They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results – I think I might be insane a little.
So I bought this big boat almost 3 years ago. I moved to a place on the water so I could use my boat any time I wanted to. It was supposed to be my time to sow some oats and push my limits. Do things I normally would have never done. Be single. Have fun. Party. Meet people. The boat was my way of breaking the ice since I am painfully shy at times. The boat was delivered about 2 months after I moved into the new place. Just before it came, I met a man out on the water that seemed fun to me. We exchanged contact info and within a day he contacted me and wanted me to meet him for breakfast. Within the first week or so we met and there was definitely a connection between us. He lived close to me. He’d lived there for many years. Had his own company and also had a good union job. I explained to him that I moved there to be close to my boat and to meet new people. He offered to introduce me to a lot of his friends there who also had boats like mine. Even went as far as to say he’d help me hook up with a rich single man if that’s what I wanted. It wasn’t. I just wanted to find a friend. Nothing complicated. Within a few weeks of meeting him my boat showed up. Ironically, the man I met had a truck that matched my boats paint job perfectly. It was fun since this whole boating thing was all new to me. Everything was so exciting about it. I definitely stood out in the crowd and heads turned every where I’d go.
I’d take the boat out every day. No matter what the weather was like. No matter what time it was. No matter if I was going alone or not. I’d go out every day. My house was about a 20 minute ride at 5 mph from fast water. Which meant I’d pass the majority of the houses in the community on my way out everytime. It’s loud. And some might say a bit obnoxious. People would come out onto their back decks to wave or peek at me as I passed them. Some times I’d be all alone and others I’d have people with me. I didn’t care. I just wanted to use the boat and that’s all that mattered to me. Well, this new man I met was one of my biggest fans. He pursued me hard. Showering me with gifts, nights out on the town, he showed me how to navigate the delta and where to go for fun. I was like a sponge, soaking it all up with a great big smile. All quite innocent in my mind. He understood that I wasn’t interested in getting myself into a relationship. At least at the very start he did.
He & I started spending every day together. One evening, he invited me to have dinner with him and we got a chance to actually talk more deeply. I thought he was cute. He certainly made me feel like I was pretty unique and special. I liked him. Especially because he seemed to understand what I was doing. Just trying to live my life to it’s fullest. Being free to do what I want when I want in a new place far from the place I called home my whole life up until I moved there. I got curious about him and wanted to know his story. That’s when I found out he had a girlfriend living with him…and they had been together for 14 or 15 years. He assured me though, that it wasn’t a happy relationship. That they slept in separate rooms and they hadn’t had sex for a couple of years. He added that they were trying to split up and go separate ways but that it was going to be a long process. In my mind, he was off limits. It all sounded like bad news to me and because he wasn’t upfront about her in the beginning, even referred to her as his roommate, I felt I needed to be cautious. I told myself to just be positive and keep on my path towards the goals I set for myself and to enjoy his company casually and not get too involved. Easier said than done.
This man went out of his way to reassure me that his relationship with her was really indeed over. So, I figured since my intentions were only to make friends, that it would be okay. Well, if you’ve ever been boating, and you’re a single woman as the captain of the boat, with nothing but time on your hands, you’d know that this will end up with someone or many someones being naked and drunk in that boat with a man or men or women at some point. One thing leads to another when you’re drinking and floating and you will likely end up with someone in your bed. He would not relent. Everyday he’d call. Everyday he’d invite me somewhere new. Everyday he’d make an effort to see me. It all just feel into place. I felt safe in what I was doing. He had a girlfriend at home. I didn’t feel like I needed to worry too much about him becoming too close to me. So I let my guard down. We ended up fooling around and things got intense fast. He would find a way every day to see me. But he always ended up going home every night. I liked that I didn’t have to answer to anyone. I liked being able to still do what I wanted when I wanted. Looking back now, I can clearly see his urgency in the way he interacted with me. He always rushed me around. I just thought he was hyperactive and really excited about being in my life during such a fun carefree time. Until one day he came to me and said that he wanted to get more serious with me. In my mind, I’m thinking about his girlfriend at home. I’m not normally the type of woman to ever get involved with a guy with a lady at home. But since I really didn’t want anything serious, I felt it was safe to carry on with him. Afterall, I wasn’t the one that had to answer to anyone for my actions, I was single and able to do whatever I wanted. I let him know that I wouldn’t be getting too serious with him since he was already involved with her. So I saw other men. Many of them. Young ones. Rich ones. Successful handsome men and a lot of them. How could I not? They were openly trying to get my attention all the time. Sending me gifts and flowers. Inviting me to fancy dinners and genuinely interested in finding out what I was all about.
