I am a murderer. It dawned on me the other day. Murderer.
It's my fault and that makes it thus: I murdered. Kind of by definition.
First let me say when I was younger, I used to blame other people, other things for my difficulties in life. Mostly my parents. And rightly so, as they really screwed things up, and me. But they also gave me things, like genetics and an orientation in life to survive, to succeed. Mostly though I owe my Grandmother, my mother's mother. But still, I moved out of my parent's house (mother and not very well liked step-father from since I was five, in either direction) at seventeen with a chip on my shoulder. Eventually I joined the USAF at twenty. Life was going no where for me and I thought this might turn things around. It did in a way, it didn't, in another way.
Eventually though after the military, during my University years toward getting a degree in Psychology and while working things out with my primary Psych Professor and Adviser, I came to realize that I needed to take responsibility for myself. Actually it was that Prof. who shoved that one down my throat until I finally understood and began to get it. Finally I realized that after I moved out of my parent's house, whatever was wrong or right with me became fully my own responsibility, to blame or to praise. And that was perhaps the biggest revelation in my life. It turned my life around. Failures started to turn into successes. Though I'll have to admit a nod to my mother and her mother for my persistence is surviving nearly anything. A troubled childhood, a difficult adolescence, a difficult decade in my twenties that didn't really stop there. Why? Because the paradigm I had grown up with, was faulty. But that is another story for another time.
So what's this about murder?
My first wife and I ended it on good terms. I was in the end, probably just too young to get married at twenty years of age. But that was only the beginning.
See, I have married three and a half times so far, in my life.
My second (non-wife as we were together long enough at around six years, but we never married) went through our college years with me, before and for a little while after. But that was just never to be in the end. I seem to find relationships end at seminal moments. Like when I got out of the USAF. And when my University years were over. Then things changed.
Divorcing the first time had traumatized me and I never wanted to do that to another. Regardless of whose fault it was. That first time had been my desire to marry and later my desire to divorce since it had just stopped working. It wasn't my fault, it wasn't her fault, it was our fault. But my second long term relationship was doomed to failure.
My (legally) second wife said she had really wanted me from the start, no matter what, from the time she first saw me, she later said she was going to have me. I on the other hand, wasn't interested. Not so much because of her, but because I had recently been run through the wringer after my University years and the preceding military years and by this time I had really had it with romantic relationships.
From the TV show, "Elementary", words spoken by the modern times, Sherlock Holmes character:
"I've lived most of my life with the firm conviction that romantic love is a delusion. It's a futile hedge against the existential terror that is our own singularity."
He then goes on to say that he then went on to meet a woman he fell in love with, who turned out to be, a criminal, the modern day, Moriarty. To which he said he now feels, liberated on the topic.
So I was taking a break when my second wife found me. Still, she put her mind to getting me in any way she could. And testament to perseverance and desire, she got me.
My third wife, loved me a lot. I loved her a lot. But in the end, she loves herself more than anyone. Still, in her universe, I had murdered...us.
See I didn't live up to her expectations of me. I didn't fulfill the concept, of who she thought I was. I broke her view of who I seemed to be and so in the end, I killed that view she held of me. It wasn't very long after, that the marriage ended, and well, I had murdered it.
I murdered it for my last wife, my next to the last wife, my unwife (the point five wife, as we had lived together a long enough for common law though we don't have that in Washington state, but I figured she earned, deserved, at least a half listing as a wife).
But still, I am a murderer.
I murdered my marriages. I murdered another's self delusions and misinterpretations of who I was. Who I was supposed to be, to them. Who they needed me to be. Was that their fault? Was it mine? Was it my responsibility to live up to who they expected me to be, even if I didn't fully know, or realize who that person was? Maybe.
Because when you take on another person as your responsibility, and when you marry, you are, isn't it at least somewhat your responsibility too? Isn't that the reason to be really damn sure of what you are getting into when you marry? Maybe that is why so many are choosing now a days not to marry but to simply live together.
So in a way I had murdered. I had murdered multiple times, multiple relationships.
Perhaps if I had known more fully who I was but more importantly almost, who others perceived me to be, and specifically who I was perceived to be by the women in my life, perhaps then I could say that I was responsible and had lived up to those expectations.
Because mostly, and this is the weird part, I was who those women thought I was. But not in the way they thought I was. Mostly from what I could later deduce, they saw things, saw me, in black and white. And I see things in various shades of grey.
My last wife actually stated it in those words, saying: "Life IS black and white." to which I responded, "No, no it isn't. Life is various shades of grey. Life is complicated. It's easier to live life as if it were black and white, but that is missing so much of what is going on. It is missing making the best decisions possible. It is setting yourself up for failure in the future. It is a temporary fix seeing things as black and white, an easy effort to come to a quick conclusion for something that may work for now, but in the future will turn on you and ruin your plans."
Okay, I didn't say all that. I just said I disagreed and that I saw things as various shades of grey.
I have been taking time off from relationships for a while. Trying to see who I was, what I was doing. So that next time, if there is a next time, I will chose more correctly. I will have more to bring to the relationship rather than needing someone to "complete me". One of the stupidest things to think a relationship will do for you. First, you need to bring a whole person to the relationship, to add to it, not take away from it to "complete you". That, is just a drain on the relationship doomed to failure.
Next time I decide to enter into a relationship, I will take my time on who I choose to spend my time with and who I allow to spend their time with me so as not to waste their valuable life time. Because their decision is in part my decision too. I will use a different set of criteria for making these decisions. I will give more weight to what they need and if they are looking for me to "complete them". Because if they are, I'm running the other way.
Actually, I will politely beg off and walk away with my (and their) dignity still attached.
And because, I don't want to be a murderer anymore.