The Cyber Stalker

A few years back I dated this guy. Let’s call him Cyber Stalker, or CS for short. CS seemed totally normal at first. He was good looking, charming, well-educated and intelligent. After awhile, though, he started to creep me out. He would make comments about how often I went on the dating site where we met. He wanted to know how many other guys I was seeing. Then he told me he found my profile on another site. CS also knew stuff about me I had never told him. Apparently he had googled me, looked at my resume and found articles I had written in college. I had a blog at the time and the page hits went up exponentially after I met CS. I’d love to attribute this to something other than CS combing through every word I had ever written, but I know the score.

One night I was on the dating site where CS and I had met. I got an email from a man that, based on his profile, seemed perfect — tall, creative, successful, rich, intelligent. I talked to Mr. Perfect for a few days on messenger. We talked for hours. The only weird thing was that Mr. Perfect never wanted to talk on the phone.

I eventually found out why when CS called me up screaming. He called me a lying bitch and a whore. See, there was no Mr. Perfect. CS had created a fake profile and I had been talking to him the whole time. Not that it was any of his business, but a couple of times I had told CS I was going to bed, then stayed up talking to Mr. Perfect. I’d also told CS I was only looking for a casual relationship, but then told Mr. Perfect I was looking for a long term relationship. This is why CS felt justified in calling me a liar. It never occurred to him that his lies far outweighed mine.

I don’t know why I kept seeing CS, but I did. After we broke up, I found out that Mr. Perfect wasn’t the only fake account he created. He also created a fake female account to talk to other men on the dating site that he suspected I was seeing.

Around this time I made the mistake of agreeing to meet a different guy in public without ever hearing his voice on the phone. I went to the coffee shop where we had planned to meet and waited and waited, but the guy never showed. Later I found out that this was another account that CS had fabricated. He sat home laughing his ass off while I got stood up by a phantom of his creation.

We finally broke up. CS left me alone for awhile. But once and awhile I would get these texts from numbers I didn’t recognize saying things like, “sorry babe, my test results came back positive.” This was CS’s sick idea of a joke. I learned to ignore him.

Six months after we stopped seeing each other, I was living in a new apartment. I was in a wild mood one night and put ad on Craigslist looking for a casual hookup. Stupidly I let one guy come over to my house without first meeting him in public. We had talked on the phone, and he sounded cool, but the private number he called from should have been a red flag. I’m sure you can guess where this is going. When my doorbell rang it was CS on my doorstep. The strangest thing about this was that I didn’t even post pictures in my ad. How could he tell it was me just from my words? I was freaked out, but ended up having sex with him anyway.

After that, CS came over a few more times, almost always unannounced. I knew he was crazy, but I was crazy too. So even though I was angry, it never stopped me from sleeping with him.

***

All of the above is true, except for one major detail.

In real life the roles were reversed.

My ego likes to portray a certain image, even in recovery. I am the sweet little girl who was dealt a shitty hand. I was abused, neglected, abandoned all throughout childhood. Then as an adult I was constantly victimized by men — raped, used and abused, lied to, humiliated. All of that is true, but I’m also a perpetrator.

I attempted to control, lied to, and violated men that I was obsessed with. I hate, hate, hate the word stalker, but that’s what I was. At least it’s what I DID. Because at my core, I’m not a stalker. Stalking goes against every moral code I have. I would never ever violate a friend, a family member, a coworker, a neighbor, or anyone else by invading their privacy. But every conviction I have goes out the window when I am hooked on someone. The addiction takes over and my authentic self is lost. It’s an extremely dark place that I could easily revisit.

But every day spent in recovery brings me farther and farther into the light.

Advertisements

My Old Man is a Bad Man…

I heard this song the other day and all I could think about was Anthony. Part of me still wants him to come and save me, rescue me from myself. And part of me knows no one can rescue me but me, particularly not someone who is even crazier and fucked up than I am (a difficult feat, indeed).

