Saturday, January 6, 2024

Stand Where I Stood: I Know the Evil That Comes in the Dark

**Trigger Warning**

The silence that falls is deafening as the night creatures go quiet and I know he is making his way home to our tiny ramshackle trailer on the back of the property.  It’s as if the animals that are out at night all sense the danger radiating from him and hide themselves, I wish I could hide too. He has been drinking but how much I do not know and that will determine everything.  So I lie here pretending to sleep, praying, praying tonight will be different, that he will finally mean the kind words he has said.  I hear the screen door slam and the front door swing wide and my body stiffens because I know the evil that comes in dark.


I pray he’s only drunk enough to be in a good mood because then he usually just passes out and I don’t have to deal with him much.  As he stalks into the room I can smell him and quickly realize he’s been into the brown liquor. He’s way past good mood, we are in dangerous territory tonight.  He’s been drowning some memory or something and his mood will be particularly foul.  Three guesses as to who will be punching bag for all his frustrations.  He starts in with a slurred


          “You awake?”


          I pretend to stir, and reply “I am now.”


          “Good, get your fat ass naked, I need to fuck something.” He says dryly.


          “Um, how romantic, I’m gonna need a bit more than that to get in the mood because I am not really feeling it. Thanks.”  I say. I may be scared shitless but I at least try to defend myself.


          “I do not give three shits about what you need or don’t. I will cut those clothes off your body if I have to and fuck you dry as a bone, whether you are ready or not. I want it now. He said as he exposed himself. He was stumbling around and taking off his clothing.


I tried to get up and go past him to go to the bathroom and he grabbed my arm with surprising strength for a man who seemed barely able to stand and his whiskyed breath hit me as he said


          “You better come out of there naked, if you know what’s good for you..”


His eyes darted to the guns in the corner. I wrenched myself from his grip and shut the bathroom door between us and shuddered. He frequently used the guns to threaten me and I hated it. I slid down the door and sat on the floor, what the fuck am I supposed to do with this? I don’t want to have sex but he certainly does and seems perfectly willing to take it if I don’t offer it up.  How do I keep getting myself into these relationships? What’s wrong with me? I start to cry and pray but I feel utterly alone.  Part of me loves the man in the next room, not the monster he is at the moment but the man he is when he is kind and gentle. It is like living with Jekyl and Hyde.  I am jolted from my thoughts and prayers as he starts beating on the door to let me know I am taking too long.  I rise and reluctantly undress.  Swallowing every ounce of pride I have I open the door and he looks me up and down.  He says


          “You’ve gained weight. Bend over the bed.”


I took too long moving to the bed so he grabbed me and pushed me into place and held me there and I felt him position himself and roughly take me.  His calloused hands groped my “fat” body, thankfully it was quick enough that my bruising was minimal. As he finished he threw a dirty towel at me and told me to clean myself up he didn’t want to sleep next to me if I was dirty and I couldn’t put my night clothes back on in case he decided he wanted more while we were sleeping.  He also said he didn’t want me trying to run off and being naked would make that harder but just in case he was going to sleep with his shotgun.


I literally laid stiff next to him afraid to move or so much as go to the bathroom the whole rest of the night for fear he would think I was trying to leave.  I have never been more thankful to see a dawn in my life! When he wasn’t drunk he wasn’t like this, he had a temper that was terrible yes, but drunken him was the worst to deal with and the worst of it was he never remembered his actions. I know now that he was very violent with past girlfriends, because I have gotten to know them and I seemed to avoid that somehow.  What I didn’t avoid was the emotional abuse he constantly put me down and then would build me up so high and let me ride there for awhile and BAM! Tear it all down…. I never really knew where I stood with him.  He was a master manipulator and a liar.  It was those drunken nights that I saw his truly evil face though. 


It took me getting a puppy and seeing his treatment of it to finally break the spell.  That’s when I screwed up the courage to leave.  And when I left I took everything! I even took the toilet paper.  I didn’t even leave a grain of rice for him.  I had bought everything, so I took it with me. I took the sheets off the bed, all the linens, towels, food, spices, baking ingredients, laundry supplies, ceiling fans, window a/c units…. I am not joking when I say I stripped that little trailer. And of course I took the dog too.   I never looked back.  Sometimes I wonder if that little puppy, my beloved Griffin, was an answer to a pray.  All I know is there is a reason I sleep with my light on to this day, nothing is sneaking up on me in the dark anymore.

