I have rarely played the card. You know the one I am talking about folks. The dead husband card. The he died by suicide without any knowledge of issues card. You know that one that means you get out of something, you need to sit down, you need a nap, you need a break. I can recall on one hand how many times I pulled the card since he passed away Oct. 22nd. The number of times is 1. I had a day and I put myself to bed. I texted my boss and said I need to go to bed. He was truly surprised because I never say that.
So I ask you the reader, me the spouse who has been through a rough year, and my late husband too. Can I have a pass on this? I have internalized the lesson, identified the red flags, and know I will not fall for it again. I have learned. I do not want it to be the reason that good things don’t come my way, people stay away, or people judge me (including myself!).
I spent 5 weeks with someone I should not have spent more than 1 day near. Being that I did take so long to figure it all out I feel a little dimwitted, but really he was GOOD at his game. A true master of his craft. It took time to understand and figure out the truth. He is a uber charming, manipulative, chameleon so it took me some time to think through everything. In that last week however I know and have been told by my friend that I should have gone the week previous. I know that now.
A few things I learned:
- What someone says while drinking should not be given a pass but rather be considered as what they truly feel without the filter they usually have during sobriety.
- When someone says the worst thing about you that you have ever had said in your entire life; you ma’am walk the hell away with your head held high. You do not allow anyone to apologize for that.
- The idea of being alone again after being widowed will make you stay longer than you should in bad situations.
- Being alone again is not so bad. Hell you survived finding your husband dead alone in the dark.
- If you are with a guy who does not allow you to tell your story completely, he is not that into you. It is NOT him being considerate. He simply does not care.
- Do not ignore all the bad things in the relationship, because a few good times does not outweigh the bad.
- If the guy hates dogs. RUN!
- If the guy seems angry even in the first couple of days. RUN FASTER!
- If you ask the guy if he is trying to break you and if he is a narcissist and he does not reply… RUN FASTEST!
So I am asking for a pass. Call it vulnerability, call it loneliness, call it an aneurysm, call it whatever you want. I am asking can I play the card?
Don’t call me tainted, don’t say I am ruined, don’t think I am weak, don’t judge me for being less intelligent than you know I usually am. Don’t let this define what you think of me. Know he is a master at the craft, so do not think you would have seen it sooner. Know that this was NOT a real relationship but a lie induced interlude of lust. Know that now that it is clear that it was a fake relationship and I was being used it no longer means anything to me. It is like it never was.
What I hope for the future is to make an amazing friend who over time develops into something more. The two guys I had the best relationships with (husband and 1st boyfriend) were my best friends first. True feelings and love take time to develop. Being friends first allows you to get to know each other before the emotions and brain chemicals take over entirely.
I worry that I will be taken advantage of again, or judged for my past, or be alone forever, but I cannot concern myself completely with these potentials very long. I must live every moment and be here now. I must meet people and develop the friendships I have been so lucky to have. I must continue to be strong and utilize my independence even more than I have.
The narcissistic sociopath has been blocked, deleted, and removed from my life entirely. So can we pretend it never happened? Do I get the pass and a clean slate? Can we pretend it never happened but with the clear wisdom to pick out these flags right away next time? I can.