I have never been the “passionate writer” type. My twin sister has been the obsessive, mad scientist fictional writer as long as I can remember, even when we were in grade school. It’s always been a now-and-then thing for me, just when the mood struck.
Until recently, that is.
Lately I have been, not just “in the mood”, but compelled to write – to express my thoughts and emotions more so than ever before in my life.
Because of what I’ve gone through the past few months, not to mention the majority of my existence.
I felt an additional swell of inspiration this past Sunday evening when I was flipping through television and I found Cross Creek – the early 1900s tale of a struggling writer who moves to the swampy Florida backwoods and becomes inspired by the sodden landscape and its inhabitants to write what would be her first successful novel. The movie is based on the autobiography of author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.
Now, I have no intention or aspiration of becoming a famous novelist by any means, though I do wish I lived in an enchanting, secluded setting made for beautiful stories to share, like Marjorie Rawlings (ahem, NOT Florida).
I intend for my writing to serve more of a therapeutic purpose. For myself and for anyone who can relate to what I have to say.
To get an idea of who is authoring this blog – I am a newly-32 year old woman that has lived in the same house all of my life, with my mom and my sister. I have never been married and I have no children. I graduated from high school a year early because I was miserable and couldn’t stand to be there anymore. Not because of any issues with other students, I was a loner and really didn’t have any friends. All I did was my schoolwork. I was just very unhappy with my life in general.
Since then, I have worked a handful of odd jobs – from assisting attorneys for a law office, taking seasonal positions at Halloween stores, doing overnight/morning stocking at other retails, and for the past two-and-a-half years I’ve been an informal, part-time housekeeper for a very nice family. I’ve been cleaning at my aunt’s house for almost a year as well. You see, in 2016 I could no longer handle working in the typical/public job world, my anxiety, sadness, and the emptiness I had felt for so long had become too overwhelming. I did not want more misery on top of misery.
I felt so much relief and a boost of positive energy after I made that decision almost three years ago. As hard as I work, I knew I wasn’t made for that kind of working world, because what I’ve really always wanted to do was be a homemaker.
To be more specific, I want to be a homemaker in the country.
For several years I have been longing for a rural life. I’m the kind of person that wants things rustic and more “old world.” I want to be surrounded by nature and away from the ugliness and lack of character of modern day people and modern day architecture. I want to go back in time. I want old Victorians, farmhouses, log cabins, stone cottages, and hillbilly shacks. I could make a home out of any one of those, having my own house and making it look my way has been such a desperate desire for me.
But what I have wanted more than anything else is to be a wife and mother. To have my own family has been my ultimate dream. Sometimes I feel like I’m from a different time period, because I think I subconsciously started to feel this idea of my dream life in my late teens and I became so depressed with my reality. Something felt so wrong. I didn’t want to be where I was, I didn’t want to be in school anymore or have to go into the “workforce.”
I had to get some kind of job of course, and for a long time I worked from home mailing out attorney advertisements. I made very little money, but it was in my comfort zone and didn’t require me to go anywhere – I was barely driving back then because of my anxiety issues, even though I had gotten my license when I was 16.
I eventually emerged from my shell and started getting out more, working in public around people, and going out with friends. But I still remained a naturally-standoffish person in big social gatherings, and I still had that empty feeling that something was missing.
It got to the point where I decided to end most of my friendships because of what was going on amongst the group – it was a bunch of ridiculous, trashy drama that I wanted nothing to do with. It was cheating, lying, keeping secrets, being fake, and just plain shitty behavior. They also became very rude to me, and I just had no trust or respect for them. So that was a bust.
Luckily I am much less inclined than most people to feel the need to have friends, and I’ve always had my twin sister at home. What I lack in human company, I make up in feline with our cats. And being a creative soul, I’ve always tried to occupy myself with my projects, crafts, and hobbies. There’s a reason I want to be a homemaker – not only to take care of my family, but because so many of the things I love revolve around creating a beautiful home and life. Photography, decorating, cooking, baking, homesteading, gardening, and being outside in nature and around plants and animals. I love to look at houses, decor, recipes, clothes, hair, and makeover transformations.
