Red Flags and Paying Attention…

Oops, I did it again. I didn’t mean to. It’s not like I was *trying* to end up in a familiar place once more. But life is cyclic, me thinks.

I encountered a sociopath. I know only because I did it once before and caused a nine hour standoff with state police when he knew he got caught in the intricate web that he himself had woven.

This time, it’s on me partially because I didn’t delete my OK Cupid account. I didn’t use it, but it was still in existence. I just kind of forgot about it. Until I got a notification that someone sent me a message. Six days ago. And I responded.

“No, not really looking. Forgot all about this account. Yeah, you’re right, friendships are fun. Wow, we DO have a lot in common. Okay, you’ve made me laugh a lot, and we’re similarly minded, and sure, I’ll have a drink and get to know you….”

And then began the signs I know all too well, and big red flags started waving in the hot air he was blowing all over the place.

Love bombing. Learn what it is so you never have to fall for it. It’s Stage One in the narcissistic play book. They all do it..anyone with any type of anti-social disorder. They begin telling you everything you could ever want to hear. They shower you with attention, praise, adoration, affection, you name it. They begin mirroring you. Everything you want…goals, hopes, dreams, passions…omgawds! That’s their desire, too! Politics, religion, movies, books, music, etc, you two are obviously meant to be because you are so strikingly similar. They point out repeatedly that you two are meant to be. You’re everything they’ve ever wanted and then some.

We met on Friday night. He wanted me to start bringing things to his place to keep there. Or he could just go out and get me a toothbrush, and here are some jammies for me to wear, and wow, I’m so adorable, and we’re going to do this and we’re going to do that, and everything became plans for a future he didn’t even build a foundation for, just plans because in his mind, we were perfect for each other and were obviously now a couple. I was even asked to be his date to a wedding party the following night. I didn’t go…

The red flags were there. I’ve been there before you see.  But I thought perhaps I was being too jumpy or paranoid, and I would talk to him about slowing down. I mean, gosh, I really AM awesome, so of course he was smitten, haha.

But the next night, I saw him after work, and he had been to the wedding party. And he was drunk. Ridiculously so. I agreed to watch a movie. I felt incredibly uncomfortable within a few minutes, though, when he kept going from slightly conscious to unconscious, and somewhere in between there started dropping the three terrifying words, “I love you.” He didn’t want me to go, though. He would rouse himself enough when I would attempt it…and you recall I’ve become a bit shell shocked. I know how quickly it can go from being lovey dovey to bat-shit cray cray.

So I got him to his bed, and as I was trying to get him into it, he pulled me literally head over heels over him and into bed. As he began to doze off, he began giggling, and he asked when would I marry him. He’d been waiting for me forever, you see.

I think at this point, I deserved a cookie for not literally shitting my pants.

When he began snoring soundly, I got up, let myself out, and went home. Somehow, I still wanted to make excuses in my head because maybe I’m overthinking things.I liked sober him. And I liked the banter. And I’m already damaged, so maybe my perceptions are off.

Yet, I knew those flags were there, so I decided to back the fuck off and proceed with extreme caution. Not to write him off completely. But I knew I needed to listen to my gut. I’m getting better at that. Besides, drunk gibberish isn’t necessarily how things would always be.

The next night, I heard from him, and he was ready to go to bed. Hardly talked the whole day which was fine by me. I told him to rest up and that I was heading to get my girls from Jinx’s house where they had dinner and watched TV, and his overly affectionate demeanor turned into an incredibly cold and jealous demeanor. I was asked if that was my fwb, etc. I was reminded that he wants my time…all of it. If he wasn’t so bad at hiding his tendencies, it would have taken me longer to see. But he ripped through the stages as if he doesn’t have any impulse control at all.

So that night, I decided I want out. Immediately. But a sociopath will seek vengeance and keep baiting you when you try to go before their ready. Really, read up on them. So I hatched my plan to keep myself blameless. That way, I could get out without worrying about the way they attack when you go.

