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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Story Behind the Blog: part 4

Part 4: Heatwave of '13 Leads to Flare of Tempers!

In unexpected moments of high intensity, one often stumbles on words and omits things that should've been said in favor of blurting out.That's why it's better to talk things out calmly, before tensions boil over. It's better to think about what you want to say before you say it. Those were things John used to do, but as I've explained; those days are gone. He doesn't do that any more and I'm slowly coming to terms with the death of the person he was. 

In my last post, I recalled John's angry fear as he ran from me in the alley. I don't know what it was in response to, but he snarled, "I don't owe you anything." It wasn't in his voice and it caught me off guard. 
"Oh, I owe you something!" I shot back, like George Costanza with a bowl of shrimp. The jerk store was calling, all right. 
For a while that phrase he used lingered in my mind. What does that mean? He was absolving himself of any responsibility for my pain...I guess. It made me think of how I could've responded had we been having a civilized adult conversation, like I had always requested. I would've said, "yes you do. When you are a friend, you owe it to that friend, not to stab them in the back. When someone comes to you with a horrible accusation, you owe it to that person to hear them out. You owe me the truth. You owe me treatment with common decency that I deserve as a human being.

A few days after that chicken dance protest, I received a ruthlessly harsh email from one of John's best and longest friends. Brian and John lived next door as children and this guy had a tumultuous life of his own. As a sophomore in high school, I even considered him my "boyfriend" for a month or two. He worked at the bar where I collided with John and was allegedly told by another staff member that "I chased him out."  Brian accused me of tormenting poor John, and of trying to get him back, and basically of being that horrible c-word I can't even type.
"Nope!" I replied. I filled him in on the whole story, attempting to set his ass straight. "Oh, uh..." was basically his response. I informed him that if John didn't like my behavior (and acting like a jerk in one's own home isn't usually an illegal offense) he could always tell me himself. Or, better yet, he could stay out of my place and hang out in his own home. 
What I haven't talked about too much here is that I did have a "boyfriend" at the time, he just wasn't always physically there. I told Brian that Meredith's "bitch tryin' to steal my man!" routine has been her battle cry for months and that the presence of another gentleman in my place (who was allowed to park in our lot) should've clued her in that her accusations were unnecessary. Falcon (Mike, but I usually used his wrestling name) was very supportive of me during this time and always knew what was going on. When I told him about the "standing-my-ground-peaceful-protest-" he was proud of me.
When July came, a heatwave struck. Falcon spent Wednesdays and Thursdays with me at my apartment. When the temps indoors were unbearable, we went over to my parents' house to sit in their blow up, above ground pool. Not great for swimming, but it got the job of cooling off done. One day, we were at my home and while the rest of us were sweating, my dad was sick and under a blanket. Soon enough, my mom brought him to the emergency room.
In case I haven't made it known, I have a great relationship with my parents. Ten years previously, my dad had a heart valve replacement, so I was always worried about his mortality. He was treated at our local hospital for an infection in his blood. It was a scary time. 
After his release from the hospital, he was at home with a PIC-line (long term IV) and a visiting nurse. He was exhausted and unable to enjoy any of the summer activities my mother and him had planned. On Tuesday, I spent the afternoon with him, and my mom went to work. I really didn't have to do much, he just wanted to rest. It's not easy seeing someone you love and lean on so weak. After spending the day with my dad, I went to work at my summer/night job at a store. It had been a long, trying day.
