The next day I check Facebook and find that Zoe has unfriended me. Odd. I say something snarky about it on Tumblr. She sees it and facebook messages me with: “I unfriended you because I figured you’d never want to speak to me again, for what it’s worth (probably nothing). I won’t bother you again. Sorry.”
This doesn’t really make any sense, as it’s not like I have to message all of my Facebook friends, so, as has by now become habit when dealing with Zoe’s occasional incomprehensible answers, I don’t question it and (to stretch the jigsaw puzzle metaphor) just file it away as a puzzle piece.
I ask her if she was serious about getting back to being that person, and she says she was. And I tell her that the right thing to do, then, is to inform Josh’s wife. Zoe says she doesn’t have any info on her and freaks out about the possibility that she might go public. I’m disappointed that this is her primary concern. But she does at least recognize it as the right thing to do.
We spend the next four hours or so talking. Much of the conversation is open and calm — consisting largely of stories she’s already told about her past, but she gets mad and tells me she feels attacked whenever I ask about any of the inconsistencies in the claims she made about why or when she cheated on me. Asking about things that aren’t related to that seem fine though. This defensive behavior is new; she wasn’t responding like this when I first got her to admit to cheating, and I don’t really understand what’s changed. I throw it in the puzzle piece pile.
A few days later [July 19th] I check in on her, and ask when her therapy appointment is. She tells me the date, then gets mad and asks why I’m pressing her on this.
I tell her it’s because she’s in an environment that encourages and enables (and has potential to be harmed by) her behavior, and so she has something to gain by not taking therapy seriously. She takes a strong principled stance against letting me know if she’s going to her appointments.
Practically speaking this strikes me as a serious problem. Given that lying has been such a successful strategy for her so far (with recent exception — which still took me months to be sure I wasn’t just going crazy), there’s no reason to believe she would want to change, and no reason to believe she isn’t lying about trying to stop lying. We argue about it, and she says she’s not doing therapy for me, and I tell her I’m not worried about me because I already know not to trust her. I’m worried about everyone she’s misleading first, and — if she really does have a problem — her second. She gets angry again, and I decide to give her some space for a while.
It would at this point be impossibly dumb of me to just trust that she’ll take it seriously, but I can’t really do any more than hope.
I don’t message her for the next four days.
(In retrospect, if I were asked to evaluate from a distance how seriously she’s taking therapy — on a scale of “take therapy very seriously and go to appointments regularly” to “don’t give a fuck and take a trip to europe for three months.”
I would say that she isn’t giving a fuck
And taking a trip to europe for three months
But I’m sure she has some good explanation for it. She always does.)