by JJ Carson, Author of the Ex-Factor
As strange as it sounds, it can be liberating and frightening to find the ‘man behind the curtain’ really isn’t a Wizard.
In Dorothy’s case, there were plenty of smoke and mirrors for her to believe the illusion. But what happens when the illusion you believed in was mostly created by… you?
It’s often hard to believe now, but back then I had my ex on a pedestal. I believed he was the ‘be-all-end-all.’ And I wasn’t willing to waver on that belief.
Not even when I uncovered the affair. Not after the ongoing lies of who she was, where she lived, how long they were together, whether she had met my kids and on and on and on. I kept my blinders on and saw the Wizard.
Sure, he made mistakes, but he was... ‘a good guy with my best interest at heart.’
Wow. I had invested quite a bit in this illusion and I wasn’t going to let it go. As the lies continued… I finally looked behind the curtain. I finally stopped listening to his words and let his actions speak. That's when I saw -- there was no Wizard. I was shocked, hurt and incredibly disappointed.
But, it was a turning point. I came to realize, it wasn’t about what he had done, it’s about who he is. And really, who he has always been, just what I refused to see.
Why am I telling this now?
Confession time: One of my biggest fears is that I’ll keep creating new Wizards. And lately, I'll admit, I’ve been focusing on it a little too much. I’m not sure why, but I have been.
I guess as Mav and I get further into a relationship, we have to be open to compromise. That’s a little scary to do coming out of a divorce. Especially as I feel I had compromised my entire being before. Like any good divorced person, I’ve committed to ‘never lose myself again.’
What then, is halfway between losing yourself and retreating completely? Those can’t be the only two options.
As Mav and I move forward and undercover each other’s flaws, each other’s differences, it gives me some comfort. He’s human, I’m human… no Wizards here. Whew. But… is a compromise – accepting a flaw, working around a difference – losing a bit of oneself? It seems like a fine line and I think that is what I’ve been feeling.
Truthfully, I want a guarantee. I want to know that what I see of Mav is real and it’s not my own creation. But, I don’t get one. So, I’m trying to reset. Allow things to happen and trust that I can handle whatever life throws my way. I did before when I was nearly knocked out by a curveball. And that helps my confidence.
But, try as I may, when he’s not looking… I still find myself peeking behind the curtain a bit.