I went about three days without talking to him, then he texted me. Instead of just ignoring him I wrote back and told him to stop contacting me then ended up talking to him for 45 minutes. Nothing quite says, “I can’t talk to you anymore,” like talking to someone for 45 minutes. No mixed messages there.

From there it was off to the races. The last two days I have been spinning out of control with him. Today we got in a big fight fueled by our mutual insanities. The grand finale of which was him deleting me from his Facebook contacts and telling me he would file a restraining order if I ever contacted him again, which is bullshit because I haven’t done anything to warrant a restraining order. Also, this was after I told him to never contact me again, so it was a moot point. He was just trying to one-up me in the game of who can say “I never want to talk to you again” the loudest.

Regardless, I understood his message loud and clear. He’s done. At least for now.

Hopefully the next time he comes around, I will be healthy enough to resist. He isn’t my one true love. I know he can’t be. But sometimes, like now, it feels like he is.

One Day at a Time

Yesterday, after work, I went over to Carson’s place. I acted out with him. It was physically, and somewhat emotionally fulfilling. He is a good lover. About ten minutes later, while we are lying in bed naked, he got a phone call and went into the other room. Moments later he came back handing me my purse and my sweater, “Sorry sweetie, you have to go, my friend is here.”

Thirty seconds later, I’m semi-dressed (tights and panties stuffed into my purse, carrying my sweater) and being ushered out the back door, while some other girl is waiting for Carson at the front door. I was thinking, Am I really still doing this shit!?!?

I could care less about the nature of Carson’s friendship with this other chick. He says that they are just friends, but she likes him. He, probably rightly, thinks it would be awkward if we met. He could be lying or he could be telling the truth. Carson isn’t my boyfriend and so it really isn’t any of my business. What’s at issue here is the indignity of having to sneak out the back door carrying the undergarments I didn’t have time to put back on, because one of his more respectable friends dropped by unannounced. This isn’t the way I’m meant to be living my life.

Driving home I decided that this thing with Carson had ran it’s course. I had my fun and was ready to get back on track.

This morning, though, I found myself wondering about Carson’s plans for tonight. Thinking about how much he would like the green dress I was planing on wearing for St. Patrick’s Day. Ugh! I hate this disease so fucking much.

I am taking good care of myself. So far, I have had a healthy Saturday. I went to yoga in the morning and then went to a meeting. Today is day five in my 30-in-30 (one meeting a day, for 30 days). Later today, I’m going to a mediation workshop. I know that I won’t be able to see Carson tonight, even though I want to. He has a friend in town and I’m sure he will be hanging out with him. So I know that for today, I won’t act out. Tomorrow I will worry about tomorrow.

Pity Sex

When I met Nathan, I was hungover. It was a midday hangover from cheap champagne consumed at Sunday brunch with my family. As is the case with many dysfunctional families, I find mine much more tolerable with a few (or several) drinks in me. After brunch, I fell asleep for a few hours, and woke up around 5, disgusted at myself for sleeping away the day. I went online, and found Nathan, a man I had exchanged a handful of emails with over the past week. He hadn’t made much of an impression on me, but he was semi-goodlooking and polite. When I told him about my day, he suggested we meet for beer and pizza. I didn’t have anything better to do, and beer and pizza sounded perfect, so I took a shower and met him.

Nathan had the potential to be a hot guy. He was tall, blond, kind of scruffy, with an okay body. But there was just something blah about him. He wore light-colored baggy jeans, which I found to be very uncool; and a pullover sweatshirt from the college we were both alumni of. This isn’t the look I’m into. I’m usually into hipster-ish/rock n’ roll kind of guys; or, at the other end of the spectrum guys with kind of a button-downed look. I figured this was a last minute date for pizza and beer in a very casual place, so I could forgive his outfit. I wore my standard first date look: heels, tight jeans, semi-low cut top (sexy, but not slutty).