I swear I’m not all feminine – I am into true crime shows and behavioral psychology, scary ghost stories, sea monsters, hiking, exploring, quests and scavenger hunts, to name a few – but I definitely have a passion for aesthetics. I actually wanted to go to a school for makeup artistry years back, it was the only college I was interested in, and they wouldn’t let me enroll because they were too concerned about my financial situation. It was another one of my endeavors that did not work out. It was for the best, since a career like that really does clash with the kind of secluded, rural lifestyle I truly want. I have no ill feelings or depression from that particular rejection.
What is extremely depressing in my life, however, is the emotional trauma I have repeatedly endured from my experiences with men over the years. Until this past March, I didn’t think it could get any worse than what happened in 2017 when I found out the guy I was involved with (someone I had known and talked to off and on long distance for 11 years) was living a double life. He lived in Florida, and after he went back home after visiting me, he stopped talking to me and ignored my messages. I contacted his supposed still-friendly “ex-girlfriend” who he had told me drove him to his airport, and from her I learned that they had never broken up and they’d been together for five years. He had cheated on her with me, and I, unknowingly, was his mistress.
He thought he could get away with it because he told his friends and family that he came here for a “business trip.” I had no idea of the fictitious stories he had fabricated for them.
After my conversations with his girlfriend, it was clear to me that he possessed all the traits of a narcissistic sociopath. A pathological-lying, cheating scumbag that had his girlfriend drive him to the airport to betray her. And I felt so much pain and betrayal as well. I should have suspected it because even before he came to see me, I kept feeling like something wasn’t right, but he assured me things were fine. I should have known that his past patterns of “ghosting” on me were never going to change, and that I had very good reason to be questioning his character.
The positive streak I had developed in the fall of 2016 had been destroyed by that spring in 2017. I thought I would never get out of that emotional hell or be able to trust again. But somehow I pushed on through it.
Fast forward to 2019.
It was earlier this year in January when I was trying to reinstate a positive mindset, and that is when I met the man I came to fully believe I would never be questioning the integrity of.
He really had me convinced he would never lie to me or betray me.
And once again, I had my heart broken.
We met on the “Plenty of Fish” dating app.
(No I don’t just meet guys online, this was only the second one and the first from a dating site.)
I hated dating sites and never liked anyone when I had looked at them on previous occasions. Nobody was the type of man I wanted. I mainly put the “POF” app back on my phone to update my profile and keep it there just in case there was a crazy chance of a miracle. I wasn’t talking to anyone and I really was not expecting to find someone I was actually attracted to.
And then he contacted me.
I was in denial of my attraction to him at first, I wasn’t going to read his message or reply to him. I was ignoring him like everyone else.
After the second day, my heart was literally aching for me to read his messages, and I gave in.
His very first line was “I think I fit your description.”
I am a very blunt and opinionated female, and I made that apparent in my profile and was very upfront about the kind of woman I am, what I’ve gone through, what I want in life, and the kind of man I’m interested in. And that I was looking for a relationship that would lead to marriage. It was all there loud and clear.
He had sent me a second message as well, in which I learned that he was a Marine veteran that trained police K-9s and service dogs, and he lived on a large farm.
I started responding to him and after a little conversation, he said that he really wanted to take me out on a date. I was still very hesitant about it all and whether or not I could trust him, but he thought we should take the chance on us. He gave me his phone number and told me to text him the next day if I did decide I wanted to take that chance.
I texted him the next afternoon and that seemed to make his day from his response. It wasn’t long till text messages turned into phone calls, and then we went on our first date. I didn’t want to leave him that night.
On our second date, he made me hold his hand and I melted when he would squeeze mine. Again I didn’t want to leave or let go.
I was liking him more and more, and he reciprocated that with me by everything he was saying. Besides him thinking that I was “drop dead gorgeous,” he also expressed sincere attraction to my mind and my personality. He loved that I was so different from other people our age and that I was into gardening and country living. We both seemed amazed to find each other, neither of us being married before or having children already, like everyone else. We had just been instantly drawn to each other.
By our third meeting, I was spending the weekend with him on his farm. That is when we officially started dating and he became my boyfriend.
I felt so lucky and grateful to be with him. I wasn’t sure if men like him really existed. The way he came into my life and was surprising the hell out of me and alleviating all my doubts – I couldn’t believe he was mine. He was the rugged, outdoorsy country man I’d been dreaming of. He was everything I wanted. I was so attracted to him and in admiration of the sincerely good-hearted, honorable, and morally-strong character I saw in him. His mission to help other suffering military veterans made me so proud.
