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I’ve been writing a comprehensive book on personality disorders with an emphasis on NPD.  I’m not a psychiatrist but I know someone who IS psychiatrist in real-life and who specializes in personality disorders.  He has agreed to review this book prior to publication for accuracy of information.  I’m also going to request that he write a forward for it.

This book  will define the term personality disorder, it will provide all the DSM-IV (cited) criteria for NPD, with real-world descriptions of each criteria.  Each criterion will probably be a chapter unto itself, since there is such a massive amount of accurate anecdotal material available.

I will also include chapters on Borderline Personality Disorder since that disorder has so many crossover traits with NPD.  Depending upon how long the NPD book is (I’d like to keep it at 300 pages!) I may have to write another on BPD.   These books are being written with the purpose of helping others recognize these disorders and understand what they can do to better their situations if involved in any way with someone who is one of these disorders.

Please remember that individuals who meet the criteria for NPD and BPD don’t “have” the disorder, they ARE the disorder.  Why?  It’s simple.  To have something implies that one can NOT have it.  For an NPD, the realization that they are a disorder will never come, so they don’t “have” the disorder, they ARE the disorder.  For a BPD, there’s a shred of hope, but in most cases, they, too, do not realize that anything is wrong with them, thus they don’t “have” the disorder, they ARE the disorder.

You will learn methods for recognizing those who are potentially NPD or BPD on the first date, but more importantly you will learn an accurate method for analyzing online dating profiles to determine whether the writer is NPD.  It’s a little more difficult to extrapolate BPD from a dating profile and not always accurate, so I won’t provide that.

The book will also contain a compassionate and common-sense guide to rebuilding emotional health during the aftermath of interacting with an NPD (remember, they don’t have relationships!) and it will provide cited research into the developmental phases of a child who grows up to be an NPD adult.  This will provide a glimpse into the why of an NPD and it will allow you to feel compassion for them, while understanding that pity is wasted and it will also allow you to learn your best method for detaching and distancing – for good.

Additionally, there will be anecdotal information based on my personal experiences, interviews with others who have had similar experiences and between each chapter there will be lined pages for you to make notes if you choose to print the book.  The book will be in PDF format and will be read-only, and you will not be able to do a “save-as” so you can make electronic notes.  Allowing that capability is dangerous for an author.

Please note, since this will be my material, garnered from many long  hours of research, and then the effort put forth to write a book that resonates with truth, REAL help and guidance, it will be copyrighted as my material.  If I provide this book and someone wants to use pieces of it in their own work, they will need permission to use it and any portions of it that are used must be cited (as I am doing with all my research.)  I want to help others, and in doing so, I also want to help myself.  If there is enough interest in this as an e-book, when I am finished writing it, I will post it here as a downloadable book at a price of $9.95  for 30 days prior to allowing my publisher to release it (at a much higher price!)

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Pink Blinders

I hear so many people, fresh out of relationships, blaming their ex-partner for the entire debacle.  I hear (mostly women, but some men) casting blame like boulders.  I would say there’s probably only one instance when the demise of a relationship truly is NOT at least partially your fault, regardless your behavior, and that’s when you’re involved with an NPD. They’re an entirely different breed of monster and I’m not addressing them further in this post.  To learn more about them, read my other posts categorized under NPD.

Aside from that instance, I don’t think any of us can be totally absolved of fault in the demise of a relationship.  When we enter a relationship we make a choice to do so.  Some of us engage far too quickly when we think we’ve found the person of our dreams.  There are several issues with that:

1.  Sometimes what we think we want isn’t what we really want.

2.  Sometimes what we think we need isn’t at all what we need.

3.  Sometimes we are engaging simply to assuage the pain of a recently broken heart, thinking that having a new “love” interest will distract us.  It will.  It will also distract us from learning what went wrong in the preceding relationship and learning from our mistakes.

4.  Engaging too quickly, which means becoming physically involved, or taking ourselves off the dating scene after just a few dates with someone, usually spells disaster.  It’s essential to take the time to get to know the person, instead of attempting to force the individual to fit our ideals.

There are reasons that young women used to be chaperoned when they “walked out” with “gentlemen callers.”  First, these women were still girls, usually not out of their teens.  Even if they were older, their experience with men was usually limited to that of father, brother, uncle and/or elderly neighbors.  Cousins?  These women (girls) were chaperoned with their male cousins because cousins used to marry.  Here we are, in the 21st century, with a 50% or higher divorce rate, and a whole bunch of adult humans who can’t or won’t engage with a new potential partner in an emotionally healthy fashion.

Chaperoning provided a few benefits, regardless how stifling or old-fashioned it may seem. First, the chaperon would usually be someone older (but not always) and could observe interactions.  They would watch body language between the couple and listen to the verbal interaction.  Back then, because society was so “polite” people learned how to read body language and interpret language that we might, today, simply allow to pass us by because we think we have so much better information upon which to rely. We can do a background search on a potential partner.  Hey – I did that and he came up clean.  First date, he asked me for my panties AND since I wouldn’t oblige, asked me if I’d follow him home and lock him in a male chastity device.  The N I dated came up clean.  His divorce records were public, so I read them.  I didn’t read carefully enough.  PINK BLINDERS.

While I’m not advocating that you engage a chaperon for six months, I AM advocating that you watch and listen.  Pay attention to body language and if you aren’t well-versed in it, research it.  There’s a tool for that.  It’s called “the internet.”  If you found this post, you can find many on body language.  🙂   Listen, and I mean really HEAR what the other person is saying.  Over time, you will hear what you need to hear to know whether this person is right for you.

Observe how this person interacts with others.  If the way s/he interacts with others doesn’t jive with the way s/he is interacting with you, you should then ask yourself why there is a difference.  Ask the person why there is a difference and listen to the answer.

All of us have ideals and the danger of an “instant relationship” is that we don’t give ourselves time to get to know someone before jumping in, heart-first.  We meet someone who appears to fit our ideal for the right partner and because we’re human, ergo imperfect, we don’t remove the “Turbo-Charged Romance-Driven and Comes in Ten Shades of Pink to Coordinate With Every Ideal You Have Blinders!” (as seen on TV, and $19.99 will get you two pair, in different shades)

What if…and here’s a revolutionary new idea…WHAT IF you chose (because life is about choices) to take things slowly?  What if you chose to tell your prospective ideal partner that you’re willing to date him or her, but want to take the time for both of you to get to know each other prior to taking dating to the relationship stage?   What if you kept your options wide open?  What if you chose to do the emotionally healthy thing?  What if you decide to put yourself in control, as opposed to immediately handing that control to someone you barely know and have dated only a few times?

Fearful question, the “What if.”  Lots of things could happen, but ALL of them would be positive, even though they may not feel like it at the time.  Below are a few of the fears that prevent people from taking things slowly and empowering themselves by remaining in control of themselves and their relationships, with the upside of that fear in bold italics:

1.  If you don’t jump right in the man/woman of your dreams might get away.  If the man/woman of your dreams won’t wait for you, after you’ve expressed a desire to take your time about it, the odds are excellent that this isn’t the individual of your dreams.  Move on. Bullet dodged. Take the Pink Blinders off. 

