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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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.

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…

Behold, Your Queen of Awkward Moments!

The Vaping Viking ordered me a new box, and as I sat in his shop, who should walk in? None other than the devastatingly boring dude I went on a date with a couple months ago. So I reacted in the obvious way. I burst into laughter at the shock on the boring dude’s face and then began laughing even harder when I saw the confusion on the Vaping Viking’s unshaven mug. The next obvious reaction was to take a picture once they began conducting business.

It wasn’t the best picture of the Vaping Viking, but I had everyone’s full attention after I realized the shutter noise on my camera was on which alerted them all to my picture taking shenanigans. The guy in the Jersey gave me another look then told his father he’d wait in the car for him.

Slightly awkward. Slightly funny. Slightly par for the course on a regular ol’ day in my life.

Then I made plans with Jinx. Here I will highlight the good to come out of my dating adventures online. Jinx, that tatted up nerd, is just one chill dude. We haven’t hung out since going to the movies about a month ago, so we’ve made plans to change that. He makes me laugh, and he proves that not every guy on a dating app is a big, stinky poopie-head. I have faith there are decent men in the world simply because of the ones that are my friends. That’s really the only thing that has kept me from becoming a militant feminazi instead of a non-combative feminist.

See? Just loads of goofiness and giggles.

I’ve been extremely happy with my decision to not date. It feels like this immense pressure has disappeared…poof!!! …and I can focus on the important stuff in life. It’s freeing and removes all the cumbersome trappings from my life. I mean, unless you count bills and the fact someone let my children know I’m supposed to feed them every day.

In other news, I’ve begun my fall term, and I’m relatively certain the world is ending soon. Otherwise, there’s no logical reason to explain why I could possibly be the star pupil in a mathematics classroom. No reason at all. I’m done with cardio, and weight lifting, and watching what I eat. There’s obviously not much time left.

Life continues day after day no matter what breakthroughs and setbacks and accomplishments and boring-boring-boring events take place. It just keeps going, and when you realize that, your stress levels diminish tenfold. I don’t have to worry, the world will keep on spinning. I mean…until the aliens come back. They’re gonna be pissed to see what we’ve become.

Hello, Universe. It’s Me, LeeAnn

I’m of Russian, German, and Slovakian descent. On top of that, I’m an Aries female. What that amounts to is a whole lot of stubbornness and an overabundance of fierceness. I’m a force of nature due to nothing more than my birthright.

But even someone as determined, relentless, and often ornery as myself must recognize that the universe speaks. The life we plan isn’t generally the life we lead. And yet, we somehow end up exactly where we are meant to be even when it’s exactly the opposite of all we’ve tried to attain.

So here I am. Ready to listen and acknowledge.

I’m through with dating. I mean, I suppose if I meet someone inadvertently because we are thrown onto the same course at the precise moment we are meant to encounter each other, sure, I’ll still be listening to the universe then. But for now, the amazing amount of ignorance, disrespect, disgusting propositions, and overall incompatibility ensures I want nothing to do with fishing the deep, blue sea. I am unable to find even one iota of desire to peruse the muck of the underbelly of dating websites any longer. In fact, I am amazingly relieved at my decision to delete all dating apps and be content with where the universe currently has me.

Because, my dears, last night it hit me. It truly hit me. I will not find what I want while turning over every stone I encounter because what I am destined for is in the stars high above. What you find hidden in the underbelly is probably meant to remain in the shadows. And what I seek is the illumination that one rises to…not what one sinks to.

I am a mother. I am a college student once more. I am a friend and confidante. I have a full life that I just keep adding to. And stress from dating sites was retracting from all the good in my life. I can’t take any more of that nonsense. I’m going places, and I’ve no more time to trip or distract myself.

You see, I’m following my bliss. And my bliss is contained within myself and requires no outside interference to exist. It just is. It just exists. It just continues to be.

Unfortunately, POF refuses to let me delete my account.

So, I’ve merely hidden it from being searchable and deleted the app altogether. That’s some sneaky bullshit, by the way. It asks you to “Quit” and “Give up” after encouraging you to watch a video on online dating tips, then it refuses to recognize the password that was just freaking entered to open the app in the first place. Tricky, tricky.

That’s neither here nor there now. I’m walking away from forcing the universe to bend to my will. While that has worked in certain instances, I’m tired. I’m exhausted with always battling and always fighting for what I want and feel I need. I just want to flow on the lazy river of life for a good long while. What is to come my way will arrive here no matter how hard I try to attract it or run from it. Life has certainly taught me that much. Right now, the universe is telling me to give in and breathe…to stay on the course that is right and to let go of what feels wrong and to have faith that it will all work out.

So do your thing, Universe. I’m here, and I’m patiently waiting.

I Can Only Imagine

I really wanted to share something of substance that I’ve been working on, but instead, I decided to share today’s biggest loser. I’m growing less and less convinced that there is anyone of substance remaining in this entire state. Maybe even the entire country…

I left a message for my stockbroker to buy me more shares of Energizer…