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Wish You the Best

     It has been suggested to me in the comments about by messages sent to me following my last post that I deserved better or that I am better somehow.  While it would be easy for me to succumb to that sentiment allow me to say this much, Dave is not a bad guy. He apparently just was not MY guy. I have faults in this too. I had behaviors that I allowed to go on for too long, unchecked, and if I could speak to him now I would own up to those behaviors.  If I could speak to Dave today, I would own my responsibility in the choices he made and I would apologize for my part in any pain I may have caused him.  Out of respect for him, the relationship, friendship, and the love that I felt for him I owe him that much. I don't know if you can heal if you do not accept your own role in things; you certainly cannot learn from anything if you never take responsibility.  

    That being said I think it is also important to be honest with yourself.  I had to stop looking at her TikTok because it was killing me.  This woman I barely knew existed, suddenly exploded onto my radar, took four months of hard won healing, and tossed it in the wood chipper. My heart and soul was  ; I was raw.  I was angry.  All this time I had been so sad but now I was furious. It felt like I was under coordinated attack for no reason, other than just being the ex.  The ex, an undesirable, something to be destroyed at all costs... but why? Unless the ex girlfriend or wife does something to you; why do some women feel the need to be openly hostile, confrontational, even murderous towards them? Must we really lower ourselves to that level? With the whole world seemingly hell bent on taking from women, shouldn't we be working together to give to each other? I couldn't figure her out, was she attacking me, was she trying to be friends, was she marking her territory? I'm sure it would please her to no end to know I've lost sleep trying to work this out.  And so, I had to give it up I just don't even look because she can see when I look at her stuff and it just worms into my mind and deeply bothers me.  That has not stopped people from reporting to me what is going on over there on her TikTok.  I may not have her level of following but I have pretty good following with good numbers, if I do say so myself, and my "army" to turn her phrase looks out for me too.  Thanks y'all but I've had enough. 

    Some have suggested that I wouldn't have wanted to be his second choice anyway.  This is true.  Unwittingly I was though, because they were together before me, then we got together and then she called wanting him back; so he went. That's where he really wanted to be.  You see he called us by the same pet names, and we had the same inside jokes.  Hell I've even been told we look similar.  He was recreating a relationship he didn't think he would have again, with me.  The instant the real McCoy became an option again the knock off did not look so shiny anymore.  It's not that either one of us ladies is better than the other, its just a matter of preference.  He wanted her, not me.  I was never going to be her.  I just wanted him and had for 9 years.  Maybe if I had spoken up sooner? Who knows. 

    So before you go allow me to say from the bottom of my sad shriveled little black heart I wish you the best.  Both of you, really.  M, we really might have been friends, could have been. D, I did love you, I believe in you. Thank you for believing in me for a short time and allowing me to know what it's like to be a bride for a little while. That experience was amazing. Thank you for the endless laughs and the boundless talks.  I am sorry for my part in things and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive my transgressions.  It is my hope for you both that this is your forever and that everyday is worth it.  

Friday, August 11, 2023

Someone You Loved

     On October 20, 2023, a Friday, a lucky day according to Norse culture, a good day for weddings... I was supposed to be getting married. A lovely fall wedding set in the outdoors, a

Our first date. 
coming together of his Chinese/Norse heritage and my Scot/Irish heritage.  A celebration of our shared geekiness with tongue in cheek nods to our love of Star Trek.  It would be a blending of families, with a big party and lots of food and drinks and laughs. I had started contacting venues long ago, florists, researching any possible way to save a buck. I'll admit it became an obsession. From the minute he told me he loved me and wanted to marry me I was a woman on a mission. We picked out my rings at Jared, I don't know that I have ever seen anything so beautiful. There they sit, waiting to be picked up, like sad abandoned children. My mother and I went and tried on dresses at a couple bridal shops and I think I found one I liked well enough. The best part of it all was I was so content.  I loved this man and I thought he loved me.  I thought I had finally found my happy ending and no matter what he and I would work through whatever came because we loved each other.  I found myself sitting and just softly smiling to myself thinking so this, THIS is finally what real love feels like.  And it felt so good. 

