I haven’t posted for a while. I’ve been through a lot over the past few months and frankly, I needed a break from things. Lately, I’ve been taking the time to reflect on the ridiculously bad choices I’ve made when it comes to choosing partners in my life. I may have chosen some whoppers, but I’ve come clean and am now enjoying, YES enjoying being single.
After the last horror I dated, I thought I was going to take a nice long break from it all and just relax, enjoy the kids, life etc, but NooOOooo, I had to be taken in by yet another “love interest” (for lack of really what to call these disasters). I take full responsibility because I CHOSE to speak to them, to react to their advance etc. What I have come away from it all with is the notion that I am worthy of being with someone who is my equal, someone who isn’t a “project”, a “broken down emotional wreck in need of a counselor/mother/fixer of things” like I’ve done.
I won’t identify the person in question by posting an actual photo of them, nor their place, however, this is about what their place looked like. A friend would say, “Why on EARTH would you even entertain the thought of being with such a filthy person?” Well, I wouldn’t. However, when you continuously engage in *online relationships*, especially with someone who is far away enough that they can deceive you, they can show you just enough of their little corner of the world to let you think otherwise.
One of the very first conversations I had with him was discussing my desires in a partner. I expected them to be decently neat (not perfect, I have clutter), high personal hygiene standards, respectably employed etc. The impression I got was that these things were all in place. He told me he had a nice place, shared custody of a child, was very clean and tidy and had a good job. This ruse was in place for a while. Once there was an emotional connection, little bits and pieces of information start drifting my way, setting the stage for red flags all OVER the place.
First, I found out his hygiene was seriously lacking. I was told about less than once a month cleaning of sheets and other linens (ewwww) and several days in a row, he would appear in the same clothing. As time progressed, I saw a huge collection of junk that never moved if the camera was tilted or moved from his “preferred position”. Originally, I was told about his love of exercise and walking and wanting to eat well. When I brought up later how much I loved to hike, bike, walk etc, the notion was changed to, “I only walk because I have to since I have no license or vehicle.” *screeching halt* Wait, what? You don’t have a license? Okkkaayy.
Then, came the money issues. One time, he had to pawn an item that didn’t belong to him to buy food. He ordered an item and two came by accident. He kept it, thinking he’d gotten away with it and then when he ran out of money (“sometimes my account is down to a dollar before I get paid!”), there was no savings, extraordinarily bad credit, so he pawned the second item to buy food for him and his child. Who does this? Who lives like this?
Eventually, he tired of sitting in the same place talking on the video program, so he moved the camera to the living area and that’s where the I got the shock of my life. Not only was he just unhealthy, he was morbidly obese (over 320 lbs at least). I had to wonder as he was always very cautious about how he moved about and came in and out of the camera view. Also, nine out of every ten meals he spoke about were terribly fattening, for example dollar store junk meals (pastries, lard filled pot pies, enough carbs to kill a horse). Now see, I’m not skinny or thin either, but I am well on my way to better health. I sacrifice quantity for quality and spend a lot of time working on healthy meals and incorporating exercise into my life. This was different. Think, difficulty trying to even sit up before standing up. That’s absurd and not what I want at all. I’m way too healthy and active to seek a partner like that. (I won’t even get into the issues I was informed about in the area of intimacy that were alarming AND depression diagnosed twice but he wasn’t “interested in treating it”). If he had been open and honest in the beginning, we wouldn’t have connected much further to be honest.
(I don’t want people to start thinking I’m fat shaming this guy. I’m not. I was morbidly obese once but to have NO desire to change at all? No, that was never me. I wanted to be with someone at LEAST with a strong desire to get healthy. He had NONE.)
On top of this, he had a very bad temper and began lashing out at me in small ways at first, like a “huffy sigh” and then it progressed to more frustration with a raised voice. I put the brakes on that right then and there and said stop or I’m gone. It did, for a while. Anyway, I was already getting sick of it all. Then, I found out that he didn’t get along with his mother, his sister or the mother of his child. He fought with everyone constantly. Then, he got FIRED because he couldn’t get along with anyone there. I knew before some of this that I was going to end it, but the weak, formally abused *me* was back in that rut of “trying to fix him, trying to make it right, trying to….etc”. Thankfully, I snapped out of it and dumped him right back into the mess he lived in and halted a visit he wanted to make to come see me. HELL no!
When I look back on the months wasted, I have to just think to myself, at least this time you saw the red flags, paid attention to them and ended things completely; no turning back. No back and forth or trying to fix it etc. I told him in no uncertain terms that he was no longer welcome to visit me and I severed ALL ties. I blocked him on the platforms I had connections with him on and deleted any and all conversations. It was cathartic and an INSTANT relief. That’s when I knew I’d made the right decision.
Still, he’d tried to keep in contact with one of my older children and made up elaborate stories about still coming here using all his savings and making up fake posts about counting down the days and how happy and excited he was. He never did of course. The final attempt, after trying to contact me on all those platforms, (I found a few attempts at messages that showed up before I could block) was a rambling, strange letter about how he was “raiding his savings” and coming here to realize his dream of being here etc. Those lies and silly statements didn’t mean anything to me, BUT he did say that he “was happy the way he was and had NO intention of changing.” This spoke to me like nothing ever has before. You know all those memes that float about that mention not being able to change someone? That was what I was doing all this while with him and the others. Trying to make them change and conform to my expectations. I don’t think expecting someone (at my age) to be settled in a reasonable job, decent transportation, adequate accommodations, not physically perfect but a desire to change/improve oneself and to not be living by pawning stolen goods for food is too much to ask of a potential partner!
Thankfully, I’m settled back into a realistic existence where I’m content and happy. When you are a recovering victim of abuse, it doesn’t matter if it’s been 6 months or 6 years, you have a long road ahead to see the value in yourself AND to become happy with yourself first. I spend far too little time working on ME and too much worrying about everyone else. I don’t need to look for someone around every corner, nor do I need to pursue someone who shows an interest. This is my world, my life and I make the decisions. It’s a small step in the right direction, but for now, I don’t want to turn off this new road I’m driving.