Rewriting History

Sometimes people rewrite history. They do so after the end of a marriage, romantic relationship or friendship. Rewriting history, in the sense I’m talking about, means altering the facts to suit your new conclusions. It means leaving your own errors out of it, and only focusing on your grievance with the person you once liked or loved, and now hate. “This person I once loved is depraved.” This begs the question: Why did you love a depraved person? What does this say about your own morality, your own perceptiveness or your own intelligence?

There’s no answer to the person who rewrites history. This is because he or she is too busy being the victim. All that matters is that, “This person let me down, and therefore I can change whatever I think about him or her to suit my present purposes.”

I’m not denying that people sometimes do fraudulent or otherwise terrible things. But rarely, if ever, can you truthfully say, “I had no idea!” Usually, the person who was once loved or valued and is now despised was the same person all along — “It’s just that I liked him fine when I got what I wanted from him, but now that he’s doing the same thing to me that I knew he did to others … well, that’s no good!”

The point is: You cannot rewrite history. You cannot even write history without owning up to your own role in it. “I chose to look the other way and now I’m paying the price.” This is the healthy and honest attitude. If the behavior you don’t like was never present, that’s one thing. But if you’re really honest with yourself, you can almost always find evidence of that behavior in the past. For whatever reasons, you wanted to pretend it wasn’t there, and now you want to be the victim. Maybe you were a victim all along, or maybe you weren’t. But you’re really your own victim if you only now are facing what you chose to evade all along.