In May, HC, who I had been seeing since December, broke up with me.
HC was a tall artist and musician with dark hair and soulful green eyes. I’m not sure exactly what it was – he was by no means the hottest, funniest, or most charming man I’d ever met – but as soon as I met him, I knew I was in trouble. I was hooked. We had sex on our first date, which was less than two hours after we had first set eyes on each other. Sex with him was probably the best sex I had ever had. Logically, I understood that I barely knew him (with the exception of our first date, we would never go out), but when we were together sexually, it felt like love.
He said that he’d been divorced for about a year and was just starting to date, but a month later, I found his supposed ex-wife’s twitter. According to what she had been writing, they were still happily married. I confronted him about it, and even though the evidence was pretty damming, he denied he was still married. He made up a half-assed story that didn’t make sense, but I was so into him that he could have told me up was down and down was up and I would have believed it.
I kept seeing him after I found the twitter, but I didn’t trust him. I became obsessed with spying on him and his wife online – desperately looking for evidence that he was actually divorced. Although I found a few things that looked promising – she had stopped mentioning him in her twitter, for example – I found an equal number of things that made it clear he was still married. Additionally, I also found out there were four or five other girls he was seeing regularly and that he was posting ads on craigslist for anonymous gay sex. Sadly, I was so addicted to him and so sick, that when I found out about all the other people he was seeing, I actually felt a little bit of relief. How could he be spending so much time with me, seeing several other people, and still be married?
HC had two small children. He frequently used emergencies that came up with his kids to come over hours after we had originally planned or to cancel altogether. How could I get mad at him for flaking on me when his son was sick or his ex was late picking them up? One time HC told me that he had his kids for the weekend. He was texting me telling me what a great time they were having at a local amusement park. A few days later, I looked on craigslist and found that the same time he was texting me he was with his kids, he was also posting ads for anonymous gay encounters. Had he been lying to me about having his kids or was he posting this stuff while he was with his kids? Was he meeting these strangers for hookups while his children were in his care?
Every new thing I found made me sick, but still I kept seeing him. I wanted to believe that he was the amazing person I had mad him out to be in my head. I could not let go of this fantasy HC I had created.
I knew I was ill. This wasn’t the first time I had gotten myself obsessed with an unavailable man and had been unable to let go. It had happened three years earlier with Anthony, two years before that with Jonathan, and probably at least a half a dozen other times. Still, I could not stop seeing him.
I kept spying on him and his wife online. Although her facebook page was private, one day she changed her profile picture to their wedding picture. This is not something a divorced woman does. I sent him a text confronting him. He wrote back that he was tired of explaining himself to me and this wasn’t working anymore. I was devastated, but I backed off. My plan was to lay low for a couple of weeks, and then contact him once he’d cooled off.
How fucking sick was I? I knew he was married, I knew he was seeing several other women, I knew that he was meeting strangers for anonymous sex, and I wasn’t even the one to end this mess. He had to break up with me.
Unfortunately, this still is not the end of the HC story. Although I wasn’t contacting him, I was only bidding my time until I would go back to him. Meanwhile, I was scouring the internet looking for anything I could find on him. Even though I wasn’t communicating with him directly, I needed the high of spying on him. I even set up some fake email addresses and answered some of his m4m craigslist ads. One night I stayed up all night doing this and made myself physically ill. I had to call in sick to work the next day. This was my bottom.
I realized that I could never go back to him and I could not keep spying on him online. I needed help so I started going to meetings in early June. It took me a few weeks to do more than just show up, but I kept showing up. Finally I got a sponsor, set some bottom lines and became “sober.”
I count June 29th as my sobriety date, although I have had some minor slips since then. I haven’t contacted him, but I have checked facebook, twitter, and craigslist a couple of times, although not in a few weeks.
Not contacting or spying on HC is just one of my bottom lines. There were many other ways I acted out as a sex and love addict, and many behaviors I now abstain from. Almost every day is a struggle for me, but with the help of God, my sponsor, and my recovery partners, I am getting through this.