|The lies in our driveway|
I can't even begin to count all of the lies you told in 15 years. To others, to me and to yourself.
You told me you were in law enforcement. That was a lie. There was no LAPD, no Police Academy. Lies. That bail enforcement bit you did for a couple of weeks, that I did with you, lasted the blink of an eye, like every other hobby you tried. When you didn't catch anyone, after wasting hundreds of dollars, money we couldn't afford to waste, it was all over. But to the world, you lied. All made up stories of your years in law enforcement. Lies.
You didn't play drums in a band. Unless you call your high school band a band. Hell, your instructor didn't even remember you! He remembered everyone else in the class, asking you about them, but not you. You barely even played drums at home for 15 years; only one tune did you know and you played that once every 2 years when I would wonder why we had the drums even set up. All lies.
You didn't know Tae Kwon Do, at all. You lied about having a 3rd degree black belt, only for me to find out years later it was all a lie. You didn't have a 3rd degree brown belt in Kung Fu either. Nothing more than a blue belt that you earned as a teenager when your Mom drove you to class. All the rest was a lie. When that instructor we met put you on the spot, I was humiliated as you admitted to him that you had a blue belt, after 15 years of being lied to. I stood silently, disgusted by yet another lie.
I should have known when the Kung Fu weapons hung on the wall gathering dust for all of those years. You touched them less than the drums. The were all part of your Museum of Impression; something to show visitors so you could brag about a past you didn't have. Just like your education, your big stories of bagging girls while cruising and your exaggerated tales of biking, hiking, running and surfing. All lies.
Nothing more than a high school diploma, but you told me so much more. A bike with all of the expensive gear that stood in our garage collecting as much dust as the drums, the weapons, and your other props. The surfboard you never owned, the running you never did, the hikes we never took.
The promises broken. While dating you spoke of trips we would take, but unless your company paid the bill, we never went anywhere. In 15 years the only place you took me was Laughlin with the kids once and Taco Bell on Friday nights. How anyone could think Taco Bell or McDonalds was a night out every Friday is still beyond me! That was our whole social life; fast food. Not even a trip to the movie theater in 10 years, or to any other event of any kind. Fast food. That was our life.
Church was a lie. You promised we would go, week after week, but you never did. I went alone, so you punished me. The same with the Marriage Counselor. For over a year you promised we would talk about it next week. Then the day I came I said I was leaving and you said you would go with me to the therapist. When I spoke openly to the therapist, you smiled and lied to her, only to scream at me all the way home, calling me the dirtiest words you could muster, for telling the truth. You shouted that those were private details that I wasn't allowed to share with anyone, ever. It was therapy. "Therapy is worthless if we lie," I cried. You threatened me with pain if I opened my mouth again.
The promises that we could afford the "hobby" cars were all lies. One car after the other filled our driveway as more and more bills piled up unpaid. Mustang, another Mustang, another Mustang, an Infiniti, another Mustang, just to fill that empty hole where your integrity should have been.
Your ability to handle money was all a lie. Your need to control money was real; I walked around with nothing more than $5 in my wallet for 10 years straight while you drove us into bankruptcy twice and a foreclosure. You kept me from working full time because you needed to watch me, control me, own me. You couldn't blame me for our money problems because you wouldn't let me earn anything and because I wasn't even allowed to see the bills, the checkbook or your paystubs. I dutifully handed my check over every month, blindly trusting my husband who was nothing more than a lie. Was anything real?
The shopping addiction was real. The thousands of dollars in car parts and improvements, not to mention all of the cars we bought but couldn't afford, those were real. The bills that went unpaid while you fed your addiction were real. The bankruptcy judgements, those were real. The anguish I felt when I had to beg the church for money, go to the food pantry for food, pray on my knees, day after day, that God help us, that was all real.
The emotional and verbal abuse from you was real too. The control you needed over me was real. The demeaning insults, the screaming, the tantrums, the pain, the fear; that was all real. Hitting the floor when you struck me, that last weekend before I left, that was real. Your foot on the back of my head, the threats of my brains being squeezed on the carpet of our closet, those were real. You, you were a lie.
All of that pain in you I wanted to fix. I wanted to help you. I wanted to see you smile, take care of you, love you. I know now that you couldn't love. You feared that no one loved you because your parents never told you they loved you as a kid. You feared that you would never be loved. And you were right. No one can love you because no one knows you. You hide everyday behind the lies of who you are, who you were, where you've been and what you've done.
I never knew you because all you fed me were lies. I couldn't love you because every time I thought I knew you, knew something about you, it turned out to be a lie. 15 long years of lies, only to find out days before I left that there were more lies that I had based my life on. It seemed your parents backed up every lie while we were dating, but as the years of marriage wore on, the truth began to seep through as the stories you told unraveled. The last conversation with your mother before I decided to leave was the last straw. She told me more things I had never known, things I had been told differently by you, that all turned up lies.
I lied too. Fear drove me to lie. The fear that you would scream at me for innocent things, the fear that you would harm me, the fear that you would punish me emotionally, degrade me, dehumanize me yet again, pushed me to lie. I lied about my dreams, my desires, my hopes, all to please you. I lied to myself about what I wanted. I was starving for love, for acceptance, for truth, so I ate. I gained over 100 pounds being married to you because I hated myself. The fear that men would look at me and you would blame me for it drove me to eat, to hide under layers of fat, to become as unattractive as possible so your wouldn't hurt me drove me to destroy myself.
That 75 lbs that I lost after the divorce felt like an enormous cloak off of me. The career I have now, being myself, be honest, making far more money that I ever had, than you ever have, gives me a satisfaction I've never known. I found myself again, under all of that deceit, all of those fears, all of that pain. Because every moment with you, for 15 years with you, was a lie. The lies of courtship turned to bigger, grander lies when the truth rushed in to face you. The lie that we had become, of who you were, all began to eat at your own soul and the pain from that was unleashed on me, eating away at the fiber of who I had once been.
Our 15 years was a lie. You are a lie.