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Young Geoffrey

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Losing My Religion or, Picking Up the Pieces [Sep. 22nd, 2006|06:51 pm]
Young Geoffrey
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[mood |optimisticoptimistic]

To say this past summer did not turn out as I'd hoped would be a personal understatement much like saying George II's 2003 declaration that major military operations in Iraq were at an end was just a tad, er, premature.

Getting over Laura has been no easy journey. Yet, marked as it has been by too many pints, far too many cigarettes and less solid food than is probably good for my long-term survival prospects (though I have lost close to 20 pounds over the last 2 months, and that pleases me quite a lot), I think I am not ejaculating prematurely in declaring the mission is mostly accomplished. Some mopping up remains to be done, but I believe I am now facing the reality that was.

Perhaps chief among my weaknesses is that I tend to trust people. When I meet someone, I presume that what they tell me about themself is true (if not necessarily complete). I presume that most people are, basically, decent, well-meaning and honest, until and unless I am discover evidence that suggests they are something else.

It's been said that liars tend to be suspicious, because they know themselves to be untrustworthy. I believe the reverse is also true. While I am capable of lying and I sometimes do it, I don't do it often and usually I believe I have a good reason to do so (I don't believe it is wrong to lie to one's sworn enemy). I try to avoid even well-meant "white lies", because I do not want them told to me.

But that "faith in human nature" is a weakness, because it means I can be taken advantage of, by someone either smart enough or clever enough, to work that initial trust into Trust with a capital T.

It has been difficult indeed to digest just how monstrously deep and broad was the level of Laura's dishonesty towards me and contempt for me and, worse, was how willing and eager I was to believe her lies. (As perhaps the most pathetic example, was the night I came home to find her in our bed with her friend MC, whose shirt was most definitely not on her torso. When, later, I asked what the hell, she looked me straight int the eye and said they were "only cuddling, and M.C. was too hot." And I believed her.)

She took full advantage of my weakness - that I trusted her - for at least the final 6 months of our relationship. And I suspect, for a good deal longer than that.

It is not easy to look back on more than 2 years of your life and know that, for a significant chunk of that time, if not all of it, you were being played for a fool, being treated like a sucker.

It's not easy to look back and realize that the woman to whom you had, without reservation, given your heart had taken it not as a precious gift but as an opportunity; that the woman you trusted implicitly and with whom you dreamed you might spend the rest of your life, did not really even exist.

But reality is reality, whether we like it - or accept it - or not. No matter how painful, no matter how humiliating or heartbreaking, the world is what it is.

And my present is built on the fact that I gave my heart to a phantom, an illusion, to a potempkin woman, as it were.

She lied to me about everything that mattered, and likely as not about a lot of things that didn't. (That I choose to believe she meant it when she described me as "the smartest man [she] ever met" and the best lover she ever had is a forgivable vanity, I hope.)

She lied about her wish to do her part domestically (laundry, cat-litter, dishes, cooking, cleaning - I did it all. Sucker); she lied about the nature of her job and about how much money she was making at it, though she happily took half of all that I made at mine; she lied to me about monogamy and was regularly unfaithful, with multiple partners (and this, despite the fact we probably averaged sex 2 or 3 times a day over more than a year; and yes, I'm going for a full battery of tests). When, over the last 6 months or so of our relationship, I realized that things were not working, that there were problems, she convinced me the problems were my fault, that I was mean to her friends, that she didn't want me coming out with her and them because I was a bad drunk - not because she was fucking them and didn't want me to know about it.

Even after I learned some of the truth and threw her out, she continued to try to play me. She wanted to go for drinks, she wanted to keep having sex with me. She found a personal ad I'd placed on Plentyoffish and wrote me, "your profile makes me fall in love with you all over again". And I came close to falling for the line, wanting so very badly to believe that my illusions had substance after all.

Fortunately, by that point I was awake, if not fully alert, and managed to chase temptation away. As I have said many times, without trust there can be no real relationship, only exploitation - possibly mutual exploitation but exploitation nonetheless.

I've told her not to write to me, not to talk to me if we see one another on the street, not to call me. In time, I hope, I will look back on our 2-plus years together and remember the love I felt and was able to give, with the lies and deceit I received in return only a pale shadow on what was, in fact, what was, to me, the meaningful part of the relationship.

But for now, I am still angry, as much at myself as at her. For there were signs, had I had the wit to see them.