2.  You’re lonely and feel as though you’ll never find someone else, so when you do meet someone with whom you click, you believe it’s your last chance for love so you’d better grab it now.  there is never a last chance for love.  The feeling that you’ll never find someone else is the hole in yourself that you are seeking to fill with the presence of another human being.  Fill it yourself.  That’s a huge burden to place upon another person, and the odds are good that if you place that burden upon them, you’ll be in another of those “I’m never gonna find someone to love me” situations very soon. Take the Pink Blinders off.

3.  You’re lonely, financially burdened, need help, and this individual presents a way out.  You convince yourself that they are the right person for you because you’re desperate for someone to take care of you and you feel overwhelmed at the thought of digging out alone.  Being lonely isn’t a good enough reason to jump at an instant relationship.  Learn to like spending time with yourself . Get a dog.  Borrow a dog.  Read a book.  Go to a mall and say hi to strangers.  If you are financially burdened and feel overwhelmed at the thought of having to take care of yourself for another moment, step back and assess the reasons why you feel that way.  If you’re in over your head, adding a partner is going to make it worse, not better.  If you feel you can’t take care of yourself, no one, and I mean NO ONE is going to be able to do that for you.  Learn to take care of yourself and you will be immeasurably more attractive to potential partners. Take the Pink Blinders off.

4.  You’re getting a bit older and you feel like you won’t ever have sex with anyone but yourself, again.  Ever.  In your life.  Ever.  And that thought is unpalatable to you.  Um, do you really want to take on another human being, complete with emotional baggage, engage with them on an emotional level (because you’re smart and you don’t have casual sex), and, as my good friend, Ana, said yesterday: “be willing to put up with a lot of shit…” just so you can ensure you don’t miss out on having sex?  If you’ve been sexually active most of your life to this point, what on earth makes you think you won’t have that again?  And if you don’t, is it really the end of the world?  Would you engage in instant relationship, risking your heart, your emotional well-being, and perhaps even your health, just to be certain you had full naked body contact with another human being?  Take the Pink Blinders off.

Ask yourself an all-important question when you meet the someone you think is the individual of your dreams:  “What am I willing to give up for this person?”  Relationships require sacrifice and if you’re thinking you’re “in love” with someone you barely know, please ask yourself that question, because there’s a chance the price you pay for jumping in with your pink blinders on will be an extremely high price, paid on credit, and with a high interest rate. You’ll pay, emotionally, for quite some time.

So, now you’ve made a choice.  Your choice is to jump in, regardless your intuition, regardless your common sense.  The pink blinders came with super heavy-duty temple adhesive (that the infomercial conveniently “forgot” to mention) and you just can’t seem to take them off.

You’ve spent a few months seeing this person and you thought you were their bestest and only.  You thought they felt the same way about you.  You just KNEW they did, because why else would  they be calling daily, emailing, asking you out?  But wait!  They’re not really doing that.  Check your phone records.  Check your email.  Review past conversations.  Oh no!  In the past month, you’ve  initiated everything and you didn’t realize it.  That’s because you can’t get those damned pink blinders off and it’s your own fault for buying them in the first place.

So, who’s to blame for the failure of your relationship?  Really?  Was there ever a real relationship?  What were you telling yourself that made you think that after a few dates you were in a relationship?  No, you can’t plead temporary insanity in this court.

You are the only person who has control over your relationships.  If you choose to hand that control to someone else, it’s your own fault.  You can’t blame anyone else.  If you see behaviors you don’t like, and allow them to persist, you are merely watering the garden of undesirable behaviors.  If you react to those behaviors with an “eye for an eye” doctrine, you’ve just proved your emotional immaturity to everyone, but yourself, because you’re probably still wearing those pink blinders (although, at this point, they may be sitting a bit askew on your face).

I believe that too many people are in love with romance.  I cringe every time I read a forum post or hear someone say that they are divorcing or leaving a long-term committed relationship because they “just don’t feel the romance and excitement anymore.”  Grow the hell up, people!  Marriage and committed relationships take work, and I pity you if you’ve bought into the pop-psychology that says “if the person is right for you, you won’t have to work at making it work.”  That’s bullshit.  Humans, by our very nature, are fickle and easily distracted creatures.  We want what we want and we’ve been saturated with self-help material that tells us we are entitled to have what we want, and that we can get it just by “thinking” it.  We don’t have to work for it, we don’t have to put forth any effort.  We simply have to think it into existence and et voila! there it is!

I have two ex  husbands who told me post-divorce, that they went into marriage thinking that if they didn’t like it, got bored, or it wasn’t “working” or felt like it was “too much work” that they could just jump out of the marriage.  That’s precisely what they both did.  The first ex has “just jumped out” of two marriages now and I believe he’s getting ready to do it with a third.  The second husband just jumped into a marriage.  He married me because all his buddies were getting married and he didn’t want to be the last man standing.  He jumped out of our marriage for an old HS girlfriend who dumped him a month after he left my son and me.  Karma can be a bitch.  🙂  Approximately two years later, after not dating at all, he met and moved in with a woman who is the best friend of his step-sister.  He lived with her for 3 years and bought a house with her.  He didn’t marry her until two weeks ago, and what I and many others see that he apparently does not see, is that the woman he married resembles me very closely.

Second ex is loaded, and the odds are good that he jumped into this one wearing his pink blinders and then by the time he finally got them off his face, he realized he’d been living with and signed a mortgage with this woman, so he may as well marry her. His family and friends would have expected it and he’s ALL about the expectations of family and friends.  The expectations of a wife don’t matter.  At all.  Second ex learned nothing from the mistakes he made while with me.  How do I know this?  Because HS girlfriend, who he left me for, and who is still “technically” single, just showed up as a friend on his FB page.  She wasn’t there for 3 years.  I know this story and I feel for his wife.

I’m certain she’s been told the same lies I was told about HS girlfriend.  New wife has her pink blinders on and has probably had them on the entire time.  It’s easy to wear them with Second ex.  He’s filthy rich, he’s Cary Grant-Gregory Peck handsome, he’s intelligent, articulate, and oh-so-attentive as long as life is going his way.  He’s also an unmedicated bipolar who relies on daddy to get him out of jams.  My guess is that New Wife hasn’t seen this aspect yet.

Lest you think any of this about Second ex is sour grapes, let me relieve you of that thought.  While I’ve stayed in touch with him over the years, and he showed interest in reconciling, I made certain he understood that I was NOT going there.  EVER.  The emotional damage he did to me can be forgiven, but never forgotten.  The emotional damage he did to my son will never be forgiven OR forgotten.

I was wearing pink blinders when I met him, when I moved in with him and when I got engaged to him.  I wore them up until 4:57 pm on a monday in August of 2004 when he came home and said:  “I didn’t sign up for this, I’m leaving.”   He was gone by 5:04, with just his car keys.  I was blindsided so badly my pink blinders went flying off my face and I saw him, within seconds of that statement, for what he was.

How many ways can you spell A N G R Y?  He told me later that he didn’t dare attempt to get past me when I blocked his path to the stairs leading to our bedroom.  He said he’d never seen me look like that.  Of course he hadn’t because until this point, I’d been wearing my pink blinders and though life was gloriously rose-colored.  I had my little family, I had a lovely home, I had a man who, by his accounting, daily, adored me, I had my every need, want, and desire promptly taken care of.  It’s amazing how fast an individual’s brain can react once the pink blinders have been torn off the face.