Something like this.

    Instead on the 20th of October 2023 I will have knee surgery.  He is gone. Dave has been gone nearly a year now.  Best I can gather he decided he didn't love me as much as he thought when an ex girlfriend of his called and told him she wanted him back. 

Total Knee Arthoplasty

Now they are having a nearly identical wedding to the one I was planning. I know all this because she continuously posts about me and them and their wedding on TikTok and since we "interacted" I get a message every time she posts something. I knew Dave for 9 years, nearly a decade.  I trusted him with everything, my brother's life, secrets, inside jokes, my failures... everything. I guess he gave me the gift of knowing what a bride feels like for a short time.  That's something I may not ever get again. Maybe I owe him a thank you for that? 

    I let my guard down and he pulled the rug right out from under me, just when I was getting used to the idea of being loved by someone. He knew my history and somehow he managed to do more damage than all the others.  I went to bed for a month, a solid month, after he dumped me without so much as a goodbye.  Dave did get emotional when he was doing the dumping, he started crying, but I

This Kansas

don't know what that means exactly.  His words were so confusing, he said he didn't want to do a long distance relationship anymore, but his new girl lives in Kansas and we live in NC (although rumor has it he has now moved to Kansas to be with her).  He said didn't want to be a stepdad but she has more kids than I do.  

    One day he allowed her to attack me on social media.  That's how I found out about them.  Four months after the break up and I am doing okay, fine.  Here comes Miss Thang.  Tagging him in a post comment on my Instagram.  Trying to be the bigger person I just deleted and blocked.  Clearly thick, and not able to pick up on obvious messages, she hit up my Facebook page and commented on several posts.  I reply to

everyone so I was just going through replying to comments and since she had a different handle I didn't immediately register that it was the same person.  Except the profile picture was the same, her and him with him behind her and his arms around her.  I got my best friend involved and she blasted her, while I called her out on another comment and basically just said "Look I know who you are, I get what you're trying to do.  I get it, you're with him now and I'm not.  Good for you. Now be gone you troll." She feigned innocence and tried to play dumb... like I'm stupid.  Maybe I'm not as good at these internet games as she is but I'm far from stupid. 

    So if you're wondering how you steal someone's boyfriend/fiancĂ©... make a TikTok post about how you listened to Taylor Swift and it has given you the courage to call him up and you don't care that he's with that girl. You only had an entire year you could have called while you were both single, but you didn't want him until he moved on.  Fully knowing he never really got over you in the first place, and not giving a shit that he's finally in a happy place.... your selfish needs come first right? We may not have been perfect but we were happy and we laughed a lot. 


    I honestly wish you both the best. That's all I can do with all the love I have for him, all the respect I have for him.  The promise I made to continue to be his friend if it didn't work out. Which is clearly not happening now.  I miss him, his presence in my life because honestly I can't remember a time when he wasn't part of my life anymore.  You took him from me, that's unforgivable.  And you did it with the full knowledge of my existence, which makes it worse.  What kind of woman does that to another woman? Obviously one who's never been hurt like that before.  I hope you never know that pain.  Life has a funny way of paying you back though, karma's a bitch. 

Words of advice. 

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Good Morning Raccoon

Raising a child, I have discovered, is comparable to wrestling a band of rabid, feral, raccoons. There is snarling, biting, scratching, spitting, foaming at the mouth, and washing of the hands. Sometimes both figuratively and literally speaking. The other morning whilst trying desperately to get my child ready for school she locked herself in the pantry! IN. THE. PANTRY.  Baby Belle refused to come out and I could hear her little feral raccoon ass in there foraging for food in the dark. While I'm trying to figure out how to get the door open she sneaks out and tears out of the kitchen at a speed only achieved by fighter jets giggling the whole way. She takes her showers at night so all I have to do is put clothes on her in the morning, do her hair, brush her teeth, medicate her, make sure she eats something, give her, her water bottle, and push her out the door.  She seems hell-bent on making this process as painful as possible though. 
Rabid Feral Raccoon

