At the end of the lie Barrage
I couldn’t, in the moment, think of a diplomatic way to say it, so, finally, I just said it. “What’s with all the lies, Tina?”
Then, I saw something that I realized in that moment I had not seen for some time. It was Tina. Lies exhausted, ammunition spent, her mask fell and she transformed before my eyes. Her voice and visage softened. I got a sense of a scared, sad, almost pleading little girl. All hope nearly lost. “You knew I was like this when you fell in love with me.”
I thought it may be something she’d told herself so many times that she almost believed it. There was a lot to unpack in that sentence. It stopped me cold. All I could do was shake my head.
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She lied so often and casually, I couldn’t really know anything about her for sure and if I didn’t know her, how could I love her? That was when I really began wondering about exactly what misfiring psychology was going on in Tina’s head.
I sat next to her staring at the lake in silence for a long time. Counseling was my last lifeline. She’d agreed to proceed with counseling. We were still fighting for us – or so I thought. I was, at any rate.
After taking a ride on her dad’s double-decker pontoon and checking out the turtles swimming in a bay, we spent another night at the cabin together. Sitting across the living room from one another, we chatted about things of no consequence. I was consciously trying to avoid any further controversy. I thought it best to wait to deal with that in therapy.
“We can stay together if you’ll promise not to look at my phone or mail any more,” Tina suggested during a long silence.
My heart sank a little more. We weren’t on the same page.
“That’s fine, Tina, but I still need you to do something. I need to see that you have established and will maintain respectful boundaries with Nate and Doug and Cassidy.”
Tina scowled. She was trying to turn things around to me but she had finally found my limits. I wasn’t budging and narcissists hate boundaries. “I’ll think about it,” she said darkly.
Whatever progress I imagined had been made earlier evaporated.
“It occurs to me that we never really discussed exactly what our expectations are from this relationship. I assumed some things didn’t need saying, but maybe I was wrong,” I said. “I don’t think we are in the same relationship.”
“I mean… I thought we were,” Tina replied.
“I’m not very sure about that. I think we need to define, explicitly what we expect from one another,” I said.
Tina had no interest in taking up that subject just then.”I think we should talk about things we’re thankful for,” she said.