By: Gosha Woody Zipser Zareba for Georgia Weekly Post.
Strength is a weakness turned inside out.
Lies will always find a delicate shade to excuse themselves, but the truth has no versions.
It was still early in the morning.
The air around me felt somber and still. I opened my eyes and the rest of my heavy thoughts inside my head just melted away. Feeling like I have been through an emotional rollercoaster, I woke up and thought "Wow, what a crazy dream? I'm glad it was just a dream."
I dreamed that 3 friends and myself went out last night.
Nothing bad about that, you might say, but what was planned to be a happy go lucky girl's night out, turned out to be an emotional, truthful to the core, night full of confessions.
I learned how, what I thought were other people's strengths, were actually their weaknesses. How nothing that really made no sense on the surface in life at the time, made total sense and it explained more than one thing, there and then.
How people put on carefully chosen and tailored masks in life to go through everyday existence and sustain the credibility for themselves within the parameters of their profiles.
They build those for themselves just to feel safe, alive and to run away from the harsh reality that exists and more often than not, hurt which hurts so much while comfort slips away.
The sanity says that it is safer to do it, this way.
It started with Jennifer's question, which came totally out of the blue after just two glasses of wine.
'"What's wrong with me?" she said
This woman, but still a girl at heart, was one of the strongest, kindest, most compassionate human beings I have ever known so I was baffled.
Then she started crying.
"My husband is drinking again and this time around is worse than ever. He says it is all my fault.
He says I drive him to drink, that I'm a drama queen. He pushes me physically, calls me names. From an amazing human being I married, he turned into an arrogant bully. He is vulgar, uncaring and coldly self centred.
He turns into a monster when he drinks and then when he sobers up I try to talk to him with no effect.
He says I over react and he does not want to listen. He puts together a vibrant, heartfelt apology asking for another chance. I agree, I forgive him and then the cycle repeats itself. He destroys me as a human being with all the broken promises, saying that he will get some help but never does.
What is paralyzing to watch is his ability to lie so well about his alcoholism. He not only cheats our family and me, of the normal life we could have, but also himself".
"The first step to solve any problem is to recognize there is a problem to solve. He tries to do that at times, but the alcohol being the drug it is, takes over.
None understands how he feels and none understands how I feel. None really cares until it happens to them.
The pain grows therefore for both of us and we find ourselves to be on different wavelengths of life and how we perceive it.
I watched drug and alcohol addicts destroying their lives totally reaching out for that one more fix because their brain's mental and physical structure has been altered so much by that stuff.
They can't or don't know how to stop.
Depression, drugs and alcoholism go hand in hand and strengthen one another and if not treated at the same time with the same intensity, the disease does not go away. In fact, it grows as the time gathers momentum".
"I just had my second glass of wine" she said. " I feel guilty for drinking it, knowing that this stuff is the cause of so much misery for so many and I don't even have a problem." she continued.
"The alcohol industry will tell you that they are not to blame. The same way as tobaccos companies use to keep silent about their destructive and potentially, lethal properties of their products.
Wherever you go, whatever you do, drugs and alcohol are portrayed to be good time factors in life".
As I said, "No one cares about how many lives are lost and destroyed as long as the profit for those who benefit grow".
"Strength is a weakness turned inside out". she said, confidently looking at me.
"Make no mistake, it can happen to any of us, at any time." she added quickly.
"Sometimes, when I cry for Nathon." she added. " I cry for myself and other people too".
"Because for every potential addict, there is a full blown alcoholic or drug addict or both somewhere dying and I can't help but think, holding this glass in my hand, that here but for the grace of God go I".
"My husband says I'm boring because I do not drink much with him and so does society, so, here it goes". She continued, raising up her half empty glass of wine. "Cheers! Let's have a drink". She shook her glass dropping it on the floor, accidently on purpose.
We all looked at her shocked and I wanted to say something, but before I found the courage to open my mouth, I just heard my mind whispering inside my head another 'What?'
Kelly grabbed her hand and said 'It's ok. My husband cheats on me.' she stated, almost whispering.
'What?!' I thought again within the depths of my head. This time around the word was screaming at me with all its might.
'Is he blind.' I kept thinking.
Kelly was a beautiful, articulate, classy woman and she was nobody's fool. Very opinionated, and with a strongly allergic reaction to bullshit.
I quickly looked at her as she leaned towards Jennifer and said.
"I found a message on his phone from another woman. This woman kept, sweetly apologizing that they got cut off, asking him to return her call as soon as he could. I later found out that she was a sale rep trying to sell Tom something but when she lost her job, she used that as an excuse to reconnect with him.
The objective was to hook up. She knew that he was married but that meant nothing.
He suggested a drink, and she uprated that idea to dinner.
He also tried to hook up with his ex girlfriend. Yet another blonde. Some half-baked, personal trainer who use to be a stirpper. Not to mention him reconnecting with his ex-wife's naked pictures and her.
A woman who was a flight attendant by day and a high class escort by night.
