Things that don’t make sense to me drive me nuts.

This is one of those non-negotiable, ever-the-same, been-there-since-childhood facts about me. And even if, in my conscious mind, I don’t observe the discontinuity, my subconscious does – every time, and it usually resorts in some metaphysical manifestation to get my attention, like, yeah… a rash.

My earliest memories of this truth involve my father saying, “because I said so,” and ended up with me being grounded for backtalk and wondering what the hell just happened.

More recently, my marriage gave me a heaping dose of the crazies, because when living with an addict, nothing ever makes any sense. Lie after lie from the man who called me “Beautiful,” the one I trusted and who looked at me with the most loving eyes… the bending of the truth… unclear stories… something inside of me knew.

What else would have prompted me to look through his cell phone records and travel bag when I was 9 months pregnant with our first child? Some things just didn’t add up. I was acting crazy, and he was perfectly fine with letting me believe that I was. On the outside, he made the ideal presentation of an expectant first-time father. But my gut was wrenching, and it wasn’t the baby kicking. I ate my frustrations and gained 50 pounds.

So many clues never made it past a quizzical “hmm” from me at the time, but later, they came together in a nice, neat “wrap up the mystery novel” way. Inebriated comments from his secretary at the company Christmas party that year… “work” phone calls at 2:00 am… stopping at a payphone on our way to an event… love poems and cards in his bag that “belonged to a client, who was having an affair…” disappearing from our family baby shower at his mother’s to talk for hours on the basement phone… I truly thought I was crazy, and I was, for trusting someone who was so completely untrustworthy. That’s insanity, for sure.

But when someone tells you you’re insane, the last thing you want to do is believe it, and so I tried to quiet the Truth in my head and just believe the lies. If questioning things meant I was nuts, then I just wouldn’t do it anymore. I would believe him and have a happy marriage of denial.

And so it continued for awhile… until the next round. More on that later.

Presently, I have other liars and addicts in my life for one reason or another. Things don’t make sense. Someone has an undisclosed motive. I attempt the “I’m not going to be crazy – just roll with it,” response, and I end up on steroids to avoid scratching off all my skin.

Keen, conscious awareness is growth, I think.

Gotta find another way to quiet that itch. Maybe some hot sex with someone special… hmm?

2 Comments on “Under My Skin

  1. This reminds me of a long unsolved, but now solved, medical mystery in my life. During my first tour in Vietnam I experienced hives for most of my stay (Hue Phu Bai). It is the only time in my life that this happened. Allergy tests upon my return were negative. While researching my prostate cancer the light came on… Agent Orange! My body was yelling at me, “Get out of there!”.



  2. Keith,

    First of all – I'm so happy that you sent your cancer packing. You rock.

    Second, good to see you here.

    You are absolutely right. My body has been screaming at me. I'm pretty sure it wants me to get the hell out of New Jersey, but that's not possible unless I want to leave my kids behind, and well… that just doesn't work for me.

    It's possible that I need to end some other toxic situations in my life. I'm sort of in “wait and see” mode for the next couple of months, and then I can make a decision.

    Hope I still have skin by then. 🙂


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