I’m not even sure how it came to be, because he never actually asked me, but somehow it was decided we were going to move in together in the very near future. He had told me when we first started texting that he had plans of moving and finding land to build a new house on, and soon after becoming a couple, he made it clear that he wanted it to be my house too. It was very important to him that it felt like it was mine as well as his. At one point he stated that he wanted to build the house more for me than himself because he wanted to make me happy and he thought I deserved it. He was so sweet and considerate of me. He made me feel wanted like I had never felt before.
For a month-and-a-half I drove out to his farm every weekend. On his birthday he told me he was so lucky to have me. He had emphasized how he “REALLY liked me” and in such a way, it was as if he didn’t think I understood the seriousness of his feelings.
And the more he talked about our future together and the more plans he made for us, the more that seriousness became apparent. We wanted to create a family. We both wanted to homeschool our children. I couldn’t wait to live with him and make our dreams a reality.
With his investing in me and his declarations of wanting to share his life with me, I unquestioningly believed this was the man I was going to marry.
On one of our weekends in early March, I cooked an amazing dinner for him, it turned out incredibly well. He loved it and was very appreciative. I had already made a few desserts, but then he really got to see what was in store for him.
At that time I had no idea I would never be cooking for him again.
Because the next weekend after that is when things changed.
I don’t know what happened, but that following weekend he wasn’t the same. He was colder and became distant. He seemed irritated with almost everything and had a bit of an attitude with me at times. I could feel something was off. There was even a little smidgen of resentment – it was subtle, but I felt like he was finding ways to put me down and make me feel stupid and inferior.
He began randomly asking me what my passions, goals, and aspirations were. I didn’t understand why he was asking me these things because he knew what I loved and that I wanted to be a homemaker, he had been just fine with the idea of that arrangement weeks before, and he had even praised “That’s beautiful.”
I half-jokingly asked him if he was having second thoughts about me. He said that he wasn’t, but his behavior was not giving me good vibes.
It was clear he was not in the best mood, and his sudden questioning and judgmental tone made me feel like I was being interrogated. I told him that I just wanted to be happy.
That answer was not good enough, however – he didn’t understand it, and he continued to belittle my perspective. Obviously his happiness required many more conditions than mine and he expected a lot more from life; he wanted more from the world, whereas I wanted my home and family to be my main world. I had made my desires known from the very beginning and he never had a problem before, he seemed quite the opposite in fact. I knew early on by the way he talked that everything having purpose and meaning was very important to him, but why he no longer thought of me as having purpose and meaning, I did not get. I said to him “Maybe I’m right and you’re wrong.”
He eventually dropped the awkward conversation and tried to say more positive things.
Later on he apologized for being grouchy, and I just attributed it to all the stress he was under with everything he was needing to get done and nothing going according to schedule.
Little did I know this was the beginning of the end.
He went from calling me everyday to barely talking at all the next week. He called me once on Monday and after that he did nothing but short text conversations at night. Friday he sent a text in the morning about having to work and then it was silence. He didn’t respond to me later that night, or at all on Saturday. I was getting really worried, but I stayed calm. On Sunday I tried calling twice, four hours apart, and it seemed as though his phone was shut off. I contacted his mom on Facebook to let her know I couldn’t get hold of him and that I was very concerned and I had no idea what was going on. She told me that he was in one of his “mad moods” and she would let him know I was trying to reach him.
I still got nothing.
I knew something was wrong. And I also knew from his own confession in the beginning of the relationship that he’d been suicidal in the past, he had said the only reason he was still alive was because of his service dog.
So that next Monday night I drove out to his farm.
He was surprised, but obviously not enthusiastic to see me. I sat down across from him and solemnly asked what was going on.
He began to explain that he had been seeing all these “red flags” with me, that there were too many issues for us to work as a couple, and that we were too different. He said that we had “nothing in common”, that we had “bad conversations”, that I “couldn’t handle anything”, and that I was a “submissive follower.”
I was in shock.
Not only were all those statements extremely insulting, but they were completely untrue as well. He was creating pure bullshit.