A pretty good manipulator, and a liar to this day, hungry for attention and unsubstantiated recognition. She pretended to be a model and she ended up being one. Modelling shoes or so she said, naked. No shoes to be seen anywhere, she paused for a moment and smiled.
Nothing wrong with that, you might say. Her life, her free will, and her choices. Only this woman ruined every good relationship Tom ever had and tried to ruin mine, in more ways than one. Enough said. I guess, some women think they can just take what they want. The morality, integrity, loyalty and strength of character for them is an expensive commodity. Something they cannot afford, obviously. They sleep with men first and ask questions later. Like you said Jennifer. 'Strength is a weakness turned inside out.'
She looked at Jennifer, made a funny face and continued.
"There were a few others and even some porn star, that he looked up on his computer," she coughed looking away as to hide her tears.
I looked at Linda and remember thinking sharply to myself ''Is this for real?"
Linda looked at me and then she touched Kelly's shoulder.
"Porn? Let me tell you about porn. My husband lives for porn. It's an addiction to him. He calls it a bit of manly fun. He envisions the women that take their clothes off mostly for empty fun or money. The women who pretend to understand the art of seduction, excitement and pure passion and yet everything they do is meticulously staged, fabricated, rehearsed and mundanely repetitive.
They belittle love, passion and any self worth for normal, everyday women who feel like they have to compete or somehow measure up and compete with them.
Men are visual creatures so they fool themselves believing that the fabricated beauty they see within the land of porn is theirs, and that feeling of contentment they feel is something of value, if even for a moment. In fact, it is only a mind chase, a fantasy that does not exist in the real world.
All it takes is a click and a computer screen lights up and his attention is lost on me. I don't exist any more. I'm not good enough any more.
If only men knew what damage they do to women they are with, by chasing something that is not real, and how much it hurts their partners. Maybe they would stop.
No one likes to be second best, and we all would like to be respected, admired, valued and loved.
My attitude does not depend on who I am. It depends on WHO YOU are towards me." She took a deep breath in, and finished.
I looked at Linda in a haze of disbelief thinking 'She never said anything until now.'
My mind wrestled with my all over the place thoughts. I looked at her again. She was very calm and almost serene and somewhat happy with herself in saying what she just said.
'I'm losing it.' I thought and there it was, I heard it again in the pits of my thinking mind. 'What?.'
'Men and women differ so.' I kept thinking.The way I understand it is.
'We are part of the same equation and yet we are individual numbers in our own right.
Women are emotional, men are strategic. Women yearn to be loved and admired, men strive to be loved and respected. Women nurture, men protect.
We all hurt more than we deserve and some of us are kinder than others. Some of us are luckier than others.
We all have our hearts governed by our conscience, however, and our faith stands in the gate of our souls.
Free will given to us is an unpredictable vessel. Depending on how we steer it, it is where we end up. It will take us to a good or bad place. This incredible vessel of a free will swims in the waters of our everyday desires.
Greed, ego, power, fame, lust, selfishness, and hate are on one side of the vessel. Kindness, integrity, forgiveness, understanding, and love are on the other.
Whichever side we take and nourish this is the side that grows. Our desires we mold turn into actions and reactions and they make us people we are. Not the people we hope to be, or the people we proclaim to be.
Free will is an incredible gift and our conscience is our compass to fuel our strength and that is yet to be unbroken.
I lost myself in thinking, because I don't remember who said what for some time. When all of a sudden the girls woke me up from this philosophical train of thought I was having, and asked 'So what about you, and your husband?'
'Me and my husband?' I curiously, asked.
Then I smiled on the inside of me remembering something I wrote for him, a long time ago, in response to a comment he made.
We were talking about butts strangely enough. Well, he was. I just responded and it went something like this;
Butts? Let's talk about butts;
The next time you kick my ass to give yourself the right of way to do all these things you know you shouldn't, remember this, I did not sign up for this job. I was given to you, for a reason.
I was given to you, to protect you.
So, up yours!
I am here to stay ha!
The girls had no idea what I was thinking.They just saw me smiling on the outside now. I had a big grin on my face.
No matter what happens to us, what we do, how we act and react. What choices we made in the past, and will make in the future, everything is powered by our CONSCIENCE and the STRENGTH of our character in this life.
This is how we define ourselves.
I understood that finally.
Strength is a weakness turned inside out. Lies will always find a delicate shade to excuse themselves, if you let them. But make no mistake, the truth has no versions.' With this last final thought, I concluded what I have learned and observed for myself and as I did, surprisingly my heart did not argue with my head any more. I lifted myself from my thoughts and looking at my friends I remember saying 'My husband.....' and then, I woke up.
I woke up and thought 'Wow, what a crazy dream? I'm glad it was just a dream.'
As sat up on my bed, the phone rang. I answered it.
It was my friend Jennifer.
'Linda, Kelly, and I are having a girl's night out tonight. Are you up for it?' she asked me.
I paused for a second.
'Sure,' I answered.
'See you then. 7pm sharp. Our usual place. We will have a few glasses of wine and some laughs', she added and then she was gone.
All I could do was SMILE .....