I created a fake profile on ok cupid as a single woman with no kids who never wants kids and only loves her fur baby. I viewed his profile, then I logged out. I knew he would message me because sociopaths are always looking for prey to keep their emotional void filled. The next morning, while ignoring the real me, he messaged the fake me. I got him to say he was unhappy with the couple dates he had been on. He would *never* date a woman with kids now because they have such limited time. He doesn’t even know why single mothers are on there trying to date when they suck at it.  He said he wasn’t involved with anyone at all, and that the two he met were only trying to hook up. Then he proceeded to tell her/me that they were a rare breed and so on. I asked him how he would handle a girl who went through specific things I had gone through. He laid it on thick. I responded as the indignant friend and told him I was telling me. Confused yet? He blew up at fake me and started back peddling and telling her/me that he was excited about asking me to commit, but she/I had ruined it. “Good job.” Anyway, within a few minutes, I got a text from him telling me my friends are crazy and had hit on him and he didn’t want to hear from me anymore, so mission accomplished.

I deleted the profile and said that’s that. I got out without becoming the target in a different way, and I remembered that it’s important to delete your dating profile when you stop dating versus just ignoring it exists.

And that’s all she wrote…

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I’m Still Alive…

…mostly.

In my absence of posting, I’ve had a child hospitalized. Twice. I’ve had my job close and my funds depleted. I’ve had the engine blow out in my car. I’ve had my landlord decide after 5&1/2 years to sell his house and give us thirty days notice to vacate the premises. That’s by February 29th. I still have not located a new home with thirteen days to go. I’ve had people show me that I’m only allowed to be the silly, funny, strong one and hear nothing but crickets from them the very first time I ask for help. And I’ve found out who my circle of true friends are because they’ve closed ranks and kept me from completely going insane. Just partially insane. Well, perhaps three quarters insane.

I’ve remembered what it is to be truly terrified. But mostly, I remembered what it’s like to feel like a failure because I have held absolutely nothing together, and there’s nothing I can do about it. It hurt me so badly to start a fundraiser to ask for a little hand up since I’ve fallen so hard. But it hurt more when I discovered ninety percent of the people I know won’t even acknowledge me when I’m not posting something funny or irreverent.

I’m going to get strong again. And then I’ll be back to posting my sarcastic and silly posts. In the meantime, I’m going to finish my breakdown and cry a lot and wonder why my strength hasn’t been good enough.

 

 

Patterns Make Pictures

Over the years, I’ve noticed more and more how patterns seem to abound. Most of us know the common-knowledge “this applies to everyone” types of patterns, such as, people die in threes, etc. But then there are the individual patterns we all follow. Those are the ones that intrigue me most.

Like, I had a three year run where I wasn’t hit on by a single man my age, but I was being hit on by men 15 years (or more) my junior every time the wind changed course. I finally said, okay Universe, I’ll play along, and after a three or four month liaison with a guy 17 years younger than myself, the Universe moved onto the next pattern. HOWEVER! The next pattern was already becoming established with the seriously way-too-young-for-me-omgawds kid.

It was the pattern of J names that I am still slightly stuck in.

So I met a guy named Keith and thought YAY! I’m finally moving on in the alphabet. And I wasn’t setting out to meet anyone because, let’s face it, relationships of the romantical sort are definitely not my forte.

That’s when I discovered my next pattern in the completely effed up journey of my not-even-wanted love life. It’s the “Well, fuck, he’s still invested in his ex even if he doesn’t tell you he is” pattern.

First, let’s cue Mr. Yesterday. He’s the one that told me I was not someone he needed to check qualities off the list for…I WAS the list. He hadn’t felt that way for anyone in years. “I claim you for as long as you want me. Every moment makes me want you more” blah blah blah it’s all lies blah blah blah guy. Yup, the one who suddenly did a complete 180 overnight and *GASP* suddenly had feelings for his ex and was reconnecting to her again. It lasted three whole weeks when they DID get back together so obviously it wasn’t the amazing fantasy he had playing in his head, but the bottom line is that he told me on the first date that there was no one else. So, yes, that means he LIED. And I was automatically in competition with someone I knew nothing about, and had he let me know he wasn’t truly moved on, I would have known better than to catch feelings. His name starts with a J.

