Monday, January 22, 2007

Truth Is A Bitter Pill

Once you've been diagnosed with cancer, you know what it's like to have the rug suddenly yanked out from under you, to just be happily living your life when without warning the bottom drops out. Maybe you land on your feet and maybe you don't. But always, always you're acutely aware that it could happen again, any time.

Now it's happened again: the dream of my very own tiny cottage is gone. It turns out the lot next door to the designated driver was never really available. I was under the mistaken impression that I was going to be able to buy it from him, but I've learned that in his divorce settlement that lot went to his son. It's not available for me to buy, and I can't build anything permanent on it. The whole dream was a carefully nurtured lie.

The designated driver didn't tell me the truth, because, he says, "I know, and I've known, that we would have to work this out--but I have admittedly feared talking about it. I want to keep this momentum up by which you are making strides toward a return to a life full of hope and future promise." He was trying to protect me from the unpleasant truth, since my hopes and dreams of the cottage were what kept me going. But I pressed the issue, and now the truth is out. There will no dream cottage. The "life full of hope and future promise" was an intentionally constructed illusion, and I was stupid enough to fall for it.

I'm totally devastated right now, and I have no idea where I'll live or what will become of me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear about the cottage. I would open my home to you in a heartbeat, as I am sure many of your readers would. I am thinking many good thoughts for you...

12:00 PM  
Blogger L. said...


12:44 PM  
Blogger Sassy Pants said...

I'm crushed for you. Although I can't help thinking that something fabulous and unexpected will be coming your way. What about one of those cool retro bullet RVs and a Vespa? You, of all people, could pull it off.

1:03 PM  
Blogger Rose said...

I'm sorry, Liz.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

This truly sucks. I know he did it with the best of intentions, but don't you hate it when people think they should protect you from the truth? After all you've been through, the least you could expect (and hope for) is honesty. If I had an empty lot for you and your cottage, it would be yours.

Here's to hoping serendipity steps in and something fabulous happens.


2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad, but there are other lots, if a cottage is what you want. If a life with your driver is what you and he want, there is probably a solution there, too. Building a cottage next door and only then tackling those issues may have been a mistake, actually.

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is there a possibility that getting a reverse mortgage on your existing home would be a viable solution? Try not to get discouraged. Answers will come.
You are loved!

3:21 PM  
Blogger Ya Looblue said...

I'm so sorry. I don't know what to say to make this sting less. All I offer is all the virtual (but very real) support in the entire universe and the promise that I'll always be honest with you. I don't know if that means shit coming from The Internet, but it's true none the less.

I was talking all about you to my "DD" the other day. I hope that the knowledge of how many people care about you will help in holding you together.

I'm praying that there is something even more wonderful on the horizon for you. And that it will reveal itself soon.
Can the land be bought back? Or donated back?

lots of love,

3:23 PM  
Blogger Lymphopo said...

May I ask a huge favor of commenters? Please, there's no point in playing the "what if" game. It's not like I haven't thought of all the possibilities. And please understand I'm not willing to disclose details of my financial situation, and not knowing those, suggestions are really not helpful.

Also: in my universe lying is not ok. Lying always does more damage than good. A relationship based on lies is not going to be workable.

3:43 PM  
Blogger Charlotte said...

I am so very sorry.

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am very, very sorry to hear this. It must be extremely hard to deal with.

I am at a loss as to why the DD would let you think that there was an opportunity where one did not exist, but I disagree that you were stupid to fall for it. You trusted, that's all. We all do it, all the time, and in your current situation (acknowledging that you are keeping certain details to yourself) it is particularly poor quality 'support' that would abuse this trust to put off an inevitably painful conversation.

I'm sorry. I'm angry. I'm disgusted. I'm also still hopeful that something will work out for you. It sounds as though you have a supportive family network, and that counts for something in times of need.

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Liz I'm so sorry to hear :-( I know how much the cottage plan meant. just damn.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Gr8lakesgrrl said...

Oh, man, I'm so sorry to hear this. This sucks and there is nothing I can say or do to make this better right now. I'll keep buying lottery tickets and praying for a miracle. I'm sorry, I wish I wish I could help.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so sad. You deserve the truth. Make a new dream location and plant your cottage there. Keep up your spirits. You will get it done and move on. You are in our thoughts.

4:49 PM  
Blogger Sarah♥ said...

Only been reading your blog for a little while, but i thought i'd comment today. I'm sorry about the land :(


5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sick that he lied to you. There must be a lot that is not adjacent to a liar.