Anger aside, though, I think I am pretty much where I want to be.

I know I am a smart boy. I also know I can be taken advantage of, that I can be a very stupid boy sometimes. Romantically, this has happened twice to me. I hope that it won't again, but I am happy to know that I have not closed myself off from risk.

I have not been fundamentally damaged, or profoundly changed. I will continue to trust people, prefer the risk of trust to the emotional paralysis that would ensue were I too assume people are dishonest until proven otherwise.

I prefer to take the chance of being hurt, to locking myself in a fortress bristling with weapons and guards. Taking risks is a big part of being truly alive; being able to pick oneself up after suffering a body-blow is essential to staying that way.

Laura, I thank you for your quick mind and ready wit; for the amazing sex; for the ways in which you helped me see the world through eyes other than my own; and especially for the chance to deeply, meaningfully, love another person as I had never loved before.

And I am happy I am able to say I am stronger for the wounds you inflicted upon me. I am walking the world again, perhaps better armed than I was against the troubles that are always out there, but my weapons remain holstered. 2007 will be a marvelous year!
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: fadefromnothing
2006-09-23 12:58 am (UTC)
2007 will indeed be fabulous!
I wish you the best of luck, and agree wholeheartedly - if it wasn't for taking risks, none of us could have ever ended up in the interesting places and positions we find ourselves in today. :)

-Sidra
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-09-23 01:28 am (UTC)

You Know, We're Running Out of Excuses ...

Not only do you live only 1 major street north of where I work, it turns out you now work literally across the street from where I do. I'm in the 401 Richmond building.

What kind of schedule are you on? You really ought to let me take you out to luch or dinner or just old fashioned drinks one of these days.

And I was really pleased by the tenor of your last post. It's about time things went well for you.
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[User Picture]From: fadefromnothing
2006-09-23 01:32 am (UTC)

Re: You Know, We're Running Out of Excuses ...

Oh my lord, I go to Gallery 401 very frequently because my mother's friend, Gokche, has a gallery in there.

I'm on a strange schedule, where I never do have time to do any of the activities I'd like to try, but the minute I have free social time (case in point, tonight!), nobody I know is available to do anything, and there is a definite lack of social activity to be found that would cater to someone like me.

Thank you, you do realize you had a major part to play in my decision, right?

Also, I want to go to the Rex at some point, I've been meaning to check it out for the longest time.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-09-23 01:42 am (UTC)

Re: You Know, We're Running Out of Excuses ...

You've probably seen me smoking out front then.

My cell # is 416-523-6275. I'd love to go to the Rex again.

And I don't think I realized my part was that significant. But it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling to learn that it was.

Give me a call one of these days.
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[User Picture]From: offermeescape
2006-09-23 03:34 am (UTC)

Re: You Know, We're Running Out of Excuses ...

My god, you have a cell! Geoffrey has entered the 20th century.. ;)

I will comment on this entry sometime soon. I have been away for some time, due to school and working full time. I'm glad to hear you're being so strong..
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-09-23 12:34 pm (UTC)

Re: You Know, We're Running Out of Excuses ...

Thanks. I've thought about calling you, but I saw your recent post about the busy-ness and decided to wait until you had more time on your hands.
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[User Picture]From: offermeescape
2006-09-29 07:07 am (UTC)

Re: You Know, We're Running Out of Excuses ...

You can call anytime. I don't have much free time but we can arrange something. :P
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[User Picture]From: sck5000
2006-09-23 02:16 am (UTC)
It never ceases to amaze me how many Internet personals sites you go crawling around on. What the hell is plentyoffish, and how come you have all this energy to go post personals on every dirty little corner of the net and I can't even get the energy to post one?

I think I'm just going to start posting mine at the bottom of comments in your LJ.

Desperate 36 year old man with no redeeming features, seeks girl with poor sense of humor who is willing to wear whatever I tell her and gets turned on by being ignored. Must own a pair of star socks or rainbow armwarmers.

So wait.. why was I responding? Oh yeah, so does this mean all that time that Laura was sleeping with me she was actually still sleeping with you? That bitch. Haha... um... too soon to joke?

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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-09-23 02:25 am (UTC)

Dirty Corners ...

...how come you have all this energy to go post personals on every dirty little corner of the net and I can't even get the energy to post one?

