Three years on; a journey of insanity, grief and realizations

As of a day or two ago (I don’t remember quite when it happened) marked the three year anniversary of my ex breaking up with me over the phone after four and a half years together. Her last words to me were,

Shelly, I’m oh so smart and there are so many things that I want to do and experiences that I want to have and I just don’t see you have a place in my future anymore.

This is mentioned in another entry that i haven’t posted yet but one of the things that i learned is that when my girlfriend of four and a half years broke up with me over the phone, was too much of a coward to go to a counselor and gave me the, “I’m oh so smart,” speech, then everything ended at that point. She ended our relationship and our friendship at the end of that sentence. Any obligations i had to her were voided, any respect that she was entitled to evaporated in her pusillanimous corona of singularly stupid and shallow solipsism.

I’ll be the first to admit that i tend to write that quote a fair amount and perhaps the point of abuse. The reason is that while it began as the most insane and self absorbed thing anyone had ever said to me, it would later become an anchor point for me when i began to question my sanity or when i wondered if i had done something wrong in our relationship. To be sure, there were some things i did wrong and i’m going to be honest and open about those things shortly but holding on to that quote of hers gave me a reference point.

But that little, “I’m oh so smart” speech became something else- a reflection of the way she allowed herself to be controlled, manipulated and transformed from someone that knew what love was, how to communicate and someone that had no interest in high volume, anonymous, high promiscuity thrill fucking to someone that couldn’t tell the difference between being loved and being fucked and thought a loving healthy relationship was the both of us just going out, rutting and fucking anyone we desired.

Um, no. I have self respect. I’ll talk about this later.

Perhaps she had become insane- and if you were to read two letters she sent me, you might be inclined to agree. In the three years that have passed, i’ve become convinced she had this other personality that she was able to suppress; that she was able to play an act for as long as our relationship didn’t have any serious challenges and for as long as she was able to control me- but when i began to openly challenge and question her, she had to carve me out of her life as quickly as possible because if there’s anything that someone with a guilty conscious and someone filled with shame cannot have around them is someone else(s) that see them for what they are.

Eventually her closest friend that used to date her would tell me that he could never date her again because she was too emotionally unstable.

So here it is- three years later. The breakup cost me two jobs, the loss of my aquarium, the loss of my cat that i’d adopted and adored. It cost me my sanity for a while, it cost me all of my friends in Portland because i had to move so far away and i’m not going to lie- the grief consumed me. It chewed and bored through me like a burning cancer and i’m still coming to terms with the person that it left behind.

My original intention was to finalize some thoughts into three entries- Part One, Part Two and the predictable title of Part Three.

Each one was going to have a point, the first one was my attempt at explaining what happened to my previous relationship, the second part was supposed to be where i unleashed my honesty in the most brutally honest way imaginable and part three was going to go into a guy that i’ll refer to only as “Clevon”- the 3rd party in my previous relationship and how he systematically undermined our relationship, exploiting my exes trust and submissive nature and according to myself and some people that she knows, how he managed to drag her down to his level.

I’ve decided to change my plans and just write whatever i want and amend it as i go along. I’d gotten to the point where each part was becoming fractal- that is, each entry had more and more detail and observations the more i thought about it and it got to the point where it started to seem insane.

I’ve tried this before. I have years of notes, observations, realizations, information that others eventually shared with me as well as my own accountability and the things i now have to live with. What’s different this time is that i’m no longer consumed with anger the way i was once when i thought of these things. Yes, i still get angry- mostly at myself for having wasted years of my life on someone that my instinct told me was someone to avoid from the start and how i embraced coping strategy after coping strategy and fell in love with someone that… and it still breaks my heart to say this, someone that i wish that i’d never met.

And yes, i absolutely wasted those years. To add insult to injury, i met her just as i was finally addressing my sleep apnea; a condition/ disease that had robbed me of 15 to 18 years of my life and left me in a fugue state.

This began because i went to look at my facebook page a few days ago. I have a loathe/ hate relationship with FB and so far it’s worked out pretty well. I’m going to go off on a tangent for a bit because FB has created this culture of self-absorbed drama. The level of discourse seems to usually be on par with the wit and intelligence usually reserved for bumper stickers and has become the litter box for things that i do not care about: children, 3 day old Reddit reposts (usually of cats), pets or the imaginary wisdom and authoritarian obedience (usually in the form of marginalizing women and homosexuals) from an imaginary god.

