We’ve all experienced the intrinsic emotion we refer to as instinct. It’s called many things: Gut, voice in your head, that feeling that something is out of place. There are also many emotions that we might already be experiencing that can mask and betray our instinct, allowing us to forge ahead, thinking nothing is wrong.
I experienced both of these things and luckily, my family escaped. I hesitate to call him a “man” because I think that title is earned, just like “father”. I was swept up in a gross miscalculation of feelings, a storm of emotion that I recognized as a strong, calming force rather than the impending calamity it became.
In the beginning of new relationships, it’s so very simple to overlook issues that we would normally recoil from. The sloppiness, the laziness, easy to brush off as “things that can be fixed later”. Then, stronger forces come into play, like learning that this person is actually more than just lazy. They are dirty, not hygienic in the least and one of the greatest liars of all time (he’d make a great politician!).
Embarrassing enough to even admit that someone like myself would even “take up” with someone like this is a harsh lesson I am coming to terms with. There were red flags that I blatantly missed, opting instead for a hopeful outcome. When I say red flags, I mean shocking, earth shattering ones, like traveling to his home state and finding out his family were revolting, disgusting hoarders, worthy of a television spot, or at the very least, long-term intense psychotherapy. As an intensely clean and hygienic person, I was thrown into a world I wanted no part of.
Doing my best to “separate the wheat from the chaff”, I decided to forge on, believing that we are all not products of our environment and that many of us go on to do great things and overcome overwhelming odds. Oh how wrong I was. Within a very short period of time allowing this person to share my home, I found myself with a tempest in a teapot. Not only was this person beyond filthy in many ways, it actually started affecting my health, my home and my children.
I knew early on that I wanted this person out of my home and my life, but that proves difficult when they have come from very far away. If they were local, it would be as easy as saying, “Be gone!” This was not the case for me. Without my permission or consent, the parents decided to make a journey here, WITHOUT ASKING if they could stay in my home. Well, imagine allowing two more smelly, gross people to stay in your home! It was supposed to be “just for a night”, but it wound up being days of cooking, cleaning and a LOT of Lysol spraying. Yuck! They were rude, demanding house guests and I couldn’t wait until they left and I’m always a gracious and pleasant hostess.
During their stay, I started hearing stories of some VERY strange activities this person had done in their past. Odd connections with inappropriate relationships and things that curled my toes in a not good way. I’d already kicked him out of my room many months ago and was doing my best to get him out of my home. These stories just catapulted the timeline faster.
He had developed an odd, sneaky kind of behavior and I found myself not leaving him alone with my children or with my home in his care as often as possible. I’d informed him that his behavior was repulsive and I wanted him out. Sadly, he had to make long distance arrangements and I would have to wait two weeks (longest two weeks of my life). Not only did the hygiene issue continue; it got worse. It went from clean clothes one or two times a week to not at all. It’s not easy admitting to allowing such a repulsive person into my home, but finally the day came.
Fortunately, I hadn’t been taken too much financially, although there were repercussions. He tried to steal a few things of mine that thankfully were out in the open in boxes. I was able to retrieve them. A small hoard that he created in one of my rooms was a task my son and I were able to get rid of and although I tried, I think I prevented most of the theft.
The best part about all this is that he did finally leave. That day was long, as his mother sat outside in the rental truck and I stayed in here protecting my home and property. It went as smoothly as could be expected under the stressful circumstances. I remember taking a picture of the truck pulling away and the intense relief I felt when all was said and done. I had my house keys (which I changed anyway), removed him from the codes from the house and canceled any and all access to the home security and bank account.
I have learned over and over again about the bad choices I made. It’s been said that love is blind. Well, it can be a pair of blinders that prevent you from seeing the truth in front of your eyes. I don’t know what made me think it was a good choice in the beginning, but I learned too quickly to never allow this situation to occur again. This is my home, my family and while I deserve happiness, it cannot be at the expense of all that I’ve worked for. I’ve been lucky that this person is now thousands of miles away and all of his filth has been scrubbed clean from my home and my mind.
Now I’m finally free and happy to pursue new friendships, I’ve been very cautious and reserved in my connections. I am less trusting now, but also better informed and realistic. I’m sure this type of situation is not the first time someone has been betrayed in this manner, whether it’s finding out someone has cheated, or stole money or lied about a job or any manner of deceit and betrayal. It happens. I stopped beating myself up about my poor choice a while ago, but it’s fair to say that writing about it has been cathartic. I am just grateful that I didn’t waste any more time with someone who could have been a danger to my family and that he’s long gone.