Then there’s the Vaping Viking. Also a J name. Also in love with his ex still. He at least owns it, though, so I’ve known to not get too close and to not let my heart open up to him and to not invest myself and to not fantasize about some future that is completely unrealistic. But then, he’s the guy acting like we are in a relationship and wants to spend as much time with me as possible and wants to hang with my kidlettes and introduced me to his parents when they were in town and is now buying our tickets to the Nutcracker so his mother can come back to Pennsylvania and see my daughter performing with us. Which, you know, if I’m not mistaken, these are all relationship goals. And I keep referring to him as my FRIEND, and yet, I’m seemingly in a relationship that isn’t really a relationship. As soon as I figured out that he’s viewing us as something different than we are, I quit sleeping with him. He took me to dinner last night, and he is incredibly upfront about reading my texts when they come in and commenting on them, and I swear that’s something only a boyfriend who wants to know what his girl is up to would do. But…again…I am not trying to be in a relationship, and this is a pretty skewered version of a relationship if we WERE in one.

Next on my list…Keith. And Keith came on strong. Keith invited me and the kids to come home with him to Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving and be his date amongst his family. And he said the words which are now becoming a pattern, too, “I’ve finally found my sexy nerd girl. There’s no way I’m letting you go.” And flattery galore and good morning texts and good night texts and a million texts in between every day and good gawds, he acts like I’m the next best thing since cocoa beans and sugar chilled and watched Netflix and made a baby together. But…you know I can’t break this pattern until I am immersed in it and recognize it and face it head on. So yeah….

And he said NOTHING back! The dude who couldn’t stop texting me and flattering me and acting so excited over me who ALSO was the dude who kept bringing up his exes every single freaking time I turned around and saying things like, “Yeah, that’s what Genelle did!” or “Kate was like that. She would do A, B, and C, blah blah blah” every single time we were on any topic whatsoever had absolutely nothing to say in regards to my outright confrontation of the fact I am already in competition with a couple ghosts.

So I unfriended him on Facebook and am now analyzing why this is my pattern and hoping this pattern is now broken. I have faced it head on after recognizing it and have taken the healthy approach which keeps me from being a doormat and/or excusing behavior that leaves me as an option. I mean, if someone treats you like an option and can’t make up their mind, help them make their choice by removing yourself from the equation. It really IS that simple.

Aaaaaaaand now I’m giggling stupidly because the last two I mentioned weren’t even intended to be found or put into the place where I even give a flying rat’s ass. Yet, here I am. Because the Universe has absolutely no qualms with teaching you lessons that you really have no interest in learning.

And people wonder why I don’t want anything to do with relationships at this point.

A Journey of Self

I’ve taken note over the years of how suddenly the path diverges and opens up to new destinies. Not just for myself, but in general. As children, we fight it. It’s not fair! This isn’t what I wanted! I’m not supposed to be going through this! As we mature and find that hindsight is twenty-twenty, divergence is met with more ease.

I’ve yet again found myself on a forked path. I had decisions to make to determine exactly which path I would follow, and I did just that. I made choices that were both easy in knowing I should take those deviant courses and difficult because simply being the right actions to take doesn’t mean we don’t scrape ourselves raw when we choose.

So…raw and opened yet feeling as if I am following the right path for me. That’s where I’m at. Luckily for me, I have traveled enough paths to know the habits I should be following. Oh, and I am definitely following those habits. In the school of life, I am an apt student.

Each night, I take a glass of wine or a hard cider and head upstairs to my bathroom. I light candles and listen to music that helps me ease into a meditative state. I’ve discovered a new gem in my bath/spa arsenal. Oh, Dr. Teal’s…this new bath salt is amazing.

I move seamlessly into my first meditation of the evening. I view everything as a puzzle or process. That’s why you’ll notice lists throughout my blog. I like them. I like lining things up and seeing patterns. So meditation one is simply to continue raising my energies and opening myself to whatever thoughts will continue popping into my head without direct influence. I like feeling myself remain in a hyper state of awareness while my body continues to relax and unwind throughout the remainder of my evening.

By the time all the kids are asleep, and I’m relaxing my body the rest of the way, I’m ready to perform my full meditations. I can meditate for an hour or so, reflect on what I have accomplished thus far, then meditate myself to sleep. By meditating until I sleep, I’ve discovered the fabulosity of lucid dreaming. And I write my dreams down as perfectly and with as much detail as I can remember as soon as I wake up before I can begin forgetting.

Ever go to sleep and find all the answers you were looking for inside your dreams?

