Friday, September 25, 2009

My Reaction

I sat stunned into silence, only the steady increase of my heartbeat was audible above my ringing ears. The words "I've been lying to you" bounced like a crazed ping-pong ball against the floorboards, up to the ceiling, grazed the already cracked windshield and round and round the interior of our aging car. Normality and numbness was my reaction. I didn't feel anything, my skin and heart were like leather. A small voice whispered that I should be feeling some sensation at my husbands pivotal confession, but there was nothing, no anger, no shock, no sadness. It's like my body's defense to emotional trauma is to assemble a protective force field against pernicious emotional daggers, and any and all shards of malignant information is dammed out, keeping my heart safe from overload. The force field doesn't stand forever, its durability with time, usually a few hours, deteriorates, allowing fragments to penetrate slowly, rather than at the lethal speed in which it is thrown. I listened to my husband, a man I thought I knew through and through as one of the most honest people I had ever met, admit he had lied not about one thing, but about many many things, small things, important things, and trivial things. He had lied to me, not at the start of our marriage, but from the beginning of our relationship. And it wasn't one lie, but many. Lies that caused us to be on different continents for over half a year, separated and lonely for each others company. And trivial lies such as the time he didn't answer his phone for three days. When I finally spoke with him, he told me this elaborate, creative story of how he ran out of gas on the highway, and was robbed, and then had to return when the police found the stolen merchandise and then he had to go to the emergency room because he got dehydrated, when really he hadn't answered my call because he felt guilty about lying to me and couldn't face me, and then had to think of a reasonable excuse for not answering my phone calls.
"I'm not proud of it, but I will answer any questions you have. I will tell you the truth about every lie I have ever told because I am committed to having a truly open relationship with you. I want you to see the man I am being and not the man I was in the past." He said to me, holding my hands tightly, determinedly maintaining eye contact.

When the splinters finally broke my emotional force field, the pain seared my heart. I found myself unable to look at the man I promised to love and cherish till I die. Kyle broke his vows to me when he lied nearly every day of our relationship. How could a man whom I trusted so wholly with my heart have hidden this from me for so long? A man who lies to his wife surly doesn't love her, nor respect her. And what did that make me? A naive, gullible victim?

It took me a while, to wade through the torrent of emotions whirling like an unstoppable F5 tornado through my body, but I was able to grab at some of the more important ones. Who said that Kyle doesn't love me or respect me? The fact is, Kyle lied because he was afraid of the world and what they would think of him. What part of that fact implies that Kyle didn't love me? His lies had nothing to do with his respect or love of me, and solely to do with Kyle's feelings about himself and his self worth. He had lied to me because in his twisted logic, that was the only way he knew would keep me. He loved me, he showed me through his doting and affectionate actions every day. He had lied to keep himself protected from harm, but his love was true, and Kyle's being, the man I loved, was still there.

I asked questions, lots of questions. I'm still asking questions. And each day, I come to understand more and more that I'll never understand. Because he wasn't coming from a place of reason. When a druggie is looking for a fix, no matter what kind of person they might have been before the drugs, they do anything, even shameful, humiliating things to provide for their hungering addiction. And I think that in the same way drugs are poison and addicting, so is the fear that held Kyle. I am by no means defending his actions because every time I hear a new lie, I am appalled and newly jarred by this deceitful side. But I also realize that what Kyle has admitted to not only his wife but to ALL of his friends and family, the people he had lied to because he was afraid of losing their love and respect took astounding bravery. What Kyle did takes guts, more than just a little; his confession takes cajones. He is standing up and admitting to the world his faults, and taking what comes and I applaud him.

For a time, I was afraid that I wasn't going to be able to feel proud of Kyle because of his past, but I realize now that I am SO proud of who he is being and what he is doing now to make up for his wrong doings. I have now come to understand that Kyle's confession of his wrongdoings are evidence that he is a man who values the worth of his integrity. By his admission, he was risking losing me, but with the prospect of having an authentic relationship with his wife, rather than an empty one based in lies and deceit. His proclamation was proof of how much he valued and respected his relationships, especially our marriage.

Each day, I can see the real Kyle glimmer just a little brighter. The shame of lying imprisons, and now that he has unlocked his chains, his brightness is glowing more and more iridescent. His presence alludes an infectiously positive attitude and any fear of mine of being ashamed has been shoved aside. His lies were never out of malice, but a protective mechanism. I believe that his lying days are over because I see the freedom the truth has given him. Kyle Rogers is an amazing person, and although what he did in the past was hurtful, it is in the past. The past is the past is the past, and that is where it should stay. All we have is the present, and we shouldn't allow our past to interfere. My pride for my husband is inundating and amazingly, despite what I might have considered illogical in the past, I find myself falling more head over heals in love with him every day. Thank you to all of you who have shown your love and support through all of this. I can't tell you how much it means to both of us. Truly we are so very blessed.



(Some people may be surprised that we are broadcasting this very personal matter on such a public forum, and I want to explain a little why. Kyle valued re-gaining his integrity more so than losing a little pride, and I felt it necessary to throw my support behind my husband and assure any interested friends and family that we remain committed to our relationship and marriage. And that although this has been difficult, we felt that being open and honest with everyone in our lives was more important and felt less shameful than keeping this matter quiet.)

5 comments:

Rachael said...

The inner workings of [a working] marriage is so infrequently spoken of it almost seems like the last taboo.

I love you guys for being so open about this. It always benefits society to shed light down on the most personal of relationships. Talking about it -does- take some cajones, but also brings down the fear factor of it for both of you.

Much love,
Rachael

Chrissi said...

Vanessa,
You are wonderful. I can imagine the emotions that you had to battle with and the fear when this began. Kyle is blessed to have a strong,loving wife and we, likewise, are blessed to have you as a part of our family. And I know you feel blessed as well. Kyle is a luminous soul, just like you and you belong together. Enjoy your new found relationship and take this opportunity to act like newlyweds again. ;-)
Love always,
~Chrissi~

Jane said...

It really is amazing to be able to "see" two people work through something so difficult together. Thank you for sharing your healing process with us.

teacherwriter said...

You both have great courage. I want to share the words to a favorite song of mine by Sia, called "Numb" It just seems to fit.



I saw you cry today
The pain may fill you
I saw you shy away
The pain will not kill you

You made me smile today
You spoke with many voices
We travelled miles today
Shared expressions voiceless

It has to end
Living in your head
Without anything to numb you
Living on the edge
Without anything to numb you

It has to end to begin

Began an end today
Gave and got given
You made a friend today
Kindred soul cracked spirit

It has to end to begin

Living in your head
Without anything to numb you
Living on the edge
Without anything to numb you

If you want to listen, it's on my blog.

Bless you both.

Anonymous said...

Vanessa,

Your love, support, and devotion to Kyle is awesome! Thanks for being such an inspiration of forgiveness!

Keith