I have to own just as much accountability for the demise of my marriage as he holds, though.  I didn’t pay attention.  I didn’t give myself enough time to get to know him.  We moved in with each other within 3 months of meeting.  We got engaged within 9 months of meeting and were married 11 months after that.  Even when his brother attempted to undermine us by having a “secret” phone conversation with Second ex about my son the “problem child” (his brother has children now and one who is waaaaaay more of a “problem child), I didn’t see that as a red flag.

I was angry that Second ex didn’t tell his brother it was none of his business and to stay out of our relationship, and Second ex and I had a grand fight over that, but I allowed it.  That set precedent.  I should have gathered my son, my belongings and my life and moved on, right then.  A man who allows his family to be disrespectful of the woman he’s chosen to marry, and to denigrate that woman’s child is no man at all.

I reacted to bad behavior with equally bad behavior of my own.  I grew passive-aggressive, but no one could have told me that.  I wouldn’t have listened.

Second ex’s parents divorced when he was 5.  His mother raised him in a broken-down trailer, so poor they had to use dish soap for shampoo.  She did this, even though Second ex’s father was and is a multi-millionaire who would have provided.  She blamed her ex for everything, refused to accept any help from him, and raised her two boys in poverty, making them drink “Dad sucks” kool-aid daily.

When I came on the scene, she thought it was grand that I had an adolescent child.  She swung immediately into grandmother mode and my son’s favorite place to be for almost a year was with Second ex’s mother and step dad.

One day my son came back from their house telling me that he’d been disciplined harshly for something minor.  I called and asked about it.  I figured the truth would be in the middle.  It was.  I thought the situation was resolved.

Oh no.  Second ex’s mother called a “family meeting,”  a meeting that excluded me, and decided that if my son could “lie” about that situation (he didn’t lie, he exaggerated, and he admitted to the deed he’d done), then what were the odds he was going to accuse them of child molestation at some point?  WTF??????  To this day I have no clue where that came from!  So without a word to me, they, including Second ex, decided that my son wouldn’t be allowed to visit his favorite place any longer.

And still I did nothing but get angry and blame Second ex for being spineless.  Who was spineless?  Me.  I allowed that shit to happen and still didn’t pack my son and myself up and leave.  I indirectly gave permission for this kind of abuse to continue, and continue it did.

Even with all that, during the course of our marriage, I didn’t allow myself to believe that  I was truly seeing was WHO Second ex was.  I chose to believe that at some point he’d stand up for me.  I chose to believe it because I WANTED him to do it.  We don’t always get what we want.

There is more horror that I could write about, but you may be bored by this time, so I won’t.  The entire point of this missive it to simply say:  Stop and think about what you are doing before you do it.  The consequences to yourself (and to others) if you do not think, may be so massive you pay the rest of your life.

Remove the PINK BLINDERS now!

Sorry folks, I suck at brevity.  🙂

Deconstruction of a Dating Profile

For those of you who are trying to find love online, here’s an example of a dating profile you should avoid.  I dated this person, and since his profile is public content, there is nothing illegal about re-posting it here.  I will not post his dating-site handle (but I wish I could so women in my area who read this can avoid him) or his name.  I will deconstruct his profile for you.  My commentary is in red.

Most tell me I am warm, giving, knowing, and patient. 

Most of what? Most of whom? If “most” apples in a barrel are good does that mean that ALL apples in a barrel are good? Do you not know whether you are those things? No, you don’t because your entire image of yourself is a construct built upon what others tell you.

Others tell me I have a good sense of humor and am fun to be around.

Here we go again with what YOU say OTHERS say.  You don’t want to actually say that you have these qualities because deep down, you know you don’t really have them, you only present them when you are in the presence of others from whom you can benefit. Presenting these qualities is not the same thing as actually having them.

Many things interest me and I am entertained easily. I love kayaking, skiing, hiking, skating and most of the usual sports but I tend to gravitate toward the arts.

Note that this person places the emphasis on the more “extreme” sports, the ones that require more skill for the average person to engage in them.  There is only a nod toward the “more usual sports” because this person feels the “more usual” is beneath them.

I am emotionally healthy as I am filled with positive feelings and energy most of the time.

Um, okay.  How does that define emotional health?  Notice this person doesn’t say “others” speak to the individual’s emotional health.  This is something this person is CERTAIN of, and even goes so far as to define it for us.

I enjoy talking and listening and sharing emotions.

Be very wary of this kind of phrase in an online profile.  It sounds innocent and it may well be innocent as well as truthful, but I happen to know this person.  I dated him. He does enjoy talking – about himself.  He listens for perceived criticisms and the emotions he shares are thinly disguised rage.  He feeds off YOUR emotions and stores them up to use as ammunition against you. 

I’ve been told I’m old fashioned and I’ve been told I’m eclectic, urban and modern. 

Again, he doesn’t know himself – he tells us what others have told him.  He has no clue what he truly is. 

I think I’m a bit of mix since I strive for balance in most areas.

He doesn’t know what he thinks, since he’s already stated that his opinion of himself is garnered from the opinions of others.  How many people strive for balance in just “most” areas?  This is an individual who doesn’t know anything about balance and probably added the word “most” as a subconscious qualifier.  I doubt he even realizes what he’s said about himself here.

I am honest and loyal and sometimes too trusting.

This is classic NPD in this case.  Again, he  shows us that he hasn’t got a clue.  How can he be honest when he’s already told us that he has no clue what emotional health is and that he only strives for balance in “most” areas?  The part about being loyal and too trusting is a classic set-up from NPD people.  

This is a huge red flag, and it’s already setting his potential victims up to BE victims. He’ll be “loyal” and “trusting” until you evince dissatisfaction with him.  At that point, his entire visage will change, his normal MO will cast off the cloak of charm, warmth and affection and you will be told exactly what a terrible person you are, and any emotions you may have “shared” with him will be brought out and used to decimate you.  You’ll know you are nothing more than a thing to him, that you are disposable and he will attempt to convince you that you have misinterpreted him in all ways.  Any hurt you sustain from your interaction with him is your fault.  To paraphrase another source:  “so sorry that you’re a casualty of my pathology.”

An Optimist-idealist grounded in the practical.

Note he doesn’t state “I am an optimist-idealist grounded in the practical.”  To state that would not allow him to say “I never said I was that way.”  While this may simply be poor grammar on his part, based on the preceding elements of the profile, one could reasonably ask:  “Why is this phrase here?”  

I’ve been known to act like a child and think like an old man, then think like a child and act like an old man.

He’s been “known” to do these things.  Known by whom?  Note that he doesn’t state that HE ACTUALLY DOES THESE THINGS.  He simply invokes the ubiquitous and invisible “others” by use of the word  ‘known’.  

You? You’re easy to talk to and like to talk and laugh. You’re generally happy with yourself In body and spirit. You enjoy the outdoors and appreciate the fruits of the country but also like urban activities and the suburban typical.

First, he’s telling you what you will be if you are going to interact with him.  He’s not stating qualities he appreciates in another, he’s stating WHAT YOU ARE and if you prove not to be these things, you’ll be sorry.  He’s also pompous as hell – “appreciate the fruits of the country?”  What the hell is THAT?  You like to go apple-picking?  His entire profile is written from the perspective of condescending pomposity. What does “generally happy with yourself in body and spirit” mean?  Does this mean he’ll be okay if you’re sometimes not happy that way?  No, in this profile it means you WILL be happy with these things because he has decreed it.

