Denial runs to the shadows to protect itself.
Darkness protects us from seeing things we would rather not see. It provides a hiding place for all of those painful emotions and glaring character defects that we refuse to ferret out by shining the light of truth and courage on what may at first appear to be just a tiny bump in the road.
The darkness is not an ebony hue in a box of crayons or a shadow cast by the slant of the sun. It is something far more pervasive that plays hide and seek inside our emotional sobriety. It might begin as a benign tumor (a tiny remark intended to discount us) one that our trusty broom of denial swiftly sweeps under the carpet one crumb at a time. Or, maybe it is that first fist in the face that a vase full of roses, issuing an apology, erases from our common sense.
Our instincts are to protect our fantasies at all costs. For many of us, who have stumbled down that twisted path of perfectionism, ignoring the truth is preferable to disclosure. After all, what would people think?
Throughout much of my married life, I overlooked inexcusable behavior. I tucked it away in a skewed definition of the word understanding; that misconstrued concept that allowed me to become a martyr and prolong the practice of self- deprecation.
Warning signs were everywhere, but I became quite adept at ignoring them. I was quite defensive when trusted friends attempted to strip me of my illusions. What I failed to understand, was that by failing to admit that there was an elephant in the middle of my living room, I had taken three innocent children hostage in a maze of madness.
Opening the shades and inviting the truth in didn’t happen overnight. It was a slow process that was dependent on outside help. But eventually the blanket was lifted, and that space once occupied by the elephant became a harbinger of full disclosure.
Denial is the blindfold we wear to our own execution. Bring it out into the light of day. It can only thrive in the seductive shadows of our own insecurities.