Recently, I ended up in the hospital twice over a short period of time. (Which accounts for why I have not posted here in awhile.) The first stay was to have surgery to remove my gallbladder. The second was a week later when they had to perform an additional procedure to remove the stones that were left behind.
The man in my life was there. He supported me. Held my hand when I was in pain, rubbed my back. He drove me to hospital. He spoke with the doctors. Involved himself in my health care when I was too sick to care to ask the questions I needed to ask. He ensured I was well cared for, ensured I had what I needed to recover. He came to visit me in hospital. Sometimes I’d awaken and find him sitting by my bed, reading the newspaper, holding my hand. He brought me what I needed and when it was time to come home, he picked me up and tucked me into bed at home. He cared.
What a different reality than the surreal world of being with the sociopath. When with the sociopath, I had to have knee surgery at one point in our relationship. He promised to drive me to the hospital, and never appeared. I took a cab. He promised to pick me up and bring me home from hospital and I had to call a girlfriend to come and get me as they wouldn’t let me take a cab by myself (which I was insistent I could do). Whenever I was sick, he’d promise to bring me ginger ale and I’d go thirsty. He’d promise to take care of me, and find 1,001 excuses for why he couldn’t turn up. And I let him off the hook every single time.
The reality was, his words were empty promises that never translated into healing action. And in my blind faith, my misplaced love, I’d deceive myself into believing his inaction was not his fault. I’d make the unacceptable acceptable by telling myself, ‘it’s okay. He’s got lots on his mind. He’s busy. I shouldn’t feel hurt by his inattention. He loves me.’
To quote Sir Walter Scott, ‘Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.’
In that relationship I desperately wanted to believe what he was expressing was love. I desperately wanted to believe he was my shortcut to happiness and so I convinced myself his inaction was not important. His assertions of undying love were what counted most. Truth is, lost on the road to hell, I was blinded from the truth of what he was doing and what was happening to me because I was fixated on believing he was my Knight in Shining Armor and couldn’t see he was truly the Prince of Darkness.
In healing from that debacle I know, promises mean nothing unless followed up with action. All the empty promises in the world cannot make dreams come true. Empty promises cannot turn up in times of need, they cannot rub an aching back or hold a trembling hand. Empty promises cannot be filled with love.
Once upon a time, I gave my heart to a man who was untrue. He is gone. In healing, I have opened my arms wide to the joy of loving a man who turns up when he says he will and is there in times of need. I am blessed.