Excuse Me Ma’am, But Is All That Lint From Your Navel?
I can’t speak for anyone else, but it’s been my experience that when your life falls apart suddenly and you don’t know why—if you have even a modicum of self-respect—you will navel-gaze and introspect deeply. I know I did. I turned over every rock I’d stepped on in the 29 year journey called my marriage to see if I could identify what had gone wrong without my knowing. I had to. That’s how I am. I had to quantify how much—or how little—of what happened was my fault.
In other words, I asked myself, what’s the life lesson to be learned so that I don’t have to repeat it? For five long years I presided over a protracted in-depth post mortem of my life with my Runaway Romeo, aka Casper The Unholy Ghost.
Can you say idiot, boys and girls?
My best friend teases me about my penchant for research and intense introspection. She has often witnessed how that when I become interested in something, I will apply myself day and night to a focused study until I have appropriately sorted and placed all the mental pieces of the jigsaw puzzle where they belong.
So, regarding the posthumous review of what used to be my married life prior to my husband’s surprise departure, I dutifully combed through nearly 30 years of detailed history—memorializing the precise dates, times, and geographic coordinates for every mistake or misstep for which I thought I might bear even bear an nth degree of responsibility.
I then expanded that post mortem to include all other areas of my life. I rightfully identified and owned up to my failings as a mother, friend, daughter, sibling, Christian, church member, etc. I then set about delivering contrite apologies and making restitution where needed and still possible.
The Post Mortem Draws To A Close
With that done, I decided that it was high time to conclude my protracted ‘Life-With-Cheater-Pants’ autopsy. In other words, I needed to memorialize my findings and bury what had long been stinking—once and for all.
I’m a never-say-die kind of person, so it had taken me a good long time for me to accept that fact. In pop psychology psychobabble terms, I had to ‘sit with’ my reality and my pain for a very long time before finally accepting the cold hard fact. My husband acted so malevolently towards me simply because he could. In other words, he did everything with premeditated intent. Realizing that, I decided to stop sugar-coating the findings. No longer would I be an apologist for the reality of what my husband had declared to me [and the world at large] by ghosting me.
- Fact: my husband detested me.
- Fact: my husband had never loved me to begin with–ever!
- Fact: I had simply been a convenient place to come out of the rain in the early 80’s.
- Or, as was his case, a place to come in after living in a rooming house—at least until a better offer came along.
Cease & Desist Order
Finally, with my new and improved perspective [aka the dolt finally gets a grasp of reality], I stopped knowingly being a chump. I stopped holding any of the blame that righty belonged to him. What my ex had done, and how he acted, wasn’t my shame to bear; it was his. The embarrassment and humiliation of how he left me and his other [so-called] commitments weren’t mine to be ashamed of; they were his. He packed it; he needed to own it—or not. Either way, I no longer cared.
So, I was done. The pertinent findings had been transcribed, documented, and footnoted in the Final Report. And with that, I decided to conclude the microscopy and throw away the tissue samples. Better late than never, right?
Glory be! Some of us are slow, eh? LOL
LoveMart Shoppers, The Morgue Will Be Closing In 10 Minutes
Yes sir. It was time to attach the toe tag … pull the sheet up … slide the drawer back in … and slam the chiller door shut. Not to be sacrilegious but—my Runaway Cheater Pants ex wasn’t Lazarus—and he wasn’t gonna be rising up. And even if he did, too much time had passed. Too much water and other stuff [!] had passed under the bridge.
In other words, even if my ex came riding back in on a white Steed and he looked like a tanned buff Prince Charming at age 21 … Never … Never! …. would I never sign up for that mistake again.
Recording The Official Cause Of Death
So what did I record in the ‘Cause Of Death’ box of the Death Certificate to explain the passing away of my marriage and the life that I’d known for almost 30 years? Just four words … Another Day, Another Sucker. My protracted post-mortem showed me:
In life, there always will be gullible people being led around by some Pied Piper. [Ergo: Me, Satan’s Mistress, The Flying Monkeys—being led around by him. Perhaps by now maybe the tables have turned and Mr. Cheater Pants is being led around by her. Maybe he has a ring in his nose.] Who really knows? And more importantly, who really cares at this point?
There will always be someone somewhere willing to drink another person’s tainted Kool-Aid.
There will also always be base human beings with itching ears eager to get caught up in and believe a departing cheater’s confabulated narrative and revisionist history. Cheaters always invent a story line like, “We’ve been unhappy for years … We were only staying together for the kids”, or any of a number of other excuses known only to the departing party who conveniently made it up on the way out. [Shrug.] I say acknowledge it—lean into it—and find the humor in it. Trust me on this. It’s there.
There will always be other people misjudging and gossiping about situations they know nothing about, based on only carefully curated perspectives fed to them by a perpetrator. It’s human nature, it seems, to welcome and want to believe salacious gossip. How many people have enough character to stop someone and say, “Wait a minute … That doesn’t sound like the person I know.”
And finally, there will also always be plenty of people around to be enlisted as flying monkeys in someone else’s power play. I say: bob and weave, don’t get hit.
Remember, even flying monkeys’ arms get tired. They can’t fly forever. And without refueling it, your story gets old. With itching ears, they’re soon off to find other dead carrion to feast upon.
The Bottom Line
Betrayal is part of the game. Accept it. At some point in life, every single one of us will find ourselves on board and slated to serve our time on the ship of fools. Like the song says:
Oh! Speaking of monkeys. I almost forgot! I need to ask Alexa to set a reminder for me to call TicketMaster. I won’t be using the tickets that Dear Hubs left in my Valentine’s Day card [yes, he left on Valentine’s Day], so I’m gonna press for a full refund. My name’s not P.T. Barnum and it’s simply ‘Not my monkeys. Not my circus!’ any more. It’s hers and his. Tee Hee.