Last night I realized how fucked up I am because of past relationships.
Now, before I continue, I want to be clear that I’m not accusing Ann of anything, just using this text as an example to show a little bit about exactly how fucked up I am.
Ann-“Sorry about not being in touch last night. My phone died before midnight and my portable charger didn’t work. Friend 1’s doesn’t work here and Friend 2 had left “early”. We were out dancing until 3am.”
Now, most people probably read the actual words, but this is how my brain reads it:
“Was out with the girls last night, met some guys and danced until 1 am. Then had sex for two hours. He just left and I’m writing now so you don’t get suspicious.”
My brain assumes she’s lying… and then builds evidence for it’s case. She had mentioned earlier in the day how horny she was. “Phone dead”? Likely story. Had a portable charger and it just happened to malfunction last night? Yeah, sure. Dancing until 3 am? Most bars close at 2 am. And I got the text at 4 am her time… There’s some time missing here.
Wham, bam, open and shut case. Ann must have cheated last night. But that is based on the premise that Ann is lying.
Why does my brain assume that Ann’s lying? She’s never given me any reason to suspect her of lying to me. We’ve had very open, honest communication from the start. I should be taking her words at face value since she’s always been honest with me about everything.
But here’s what I realized last night, my brain assumes that everyone is lying all the time. Unless there is incontestable evidence otherwise, everything is a lie.
But why would my brain assume that everyone is lying? That seems strange. Well, I thought about it and realized it was because of my Mom and Cat.
I’ve been a student of human behavior for many years now. I learned how to read people, their behaviors, and situations. Before, I thought that I had this interest because of the writer’s spark in my soul. I want to know the motivations, the reasons, the back story, etc. But now I’m thinking I learned to read people because of my Mom and Cat. I couldn’t trust anything they said so I had to base my reactions on their behaviors, their actions, and what was said between the words.
My Mom – I’ve written a little bit about her before. We had a very rocky relationship for many years because I think she’s borderline crazy. She has a public face that is extremely nice, polite, and respectable… and a private face that is manipulative, two faced, and controlling. Everything depended on her moods. If she was in a good mood we could do no wrong, a bad mood and everything we did was fucked up and wrong. She would do or say something on a good day, then completely reverse herself on a bad day and accuse us of lying if we tried to call her out on it. She could do no wrong. If she said 2 + 2 = 5, no evidence we provided otherwise could shift her on that. 2 + 2 = fucking 5. Period. End of story.
My mom constantly flip-flopped her position on things, her reactions were unpredictable, and I learned that nothing she said was reliable. Things might be this way today but who knew what they would be like tomorrow?
Cat – I didn’t realize this until after we were married, but Cat lied all the time. She’s obsessed with how other people see her. She slept through her alarm and was late for work? No, she “had a flat tire” or some medical issue with our daughter. If something might portray her in a negative light, or could be re-shaped to cast her in a more positive light, she would lie. All the time, even about minor things.
Then, in those early years when she was cheating all the time, it became really obvious to me that she only cared about how other people saw her. Obviously, she lied to me about where she was going, who she was doing, and all that… but she also lied to other people about our relationship to make her cheating more understandable. She lied about everything, constantly, to make sure she was always seen positively.
So, 19 years living with an almost bipolar mother, and the next ten years married to a lying cheater… my brain started to assume that everyone is lying. I can’t take anything at face value without proof to back it up. I put everything through a filter, automatically searching for evidence to fish out the “lies”. Even with someone as trustworthy as Ann, I can’t help myself. Into the filter she goes.
It’s my hope that now that I’ve realized what I’m doing, I can start to rework the programming. I should trust people until they give me a reason to doubt them, not the other way around. Especially Ann. We’re in a long distance relationship, trust is everything. She deserves my trust and I’m going to work at giving it to her.