What It Is Wednesday: The Lie of Leading Someone On



I’ve seen this more than once & my intuition flamed every time & I ignored it. Guy tells me something a little…odd…out of the blue. It’s a half-truth but bc I believe him to be honest, I don’t on the surface recognize it as such. In fact, it’s presented in a way to make me believe he might be talking about me instead of someone–usually another woman–else.

It’s actually not a half-truth but a truth about his intentions with someone else. It’s not a half-truth but a lie about his intentions with me. It’s a purposely & well-cultivated technique so he can swear later that he told me when the full truth bursts into flames and we both get burned, one of us more than the other. 

The lie, the hurt, the resulting distrust & lack of respect emerge not in the kernel of truth stated to me with downcast eyes, flippant words, & evasive body language but in the omission of detail that would leave the intentions clear. Clarity lies in an honest confession or in a single name, not in a description of a situation that sounds like me, with what will later be clear to me as a list of all the similarities I have with another paramour, a secret lover, who has the same number of children as I do or the same job or the same neighborhood or the same degree.

But later he will point to that conversation & swear, I told you all about her!

And later he will point out agreements I nodded, and he will say I understood & I approved, & maybe he knows & maybe he doesn’t that my agreement with his stated intentions was not with my full knowledge of the situation and is therefore null and void. He will never admit to seeing himself as leading anyone on because he told me.

In some careful vagueness that cannot be deciphered by anyone not him or maybe his newest target of attention.

And that…that is the sharpness of the memory, with more than one man over many years, because the omissions were intentional–a testing of the waters, a posturing for future defense when caught, a plan to keep me as an option when other plans fall apart in secret and me never knowing i was anything less than a priority while being told again and again how I carried him through the worst hell of his life and how he doesn’t deserve me.

Okay, at least not everything was a lie.


Back in January 2005, I started blogging regularly at a LiveJournal site called SuperGirl@40 as part of my personal therapy to work through healing from a failed marriage…and then suddenly working through all the other crap in my life from  childhood.  It was a significant part of my healing journey and I shared raw emotions and “dauntless reality” with others in a small circle of new friends who were also dealing with healing from long ago  and recent traumas.   It was a fairly private blog–well, that privacy  lasted until one of my kids mentioned it to an ex-inlaw and then I took a deep breath and watched it go public very quickly.  I still write in that raw and profound way I’m known for but having healed so many of my early and frequent wounds, I don’t really write the heavy, raw, vulnerabilities like I used to.  I’m committing here to bringing that back, in case you wonder if it ever really left.  That means committing to putting the big, scary stuff out there.

The above  post is my contribution to this week’s edition of a blog hop started by Kelley Harrell of Soul Intent Arts called “What It Is Wednesday,” which gives bloggers a chance to dauntlessly tell it like it is. You can view the inaugural post to learn more about joining in or just to read other blogs in the hop.