Let me try to give a little clarity to what we’ve been discussing.
Everyone has a relationship with someone, usually early in their dating life, that ultimately shapes the person they become for every other significant other.
When I was 21, my first love, AlwaysDrunk, broke my heart. An alcoholic, he was incredibly incapable of being the person he promised he would be. At the beginning of the end, I saw the writing on the wall and ended things. He found me the next evening, in my usual watering hole. It was hard to mix up the social life in SmallTown, Connecticut, so we all ended up at the same bar. He begged me to get back with him. I agreed, but told him to “Cut the shit.” He promised. But he never made good on that promise.
A few nights later, he was all over some girl right in front of me. I asked him what the hell he was doing. He had no answer. I left the bar in tears. But I wasn’t alone. TheCop followed me out. I only knew TheCop through friends, we had never really had an actual conversation other than being introduced months earlier where I noticed he couldn’t stop looking at me. I hadn’t seen him since that night. I still remember though, The Cranberries song “Linger” was blasting on the radio. Aah, 1994.
TheCop told me to get in his car so we could talk. He wanted to drive down to New York City to get some late dinner. I agreed, but only on the pretense that other people came with us. We grabbed three more people from the bar and drove into the city. On the way, we stopped to pee and this girl and I walked for what seemed like miles across a field so we could squat without the guys seeing us. We turn around and they are about 10 feet from us. So, she says, “Screw it, I’m going in this bush.” She parted the branches and walked in. Except I saw her head disappear and heard her scream, then heard a splash. Apparently there was some sort of ravine and she fell into a pile of mud. When she crawled out, her white shirt was soaked in mud, and she tossed out her shoes and socks. But we kept going.
We get into New York, and stupid TheCop went the wrong way. (It’s a big joke up there that you can’t take the goombas out of Connecticut because they get the shakes, and get lost.) Long story short, nothing is open by the time we get there and we go home. But not before TheCop tries to kiss me. I pushed him off, still upset over AlwaysDrunk, and went home.
This started an entire summer of cat and mouse. TheCop was the chaser, I, the chasee. I was at a similar place in life then that I am now – not really wanting anything serious. But emotionally, I was exhausted and felt like maybe I needed a diversion to get through this hell summer of not being with AlwaysDrunk, at least until I go back to college. Let’s just do it in bullets because it’s too traumatic to relive. Things I remember well:
- Me and TheCop having some sort of fight and him calling over and over and over to the point where my mom said, “You better talk to him, I think he’s suicidal.”
- Us having another of our infamous fights and him showing up at my house, ingratiating himself to my parents.
- Me breaking up with him and him following me all over town, scaring the hell out of me. One night I was walking to my car from the bar, and he was hiding in the woods, breaking branches, trying to scare me into thinking someone was after me.
- Me telling him I wasn’t in love and wanted to break up. He then climbed on the roof of my parents house to sit outside my bedroom watching me sleep.
- Him admitting several other disturbing things he did when we were broken up at one point – following me, following my friends, showing up at my friends jobs.
- He followed me back to college in Miami, and tried to become best buddies with my friends. We had a fight because he called me “The bitch” in front of my roommate. He ran out of the bar as though I did something wrong. I followed him, he raised his fist to punch me, but some guy started yelling, so he punched a telephone pole instead and took off into the ghetto. I called the cops and they came out to get my story before looking for him. I remember hearing the guy in the parking lot saying, “I see this guy storm out of the bar and he’s about to punch that girl over there…” Yeah. That was bad. TheCop got mugged and spent his night at the MDPD. Miami Dade Police baby.
- Me feeling incredible relief when he was out of my life.
- SmallTown Connecticut police investigating why TheCop was in that neighborhood at that time, and rumors surfaced (untrue from what I knew) that he really was selling his badge for drugs, because no one in their right mind would walk down Grand Avenue in Coconut Grove. TheCop asked me to testify on his behalf so he could keep his job. I said no.
- Him calling as recently as two years ago, hearing another man’s voice in my presence, and screaming, “I’M THE ONLY MAN YOU WILL EVER LOVE NOW GET RID OF HIM.”
Though the actual relationship was 6 months, this maniacal behavior went on for the better part of 12 years. I still cringe when I see a Connecticut area code show up on my phone. I’ve moved several times and he always manages to find me. I sneak back to my parents house for a day and he just “happens” to drive by their house and see my car. I go home to their house and 3 hours after being in the front door, the phone starts ringing and the hangups begin. Everyone gives the knowing glance and says, “It’s TheCop.” Some people are just so crazy they can’t be reasoned with.In many ways, this relationship with TheCop ruined me. I developed a huge aversion to any sort of control, real or perceived. But it also fine tuned my senses to a point where I can see the signs. I recall having fights with TheCop where I would say “You’re a great guy but…” and launch into 8000 insults of why I hate him so much. All he would hear was the “You’re a great guy” part, and would end up showing up at my door, or making some sort of other threats through my friends that if “Velvet doesn’t call me, I’m gonna…” It became impossible to live my life. I finally stopped returning his calls and eventually he got the hint. I mean, as much a hint as he could get.