I go through these phases where i’ll be on it for a while but when i start noticing that i’m logging in because i’m looking for that little red tag at the top that says someone has responded to something i’ve said or posted, then i know i’ve started to become one of those self absorbed shits looking for internet validation. And that’s the time to mothball my account for a few months.

Yesterday i logged in and FB gave me this ‘anniversary reminder’. Three years ago, it told me, three years ago you posted this! “Why not share it again?” it suggested. If you click on that link, you can zoom on the image by clicking on it.

This is going to be a very long and difficult post. It is the amalgamation of things i’ve thought, said, written and have lived through since 2012. It is a journey through insanity, coping strategies, rage, shame, guilt, accountability and some realizations that have left me staring at a wound that i do not know how to mend.

I’ll get to that shortly.

Rewind three years. August, September and October of 2012.

Something is wrong. Something is very wrong and i’ve known it for a long time. The problem is that i can’t put a finger on it. It’s been gnawing in the back of my skull like a worm boring through a piece of not-so-firm fruit. I know i’m not happy with my job- the result of working with someone i’ll describe as a fundamentalist bully (as if there’s any other kind) but when i’m with my ex, things seem to be okay. No, they’re not as okay as they once were but four years into a relationship and it’s reasonable to expect that the ‘honeymoon period’ is over and it’s time for the real work to begin.

Fast forward to now.

Let me talk about pain. Let me talk about the single hardest realization i’ve had to come to terms with and how it’s hollowed me and left me all but broken.

This is the source of a lot of pain for me because i’m standing on the edge of fifty and the reality that the two women i loved the most- the ones that i took all of my armor off for, it is in a cold and harsh moment of sobriety that i have to confess- neither of them loved me.

If that seems austere, consider that love is not just something you say. It is an act of will. It is the belief that what you have with someone else is bigger and more important than yourself alone. Love is not demonstrated when times are easy. It is demonstrated when times are hard.

It’s when times are hard that the content of our character is revealed- that is, when we find out what our worth is as a man, as a woman and as a human being is.

There are so many things i would apologize to Michelle for- the only woman i’ve ever (romantically) lived with.  My hubris, my ignorance and my unresolved issues at the time were things she didn’t deserve to endure, yet for all of the times she told me how much she loved me, she came home one night to tell me she no longer loved me. When i asked why she never told me there were problems, that her feelings were changing, she claimed, “I didn’t have any obligation to.”

We lived together for four and a half years and she felt no obligation to me or our relationship.

Some of her last words to me were, “Shelly, it’s time that I let you go.”

As i said, it’s when times are hard that the content of our character are revealed.

With my most recent ex, she broke up with me over the phone. After four and a half years and the most courage she could muster was to break up with me over the phone. Her last words to me:

Shelly, I’m oh so smart and there are so many things that I want to do and experiences that I want to have and I just don’t see you have a place in my future anymore.

And that’s verbatim.

This phrase haunted me for more than a year. It bored through me like a cancer filled rat. Eventually someone that i know- a self described poly and kinkster told me, “Shelly. Those aren’t her words. She was told to say that,” and she was right, i believe.

This conversion of hers, as it turns out, wasn’t accidental. I eventually found out that it was crafted by Clevon. It’s interesting what someone will tell someone else at a party, especially when they’ve been drinking, on drugs and/or having one of his little schizophrenic episodes (i suspected and my ex confirmed that he is a mild schizophrenic) and thinks that he has a chance to fuck the woman he’s trying to hard to charm/ impress in his stupor. Turned out that she was in the Seattle poly and kink community as part of a sociology (or was it psychology) project. Oops.

I should write more about that later. Or not.

Toward the end of our relationship and prior to her breaking up with me over the phone, she made it clear that our relationship would consist of each of us rutting and fucking whomever we desired and if i didn’t want to know about her exploits, i shouldn’t ask her. I was so far gone at that point, so desperate to keep our relationship together that i simply looked at her and said my only expectation was that she put consideration for our relationship before anyone or anything else she would do (as did i). She couldn’t even look me in the eyes. She was so angry with me for suggesting that; for trying to a ‘controlling authoritarian’ as she would later call me.

And you know what i did? I spent the rest of that weekend with her. I even called in sick on that Monday because my heart broke when i thought about leaving her. It would be the last time i would ever see, or ever let her touch me.