Because I'm not willing to just wait for someone to fall into my lap. I know my limitations and I know my strengths. I like being romantically (not to mention sexually) involved. So I make the effort.

Desperate 36 year old man with no redeeming features, seeks girl with poor sense of humor who is willing to wear whatever I tell her and gets turned on by being ignored. Must own a pair of star socks or rainbow armwarmers.

Well, plentyoffish.com is free, as are a number of other sites. Maybe you should try that and see what happens.

Haha... um... too soon to joke?

Nah, joke away. Off the record, they were making Holocaust jokes in the Catskills in 1946.

(By the way, you should come over one of these nights and we should rent The Aristocrats. I think - for once - we will share a sense of humour.
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[User Picture]From: sck5000
2006-09-23 02:45 am (UTC)

Re: Dirty Corners ...

I am going to make it one of my pet projects that one day you are a member of more writer's sites than personal's sites and then you're going to be really confused every time you look in the mirror.

Romantic 36 year old man seeks girl with keen ability to look sad while standing in the rain under lampposts wearing one broken high heel and no umbrella. Must enjoy long moonlight walks and secretly suspect you are a vampire.

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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-09-23 02:49 am (UTC)

Re: Dirty Corners ...

You should conduct an experiment. The sites are free. Try them both on for size.
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[User Picture]From: sck5000
2006-09-23 03:02 am (UTC)

Re: Dirty Corners ...

I don't know what "both" sites you are talking about. Plentyoffish and your LJ? So far your LJ isn't working as a personals site at all. I haven't gotten a single bite.

Lonely 36 year old man who frequently wears sunglasses at inappropriate times and is often suspected of latent homosexuality wants to make you his bitch. Girls with anxiety disorders preferred. Must have own hair straightener.



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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-09-23 03:06 am (UTC)

Re: Dirty Corners ...

Both (now 3) profiles. Multiple accounts. On the same site.

Conduct experiments. Never lie, but emphasize different aspects of your charming personality.

See what happens.
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[User Picture]From: sck5000
2006-09-23 03:45 am (UTC)

Re: Dirty Corners ...

I don't know man, I think you're just trying to lure me over to your dirty personal sites because you will feel less dirty being surrounded by all those drooling trolls with their lurid little come ons.

36 year old troll with salivation issue seeks young girl who enjoys lurid little come-ons. Must have own school uniform and hair pins. Catholics preferred but Episcopalians OK with large breasts.

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[User Picture]From: deweyintoronto
2006-09-23 06:01 pm (UTC)

Re: Dirty Corners ...

*sigh* If only I were single. I hemmed my own kilt, you know...
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-09-23 12:50 pm (UTC)

Ch-ch-Changes

It was hanging around like a forlorn ghost of dead joy, wasn't it? I'm glad I changed it, too.

I'm looking forward to talking with you.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-09-25 11:34 am (UTC)

Re: Ch-ch-Changes

We'll try it that way, then. (I wish I could say it was normally a lot easier for me to get someone drinks, but well, lately it hasn't been.)
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[User Picture]From: tyskkvinna
2006-09-23 01:56 pm (UTC)
Your comment in my journal the other day made me want to let you know that I also read your entries in their entirety. I just usually am at a lack for what to say, especially as it seems a large portion of the people who comment 'round these parts are locals and I'm not (anymore). (Though I'm going to be in TO sometime this winter for a few days)

I'm glad to hear you are moving on fairly well.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-09-23 06:27 pm (UTC)

Happiness Is An Attentive Audience (Even When They're Silent)

Hey thanks. It's gratifying to know one's words are in fact being read.

Don't let the fact that many of commentators are local stop you from jumping in; conversely, don't feel compelled to say something if you don't have anything to say. I don't comment on other peoples' entries very often for precisely that reason.

If you have the time during your next visit, I'd be delighted to meet you in person.
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[User Picture]From: tyskkvinna
2006-09-23 09:58 pm (UTC)

Re: Happiness Is An Attentive Audience (Even When They're Silent)

My default state is not really having anything to add. I've yet to decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

I'm quite certain I'll at least have a couple hours to meet you. I'll be with a good friend of mine, but she's having me meet random people I've never heard of and I think she's awesome, so I'm sure it will be fine.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-09-24 03:21 pm (UTC)

Re: Happiness Is An Attentive Audience (Even When They're Silent)

My default state is not really having anything to add. I've yet to decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

I think it's a good thing, most likely (though I would, wouldn't I?). Particularly in a place like livejournal, where so much that is posted is more or less a statement, "This is how I feel right now about that." Very often, there really isn't anything to say, unless you're the type who posts endless comments consisting of little more than, "*hugs*" or "I agree."