We had a lot in common, and he knew it.
And saying we had bad conversations was very hurtful. Nothing was “bad” until he started acting like a jackass to me that last weekend together.
We had talked about our personal beliefs, how we wanted to live, how we wanted to raise our children. We laughed and had fun with each other. He told me his Marine stories, and all the things he wanted to teach me and train me in, which I was willing to learn.
Where he ever got that I couldn’t handle anything and that I’m a “submissive follower”, I’ll never know, because we were never in a situation for him to make those conclusions. After two dates, we spent practically all our time together around his farm, there was nothing I “couldn’t handle” going on. Not once did I ever have some nervous breakdown in front of him or give any reason for the impression I was stressed by everything.
Implying that I was a weak-minded personality type made me very angry as well. I’m an extremely opinionated person, and I can be quite assertive and aggressive at times, but obviously it depends on the situation. It’s like he was making assumptions (more accurately “flip-flopping his opinions”) about my entire persona based on a one-dimensional environment.
I tried to argue his viewpoints, but I couldn’t think clearly enough to get out everything I wanted to say.
He wouldn’t have any of it anyway, with his stonefaced demeanor and emotional deadness.
The only feeling I really saw was that tinge of attitude and resentment toward me again. It would rise up in him at certain times, and I couldn’t comprehend this suppressed animosity he had for me.
To top it all off, he also claimed that his heart felt nothing for me and that I wouldn’t make him happy.
I sat there trying to process it all, but the disbelief and betrayal were too much for me, I had to get out of there, and I abruptly left.
I drove the hour-and-a-half back home that night on the adrenaline of my shock and racing thoughts.
The days after the breakup were agonizing emotional hell. None of it made any sense, and I was in so much pain and turmoil. I couldn’t believe that this man (who had given me so many indications that his heart knew what it wanted and had actually told me he was happy when I asked him) could say such terrible things to me and let me go as if I meant nothing.
I had never felt so led on in my life.
And it coming from him was more of a betrayal because he presented himself as a human being too honest, too genuine, and too emotionally-intelligent to do something like this to someone. He knew better. Or at least the rational part of him did.
Another development I learned from the breakup was that he has clinical depression. He did not tell me until that night.
Did it play a role in his actions?
Personally, I do believe his mental health issues were the catalyst.
That first horrible week was a series of failed attempts at trying to make him understand where I was coming from and why I felt like he just made up excuses to want to break up with me. I did not harass him with a bunch of phone calls or text him ten times a day (not even once every day), but I definitely did send him texts, some long Facebook messages, and two calls which were several days apart, and the first one he actually texted saying he would call me back (though I seriously doubt he really would have). I had a lot to say and defend myself about, but I was not out of line, everything I said was very logical and reasonable. I didn’t do anything threatening or beg him to take me back – I didn’t want him to just “take me back” when he didn’t even seem to know who I was, and I expressed this.
What I will call myself out on and take ownership of was going back on my word of saying I wasn’t going to talk anymore and then feeling like I needed to, and mistakenly thinking I could just do messages instead of a real conversation. Even then, I was rational and sensibly apologized for my impulses, but I had a damn good reason with the torment I was going through.
He never did respond to my messages and he eventually blocked me on Facebook weeks after I had stopped contacting him. And I honestly had no intention of ever contacting him again, but in late April I got that terrible, nagging feeling again that something was really wrong and that he was not in a good state. My concern for his mental health took over once more.
So I did the dumbest thing you can do when a guy doesn’t want to talk to you, and I drove out to his farm again.
I knew full well that it could go very wrong, that it’s advised you should never do that and you will look insane. I was completely aware of the risks I was taking, but I was afraid he was spiraling down more and more into a really bad, dark place in his mind.
I expected a negative reaction, but it was even worse than I imagined. As soon as I got there, he came up to my car with an irritated “What are you doing here?” and he threatened to call the police and get a restraining order against me. As predicted, he thought I was being psycho and he even accused me of “stalking his family,” which was a downright lie.
Just like the night he broke up with me, he began to lay into me with cruel words, unfair judgments, and insulting accusations – only this time it was much worse because he was blatantly angry and wanted me to know it.
He didn’t yell or cuss at me. He didn’t need to.
