I am confused, I don’t understand! When you look at me do you really see negativity? Do you really think I am unkind? Do you only see someone who wants to control and complain? Do you really see an ugly person that desires to hurt people? Do you really think I am crazy? What! I didn’t lie; why are you calling me a liar? How is it that inside I feel so much different than what you claim me to be? Why can’t you see me? Why do you always assume my intentions are to hurt people. You ask me if I am crazy, I feel crazy!
During my marriage I spent so much time and energy trying not to be negative, controlling, or unkind. I tried so hard to not complain. I know at times I did, in a desperate plea for him to see me. It took a lot of therapy to convince me that I was never any of those things. Those things were not characteristics that were a part of me. Yes, there were moments when I was negative, my life was spiralling out of control and no effort ever seemed to change that spiral. Yes, there were times when I tried to control my situation because I was falling apart. Yes, there were moments when I was unkind because pain was my constant companion and I would lash out. There were even lies that were told because the consequences of feeling stupid were more than I could handle, so I admit the bent bumper. it was my fault.
My ex-husband kept me so distracted, he was good at pointing out every tiny error I ever made. This left me feeling useless, unwanted and undeserving.
What I have learned since is that addicts do not like any attention on them. They will do anything that they have to do to remove the spotlight and point it directly at you. When I would approach him about strange behavior, he would do anything and everything within his power to move that spotlight onto me. Taking me down was the easiest way. If I spent hour after hour analysing myself to see how he could think I was controlling, he didn’t have to look at himself. If he kept me away from his friends and co-workers he could paint a picture of me, any picture that he wanted and they would believe him. If the picture was of an ugly, controlling, negative wife who lies, he is able to get the attention and sympathy he wants.
I look back at the many friends and co-workers that never got to know me. I never understood the strange looks. I never understood the distance that they kept from me. I never understood why they didn’t try to connect with me. It was obvious by their actions that they didn’t want to be my friend. It wasn’t until he walked out that I started to really understand what had happened.
To understand that he had painted a horrible picture of me, a picture that he convinced himself to be true so that he could do the things that he was doing and reason them. I look back at the arguments that would start before his Vegas trips. He would attack me until my Lion would come out to defend me. Then he would say, “Can’t you see why I have to go to Vegas sometimes? I have to get away from your negativity.” Attention right back on me, his mission accomplished. He would walk out the door feeling no guilt or remorse. I was so bad he needed a break from me. I would crawl up in a ball and cry, all the attention on me, trying to figure out how I could be better.
When I think back, I do feel anger. I do wonder how come someone could be so selfish and uncaring that they could treat another human being with so much disrespect. I learned that he was what he made me to be. He was negative, he was unkind, he was ugly and controlling. He projected all of that onto me.
Assignment for Healing: Do you have someone in your life who confuses you? Do you have someone who makes you feel crazy? What are the lies that they are projecting on you? This is not an easy task especially if lies have been told for years. Look at incongruencies between what you feel you are deep inside and what they say you are.