It didn’t take long before I started seeing some red flags. My gut told me that he was becoming too possessive of me. He didn’t like if I would have friends over…and when I say friends I mean men. Not women. I refer to them as friends if I don’t have sex with them. They all start off as friends until something more develops. If we have sex once or twice and never again, they remain a friend. This guy became a regular fuck buddy for lack of a better term. We’d spend the majority of our time together out on the boat during the daytime hours, most nights he would go home. There were a few times he’d actually stay all night with me. We’d end up somewhere far from home, sleeping in the boat. He was always giving me the impression that everything was fine. Until I started noticing little lies here and there. He was very secretive about his facebook posts. I’d post a picture of us having fun together and tag him in it. The comments came mainly from my friends and not his which made me wonder. Did she even know about me? I caught him post something on his page one night when we were planning to spend the night together that really opened my eyes to what might really be going on. He posted that he was at some bar far away from where we actually were. I asked him about it and he said that he had told her he was going on a ride with a bunch of his married male friends near up where this bar was so that he could go. He said he didn’t want to rub it in her face that he was actually with another woman. When I asked him if she knew that I was in the picture he said that she knows it is over between the two of them and that she brings men home all the time and he is ok with it. But he never really answered my question. He just tried to throw me off. I took it for what it was and kept the information in the back of my mind. He’s a liar. His body language screamed it. And the blatant lie to throw her off so he could be with me and avoid having her find out made me automatically shut off any real feelings for him that might happen. Even when I questioned him about it, he made light of it and that sat with me wrong.
Yes, I should have let him go at this point but in my mind I figured there couldn’t be much harm in allowing this guy to continue to dote on me and wine & dine me. I figured he’d eventually go away and I just kept doing my thing. Seeing other people. Playing on the boat. Figuring out who I am and hopefully finding out what I want to do with my life.
He never let’s up. He hounds me daily about where I go & what I do. I feel like a little kid again, having to answer to him about who I talk to and what I’m doing. He is pushing me to be committed to him. Causing huge angry fights over it. My escape was the fact that she was still living in his house and sleeping in his bed every night with him. I felt I had every right to do whatever I wanted with who ever I wanted to do it with. He would try every angle to disprove my argument. He’d swear up & down they slept in separate rooms and never had sex. He’d say they’d barely even speak to each other and that she was even seeing other men. Slowly the lies changed. Things would slip out about conversations he had with her about their apparent separation. I didn’t believe a word that ever came out of his mouth. I mean, I did believe that he was head over heels for me. I was having the time of my life. Or at least trying to. He seemed to always get in my way. If I wasn’t with him, he would make things miserable for me…blowing up my phone…driving by my house…constantly and all night long. The conversation that changed it all was when he called me to tell me that he had finally told his girlfriend that he met someone else and that she needed to move out. His story to me was that she had already started the process of buying a house out of state and that she would be gone by the end of the year. My stomach dropped. I still feel ill thinking of that conversation now. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. My first thought was “oh my god now I’m really stuck with this guy” and “that poor lady”. He was crying. Needing so much attention. Now he’s really going to push me to be in a committed relationship with him. I liked the fun we had together but I didn’t want to give up what my plans were. He wasn’t having it.
