Princes and jerks

Once upon a time, I wrote a post about feeling like I was dealing with two different people…. the Prince Charming that I knew, and this jerk pretending to be him.

There was the man that I loved, who loved me… and then someone else entirely who seems to hate me. One protected me, one hurt me.

Bringing the fact that the two people were the same person together was a lot of what made this so hard. Because my Prince Charming didn’t seem to be capable of being the jerk, and the jerk didn’t seem capable of having been my Prince Charming.

Eventually, the jerk had gained enough ground to win.

I still couldn’t explain what had happened to change my prince into the jerk, but I had accepted that for whatever reason, the jerk was who I was left with and had probably been the only one in there, faking being the true Prince Charming.

I wanted nothing to do with this jerk. I wanted him out of my life as soon as possible. I wanted released from all old memories of him.

People have asked what happened to the month long spell where I seemed to be over him, having no trouble with having no contact with him, and moving on and making progress.

What happened was that I saw him hurting, and I saw a fresh glimpse of the true Prince Charming… and it was enough to put a crack in the foundation that I’d built on the fact that he was truly only ever the jerk.

When I tried to put weight on that foundation…. to move forward with someone else… that foundation crumbled on me.

Because deep inside, even in the worst of the spells, I knew it wasn’t true that he was only the jerk… no matter how much easier it was to build a foundation on that than it was to attempt to cobble any sort of convincing structure on the fact that he really was the sweet prince.


What kept the foundation from being rebuild, was understanding.

When I finally got my hands on that last puzzle piece…. even before I had it put into place and knew for sure that this really was it, I knew what the picture was going to look like.

There was a reason.

There is a reason he has acted like a jerk. There is a reason that he got scared, that he ran, and that he had his feelings shifting around on him in the first place.

It explains all of the current issues, and a whole lot of the past things that at the time weren’t even seen as issues, and even all the way back to explain the red flags I’d known about but never seen.

And when it comes down to it… that’s what has given me the certainty I needed in this.

It has been what has been able to finally completely reconcile the fact that both the sweet Prince Charming and the jerk exist in the same body…. the issue that was making things so hard.

But, the reason said…. that the decisions made by the jerk were not the deliberate choices of the sweet prince.

I’d already gone through the process of forgiving him. I’d already seen some of the good that had come from the pain. I’d already dealt with a lot of the hurt from the initial breakup.

But truly believing the reason, meant realizing that it wasn’t something that he would have chosen to do, or was in a position to be able to overcome enough at that point in time to respond otherwise.

Expecting him to do so would have been about to equivalent of asking me to to be able to fully focus on a complicated task while I was in the middle of one of the very intense and overwhelming waves.

Actually, my experience from those overwhelming waves has even more added to the compassion I feel for him.

It was not his fault.

I truly hold no anger, no bitterness, and no hurt from the harm done at this point. The lingering hurt is from not having him in my life, not from anything he has done.

The more I read about the suggested issues that he is facing, that two therapists I’ve been working with have both agreed sounds very strongly like it’s the case…. the more I realize how much he was working to overcome. The more I’m impressed that he does overcome.

And the more I realize how lucky I’ve been in this.

I’ve had my apologies.

I’ve had honesty from him, all the way through this, though he wasn’t able to open up enough to give me enough to understand his answers initially.

And I’ve had the past openness with him over prior things…. things I never saw happen, but that I saw his deep sorrow and pain and disappointment in himself at having caused in his past at the hands of the jerk.

I do not have any hesitation in saying that the jerk is not the true Prince Charming.

I’ve known that in some degree all along, but the understanding has finally given me the ability to connect that fact with the facts of the actions of the jerk.

And that’s something that I’m not even sure that I could convince him about right now. I’ve seen him beat himself up over the jerk’s actions so harshly.

At least at the time of the breakup, I honestly don’t think he knew what he was battling. I don’t think he had a clue what was happening with him, or why.

I don’t think he has the understanding to be able to connect the two people either except by convincing himself that he is just the jerk, the same way that I tried to do.

From things that have been said, it sounds like his therapy is working with helping to keep the jerk out of control, but likely is not addressing the issue directly.

Right now, the more internally painful issue that he was facing is likely to be staying the dominant priority… and from what my therapist has told me, it probably will remain so for a good amount of time.

But, until it does shift to being addressed, the jerk is likely to continue to be a factor.

And, until the prince is willing to both overcome his own feelings of shame and guilt, and to be willing to tough out the things going on in his head to cause the initial issue, he’s not likely to be able to make the choice to return even if he wanted to do so.

He may prove her wrong on that. He has overcome a heck of a lot of the challenges even without knowing what he is up against.

But at this point, holding my breath would not be wise.

However… I do hope that he does eventually. He would be fully welcomed, no conditions.

Even with the knowledge that I may well be dealing with the actions of the jerk taking over my prince at times for some time into the future, and being on ongoing threat of possibility even if he does achieve greater mastery over the jerk.

That has partially been why it has made sense to focus not on ending the contact with his rollercoaster, but in ending its ability to drag me along.

Because if that day does ever come, the ability to detach while remaining connected is going to be a critical thing. And even if that day never does come, it’s still something needed with future encounters with others that may be closely connected enough to have the ability to draw me with them through the emotional attachments.

And understanding that he isn’t deliberately being a jerk and isn’t intentionally making the choices being made does help a lot on that.

Is it something that is able to be overcome?

I don’t know.

It may well be that it wouldn’t be. It may someday turn out to be something that he would decide that he chose not to try to overcome, or something that I was not able to detach from enough to be ok with living with. Maybe it would be a situation where I would not be able to have my own needs and desires adequately met while remaining in the situation.

But, honestly, I didn’t have enough clue what was going on enough to even say that we’ve tried at this point.

Maybe it would still be a dealbreaker, and maybe he’d still leave again.

But it’s that chance to at least try that is what I would really like to see happen someday.

Will it eventually?

It’s not in my hands to make that call. I really don’t know.

Right now, I have to focus on realizing that I’m still going to be ok if it never does.

And right now, that means assuming no, while being prepared for yes.

It’s sort of a place of preparing to face the worst of either way, while hoping for the best of either way.

Whatever is supposed to happen, will.

But I do love him dearly, and hope for peace and love and happiness for him as much as I do for myself.

And I do still hope that eventually that love and happiness will be found with each other again.

I realize though, that other people do not see this.

They see the two sides, and they assume the jerk to be the true colors just by the fact that it exists.

I don’t blame them. Like I said, I think sometimes even the prince himself resolves the contrast that way.

I understand why they feel like jerk actions are still jerk actions no matter why they are jerk actions.

Defending him doesn’t help… it just makes me look crazy.

So I don’t feel a need to argue my point right now with those who don’t agree with my feelings.

But, that is what they are, my true feelings on the matter.

To some extent, down deep they always have been, even when I very much did not want them to be.

I respect that others feel very differently… but this is my show, my life to be true to my own self in my actions.

This is where I stand.


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