Chapter 26

I tell her, calmly: before you go to bed, I need to ask you something. How much debt are we in that you have not told me about?

None*, she says. Then: oh, well you know about the credit card.

Yes I say, but that’s almost paid off, right? How much is left on it?

Not much, about £250*.

Right. And there’s nothing else?

No*. Well…I have some PayPal Credit.

PayPal Credit? What’s that?

It just allows me to get some things delivered without paying for them.

And how much do you owe on that?

Just some bits and pieces. About £400*.

Right. Is there anything else?

No*. Why are you asking?

Just curious*. Right, so nothing else I need to know about then?

No, I told you that’s it*.

Ok. And how are you paying them off?

Just with the money you give me each month.

Okay. Night.

Night.

Now I know how easily she can lie while looking me in the eye. It gives me chills.

 

 

*lies.

Chapter 19

Just ten more minutes. I’ll give it ten more, in case she appears. And if ten minutes happens to pass without her appearing, what’s another ten? It would be worth it for a chance to talk to her. And so it goes on.

I always thought that if things ended, they would end with our respect for one another intact, and a fondness, a soft spot when we thought of one another. I didn’t think it would end like this, with poisonous words not even spoken in anger, but with calculated intent.

Not a man. Must grow up. Adolescent, narcissistic, pathetic and childlike. Lacking joy and happiness and light. A black cloud of misery, guilt, resentment, anger and shame encompassing everything I touch.

These are the things she says, among many others. There was a time when she wanted to know things – the things I shared that ultimately ruined us. When she came to me, soft-voiced and gentle in the early hours and asked me to tell her what was going on, and instead of telling her no, instead of just keeping it to myself, I opened my fool mouth.

I should have known better. She just wanted to know that I was hers, and she was mine, and fuck everyone else. Safe in our bubble.

Of course, bubbles burst. It’s not possible to maintain the kind of suspended animation we existed in when it was us and only us. Reality has a way of seeping in.

Ten more minutes have passed. There’s no sign of her. Of course, it’s Saturday night, and deep down I wasn’t expecting her to be around. She messaged me today to correct what I wrote in the previous chapter. To confirm that I am, in fact, definitely a selfish cunt. A selfish, selfish cunt, to be precise. And to throw a few fuck you’s my way. Not out of anger. To speak the truth.

I never had a chance to get to know her properly. Now, I have to let her go. This woman I am in love with. The first thing on my mind each morning, and the last thing each night. Because she’s right. I couldn’t provide the things I wanted to give her. The happiness. The safety, security and sunshine. Maybe early on, for a while. Before we got into the excessive detail of my life, and the lack of detail of hers. The reality we’re in.

Reality has once again taken over, and it’s pretty much the only place to be. The only show in town. Bubbles are only ever temporary.

 

Chapter 16

This is an extract from something that I received today. I’m documenting it here because it gives me a reminder of how I appear to the world when I let my guard down. Everything that is being said here, it wounds, very deeply. Which most likely means that it is true. I hope to digest what is said in the following and work out how I can use it to improve myself.

Here it is:

(removed)

It makes my throat close up and my eyes water each time I read it (which is often). I can’t work out if it’s because the words are truthful or because they were used to inflict the maximum possible damage. Probably it’s both.

However. That’s short term. I’ll get over it. What I’m trying to take away from this is how to handle my priorities. What my true needs are. My next post was going to be analysing the needs I recorded in Chapter 14 to understand which are needs and which are just the ramblings of a confused man. Then, when I had a condensed list of genuine needs, I wanted to understand which of them my wife helps me to meet.

First though. First I need to parse through this feedback. Get my head around it. Separate out what was said to hurt from what is true. I’m fucking terrified to do this, because I think there’s a lot of truth there. It’s necessary though.

Prologue

My life is built on lies.

I’m a liar. And a coward. That comes as a package deal, in case you were not aware. Liars lie due to fear. Fear of how people might react to the truth. Fear that the world might see them as they really are instead of how they choose to project themselves.

Prior to my wife, I only had one serious girlfriend. When the time came for me to end the relationship, due to no longer feeling a connection with her, I instead chose to drag things out.

When at the age of 7 or 8 I handed my mother a steak knife and asked her to just kill me, seeing as I did nothing but cause her trouble, I was already carving my path as victim. As having stuff done to me, instead of being the doer.

My entire life has been characterised by taking on responsibility without taking on true accountability. By embroiling myself in the trappings of whatever looks impressive, but without ever really committing to owning it. Writing. Being a husband. Fatherhood. When I’ve fucked up, there’s always a ready excuse. Always a reason, a justification. But no, never accountability. Not really.

I talk a good game. I say the words I know people expect to hear. I’m likeable, but am I a good person? Words are cheap. Behaviour is the true indicator of goodness, I now understand. You become what you do, for better and for worse.

I flirt with any woman who looks twice at me. Seeking validation. A balm to soothe the wounds I’ve spent a lifetime inflicting upon myself. I know now I can never find validation from another person. I know nobody else will truly accept me until I accept myself. That starts with being honest.

This will be a purge of sorts. A way to vent. To try to make sense of this torturous web of lies I have constructed to manage my life. I’ve hurt too many people with my lies. It’s time to take responsibility.

I will not lie here.