I tried. I tried to talk myself into this idea of being with this guy exclusively. He could pretend pretty well most of the time that he was exactly the person he thought would be perfect for me. And on drunken nights, he was perfect. I slowly got sucked in. Deeper and deeper. And when I actually sobered up and realized my lifestyle was changing and I was no longer able to freely do whatever I wanted I would get mad. Mad as fuck. At myself mainly, and at him for being so insecure and desperate that he had to trick me into this relationship thing. He literally bribed me. And threatened me and my reputation. If I didn’t want to be with him, he would tell everyone what a whore I was and tell them all sorts of lies mixed with facts. And so it went. I’d be forced in to this relationship with promises of gifts and vacations and parties and grand displays of his love for me just to find out the gifts were only intended for luring me to stay around and behave the way he wanted me to behave. Those gifts would be the first thing he would steal back and destroy if I ever talked to or saw any other man. He would stalk me. All the time. Accuse me of things that I wasn’t even doing. All the time. Nothing he ever gave me survived more than a month. I mean hundreds of dollars were wasted by his anger and immaturity over me not doing what he wanted. Once I realized that the material things he was giving me really meant nothing to him at all, I lost more respect for him.
At Christmas time, she moved out. He actually came to me and let me know that he was going to be helping her take the last load of her things to her new place in the motorhome they own together. He said it would take a couple of days to drive there and a couple more for him to drive back. Despite all I’d already seen, I was willing to give this relationship thing a try with him. He painted a very beautiful picture in my mind about how it would be. He told me he’d be back home by Christmas and I was being mature and gave him the space & time he needed to wrap up this relationship with her. I was hopeful. And accepting what was to come when he got back. Christmas eve, Christmas day, came & went. I never heard from him. I called and texted and cried. I didn’t know what happened. All sorts of things went through my head. I’d caught him in countless lies and I realized that this was just another one to add to the pile. So I slept with someone else. And when he got back, I lied about it. He never apologized for disappearing on me when I expected him back for Christmas. He never came back until New Years Eve. Things just got worse.
He destroyed my reputation. All the people I’d met, that he had any connection turned against me because of him. He’d talk about my private information with a bar full of people and make parts of it up to make it even worse than what it was. Just so no one would ever want to have anything to do with me ever again. I’ve literally been yelled at, by the bartenders, for going to one of the bars he goes to all because of the lies he’s told to people about me. Things I said to him in private, that never should have left the room we were in, he shared with everyone and anyone who’d listen, embellishing what I said with ugly, cruel lies.
So, let’s skip forward to how I am where I am now, today. He was in the bar talking shit about me to everyone and a friend of his overheard him. This friend of his got a hold of me on facebook. He told me what he was saying about me to everyone in the bar and added that if I ever wanted to piss him off to get a hold of him and he’d be happy to come help make this guy mad (assuming he’d then finally leave me alone). Once I found out what he was still doing to hurt me and my reputation, I took his friend up on the offer and invited him over. It was slightly awkward since I didn’t really know his friend. He stayed all night and we talked about what was happening to me and I felt as if I was getting a bit of revenge for what he’d been doing to me. Talking bad about me was just the tip of the iceberg. He’d create situations where if I didn’t come over to spend time with him, he’d just disappear and I wouldn’t know where he went. Isolating me because no one is calling me anymore to hang out with me since he turned everyone against me. I’d be all alone. I was afraid to do anything at all for fear that it would come back around against me. But this friend of his was there for me now. Any time he’d pull his bullshit, his friend and I spent time together. His friend listened, and cared and went out of his way to make me laugh again. At one point when the two of them were still talking, he propositioned his friend to “try to get at me just to see how far I’d let it go with him”. He told me this and it was clearly my invitation to rid myself of any guilt I’d had for sleeping with him out of spite. It also just pushed me even closer to his friend. It wasn’t long before he found out about his friend and me. Then the rumors spread about his friend and I and all hell broke loose. Now he had two people to talk shit about everywhere he went. And that’s exactly what he did.
