. I post it verbatum here:
Your reality is, well, whatever you want it to be at the time.
Case in point:
Hey son, don’t hit the dog.
Yes, you did. I just watched you do it.
That wasn’t a hit.
What do you mean it wasn’t a hit? What else would you call it?
It was a pat. I patted him.
That wasn’t a pat!
Yes it was.
No. No it wasn’t. A pat doesn’t hurt.
Yes it does. A pat is supposed to hurt.
Oh, really? Well, then what do you call a hit?
This is a hit.
Ouch! That’s not a hit. That’s a kick.
What are you talking about? You can’t just– You know what? I don’t care what you want to call it, just don’t do it!
But he likes it.
He doesn’t like it. He—Argh!
OK, I see what you did there. I just spent 20 minutes in a silly argument about the meaning of the word “hit” instead of punishing you for doing whatever it is you call what you did.
That is what she sees in her child.
Oh My GODS.
Addict. Addict. Child mind twisting the truth because its FUN, because it DOESN’T MATTER. Because only if OTHER PEOPLE BELIEVE IT THEN THAT IS TRUTH. Actions, reality, it’s all just bullshit.
He says he only did it when he was depressed, in a black mood. But his black mood was because he was jonesing for sex, had already fantasized himself into a frenzy and was desperate for the real thing and was miserable because he wasn’t getting his fix, so his addictive thoughts made the world a horrible place without sex and made every reason to HAVE illicit sex seem great and every reason for NOT being unfaithful seem stupid and cruel and controlling.
He is back to judging others. He is back to denial. He is back to rationalizations. He is back to vague answers about an SA meeting, or what was said when he spoke to someone, or what happened at an IGroup, or a meditation. And those are the nights he skips out and goes out somewhere else, and then tells himself it never happened. If she doesn’t know, it never happened. I’m not talking right now.
These things I truly believe. I can occasionally convince myself otherwise, like any addict convincing themself that reality isn’t what is staring them in the face. I am addicted to him, because I poured myself into this relationship, wound my brain and my thoughts up with his life. He wound his brain and thoughts up with other sluts and anything to fuel his rush/drug/hate/rush/drug/hate cycle.
These things I truly believe. If I try to be honest and tell him this truth, I fear he will blame me. Make it my fault that he can’t succeed. Have more excuses to make me the enemy who deserves everything mean he can think up.
Why should I care?
If he still chooses to destroy what might be his only chance of recovery to get back at me, that means his recovery is meaningless. Like with asking his opinion on the flooring, or the paint, or anything. I initially asked because I cared about his opinion, about his preferences, including him in my life. But now, I ask out of fear. I fear that if I don’t ask, he will be angry. Angry that I made a decision without regard to him. Angry that I made him make a decision. Angry that I make any suggestions at all and trap him. Like I need to play that wifey game of making him think everything is all his idea. Manipulate, manipulate, manipulate. Gods, I cannot be that person.
If I make him angry, why should I care? We don’t always get everything we want. We don’t always get our way in life. That is just how it is. I should know, shouldn’t I.
But when Mikey doesn’t get his way, he makes you pay. He stabs you in the back, where you are weakest. Oh, he may not tell you. You may not know that he is out to get you. But he will enjoy knowing what he is doing would hurt you terribly, if only you knew. But he doesn’t want you to know, because then it isn’t as much fun, his secret life, his secret hate of you and everyone else.
So why should I care? If he wants to hurt me, if he insists on playing cruel passive aggressive manipulative games, why should I care?
Because he knows I care, or he couldn’t hurt me at all. Because I am the sort of person who cares too much. Because if I find out for certain that he is still lying, still playing cruel games, still acting out, then I will have to make that hard choice. Not today, not tomorrow, not next month, but it will happen.
At least the games would be over, then. At least the manipulation, and the betrayal, and the sneaky abuse would be over. As long as he can keep me in a state of confusion, he thinks I won’t be able to recover myself and see behind the curtain and deal with the abuse.
I am tired. I am too tired. I am tired of games. I am tired of lies. I am tired of being cheated on. I am tired of feeling manipulated and that something is terribly, terribly off. Toxic.
Too bad. He really was a pretty cool guy. He really had some neat things about him. Some things I really liked. Some things I really respected. But everything he ever said he was, he valued, didn’t want, didn’t value, it is all completely opposite of truth. And his addictions run his life. I may be the most important person in his life, but as far as I can tell people are just more things to be collected and put on a shelf. His real relationship is really with his internal turmoil, his addictions, not people. So, even if I am the most important person in his life, I still rank a far, far, second, fifth, hundredth, to all those other things he values. He was sad that he saw what a normal life might look like, and how he didn’t give me that normal life. But I provide him the image of a normal life to the outside, so that makes me useful.
I thought maybe seeing ‘normal’ relationships might give him a new perspective. Maybe it did. But I cannot fathom what he actually got out of seeing those relationships. Besides, I didn’t want normal. I didn’t expect normal. He never promised ‘normal.’ He promised fidelity.
I had some hope that he might recover, even if he wasn’t in real recovery just a month ago. But he can lie to himself about how long he quit smoking. He can lie to himself about anything. I wonder if he is truly multiple personality and doesn’t realize. And if he refuses to go to counseling and dig deeper into his childhood issues, those other emotionally stunted children will always be back there, running the show. I didn’t just get the real little man behind the Wizard. It turned out he was in cahoots with the Wicked Witch of the West, and the monkeys are always waiting just outside the door to attack.
The Yellow Brick Road is just a trick to keep you occupied while they steal your best years away.
I use to think I was cynical. I didn’t know what cynical really was, until now. I see dark purpose in everything and everyone. I see hate and fear and revenge, cruel shadows just waiting to tear everyone apart. No truth. No honesty. No hope. I use to have such a childlike sense of hope and love and joy. I use to look for the positive even when I was afraid. I use to love.
I keep coming back here. I wonder when I will actually feel like I get off this cold, endless treadmill, and move forward into some light.
It is possible I never will. Some wounds never truly heal. Some people never find a way out of hell.
Sometimes, the evil witch wins.