Your open-minded, funny, and can enjoy laughing at yourself. 

He says nothing about compassion, independence, warmth, empathy, loving, giving, etc.  You are to be open-minded, funny and you have to enjoy laughing at yourself.  That is ALL you will be. Note he doesn’t state that you can enjoy laughing at him!

You are understanding and respectful and appreciate those qualities in me.

This time he tells you what you are.  You are understanding and respectful – and you WILL appreciate those qualities in him.  What he left off here is this:  “…as I interpret those qualities.”

This is what he’s currently doing with his life:

Generally: Surfing the curl of the daily experience and picking the next big wave. (Ahh…Escapism through metaphor) Family and Friends are most important. Life is care and devotion to myself and those around me.

Okay, this statement is fraught with issues.  First, he displays how  “intelligent” he is by using metaphor.  He also uses metaphor to escape from having to state what it is he is usually doing, which is trolling dating sites for his next mirror.  That would be “the next big wave.”  

He uses grandiose surfing metaphor to describe what he’s doing with his life, which is precisely NOTHING.  He states that Family and Friends are most important.   I know for fact that he doesn’t get along with his siblings.  His sister moved to Guatemala not too long ago to continue her education through experience, and when I was told about this I got very excited.  I wanted to know how she was, what her experiences were, etc.  

His reply was:  “I don’t know.  She left three months ago.  I haven’t had time to email or call her to find out how she is and what she’s doing.”  

I was stunned.  Had that been MY sister, I’d be emailing her daily, I’d be checking her Facebook to see new photos, I’d send her snail mail so she’d have things from home, cards and little things made and sent with love.  I’d be in constant contact with her.  

He stated his other siblings are “slobs” and had nothing positive to say about them.  Yet Family is most important to him. 

He spoke of his mother in glowing terms.  His mother died in 2007, and she was an excellent surrealist.  When I look at her artwork, I see the emptiness in her.  There is one painting that is scarily desolate.  

It is a depiction of  four humans in the form of trees, and the center “tree” is  obviously an older female who is oblivious to the trees around her.  The other three trees (her children)  surround her and their branches reach toward her.  She stands alone, with clearly defined space around her, space through which her children will never be able to travel.  She is powerful, she has no need of these other trees and in the painting, she is the tree given the most detail.  This painting gave me serious insight to this man’s relationship with his mother.

This man has also told me that he only has one dream.  It’s a dream where he is around 6, standing in the living room, watching his father chop the decorated christmas tree down with an ax.  His father left the family unit when he was 7.  He states that from that point forward, he never had a relationship with his dad because of what his father “did” to his mother.  My guess is that the N’s mother made certain the children drank the kool-aid with regard to their father. 

Notice in his last sentence above that he states that life is care of himself BEFORE it is care for others.  In my experience, care for oneself comes naturally when one gives of oneself to others.  If I actively nurture my friends and family, as well as the family of mankind, I am, by definition, providing care for myself.  I’m not placing myself ahead of others, I am working in TANDEM with others. 

These are his favorite books, movies and shows:

Most of my reading is done on the web.

Yup, most of it IS done on the web.  On dating sites.  He is a remarkably uninformed individual but if you read his pretentious list below, you’ll likely wind up with the notion that he’s remarkably WELL informed and well-read. 

I used to enjoy really long hair stuff like Proust and really silly stuff like Kurt Vonnegut.

I’ve heard Kurt Vonnegut described as many things, but never as “silly.”  Vonnegut is known for populating his novels with characters who are searching for meaning and order in an inherently meaningless and disorderly universe.  He’s known for his irreverent humor, satire of contemporary society and his focus on the futility of warfare and the human capacity for both irrationality and evil.  And this person finds Kurt Vonnegut SILLY

Pedestrian stuff like Michener and scary stuff like King.

Michener is pedestrian?  No.  Danielle Steel is pedestrian.  John Grisham is pedestrian.  Michener?  He wrote from wartime experience; he wrote from his experience as a world-traveler who immersed himself in various cultures.  He wrote compelling epic portraits of those cultures.  Nothing he wrote is pedestrian, yet he is casually lumped in with Stephen King, who, while being a great teller of scary stories, is rather pedestrian. 

Poetry by Stephen Dunn and tanka (Japanese Poetry Method).

Ahh.  Now we are getting to the meat of it.  Stephen Dunn.  Read Poem for People That Are Understandably Too Busy To Read Poetry .  G’wan.  I dare ya.  It’ll open in a new tab, so you can come back here without having to click “back.”  Read this gem and you will know exactly what an N is.  Until today, I hadn’t investigated Stephen Dunn.  Wow.  If I had researched him before I dated this man, I might not have dated him – or, being into poetry myself, would have thought him quite deep for being able to understand Dunn.  Holy shit on a brick.  Read Biography In The First Person .  Wow.  

Next he states he likes Tanka.  He doesn’t state he likes Haiku, which is characterized by the 5-7-5 syllable rhythm.  Oh no.  He’s special, he prefers Tanka, which most people won’t know anything about, and is characterized by the 5-7-5-7-7 syllable rhythm.  Yet, when I replied to one of his initial emails to me in Tanka he didn’t recognize it.  When I pointed it out to him, he said it wasn’t recognizable to him as Tanka.  Excuse me?  Anyone familiar with Tanka would have recognized it immediately.  Devaluation from the very beginning.

I have a wide range in taste in Movies but would watch an Oliver Stone effort over Ron Howard, Cohen brothers over Cronenburg, Burton over Zemeckis…

How many people take the time to tell the world what movie directors they prefer?  This is simply an effort to prove to potential supply that he’s arts-literate.  It’s grandiose, pompous, condescending and indirectly states:  “If you don’t like Oliver Stone over Ron Howard…(ad nauseum) you need to get with the plan.”  And the funny part about this?  He doesn’t watch films like these with ANY regularity.  He’s got a teenage son who monopolizes the television and they watch teenage-appropriate films.  When I suggested seeing an art film at the local art theater, he turned it down without explanation.  He simply said “no.”  

Shows favorites go more abstract: Salome over Cameron, Carmina Burana over Coppelia, Aspects of Love over Gigi, Circ Du Soleil over Ringling Brothers…

I really wish I’d read his profile more carefully.  He’s confusing opera with cult films, male choral performances with ballet, and it doesn’t surprise me in the least that he prefers Aspects of Love over Gigi.  In Aspects of Love, as Alex, the male lead, traipses through life nonchalantly breaking female hearts and at the end, leaves not one, but two women, in favor of a third, who wonders aloud what the future will bring, to which Alex replies “love changes everything.”  It’s not Alex’s love that changes everything.  Alex has no love.  In Gigi, Gaston marries her, because he understands what Gigi has been saying all along – that the world will perceive her as his mistress and Gaston has a conscience.  He doesn’t want to harm Gigi.  It would not surprise me in the least to find this list is merely a regurgitated reflection from comments he’s heard others make.

Music is a bit too large of a topic in my life for this textbox so I will leave it at, there is no genre that I don’t enjoy some part of. Food? Don’t like Brussels Sprouts unless they don’t taste like Brussels Sprouts. Other than that I go from the usual to the exotic in cuisine.