Now, a year after I met his friend, he still tries to lure me back in with promises of gifts and trips and financial security and undying love. I am just now really realizing what happened. I’m angry, really fucking angry…mostly at myself for continuing to try to work things out with him when deep down inside I can never trust him or respect him after seeing all that I’ve seen. Had I been stronger and trusted my gut enough to cut him loose from the beginning, I can only imagine where I’d be today. I guess you aren’t supposed to mourn what could have been. You’re supposed to appreciate what is. I appreciate the people in my life who didn’t give up on me and I also appreciate the people that did. This whole situation taught me that I need to come first always. I let a weak person into my life and I sacrificed my own life and everything in it to prove to this guy that I was not the person he made me out to be in the eyes of so many people…people I don’t even care about whatsoever. People that meant everything to him. My life will never be the same again. Which isn’t a bad thing at all. I made some of the most difficult changes in my life in the past year that I never thought I could ever do on my own. But his friend helped me through every hard step I had to take to be where I am today. I’m still not to where I want to be. I have a lot of work to do but the biggest obstacle has been dealing with my own insecurities and trying to stop replaying all the hurtful things that have happened to me. I know it’s not healthy to blame others for things they’ve done that hurt me. I know this. But how do you learn to accept it and move on when it just consumes every thought still? I find myself still wanting an apology or even an acknowledgment that whatever it was was wrong and shouldn’t have happened? I always try to learn from my mistakes and make amends to people I’ve hurt. I follow through with changing my behavior so whatever it was that I did wrong never happens again. I was never a cheater or a liar but I feel like that guy spun me into an angry vengeful bitch because he lied and cheated and deceived me in every way possible because I didn’t want what he wanted and he wasn’t about to ever let me be happy again without him being the one that was a part of it. I feel like a fool for allowing it to continue for so long. It makes me question what it is about me that let it happen the way it did. I have unresolved abandonment issues that likely go back to when I was an infant. I have social anxieties that make it hard to be in public without having a ice breaker with me of some sort. I tend to always draw a lot of attention everywhere I go, especially in the boat and I feel more at ease if the person I am with is comfortable anywhere they go. It makes me feel kinda normal and not so up tight. I think I get myself into trouble if I choose the wrong person to go places with. He seemed fun to me and I had some of the best times of my life out & about with him when things were good. But it’s never good anymore like that. The hurtful things he’s said about his friend, the one that has stuck by my side since we met, have caused me to push him away unfairly because he’d make me feel so low for liking him. Devaluing him in any way possible. I start to believe the cruel rude things he’d tell me and I’d push his friend right out. I think he see’s the game more clearly than I do. Or did. I’m seeing it now. It’s not about me. He’s got issues that he can’t seem to straighten out and used me as a crutch or the rebound girl or whatever. He won’t ever look in the mirror and come to the reality that his actions have damaged my life. And no amount of apologizing for my part in it or anything I can do to change myself will ever be enough to free myself from the torture that he puts me through because it isn’t me that is wrong or bad. It’s him. I can only do what I can to make my life happy. I know I’ll never be happy if I depend on someone else for it. Forcing yourself on someone because you think it will be better that way is wrong. I’m alone now, for the most part. I have had to isolate myself because of all that I deal with. His friend is really the only person I see regularly now. And I still teeter back & forth with that decision. I know I really just need to be alone. The one thing that scares me more than being in a crowded room full of people that may or may not know me. Strangers, peers. Whomever. Is being really alone. I fight it a lot. I think it’s mostly in my head. I just need to learn to let it all go and appreciate what is good in my life. I haven’t been able to regroup after every tragedy I’ve been through. It all just feels like it’s piled up inside and it just makes me meaner and meaner.