Lies in the Attic

I was watching a BBC version of Jane Eyre. I began to think about when it became one of my favorite books. I was just about 12 years old. I identified with the young Jane. Bookish, didn’t belong anywhere really. One good friend. Losses. Abuse.

As I got older, the relationship between Jane and Rochester grew as my understanding of a love between a man and woman grew. Somewhere, deep inside, I wanted my Rochester. My man that would see beyond the girl who was still a bookish wall flower. The one to draw me out. The one to declare his love and how being separated from me would cause a heartbreak he’d never recover from. My innocent mind glossed over the mind games Rochester played on Jane. Of the three stages of the book, only one mattered. The one where they loved and were together.

By 18 years old I found my Rochester. Dark, strong and somewhat brooding. I just knew there was love sleeping inside of him. At first, it seemed like I was right. Here was a man (well, at 18 physically a man if not otherwise) loving me. Seeing beauty in me that nobody had seen before.

I was naive and didn’t see the tricks. That this type of man was often angry and entitled. I didn’t realize that if a man was dark and brooding, there was a reason for it. And as long as he kept that reason hidden in the attic, those around him would be affected by the visits of the specter he tried to lock away.

I’ve been injured by my Rochester’s attic secret. He’s kept secrets from me and himself. That doesn’t make them go away, just get crazier. That’s what brought the affairs on. A man who believed he could lock away secrets and take what he wanted. Childhood issues he can’t or won’t face. Some I knew, one I didn’t until at least a year after the second affair had ended. He was angry and snapped at me that others had had a hard life too. That others could forgive. He had. When he was six or seven a neighborhood teenage boy molested him for a few days. He kept it to himself until he was about 12 years old then told his mom. A year’s worth of therapy and he was fine and had forgiven the perpetrator. It was all in the past.

Except to me it wasn’t. It was one more secret in 15 years of secrets and lies. Again, years have passed and I don’t know any more than what I’ve shared here. I believe that a person who cannot talk about a wound still has healing to be done in that wound. Our son’s birthday was exactly a month before the second affair started. He turned the same age my husband was when he was molested. I believe it was a trigger. My Rochester refuses to see it. He’s keeping his blind spot.
Even if he’s right and my research into the long term effects of molestation are wrong, he has more issues from his childhood he’s never faced.

He’s wounded and crippled. I’m not Jane though. I didn’t find my support system and get validated. I don’t have the strength to nurse him back to a whole man who can see clearly. I have my own scars. Many he helped cause and even layered one over the other. Rochester can love me, but can he be whole enough to pull me out of the web he’s created?

I wanted my Rochester. I just never realized how true to form he would be when he pulled me from the shadows.


Brenchel- a study in the Affair Mindset

For those of you not watching Big Brother this summer, you’re missing a sickening relationship. Disclaimer right here, I am not claiming these two are cheaters, I am looking at their relationship in light of all that I have learned about the psychology of infidelity.

The houseguests are competing for $500,000. There’s a group of people living in a house being watched 24/7 for the summer.

Basically in the first day or two Brendon and Rachel found they had an interest in science in common. Now, at just over 41 days they are “in love” and talking M, moving to be together (she’s ‘Vegas babay!’ and he’s L.A.).  Brendon has mentioned her being the mother of his kids.

It could be all sweet and maybe the real thing, right?  But watching it I can’t help but think that it’s so much like how an affair would  start.  They are in a state of limerance.

The Obvious:  This is an escape from reality.  In no way is living in a fully stocked house w/ nothing to do but swim, workout and socialize w/ a group of strangers reality. See my previous post on this.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: She finds out he’s a science geek and oh my, of course the Vegas-showgirl-bikini-model-wanna-be is one too! While she seems to be smart in some ways (mostly in Big Brother knowledge) I haven’t seen anything but ignorance. It could be the editing, but my bet is on mirroring.

Go Away Reality- I Want the Fantasy: Brendon applied for the game to win $500,000 just like they all did. In telling her he’d be her KISA (knight in shining armor), he said he’d give up the chance at the money to be sure she could have it.  I’m thinking that if he wins and it blows up between them, lawyers will have a field day fighting that those publicized utterances were a promise.

The Needy/Manipulative Dynamic:  Brendon seems to be desperate for Rachel’s attention. OTOH, she will turn her head and refuse to kiss him if he displeases her.  He’s like a kicked puppy, desperate for affection from a woman he met such a short time ago.

Putting on a Front- just like Rachel seems to like to play the intellectual, Brendon has portrayed himself as giving and wanting her to be her.  In a recent episode, they interviewed his former fiance and her mother.  They both said he was controlling and tried to make her a person that she wasn’t.  Then they showed a clip of Brendon insisting that to be together, it had to be in L.A.  Rachel responds saying, “Vegas is Quintessential Rachel.” By the end of the show she makes a statement that she’ll likely be moving to L.A.

Same Tired Words: Another topic mentioned in the fiance interview was that everything Brendon has said to Rachel, he’s said to the fiance.  The knight lines, love you like nobody else…all been said to another woman multiple times over first.

It’s all About the Tension: I’m just guessing here, but IMO a big part of it is the sexual tension. While they can fool around under the covers, how much can be done w/ the cameras on them? If they had just bumped uglies by now, would they really be thinking they are the love of a lifetime (or 10,000 lifetimes as Brendon told Rachel)? Is it the forbidden fruit that keeps them hungry and salivating for each other?

Yeah, it’s trash TV, but it’s worth watching the episodes up until now to see that this is likely how idiotic and unrealistic wayward spouses and the affair partners acted. While there was actual cheating on the show, watching these two has just made me think “Affair Mentality” multiple times throughout the show. I’m sharing this for myself as much as for you all.  Maybe this will help one person that has been betrayed realize how the affair wasn’t reality, but really to be filed under Juvenile Fiction.  What’s the library classification for hormone driven idiots again?