Wait.  He dumped all kinds of pretentious and pompous crap in about other things, but music is “a bit too large of a topic in his life for this textbox?”  If he loved all types of music, why not just state that?  Why not just state that music holds a huge fascination for him and he gravitates toward many types?  Oh no.  He has to mysteriously let us know that it’s “too large of a topic in his life.”   It’s SO large that it won’t fit in a text box that allows unlimited characters.  It’s infinite.  It’s much larger than YOU or I could EVER understand so he’s going to do us the favor of not expounding on it, because: 

At this point his sick of writing a profile that has to impress potential supply well enough to reel them in, and he believes he’s already done that, so he leaves us with a lame comment about not liking brussels sprouts and the generalization that he goes from the usual to the exotic in “cuisine.”  Not “food.”  “cuisine.”

While this is the deconstruction of my N’s online dating profile, perhaps there are elements of it that will help you deconstruct profiles you encounter that just don’t read “right” to you.  If your intuition is telling you that the person who has contacted you isn’t going to be a good thing for you, heed that intuition.  I did not heed it.  I allowed him to charm away my fears.  I allowed him to talk me into dating him.  Most men, when in receipt of an email that says “thank you, but I’m not interested in dating right now” will simply move on.  Not an N.  That presents a challenge for him and his perceived image of himself dictates that he MUST “conquer” this refusal NOW.  So that’s what my N set about doing, in a sympathetic and charming manner – so much so that I capitulated.  

Never again.  Matter of fact, I learned so well from this that just prior to removing all my dating profiles, I received an email from a guy whose approach was similar to the N’s.  I was on instant alert.  I refused him.  He persisted.  I refused.  He persisted.  I refused.  He sent his phone number, telling me he can’t wait until we talk.  I tell him we aren’t going to talk.  He replies that he’s made reservations for us at a fancy restaurant.  I blocked his ass and took down my last dating profile.  

 

 

 

Trolling

I have a theory about dating sites and it includes a huge generalization.  You can bash me for generalizing, but I’m going to do it anyway. I think dating sites are, by and large, a clearinghouse for nutcases.  I say this, and I’m a veteran of dating sites.  I’ve also been told by the men I’ve met who have stayed in touch with me as friends, that I’m an anomaly in that I’m sane.  I’m not sure I can agree with that, since I once dated a guy who called me “bat-shit” crazy, but he’s a friend of mine, and he says that while it’s true, it’s in a good way.

I think there are several reasons people use dating sites.  Speaking from the female experience, I can say that there truly was a point when I wasn’t sane.  This was around 5 months after my husband and I separated.  I did what many people do when they’re in relationship pain – I hopped on a dating site in the erroneous belief that getting a new man interested in me would help ease the pain caused by the split with my husband.

I wonder if everyone is as naive as I was when I joined my first dating site.  I actually believed that if a man evinced enough interest in me to see me for more than a month, and see me two or three times a week that he wasn’t seeing anyone else.  I was a serial dater, and I simply assumed everyone else was one, too.

My first experience with a troll came as quite a shock to me.  Here I’d been dating this man for three months, very regularly.  We’d become physically involved and by the end of the third month, he was at my home almost every day.  One day I woke up and realized I hadn’t taken my dating profile down, and since I assumed (silly me) that I was in an exclusive relationship with this man, the right thing to do was to make myself unavailable online.  So I headed out to the dating site…to find my boyfriend’s face staring at me with “online now!” glowing brightly beneath his chin.

His IM was open, so I IMd him asking why he was “online now!”  His reply made me want to shower, immediately.  He said:  “Because I’m looking for dates.”  It was  nonchalant, in my face, and I felt used, dirty, angry, hurt, and above all – STUPID.

I sat there, stunned for a bit, and then replied back:  “How long have you been doing this?”  He replied: “what do you mean?  I’ve had this account for almost a year.”  Well, that told me what I needed to know.  I broke it off with him in IM.  I simply said: “Oh.  So the entire time you’ve been practically living at my house, eating my food, taking me out and about and sleeping in my bed, you’ve been seeing other women?  He replied: “yup.”  Clearly no remorse there.  He even had a key to my house.  I replied:  “Okay.  You can have the other women, I don’t want sloppy seconds.  Bye.  Locks are changed today.”

Three years later, I get an email from the same man, on a different site,  introducing himself to me.  I obviously made a huge impression on him.  Sure, my photos weren’t the same as they’d been three years earlier, but it was still me and I hadn’t changed the way I looked.  He didn’t remember me – AT ALL.  That was established  when he replied my email that said  “what, you don’t remember me?”  with: “No, should I?”

It’s so nice to know I’m not the least bit unique.  (snort!) I replied:  “Ahh.  It’s nice to know I’m not the only stupid woman out there.  Obviously there are plenty who will allow a dumbfuck shit like you to practically live with them for three months.”  He didn’t even have the good sense not to reply.  Instead he whines:  “I don’t see why you have to call me names.”  Yeah, whatever.

I took my profile off all sites and gave myself a break from online dating for a year.  During that year I got leered at by toothless 80-year-old men and groped at a gas station by a 20-something.  I was asked out by a gorgeous podiatrist who was a regular at the coffeeshop where I was a regular.  He gave great foot massages – until I found out he was married.  My next date was a guy I met at the local fine arts museum.  He SAID he was single.  He APPEARED to be single.  He very obviously didn’t share his apartment with anyone else.  Turns out “single” to him meant having an 11 year affair with a married woman who, when she found out about me, started stalking me.

So I gave up.  I spent another year just being by myself.  I still went to museums and lectures but I turned down all dates.  I couldn’t trust men at that point.  I couldn’t trust myself to be able to tell if a man was a GOOD man.  Then I re-upped on the dating site.  The emails came pouring in.  I had more date offers than I could accept.  This time, I watched each man I dated.  Each one of them evinced “serious” interest in me, lavished me with attention, and every night, I’d hop online, hide my profile in a flash, and go looking.  There they were – all of them – each man who was “serious” about me – trolling.

I recently asked a male friend why men continue trolling even after they’ve become involved with a woman to the point where they’re having sex and are spending most of their time with her.  He said it’s because dating sites create the illusion that there’s always something “better” around the corner.  He also said that his circle of single male friends, all of whom were on dating sites, were there simply because the pickings were so easy.  They could have sex with a different woman every night of the week if they wanted to.  Some were in “committed” relationships with two or three women and their rationale for this behavior was that they were entitled to do that, because what if they dumped the others in favor of just one and that one turned out to be “crazy?”

Dating sites perpetuate the myth that the grass is always greener elsewhere.  My N is still out there trolling.  I keep an eye on him because when he stops trolling I know he’s fallen into self-pity mode and will soon be contacting me.  I like to be prepared and since his profiles are all public, I don’t have to belong to any site to see them.  My N, by the way, has been trolling dating sites for just over seven years now, and he trolled his way through a six year “relationship” with the victim prior to me.  I’m really glad I never became physically involved with him – God knows what STDs he has.

It’s the trolls and my experience with my N that sent me running screaming from online dating for good.  Why should I invest any time in a man who is obviously only seeing me until he finds something “better?”