Give me some advance warning before you hit town so I can make sure to clear some time in my (ahem) terribly busy schedule.
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[User Picture]From: vienneau
2006-09-24 03:01 pm (UTC)
...the night I came home to find her in our bed with her friend MC, whose shirt was most definitely not on her torso. When, later, I asked what the hell, she looked me straight int the eye and said they were "only cuddling, and M.C. was too hot."

Wait a sec...this was a bad thing? Was a gender pronoun accidentally changed in this story, or did you come home to find your girlfriend in bed with another woman and they didn't have a lot of clothes on? And you're upset?

:-)

I have to admit, when it comes to cheating, I've always ruled that cheating with the same sex doesn't count because:

a) I think it's hot and hope to join in (and a few times, I did!)
b) I can't compete with that. Don't cheat on me with a penis because I have one of those, but if you're looking for breasts, I'm not willing to put on the necessary weight.

That being said, I know how you feel. I have not been as spectacularly betrayed as you appear to have been, but I've made my share of bad woman choices and been hurt and angry. Even worse - all my friends kept pointing out mistakes I was making and I ignored them (see point a. above for one of the reasons why...). Now I look back with fondness on my foolish ways and the positives that came out of it. It just takes time, and the ability to ignore whatever she might say/do that's negative because it's coming from a place of hurt and doesn't reflect on you at all.

And how the hell are you able to go at it 1-2 times a day at your age? Geez!
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-09-24 03:15 pm (UTC)

Bad Thing, Yes

Wait a sec...this was a bad thing? Was a gender pronoun accidentally changed in this story, or did you come home to find your girlfriend in bed with another woman and they didn't have a lot of clothes on? And you're upset?

It's a bad thing if you're not invited to join them and if, afterwards, your girlfriend looks you in the eye and says nothing was going on.

That being said, I know how you feel. I have not been as spectacularly betrayed as you appear to have been, but I've made my share of bad woman choices and been hurt and angry. Even worse - all my friends kept pointing out mistakes I was making and I ignored them (see point a. above for one of the reasons why...).

I have 3 times made "really" bad choices (one of those doesn't count in this context, because the sexual relationship was short-lived). In 1, people noticed but didn't say anything until after the fact; I wished they had (I would have denied, but I'd have probably noticed the problems a little earlier than I did). In this case, Laura fooled everyone, or just about.

And how the hell are you able to go at it 1-2 times a day at your age? Geez!

Since I can't credit my clean living and god-fearing ways, I'll chock it up (as it were) to my Mongolian ancestry.
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[User Picture]From: sooguy
2006-09-26 03:41 am (UTC)
Here's to 2007 being your year!

It's not easy when some one betrays you like that. Especially when we tend to blame ourselves for being the fool and not waking up sooner to the lies.

Next time just trust your instincts more. I recall a number of times where you were outraged by her behaviour, but managed to convince yourself you were being petty and jealous. Maybe you were being jealous, but with good reason.

Take care!
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-09-26 04:38 pm (UTC)

Instincts

Next time just trust your instincts more. I recall a number of times where you were outraged by her behaviour, but managed to convince yourself you were being petty and jealous. Maybe you were being jealous, but with good reason.

When I intially read this last night, I was all prepared to argue that trusting my instincts is the last thing I should do, but I think you're right - I should pay more attention to them. I might help me more quickly see the big picture.

Nevertheless, I didn't use my (not inconsiderable) intelligence to see patterns of behaviour that were exploitative if not abusive for what they were. So to a certain extent, I do blame myself. But no worries, I'm not spending a lot of time flagellating myself.
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[User Picture]From: miyyu
2006-09-26 09:06 pm (UTC)
I have to admit, considering all that went on, you are handling this remarkably well. It's a little cliched, but I really think every relationship shows you what you DON'T want. Once you know what that is very clearly, you'll recognize what you DO want when it comes along. I know I wouldn't have looked even once at my husband had I not learned some very ugly, hard lessons from an evil ex who was "perfect", at least on the surface. Certainly made me redefine my parameters for a mate.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-09-26 11:05 pm (UTC)

Handling It Well?

