It could be worse... you could be me.
Seven, almost eight years ago, I had a Pygmalion type relationship just like you did which had lasted for almost four years. My life had been an unbearably lonely one, from a loveless and treacherous family, and all I had ever been able to take solace in were my books and other distractionary hobbies.
All that changed when I finally decided that I was entitled to the same sort of normal happiness as everyone else I had ever seen, and so at the tender age of 24 (sarcasm), I was more than receptive to a lively little beauty from the wrong side of the tracks, who latched onto me with a radiant, impish smile.
It lasted for four years, and she was an incredible drain on me... I was never enough for her, and that grand day that I had so long sought after, where she would finally be able to reciprocate my strength and caring, never came.
After bringing her into my family and rebuilding her life, as she so desperately indicated she needed, she secretly began playing Messalina behind my back, shunning me completely, and finally left me for dead... with no explanations as to why, and a court order to prevent me from ever having answers.
My physical and mental health were instantly destroyed; I made a distraught and insincere suicidal gesture. I spent the next few years in and out hospitals, with apathetic doctors and counselors going through the mandatory motions with me... my weight ballooned, my hair fell out, and as all my so-called "friends" and "family" left me for dead as well, only then did I come to realize that my entire life had been a lie, because up until all this, I had been brainwashed into believing all the lies that I'd ever been fed, that I had always been cared for, and that the problem lay in me.
Whereas before I had always functioned pretty amazingly well, I now had a horrifically unseemly period in the official record of my life, complete with all the official-sounding, stigmatizing diagnoses to go with it.
So when you talk of mental screw-jobs, I know whereof you speak.
And so, here I sit, seven years later, at 35 years old... With only a bachelor's degree under my belt, and several failed attempts at different graduate programs under my belt, and a miserably spotty work history over the past seven years... My trust in the world, all its people, and my own ability to ever thrive in it has never really recovered... And to top it off, I have yet to be able to get my life together enough to move out of my parents' house.
You have no idea what shame and devastation are, until you have lived as me.
The only thing that has brought me a sense of understanding as to why this all happened, was Ayn Rand and her writings. She opened my eyes to the most insidious and influential evils in the world. I came to realize that both my parents, beneath their showy veneers of love, had always been in truth, envious, hateful closet communists who twistedly fear and loathe achievement and real happiness, and constantly work to sabotage anything that strives to live beyond a grey mediocrity.
I also realized that this long-term girlfriend had been this sort of person, too, and thus her treatment of me. The constant envy and resentment of everyone around her, including both me and her friends, was revealed through never-ending red flags throughout our relationship... but I always assumed that they were anomalous noise which would disappear as her life righted itself.
I began to see that she had always secretly hated me, too, and that everything she ever did was an attempt to sabotage me... including the most malicious wound of all, the withholding of the all-important explanations of who she really was, and why she did what she did.
The key to understanding it all, lay in Ayn Rand's epiphanous insights on envy and arrogance... There are people out there who will resent you for being or having something that they cannot be, or do not have. In their subjectivist, autistic arrogance, they believe that it's a travesty for them to be anywhere but on top, automatically and without effort.
They will secretly harbor the want for your destruction for years if not decades, and you will only know one day that somehow, they have destroyed you. And you will wonder why, and they won't want you to know, because that would end your lowered appraisal of yourself, which they most definitely do not want.
This was the sort of person my ex was... and if I had to guess, I would suspect that it's the sort of person your ex-wife was, too. Conceited, manipulative, callous, and vindictive... unto the very grave.
So, Michael, take heart. It could be worse. You could be worse... You could be me: labeled as crazy, trudging through life bereft of all real hope, and struggling from day to day for reasons to keep on going.
(Edited by Vernon Redwine on 6/27, 2:32pm)