So, when I arrived home around 10:30 that night, I really didn't feel like protesting peacefully. I pulled into my parking space and watched in my rear view as John stood next to Meredith's car. The couple, plus Justin, her roommate were getting ready to go out drinking. They were pretty much always with Justin. I even saw them go away on some overnight trip...with him in tow. Whatever (shrug). Anyway, I was in no mood to deal with this nauseating little trio. 
As I got out of my car, I was so annoyed that I let my door slam. "Sorry," I said to John. "I've had a hard day. And now it looks like you are because you're dealing with me," I said, with sarcastic irritation, as I began to walk past.
He had the nerve to whine, "leave me alone." 
That stopped me in my tracks. "You're the one in my parking lot!" I fired back. I honestly had no reason to want to be respectful to him, when they had been so cruel to me. Leave you alone? No, you leave me alone. "This is my home," I said, and that was pretty much the last thing I said before Meredith engaged what became known as "the spitting incident." 
"DO YOU WANT TO HAVE AN ADULT CONVERSATION?!" she hollered at me, repeating it several times, without a hint of irony.
"Uh...yeah, I do," I attempted to reply over her screaming routine. 
Things got intense, and quickly out of hand for her. She started yelling, "go upstairs! go upstairs!" I don't take to kindly to being told what to do, like that. I didn't move, nor did I say anything back. Then John started yelling at me. "Go back upstairs!" Then he yelled to her, "get in the car!"
I watched John sweat in horror as the moment he so dreaded, yet refused to prevent finally unfolded. "No," I calmly but firmly replied to him as he acted all pissy that I dared to show my face in the parking lot where I was a tenant. 
I don't remember the exact order of events, but I remember everything that was said, such as:
"HOW OLD ARE YOU? ACT YOUR AGE!" from the same person who employed friends to intimidate me, months earlier. I responded by saying I was John's age, thus I knew he was too old to get drunk on work nights, which she didn't hear over her own voice.
"LIVE YOUR LIFE!" was a particularly interesting one. I was actually able to get a response out, reminding them that this was my life and I honestly had no where to go besides work, which I was attempting to return from. 
"CAN'T YOU SEE, HE DOESN'T CARE ABOUT YOU? HE DOESN'T WANT YOU BACK!" Now, that really grinds my gears. As if I actually wanted that spineless jerk.
"I wouldn't take him back in a million years!" I said in disbelief that they actually thought my anger was about him not being my boyfriend any more.They looked at each other as if to say, "oh...didn't know that." I took the opportunity to say "I have a boyfriend, I do not want John back. My current boyfriend knows all about this situation."
As if stumped, Meredith abandoned all sense of decency and angrily spat towards me, missing by several feet.
Disgusted, I just stayed calm and let the scene happen. "She's spitting," I said to John, who was freaking out and trying to make it stop by yelling at me. I just stood there, as she ran up to me and resumed hollering right in my face. "I'll spit again! she yelled, as if that was a good threat. 
I remember saying something like, "I can't move on until you admit what you did to me in May." 
"You came after me!" she yelled back. "Just like you're doing right now!" I seriously can't make this stuff up. I was standing there, doing my best to remain calm while she was in my face, yelling and spitting.
She spat again, this time at close range. To be honest, it was pretty much at the ground again, just a little shoe splash. I just kept looking at John like, "are you seeing this?" I remember the last time I dealt with people spitting during a dispute. I made them sit on opposite sides of our kindergarten rug, in a time out until they were ready to talk like five year olds.
 As John got into the car, he said something like, "I don't care about you because of all you did to me," but I was prepared. 
"No. You don't get to forgive someone, then go back in time, trying to get retroactive revenge." 
"Well, I thought about it..." he stammered through his lie. He's no good at lying, because that was never the kind of person he was. They sped off in her car, with her behind the wheel. Maybe she was drunk already.