Like his outfit, I found Nathan a little bit boring. He was three years younger than me, but I had lied and shaved four years off my age, so he actually thought he was a year older than me. I’m not sure why, but I used to do shit like that all the time. Even when a guy was 20 years older than me, I almost never told anyone my real age. When I was active in my addiction, meeting guys from online for a drink or dinner was pretty much my only social life. I’d had an okay time with Nathan was grateful that he had saved me from an otherwise dreary Sunday, so I agreed to see him again.

For our second date, Nathan picked me up and we went to an Italian restaurant that I chose. Nathan was one of those dudes who would ask you out a on a date, but then do no prep work. He’d show up and be like, “So… what do you want to do?” I’m sure I’m not alone in finding guys who can’t be bothered to actually plan a date really unattractive. Again, he wore light-colored jeans and a pullover sweatshirt from our Alma Mater. Different, but the same. Every time I saw Nathan he had on a variation of this outfit. Another irritating thing about Nathan is that he would keep his cell-phone on the table and be texting and sending emails during dinner. I remember thinking, What the fuck could this boring-ass square being texting about that is so freaking interesting? I would ask him who and what he was texting about not because I really gave a shit, but because I had nothing else to ask him. His answers were so uncompelling, that I can’t remember them now, and probably wasn’t able to remember them 5 minutes after he told me.

I kept going out with Nathan, because he kept asking me. I kept thinking maybe he would grow on me. After our third date, Nathan still hadn’t put the moves on me. He hadn’t even tried to kiss me. Well… he had given me some long hugs and looked at me like he wanted me to kiss him, but I really didn’t care enough to go take the lead. Everything about poor Nathan shouted “bottom,” and I’m not much of a top.

On our fourth date Nathan finally took some initiative and suggested we rent a movie and order a pizza. While, not the most original plan, I remember thinking, Finally! Maybe I’ll like him better once we fuck. But no fucking happened that night. He did finally kiss me, though, and he was a fairly good kisser. We spent the whole night on my couch cuddling, and kissing. Nathan didn’t get any bolder than sticking his hand up my shirt to rub my back. Again, he kept looking at me like he wanted ME to put the moves on HIM. If after buying me dinner four times, Nathan still didn’t have the balls to put his hand on my tit, I wasn’t going to help him out. At the end of this date, I decided I couldn’t take another night of Nathan looking at me longingly, like a timid high school virgin wanting her boyfriend to finger-bang her, but too afraid to ask. I was done going out with this boy.

But a few nights later, Nathan texted me with some bad news. He’d been laid off from his job, and was, understandably, quite upset. He asked if he could come over and have a few beers with me. I’d already had a few, so I let him come over. After a few more beers, I decided that I owed Nathan sex. I’d let him buy me dinner four times and hadn’t even given him as much as a hand job. Also, the poor boy had just lost his job.

I started taking off my clothes while he was kissing me and he followed suit. I remember thinking that his penis, which was on the smaller side of average, reminded me of a piece of raw chicken breast. As a nearly life-long vegetarian, this visual made me want to throw-up. I didn’t even attempt to go down on Nathan, but he went down on me and did a pretty lack-luster job of it. Let’s just get this over with, I was thinking when I handed him a condom. When he was inside of me, I couldn’t even look at him. I put my head to the side, and then eventually gave up even trying to look like I was into it, and just put my arm over my eyes. Why the fuck am I doing this! I was thinking. That and, What am I going to say to let him down easy? He kept asking me if I was okay. “Yes! Just cum already!” I wanted to shout. But instead I said, “I’m fine.” I felt bad for Nathan that I couldn’t even do a convincing job of pretending I was enjoying myself.

The next day he sent me a text to say he’d had a nice time. I told him I had as well, but I was having a hard time getting over my ex and didn’t feel like I was ready for a relationship yet. Clueless up until the end, Nathan actually asked me if I just wanted to be “friends with benefits.” I didn’t understand how anyone could possibly want a repeat of sex that was that bad. I lied and told him that I didn’t do “friends with benefits,” that I wasn’t that kind of girl.