Take care of many want the best for you. Don't forget that.

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What was he thinking? Sheesh!

5:21 PM  
Blogger Kanga Jen said...

What the hell?
I don't see an obvious motivation. Cowardess?

You have built your life on honesty and transparency. I can see why this would devastate you.

I hope you find something else to lasso yourself to to pull yourself through all this. You will. You're so strong.


5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so sad and sorry to hear this... thinking of you a lot today.

5:34 PM  
Blogger Alto2 said...

This makes me very sad. Lying is such a betrayal of trust. Being lied to by a loved one, for whatever reason, seriously undermines the relationship, albeit not permanently.

So, give it up to the "woo": Trust the fates that this closed door means something else, something better, something more convenient will open up to you soon.

6:03 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...


6:23 PM  
Blogger Val said...

Wow, what a fortuitous choice of topics (lying)...
But don't beat up on yourself Liz; you are most certainly NOT responsible for someone else's moral lapses!
hang in there!

6:28 PM  
Blogger Christopher C. NC said...

Move to Maui.

The first of June my lightly used by one tenant, me, and twice as big 700ft2 cottage with a big 10x20 deck with western sunset partial ocean view will be for rent.

It will have the remnants of a lush tropical garden that includes two 12 foot tall long stem roses in desperate need of a good pruning.

You could become the Rose Queen of Maui and cater to the disconnected whims of wealthy matrons and the idle rich by specializing in roses. They grow like weeds here with a lot fewer pests, molds and mildew and you would never have to wait for the right season to prune.

We are high on the Big Woo factor. Decades ago it was determined this is a High Energy healing place. In typical western medicine it would be a horizontal shift from Our Lady of the Damned. Anyone who can flies to Oahu for serious medical care.

I think Maui may be number one in sales of Art worldwide. There are tons of artists here which should increase the chances of finding another one of those elusive heterosexual male artists

We grow our own coffee and have malasadas instead of beignets.

There are plenty of bugs just like in the Deep Inferno, but no Fire Ants yet. And we do all our pestilence, plague, humidity and disaster with a sense of moderation and decorum.

It might be just the place to rest for a spell in this transition point in your life.

7:16 PM  
Blogger Lymphopo said...

Wow, Maui. What's the rent?

8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Normally I would agree that lying is not okay. But sometimes exceptions need to be made. This is an exceptional circumstance. If this is a one-off event, while huge, still, it's a one-off.

Maybe it changes the groundrules a little. It doesn't have to be the end of everything.

8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, too, am sorry to read of the end of this dream. I know you have other dreams. I hope someday you will look back and thank whatever gods are above that this dream didn't gel, because another was born out of its ashes.

8:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A teensy little white lie is excusable. But an ongoing pattern of deception is something else entirely. You were not stupid, you were ensnared while vulnerable.

Maui sounds most excellent.


9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good intentions. Hrmph. Well, he did it because he is stupid, boys are dumb.

How sad... It's a serious bummer.

But you know something? This is weird, but when I saw how much energy and hope you were putting into it, something inside me was like, Uh-oh.

Anyhow, a cottage couldn't contain you, I don't think. You'll need to think of another plan, but with a bigger floor plan.

(Dude, I don't see you in Maui...)

10:08 PM  
Blogger Christopher C. NC said...

The rents are outrageous like in San Fran and New York City, but you get more space than a closet usually. I have a deal to take care of the whole property to lower the rent. Many houses with cottages sit empty most of the year so some owners who can afford it will make deals.

If you don’t mind a time as a landless peasant and landlords who feel justified in taking a portion of the produce from MY avocado, orange and papaya trees, then it could work. I have certain control issues that seem to be intensifying over time. I will never own anything here and an early offer of family land in the low spot on a North Carolina mountaintop was too good to pass up.

From a combination of longevity, responsibility, high demand and a tendency to middle aged sloth I have worked my way down to a little less than 20 billing hours per week of landscaping work that pays the bills and maintains my lower middle class life style.

Thank goodness because three years ago I got sucked into cyberspace and spend way to much time in front of this screen.

10:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you are having a hard time. Hugs to you.

12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you sure you cannot live with him? This man wanted to nurture whatever it took to see you filled with hope. After all it's only a piece of land, compared to a life, filled with your love for each other. He hasn't has he, stopped loving you, nor you him. At some point, pride can become so empty, in the face of what really nurtures.