I finally managed to herd the wild raccoon into the living to get dressed and it's tough because her medications haven't hit yet and she cannot focus on any one thing for more than the briefest of moments. BB decides she doesn't like the outfit we have picked out today and a meltdown ensues. She falls to the floor like she has no bones in her body, completely crumpled. I picked this outfit because I hate her, and I want her to be cold in her classroom she wails from her new position on the floor. Huge crocodile tears streaming down her face as she rolls around in false agony. Very dramatic. I'm able to talk her down from this by changing the outfit slightly and packing a cardigan into her backpack. We are happy again. When I am brushing her hair out she starts telling me about some little girl drama happening with two of her little friends. When I attempt to make the suggestion that these girls are not her friends if they treat her that way, she explodes with anger. BB snatches the brush from my hand and stomps off. I pinch the bridge of my nose and pray for strength. At least she's gone to brush her teeth, so there's that.  
A hairbrush much like this.

Several minutes later she returns, brush in hand, with this look on her face... she says to me "Mommy, I'm sorry I got mad at you. I shouldn't have said that stuff. I love you." Ah... the medications have kicked in. Now my mini Sybil is a little more reasonable.  I tell her I love her too and always will no matter what. There are hugs exchanged and I offer to quickly do her hair and she agrees.  I ask her to get two hairbands. She tells me I only need one because I'm not doing that fancy ponytail she just wants a plain ponytail. (If I do a plain one her hair is  hanging in her face before lunch.) I attempt to explain this to my baby raccoon but she stubbornly crosses her arms and pokes out her bottom lip; so much for reasonable.  We begin to argue. I finally get my two hairbands and her little ass back in the chair but I had to take away her whole life to do it. No tablet, no tv, no desserts, no sweets, no phone, no nothing... Now I feel like a jerk and a tool.  She's back to telling me how much I hate her.  I finish her hair.
Look at the little pouty face... that's not my kid.

With her water bottle made and tucked into her backpack, she wolfs down a breakfast bar and some milk.  It's time to go her ride is here.  Bye Boo Boo! Have a great day! Bye, Mommy I love you!  All is right with the world again and she trots off to school. I meanwhile, am exhausted, mentally and physically. It's like this every morning now. I have to take time to regroup after she goes off to school. I drink my coffee and almost meditate.  God forbid I have somewhere to be too, then everything erupts into sheer chaos and disruption. My ADD kicks up and then it's a case of the blind leading the blind. I haven't taken my medication much earlier than she has; so I am not much better off.  The only difference is I have lived with it longer, mostly unmedicated than she has.  It's hard but it isn't undoable. Girls experience ADHD so differently than boys, it comes with anxiety and a sense of perfectionism, and a need to people please. All that extra energy is poured into that which makes these little girls a hot mess sometimes.  (And the big girls who have it too.) 
What it would look like...

We shall have to cover the car ride home and evenings with raccoons another time. 

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Awake: Where I've been for awhile.

Waking up after six days in a coma is not like waking up from a deep sleep. It is not as though you have had a long rest and you feel great. There’s no big stretch, smile, flinging open the shutters to a bright and shiny day. It is violent and deeply confusing and downright scary.
The first realization I made upon waking up was that I felt uncomfortable. It was a sensation as though I had been powered down and was now being rebooted. It was not like waking up. I remember hearing voices, my mother’s voice, talking….. at first I could not figure out the words, everything was jumbled and blurry sounding. Then like vision, my hearing slowly came into focus and they were talking about me and my staus. I willed my body to move; catching the attention of my mother. Then it’s the questions both mine and theirs. Namely, the nurse wanted to know what I had taken to cause all this. I mean I can’t even see right because of the ointment they rub in your eyes and here they are accusing me of drug use. I just burst into tears because I hadn’t taken anything. Livvie and I had gone to the park and it had been a relatively good day. I have no clue as to what set off all of this that they were explaining to me how I got to the ICU with all these tubes coming out of me. A lot of tubes coming out of my head would have to be removed before I could even move properly, but it would be three days before that happened.
I remember being most disturbed by the sense of the loss of time. This gap in my personal calendar was so bizarre, everyone talked about things that had happened and I was just stagnant. I am having trouble finding the words to explain how it feels to lose any significant time gap. Again, this isn’t like falling asleep hard and waking up thinking it’s the next day. This is much more like being turned off and rebooted; complete and total darkness. Maybe the best analogy is the one in the movie Get Out where he just falls into a hole inside himself. Sometimes you can hear things sometimes they tell me you dream…. I don’t remember any of that, I just remember the nothing.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

His real name is Mike: a Cautionary Tale

 It started out easy enough, just an innocent DM on Instagram. Ordinarily, I would ignore a random guy sliding into my DMs but we had mutual friends so I thought we must have gone to school together. So I replied, I was kind of talking to someone at the time so it didn't go anywhere at first but we would chat back and forth and I got to know him. 

