“As critical illness abates and wounds progressively close, the roles of the physical and occupational therapists (as well as the demands on the patient) expand and become more difficult. Patients become more aware of what has happened to them, and they can become fearful of the therapist and the associated, potentially uncomfortable rehabilitation procedures..”–Robert L Sheridan, “Burn Rehabilitation”
Analysis of my Brief Time with Liar Number Three
I noticed some red flags as they were occurring and others after the fact as I was processing everything.
In the moment:
- He didn’t ask many questions about me.
- Some of his replies to me seemed too perfect. When I mentioned that he often said “just the right thing” his reply felt defensive to me. He assured me I had misunderstood.
- He avoided talking about his recent past.
- Revelations about his childhood (alcoholic father, drug making mother, poor relationships with brothers) suggest he might not have great models for a functional relationship.
- His words and actions didn’t match up, especially after the second date.
After the fact:
- I learned too much about him too fast.
- I felt like I was being swept off my feet.
By the time I’d set up my third date with Liar Number Three, I was ready to get to the bottom of things. Before he ever ghosted me, I was aware that something was off about him and prepared to abandon ship. Why, then, did I feel destroyed inside?
My logical brain was telling me that my emotions made no sense. I hardly knew this guy and I couldn’t trust what I had learned. But my heart, my heart was bleeding. This screaming discord was trauma rearing up from some hidden place inside me.
Thoughts of abandonment, the feeling I’m not good enough, the self-betrayal of allowing a man to lie to me, again, assailed me. I might have dealt with my massive capacity for guilt, but not these equally victim-making emotions.
In therapy we talked about how his actions could have been driven by any number of reasons. Maybe nothing he said was a lie. Maybe he did genuinely like me, but he is the kind of man that runs from the idea of a relationship. Maybe he’s the kind of man that sabotages himself whenever his desires approach.
It is my brain that created the narrative that everything he said to me was a lie. It is not the truth. I don’t have to believe it.
My time with Liar Number Three awoke a desire for physical intimacy I thought was gone forever, but also a profound anxiety I don’t know how to process.