When Men Bring out the Crazy in You

In my last post, I described my addiction to a guy who I dated for over a year, which was finally broken when I found out he had been in a relationship with another girl since before I even met him.

I didn’t describe how I found out or what unfolded afterwards.

I was with him just last week. We went to the gym together (Cassie, that detail is for you), and went back to his house to shower and “hang out.” Well, as we were lying in bed together, a girl’s name popped up on his phone in a text message. Big deal right? That’s what I originally thought. Guys text me. Girls text him. And we aren’t even an official couple, so what’s to even question?

I forgot about it for a few days. Two days later, I couldn’t get her name out of my head. What was it about her name? Why had I even remembered it? Had I seen it appear on his phone previously? And why did he block me from seeing all activity on his Facebook? Should I even care? We’re not even official!

So I typed her name into Facebook and I saw the pictures of them. Of their trip to Chicago (during which he texted me and told me he was visiting friends). Of flowers tagged as him with a one year anniversary caption. And then — her Facebook relationship status. In a relationship. Anniversary date: one year prior to the date of the tagged flowers. Great.

Naturally, my heart started racing, my mouth went dry, and my stomach turned to knots. I texted him, “Are you dating someone named ______?” He replied back: “Who told you that?” I replied, “Facebook.”

The next night I went out. Let’s just say alcohol and rage do not combine well. The floodgates of anger opened up and a sea of ferocious texts came pouring out from my phone to his. I told him I would contact her and tell her everything. That he should be scared. That he screwed up. That he IS screwed up. I think I may have called him a sociopath.

The next day I channeled my anger into pure productivity. I had made it my mission to get in touch with this girl. I literally couldn’t think straight until I contacted her.

No e-mail or phone number on her Facebook. No AIM screen name. I tried Facebook messaging her, but because we weren’t friends and had no mutual friends (I’d unfriended M before I had thought of this) it went to her “Other” messages folder which she’d likely never see. So I tried friending her on Facebook.

A few days had passed and she hadn’t accepted my request. I found her Twitter, but it appeared as though she didn’t use it much. Can you tell the crazy in me was starting to come out a little?

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Ok, maybe not Fatal Attraction crazy. But still.

So, my next option was to find her e-mail address. I knew she had just graduated from a certain school (it said so on her Facebook), so I found the generic template e-mail address for anyone attending the program, and plugged in her name. I wasn’t completely sure it was the right address, or if she even still used it, but figured it was still active since she’d just graduated.

I phrased everything as delicately as possible. I apologized for wasting her time if it reached her and she didn’t care, or if he had warned her about me and she already thought I was crazy. I also apologized if it reached her and she found herself shocked and upset. I ended the e-mail by giving her my number and letting her know she could call me if she wanted to talk or even meet in person.

The next day, I got a phone call. It was her.

During the thirteen minutes in which we spoke, she was in complete shock. She asked questions, and I answered them honestly. I told her that I was as surprised as she was (I was honestly more surprised he had the time to text me 24/7 and see me while maintaining another relationship — all in the same city, no less — than I was surprised he had the capacity to be such an asshole). She was nice, and extremely grateful. She even apologized to me for being mislead.

That night she e-mailed me and all it said was, “You are a wonderful human being. Thank you Thank you Thank you.”

I feel least sorry for me in the situation because I knew who I was dealing with the whole time. I feel more sorry for her, because she was truly cheated on and had her heart broken. But, I feel most sorry for him, because he must not have the ability to feel remorse or guilt or empathy. And that sucks, because he will always be the broken one in the end, whereas his victims will be okay.

It may have taken a year, but my detective skills paid off.

Now the question is: how many more girlfriends do you think he has?

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Posted in angry, cheating, crazy, girl power, relationships | 8 Comments

How to Have a QLC Step 2: Engage in a Toxic Relationship

After reading Jamie’s recent blog post on addictions, she lists many things one can be addicted to: drugs, food, pornography, tanning, gambling, etc.  It got me thinking…can you be addicted to a person?

My mom doesn’t think so. But I do.

Because I believe I was for the past year.

I met him a little over a year ago, and I was immediately overcome by the chemistry I felt. We had an instant connection: similar to the one movies like to portray between two lovers, a connection electric and chemical and ethereal and all things otherwise unexplainable.

He became part of my life. We simply “fit” and it was easy and fun to be together. When, three months into dating, he told me he wasn’t looking for commitment or a girlfriend at the moment, I told myself I was okay with that. I would rather have a tiny piece of him than have none of him at all. Besides, he’d had major trust issues from previous life experiences and was probably just scared – surely I could prove to him I was trustworthy. Maybe he just needed time.

Like any drug addict, I made excuses. And I made a lot of them – mainly to myself, but they were excuses nonetheless.

I felt highs and I felt lows similar to that of an addict. When I was with him I was on cloud nine and when he left or mysteriously disappeared for a weekend, I came crashing down (*cue Katy Perry’s Wide Awake*).

He consumed my thoughts. And like a drug, he consumed me.

Finally I decided one day I’d had enough and I told him I didn’t want to see him anymore. I was sick over the thought of not getting another fix but I had managed to stick with it for a while.

Unfortunately, there aren’t support groups or withdrawal medication for toxic relationships (trust me, I ate my way through way too many Ben & Jerry’s pints before I realized it just wasn’t cutting it). Enter: Relapse Number One.