I remember like it was yesterday, being out with my roommate senior year, and walking up the stairs to our apartment and hearing the phone ring. I broke into a full sprint fumbling for my keys saying, “I have to get the phone, it’s TheCop.” I missed the phone, he hung up and didn’t leave a message. My roommate said, “I’m only going to ask you this once. Are you in an abusive relationship?” It was time to put the sheet over that one and call the time of death. That sort of control is infective. You start to just accept it as natural that you forget what it’s like to make your own decisions. So now I’m incredibly independent? You bet your ass.
Back to present day. A lot of the phone calls and off blog conversations I’ve had with some of you remind me of exactly that point in time 12 years ago. Sometimes being in something, it’s harder to see it for what it is. But some of my best, most level headed friends are freaked. And that is the only truth that matters.
Count me as one more person who’s freaked. I’ve seen this before, and it gets more disturbing every time, even though it’s indirect. Thanks for telling the story.
I think I was married to his brother. haha
You will figure it all out and do what you need to do and when. Your a strong chick and I admire that in you. Don’t change that and don’t force what doesn’t feel right in your life.
haha, busted, yes, I caught up yesterday – but at least I caught up on reading everyone else’s instead of catching up on writing my own, which I finally got to this morning.
The defining relationship – do you think it FOREVER shapes us?
I really hope not.
needy behavior and the desire to consume someone completely is extremely manipulative and is often a precursor to emotional and/or physical abuse. by recognizing that, you’re already ahead of the curve. follow your instincts.
Where do you find these freaks? Geez.
Incredible. He’s really sick.
While your current situation is nowhere near on this level of misery – let’s be fair to Sherlock – it does provide a lot of insight into why you need your independence and why it’s important for people to be evenly yoked.
Does telling them you have herpes ward them off?
not that you do have herpes or anything… lol.
“Red Ten, get out of there!”
This was the line screamed at Red Ten, one of the rebellion’s x-wing fighter pilots who was so intent on reaching his objective and destroying the Death Star, he didn’t see how he was about to be scrambled into atoms by the forces of evil all around him.
“Aaarrrghhh!” was all he had a chance to say back.
Velvet, don’t go all Red Ten on us. Get out of there.
I always believe a woman should follow her intuition. If you think someone is a stalker then stay away. IMHO you seem torn on whether Sherlock really is cut from the same mould as TheCop. Why would you say Sherlock is ‘totally dateable’ if he was a psycho stalker? Once again playing devil’s advocate.
i would guess stalkers are people with women issues. specifically they overact the power domination aspect because they felt powerless in their youth.
blah blah more psychoanalysis babble from Johnny.
Thank god you’re a smartie. It could have gone so much worse with TheCop.
I want to shout “GIFT OF FEAR” I need bigger caps.
One thing is that we all have different boundaries, there is no “right” boundary. Fortunately most people respect the boundaries of others if they are explained. Unfortunately the 10% of the population that can’t, seems to date Velvet.
Ditto on GIFT OF FEAR…get it.
I’ve only started reading your blog recently, but it seems from what I’ve read that you are drawn towards (or they to you) the most psychotic of men. So the solution as I see it is to not date anyone you think you like. Cute and into you? Dump his ass. Ugly as hell and not overly-bright or interested in you? Put a bag over his head, gag him so you don’t have to listen to whatever idiotic lines he tries on you and bang him ’til one or both of you can’t walk. . .
Or stick with the vibe (it’s not possessive, is always ready for you, doesn’t pee on the seat, and won’t try to ask you how your day went).
while I think that your past experiences should and do give you insight into what to watch for in your future, you can’t be too hasty in cutting everyone from the same mold.
so be careful, but not so careful that you end up automatically writing someone off…
that said, don’t doubt your own judgement, either…
best of luck!
I have been reading you for sometime, I will risk expulsion from this blog, as I have been expelled by others, by proffering my opinion the best way I know and based upon my experiences in life-which sometimes have not differed from yours.
1. Each relationship is a learning experience, but each relationship needs to be handled on it’s own merit.
2. To be anonymous means no one knows who you are. You have willingly invited the whole world into your private life and given them a road map to find you in person.