The funny thing is, I find a majority of my answers in dreamland. I have a dream dictionary that I look up symbolism with, and my subconscious or spirit guides or Glenda the Good Witch or whatever gives me the answers I seek. I know, I know, I’m such a freaky-deaky little New Age chick. But if it ain’t broke…

Then I go on with my day with a feeling of peace within me. We all have difficulties. We all have self-growth to go through. We all have to make the choice between what is easy and what is right…and generally speaking…what is right is often what we have to fight for the most. I think the older I get, the more I realize that if it doesn’t come with a little exertion on my part, it isn’t truly worth having.

So I’ll gladly accept that I don’t know where this path is taking me, but I know for certain it’s better for me than the pathway I just left behind.

Let Me Tell You A Little Story

Once upon a time, there was a little girl. She was so full of bubbly happiness, imagination, hopes, and dreams. She believed in fairy tales, and somehow, this childish innocence that permeated her being was there well into adulthood.

Her earliest memories were of abuses; some were psychological, and some were physical. All left scars that she continually tried to heal with the promises of “someday” that she fed herself.

But she grew up and found herself unwittingly following patterns that all the statistics say are patterns of abuse. Even though she was reasonably intelligent. And even though she knew what to look for. Somehow, she made poor choices repeatedly and allowed her deep seated habits of only seeing the good in the midst of the bad to flourish to the point she was oblivious of the bad until she was drowning in it.

She met him, and she let him move her a thousand miles away from home and safety and the tribe she had built over the years that would have protected her if she had asked.

Then there were alarms on the doors and control wielded to break her. He even said, “I’ll break you and rebuild you no matter how long it takes.”

No one was there. No one was allowed to become her friend. She was stuck in the shadows for years before he had a “manic psychotic break” and left the doors unlocked so she could run within a matter of minutes.

And she rebuilt her life from the ground up and vowed that the first sign of causing pain meant she would cut that person out of her life immediately without another chance to hurt her again…no matter how slight the pain or how unwittingly and innocently it was inflicted.

I’ve been accused of being too callous and too hard. I’ve been accused of having commitment issues and doing whatever it takes to sabotage relationships before they even begin. But the only people who say those things haven’t had the misfortune to know the keen sting of being abused in an unrelenting cycle. I have that knowledge, but until my marriage, I was unaware of how much abuse I had taken over the years that even qualified as abuse. There’s a hell of a lot out there, and it isn’t just smacking and beating, rest assured.

This last time, though, really caused me to become hyper aware of my own emotions and scared of ever feeling like I once did. When I got away, all the little things became the big things to me because I was denied them once upon a time.

We moved here from a thousand miles away, and the abuses started immediately. I was denied my license. He wouldn’t take me to get it once we moved here stating I needed to ride in the back with the baby anyway so I could keep her happy. Yes, that’s right, I was no longer allowed to ride in the front, I had to keep my daughter quiet at all times or I was failing. A crying baby meant I was failing. It might seem minor, but can you comprehend the stress and anxiety that arises when you know you will be severely condemned the moment your newborn cries and you must ensure that this infant never does anything beyond eats, sleeps, and coos happily? Even your rest becomes nonexistent overnight because you must hear her first fusses before he does, so you are always in a constant state of alertness…even when you are supposed to be resetting.

I married him not because I was deeply in love, but because I already had three children from my first marriage, and two of those lovely children were autistic. No one would play with my oldest. He never had any friends until we moved up here. But when we began dating, he organized football games in my yard and got the neighborhood kids to play with my son, and he went to the parents of more than one brat out there ridiculing my child which meant to me that I had found someone who could offer my kids what I was incapable of giving them. A whole family with a doting father…

Until we got here, and he installed alarms on the doors and kept them all sequestered to their rooms. They were dangerous suddenly…and he had to protect our daughter from the monsters I had birthed.

He would go shopping three times a day and pick fights beforehand. He refused to keep food in the house, and the meals he served were barely sufficient enough for one. His fighting with me ensured he got to demean me. I had to agree to whatever stupid thing he wanted…three times a day…before he would feed us something. I bowed down repeatedly to whatever he wished just so I could get some food into my kids’ bellies.

Then there was that mother’s day. I had talked him into letting me have a job at the golf resort we lived next to. I was working a brunch. I had been kept up all night during one of his ravings, and I finally told him as I left to walk to work that he couldn’t hurt me any further. I didn’t care what he did after the things he put me through that night and leading up to it.

So around seven that evening, he sent my oldest daughter into my workplace to let me know he hadn’t fed them. I went outside and discovered he had fed our mutual child but left the others to go hungry because I had said he couldn’t hurt me. He flat out said that was the reason, and he had to prove me wrong.

