Recently, I started an attempt to renegotiate the reality of my past in order to create a more authentic future.
Most of you probably have a history of negotiating successful, open loving relationships in a more traditional mold. I haven’t, and as a result, many of the things others take for granted, I am forced to stand aside and envy. For reasons I’ve discussed elsewhere, up to now, I have been clearly incapable or unwilling, depending on your definition, to deal with fundamental and basic failures in my Being. This may be because for so long I was able to get by and look semi-functional. Semi being the operational term. I’m a really great person until I’m not. Then I’m a self-indulgent prick.
I read recently, “I, myself, am entirely made up of flaws stitched together with good intentions.” I wish that was all it took to explain away some of my choices – a simple, “Oops. Ha! Ha! Screwed that up! Sorry.” But it is not. I have let my lack of trust in others, my fear of failure, my stubborn self-reliance and my unwillingness to look weak undermine relationship after relationship till I find myself on this deserted island – surrounded by people who love me but emotionally and spiritually dead.
These people deserve better. So do I.
Of course, some people might call these character defects, character flaws, demons, shortcomings, pathologies or simply just me being a fucking asshole. I guess depending on where you stand they are all accurate.
Honestly, I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t care.
I just want to have a better life and that cannot happen – will not happen – until I face some of the “demons” that invariably interfere in my ability to be the man I was born to be and not the man I was raised to become. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not blaming my parents. I don’t have any idea if it is nature or nurture.
Again, I don’t care.
But over the last eighteen months it is becoming apparent that my inability to function in an intimate, honest relationship that requires fidelity and wholeness to a basic set of operational principles has destroyed my ability to be a man of integrity revealing a number of tragically painful truths. The baggage that I have created for myself and passed to others – others that I genuinely care for – broke me spiritually and emotionally over the last several years.
I am not without a conscious. I understand how I hurt good people. I have empathy and compassion but in the moment – in the face of a perceived overwhelming emotional pain-filled loss, I didn’t care. I would be overcome with panic and flounder about like a fish out of water. I might look calm but on the inside I was covered in fire ants. I would seek control, power and authority and abandon patience, love and faith.
What set me on this path? What did it take to see this truth? It is simple, in the face of overwhelming evidence, I looked right into the beautiful f, faithful eyes of the woman I love and lied to her.
That is just wack. She deserves better.
The irony is eight years ago I would NEVER have even contemplated that behavior. I would have never even been in the situation. It is easy to be spiritually centered and always do the right thing until your toothbrush is hanging next to the woman you are trying to impress.
Deception is a slippery slope.
Self-deception is a nearly bottomless well.
As such, late last year, after a number of significant losses in my life – I threw it all out and decided to start over. When I say threw it all out, I mean all of it. I threw out every single belief, perception and idea. I abandoned the idea that I knew anything. I started seeing a psychologist. I began reading books that I would never have read before. I cut people out of my life I’ve known for years. I began confronting myself and others about the lies.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m very clear everyone lies. I’m not an idealist anymore. I’m not naive.
But it was not the lies they told me, or even the lies I told that was the problem. The problem is the lie I’ve been living my whole life that forced me to tell all the others. Until I face the reality of that lie and embrace the consequences nothing changes. Once you learn to lie to yourself, you can look anyone in the eye and lie to them. The difficulty for me is that when I lie in bed at night, I actually feel the weight of the dishonesty choking the life out of me.
I end up hating myself. Loathing myself for the things I said and did. I actually envy the sociopath’s ability not to feel responsible. I feel it all and then try to hide from it. I feel it all and then I end up just wanting it to end. I begin to fantasize about ways to make the isolation, pain and shame end.
The lie is complicated and convoluted, resulting in a great deal of dangerous, self-deceptive and abusive behaviors – and I’m still cutting through the Gordian knot binding me to it. But apparently I’m not really a Hero.
Which is good because I was never really that person anyway.
As such, I’m not doing that anymore. Will I do it perfectly probably not. I have 43 years of being emotionally and spiritually retarded to grow through. I’m not looking for perfection – I’m seeking progress.
However, I know the measuring stick by which to determine if what I am doing is making a difference. I won’t see it today or tomorrow but I will see it. I will measure success by the wholeness and quality of my relationships.