 With them gone, I went back upstairs. I didn't know what to do, or how to react. I don't suffer fools well. Why the hell should I just follow the orders of someone screaming at me like that? These scenes just weren't part of the life that I had always known until now. I felt like shit. Someone had just spat at me, treated me like dirt, shown me the ultimate in disrespect. Once again, I broke down into a sobbing fit. 

Falcon came up to stay with me the next day. He was angry about what happened. I didn't want to stress my folks out any more, but we stopped by their place and I told my mom and sister what happened. Everyone was wondering why I didn't call the cops.
I guess I'm not sure when calling in the police is appropriate. Also, I had a feeling they wouldn't be very helpful. They'd probably hear a little back story and dismiss the whole thing as two chicks fighting over a dude, which was not the case. I remember my mom using the phrase, "when two tenants don't get along," somewhere. Falcon agreed with me that that wasn't accurate, saying, "it's not about two tenants not getting along. It's one tenant going after the other."
It was her coming after me, I just wasn't backing down and shrinking. I had never meant to have that scene, but the idea of running indoors because they were yelling at me to do that, just didn't sit well with me. I didn't cause it, I just allowed it to happen. That day, I sent John a brief text saying, "Pardon any aggression on my part from last night. My dad almost died and I wasn't in the mood to see you people. The peaceful protest resumes."
Later on that night, Falcon and I were having a great time doing our Wednesday night Savers trip and roller skating. I got an unexpected reply to my text: "I'm sorry about your dad. You won't have to worry about me any more. We had a big fight and pretty much broke up. I'm sorry about everything that's happened. She was the only one who wanted to date me."
I'm not gonna lie; I was elated. I shared the news with Falcon as we shopped. I felt like I had finally had some justice. I wouldn't hold my breath, but maybe John would honestly realize what he had done by allowing me to be hurt by another and I would finally get the answers I was looking for. That night, just before bed, I looked out my window to see Meredith and Justin doing her usual smoke butts and drink beer on the stoop thing. "Be gone, bitch," I whispered to myself.
I remember when I told my sister of the split; she was like, "not so fast..." She explained that a manipulative relationship like theirs wouldn't just end. They would probably break and make up several times. Was she right? 
On the following day, Falcon got some sleep, before leaving for work around 9. We had parked his car in my space and I had to put my own in the street because she was taking up two extra spaces with guests or something. At one point--and yes, I was kinda spying out the window--another tenant, who's always laid back and chill came home to find all the spaces taken. He just drove his car right into the middle, blocking everyone in, like "fuck it." I watched as she ran out and kindly asked him about moving his car so she could move her fleet of vehicles or something, and he made her wait until he was ready. 
After Falcon left for work, my plan was to move my car so I didn't have to get up early and do it the next morning. But, I had to make sure it was safe to go out. I peered out my bathroom window...
She saw me. Not like I cared, I'm allowed to look out my damn window at her scene. She hollered up. "I see you, c***!" I shrugged, and she continued. "Why don't you come down here and fight me?!" she yelled, while Justin and another gentleman pulled her away. She shouted out a few beating threats and I politely declined to come down. I wish she could've heard my awesome comeback: "No thank you! I'd prefer to battle wits, but you seem to be unarmed at the moment. Perhaps some time when you're not completely wasted? When is that, exactly?"
Truthfully, that was kinda scary. I texted John to inform him that she was trying to get me to come down and engage in fisticuffs.
Whaddya know? John was completely unsurprised, and didn't seem all that bothered. His response was mostly apathetic, suggesting I tell Jesse because she know longer listened to him. As usual, his response seemed to imply that my safety was not important; him having a girlfriend was what's important. He said that she was probably drunk (as if that makes it ok?) and I said, "of course she's drunk. Night after night, she's out there smoking butts and shotgunning beers."
John said he didn't need to hear that...(What? Why?) I replied back a few times. I chose to kill him with kindness. I sensitively asked him if he had anyone to talk to. Yeah, I was taking threats of some kind of beat down and I was being sensitive to him. I told him that after what he did to me, it would be a long time before I could ever forgive him, but that in time, I wanted answers. I told him that I can't move on until I understood.
He said he had to figure things out, but that when he was ready he would talk to me.
Whatever. I held out a little bit of hope, but left room for disappointment. I stood by my actions and my words. I would defend my choices and stand tall...but what I couldn't do is allow myself to get physically hurt. I was scared again, but I was still pleased that I wouldn't have to see John around any more. She was probably born and raised a jerk, but John wasn't. Seeing the person whom I respected more than anyone transform into a mean wimp who didn't even have the guts to meet me face to face was unbearable. I didn't cause them to break up, I just gave her enough rope and eventually she hanged herself. Justice had been served and I felt better.
Falcon took a week's vacation and during this time we went to the beach and also went up to north New Hampshire and visited some really nice places. I remember standing in the Saco River and wishing I could've had my phone on me and taken some pictures because I was having so much fun. I was outdoors! I was doing something with someone! I had forgotten how good it felt to have someone to enjoy life with. Whether it was temporary or not, it was good to smile.
And no smile can last forever...While getting ready for bed one Wednesday night, I heard that voice say "hey girl!" to someone outside. Like a programmed robot, my eyes shot toward the window. While Meredith chatted up some friend, there in my lot, stood the ghostly figure of my ex boyfriend, John. Wearing a bright red hoodie and standing all hunched over, his eyes locked with the ground, he was a chilling sight. My sister's premonition was correct.
I was furious. "You liar!" I called out, as Meredith clung to him and they walked inside. Falcon held me as I mourned the justice I thought I had. "He told me I wouldn't have to deal with this any more," I explained. After what occurred, after the brief text conversation we had, he had the nerve to just show his face again, like nothing happened. "Instead, he's going to go right back to how it was, doing the same thing over and over and the same things will happen!"
The neighborhood wasn't big enough for all of us. Soon, Justin bailed to Florida and Meredith moved some random woman in without informing the landlords. This new "tenant" turned their apartment into a flophouse, with people noisily coming in and out. One night, Jesse hollered at a group of the tenant's friends to get lost, before shouting to Joe (another tenant) about how if this whole place burned down, it would be Meredith's fault for bringing in strangers like that. One morning, a bunch of people poured out of the building like it was a clown car.
Of course, at this point, I was not at all speaking to John, unless I was punking him out by waving, "hey, John!" as he tried to come out for a smoke on Sunday morning. I hated having him here. Whenever I saw him enter my building at night, I would hear that Kill Bill music:

I was just so tired of having this problem. I had been working so hard to recover and was feeling so much better, but having to see him just made me angry. I wanted it to be his problem, not mine. One day, just for the LOLz, I put up a joke "want ad" on my facebook page:
Wanted: exorcist. Need to rid apartment building of ex-boyfriend's ghost. Ghost appears very similar to my former companion but lacks the smile, charisma, integrity, and intelligence of his former self. Apparition will become terrified and flee when spoken to, but returns to the scene each day.
It made Falcon laugh! My mom thought it was funny as hell, too. It may not have been the most mature moment from me, but you know what? No fucks given. If he thinks that spitting at someone is ok; then I think cracking jokes on the internet is ok. One person who didn't think my joke was funny was John's other friend, Jesse T. Jesse defended him on my post until I requested we talk, because I needed help understanding. I'm so glad we did. I spilled the whole ridiculous story to John's understanding friend who admitted he didn't even see John that often these days. He believed what I said, he told me he would try to fix John. It felt incredible to have him agree that the behavior was unacceptable and that I had every right to be angry.
I just wanted to fix myself. It really wasn't/isn't an option for me to just move out of my place. I had very little money, and places to live on such a tight budget aren't easy to come by. I had no friends either. I also didn't want to. 
I started my the blog at the end of August, finally ready to get myself out there. Falcon loved my craft projects and very supportive of my "work." I remember driving by John, just as he was getting in his car, only a few days after my birthday. He's on the corner, so one really has no choice but to stop and look while driving by. I lowered the window and said, "You forgot my birthday."
 "No, I didn't," he said with a sad smile. 
"You didn't acknowledge my birthday," I said.
"I wanted to."
I honestly don't know how I would've responded if he had sent a happy birthday text. Whatever. I felt like I was getting better. Of course; I was wrong.
It was the week before school started and I was so nervous, not knowing what my assignment would be. On Tuesday night, Falcon was acting like a real turd. On Wednesday, he didn't show up. When I woke up alone, I knew what was happening. I called him to get it over with. He had quit WAW; and he was quitting me. 
In the previous months, I told him that it was too much responsibility for him to be the only one in my life making me happy, but he stayed. I felt like as long as I had him, I had something to look forward to. I had another soul out there who had my back To hell with you, haters; I had Falcon! I had some pride. But, just like the others, he let me down, falling away like the final petal on a wilting flower With his attention and care, he helped pull me out of the gutter. Then, he dropped me right back where he found me. 
I wasn't ready for that. I wasn't yet equipped to handle a heartbreak.