I think a big part of why I'm handling it (reasonably) well is that I went through a lot of the bad stuff before I ended things. While I didn't realize it at the time, things were falling apart and I was suffering through that collapse - on a subconscious level, I was a lot more prepared for it than I consciously knew I was.

It's a little cliched, but I really think every relationship shows you what you DON'T want.

Easier said than done. What I don't want is someone who will lie to me. Just about everything else is negotiable. (Well, not everything - mutual attraction, values, &ct, of course - but I think you know what I mean.)
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[User Picture]From: miyyu
2006-09-27 12:09 am (UTC)

Re: Handling It Well?

True. But then again, sometimes you don't know something in the core of your self until you've experienced it one way or another.

I know what you mean about moving on before the relationship is officially over. A lot of the dying and then scabbing over can happen before you're willing to own up and give up on it.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-09-27 12:21 am (UTC)

Re: Handling It Well?

Well, I did have one previous relationship in which I was lied to everyway from Sunday. Here's my cliche (or am I coining a phrase?): Honesty may not be the only thing, but it's the most important thing.
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[User Picture]From: offermeescape
2006-09-29 05:45 am (UTC)
They say that writing letters is a form of therapy, and I can see you've done that sort of thing here. It really helps you deal with your feelings properly. I've been burned myself in the past, so I definitely understand the conflicting feeling of self doubt within yourself. Remember, though, that this is her fault. You're definitely stronger now and I can see it in what you write.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-09-29 10:24 am (UTC)

A Keyboard Is a Boy's Best Friend

You're right about the therapeutic aspect of this post; writing it out was genuinely cathartic.

As for phoning you, you're so busy just now that I'm a little hesitant but it's been a couple of months so I'll do it soonish and you can tell me when you can fit me into your schedule.
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[User Picture]From: offermeescape
2006-10-03 11:52 pm (UTC)

Re: A Keyboard Is a Boy's Best Friend

*taps foot*
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-10-04 01:25 am (UTC)

Re: A Keyboard Is a Boy's Best Friend

Soon, soon, my precious.
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[User Picture]From: offermeescape
2006-10-05 09:34 pm (UTC)

Re: A Keyboard Is a Boy's Best Friend

You know how to keep a woman in suspense. ;)
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-10-07 08:23 pm (UTC)

Re: A Keyboard Is a Boy's Best Friend

Okay, not so soon. It'll have to be after this Friday. Suggest a night?
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[User Picture]From: offermeescape
2006-10-09 08:21 pm (UTC)

Re: A Keyboard Is a Boy's Best Friend

Either Friday night (but only for a couple of hours) or Saturday would be good for me...
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-10-10 10:16 am (UTC)

Re: A Keyboard Is a Boy's Best Friend

Friday sounds good to me. Note that my cellphone is out of commission and probably will be until next week - so no last-minute cancellations, okay?

Time? Place?
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[User Picture]From: offermeescape
2006-10-11 03:04 am (UTC)

Re: A Keyboard Is a Boy's Best Friend

I would prefer somewhere around 10pm and on the Danforth. Yes, it's about time I dragged your Parkdale ass over to the east side. ;)

Let's go to.. well, a patio seems unlikely.. so the Auld Spot Pub.. on the south side of Danforth, beside the Second Cup and across from the Timothy's.. neares t intersection: Danforth & Chester. Get off at Chester and walk to Danforth. Cross to the south side of Danforth and turn right (walk west) and you will see the Auld Spot Pub just a block away.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-10-11 09:16 pm (UTC)

Re: A Keyboard Is a Boy's Best Friend

Awright, awright, the Danforth it is. I know the Chester and Danforth area, that won't be hard to find.

Your directions are good, your suggested time is scary, but you negelected the actual day for our next encounter. I hope you're talking Friday, not Saturday.
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[User Picture]From: offermeescape
2006-10-12 03:23 am (UTC)

Re: A Keyboard Is a Boy's Best Friend

I have class until 9:30.. that's why it's 10. :P I am talking about Friday, yes.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2006-10-12 08:26 am (UTC)

Re: A Keyboard Is a Boy's Best Friend

That's a sick and twisted hour, but you're on, baby! I'll bring the wigs, you bring rum; we'll steal the cantelloupes.
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