A man can tell a thousand lies
I’ve learned my lesson well
I said that I didn’t think it would take much to boost me out of this funk, but I didn’t predict that it would happen so quickly. This morning, as I was trying to get started, my best friend texted me “I need you.” I said, “I’m here, but slow.” It’s not my story to tell, but I think that the guy she was dating is an actual sociopath.
It’s an interesting kind of rejection, finding out that someone you thought liked you did not. I feel disappointed–even bummed–when that happens, but I don’t take it personally. I mean, I don’t have all that much say in who gives me butterflies in my stomach…it’s biochemical or pheromonal or something, I guess….so neither would a guy that I want to like me be able to just decide to like me. Realizing I’ve been manipulated is always harder, because I can’t be happy without honesty, and I hate finding that I’ve wasted time/energy operating in what is not reality.
In this case, I think he’s one of those rare people who actually isn’t capable of love, but he’s so successful in an American Psycho sort of way that it never really caught up to him. If I had been the one dating him, I’d snap out of it pretty quickly and be glad to know sooner rather than later. However, I don’t have a history of trauma as my friend (and his wife) do. I can barely imagine the road the wife has ahead of the latter–it seems unbearable.
My friend…well, I know that some weeks from now, it’ll be over and 100% behind her. The only “blame” anyone can find is for not realizing his lies—but he really was THAT good. Her challenge is going to lie in grappling with the fact that she was actually in danger when she was physically with him.
But he was GOOD. The whole story was such an incredibly elaborate mix of his true past and bullshit about the present. He even made it unnecessarily detailed and elaborate. I think he does it for sport.
Oddly, being with my girlfriend, sifting through the story, pulled me out of the fog. It gave me something to focus on other than my own unpleasant physical/emotional feelings. The situation is so nuts that it actually calls into question the nature of evil–which is something I’m not up to pondering. However, it did help me get my head out of my own ass. It seems sick, but it gave me energy simply because I’m grateful to not be going through that. I feel lonely sometimes? Better than heartbroken. Divorce sucks, but mine looks easy compared to what this guy’s wife is enduring.
My friend is still in shock, but my optimism is renewed for both of us. We are both naive and tenderhearted, and that means sometimes we’re going to get hurt and suckered. I still think that’s better than sacrificing what you need to forgo in order to fortify/harden yourself against getting hurt. I want us to do the opposite of losing faith in humanity because there are some people in the world who may actually be “evil.” I want us to rebel against the tendency to look for safety in never trusting.
I mean, there is no such thing as safety. The worst thing one can imagine–and worse than that–can and does happen. I would like to choose ignorant open-heartedness so I can get more joy out of the moments that aren’t horrible.
(I gave myself permission to be melodramatic about this, because I’m being melodramatic in a hopeful and positive way).
This does make me want to poke around and read about the nature of evil, but that’s really not the point here. The point is that, even though the pieces of the truth often don’t add up to an adequate explanation that will give one peace, it’s still better to have whatever truth you can have. Always.
After I found out that my husband had fallen in love with someone right under my nose, and that he had actually left me for her, things SUUUUUUCKED. For a few weeks. But I was finally healing; I was no longer in limbo. I had been freed by thie truth.
In my case, things make enough sense that I can find peace. In my friend’s case….I don’t think it’ll be fruitful to try to makes sense of this man or his behavior. I think he may be operating on a plane tin which “truth” and “lies” kind of meaningless.
But the details of the situation–to know what you’re dealing with–is a gift. And better now than ten years, or a year, or a month, from now. It’s even a gift to me (although I’d be happy to just struggle to find my own way into the light rather than having my friend be shocked and hurt), because it pulled me out of my egocentric depression.
I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Maybe I’ll be right to bleakness in two days. But I learned from my divorce that the bad is as temporary as the good, so I’m going to latch onto this boost and savor it for however long it lasts.