See, that’s the problem with online dating.  People seem to think that if they don’t continue trolling they might be “settling” in some way. Pop-psychology, and all sorts of relationship self-help books would have us believe that we are entitled to have everything we want and that there is ONE person out there who will magically have every quality we’ve ever idealized about, and that ONE person is just around the dating site corner.

I’m now convinced that online dating is just a relationship disaster waiting to happen.

I’m also convinced that if you’re on a dating site, and you’re fit for human consumption, you will figure out, sooner rather than later, that dating sites are Darwin’s waiting room.  Those who are fit leave and survive by getting REAL lives.  Those who remain (the ones whose profiles show them as being members for more than 6 months, and always show as having been online within 24 hours) are doomed to the emotional stasis found in chasing shiny objects across the universe.

If you find your date “online now!” directly after a date with you, dump that idiot and move on, otherwise YOU are the idiot.  If you date someone who has been a member of a dating site for more than 6 months and you’ve seen that person is online daily, YOU are the idiot. That’s my opinion.  Feel free to disagree, but don’t come posting here when the door to Darwin’s waiting room opens and your name is called.  That’s not mean, it’s common sense.

Of course, if all you’re looking for is a one-night stand or a quick heart-break,  have at it.  There are trolls a’plenty hidin’ under them there dating site bridges!

 

 

Two From The Vault

So, today I was talking metal smithing with a co-worker who was genuinely interested in a piece I’d made and was wearing.  He was asking all kinds of questions and was absolutely amazed that I’d made the piece of jewelry I was wearing.   When he handed the piece back to me, saying “that is an incredibly beautiful piece of work!” I burst out laughing.  He looked puzzled.  I would have, too, in his shoes.  I thanked him and then told him a bit of back story about the N.  Below is the reason I was laughing.

In the email below, I was explaining to the N about the way to turn a propane/oxygen torch on and off.  We call it P.O.O.P.  It stands for Propane-Oxygen, Oxygen-Propane.  To turn it on, the propane is turned on and then the oxygen is added.  To turn it off, the oxygen is turned off first and then the propane.  P.O.O.P.

Read his delightful response.  This was a man, who just a month earlier, was telling “everyone” he was dating a “well-known” metal smith. This was the man who praised my work to the skies.   You’ll have to read from the bottom upwards – my initial email is below his reply.  I’d written it specifically because he’d asked me the night before to email him how to use this type of torch.

I know where this reply comes from, but the emotional part of me just can’t seem to wrap my brain around it.  It’s not logical, it’s not a rational reply, it’s not got anything to do with the use of the torch.  The acronym is one that’s common to jewelers and we’d talked about it over the phone.  This was an effort to devalue me.  This came through four days after I’d gone to volunteer at a concert that was promoted by a friend.  The N couldn’t get hold of me that night and every email from him after that point was either an attempt to control or devalue me in some fashion.  From July 16th forward, nothing nice came out of his mouth again.

Original Message ——–

Subject: RE: P.O.O.P.
Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2011 19:09:06 +0000
From: N’s Name <N’s email>
To: ‘Me’ <my email>

and they say you can’t shine shit

From: Me [mailto:my email]
Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 3:05 PM
To: N’s Name
Subject: P.O.O.P.

It’s the first thing you learn when using mondo torches.  It’s the turn on and off process.   

Propane
Oxygen
Oxygen
Propane

You get it wrong you’re gonna hear a loud bang and see a fireball.  

Wowee Zowee!

I was so taken aback by his reply that I couldn’t respond to it.  “And they say you can’t shine shit.”  I think that about says it, doesn’t it?  You can’t shine shit.  He must have been looking in a REAL mirror when he said it.

He asked, just prior to the email above,  to see a photo of a piece I’d made and lost while wearing it.  It was a piece that won an award and I was heartsick at losing it. I linked him to my jewelry blog where I show photos of the process for students.  I’d mentioned that I’d bought a new flexshaft (it’s a tool used by jewelers) in a phone conversation the night before and that I was mourning the fact that I couldn’t afford a quick change handpiece because it was just too expensive right now. It was an aside.  Just a mention, not a bitch and moan.  Look how it translated to him – look at the projection.  He makes certain I read the intended insult by putting it in all caps, thereby “yelling” it at me in email.
——– Original Message ——–

Subject: RE: when you have time
Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2011 18:56:06 +0000
From: N’s Name <N’s email>
To: ‘Me’ <my email>

all done without benefit of the ‘QUICKCHANGE HANDSET WHICH I SHOULD BE GIFTED FOR BEING THE SWEET WONDERFUL THING I AM’ damnit

From: Me [mailto:my email]
Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 2:02 PM
To: N’s Name
Subject: when you have time

if you want to see the anatomy of  that piece of  jewelry from beginning to end (well, almost end – because I forgot to give Erin my camera to photograph me setting the stone) go here: (website)

I have so much of this crap in my email that I may just turn it into a book.  I’m saving it simply so I can re-read on occasion to remind myself what to look for.  If any of this helps someone else, then I’m happy.  If not, it certainly helps me to heal and deal.

Drop Me a Line…

…and watch me run…

These are the ten best (worst) lines I’ve heard from men at the end of a FIRST date, and each date had gone very well, with great conversation, no sexual innuendo, lots of witty banter, delightful light-weight debate, and/or deep historical or philosophical discussions.  Each man is a “powerful” man within his field.  I dated two of them, one was my N, and the other was the grand passion of my life – the man who just let me be me and encouraged me to become the artist I am.  He was the musician.  That man is so deep in my soul he will never leave and when I’m old and look back on my life, my experiences with him will be one of the huge highlights of my life.  Smooth operater, yes, but he was what I needed at that time, and he was ALWAYS there when I truly needed him.  The others all have spots reserved in the 9th level of hell.

 

1.  Corporate Executive:

“Can I have your panties?”

But wait!  There’s more!  As I backed quickly away from him, scraping my jaw along the ground, he says:

“well, if I can’t have your panties, will you follow me home and lock me in a male chastity device?”

 

2.  Corporate IT Guy at Executive Level:

“when I am with you I feel like I am talking to a friend seasoned by years of spending time together”

Excuse me?  That was a first date.  What other time has he been with me?

 

3.  Self Made Millionaire:

“you’re gorgeous.  I’d love to see you 20 lbs lighter.”

Uh huh and I’d like to see your IQ 20 points higher.

 

4.  World Renowned Musician:

“your eyes have the sun in them.  I look and I’m dazzled.  When you are gone I will think of them and carry the sun in my pocket like a fiery hot coin.”

(oh yeah, I dated him.  He was AMAZING!  He was also a “weekend” fling, every other weekend for 6 years and is now one of my best friends.  I adore him.  He found a great woman to marry. She’s perfect for him – she doesn’t fall for poetic bullshit.  hahaha. )

 

5.  Corporate CFO:

“When I look in your eyes I see such innocence, such love, such laughter.”  (no – didn’t date him.)

 

6.  Local Artist:

“you just don’t have the aesthetic I need for you to be my muse.”

Translation:  “I don’t find you attractive.”  NEXT!

 

7.  Corporate IT Executive  (I’m thinking I need to stay away from corporate types)

“It’s hot out here, but not as hot as you are.  That’s not a roll of quarters in my pocket.”

 

8.  Corporate Software Architect:

“I think I just found my next wife.  I have next Friday off.  Let’s go to Vegas!”  (he was serious.)

