My past fucks me up

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.

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15 thoughts on “My past fucks me up

    • It is a very tough road. I guess the first step to getting better is to acknowledge the fucked-up-ness and start working away from it. That’s why writing this post was important to me.

  1. I kind of do the opposite. I trust someone until they give me a reason not to. Unfortunately, even though I am very trusting, I still get shit on (metaphorically speaking, of course.) I tend to make excuses for people that I shouldn’t. When I know they are lying, I still hope that they are not. I could always sense when my ex-husband was lying to me. I knew every time even if I could not prove it until later. Yet, with relationships following my marriage I make a zillion excuses for douchebags that don’t deserve it. They didn’t text me for 48 hours? I bet their phone died. And their electricity is out. Or they broke both their thumbs. Maybe my phone is broken. It’s stupid. I know it is hard…but try to trust Ann, she’s not done anything to make you think she shouldn’t. You’d expect her to trust you. Should you ever find that your phone is dead and you’re out having a ball with your friends, you wouldn’t want her to freak out and assume you were cheating. I don’t know Ann, but I follow her blog (and yours obviously) and I think she is smart and a keeper..:)

    • I think that just shows was a kind heart you have, always giving everyone the benefit of the doubt. Some people probably take advantage of that, they should be ashamed of themselves, but I think it says a lot about you that you are that trusting. And it says a lot of the people that take advantage of a kind person as well.

      Ann is definitely smart and a keeper. I do trust her, but at times it does feel like I’m fighting myself. Like the angel and the demon on the shoulders.

      • I understand. My past and how it affects me is the blog I’ve been too afraid to write. My past gave me PTSD and is the reason I have to be medicated to sleep. My past with my ex husband (not the reason I can’t sleep) caused me to lose faith in good men. Basically I’m all sorts of fucked up, so I get where you’re coming from I just hate to see someone sabotaging something good. It is so much easier to see someone else doing it than when I’m doing it myself.

      • I really think writing about those experiences is absolutely vital, even if you never decide to post them. For me, writing about something makes me look at it from every angle, break it down, and figure how to explain it thoroughly. When I’m done with it, it’s like part of the weight has been taken off my shoulders. I leave a lot of the hurt on the page. The experience loses that magic hold it has, it’s just another thing that happened, because I broke it down and explained it. That’s where I was, this is where I am now, it didn’t beat me.

        That’s the biggest reason that I blog anonymously, because I write about all the fucked up shit in my head and let go of it. I don’t know if it works that way for everyone, but I think it would be worth it to try, even if you decide not to put it up. Or if you wanted to put it up somewhere, you could do an anonymous guest post here. 🙂

      • Thank you. One of these days I’ll sit down and get it all out. It’s all from so long ago that I dread dragging it back up but I think in the long run it will help

      • If I write it I’ll post it, I’ll just make sure it’s on a weekend night where I can follow up the dredging up of the past with copious amounts of wine! 🙂

  2. I’m a duplicate of Hollie. Even when I know I am being lied to I afford people the benefit of the doubt. And I’m still learning how many bad behaviors of a 20 year bad marriage has done. Both my parents were big liars – as well as my husband. And a lot of time just like Cat, over innocuous stuff. I don’t get it.

    • I think some of the biggest liars are the ones that care the most about what other people think. They lie to get higher up the social ladder, to make themselves look better, to impress people. If you don’t give a fuck what people think then there’s no reason to lie.

  3. You are right to trust her. As improbable as things may sound. You are absolutely right. To. Trust. Her. 🙂 working through personal stuff like this is hard. And I respect your self awareness and the way you are approaching it.

    • This blog is how I manage to be even partially self aware. I think it’s also a big part of my relationship with Ann, she get’s to see inside my head on a regular basis. I’m working on the trust issues because she’s totally worth it and deserves the best possible version of me. It’s not always easy, but we’re figuring it out as we go.

  4. I have issues trusting but once I get over them I trust completely.

    And then it’s usually thrown in my face.

    But it’s pretty awesome that you recognised it and are building a way to try to work through it. That deserves commendation.

  5. Pingback: My Saturday night with Marian | Dancing Queens & Kings | ann st vincent

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