The following Wednesday, she sent me the most vitriolic, hurtful mail that you can imagine. It was the cruelest thing anyone had ever said or done to me. There were a lot of things she mentioned but two of them were that:

  • She was going to go to the sex club with Clevon and Ashley (her other lover and his girlfriend, not their real names) and that i wasn’t going to be invited. Really? You mean i can’t go watch my girlfriends anus, mouth and vagina be pumped with more sperm from strangers in two or three hours than i was able to do in an entire month? Oh gosh, i may weep openly.
  • It was my place to accept her new behavior because she had a new personality and it was just my place to accept it since i knew about her “personality swings,” as she called them, before i met her.

Uh, no. If someone said, “Hey, i know you like me now but sometimes i have these DSM-V level personality changes,” i would have said, “You know, you’re really cute and smart but i think i’d rather be alone than to be anywhere near you. So, i’m going to walk away from you very slowly while facing you and find someone better than… well, you.”

To give you an indicator of how far gone i was, after reading it, my mind was filled with two desires- to scorch the earth and sterilize myself of her or to try to do what was hard instead of what was easy. I chose the latter. I asked her to Skype with me and then proceeded to apologize to her.

I was utterly and absolutely insane at this point. And in case i forget to mention it later, i am so glad to be rid of her. Her cancer would have consumed me and eventually i would have gotten to the point where i was okay with her being a cum dumpster at sex clubs. I’m going to give my thoughts on swinging/ sex clubs/ gang bangs later and why “cum dumpster” and “sperm nozzle” or “jizz dispenser” (for males) are accurate adjectives for swingers and those that get gang banged or are the sperm nozzles for those that get gang banged.

Ironically, her best friend, a guy she once dated, told me that not only did her other lover (Clevon, as i call him) give him the creeps and that he kindly asked her to never bring him by his house again, but that he could never date her again because of her personality swings.

Oh boy. I really wish he had pulled me aside years prior and told me that. But… truth be told, i don’t think i would have listened. I was so desperate to love.

And in a moment of pure honesty, i still am. That should be a conversation for another time, including my coping strategies and why i allowed myself to settle for my ex.

If i’m going to continue being honest, if i’m going to peel my armor from my flesh for a little bit, then i’m going to have to talk about anger.

I still get angry. It’s not like it used to be- burning, white hot incendiary rage but it’s anger all the same. And it’s mostly at myself.

Where one finds anger, if you follow the root back to the seed, you’ll find hurt. To that end, i still get angry at myself because i didn’t listen to my intuition about her from the start. There was even a time when she begged me over the phone to either tell her i wasn’t interested in dating her anymore or that i was. And believe me, the voices in my head were screaming at me to sever things with her there and then.

And i ignored my common sense. Why?

Because i honestly saw something in her. I loved her smile, she had a very nice voice, i loved this childishness in her that i saw in myself and i don’t mean “childishness” in the sense of infantilism, but rather the ability to see wonder and beauty in the world despite our experiences. As i got to know her, i liked the contrast we had- i was the smart one, she was the intelligent one.

Remember that part where i said it’s when times are tough that the content of our character is revealed? I’m going to confess something. When i was in my mid to late twenties, there was a woman in Texas that was absolutely, positively crazy about me. She wanted to spend her life with me. We ran into some problems that i’m not at liberty to discuss and you know what i did? I ran away. To my eternal shame, i ran away like a coward.

No, not like a coward. I WAS a coward.

And i was in denial at the time about how much i loved her.

I would meet Michelle a few weeks later and was immediately smitten with her. I was so profoundly and utterly ignorant of how much hurt i had inflicted on this other woman. Eventually i would apologize and take responsibility for it. Eventually i would tell her that i was glad, very glad that she married the man she’s still married to. He has loved and supported her better than i ever could have and frankly, he makes a lot of money and together they’ve been able to have a life that i would never have been able to accomplish. And if i’m going to continue being honest, she is always going to live in Texas but my craving to leave Texas began when i was 12.

As an aside, every time i go back to Texas, it just seems to get smaller and smaller.

Why tell this story at all? Because i have to. But also because there’s this other element that puts us on the path of being worthy adults- the ability to go to someone that you’ve hurt and take accountability for the cruelty that you’ve inflicted.

Accountability. It’s one of those qualities that separates those who see themselves as victims and those that become adults and are worthy of self respect, respect from others, self love and love from others.