He told me that he never felt anything for me and he finally stopped faking his feelings. He said that I’ve “done nothing with my life” and that I was just “adrift and looking for a lifeboat to give me direction.” He implied that I had used him.
To say I was in disbelief would be an understatement.
I didn’t know how it was possible that this was the same man from two months before – when he would say how I made him feel special and cared for, and he didn’t even want me to leave his house at the end of the weekend.
Now he was so ice cold and heartless. He didn’t care anymore how he hurt me, he just wanted me gone.
It was like the mere suggestion that he had actually wanted me was aggravating to him – he would roll his eyes and shake his head at any facts I pointed out about his initial behavior and how sincere he had seemed.
Our argument ended with him walking off in the middle of me talking and, after giving me one last cool, smug and uncaring sideways glance, he just went inside.
I stood there and shook my own head, stunned by his bold contempt for me, and I got into my car and drove home.
That awful standoff was almost two months ago and we haven’t said a word to each other since.
I’ve thought about it every day and about what a cold-hearted, close-minded snob he turned out to be.
In early May, I posted this on my Facebook to express how I felt:
“If you don’t want her, don’t make her think you do.
Don’t ask her to give you a chance, knowing she’s been hurt so many times and afraid to trust anyone.
Don’t be careless with her emotions, all the while you secretly try to decide if you even have any.
Don’t feed her words of sincerity and trustworthiness.
Don’t tell her how you think about her.
Don’t tell her how much you really like her.
Don’t tell her how lucky you are to have her.
Don’t tell her you want to share your life with her.
Don’t plan a future together and make her want it.
Don’t talk about having a home together and having children.
Don’t tell her that you want to build the house for her because you want to make her happy.
And most of all, after doing all of that, don’t suddenly change your mind and tell her that your heart feels nothing for her, it never did, and that she won’t make you happy. That you two don’t fit and you have no future together.
Don’t contradict everything you had said in the beginning about what you wanted and what you liked about her and suddenly flip-flop about it.
Don’t talk to her like she’s a pathetic loser and tell her she’s done nothing with her life and used you to get somewhere, when you are the one who initiated and came up with everything.
Don’t talk to her like there’s something wrong with HER personality and HER way of thinking.
Don’t call HER crazy for her not being able to understand anything YOU’VE said or done, and how much pain you’ve put her through.
Don’t call HER psycho for her being so worried about YOUR mental health and WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU.
Don’t do any of this, ever, to anyone. Do not put anyone through this. This is enough to send someone over the edge and commit suicide.
I am in the healing process, but I’ve been holding this in for over a month and it needed to come out.”
And then at the end of May, I wanted to release more vented up thoughts and negative energy, so I wrote up everything I had been reflecting on about my traumatizing relationship. It’s not intended for my ex to actually read, but it is my open letter to him. This is my analysis:
“From my perspective, this is what I believed happened:
I think when your plans were falling through, your already-embittered mind didn’t take it well and a dark cloud came over you. Not just a cloud, but a brewing storm that started to tear away at your thoughts and your views of the things and future you were envisioning, particularly with me. Something took over you and poisoned your mind and put a filter over your eyes. I think that “something” was your own anger, frustration, distrust, and insecurities, and I think you projected all those negative emotions onto me.
With you being a Marine and the strong, competent, alpha male role you have played throughout your life, I believe failure was not an option for you. Feeling weak, vulnerable, and incapable was not an option. Not one you were willing to share with anyone else, that’s for sure.
You needed to justify why nothing was going your way, and I think you took it even further than that and made yourself believe you didn’t want a life with me.
You did not want to admit your plans went wrong, that you weren’t able to achieve what you wanted, or at least not in the timeframe you were set on. It must have made you feel some kind of shame on top of all that brooding anger, and with so much stress and negativity harboring inside you, you became cold and shut me out. Your warped mind created its own image of me and took almost everything about me – personality traits you initially wanted – and twisted it all into something negative and unappealing to you. And I think as you blocked me out and the days and weeks passed, you got worse and worse, just stewing away, and you became even more bitter and resentful. I think you convinced yourself that being with me changed you into someone else and that I was bad for you. You told yourself that I was lost and had no identity of who I was and therefore I had the same effect on you. You tried to protect your own ego and pride by using me as a scapegoat. Me – the woman that you made so many plans and commitments with and had given all intentions of building a life and family together. That is, until you went dead and decided your heart felt nothing for her.
