the disconnect | part one

In my mind, this will be written in three parts. The reasons behind the title may not become clear until the end.

It was about 10 months ago; maybe a year by now. Someone from my past sent me a message on FB saying hello. It was from a woman i dated in my misspent youth. To say it was unexpected is an understatement because, to be honest, i was as ass to her.


It’s 1990 or 91. I’m 23 years old. I am very emotionally undeveloped, inexperienced in both sex and relationships and as the saying goes, i was the embodiment of being “young, dumb and full of cum”. And it was about this time i made one of the biggest mistakes one can ever make at this age or any age for that matter- i dated someone that i worked with.

It was a wafer fab in austin and we worked the swing shift (16.00 to midnight). I fell for her, she liked me and we proceeded to spend 28 of the next 30 days with each other. Work, eat, sleep, fuck. Work, eat, sleep, fuck. Work. Eat. Sleep. Fuck.

And because i was so inexperienced and because i was, as previously stated, emotionally undeveloped, it all just became so overwhelming. It was as though the torrent of emotions just became so overwhelming that i couldn’t feel anything anymore. It was just a constant bombardment of being around her and i just felt- at risk of using the word again- overwhelmed.

I asked if we could spend time apart but instead, she heard me say, “I don’t want to see you anymore.”

But at that time, i didn’t know that.

After a couple of weeks, i was ready to see her again and much to my shock, she was just not in the least bit interested.

To say that i did not take that well is an understatement. I simply did not know how to process this rejection. The abandonment… and there is no easy way to say this, but it broke me. It was a disproportionate response to be sure but hold onto that thought of abandonment because it’s going to come back up at some point.

In the coming months, that pain turned to anger and that’s when i started to antagonize her. It’s important to explain something else that was fueling my anger; something that i would not learn the truth about for several years.

At work, we used a VAX/ VMS system to track the workflow of our orders. I had access to a training account because someone gave out the password and i started using it to send/ receive messages to others. For those that never worked with VAX/ VMS, it was… archaic by today’s standards. Hell, it was archaic by the standards of the early to mid 90s for that matter. Monochrome, no mouse, big and a heavy clacky keyboard. It made DOS look good.

One night, i started receiving messages sent from another training account. They were antagonistic and made snide comments about me and goddamn, they just filled me with rage.

There was a guy that worked in the same area as i did. His name was John. John would stop by and i’d go on an anger fueled scree about how she was antagonizing me but she never signed her name to the messages so i couldn’t prove they were from her (remember they were coming from another training account, not her work account).

And John would listen and then he’d talk to me about her for a bit and i’d tell him stories of the things we did in the month that we dated.

Looking back, i was so blind and stupid.

The next night or a few nights later, there would be another email with details that only she could know. Each note became more belligerent and cruel and my anger and rage increased proportionately.

And it was then that i decided to make her as uncomfortable as possible.

And i did. I would glare at her in rage; jaw clinched and would stand in her way or refuse to move from a seat if we were having a group drinking session after work. I was a dick. I was a belligerent, borderline malicious dick to her. And in response, she eventually went to HR and reported me for creating a hostile work environment.

Which i did.

The only reason why i didn’t lose my job is that a few days prior to her reporting me, i’d had enough. My mental state was deteriorated. I wasn’t myself and the anger i had been harboring was consuming me. It was around that time that i decided to seek out the psychologist that worked at the facility where i worked and ask her for a referral to a counselor; which she provided. There’s a side story to that visit that i should probably share at another date. It’s a story which has stuck with me since that meeting.

Once it had been corroborated by HR that i’d been seeking help, i kept my job but i was also encouraged to move to a different facility; which i did.

Parallel to these events is my ever present obstructive sleep apnea which, at this time, is beginning to take hold in earnest. That’s not exactly germane to this story but everything, everything, EVERYTHING that happens to me in this time and for many years after, is amplified and distorted because i’m not getting recuperative sleep.

And at the time, i just could NOT let go of my anger toward her.

I’m leaving out a few details for the sake of expediency but i’m going to end that part here with this final bit of information.

Years later i would learn that she was not the originator of those messages. Remember the coworker that i mentioned- John? It was him. I don’t know what he got out of it or why he did it but i think he just liked to wind me up for the fucksies. I know karma eventually caught up with him (he had abandoned a woman that he was living with to marry a young, stunningly attractive woman that would, in a karmic turn of events, abandon and divorce him a few years later), but with his fueling my hurt and rage, i would have never have been such an ass to this woman that i dated.

But the truth is that i was and i am responsible for my behaviors and words. To that end, i WAS an ass to her and as i learned that i’d been manipulated and as i grew older, my hurt and my anger eventually disappeared. Those feelings were eventually replaced with shame and with shame, the knowledge that some day i was going to have to find her if she was still alive and not only apologize but to be accountable for the cruelty that i inflicted on her.

end part one.