12:29 AM  
Blogger belledame222 said...

oh Liz. I'm so sorry. what the fuck.

Maui does sound rather nice. I hope it or something else that suits you and gives you more than empty hope and promise works out soon.

12:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If he kept it from you because he didn't want to hear you whine and didn't want to be involved in this drama and hoped it would all remain idle talk, (I'm only diminishing it in this case not because it's a diminishable/diminishing? issue but because it could be seen that way to some) then that's just bad.

If he kept it from you because one weak moment kept morphing into the next one, and so on, and it was out of love, whatever the level of love, going from general friendly caring to deep love (I have no knowledge of your relationship), then he deserves a pass, along with a very strong talking to and instructions about how to deal with big issues going forward. The intent seems to have come from a feeling of compassion rather than annoyance or just not wanting to deal. That's really the question, IMO. Yes, he didn't want to deal, but it could very well have been a very worrisome issue for him, and he just did the best with the tools he had. OK, so he needs new tools.

If there's something there that's real, that's not a little thing, that's a big thing.

I can't pretend to imagine how it feels to be you and get this additional blow. I would never go down that road. A perspective, I can give, and outside perspectives can be helpful, as I know when I'm too close to an issue to see straight.

Don't look at the big picture of where you will eventually end up. Take one day, one thought, one idea, at a time, and the right answers will reveal themselves in their own time, whatever they may be.

A big hug and lots of respect and admiration go along with it!

another susan

4:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry Liz.

9:22 AM  
Blogger A.M.S. said...

Boys do stupid things when they don't know what else to do.

I hope, hope, hope, that DD's motivation to mislead was rooted in not knowing how to give hope and sincerely believing that a solution would present itself before reaching this point. I'd hate to see all of the happiness of your Field Trip post completely erased by Boy Stupidity.

Grieve the loss of this dream, focus on getting through today, then find a new it Maui, an RV, a loft, or a yurt. You will find your home.

I'm so sorry, Liz. If I had a big enough parcel of land, I'd help you build your cottage myself.

10:36 AM  
Blogger On my way said...


My heart aches for you...I am so sorry

11:01 AM  
Blogger Lymphopo said...

I really didn't intend for this post to be a Dear Abby letter. It wasn't a request for advice. I didn't want to get into private details about my financial situation or about my relationship, and without those details nobody is qualified to advise.

I will just say that this passive deception isn't an isolated incident of goodwill, it's another installation in an ongoing pattern of grandiose plans and promises that dwindle to nothing. Like getting married.

Readers of my old blog will recall that there were plans to get married, that he'd been pressuring me for a long time. But when I finally said yes, he suddenly stopped talking about it and nothing happened. When I asked him, he insisted he still wanted to get married. Finally I pressed the issue and he confessed that no he didn't actually plan to get married, I was too much of a financial liability. But he wasn't ever going to tell me the truth, he was hoping to keep pretending he wanted to marry me forever I guess.

This is a pattern. He always has a long list of excuses why things didn't turn out the way he originally promised. He never says he's sorry, because it's never his fault.

I thought I was spending the last few months planning my future, but now time is running out, I have to sell my house very soon, I won't have much money left over, and I'm left high and dry without a plan for where to go.

I'm tired of it. I'm just plain tired period. And that's all I want to say about this matter. Please, no more unsolicited advice. Thanks.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm really sorry Liz. It's you I was, am thinking of. It's always hard to know what a person in pain wants from you. What I, we I think, want to give, is to let you know I am behind whatever it is you want. Without knowing details, with knowing details, doesn't matter; it's what you want I'm behind.

12:58 PM  
Blogger El said...

Why do I have the feeling you will be fine? You seem to be a very resourceful person, and have done all you have accomplished without the help of an s.o. like the DD. The cancer was a sad detour, and also a sign to you (and all of us) that we on occasion do need to lean on others. But you have so much innate strength. We do feel awful for you, and I am sure that others' comments here (the Dear Abby stuff) were really the only way they could feel like they were being helpful.

Go get some rest, Liz. We anticipate your pugilistic return from this bad round!

1:46 PM  
Blogger Gr8lakesgrrl said...

"I will just say that this passive deception isn't an isolated incident of goodwill, it's another installation in an ongoing pattern of grandiose plans and promises that dwindle to nothing. Like getting married."