Josh, was funny and good-looking, in the Navy and from my hometown. As it turned out we had not gone to school together; it was just a fluke that we shared mutual friends. He was a total thirst trap though so I understood how they got onto his followers list. Presently stationed in Djibouti he was coming home in June and was really looking forward to it.  He told me he had just completed the nurse practitioner program and worked in the hospital there on base.  Even though when I ran his pictures by my friend who was married to a Navy man for many years she said that his rank, and job didn't match what he was telling me.  He had told me he was a Captain but his insignia was only showing petty officer and that he was a chaplain.  His reasoning for this was that all his pictures were taken before his deployment and the completion of his nursing program and promotion. He couldn't take any on his deployment because of the no cameras rule. So his entire IG account was running on old pictures, according to him. 


When I questioned Josh about my doubts he explained it all away.  Foolishly I gave him the benefit of the doubt.  When things ended with the other guy I was talking to Josh admitted he wanted a shot with me. I had reservations but I moved ahead, charmed by his humor and kind words.  His English was spotty sometimes, but he said this was because he was born and raised in Italy, before moving to the US at the age of 12, though he had forgotten all his Italian.  He was insistent he had fallen for me and we were meant for each other.  I wasn't so sure, but I let him talk his talk. When he finally built up to saying he loved me I admit I said it back; I was vulnerable and I fell for his act hook, line, and sinker. 

He asked me to do him a favor. Sure, what's that? Do you have CashApp? Yes, but I'm not sending you any money... No he said, "I'm going to send you money." Shocked, I asked why. He said he needed me to buy cryptocurrency with it and send it back to him. I asked him why he couldn't do this himself and it had something to do with base restrictions and blended into an explanation of how they use cryptocurrency for everything to avoid exchange rates. Thinking this was a one time thing, I agreed and gave him my handle. $20 appears in my account and I converted it for him.  The next day, I woke up to $150 waiting to be accepted and a message from him asking me to do it again.  I sent him a message telling him that he was not allowed to abuse my account like this, that he had to ask me before he just dumped money on me like this.  I obligingly went ahead and converted the money.  A few hours later more money showed up, with a text asking if I could do it again.  This time I got angry and told him he was violating my boundaries.  At the time I was busy and could not stop to be his crypto banker.  He would have to wait until it was convenient  for me to do it.  That's when the guilt started. 

Josh started laying in the guilt about how it only took a few seconds to do, I couldn't pause whatever I was doing for a few seconds? I must not love him as much as he thought. Surely I am lying about my feelings for him.  I fell for it and just did the conversion. Waking up the next morning to only to find deposits totaling $900 in my CashApp. I was livid. I was being used and I didn't like it, not to mention something about this felt shady as fuck. The money was coming from all these random people but all going back to Josh? I told him I wouldn't do it anymore. I refused and if anymore money showed up I would refund it immediately. He became angry and told me I didn't love him and wanted him to starve and live without basic necessities. What, the Navy doesn't feed you? 


He said if he wanted snacks he had to buy them, and he has to buy all his own toiletries.  That's what he claims he uses the cryptocurrency for. The random people sending the money are family members of other service members sending them money and he converts it for a fee and distributes it to that service member. It was his side business. How generous of him. I backed down and converted the $900 to cryptocurrency. It still didn't feel right to me no matter what he said.  My gut was telling me this was off, no it was screaming at me that something was off about this whole thing and I wasn't listening.

