Sorry, I’ve not written in a while. Things have been busy. In the meantime, among other things, I talked with B about the denial in which I took refuge before D-day; denial that I was leading a double life, with conflicting pursuits, thoughts, and behaviors; and denial that I was bringing unconscionable risks to TL and ours kids. I’ve written about denial before here. But, now, after that particular talk about risks, I think I finally understand denial fully. It is simply shocking to me to realize how deeply I was in denial before D-day. My goal now is to keep up the courage to stay out here in the real world rather than hiding in denial.
In fact, we recently re-watched an old Star Trek: The Next Generation episode in which a character played by Dwight Schultz was compulsively using the holo-deck to fantasize. His cowardice about staying in the real world and accepting reality was suddenly frighteningly familiar. His attempt to wish his life away in fantasies reminded me of another character: Don Quixote. I was so obsessed with wishing I could be a Don Juan that I became Don Quixote.
Never again. Every moment of every day is now an exercise in appreciating the real world. My fantasies began as adolescent day dreaming and evolved into a double life. I sometimes created little sci-fi or other fiction stories in my head as I fell asleep. In those fantasies, I could play the part of the hero, who was successful, strong, and attractive.
They have to stop. They have stopped. As I get older and closer to death, it’s easier to see the urgency of living in this real life, while it lasts. Let me be happy or sad, alive or dead, successful or not in this reality, not just in some fantasy that could just as easily have come from a television or video game as from a double life.