Thursday, July 07, 2005

Consequences of a lifetime of not being present

Yesterday afternoon I came in from doing a million errands to find my husband working on reconciling the checkbook after several months. As soon as I walked in, I could tell he was mad about something. He doesn't have to say a word, I can sense it. He had discovered that there were some withdrawals I made but never wrote down, as well as some checks from another checkbook that I keep in my purse that I never recorded. Understandably he was upset. It wasn't that we were overdrawn, but as he said, "This is no way to keep a checkbook."

Before entering a 12-step recovery program, which seems to be helping me immensely, I would have yelled back, made excuses, maybe even lied in some way to cover my ass. Instead I admitted -- yeah, I really suck at this and ask him if we could come up with a more stable plan for oversight of the checkbook. I admitted that I have never been very responsible when it comes to money and keeping track of it. He wanted to continue to yell about it, but I simply said what can we do to make it better in the future, let's come up with a plan. I felt better admitting my weakness rather than telling a big fat lie. I've lied about this weakness for years and it resulted in a horrible credit history and more check overdrafts than I care to recall. I don't want to live irresponsibly in any way any more.

And even though I think I handled this confrontation very well -- much better than I've ever handled something like that before, in the end I began to cry and it seemed I could not stop crying. I have been so irresponsible with my life, made so many poor choices, just because I was always running, always somewhere else other than the present, scared of fear and almost anything negative, scared even of myself. I have just not shown up in my own life. I didn't want to be there. I always wanted to be in someone else's life. All this came rushing at me yesterday as I faced this one area of my life where the consequences and truth stared at me directly. Did it hurt to look at this? Hell f'ing yeah it did. All I could think was, "How could I have made so many bad choices in my life?" That sentence just kept going over and over and over in my concious mind, but underneath years of the truth was flashing through -- spending, eating, sex, lies, ... on and on. But it was like it brought me right in front of myself and said, "Now stand there. Look at this. Is this what you CHOOSE to be for the rest of your life? OK then, you don't have to be. Get your ass in gear."

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