Where do i go from here? Do i talk about polyamory, why i was okay with being in a polyamorous relationship, what i’ve learned about polyamory and the overlapping communities of kink/ bdsm and how some people can’t distinguish or choose to not distinguish polyamory from high volume, high promiscuity thrill fucking ? I’ve met some intelligent, self aware and ethical adults who practice polyamory but overall, i have to be honest- polyamory and the kink communities are magnets for human wreckage. In my experience, the vast majority of women and men that are poly are often insecure, self absorbed, sometimes narcissistic, emotionally undeveloped and a lot of them try to mask their poor body image by proclaiming how proud they are to be morbidly obese and use sex from multiple sources to build this reinforcement loop that they are attractive, that they love others and that they are capable of self respect and self love. The irony is that they are not capable of any of those things; not because of their obesity- heavens no. It’s because they are incapable of having the courage to be wholly and ruthlessly honest with themselves.

When it comes to those involved with bdsm/ kink and/or swinging (specifically anonymous sex as opposed to partner swapping with the same couple(s)), the attraction for human wreckage is beyond description.

I understand we all have desires. I’m filled with desires. I just happen to be developed enough to understand that sometimes desires are metaphors for a part of our life that was taken from us or that we craved at some point and  was denied to us. Someone that is mature, developed and has a degree of self actualization recognizes this and knows that embracing that metaphor- be it prostitution, casual hook-ups, glory holes, being gang banged, gang banging or other high volume, high risk, high promiscuity thrill fucking are merely symbols- and that to give into those desires is feeding a wolf that can never be satisfied. Once a wolf gets blood in its mouth, even its own, it will consume and consume until it is driven mad. For humans, we will consume ourselves and others until there is nothing left but shame, self loathing, rage, insecurity and all the while we’ll build a world of lies of how smart, enlightened, self actualized and superior we are.

In this case, failing to understand desires and behaviors as metaphors becomes the failure to understand the difference between being loved and being fucked; all while believing that you can be a swinger, be gang banged, troll for ads on Craigslist, pick up strangers at bars and still be capable of self respect, self love and worthy of having others love and respect you.

And that’s why i have never, nor will i ever give into those desires.

And yet, i found myself in a relationship with and discussing marriage with someone that believed that, as she demanded, our relationship would consist of rutting and fucking anyone we wanted, that she was going to be a swinger with her other lover and engage in high volume, anonymous high promiscuity and that she was capable of self respect, self love and entitled to be respected for that as part of her “femininity,” (her words) and “self actualization,” (again, her words).

If someone’s gotten to that point that she did, then no, they’re not capable nor worthy of self respect, self love, respect from others and most certainly no one is worthy, let alone entitled to be respected for that.

And they are most certainly not worthy of being loved by anyone.

She wasn’t always like that.

But it raises the question: how do you take someone that was loving, kind and believed polyamory was more about the ‘amory’ part than the ‘poly’ part?

Simple. You exploit her. You make her your slave/ submissive, then in that area known as ‘sub space’, you take advantage of her emotional vulnerability, you manipulate her susceptibility when her brain is flooded with opioids and drag her down to your level. You base your friendship on what she wants to hear instead of what she needs to know (which is what/ who i am) and you convince her that i somehow have a different set of expectations for her than i do mysel. You then tell her she’s “Oh so smart” and that she’s entitled to live out her desires of being a swinger, being gang banged because you’re “so enlightened” too and things like ethics and morals only need to be centered around being as self absorbed and hedonistic as humanly possible. You tell her that indulgence is enlightenment and convince her that she’s above things like expectations, commitment, communication and equality in her current relationship.

You convince her she’s being oppressed.

And you do it with all of the skill of a cult leader, masquerading as a friend.

Did i already write about this? Did i already write about how i would eventually find out that he had deliberately and systematically manipulated my ex? If i didn’t, i’ll put it here later. It’s just fascinating the things some people will say when they’re drunk/ buzzed/ stoned or just having some sort of weird mental episode, especially when they think it’ll net them a cheap fuck- from someone that he didn’t know was a psychology (or was it sociology?) student that was quietly doing research in the Seattle poly and kink communities.

I need to stop this here for tonight. I have a batch of laundry to tend to and a bedroom that’s mostly piles of clothes in need of folding or being put on hangers. I’m not sure when i’ll come back to this but i will. I also have another entry that i’m working on that details the things i’ve learned over the last three years. As tough as this one is, that one is even tougher.