Bending reality is about clinging to “the life you want,” the life to which you feel entitled, the life you think others will accept, or the life you’ve lost and can’t regain, rather than living the “life you can have.” I say “can have” because people engaged in bending reality miss out on the life they can have. They must let go of the life they want before they can create the life they can have. When people bend reality, they never quite succeed in creating the illusion they crave. Instead they engage in denial, manipulation, resentment, and begrudgery only to suffer misery along the way.
Now, we all bend reality to some degree, especially for limited periods of time. We may live beyond our means or beg a loved one not to leave us. But most of the time, we accept, adjust, and eventually let go of illusion and live reality as it comes. But there are some people who won’t let go, who won’t accept reality, who go through life feeling entitled to a life they can’t have or who think that accepting reality will mean ostracism. Unknowingly, they create a personal prison for themselves and their loved ones.
There was something wrong with mother. She was a good person who loved me. But half of her was hidden, leaving me only the wisp of a relationship with her. Mom and Dad refused to talk about anything negative. That’s half of life right there. Then there is the sketchy lore that mother had some major health problem around age 14. It was probably the onset of epileptic seizures, but it could have been mini strokes. I gather that my grandmother instilled shame, making Mom feel damaged. Dad took on a 63 year role as shield, and protector. I think he whisked her away any time she felt an episode rising. As a result, I grew up in the dark: anxious, fearful, and desiring contact with a strong mother. I wish my parents had been willing to deal with the dark side of life and to share their struggles with me. Accepting and sharing the reality of their lives would have been a wonderful gift. Bending reality didn’t work for them, and it has never worked for me.