I am exhausted.
My famous last words from Day 77 said it was up to “him” to not step over my boundaries, to enable us to continue forward in a relationship. He promptly stepped over those clearly defined boundaries again within hours of my writing. Obviously, I lost it and slammed the door on things.
Yesterday was a barrage of emotional texting. It was so draining. I had a meeting at 430pm with someone close to me. He urged me to reconsider the whole situation. I really did not want to, at all. My defenses are way up, as they should be. I’ve been banging my head on the proverbial wall.
But I listened out of respect for this coworker and friend I fully trust.
The coworker asked me to consider how the man I was getting to know is not used to women not being fully available and “on the ready.” How he has women throwing themselves at him and yet I present this challenge, as a girl who must proceed slowly with no instant gratification because of my situation and trial. I am one who will not be “bought and paid for,” so I am not so quick to take off running to “bag the guy.”
He also asked me to consider how my defenses are like Fort Knox – as they should be after all I’ve been through. He urged consideration of how no one understands how intense this stalking, the criminal offenses, investigations, betrayals and trial process have been. He said that he did not get it until he was in it, as he has been for almost two years now.
So I listened.
I felt almost pushed to do something I did not want to do. I was still so defiant in having done what was best for me, in my mind – that shutting of the door. I get so tired and have so little space for what feels like insanity or chaos, that jerking of the rug out from under us and the plowing through my boundaries.
We also talked about how I’m used to very unemotional men and this man has a sensitive and creative side. Let’s face it: Fed took the “fluff” and fun right out of me. So I have become like those men – very flat, black-and-white about relationships and unbudging. But again, I have survival and trial as my priorities, nothing else.
But I listened.
So my friend sat there while I very reluctantly unblocked the person from my phone and typed a text to the once-deleted contact. He literally dictated the texts to me, as the peacemaker. I was still reeling over everything from my “tiny height” to my character, to the rape situation having been thrown back in my face as this person’s defense. I was harshly and incorrectly judged – except for the height issue which I kind of like.
Unfortunately, the man on the other side of the phone was still in fighting mode. So everything was still rapid-fire, about a dozen texts, one after another.
Finally he cooled a little at what was then hour 11 of the whole mess. We spoke on the phone.
I heard a new side, a kind of defeated one in his voice. I heard softness that the texts were not reflecting. For only the second time since I’ve known him, I was given the room to speak my peace instead of being interviewed in one question after another. I took that chance to kind of barrel through what was offensive, explaining again the “boundary” issue – despite being so sick of the word boundary that I wanted to vomit.
I heard in his voice that he was hurt and rattled by my abrupt ending. I could tell he was choosing words very carefully and walking on tiptoes. I don’t want anyone in this world to feel that way about anything. So it was a little endearing that he cared that much.
I think I was understood in a new way, in that I had clearly pulled the plug and said, “That is it.” There were still some sort-of-threats of, “If you do ‘x’ again, I will do ‘y,'” but I clarified that no one can make any kind of demands from me right now, as well as how that is not a healthy approach for building a relationship.
I was exhausted. Still am.
I lost two days of work to this mess. I cannot afford to lose two days of work to any mess. At all. I do not need it, want it or have it to give. I still have to pay for another surgery, missed work for trial and all else. I do not have time to sacrifice work. I have a life to rebuild, one that starts in under 100 days.
I think we reached mutual understanding. I am still very guarded. To be frank, last night I was still a little resentful in a world of, “I don’t need this bullshit.” I don’t. But the question is whether I want the human connection enough to keep bouncing back – to a certain point, now a point beyond my original point.
My limits include keeping my location at specific times to myself. No one gets to see what my eyes see at a given moment. Hours later, sure. But me being quick to say where I am or show it through promptly sent photos is not happening. That is a card I am dealt – one I am good at knowing when to hold and when to fold. Nothing sends me into a frantic state like people knowing exactly where I am on the map “right now.”
After all, I watched Fed tracking my location via device in my little North Carolina hiding town, as the doofus realized he and his compadre passed the parking lot where I was, then promptly made U-turns. I saw them – as if in slow motion – making that turn and coming for me together. I was the one they followed for 13 miles, to make their “point.” So no one will ever do that to me again. No one needs to know my whereabouts unless I know I can 100 percent trust them with my whereabouts. Need-to-know basis.
Obviously things are tentative with us today. I guess we will get back to the warmth of before. We seem cut from the same cloth. But there is a big pile of millions per year between us, something that makes our lifestyles, needs and expectations in relationships very different. From my side of things, you cannot be expected to keep up with the lifestyle of someone labeled an “heir” or the “king of…” his industry. They have to usher you in. I can’t just go off tearing into the yacht club or Italy for six months, as have been proposed in the past two weeks. I don’t buy houses on a whim over a weekend. Tile guys don’t work until 9pm because I’m such a great customer to have. Hell, I don’t even have a tile guy.
So that is the raw truth of it. Boundaries must be respected. My journey must be respected. And – most importantly – I will NOT be “pitied” for not having millions in my pocket after all I’ve survived. PERIOD.
I come from a certain background of formality, one that makes me appear ready for entry to that world. But I made a choice to ensure that justice prevailed here and I survived, above all else. Survival and justice come at a significant, life path changing cost. I am still called unemployable by recruiters, until trial is over and the jerk is locked up. So I only have my experience, tenacity and self-made businesses to rely on for my own survival – after six long, heartbreaking and isolating years.
So here we are. We are talking. Pressure is off of me. I don’t think that particular boundary will be crossed again. I think I made my point, although I did not see coming back from the clarity to a place of “bliss.” I am hoping bliss comes back. We shall see.
But today? Today my long-forgotten auto-immune reactions are rearing their frowny faces. I have my autoimmune disorder pretty well under control after my hiatus from life. I’ve learned how to keep myself balanced – as this countdown of 100 days was designed to achieve – but is still miserably failing. Today, I cannot lift my arms because they are so heavy. I am wiped out. It is 11am and I am still in my night clothes.
But I am still here, pushing forward and trying to rebuild a life. I guess the man is still by my side. I see he wants to be and was willing to get in some mud to fight for it. There is some kind of value in there somewhere.
I just know that there has to be more space for my losses and the gap they created to jive with his heir experience. Maybe it is through the tile guy or my coworker. I also know I need to be cared for in special, perhaps unique ways. But more than anything, I know I am worth that. Maybe he is worth that for me too, if we can just get past this damn case and trial.
I will be back later to account for my day’s strategy…
I slept until 11am this morning, off and on. I needed it.
I was not in a bright mood until about 2pm, but was relieved when my regular sunniness came back. I do not like being uncomfortable in my skin.
I worked out for only 30 minutes, but at least I showed up and got it done.
I made some strides in business development for my brands. But failed miserably at the grind that ties me over.
I spent nothing, maintained nothing material and just played it safe today all around.