That’s Not How I Operate

I was thinking the other day that I could go through my posts and label all the tactics. See, look here, that’s triangulation. This right here would be hoovering. Here’s a little gaslighting for ya. And so on and so forth. If anyone else feels like pointing out the different tactics, feel free to do so. It helps to keep our narcdar fine tuned I think. – Constance

I found myself saying that to him a lot at the end. That’s not how I operate. It was a counter to “because that’s what you’re used to.” JR would say to me, “I only did/said (insert fucked up thing here) because that’s what you’re used to.” What started out as, “You deserve it.” in regards to being treated well, being told women make the world go round, bought clothes, taken out to dinner, him trying to pay for everything, and just being a decent guy in general, had turned into that.

Warning: I will be talking about bacterial vaginosis in this one. Just FYI.

What I was actually “used to” was being by myself. I hadn’t dated, much less lived with a love interest for the last thirteen years. After my youngest was born, I had pretty much been celibate for the better part of ten years. My youngest was a surprise, I had been taking the pill every day till I found out. I found out I was pregnant three months after kicking her father out, and getting a domestic violence restraining order against him. The fact that I went from an emotional and verbally abusive marriage, into a physically abusive relationship, freaked me out. I obviously wasn’t ready to be in a relationship, even though it was almost four years after my divorce. So I decided to forget about men and raise my kids by myself.

JR knew this, because I told him most of this in the very beginning during the getting to know you part. I told him that I hadn’t dated in a long time, that I don’t sleep with more than one person at a time. I even told him about the situation with Other Guy. I made it clear that I was used to being in monogamous relationships. I told him how paranoid I am about who I have around my children. That one of my rules is not having anyone I date around my children unless the relationship is serious. I told him I do background checks, check court records, and check the sex offender registry. I told him to look for me, and what he would find when he did look. I told him to look for me to reassure him that I wasn’t like his previous relationships. Now I’m sure I am like his previous relationships, since I don’t believe a word he said about any of them.

It’s easy to sit here and list all the times he screwed up, and all the chances I gave him over and over again. They are glaring points in my mind. Huge red banners that I see now, and wonder what the hell I was thinking. What is difficult to explain is the why. After all the hurt, the good has been difficult to remember.  Even though that’s what I was holding on to after he was showed how cruel he really was. He was amazing when we were together. He was such a great guy. He was sensitive, attentive, and caring. He was fun to be around and we enjoyed spending time together. He wanted a family, he wanted someone to make a life with, all the things that I wanted. It was great to be with him, we had amazing chemistry.

In the beginning he made me feel like I was the only girl in the room. It was awesome. I went from a guy who didn’t want to touch me, to someone who couldn’t get enough of me. From someone who could care less if I was sexually satisfied, to someone who made sure that I was, that’s all he worried about during sex. He usually said and did all the right things. I developed feelings for him. I thought the relationship was going somewhere. I thought maybe he just did stupid stuff sometimes. If JR had acted like Other Guy (I should really call him summer guy)  from the beginning, it would have been completely different. If they were horrible right from the beginning, most people wouldn’t stay and put up with that shit. I like to believe that I wouldn’t have.

I don’t know how I forgot this, but by the end of January he was already talking about giving me a key to his house. I didn’t say yes or no to that, I actually acted like he didn’t mention that at all. I thought that was a bit soon to be talking about house keys, we’d only been seeing each other for just over two months. I certainly was not about to give him a key to my place at that point. I hadn’t even introduced him to my kids yet.

I’ve met his parents, he wants me to have keys to his house, he’s acting like I’m the only person he’s seeing.  I have doubts about that, and sleep with other guy two more times. JR ramps up the attention, Other Guy gets a girlfriend and I leave him alone. JR’s spending the night by my house.

Eventually JR and I stop using condoms. This was a huge deal. I hadn’t even told JR that I was on the pill for months. He was worried about a pregnancy, I didn’t have a problem using condoms. I made it clear that it wasn’t going to happen if we were sleeping with other people. When we stopped using condoms the bacterial infections started.  I go to the gyno, because there is no getting rid of it without antibacterial medication. I’ve had them infrequently in the past. I had them so often after we stopped condom use that for a bit we went back to using them. After the first several, I’m asking my gyno why I keep getting these. The first question I was always asked after they knew it was BV was, “Have you had any new sexual partners recently?” I could only speak for myself in saying no. When they seemed chronic my gyno finally said, “It’s your boyfriend.” he also said it was possible that I was allergic to his pre ejaculation, that could be too acidic and throwing off the balance. By some miracle in the coming months I stopped getting these infections. I have a couple of ideas as to why.

By March, he had all but disappeared. We still talked daily, hung out every so often, but a week or so would pass without seeing each other. He was working 16 hour days at times. I was working as much over time as I could. He’s building his room in the basement, which was moving slowly. I’m guessing March is when “B” came into the picture. Early April was a lot of the same, catch as you can. It felt off to me, but I tried not to stress about it. Sometime in here he almost finished his room in the basement. He had a bed and walls, but no doors, but still a room and not sleeping on the couch. He has decided that he’s going to help me quit smoking and get me a fancy expensive ecigarette. There was one week where he wanted to make plans for a Sunday, and then never got back to me. I assumed we were still on for the day, but he texts me saying that he has to help his friend “A” install an oil pump in his truck. Almost immediately after I get another text from him saying, “Have fun at school, can’t wait till 6” I lost it. It was obvious to me that he lied, he made plans with some other chick, and blew me off. Here again I tell him to fuck off. He quickly tries to cover up his mistake, saying that A refers to work as school because everyone there is so immature. Blah blah blah. Deny, deny, deny.

I told him that I didn’t believe him and that it hurt, but I don’t want to see him anymore. I will not abide a liar. He’s still texting me, several times a day. “Good morning” “Hope you had a great day” This is when I first started thinking he’s got me on some list, I’ll bet these are mass texts he’s sending out. Where I thought he was attentive to me, and wanting me to know his days off every week, wanting to make plans with me. Mass. Texts. Every day, to every contact in his phone. I told him to please stop, and he said, “What?” I told him he’s ripping my heart out by still contacting me. He said he wasn’t happy, he doesn’t want it to end, that he still wanted to see me, that really was A, and not some other girl. He’s back to telling my co-worker that he misses me and wants me back, after a few days he just stopped.

I didn’t do well with this. I missed him, even though I was hurt. I had second thoughts and text him asking him to call me because I want to talk. I felt it was the least I could do since that whole exchange was done through text. Nothing. I waited a day or two and gave him a call. He basically told me he wasn’t going to “beg” to be in my life, that he had given up. He still insisted that it really was an oil pump. We talked for a bit, smoothed things over, he told me his days off and wanted to make plans. His days off came and went, with nothing from him. None of the usual “good morning” “good afternoon” “hope you had a great day” texts from him, and no response to mine. I took that as the silent treatment, and was ready to say fuck it again. I told him that no matter how angry I was with him, after New Years I always responded to him. He calls me to go get lunch. He explains that he’d hadn’t slept for something like three days and took a couple sleeping pills from his roommate, and proceeded to sleep for the better part of two days. I accepted his explanation.

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