3. At some point in time one has to consider what is guiding their choices for a mate. Ask your psychiatrist about sub-conscious selection.
4. You enjoy the drama and attention you receive from your relationships, which is why you continue to communicate with them. You also enjoy the sympathy and attention you receive from your audience.
5. My personal opinion, shut this blog down or use it for a political platform. Build another blog that is anonymous. Don’t tell anybody.
6. If a man does not behave appropriately, do not continue to communicate with him. Don’t speak, don’t answer the phone, don’t engage, don’t let him in.
7. Take back control of your life, do something different on purpose. Develop a new interest, hobby.
Write a book. That’s all I can offer. The stuff you write is as good as a lot that is being sold for big bucks these days. It could stop short of your present and still be a bestseller!
OL is probably right in all that she says if you are thinking of your own best interests and not the appetite of your readers. She has obviously been around the block a few times in life.
wow. be careful please, i have been reading your blog and though i only know you from KK’s stories i am worried! u 2 need to be safe.
Just going to answer the ones that seem to need answering…
Living in Dupont – Yes. I think it does. I’ll forever be sensitive to that closing in of walls and loss of control.
DC Ski Bunny – I see some of the same tendencies – the total disregard for what I’ve said / asked, but do I think he’s at the level of TheCop? No. Not by a long shot. Sherlock is totally dateable for a woman who wants that non-stop attention.
Johnny – You’re a smartie. I think TheCop had his issues because, well, he was a cop. Cops have major power struggles.
Tacoma, FreckledK – Okay. I just ordered the book on Amazon.
Nato – Ha! Funny. The truth is, and as I just shared in an email with a reader, I think that for the most part, women really are the weaker sex. Please feminists, don’t come screaming at me. It’s true, deal with it. That said, I grew up with two older brothers, putting me in the strongest possible position ever personality wise. I had a massive altercation at work yesterday and ended up in the right with the biggest, most intimidating man. And when I feel the need to stand up to bullies, I do it. Full force. A few weeks ago, I stood up to a cop for double parking and blocking me in. I don’t tolerate bullies. There are men who see that strength and potentially want to bring them down. TheCop told me this. He said “You’re too tough and you need to be brought back down to reality.” The quality is inherent in more men that we would realize, but it doesn’t come out readily. I admit it, I can test someone’s limits.
Old Lady – I only expel those who are downright disresptectful or scary. To address your points…1 – agreed, but when one reminds you of a past one, there is no sense in sticking with it for the sake of giving it a try. I say, run. 2 – Agreed. But as I’ve told you all, I made a choice to deal with a few psychos over having dozens of blogger friends. Believe me, I know this. So people know my neighborhood, so what? 3 – I don’t have a psychiatrist. And I hardly think that 2 dates qualifies for choosing a mate. 4 – Nope. I don’t enjoy the drama. I do give people the benefit of the doubt up until a point, then when I decide that point has been reached, I back off. Not sure what you are talking about with ‘enjoying sympathy’ though. That’s not true at all. 6 – Again, did we not just cover this? Benefit of doubt until major red flags? 7 – Um, huh?
Strong is sexy (until she leaves you cuffed to the bed all night) . . . Seriously though, back when I was dating (when dinosaurs roamed the earth, etc.), I preferred stronger women. One-sided conversations are incredibly boring.
I cannot believe he was crazy for so long and still!? Jeez.
Yeah, I dated THAT guy- only he was a combo of AlwaysDrunk and TheCop! I was 22 when I met him & He screwed me up pretty well for about 8 years- we only actually dated for two of those. It started out romantic enough, pebbles at the window late at night, flower & jewelry apologies for drunken outbursts, etc. The day he raised his hand to me, I left him, with a therapist’s card & explicit instructions to never contact me again until he got help. Needless to say, he never did get the help, but continuously attempted to reconcile. He would break into my house, check my messages & erase any male voices (once was my boss & it got me in a WORLD of trouble). He once stole my car, stole money out of my purse, had a key made to my house, unbeknownst to me & would sit in my house, rifling through my things while I wasn’t there (he admitted all of this one night). He showed up at my going away party after I hadn’t spoken to him in about a year (I was 28 at this point) & still attempts contact on holidays & my birthday. I had to move 3,0000 miles to get away from him. I can’t even IMAGINE being in a relationship like that now! I guess that’s the difference between 22 & 32! Amen! Velvet- you are a strong, vivacious woman & will make the healthiest choices for yourself, now! have faith in you and watch the signs, you know them well!
I’m with Bunny – trust your gut on this one. We’ve had millions of years of evolution honing our instincts, and you’ve spent your adult life learning to ignore them with your fancy “thinking” and “thoughts” and stuff.
