12: Dazed and Confused

More than once recently it has been suggested by people I know, and one angry troll on WordPress, that somehow I’m not owning the reality of what I did.

Anger and contempt oozes from their text messages and attacks. Honestly, I’ve been unable to figure out why they are so passionately invested in my affair. As if my behavior with C and K requires additional piling on. After all, I didn’t fuck their wives; I didn’t bone their husbands.

A troll accuses me of “bending reality to fit (my) narrative“. Others accused me of the predatory grooming of friends and manipulating them into adopting some “false narrative.”

One man went so far as to threaten me with law enforcement if I showed up to pick up my things from C’s without his consent. A 55-year-old woman texted me and told me that I’d better not let her find me. Another said I was no longer welcome in the community where I’ve lived and worked for nearly five years. A guy I considered a best friend refused to return my calls and then blocked me.

I’ve been called a narcissist, predator, monster and probably a few other things behind closed doors and social media firewalls.

Men and women I’ve known for five or more years sent me notes hinting at some big secret I was still keeping and denying. That I needed serious help. That there was something “seriously wrong” with me.

I could not figure out why my infidelity raised their ire.

Be careful about what you wish for because, over the last four days, I’ve discovered why.

Now I know.

Following my Betrayal: The Hot Mess Club post on Monday, K called me. It was the first conversation I’ve had with her since my inappropriate rage-filled email following her reveal. K has known me seven years longer than C and she too is trying to reconcile what C told her with what she knows of me.

From that conversation, I was able to piece together how C’s anger, jealousy and need for revenge has resulted in a much darker narrative. In my counseling session yesterday I brought up what K told me, and the doctor confirmed some of what she heard from C.

C called my doctor not long after she asked me to leave.

Now before I write anything else, I am willing to own the reality that I have blind spots. There are things about me I don’t know and don’t understand. It is entirely possible C’s perspective is accurate. That my behavior and our relationship has a dark narrative I am hiding for reasons even I’m not aware of.

It is possible I am that man.

I’ve learned a lot about my self over my life and one of those realities is I don’t know myself as well as I think I do. I’m not attacking C or what she thinks. I am saying that, at this moment, I don’t believe the portrayal being painted of me is wholy accurate.

I cannot do anything about what people think they know. Anything I say will be perceived as a justification, rationalizations, bullshit, or an excuse or worse yet, another evidence of a dark and unhealthy personality disorder.  As such, for the moment I am mostly just trying to wrap my head around the consequences and where to go from here in a way that is constructive and healthy.

Mostly out of shock, and a bit out of confusion and hurt, I have no idea how to respond. I’m just going to drink my hot chocolate…because I’m out of whiskey.

This is the problem with rumor-mongering, it turns the focus from the issue to the perceived issue. Other people’s attitude isn’t solely about my infidelity, lies or betrayal. Instead, their contempt relies on the adoption of a dark and menacing narrative fed on an out-of-context awareness of tangential events, too much of Showtime’s Shameless and too much nightly news.

One more consequence of C’s anger and my infidelity and lies: it’s easier to assume the worst about me.

If nothing else, this experience has already made me less judgemental and more patient with people and the stories I hear about them.