Bad Romance

by Lori Dwyer on June 21, 2012 · 12 comments

“When I look back on my life, it’s not that I don’t want to see things exactly as they happened… It’s just that I prefer to remember them in an artistic way.
And, truthfully, the lie of it all is much more honest because… I invented it.
Clinical psychology tells us that trauma is arguably the ultimate killer. Memories are not recycled like atoms and particles in quantum physics– they can be lost forever.
It’s sort of like my past is an unfinished painting… And as the artist of that painting, I must fill in all the ugly holes and make it beautiful again.
It’s not that I’ve been dishonest… It’s just that I loathe reality.”

Romanticism: The effect of viewing through rose colored glasses.

It’s common, even healthy to a certain point, to romanticise a relationship that’s ended (rejection is rejection) whether it be through death or other circumstance. The person missing becomes elevated to the status of a God– it’s so easy to make someone infallible when they’re not around to prove you wrong.

In my mind, my husband has become the perfect man.

I catch myself sometimes attributing things to him that are fallacies. Sick with fever, my body aching with the flu, and I say to my mum “Why isn’t Tony here?! He would take care of me and make me feel better…

My mother looms at me as though I have temporarily lost my mind and reminds me that Tony hated it when I was sick, and didn’t have an ounce of compassion. He wouldn’t have taken care of me– I would have been taking care of myself, and two kids as well, and quite possibly still be expected to have dinner on the table at six.

The same flash of light as I’m texting Pink on Mothers Day– I wish he was here, she says, so the day would be better for you; and she makes me smile with that. But at the same time I’m playing over in my head all those Mothers Days past, in the Purple Life… and remembering that it was never about me, besides the ubiquitous bunch of flowers when I reminded him. Sometimes he’d come through– in amongst my box of treasures I have half a dozen sweet cards in his handwriting– but he was never as attentive or romantic in real life as he is in my mind.

“Tachycardia heart rate is 120. Blood pressure…a little low… But then again, you’ve always been on the low side.”

”I’m going to make it. I’m going to be star. You know why….? Because… I have nothing left to lose.”

I have taken bits of popcorn reality and strung them on a long, thin string to wind around a tree that would otherwise be ugly… I have taken the best pieces and made it beautiful again.

It’s a blessing– if I am never loved again; I feel as if I have been loved, complete. It’s encapsulated in time, in my memory, and it’s static now– it cannot be changed. No one can ever take away or take back the fact that he loved me, that I was his world– his sun rose and set with me.

It’s a curse. Who could stack up to the irrefutably perfect man, who can do no wrong because he’s simply not around anymore? A man who has been elevated to a saint? How could a human man with mortal, leaden feet compare to that?

It’s necessary; for so many tiny, insignificant reasons that allow me to justify not addressing it psychologically. I need to keep a picture of a giant, a hero, in my mind for my children. And I need it for me.

Because if I think too much about the actual reality of it (cunt), every fight we ever had molds into the biggest one there was (”I’m going to show everyone what a terrible person you are”) and all I can remember is him spitting in my face (slut).

And, as I’ve said before, those kinds of memories (flashbacks)… once they begin, they are difficult to make cease.

Can we blame me, at all, for wanting to remember the sunshine, the happy hue of Purple rather than the nightmare that came after…?

Of course not. Everyone stacks the deck in their favor. That’s the problem with memory, it’s not reality… it’s such a goddamn subjective thing

“That girl on the left– she ordered gummi bears and a knife a couple hours ago.
They only gave her the gummi bears.
I’d wish they’d only given me the gummi bears.”
All lyrics from Lady Gaga’s ’Marry The Night’. And I borrowed the melodrama from her, too.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Tinks June 24, 2012 at 1:15 am

Amazing!! Some would say you lost it all but you still have your bedazzler, and you did what any girl would do, started all over again! So proud


Melissa June 23, 2012 at 9:30 pm

So wise, Lori. So very wise. You can't help but remember the good – perhaps embellish it a little. I think when the time is right, there will be room in your heart, and in your children's hearts for the right man (flesh and bone) and the memory of Tony. So much love to you.


Karen June 23, 2012 at 6:38 am

Each of us frames our own reality! It's what we do. As humans, we have a certain need to define ourselves and we do that selectively.
So do it!
Enjoy it!
Grovel in it!
Swim in it!
Take a bite of it!
Eventually, as time goes by, your reality is the only one that matters.
Being a grown up means we can take the moments, separate them into compartments and look as each compartment individually as we like. The other compartments exist, but we may have a favorite one!
Karen from


Kat June 23, 2012 at 2:58 am

Hi! I am following you from Mummy Time. I enjoyed reading and hope to enjoy some more! I would appreciate the follow back! Thanks! Have a great day! -Kat


Miss Pink June 21, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Oh Lori, I cried. I had a feeling, even as I sent that text that he wouldn't have made Mothers Day magical or special, but I knew his presence still would have been felt, and you wanted that feeling that day. Even if you were screaming at him about how selfish he is for not even getting you a card/giving you a sleep in etc.

How you remember him is no one's buisness but your own. Put him up on that pedestal. Why not? Right now it's about what you need him to be.


phonakins June 21, 2012 at 6:43 pm

I tend to pair them up


Sharon @ Funken Wagnel June 21, 2012 at 10:17 am

I think it sounds like a survival mechanism, and to be able to see it now for what it is looks like progress. Maybe you just see it how you need to see it at any given time? Nothing wrong with that:)


Lynda Halliger-Otvos June 21, 2012 at 9:30 am

I hear you and have done the same thing. We romanticize our past because we can and dammit that's the only reason we need.


she-sleeps-here June 21, 2012 at 9:17 am

Sometimes, I think even reality is subjective. If you feel like you were loved, it's because you were. Whose right is it to say otherwise? Lys


Molly June 21, 2012 at 9:16 am

Wow, Lori…

It's like you read my mind sometimes. My ex-partner isn't gone forever from this world, but he is gone forever (or so it seems) from my life and I'm falling into this same trap of remembering only the best bits of him. It's been really getting me down lately. Sometimes I will have to force myself to remember the uncaring things he did, or the way he took advantage of my kindness and my work ethic just so I don't get upset.

But too, I try and see it as a good thing as well. In their absence, it's kind of beautiful to remember the best parts of a person. I feel like my ex-partner might be cheered a little to know I rememeber the nice things he did over the not-so-awesome stuff. And you know what? I hope he has the same thing with the nicest parts of me. It makes it a little easier…


Anne June 21, 2012 at 8:45 am

I love how honest you are. I know you've taken a LOT of flack for it, but I love it.


Kelloggs Ville June 21, 2012 at 8:40 am

I do this 'reperfecting' of my husband in my mind daily (and he's still here) I too would turn him into a god like status if I lost him. Why dwell on the crappy when rose coloured smells lovely. Think on the past only as it gives you pleasure (I think Jane Austin said that).


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