One day he tells me he wants to help support my daughter and I because he cares about me and he doesn't like my present situation.  He announced he was sending me a check, all I had to do was take it to get it cashed at the Walmart Money Center (I didn't even know such a place existed) and deposit in the bank. Once the cash was deposited I would keep a certain amount and send the remainder back to him as cryptocurrency.  I was like, sure your going send me a check, whatever. Lo and behold a few days later a check did appear for $1600! I tried to cash it at the Walmart as instructed but the check couldn't be read by the check reader at the Money Center.  My gut dropped.  I think I knew then what was coming.  When I told Josh that the check couldn't be read, he agreed I should just go to my bank to cash it.  Upon arriving at my bank I was told that because my account was relatively new a cash deposit of this size would need manager approval.  They asked me to wait.  I go and sit down.  The bank manager comes out and asks me where I got that check,  I tell her my boyfriend sent it to me.  She sighed deeply.  She asked me to follow her to her office where she offered me a seat.  She then asked me if I had been with my boyfriend long, if I had seen him or talked to him in person, and if I knew the person who had signed the check? I had not been with him long. We had only seen each other in pictures because he said his mission protocols wouldn't allow video chats or cameras of any kind.  He told me the person who signed the check was his business manager who handled his business interests and trust fund.  

The bank manager looked me dead in the eye and said "This check is a fake."  She asked me if I had ever heard of a Sweetheart Scam.  I had not. She went on to ask "He wanted you to cash this and deposit it, keep some, and send him the rest?"  Cold just washed over me as I realized my gut was right the whole time. Isn't it always? The check she said, would bounce, and I would be liable for the money not him; he would get away with the money and off scot free.  My face and burned with embarrassment and anger. Her recommendation was that I choose not to deposit it and take it to the police.  I told her I had a child and I would absolutely not be depositing the check and yes I would be going to the police. So I left the bank and got in the car and went straight to the police station and filed a police report.  I even gave them the picture of the driver's license he sent me to prove his identity.  I gave them everything I had.  I locked all three of my credit reports.  When  I left the Police Department I had about 80 texts from Josh wanting to know where I was, what happened, what about the check, hello? 

I told him the check was fake. I told him I'd been to the police; that I'd given them everything. Josh went ballistic, absolutely nuclear. He said he didn't believe me that I must have cashed the check and pocketed all the money for myself. That I never sent him anything proving I even went to all these places I claimed I went to. That I was lying about all of this just to get his money. How dare I go to the police! When he calmed down I started getting texts about how I didn't really love him and now he could never love another woman ever again because of me. He could never trust anyone ever again, I had ruined that for him. In my mailbox when I got home was another check, another arrived the next day.  I blocked his messages, as advised by the police but he would just message me from another number or email.  Blocking him became exhausting. Josh would pop up everywhere and I didn't always immediately register it was him because it would be different platforms and I'd receive a message and respond cheerfully and he would sour it instantly by saying he could see I was living a happy life without him. BOOM... it's Josh. Block. 

One day after another attempted contact I got curious.  I got online and found a website called Social Catfish.  It's a website that for a small fee allows you to deep search the web with an image in order to confirm someone's identity.  So I took one of his images and I ran it.  Boy was I shocked at what came back! First was a CBS News segment on people's images being used for romance scams with this guy... named Mike Sency, but wait it was Josh, except this was the real person. Josh Nanos, @dadinkjosh, is a fake person. He steals images from Mike Sency's IG page and posts them with the exact same caption and everything verbatim and then passes himself off as him. Which is disturbing on multiple levels, first he is not this guy Mike, second he is pretending to be a service member and garnering attention for that of IG, third he is clearly running a scam operation under the guise of this man's face.  This man is a chaplain for the Navy and deserves better than that.  He is actually a hilarious guy and quite handsome, I only wish I had actually met him instead of Josh.  I did try sending Mike a DM telling him about Josh so he could report him but he hasn't even looked at it.  He has a very large page and I'm sure he gets tons of rando girls messaging him all the time.  He probably never even noticed my message. I at least made the effort though. 

Not Josh

So there it is my cautionary tale of woe. Don't answer those random DMs kiddos mmmkay? It's probably some dude in Djibouti trying to scam you... or some crazy chick trying to tell you about the guy that scammed her pretending to be you.   

Friday, December 23, 2022


If you want to know where my head's at right now... this song sums it up perfectly.