Now, I got that job in the first place simply because he had control of all the money, and serving meant I could pocket money and save up for our escape again. All of my checks were signed over to the account that had both our names on it but was denied to me in any form of access. No checks. No debit card. No access. It was all his.

I was urinated on. I was raped even though he didn’t seem to notice that was what he was doing. I was degraded and smacked around. I was told I was nothing, and his family would help tear me down and leave me with nothing. In fact, his family knew about his acts and stood behind him on every last action and word. Ultra wealthy people tend to only care about their appearances, not reality.

I was never allowed a cell-phone. I had to make phone calls to my mother under his watchful eye. I couldn’t have friends. I had it reinforced by the police that no one would help me.

My youngest son was five when he played with the baby in the car. And so my ex pulled over and grabbed him around the neck and threatened him over speaking to “his child” because my son was shit and would always be shit and wasn’t good enough to even look at her. One of his rules was to look out the window and not speak when we were in the car. He couldn’t even look forward.

When he brought my son home in tears, I waited until my ex went to the bathroom and used the phone to dial 911. I quickly explained, and the operator told me to dial a nonsense number once I hung up so he wouldn’t know I did it. She said it was no customary to hang up on a call, but she understood my safety issue.

The police arrived and stood outside the door listening to our argument for ten minutes, they said. When they knocked, they issued an “in house arrest” which meant he was “arrested” and released to stay in his own home with those of us he was attacking, and he had a 300 dollar fine to pay. They called him a terrorist. They ridiculed him for the words they heard him saying to us. They photographed my son’s neck. Then they left him there with us. They fucking left him with us!! I thought I would be able to grab bags, jump in the car, and take us all to Florida before he could get bail, but they left him there after pissing him off more. The main officer called me at work every day the following week to beg me to leave him. “How do you expect me to do that? You were supposed to take him away so I could. He knows I can’t take our daughter with him there…he can legally stop me. You told him so. So he won’t go anywhere without her, and she sleeps in his room now with locks on the door so I can’t get in. He even takes her to Wal-Mart at two in the morning now just because he wakes up and wants to go.”

So I never called the police again.

I could keep writing about the hell we lived in, but I don’t want to. Let’s just wrap it up by saying he had what is called a manic psychotic break, and he left my daughter with me long enough to get the hell out after a week of being terrified by some horror movie stuff before he finally left the house all alone. We made a ten minute snatch and dash, and we made it to a shelter, and we started all over even with the interference of his family that tried to lock me back in place. I testified in court a few days after escape to have him locked in a mental ward. They deemed him a danger to himself and to others, but I was still denied a protection order. That doesn’t make a damn lick of sense, but I promise you they make it as hard as possible for women to escape their abusers so many women end up not getting away. You have to be truly determined and truly terrified to actually make it out.

Yet, you keep asking why she stays….why she takes it…

October is domestic violence awareness month. That spurred me into sharing some of my story. Before I met him, I thought I had escaped the cycle of childhood abuse and could craft a life that is all my own. After him, I realized how fucked up it all is…that even when you are cognizant and determined to never lead a life of depression and fear and anger, you end up doing it anyway…like a moth to the flame…it’s all you really know, so how are you supposed to find something else when you can’t even recognize what else there is? I envisioned healthy relationships the way young children envision fairy tales.

But I’m all grown up now, and I know fairy tales aren’t real. No one can save you but yourself. However, that doesn’t mean that things shouldn’t change so it becomes a little less impossible to rescue yourself. Domestic violence is one of those crimes where the victim takes on the responsibility of the transgressor. Somehow you’ve done something to deserve it. And here are the nonsensical laws that will keep you locked in place and cut you off at the knees. And here’s a shelter that will give you thirty days to find another home with no money, no supports, and no resources. After that thirty days, you’ll all be on the streets, but don’t stay where you’re at, and you can’t leave without his permission anyway unless you want to leave your children behind.

It’s madness. Plain and simple…it’s madness. They’re all mad here.

Do Whatcha Gotta Do

Maybe it’s the hormones, or it’s the fact I’ve run a fever for a full week now, or perhaps it’s because I am lethargic and have a constant ringing in my ears and can’t remember the last time I was this sick…but today, I deleted my ex’s name from my phone’s dictionary.

