Saturday, June 2, 2012

History in the Making...

So, when each of us tells the story of our lives, there is no question that for the most part, we will portray ourselves as the hero.  Or perhaps, the victim.  But either way, as one who can do no wrong.  But I'm willing to bet that if others were telling a story about us, we might not come off so glowing.

In particular, I think of my ex-wife (or is she? see Am I or Aren't I?) I know that the story told of me is not a good one.  I am not the good guy in her story.  For the most part, I can live with that, although it saddens me, too.

There's a song currently out by Alan Jackson that I heard on the radio the other day and it really it home.  It's called So You Don't Have to Love Me Anymore.  Here are the opening lyrics.

I’ll be the bad guy,
I’ll take the black eye,
When I walk out,
You can slam the door,
I’ll be the S.O.B,
If that’s what you need from me,
So you don’t have to love me anymore.

When you and our friends talk,
Make it all my fault,
Tell ‘em I’m rotten to the core,
I’ll let it all slide,
Get ‘em all on your side,
So you don’t have to love me anymore.

At the end of the day with my ex, this was my only choice.  She already felt beaten, even though I didn't beat her.  She felt used, she felt ruined, she felt like crap.  I felt the same way, too, but I knew I was just the slightest big stronger than her.  There was no need to make it worse for her.  Nothing was to be gained for either of us.  So I walked away.  I didn't feel I had a choice.  Looking back I still don't see that I had any other choice.  And I know how that could have been and probably was painted. 

I was the bad guy, the bitch, the one who ran out on her.  It's not how I like to tell the story.  But it is one version of it.  And there isn't much I can do about it now.

This has been something on my mind since I first heard the song earlier in the week.  It's something that is frequently on my mind regardless of musical reminders. 

But perspective is an important thing to remember when telling our story, or thinking that our story is complete.  It's not.  I appreciate the support to Hot and Cold, and it's a story that is clearly still unfolding.  But if someone were to ask her - like an aside from Modern Family - about what she thought happened during one of these cold moments, it might paint a different picture.  Perhaps I was too intense (again!) or too needy or God only knows what kind of behavior that made her a bit wary and needing to keep some distance.  I don't know.  If I did, clearly this would be easier to understand.  But I recognize that when I tell the story, I am the hero, or I am the victim, but either way, I am blameless.  And it is much easier to see ourselves as blameless than to realize that we might not be perfect. 

I am quick to remind everyone that I am human and I make mistakes.  I know this.  I believe this. I am not too arrogant to believe in my own perfection.  But that doesn't mean I can always see what I may be like in the eyes of others.  And the things I do that I think are kind and sweet, and when I describe them to you sound good, might not actually play out how I think they do.  I understand that conceptually.  What to do with that knowledge...?  Well, that's for another day.

I don't want to be the bad guy.  But sometimes, I know I am.  And that there are some people who tell the story of me in which that is the unfortunate role I play.  History may still be in the making, but it's also made by those who tell the story, too.

If you like this, stick around and read other entries.  Hit a few on the right that are favorites, or go to the home page of the blog, and read from beginning to end.  Take a moment to send me some feedback.  Thanks for coming.  Please come back soon.


  1. You have given me much to think about as I'm working my eighth and ninth steps. thank you for being part of my recovery.

    1. Good luck with your recovery. I am glad that I can help. Find a healthy balance between accepting responsibility for your actions, and still loving yourself. None of us are perfect... Big hugs!