Oh Liz, I know what you mean about the liars. I had a child with one of those. Bad, bad scene. I'm so glad I didn't marry him, that would have been worse. The one I married has lied occasionally in the past 9 years, I can testify. But those were mostly lies of omission and that sort. Mostly white lies. Nothing approaching this level of deception. I'm surprised I'm not seeing more venom out of you! You know me, I'm not the type to offer much advice but I do like to read advice and one of my favorite advice colmmnists is Dan Savage in the Village Voice. You know what I think Dan Savage would have to say about this? DTMFA. (Dump the mother fucker already.) You deserve better.

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

having dreams murdered just sucks.

i'm really sorry this happened.

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:44 PM  
Blogger leo said...

I'm so sorry about what has happened, Liz.

I completely agree that none of us here is qualified to offer you advice; having said that, my advice would be to try not to take the comments too seriously. Interaction on the internet is so different than it is in person, and people write well-intentioned things that end up being hurtful.

Anyway good luck Liz. I admire you so much, and you really deserve the best.

5:13 PM  
Blogger LMD said...

No promises are better than broken promises. Broken promises are betrayals that demoralize and eventually lead to the Land of No Hope.

The broken promise of the Little Cottage Next Door was an act of cowardice.

When you're fighting for your life, you can't afford to put your hope and your life in the hands of cowards. To realize that may have happened may feel like the worst betrayal.

You deserve to be treated with respect, a respect that includes truth.

5:49 PM  
Blogger kimmieindallas said...

I wrote this long comment about who knows what....

I didn't realize I had to be a blogger to post.

So that comment is gone...

Basically - you are in my prayers.... I know you are like a cat. You'll land on your feet!

6:35 PM  
Blogger monicac2 said...

I don't know you, but I am sending a huge and genuine hug your way.

7:57 PM  
Blogger Elbow said...

It's somewhat strange to have feelings about someone I have never met... someone who was nonexistent in my life until two days ago. My Mom found your wonderful blog while searching for people to inspire her to kick ass against her gallbladder cancer. For the past few days, she and I have been giggling about the photos of your tiny dogs huddled by the furnance with their "Irish fisherman" sweaters. Even though I'm sure it was not funny to the dogs, the image gave us a delightful distraction from the fear, despair and general crappiness that sometimes hangs on our shoulders these days. You are one hell of a writer. I watch her face as she reads your blog, and I can see a look of relief. Relief that someone can go through hell and still wear a bright purple scarf and a knowing smirk in her self portraits. You seem like a strong, lovely person. Please know that you are in our thoughts.

9:15 PM  
Blogger The Fog is Finally Lifting.. said...

Sorry, guys, but men are just assholes. Liz, if you need a place, you can stay with me in the Bay Area. Air fare is less than $200, my treat. Bring the dogs, we'll figure it out. No expectations except that you get better with no pressure.

11:42 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I wondered what ever happened to the whole marriage deal. Man.

I keep coming back to this post wondering what on earth to say. I feel like I've had the rug pulled out from under me...but it's actually happening to you!!! Well, you certainly named our blog right.

I'm thinking of you.

7:49 AM  
Blogger Siobhan said...

I'm so sorry you are having to deal with any of this shit. You rock, and you have touched more people's lives than you'll ever know. Thank you for that.

9:52 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

No advice here, just lots of hugs and sympathy.

5:16 PM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

Oh, Liz, I'm so sorry -- for the loss of both your little dream cottage and your trust in Mr. DD.

2:52 AM  
Blogger momo said...

I have faith in you, Liz, and your unquenchable spirit.

11:12 AM  
Blogger debinca said...

Well dang it all to hell anyway!

I will light a candle for you tomorrow and run it till the 6th... debinca

1:15 AM  
Blogger bint alshamsa said...

Liz--may I call you that, please--I moved to this city (Baton Rouge) because they have one of the very best cancer care hospitals in the nation. I also happen to have a three bedroom apartment despite the fact that my partner and my daughter and I only take up TWO rooms. This bedroom has housed many of our family and friends who needed a place to stay but couldn't afford to pay rent anywhere. It's currently unocuppied and if you're in need of a place to stay where you can also get excellent cancer care (mine is up against my sternum too), we'd love to have you here with us. You don't know me from Adam but I am absolutely serious. If you're interested, please just send me a message by leaving a comment under any of the posts on my blog and I'll see it and get back with you. Of course, you can also feel free to peruse my blog while you're there so you can know what sort of person I am if you need to know that in order to help you decide if you want to take me up on my offer. Please, I mean this sincerely.

My heart goes out to you.

3:22 PM  

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