Thursday, March 14, 2013

the life sentence

It wasn't a lie so much as a curse - a sentencing of myself. I yelled it over my shoulder as the door slammed shut behind me: “I’d rather be broke and alone the rest of my life than spend another day with you.”

He’d said I would never survive on my own. He’d said I was a terrible mom who didn’t deserve my sons, a fat cow, too selfish and stupid to take care of myself. I cared so little what he said that it wasn’t his lies that trapped me – it was my own. Having made my choice – to be alone and broke rather than suffer another day of ‘us’ – I couldn’t see anything but that insane binary.

It took me years to realize that I could be a single parent and not live in poverty. In my mind, that was the choice – be married and secure, or single and poor. My income made no difference to my economic status - that was determined by the lie. Until one day someone pointed out to me that I made more money than he ever had. Yes, I lived in a different economy, but that simple fact – I made more money than he ever had - set me free from part one of that life sentence. I still make some weird money choices, but I have never again been poor. Not board games for Christmas, pay the rent or the hydro, thank God for the good bank poor. A lie, once identified, can no longer be believed.

It took much longer to see through my other lie. To see that I didn’t have to be alone. It had to be broken down slowly – I had to sort through the other lies that had been piled on top of that first one, I have to constantly vigilante to what is real, I have to remember to listen to my heart – which never lies – rather than my head, which often does.

The Scintilla Project
Today's Prompt:

1. What's the biggest lie you ever told? Why? Would you tell the truth now, if you could?

2. Tell a story about something interesting (anything!) that's happened to you, but tell it in the form of an instruction manual. (Step 1. Step 1. etc).

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