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.

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.

My Cup Floweth Over…With Awesomeness.

“Hey woman! Why the hell aren’t you over here watching a movie with me?”

“I miss you. Don’t make me bust up in your house like Al Qaeda on a mission.”

“Dude, I just saw two squirrels fucking and IMMEDIATELY thought of you.”

“Ok. Well just tell me what you want pampering wise. Food, booze, whatever you want. Do you want me to make dinner?”

“You’re fucking magical.”

These are text messages received over the past couple of days from my tribe members. Slowly but surely I am reconnecting with everyone. My goal in life for many months has been to spend as much time with people that make me happy doing things that feed my soul. So far, so good.

Last night I went to see Jinx in my pajamas. I just didn’t feel like putting on pants. He fed me pizza, watched a couple spooky episodes of American Horror Story with me, and we discussed broad topics ranging from the roots of paganism to the crack-cocaine-like properties of Utz Smokin’ Sweet chips that I inadvertently got him addicted to. Then we raided his loot crate and he gave me some things he’s had put aside for me.

When he went to put my awesome new bobble in my car, he said, “Holy shit, you’re so small. You’re like a Shetland Human!” because getting into my driver’s seat was a task.

Swoon!!!! Isn’t it adorbs???

Then he gave me a couple shirts of his that he thought I would dig because Invader Zim, that’s why.

TACOS!
Doooooooom!!!

I, in return, brought a case of Angry Orchard, snacks, and my sparkling company.

We laughed, and we laughed, and then we laughed some more. And it feels so good being able to just chillax with those that get me and cherish their time with me and vice versa. There’s been that settling after a shift where my thoughts reorganize themselves and I reevaluate what matters to me and go after it. Right now, life is amazing. Last week sucked, though…you know…fever and delusions and vomiting and other disgusting stuff. But now it’s all gravy.

I’ve been filling up my dance card again. Even though I am in a transitional period once more, I feel as if so much weight has been removed from my shoulders. My company has closed, so I’m technically jobless right now, but I have several job offers to pick and choose from. I am continually working on homework and studying, but that ensures I am a straight A student. Nothing less will suffice. My kids are driving me insane with all their activities and trying to figure out how to accomplish everything as a single, solitary human void of self-cloning technology, but they’re well rounded, social, dream-chasing humans on a mission. I am surrounded with people who show me that they care and make it feel safe for me to care for them just as much. Honestly, there’s a lot to be said for having just one person give you the security you need to be vulnerable and open, but when you have multiple people filling that role, then you have indubitably struck gold, son.

Life is so amazingly good. I am a happy little Squirrel.

A Week In My Life… The Cliff’s Notes Version.

Sick. So sick. Then better. Then significantly worse. Almost died. Possible exaggeration. Slightly.

Was supposed to catch up on missed homework, but he fed me burritos and watched Halloween movies with me instead.

Decided the next day we would do that homework I need to work on. Instead, we went to see Pan (Loved it so very much), then we got Chinese food, discussed zombies, watched Hocus Pocus, and discussed the laws of attraction.

I still have not caught up on my homework.

Worked the last wedding I will ever work. My company is closed. I suppose I now have time for my homework.

Read my horoscope. Didn’t like it. Checked twenty-three more horoscope sites until I found the one I could jive with.

I ate pie. Lots of pie. Then I felt guilty, so I did five sit-ups and said screw it before I got to six.

I painted my toenails pink then doused them in glitter.

Discovered glittery toes are incredibly uncomfortable in socks.

Removed nailpolish. Now have naked toes. Meh.

Got drunk on Moscato. Not my fault the stuff tastes like kool-aid.

Texted The Vaping Viking to arrange to see him tomorrow. So…you know.. THE TALK. I hate THE TALK, but I hate the thought of leading someone on even more. And, you know, being a gaping vagina who ghosts or acts like a chicken instead of a decent human that lets someone know they’re not on the same page emotionally is kind of a sucky thing, too, so I’ll avoid that.

I cuddled my kids. I washed some laundry. I did the Thriller Dance in the living room with the curtains open because I do what I want.

And I owned it. You know, the Awesomeness. I owned the shiznit out of it. Just because I can.

Might seem like boring nothingness, however, it’s that boring nothingness that makes us who we are and the life we are leading. It all passes so quickly…gotta do whatever it is that makes your heart happy before that heart stops beating forever…even if it’s nothing of great consequence. It’s all an adventure if you think of it that way, after all.

That Pooh Bear…smart little bugger…

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.