Monday, August 9, 2010

Women I Used To Know: part 1

This post deserves partial credit to my girlfriend, who actually requested I write it. But mostly the credit goes out to my own crazy life, for being so damn silly.

Anyways, here goes...

I "met" Lois after she stalked me from a blog I had been kicked-out of. At the time I was still recovering from previous relationship (of sorts) and particularly vulnerable to healthy doses of flattery.

She flattered me quite a lot I remember. She was also married.

Yes! I know! Me, as the other guy. But remember: this is the internet, so it could only go so far as an emotional affair.

We traded letters infrequently until one day she asked for my phone number so we could talk in real time. I acquiesced, and soon enough she was calling me every day. Simultaneously, Lois was going through a(nother) rough patch in her marriage, while trying to raise two very difficult boys.

As for myself, I was merely trying not to go broke in the expensive cityscape of San Francisco as I traversed the summer of '09 with impunity. I acted like the days were limitless, and I could just live on vacation forever. Sleeping in till two o'clock in the afternoon and staying up till five in the morning, my life was on cruise-control as I wrote randomly, ate excessively, and generally did fuck-all every day.

But at the same time, here was this person literally throwing herself at me -- and married to boot -- and I couldn't help but get sucked in. Our whole interaction was strange from the start. She was constantly attempting to baby me like her children while at the same time treating me like an Adonis-type boy-toy. I'd never been so objectified.

She confessed all of her problems to me but refused to do anything about them. Her husband was emotionally, and sometimes physically abusive. Her kids were little terrors that told her they hated her and wrecked everything in their house to the point that she couldn't control them. She drank hard alcohol in vast quantities mixed with various prescription drugs -- of various qualities -- that served to insulate her from the hellhole she felt her life had become. The perfect cougar stereotype, only instead of a white woman from Newport Beach, Lois was a black woman from Atlanta.

Eventually, her husband found some of the letters she had written to me via email, and went berserk. She called me while locked in the bathroom with her youngest son narrating what was happening like there was something I could do.

I told her to leave her husband. She decided to stay with him.

At that point I realized this entire thing was not just immoral, but becoming fucking ridiculous. I started pulling away, and that's when her desperation started... She sent me inappropriate text-messages, nude photos, and even a scented pair of her underwear! This was someone's mother, and some guy's wife, and here she was trying to vicariously escape from her life by somehow holding onto my interest with a kung-fu grip.

Honestly, I was disgusted. At her. At myself. At everything about it. To this day I still feel conflicted. Why did I get involved? Mostly because I was desperate. I was lonely. I was tired and just wanted someone to build me up again. But I never realized that an emotional affair is still cheating. I helped someone to violate the sanctity of their marriage, and for that I was a piece of shit.

My family, my friends, and even random people helped me to realize this. They talked to me, gave me advice, and told me what I was doing, and what it meant. I began to look through all of her attempts at ingratiating herself into my life, at the flattery, at the indulgences over my every opinion or thought. I saw through until I saw that I was being used. And it pissed me off.

However, I have since let that anger go. It's hard to feel betrayed when you helped someone to betray a complete stranger -- even if he was (apparently) a horrible man.

Now I see that the entire thing was just a bad idea. If I could go back I wouldn't have gotten involved. But at the same time, what I've learned can't be taken away from me now without changing who I am. I've learned the hard lessons of how people can use you, and consequently use you up, all because their life has gone to shit. More importantly, I've since learned that just because someone gives in to you, it doesn't mean they really care about you. Only people who truly love you will give you what you want while simultaneously telling you what you need to hear. They'll be honest, instead of blowing sunshine up your ass.

As for Lois, she tried sending me a letter on my birthday past as part of an attempt to reconnect. Her life hadn't improved much in the time since I had last spoken with her (when I asked her to stay out of my life). She's lost all of her hair by overusing relaxers, lost her nice job, and is still stuck in an unhappy marriage with her horrible kids.

I know describing her like this seems harsh, but this woman did use me. She abused my trust, my friendship, and then came back again to insult my current relationship by trying to reinstate herself in my life. I feel a lot of pity for her, yet I'll never forget the feelings of mistreatment that make any compassion difficult to hold, and any sympathy a near impossibility.

In the end there's nothing to say about her other than I'm sorry it happened. But it did. However I've grown past it; gotten over it. And writing partially responsible for that.

Maybe now I can finally stop beating myself over the head about it, huh?


[Author's note: names have been changed in accordance with libel and slander laws.]

2 footnotes:

Natasha W said...

Oh... Oh my goodness.

I'm still stuck on the part of her being married with grown children. That means she was way too old for you. Interesting experience, I must say.

Zek J Evets said...

it was, but also kind of a learning experience too. i plan on doing more posts like this in the future.