Looking back on my experience with Nathan, I’m disgusted by what I did. I chose to tell this story with Nathan, but I could have told the same one with three or four different guys. Other times where I just laid back like a limp doll, staring at the celling letting some man I had zero feelings for, attraction to, or chemistry with fuck me because I felt an obligation to give him sex. One of “The Twelve Signs of Recovery in SLAA” is, “We learn to value sex as a by-product of sharing, commitment, trust and cooperation in a partnership.” Going forward, and with the help of my Higher Power, I will never again have sex with someone I feel so dispassionately towards. I will never have  it out of a sense of pity or obligation.

The Downward Spiral

There is no easy way to say it. I’ve been fucking up left and right. The holidays were extremely hard on me and my recovery. While I haven’t quite had a full on relapse, I am headed there. Here’s a list of my bottom lines (the behaviors I am supposed to be abstaining from to be considered sober) and how I’ve been acting out on them.

1. No sex, dating, or romantic involvement with married/attached or otherwise unavailable men
     Last week I was in contact with Paolo, a former lover. He now has a girlfriend. I saw him online and we had an extremely sexually charged conversation. I told him that I was currently in a relationship. This is a lie that usually helps get me out of trouble, but it seemed to only encourage him. “It’s not cheating if I break in and rape you,” he said. This actually isn’t as fucked up as it sounds, because while we were seeing each other we had talked about rape fantasy. In my head, I tried to justify this. If I just happened to give him my new address, and then just happened to leave my door unlocked at a specified date and time, and he just happened to show up and force himself on me, this wouldn’t be acting out, right? Luckily, my window of opportunity has passed on this one, because he is out of the country for the next month, and when he gets back he’ll be living with his girlfriend.
     There is also SN. I haven’t gone on a date with him yet, but I’ve been in heavy contact with this guy, a dominant, who is in an open relationship with his submissive. We have been speaking daily and have had phone sex. I’ve also watched him masturbate on cam. We have tentative plans to meet tonight, but I will probably cancel. The flirtation with these two guys isn’t new. Looking back on past blog entries, I wrote about both of them  back in August. Making plans to meet them is new, though.

2. No sex outside of a committed relationship
     This is the one bottom line I haven’t broken. It’s a big one. Breaking this one would constitute a full relapse.

3. No reading, answering or posting ads on craigslist personals
     Two days ago I answered a casual encounter ad. I’ve been talking to the guy quite a bit since then. He actually seems like a decent guy and we have a lot of non-sexual things in common. I’m thinking of telling him about SLAA and how I can’t have sex outside of a committed relationship and see if he still wants to meet me. My sponsor gave me the go ahead that I could start dating again in January. I am most certain she didn’t have CL casual encounters in mind as a venue for meeting appropriate people, though.

4. No contact with my qualifier (HC)
     Yep, I blew this one too. I emailed him a few days before Christmas and we have been in contact ever since. I hadn’t contacted him in more than seven months. I have no plans to see him or have sex with him ever again. Our emails are friendly and completely non-sexual. I know where things will lead if I keep in contact with him, and I sure as hell don’t want that again.

5. No spying (online or otherwise) on qualifier or anyone associated with him
    I suck. I do this every day now.

I also have four middle lines, which are behaviors I am only supposed to be engaging in with extreme caution. They are: contact with anyone I have had sexual or romantic involvement with in the past; phone conversations with men that last more than 20 minutes; masturbation; and using pornography. I am doing all of these things daily, and with not a lot of caution.

I feel so lost. I have no idea how to find my way back on track. Things aren’t as bad as they could be, I know this, but they are headed there fast. Because I need a reminder myself, here is a link to the blog I wrote three months ago today, reminiscing on what things were like just before I started my recovery. Today, I would have 6 months of sobriety. Some people would argue that I am still sober, because I am sticking to one of my bottom lines. I don’t feel sober, though. I feel like I am spiraling out of control.

