The Dark Passenger

Sometimes I wish I could talk to my ex.

Not the man of now, whoever and wherever he is.

Nor the man that sent the text that ended the marriage.

But the man I was married to several years ago.

The man that was sliding on that slippery slope to utter destruction yet still seemed to have a grasp on reality.

I wish I could I talk to him.

And ask him how it felt to split into two.

How it felt to live one life aloud while whispering the other.

How it felt to believe that no one would accept him for who he was.

How it felt to carry the ever-increasing burden of the dark passenger.

Brock and I just finished watching the first season of Dexter last night, a first viewing for him and a second for me. The show had an entirely different meaning for me now.

You see, the first time I watched it, I may as well have been sitting next to Dexter, the friendly serial killer. Now, as far as I know, my ex wasn’t a killer. But I sure see reflections of him in Dexter’s struggles to feed his dark passenger while maintaining a smile. To everyone around him, Dexter is normal with a job, a sister and even a girlfriend. But he is playing pretend. Behind the scenes, Dexter is a killer who, based upon the “code” his father taught him, targets only other killers. The first season focuses on Dexter’s struggles to maintain balance between the two lives and to sustain the illusion that he was just like everyone else.

I wish I talk to my ex and ask him if he related to Dexter at the time.

Did he also feel like he was born from some long-ago tragedy?

Did he feel the drive to satisfy dark urges and keep them under wraps?

Did he also learn to pretend to be normal while viewing himself as anything but?

Was it strange to sit on the sofa next to his unsuspicious wife while watching a similar drama play out on screen?

Or, did he not see himself in Dexter at all, convinced that he was in control of whatever was happening? That somehow he was special. Different.

I wish I could talk to him so that I could understand what initiated his fracture.

So that I could see the bigger picture.

The whole of him rather than just the side he presented.

The man and his dark passenger.

But most of all, I just hope that wherever he is, he has decided that the dark passenger has ridden long enough.

And kicked him to the curb.

I’m sure part of the show’s appeal comes from the ability of all us to relate to Dexter’s dichotomy to some extent. We all have parts of ourselves that we view as dark, even unlovable. We all sometimes feel as though we are pretending, worried that others may see through the act. I believe the lesson in the both the show and in my ex’s life is that the dark passenger only grows more powerful when isolated from the whole person. Accept yourself. Ask for help. And bring some light to the dark.

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29 thoughts on “The Dark Passenger

  1. “We all have parts of ourselves that we view as dark, even unlovable. We all sometimes feel as though we are pretending, worried that others may see through the act.”

    The most-liberating realization of my entire life.

    Loved this post.

  2. Oh how I wish mine would just even write me a letter and try an explain himself. But instead he has chosen to play mind games with me. I got a gift in the mail yesterday with no note. But the gift was only from him. Only he knew what he sent would ring bells and take me back exactly a year ago to a vacation we were on, two months before my discovery of his double life. I have been no contact for several months. He is trying to get back into my head. Maybe I should start watching Dexter. The mystery of the human mind. Perplexing to say the least.

  3. Ahhhhhhhhh Dexter. I’m currently in the middle of Season 6. Dex has come a long way since Season 1 and for a while there, especially in Season 5, I thought he was going to go off the rails for good.

    I agree in that we all carry a dark passenger inside of us. The difference between us and Dex, your Ex, and my Ex is we have a conscience, and they do not. I cannot even imagine moving through life without a conscience and yet 4% of our population does. Scary.

    🙂

  4. “the dark passenger only grows more powerful when isolated from the whole person. Accept yourself. Ask for help. And bring some light to the dark.” Yes. I very much relate to your article.

  5. I’ve often thought that it must be terrible to hate a part of yourself – to deny, even (especially) to yourself, on a daily basis, something that is a basic part of who you are. Living two lives must be mentally and emotionally exhausting. My ex was no serial killer (that I know of), but he certainly was (and is) still trying to create his own reality as an escape from the truth.

    1. It’s funny, one of the first thoughts I had when I learned of my ex husband’s other life was how exhausting it had to be to maintain. So much easier to live in truth and spend energy in other areas:)

      1. Yes, exactly. Plus, the added bonus that you don’t have to try and remember what lie you told to whom so that you don’t contradict yourself later. 🙂

  6. This made me giggle and brought me back three years to an evening when my ex and I were having a discussion after having watched many episodes of Dexter. I actually compared him to Dexter to his face…probably not a wise choice on my part…but I did say that I generally thought it was just his actions with his girlfriend…that he’s able to ‘fake it’ in the moment…not that I thought he was a homicidal sociopath…maybe that wasn’t such a good idea in hindsight…

  7. My ex’s dark passenger lived openly with us. Reading your post, I realize how much better that was than if he’d kept him hidden from me. During the weeks the dark passenger was present, it felt to me like he had actually abducted the sweet, loving man I’d married, and was hiding him somewhere. It was soul-destroying to sleep with and eat meals with that hateful presence, even though the sweet, loving man always resurfaced. I’m glad I’m not doing it anymore.

  8. The explanations from the dark passenger will always be distorted. I am sure, he will leave you with more questions than answers. They are very strange characters these people. For a very long time I too yearned for some sort of one-on-one with my ex but now that I understand the whole Jekyll and Hyde phenomenon, I think I’m better off with my own deductions and conclusions. That said, If I was granted one more last meeting with my ex, I would only share this quote with:

    “Entertaining the audience of your demons is a rite of passage — a birthright of your humanity. It is the necessary introspection that will frighten you to the core and liberate you from judgment all at the same time”.

  9. This is how I feel, nearly everyday right now. I know my soon to be ex is depressed and he has lashed out and made terrible choices. I know he has been depressed for at least 4 years. Now there is some distance, I can see some of the behaviors, some of the abusive behaviors even. I know he was hurting himself, even as he was hurting himself.

    I refuse to get into any discussions with him that are not specific regarding our current situation. All our discussions are via e-mail and I always allow him the last word, they are always hurtful and sometimes ugly. They always hurt. I don’t care, I can’t care.

    But sometimes I wish I could reach back in time to the person he was before. I wish I could convince him to get help before it got bad.

    Now, all I do is wish him peace, contentment and love.

  10. It is a powerful post. I have read the so called “lies” divorced people tell and I do not want to talk to my ex again. I do not want to know where he is. It would be wonderful to see you get the answer to your questions, is it even possible? Can someone like that answer them honestly? Inspiring as usual.

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