So, I cried to mom, like so many times before. Her soothing voice, like a rock, was always there when I didn't know what to do. But, she had news, too. In her most comforting "don't be alarmed" voice, she said: "Dad is having surgery to replace two heart valves next week." 
 And that's when I felt all the sanity that I had regained slip away, and I tumbled backwards into uncontrollable darkness. "Maybe I should be a in a hospital..." 
Once again, I was picked up from my apartment and taken home to my parents' house. They didn't think I should be in a hospital, but I didn't want to be a burden on my dad who was preparing for surgery or my mom who would be taking care of him. I was useless. When I woke up in my old bedroom that first morning, my mom had gone out to breakfast with her friend, my landlady Colleen. When I noticed the house was all out of regular coffee K-cups for the machine, I was so out of it that I didn't know how to react. No coffee? What do I do?! Better get back in bed.
I knew I wouldn't be able to work two jobs, but I was hoping I would be able to go back to the classroom once school started. I had my mom bring me to the store so I could tell them I would need to be away for a while. And if this city wasn't small enough...the first person I saw upon entering the store was John's mother.
John's mother is a beautiful, vibrant woman with a personality to match. She is also very sensitive. She knew at first look that something wasn't right. "Are you ok?" she asked, with her beautiful Greek accent.  
"No," I answered through tears, as she put an arm around me. Talk about the wrong time. I never intended to tell her what happened, but once I told her about my father's surgery, it spilled out.  
Luckily for me, my mom was with me. It was just an awkward encounter and I don't remember much. She wasn't angry at me, but she didn't seem to hear the seriousness of what I was saying. I begged her to talk to him, to help him. I said that he wasn't the hero that she had raised. We hugged before parting ways.
Once home, I texted him a heads up on the whole situation. He responded with something along the lines of "I hope you get better," which struck me a particularly egregious, seeing as though he took a major role in plunging me into this mess and would do nothing to help me out of it. 
My sister took the phone. "This is Andrea, and not that you care, but I'm really disappointed in who you turned into. You can stop telling her to get better, because she's doing better off than you. My sister is an amazing person and you turned on her for your sketchy buds." 
That's what my sister said for me. Understanding from others is a great help in healing one's soul.  
Life went on. School started, Dad came out of surgery like a champ, and I went back home to my apartment. I'm still fighting as best as I can, and some days, that's not at all.
I hope readers can understand a little of what I've gone through and continue to go through. So many people, even those who have experienced depression in the past seem to suggest that I can simply "fix myself" or that being angry, hurt, scared, or lonely is a choice I am making. I am doing what my family and the professionals whom I sought help from are asking of me, but this could be a long process. I feel like I'm trying to rebuild my life from scratch. 
And I'm afraid this loneliness is for a reason. Even after everyone hurt me, I still feel like I deserve to be cared about, I deserve human companionship...but I also have to accept the thought that I'm not a person who can have friends or be a friend.
I have spoken to John a few times since my sister told him off. Once, he admitted "he sucked," but the next time he continued to speak in the passive voice, i.e.: "I'm sorry for what has happened," rather than, "I'm sorry for the things I have done." Of course, once you apologize, you usually change the behavior and he is still with the woman who tormented me. He made ridiculous excuses, saying "everyone makes mistakes," and such. He is obviously not ready to talk and maybe he never will be. 
happier times
 I have no choice but to get by one day at a time with pain in my heart. No, I will not "let it go." Not now. As months pass, even years I will eventually think less and less about him (well, once he's out of my sight) and of the others who hurt me so badly. And for those of you who were able to put your traumatic experiences behind you; good for you. I'm not there yet. I will continue working with my counselor, writing, crafting, and teaching my students. But, don't ask me to "move on." I'll go when I'm ready.

I'm definitely not a fan of country music, but I've always felt like this song does an excellent job of capturing my feelings of being angry and not quite ready to let go of it.



  1. It's just funny that you're all "woe is me, I'm so depressed, I deserve to be loved!" yet you fail to mention that you knew "Falcon" was in a relationship and living with someone who loved him. Just saying, maybe you get what you deserve.

  2. LOL, hello, Julie. I'm sorry, you're still mad, but I think your anger is for Mike, not me. I hope you're dealing with your alcoholism and the violent outbursts that went with it. As you see, I'm dealing with my depression and trying to get better. You make an interesting point; as Mike was in a relationship when you started seeing him, as well. So, let's not throw stones. Seek help, girl and save your hurt for person who hurt you, because that person wasn't me.

  3. "LOL", cute "moody", because I had no idea he was in a relationship until i was already basically dating him, whereas you knew he was living with me and thought it was cool to have him as your "part-time boyfriend". I'm sure he told you the same lies he told me (even thought I sent you quite the douchey message to the contrary) and I feel like I should be over it by now, but it killed me.

    And yes, CLEARLY there is a lot of anger towards him, and the whole falling further and further into alcoholism as he (coincidentally) was banging you was wonderful, and luckily I pulled out of the batshit-psycho mode that you seem stuck in. But really. If you had listened to my crazy messages the first few times, you would've known Mike can't handle adult problems like alcoholism or batshitpsychoness. One of the good things I've learned from your blog.

  4. Well that escalated quickly, or maybe not quick enough.

  5. Erica, you hang in there. work on healing yourself, you do deserve to be loved and cared for, but love and care for yourself first. Screw everyone's negative comments that really do no good!