I was out in Boston with my best friends from high school dancing the night away at a club called “Guilt” (seriously, how fitting a name is that?). In a moment of drunken weakness, I texted him. With his near-immediate response back, I felt that rush of serotonin I had felt with him all those times previously. In a mere moment, with just one hit, I was hooked again.

Back in April, I decided it was time to quit him again. I even started dating someone else and I was beginning to realize how much he was lacking, not only in the way he treated me, but as a person. Things were going well with my new guy and I thought I had shaken him for good.

Well, after a month, my relationship ended with New Guy. The day things ended, I went for a run at the park. The minute I stopped running, I get a text, lo and behold, from my former addiction, who I had deleted from my phone just so I wouldn’t be tempted to contact him. He was at the park too and saw my car. And suddenly, the person I had finally walked away from was walking toward me.

Enter: Relapse Number Two.

We met for a drink that same night and it ended as innocuously as our initial encounter that day. We caught up on life and went our separate ways. But the thing about addictive substances is that in order to really quit them, you have to remove yourself entirely from them. An alcoholic can’t just have one drink. An ex-smoker wouldn’t have a cigarette here and there. And I certainly couldn’t be friends with him.

So our “friendship” lasted several days and after a night out together, I found myself intoxicated on rum and cokes and also intoxicated on him…again. Everything came rushing back and we picked up right where we left off.

This was two weekends ago.

Two days ago, I discovered he has had a girlfriend since December 2011.

Sometimes you have to nearly overdose to realize how evil the substance truly is.

And that’s what it took for me. After a year of bingeing on M, feeling highs, lows, and not much in between, I finally saw the whole picture, the missing puzzle pieces. I won’t crave him anymore because I’m not sure he exists to me anymore — at least not the person I thought had existed previously. It seems more like a dream now than real life, and you can’t re-enter your dreams. They are transient and eventually fade. And so has he.

Posted in relationships, toxic relationships | 5 Comments

The Beginning of my QLC: Breaking Up and Moving Out

Sometimes I feel like your twenties are akin to a trip for which you were prepared your entire life — by teachers, your parents, your professors, counselors, etc. Now that you’re finally embarking upon it, someone has pulled a sick joke and put a permanent blindfold around your eyes such that each consecutive step you take becomes more shaky, unsure, and unsettling than the one before. Suddenly you’re many miles from your starting point, and you can’t help but wonder: where am I, how did I get here, and where am I going?

I moved out exactly two months after graduating college. Due to complicated family dynamics (that is a tactful way of describing my relationship with my mother at the time), I wanted out, and I wanted out fast. So, off I dove into the sea of job sites that awaited my fingertips and, lo and behold, my soon-to-be boss called me for an interview. Two interviews later, the job was mine.

I didn’t know much about Worcester before I got here; ok, scratch that, I didn’t know anything about Worcester before I got here. The job was a good opportunity and I was actually excited about it, almost as much as I was excited about the prospect of moving out and being on my own. The adrenaline that came with the idea of both leaving my house and moving to a new city on my own had masked any kind of fear, nervousness, or timidity that an introvert like myself might typically feel when making a decision like this. All of those emotions, though I didn’t know it then, would come later on.

I was in a serious relationship at the time with my then-boyfriend who I had met in college. We were together for over three years and when I graduated, he wanted me to find work locally and to perhaps move in together. This was a reasonable thought, considering he traveled to visit me every single weekend when I was still away at college (over an hour drive, plus the time it took him to commute on Fridays from his job). My reaction to this proposition — pure terror — was enough to confirm that our relationship was dying.

So I did what any rational person would do and moved 2+ hours away.

I had mourned the death of our relationship before I had moved. That summer I cried more tears than I thought capable of the lacrimal glands of even the most hormonal pregnant woman. But the majority of them fell when my ex and his family had to put his dog to sleep. Let me preface this anecdote by saying: I dislike dogs. I’m sorry, but I’ve never liked dogs — they are needy, they smell, drool, and bark. I am a cat person through-and-through and I’m okay with that. Sorry if you’re not. Anyway…

I did somewhat like my ex’s dog Spencer. He was a Shetland Sheltie and extremely sweet. I suppose my taking to him was also generated in part from the pity I also felt for him — he was old, had endured Lyme disease as a puppy and was left with arthritis so bad he had to be carried around, and could barely see. My ex also loved him to death and, well, I had loved my ex, so there’s that.

He was put to sleep in their backyard. My ex, his parents, brother and I all surrounded him in the grass while it happened. I was kind of weepy all day but at one point, I totally lost it. The family who had known and loved the dog since he was a puppy was holding it together, and me, the cold-hearted dog hater, was uncontrollably sobbing without any semblance of containment. I cried, and cried, and cried some more. I cried when he was taken out to the back of the vet’s truck, and I cried myself to sleep that night.

It was only later on that I realized I wasn’t really crying for the dog but for the death of our relationship that would only be finalized once I moved.

And that’s what the move did for us. It finalized what was already over. And a couple months later in November, we had the “official” phone conversation that ended it, and the tears I cried then were somewhat forced and disingenuous. At first I judged myself for my overall lack of feeling towards the situation, but then I remembered that hot summer day and everything made sense again.

Posted in moving, relationships | 6 Comments