It’s very ironic that you claimed that I didn’t know myself, when from the get-go I never wavered on who I was or what I wanted. I’ve known for a very long time. You, on the other hand, flip-flopped on your opinions of me, made several contradicting statements, and ended up being a complete hypocrite instead of the man of such high integrity you misled me to believe.
Your personality switched, mine never did.
I do have my struggles in life, but clearly you did not have it all together either. You are the one who didn’t know yourself.
I think the portrait you painted of me was actually a reflection of your own self-loathing. The spite in your eyes and in your tone of voice in our last conversation was unexplainable. That anger and resentment wasn’t really about me, as much as you tried to make it with the things you unjustly accused me of and the cold, hurtful insults you seethed at me.
When it comes down to it, you were determined to close off and push me away. When your mental health took a nosedive for the worst, you made me out to be the issue and the more I tried to question your behavior, the darker and more resentful your thoughts became.
You reverted back to your protective mindset of it being you and your Marine brothers against the world and I became just another enemy.
And that is how you left it. Despising me and insultingly stating you were waiting for the kind of person you really want.
Well I know exactly who that is.
Someone you’d consider a real “warrior” and meets your “elite” standards.
A clone of yourself.
I truly believe that is the only way to satisfy you with the mindframe you keep yourself locked in.
I think you feel threatened that someone like me – someone outside your warrior world – would soften you and make you forget that you’re a Marine. I think you’re terrified of the thought of losing yourself and what you believe to be your purpose. You’re afraid of losing purpose period because without it, you would be drowning in depression.
I think your veteran transition stress has taken a tremendous toll on your life and your outlook, but it has also inspired you to do amazing things to help others.
What I find extremely painful is the fact that when it came to you believing I was in need of help, your reaction was to be resentful and abandon me.
Civilians matter too, and I don’t deserve to be detested by you.
I didn’t cause you to lose your sense of self, your own mental problems did.
I didn’t hurt you, use you, or betray you in any way.
I cared for you and supported you the way a woman is supposed to.
You just chose not to see it. Instead, you saw me as a representation of your biggest fear and you turned on me. I was the one who was hurt, used, and betrayed.
The truth of the matter is that you are not as composed, as wise, or as deep as you think you are. I understand more than you do about what’s really important in life, and love is not being with a clone of yourself. It’s your destructive mentality that is bringing you down.
Your worst enemy is your own mind.”
That is my conclusion of his cruel, unfathomable behavior, but having that conclusion doesn’t take away what he has done to me.
I still think about him every day. I still dream of him multiple nights every week. In some dreams he wants me, in some he doesn’t. In some of them I am hiding when he is around because I know he wants nothing to do with me, and in others I am on the brink of getting the truth out of him.
I see reminders of him all the time – bizarre connections to him. I constantly see military men in practically everything I watch on tv these days, they just keep coming up. I got a completely random friend request last month on Facebook from a woman dog trainer who was a very avid advocate of mental health awareness. I learned these things from her profile, I never talked to her. I don’t know how she found me, she lived in a different state and we had no mutual friends. I did not add her. She definitely seemed to be a real person, but why she would want to be friends with me, I do not understand. I rarely get friend requests. It was just very strange.
Even yesterday afternoon as I was out driving and on my way home, I was going over my blog in my head, and just as I was thinking of writing about my ex-boyfriend, a vehicle passed by with several stickers indicating the driver was a police K-9 dog trainer. They had a Texas plate, and my ex is a fan of Texas, he has ties to the state. But what stuck out the most for me was the big sticker that said “TRUST ME, I’M A DOG TRAINER.” In my mind, all I could think about was how my trust has been completely broken.
It was another unbelievably strange coincidence.
So that is where I’m at right now. Still feeling the emotional after-effects, but trying to accept things as they are. It’s difficult, but I am doing the best I can.
I hope this tremendously-long blog was enjoyable in some way, shape, or form. I don’t plan on any future posts to be quite as lengthy, or as “asshole male-oriented.”
Thanks for reading and helping me feel listened to in a world where I feel so unseen and unheard. I hope you will continue to follow along with me in my writing journey.