Trust your gut.
Gift of Fear – Gavin De Becker. ditto.
This is a similar story/theme I see in many of my lady friends and now shockingly online in your blog. As I tell my guy friends… it is ok to be persistent but you have to “Be Cool Like Fonzi” (quoting Sam Jackson). Be a gentleman by not playing games, but display extreme patience. A man should be patient through displaying many examples of giving her all the space she desires and then some. In addition, respecting her privacy by not badgering her about what she is doing when they are not together. I think with your background you tend to find guys that you are attracted to seem not to care due to you enjoying your space more than you are flattered through someone setting up staging tents outside your window and invading new territory at first opportunity. (Hey we are guys… we like to invade and be holligans right?) One day you will meet a guy that cares and understands that showing distance is an expression of caring too. He will move your world. Or then again perhaps you just want a guy to rock your world from time to time. But I digress…
You’ve been through enough life experience that it makes sense to trust your instincts, right? Why would you ever doubt yourself in this circumstance?
Dara – Oh, but I do doubt. That’s why when I have the reasonable friends who slap me around, I listen. No one stopped what was going on with TheCop because they were scared of him too. In hindsight, I rather wish they did.
Karrde – Thanks. I love when readers become commenters. Thanks for tossing in your opinion.
uhhh. i’m still here, and have always been…reading all of this with my jaw at the floor. why haven’t i commented? i’ve got zero advice/insight to offer. all I know is that in my book, independence is quite possibly the best quality a girl can have. it just seems that independent guys seem to end up with needy girls and independent girls seem to end up with needy guys. and that…well, that sucks.
Someday I will tell you the ultra secret story about being tied up in my ex’s apartment, getting loose, and cracking him over the head with the only thing I could find-an empty bottle of Jack.
It wasn’t fun, but he went to jail after that to cool off for a bit.
I would not do it again. And, someone told me at college homecoming that he’s a Methodist preacher now.
Wow…not what I was expecting when I came to your site, but powerful, nonetheless. Your story reminds me of something I heard Maya Angelou say once (I can’t believe I’m quoting her). She said, basically, that you should always trust your gut instincts when you meet people…that if you try to convince yourself that someone is not a bad person…that they are not the same as that bad person from your past…that there must be inherent good in someone that you can, someday, if you wait long enough, discover, that you will always end up with a broken heart.
Wow…that is terrifying and I have had friends in similar situations. It’s shocking to see someone ever so controlled by someone else and I am so proud of you for leaving him forever and regaining your natural independence. 🙂
See, no good comes from associating with cops.
Playful – You bring a good point to light. I’m getting a lot of side emails from the girls saying, “Yeah this happened to me too.” And emails from the guys saying, “How could this ever happen?” There’s a huge HUGE disconnect between the two sexes. You having the experience just proves that this is more common than people are willing to admit. And “why didn’t you just leave him?” is not a valid response. There is usually a lot more that goes into it. A lot more.
Double 0 – Hi. Glad you are still here. I’ve been otherwise occupied to continue my bloggy flirting with you, but I’ll be back with a vengeance soon.
KK – Are you back? With car?
Circumlocutor – That’s a great quote. And thanks for stopping by…I suppose we can thank our mutual love of the Ninja for this!
Ninja – Perhaps that’s where my agony re: the cops comes from? Frankly, there are certain professions that I just won’t date. Cop is one of them. They get too jaded and have to be too tough all day long that it’s hard to leave that at the door and be a nice, normal sane person. Plus, anyone with access to handcuffs and firearms? Not good.
I’m sorry things didn’t work out with you and AlwaysDrunk. It would have been so fun to call you sister-in-law.
More and more I’m noticing that ‘nice guys’ don’t have a chance in this world. All the other fuck-ups have come along and made it so a guy has to be f’n perfect in everyway because the woman is so jaded from past relationships.
Honestly, I’m not talking about ‘just’ you 😉 but seriously, we’re just f’n screwed.
I’d like to read more blog entries on how nice guys have a f’n chance. I get the whole “this guy f’d me over and then so did the next and the next and then I thought….but he was a shit”
Maybe I just need to blog on this.
Omigod! I dated the same guy. He was a cop, too. Completely obsessed with me. I broke up with him and the next day he was back. I asked what he was doing there since we broke up. He told me that we had made up. I didn’t recall that part at all. He used to hunt down Marci and her boyfriend of the time so he could tell me he saw them. Was really freaky. Part of the reason I won’t date cops anymore.
“One day you will meet a guy that cares and understands that showing distance is an expression of caring too.”
(and when that happens, um…see if he has a friend with similar personality, cousin, brother, whatever? um, thanks.)