 

9.  Local Small Business Owner:

“I’ve never said this on a first date, but I love you.  I knew it the minute I saw you.  I want to hold you, take care of you, and make every care you’ve ever had go away.”  (shudder!)

 

10.  Corporate CIO:

“I’m so glad you have an IT background, because that means you won’t think my collection of Japanime porn is weird.”

I walked away without saying goodbye and walked so fast I was almost running.

 

 

Troll Tactic – The Slow Fade

Ever dated a man who pursued you with a vengeance, showered you with attention, wined you, dined you, and as soon as you respond in a positive fashion; as soon as you show you’re available and interested he backs off?

It’s a Troll tactic.  Odds are very good you’ve got a player on your hands.  I call it the “Slow Fade.”  It happens all the time with men from dating sites.  Shoot, why wouldn’t it happen when there’s a pool of millions for them to scope out?

It begins so well you think maybe – just maybe –  you’ve found THE ONE!  How exciting is that?  Only see – he knows this.  He’s very practiced at the behavior he’s positive will reel a woman in.

So he toys with you.  At first he’s all over you; he can’t WAIT to get together.  This lasts usually until somewhere between the third and fifth date.  Then, when you respond to his affectionate advances (no, ladies, I’m not talking about sex!), he suddenly turns vampire cold.

Last weekend he was all over your ass, right?  He couldn’t stop touching you, so you decided you were safe in reciprocating some of that affection.  BAM!  What you felt stiffen up isn’t what you thought.  What stiffened was his resolve to start prowling again because he’d just made his conquest.  Now he’s bored.

Enter the “slow fade.”

His calls diminish from thrice daily to every other day.  When you don’t answer your phone for whatever reason, and he leaves a message he doesn’t ask you to call back.  He simply says “okay, talk to you soon.”   You call back.  He doesn’t answer.  Doesn’t return the call for a day.

His emails drop from once an hour to once every couple of days.  When you reply, he takes a day or two and then throws you a word or three.  Sometimes he doesn’t reply at all, and when you finally are able to talk to him he provides some lame excuse about being busy.  He sure wasn’t busy when he was calling three times a day and emailing once an hour, or more.  Don’t buy that excuse.

By now you’re wondering what you did, right?  You didn’t do anything, he did.  What’d he do?  He reverted to type.  He’s a player.  He’s a troll.  He’s off chasing.

So you ask about it.  No harm in asking about diminishing contact, right?  Well…yes, if you’re him.  He doesn’t want to be questioned,  he just wants you to sit quietly like a nice, well-bred girl would do, and wait until he’s having a dry spell.   He gives you tons of bullshit excuses and when you push for more credible answers (because you have every right to do so based on his initial behavior), he lays “the line” on you.

“I think you want more than I can give.”

Translation:  “Sit down, shut up and do as I say while I chase other women  to see if there’s any greener grass.”

No use denying that you want more than he can give.  You DO want more.  You SHOULD want more.  He ain’t gonna give it.  He just told you that.

See, for some men, chasing is way more fun than catching.  The excitement for them is the thrill of the chase.  It’s like knights of yore going into battle.  They’re all suited up, sitting tall on their destrier, screaming CHARGE! and then they slash and burn their way through your emotional reserves until they find the vulnerable part of you, they point their sword at that part, you beg mercy, a smile plays about their lips and then they drive the sword home, but only through your shoulder, smiling while they do it.  And when you’re lying there on the battlefield, gasping in your death throes, they look down and say:  “get a new armorer,”  and they blithely use the horse’s mane to wipe your blood from their sword and go in search of fresh prey.

But wait.  They’re not done yet.  They didn’t kill you.  Of course not.  If they kill you, then you’re not there when the guards come ’round to find all left living and enslave them.

Two days later you get a phone call.  Oh Joyful Day!  Your Knight is calling!  You answer immediately!  (stupid woman, let it go to voice mail.) He asks how you are.  He asks to see you.  Oh. Oh. Oh.  He suggests a date.  You agree.  You go buy new clothes, because, dammitall, this guy is going to see JUST what he’s been missing.

Oh honey.  He hasn’t been missing you at all.  He’s just run out of women who will respond to him on his three dating sites.  Haven’t you been watching him?  The entire time he was showering you with affection he was also doing the same thing to dozens of other women, some of whom actually responded to his lame come-on emails.

The morning of the date your phone rings.  Naturally, it’s after you’re awake and he’s certain you’ve got at least one cup of coffee in you.  Something’s come up.  He’s so sorry, but he’s going to have to take a raincheck.  He’s so disappointed because he wanted to see you so badly and it just sucks that his brother’s wife’s best friend’s aunt’s ex-husband died and he was very close with her, so it’s incumbent upon him to go to the funeral.  For three days.

Did you buy that one?  Good, I’m glad you didn’t.  I didn’t either.  Do you know how many women WOULD buy it?  Tons.

This is the Troll in full slow fade.

He tells you when he’ll be back from the “funeral.”  So you email him that day, giving him time to get settled in at work.  He doesn’t reply. You call him that night, because you feel so sad for his “loss.”  You go to voice mail.

Two more days go by without a word, so you send one sailing across his bow.  Whoops!  That got his attention!  Now he’s pissed.  You had – of all things – EXPECTATIONS!!!!!!!

Don’t worry, he’ll email you back.  It’ll be a nice long email, telling you how it’s all your fault he’s been withdrawing; how it’s all your fault that he’s chosen to “quiet contact” with you; how it’s all your fault that he’s just “not romantically interested” in you.  He’ll tell you how special you are, how much he thinks of you, how great he feels when he’s with you, but…

Oh yes.  There will be a “but.”

“But I don’t want to rush into anything, so I’m dating a lot of other women, as well as dating you.  I hope you understand.”

Translation:  “I have issues with emotional intimacy, and I’m trying like hell to date other women, but no one’s biting and I’d really appreciate it if you’d just sit down, shut up and be a good girl because I just KNOW there’s some greener grass out there.”

Slow Fade.

Don’t let it happen to you.

It’s a trick an NPD will pull better than anyone else.  N’s are the biggest trolls on the planet and they’re so well-hidden beneath their beautifully constructed bridges.  It’s a form of gaslighting.

Are you a toy?  Are you an india rubber ball to be bounced around on some idiot’s whim?  No.  I didn’t think so. So instead of allowing him to do the slow fade, the minute you see communication lagging, call him on it.  If he gives lame excuses (and you’re astute enough to know them when you hear them) dump his narcissistic ass and go find you a GOOD man.

Better yet, go adopt a dog and get some great hobbies. Learn to love yourself and learn to love the time you have alone with yourself.  Learn to enjoy NOT having a man around.  Learn how not to be desperate.  Learn to live, not spend your life looking for love.

A good man – a TRULY good man – is a marvel to have in one’s life.  The problem with that is – the only truly good man I’ve ever known is my dad.  Okay – there are two problems with that.  He’s my dad and he’s married.  He’s BEEN married – to the same woman for 47 years.  And he still loves her.

