How do I not know you?
Over the past five months I have learned some devastating things about people and relationships, the first being that you can live with someone for many years and still not know them. This has been obvious on a micro and macro level for me. Someone I once loved very deeply betrayed me in ways that are still unimaginable although factual. I mean it happened, it occurred and still I have trouble believing it some days. My main question is how does this happen? How can people wear so many masks all the time? And how did I miss all this?
Many of my friends think that I am one of the smartest and most intuitive people that they know but I am not sure of any of that anymore. I constantly question how I did not see this person for that they really are and when I ask my confidantes this very question they respond that they did not realize it either. They tell me that this person fooled them too. Fooled? Interesting choice of a word. I knew of this person’s shortcomings. He was selfish, immature and emotionally unstable. I knew THIS but we all have flaws, myself included. I chose to continue the relationship despite these flaws because I believed that inherently he was a compassionate, sensitive and ultimately loving person. I also believed that he was honest, almost too honest and blunt at times. So how was I so unaware of all the manipulations? It is amazing what all you encounter after a break up. Secret blogs, secret plans and all the lies that this person told. I understand that on some level we all manipulate but it seems that all of his were totally premeditated. He lied to groups of people that he knew would never communicate and he also went out of his way to discredit certain people so that even on the off-chance that these people did interact the truth would still remain hidden. Given that I know all of this now, why do I still feel like I should have realized this earlier? And how can two people’s perceptions of reality differ so greatly?
I was made aware of the fact that apparently he has started writing his own blog. In of itself not a huge deal but this blog was going on when we were together. Why lie about it? Why keep it a secret? Maybe because in all of his multitude of entries, I was only mentioned twice. Maybe because I was not nearly as important to him as he was to me and he knew that. He knew that I would question this and so he hid it from me. Yes, I am mentioned as his beautiful and talented girlfriend but that’s it. Even in an entry about Valentine’s Day, I am surprisingly absent. We were living together and sharing a life and the reader would never know any of this. Now, all he writes about is how glorious his new life in Korea is and again, no mention of how he got there or any of the events that lead up to this point. To make matters worse, many other entries depict him as a person that believes in karma and the greater good and a need for people to expand their consciousness and to do good deeds. Really? That is very interesting considering all of the horrific things that he did and continues to do and deny. But it is his mask. His public mask. It is the him that he wants YOU to see. You would never know that beneath that mask of compassion, worldliness and sensitivity belies Dorian Grey. For at first glance, William is attractive, charming, intelligent, articulate and funny. He entices you with his wit and knowledge of geography and current events. He can talk about virtually any subject and be engaging. He can make you laugh and feel sexy and desired. But, behind it all, he is as selfish and narcissistic as they come. He will make you think that all the compliments are for you when really they are to get you to like him. He will make you think that you are so loved and important to him but really you are merely part of the mask of the day. I was his relationship mask, his responsible, mature adult mask. And now that mask has outlived its usefulness. That mask was thrown out with the trash.
The new mask is much more fascinating. He relishes his new mask. The Hunter Thompson mask, all about the experience of things and people. Sadly that is all. You are an experience to him, something that he will write about in his journal or blog, or not?….. He takes little pieces of all those around and keeps them like trinkets and incorporates them into his persona. You are not a real person to him. You have no real feelings that need to be considered. You are nothing to him other than entertainment. So how did he “fool” everyone? Why do I keep hearing, “I never saw this coming.”? Or, “I knew he was not telling me the whole story but I had NO idea it was this bad.” Are we all stupid? Were we all so taken with the mask that we never looked behind the curtain? How did I not know him?
I have struggled for months to understand how this all happened and yet there is no lightbulb moment. There is no light in this situation at all. It is a constant darkness that follows me everywhere. It is a constant reminder that perhaps we never REALLY know anyone. One of my best friends says that you never really know someone until a crisis occurs. That it is in the moments of a sympathetic nervous system response that you find out what someone is really made of. Simple but true. Flight vs. Fight. My fate was sealed a long time ago, I am a fighter. I do not run from confrontations, I do not run from my responsibilities and I do not run from pain, however, excruciating.
I choose not to wear a mask. Sure I wear make up and I have a fake tan. I even do my nails. But all those that know me, KNOW me. I am beautiful and flawed. I have a gigantic heart that can love unconditionally but that can also bleed oceans when its broken. I have a redheaded temper that can rattle walls and scare even the strongest of men. I am opinionated and sometimes judgemental but I will always tell you the truth. My intelligence can lead to the most enlightened conclusion or it can imprison me in obsessiveness. I have compassion for all living creatures and try to lead an aware existence but I have my off track days and moments like everyone else. For all my many talents and gifts, I struggle with insecurity and a low self-esteem. I have cut, starved and otherwise injured myself on many occasions because of this. But this is ME. And everyone close to me knows this. I am not afraid to admit my shortcomings and I am even less afraid to confront them. I want to be better. I want to be more aware. I want to be the me that I know I can. I want to forgive and love. I want to overcome this time period not with bitterness but with liberation. So at least I can say this, You do know me…….I know me and I am glad that I could never hurt someone so deeply. I could never leave someone with so many unanswered questions and just go about my life business as usual.
Take off your masks and show yourself. There is nothing to fear. Let people know you and love you as you are. Anything that you are ashamed of, you can fix it. The power is within all of us to become better humans. Now is especially the time to live in our truths and come from our hearts. I hope for him the same.