Like some of you know, I’ve been seeing Sarge for the last few weeks, and I truly believed, with all my heart, that he was remorseful for his past behavior and was putting in the effort to make changes. And I saw them. And I was hopeful. But yesterday, that hope crashed around me yet again.
OK…this is going to sound crummy, but I know Sarge’s password for his FaceBook account, and I haven’t gotten to the point of trusting him yet. After 2 bouts of infidelity and the emotional/verbal abuse he put me through, I believe this is a legitimate reaction to my doubts about him. Soooo…I logged in (and by the way, he has always had access to all of my passwords, accounts, home, etc. He says he has never used them, but then again, I haven’t given him a reason too.) and read a conversation he had with a friend a mere week ago. In their back and forth messaging, he told his friend he was on Tinder, had met a woman on social media who he thought was “hot”, and was still not over his ex-girlfriend. Further, he said he was dating an older woman whose emotional needs were too plenteous to handle. (And of course, NOTHING positive was said about me. Nothing).
Heh?? Really?? MY emotional needs are too much for HIM? After a year of lies, manipulation, abuse, cheating, and gas lighting, MY emotionality is over the top? AAAAAGGGGHHHHH! Who the hell does he think is responsible for this?
Further, I’ve had to handle HIS moods as well. The anger, depression, confusion, anxiety, unpredictability, raging…all of these emotions that stem from his PTSD and childhood. I’ve also had to go through his changes of meds and bear the brunt of reactions to starting/ending them. It’s hasn’t been easy for me either. But of course, that’s OK!! (Please say that sentence with a very snarky voice!).
When I saw what he had been messaging, it was yet another punch to my gut. And I reacted as I always have in the past. With crying and anger (rightfully so, I believe). But this only lasted for a few minutes. Really! Because here’s the epiphany that came to me: I was simply ‘responding’ in the way of a set pattern, and not actually ‘feeling’ the true emotion of the situation. And the tears ended. Just like that.
I called Sarge, during the angrily crying bout because I was furious and wanted to confront him. After a minute or 2, he hung up on me. Just like that. REALLY?! I took all he had to give me this past year, and he can’t face the emotions stemming from what HE was doing to ME? That he had been lying…again…and setting up yet another situation in which he wanted to cheat on me? I was the bad guy for being upset…and HE was the innocent party taking MY abuse? OOOKKKAAAYYY! And here’s the most frustrating part of the deal: he would (in front of me…that was always fun…) listen for hours (literally) to his exes rant and rave over mundane things. Yet here was, caught in his own lies, and I don’t get the courtesy of ranting a bit myself? Hmmmmm. I think I deserved at least that much.
You know, once I asked Sarge if he would forgive me if I ever cheated on him, and he said no. Heh?! I forgave him twice! Yet he acted as if that were his due. That since I forgave him, the trust and respect I had once had for him would magically come back and he had no other work to set things right. So what I afforded him twice, he’s wouldn’t be willing to do even once.
Trust is a funny thing. To have trust in someone is to have confidence in them…in their reliability, in them telling the truth, in their ability and strength (in this case) to change. Trust is so easy to lose and so very hard to build back up. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle. Putting it together can take weeks, but tearing it apart…only seconds. And to put it back together again takes even longer because some of the pieces are damaged from cramming them in or from the destruction. How can a person not realize that when you destroy something, tear it up, it’s going to be a long, hard job to put it back together again? Isn’t that just common sense?
When I was thinking about all of this last night, the one thing that kept running through my mind was that I’m an idiot. An idiot for believing his words. For seeing what I thought were positive changes, but what was really just a smoke screen. And idiot for forgiving him after all he’d put me through.
Forgiveness is a mercy, and since I feel pity for Sarge and all he’s been through as an abused child and then soldier, I felt a deep need to be kind. To be loving. To be giving. Because I believed he would learn to do the same. And because that’s who I am and I truly love him. But instead, he treated me like a fool.
Do I regret letting him back into my life? Nope. Because I wasn’t ready to learn the lessons only a narc can teach you the first time around. And sometimes it takes a hell of a lot longer than even that. But I think I’m ready now. And the forgiveness, kindness, empathy, and patience is going to be directed towards someone else special in my life. Me. And that’s the way it should be.
Prof K ❤