His name popped up as soon as I opened a chat…right there…a recommended word…as if I had used it too much. Often, my autocorrect would change the chosen word I wanted for his name for no reason at all but to screw with me, I think.  And even though I was okay with the fact he threw me to the side again because someone came along, and I only matter when there isn’t someone there who matters more..I would see his name and roll my eyes a little at most. But today, ugh, today…I saw his name, and it pissed me off because my phone is like a Jewish mother telling me I need to go get that last train before it rolls away for good because I’m almost forty.

So I deleted his name from my phone completely like any rational woman would.

In other news, I am super sick and super over it. I missed school the past two days because I am too dizzy to stay upright for long. There’s so much congestion that my ears are completely stuffed, and I can barely swallow because there’s nowhere for the pressure of air to go. I literally gag myself by trying to swallow my own spit. As my kindred spirit Jinx said, “I know you must be dying because you’re an apple polisher. If you miss school, I need to buy a black suit for your upcoming funeral.”

He also told me I’m absolutely gorgeous…even with vomit spewing from my mouth.

That’s why I like him more than you.

I’m gonna go die a petty death now which is what petty girls who very pettily delete their ex’s name from existence do when they get sick. Much love…

Say What???

I was wrong. Oh, so very wrong. I don’t know how I could have possibly been any more wrong than I was.

There I sat beside the Vaping Viking…the guy who I don’t feel connected to and who does not feel connected to me. The Man of White Noise, blocking out the world with me here and there.

“I think it’s time I begin meeting your kids.”

(This is the part where I had a spontaneous asthma attack and blamed it on the weather and this flu bug that has morphed into what I can only presume is one day going to be named “The Death Plague Of Hell”.)

It turns out this is precisely what he thinks a relationship is. I guess there were signs, but honestly, what makes a relationship for me is toooootally different. Such as:

1) I know several of his friends. They recognize me on sight and joke around with me. I just presumed I was entered into his category of “friends” because there is no deeper level to us. We just exist without having to discuss existence. You know? But I suppose that means I have passed the friends test and didn’t even realize he was combining our worlds. Mah bad.

2) He wanted to take me and the kidlettes to the York Fair last month, but I declined simply because I felt like we were either just static together or, at best, tentative friends who sometimes see each other naked. That was his first attempt to start meeting them, and I didn’t want to let that happen.

3) I very seriously don’t want a boyfriend. This isn’t something I’m just saying because I have no suitors or whatever. I, in fact, have a plethora of men still trying to convince me to give them a chance. That’s why the Vaping Viking was my safe haven. He wasn’t trying to get to know me! He wasn’t trying to pin me down! He was comfortable enough without roping me in! Or so I thought. Meh.

4) This whole time, he’s just been a really bad communicator who isn’t on the same level as me intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, or goal-wise. We see the world incredibly differently, and we interact in two separate manners. He thinks this is a relationship. He thinks we’ve been building up to permanence. He thinks we’ve connected. How could he POSSIBLY think we have connected in any way, shape, or form beyond “And now we insert the penis into the vagina or whichever hole we might want to use this evening and do some naughty things to each other before we have pizza and watch TV together.”?

But he does. He thinks we’ve been building up for the past few months. I didn’t think there was any way I was leading him on. I mean, how can we feel so amazingly differently? How can he be satisfied with what this is? I know my standards are high, but c’mon now.

So how do I break this all to him? I went home after my asthma attack subsided and have been sick for the past six days. So, yeah, I’ve avoided him like a mature, responsible, very grown-up adult. Ahem…

I want to be on my own. I am more terrified of dating and what that would cost me than I am of connecting to the wrong person and having to start over. I like who I am all by myself (omgawds, I seriously just started singing that as soon as I typed it…but, you know, only in my head since I sound like a dying drag queen right now). I don’t want a boyfriend. I don’t want expectations. I don’t even really want sex considering I still feel like I’m giving away more of myself than I want whenever my clothes get tossed across the room.

So now I have to have THE TALK (dun dun dunnnn) which makes me highly uncomfortable and will probably end the static I had as a distraction some nights.

But mostly, I have to acknowledge the irony that the ones I want the most find fault in me while the ones I didn’t want to snatch up keep getting tangled in a net I didn’t even mean to cast.

That’s some bullshit, Universe. Cut that shit out.