I’ve stopped looking.  I’ve stopped trying.  I’m just living.  If the universe or god or whatever higher power (maybe the doorknob?) wants me to have a man in my life, that power will place him there in such a way that I can’t miss him. Until that happens, I’m spending my days enjoying my messy house, NOT wearing makeup, luxuriating in pajamas all day on sundays while I catch up on reading, I’m spending tons of time designing truly fabulous fused silver jewelry items, I’m back with my sketch pad and allowing Georgia O’Keefe to influence me again, I’m re-reading One Hundred Years of Solitude because it takes me back to 1993 when I had the grand passion of my life (and oh my was he a passion – and we’re still friends!), I’m going to lectures, taking myself out for coffee and lunch (by myself!!!) and enjoying the stares from single men as they attempt to decide whether I’m available or not.

LIVE, people.  LIVE.  It’s when we live best that life gets good.  It’s when we are alive and alert that the trolls can’t harm us.  It’s when we are grounded in our self-esteem that we don’t allow the slow fade to even gain a foothold.

Oh yeah – while this was written from a straight female perspective, women can also be trolls and do slow fades.  So this isn’t meant to male bash.  It’s equal opportunity Troll-bashing.

 

I Heard a Story…

…yesterday while talking to a friend about his three years with a woman who was(is) Borderline Personality Disorder.  I’ve read where this disorder has many crossover traits with NPD, and as he told me his experience, I felt, again, how lucky I was to have ended it with my N only 3 months into it, instead of 3 years.  I can’t imagine spending that much time with that kind of chaos in my life.

As my friend talked and told me about several of his online dating experiences, I became even more convinced that my decision to get clear of online dating is a good decision.  I’ve heard stories from several men about their experiences, and when I hear these stories, I always run them through my filters because I know that I’m only hearing one side of it.

Even filtered, the women these men dated were pure crazy.  It’s the only way to describe them.  So I’m wondering, are the women on dating sites just as bad as the men?  I’m certain not EVERYONE on a dating site has issues, but I have yet to experience anyone who is truly balanced, emotionally healthy and in control of their lives and themselves.

The first year I was on Match (2004-2005) I met 19 alcoholics.  There was one who I met and truly liked a lot.  He lived around 50 miles from me and when he would come to visit, he’d get a hotel room at the local HI Express.  He never drank around me.  He was wonderful to me.  We progressed to where I felt comfortable visiting him at his home.  He invited me to come up on a Saturday morning.  I arrive and his sister opens the door.  Surprise number one.  I had no idea his sister was visiting.

She let me in, introduced herself and said “he’s in the living room – it’s down the hall and to the left. If you need me, I’m in the study.”  That comment confused me a bit – why would I need her?  So I headed into the living room.  Surprise number two.  There he was, sprawled on an air mattress, in his underwear, passed out, with Steel Reserve cans littering the living room floor.

I headed back out of the living room and into the study where she said:  “I could have called you and told you, but I felt it was better for you to see it.  He’s like this all the time.  The Air Force grounded him because of it, his wife took their child and left him because of it and he’s about to lose this house because of it.”

Sis did me a huge favor.

One down, 18 to go.  Even the guys who said they “never” drank were heavy drinkers.  I soon changed my profile to say:  “If you drink at all, do not contact me.”   No one contacted me.  So I took that out.  The last drunk I met on Match hid it just as well until the first time I went to his home.  It was a wreck.  There are wrecks and there are wrecks.  This was the latter category.  Still, he’d cleaned his kitchen and dining room and had prepared a wonderful meal for me, so I stayed for dinner – and watched as he pounded down 15 bottles of Ice House beer.  I did the dishes, and when I turned around, he’d disappeared.  I was getting ready to leave (for good!) walked down the hall to use the bathroom, and found him sitting naked on the toilet, passed out.

I left.

There was the guy who had broken up with his girlfriend the week prior and didn’t tell me until the third date, on the patio at his house, that he was hurting so badly from the break up.  I wound up listening for a polite period (he was drinking the entire time) and then I left.

There was a member of the local symphony who, after one date, called me incessantly to find out where I was, what I was doing, and then, one evening when I wasn’t at home when he called, just ripped into me.  NEXT!

There was one who was charming, absolutely wonderful.  I wound up moving 85 miles to live with him with an eye toward marriage (mutually discussed.)  He waited until I was totally unpacked, dropped the mask and the abuse started.  Two years later, I found my strength and left.   He still tries to be my “friend.”

There was the guy who was amazing until the time he came to my house (5th time we’d been together – hadn’t been physical) and pulled anal beads out of his pocket and started playing with them.

There was the guy who was OMG beautiful to look at.  Stunning.  He was great for three dates and then the ugliness started. Just prior to that I found out that he wasn’t divorced – he wasn’t even legally separated.  He simply lived in the “small” house at the end of the “big house” driveway.  His wife lived in the “big house.”  I Left him downtown one night – he was 95 miles from home.  His car was at my house.  I got home, got his stuff together, put it all on the hood of his car, along with his keys and a note that said:  “do not ever contact me again.”  He still texts me every now and then.  I have subsequently found out that he’s been arrested more than once for drunk and disorderly in public, domestic violence and had several DUIs.

There was the guy who, on our first date at a lovely northern Italian restaurant, poured me a glass of wine, ordered and then looked at me and said:  “you’re gorgeous.  I’d love to see you 20 lbs lighter.”  I looked at him and said:  “you’re gorgeous, too and I’d love to see your IQ 20 points higher” and left.  As I was leaving he yelled after me:  “Stupid cunt bitch!”

I’ve met one man on a dating site who is wonderful.  Truly a good guy.  We’ve been friends for 6 years.  He had his chance 6 years ago, but he was just out of a 20 year marriage and put himself out there too soon.  This past February he told me the stupidest thing he ever did was push me away.  We’re beyond the point of romantic relationship though – that time passed as we morphed into close friends.  He’s been involved for 3 years now with a woman from a dating site who has borderline personality disorder.  She’s got severe health issues and her doctors don’t give her long to live (of course – that was 18 months ago), and this man feels “honor bound” to take care of her.  Co-dependent.  She’s just like his ex-wife.  I couldn’t have anything but a friendship with him because I’ve seen too much of his relationship patterns.  We’ll stay friends.

There was the guy who waited until date two at a fancy restaurant to tell me he “actually” had five children, not two.  The youngest was 10 months old and his wife was pregnant with number six – by him.  Funny, his profile said he was divorced.

So, given this array of specimens to be found on dating sites, add to it my latest – the N – and I’m not dating anyone from a dating site ever again.  I’ll take my chances in the real world and maybe I’ll get lucky.

I’d love it if some of you would post your dating site experiences here.

If Barney had NPD (cited)

I just lifted this from another forum.  It’s perfect.  Sing it to the tune of the theme from the kid’s show “Barney.”

 

If Barney Had NPD

You love me. You bore me.
Life’s surreal with NPD
It’s cluster-B psychopathology
Everything is me me me

You love me. You bore me.
I am perfect you will see
I need N-supply to keep my sanity
Use them interchangeably

You love me. You bore me.
You don’t exist actually
Devalue you and take it all for free
Because you give it willingly

You love me. You bore me.
Disordered personality
With a fractured handle on reality
Shut it off and watch TV

 

You can find this poem and more great info here at PsychForums

Oooh – a GREAT one from Simone Grant

This is fabulous.  I love Simone Grant’s dating site.  I wish I could find the sense of humor she has and apply it to my recent N experience.  Well, maybe one day!

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