Even with an explanation behind it, behavior is not always an understandable thing. But then again, neither is insanity, or alcoholism. Intellectually, there are reasons for our behavior. Emotionally, however, these reasons do not always mend the brokenhearted. Often, these reasons do nothing more than add to the confusion because often, our reasons fall short and make little sense.
I once sat in an upstairs office of a police station and answered the questions of an investigating officer about a ring that was missing from my mother’s jewelry box. The detective asked questions and I maintained my answers. Most of his questions were the same, only, he worded them differently.
This way, if I slipped, he could tangle me, and if he could tangle me, I suppose he could somehow bully me into a confession.
But that didn’t happen. My stock answers were either one of two things.
It was either, “I don’t know,” or “I don’t remember.”
The detective continued to volley his questions and I continued with my answers. In the end, there was nothing gained.
My mother’s diamond ring was still missing and she was still heartbroken. Deep down, they knew what happened.
I told my parents, “But I didn’t take the ring.”
I swore, “I didn’t do it.” …….and maybe they wanted to believe me, but deep down they knew the truth.
And the truth is I did take the ring. I sold it for a fraction of its worth and kept myself high for three days. But what I remember most about the questioning over this is not the hours I spent inside the detective’s office. It was the car ride home.
That’s when my mother asked me, “Why do you hate me so much?
My behavior had nothing to do with either love or hate. Intellectually, I knew what I was doing. Emotionally, I knew it was wrong but behind the mental itch of addiction and depression, I had to cure the need and satisfy the demons. And by demons, I mean I had to cure the need to feel better. I had to soften the desires of my own greed.
I pawned the ring and played the role of a slick-minded thief. I cured the evil sense of my pride and fed the hungry appetite of my mental cravings. I did what I had to do to get what I had to get. It was that cold and simple.
In truth, I felt bad for my actions. I felt regret, but while stuck in my addiction, my regret was washed away like waves washing sands from the beach. I was able to distance myself by staying emotionally disconnected and remove myself from my behavior…
I use this story as a drastic example to animate the behavior of addiction; however this behavior is not limited to only my experience.
Mark Twain once wrote, “Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.”
This is true, which is why I say behavior is not always an understandable thing.
As a species, we have the ongoing need to cure our desire. We decorate ourselves to either hide or feel better. We lie, we cheat, and we sometimes steal to appease our inner needs. We rationalize our behavior to cure the regret and we satisfy our greed by feeding it more.
Often, we behave to cure the emptiness in our lives; and the deeper it measures, the more desperate we behave.
So understand something:
It’s not you, sweetheart….
It’s his sickness.
I suppose from your eyes the view of manhood is slightly confusing. I suppose from your view, the definition of fatherhood contradicts everything you have seen.
I suppose you question, “How could he do something like that?”
Or maybe you’re wondering if he loves you, because if he does love you, then he would never do what he did ….but love has nothing to do with addiction.
In its own defense, addiction will suffocate the senses to change our behavior on its behalf
This is why I say it’s not you, sweetheart.
It’s his sickness.
This is how he cures his emptiness, and as I mentioned before, the greater the emptiness, the more desperate the behavior.
So if you are wondering if he feels regret, the answer is yes.
But so long as he feeds his addiction, the regret he feels will continue to wash away like waves washing the sands.
I do not expect this explanation to solve your feelings. This is just a reason why people behave as they do.
But again, intellectually, reasons do nothing but explain our behavior.
Emotionally, however, reasons do not always mend the broken heart.