Everyone Else’s Problems: Solved

I spent a couple of hours this afternoon trying to convince a recovery friend not to see her qualifier who had called her out of the blue, for sex, after four months. I was shocked, and frankly a little pissed, that she was even contemplating seeing this asshole after all the shit he had put her though. Why couldn’t she see what a horrible, horrible idea it was to see this guy again? At the same time, though, I am so close to the edge of the cliff that is my sobriety. I want to contact my qualifier so bad right now. He’s married. He’s a sex addict. He lied to you about everything. There is no possible future with this man. I need to keep repeating those lines to myself like a mantra.

When it comes to everyone else’s shitty love life, it’s always so clear what to do. Stop sleeping with the guy who is just using you for sex. Problem solved. Stop calling the guy who keeps telling you it’s over. All better, now. Don’t get back together with the man who physically abused you. Done and done. Stop having sex with people you just met. Check. Stop lying to everyone you have sex with. Fixed. See, it’s so easy. But when it comes to my own history of terrible relationships, it’s always been impossible to see the way out. I’m so scared of what my life will be if I go back to HC or find someone else just like him. That’s what’s keeping me from calling him. I know people in program who are 10, 20, even 30 years older than me who have spent their lives going from one unavailable sex partner to another, using people and being used. I can’t take a lifetime, or even one more year of acting out. I can’t jump back into the cycle, and I can’t go through withdrawal again.

I’ve been white knuckling my sobriety lately, but neglecting many other areas of my life. Even the word “sobriety” sounds ridiculous considering the amount of wine, pot, and junk food I’ve been putting away. I could probably qualify for at least half-a-dozen other 12 Step programs. If I was someone else, I would tell myself, “Instead of coming home after work, plopping down in front of the tv with a glass of wine and some starchy food; you should go to a meeting, or the gym, or yoga.” But, since I’m me, I tell myself, “Don’t worry. You can do all that stuff tomorrow. Have another glass of wine and some more mashed potatoes.”

One Thing I Won’t Be Bringing to My New Apartment

Most days, I feel that I am pretty much over HC, my “qualifier.” Today is not one of those days.

This is what I had planned for today: wake up at 7, do a bit of packing, go to a 10am meeting, come back home and spend the rest of the day packing with my friend.

Here’s what I have done so far: woke up at 9, decided I didn’t actually feel like going to a meeting after all, went on craigslist to see if HC had been placing anymore ads, saw that he had, got livid, checked the Facebook profiles of his wife and all of his family members, saw that there was no mention of a divorce, got livid again, fantasized about contacting his wife, fantasized about being his wife, cried over the fact that no one loves me, and then decided to write it all down here.

At this point, I feel like I have a better chance of becoming a supreme court justice than I have of ever becoming someone’s wife. HC’s wife is beautiful, skinny, has a successful career in the music industry, has two cute little boys, lives in a nice house, is married to a gorgeous, talented guy. Sure, her husband cheats on her every chance he gets with both women and men. But honestly, if I could have all that she has and the only downside was a husband who has meaningless sex with strangers, I would take it.

My sponsor told me I should pray for his wife, and my response was, “sure, I’ll pray for her to divorce him.” I don’t know why I care so much. Whether they divorce or not will have no effect on my life. I’m never going back to him. But still, it pisses me off that he gets to have this great life with his family, and gets to have sex with whomever he pleases. And it pisses me off that he lied to me time and time again.

But it’s not about him. Who cares what he did or what he does. That phase of my life is over. I’m moving to a new place, and want to leave all this HC baggage behind.

The rest of the day will be better. My friend will be here soon, boxes will be packed, stuff will be moved, my higher power will take care of and protect me. My life is moving forward. I am growing, blossoming, and getting healthier everyday.