did i ever tell you the one about how ex-bf isn’t technically my ex-bf because it turns out he has had a girlfriend since before he met me?
that’s right. the real truth is not that i was unknowingly the other woman this january. the real truth is that literally my entire acquaintance with carlos* was an enormous deception and manipulation of proportions i have had trouble wrapping my head around.
let’s back up though. i’m sorry to get all in media res on you guys.
sure, sure, i said that i was totally over and done with carlos. and i was. except that it still didn’t feel right. things didn’t quite add up or make sense. and i had this obsession that i needed him to look me in the face and tell me the truth about what happened. [the irony of this desire is not lost on me, given the revelation of the number of times he looked me right in the face and lied to me.] daily emails yielded nothing but a terse response telling me that “Quite simply. I don’t want to see you again.” to which i responded, “obviously you don’t want to see me again, or you’d have a couple of drinks and text me at 1 a.m. i want you to sit down with me in the daylight and tell me the actual truth, not the “truth” you tell me when you tell me when you are nostalgic, guilt-ridden and want to fuck me.”
part of it of it was the desire to make him tell me the actual truth. more of it was a desire to be the worst kind of ex. the kind of ex for whom one has only negative feelings. i wanted to burn everything between us to the fucking ground. i do not trust him, and i do not trust myself when it comes to him. i have proven more than once that, given the chance, i will invite him back into my life and bed. yes, i should be better at my life, but i think taking measures, like guaranteeing someone hates you and never wants to see you ever again, is a good precaution in case i am not better at my life in the future than i have been so far. i certainly mean to be better at my life, but one never knows. no. i know. i am not to be trusted with him. even after all this, if he showed up right now, yeah, i’d have a fight with him, but i would have sex with him. he is my fucking kryptonite. i cannot be trusted with him. burning it down was the only way out.
i had deleted his number after he told me a few weeks ago that he was seeing someone. so email was my only tool in this campaign, and it was not the atom bomb i was looking for. he was not going to give in to my repeated requests for a face-to-face. my choices were limited if i wanted to stay away from truly crazy ex-girlfriend territory. i was not going to, say, stalk him at work or at home, or at all anywhere. that’s horrifying and a line i am not willing to cross.
a friend made a remark that if having been the other woman was bothering me so much that i should tell the girlfriend. i initially dismissed his idea. i didn’t think i was that kind of person. on the one hand, their relationship is none of my business. on the other hand, this was just the kind of terrible thing to absolutely destroy any positive feelings carlos may have been harboring for me. he has pulled this shit before where he cuts off contact for months at a time just to pop back up again. this time around he had said out-loud to me that he felt like we have a connection where we will drift apart and always come back together. so you will understand my distrust of this current freeze-out. you understand my deep need to ruin it so thoroughly that carlos would never want to pop back up.
here is the narrative as i had guessed it, based on some clearly not in-depth enough twitter sleuthing and information he gave me while we were together last year:
carlos’s current girlfriend is the girl that he had referred to as his best friend while we were together. i thought that it was likely that he had been interested in her the whole time, and possible that she was the reason he dumped me. there was a picture on his twitter last summer referring to her as his girlfriend. i think this was shortly after he and i had sex last july. it was this picture that made me realize i had to stop checking his twitter and delete him from my phone. with the help of accountability to gat0rz and a financial penalty, i didn’t look at his digital presence again until shit went down this winter.
it hurt that he had dumped me for someone else, but life is messy. if he had secretly been into her the whole time, it made sense that he never wanted me to meet her. our relationship was casual. it hurt to feel like i had been a fill-in until he got what he wanted, but i had not been in love with him and didn’t want that from him. so i wasn’t heart-broken over it. just plain, old hurt.
i honestly did not think about the girlfriend while i was with carlos this january. i was having a great time, and it never crossed my mind. he made a comment about having been able to have sex four times that first night in december because he’d had a dry spell, but not to expect it every time. i mistakenly assumed this meant he was single, i guess.
after it was over, and i was left alone and hurt again. i did some more twitter sleuthing. except this time, i looked at the girlfriend’s twitter, too. i never had before. the idea felt gross. it felt gross this time as well, but i didn’t let it stop me. i needed to know what happened. i hate not knowing things. it drives me crazy. so i crossed that line, gross as it felt. i looked at her pictures all the way back to december. she was the girlfriend that whole time. was and still is.
i felt betrayed. the first time carlos and i were together, it was mutually casual. we were only exclusive for the last month of it, but this time i had let him get into my head. this time i had indulged in thoughts of “what if?” what if we tried a real go of things? what if we did have a real connection? what would it be like to explore that? what if i did let him into my heart? what would it be like to have him in my life? what would it be like to be in his life? i didn’t take these thoughts very seriously. i knew that i could never trust him with my heart. they were there though, in the back of my mind. they made his predictable exit more painful than last time. they made finding out that it was never going to be me hurt like i was not expecting.
i would like to say that i emailed carlos’s girlfriend from a place of genuine pain and the search for the truth. i would like to claim that i was doing it to give her the benefit of information that i had not been given. i did claim those things. i claimed those things in the email i sent to her. but as much as i would love to portray myself as the ultimate victim here, that was not the reason i emailed her. i emailed her because i thought that it was a way for me to destroy anything left between carlos and me. i knew this step crossed a line. i knew there was no coming back from it. i wanted to be in a place there was no coming back from. i needed to burn it to the fucking ground. i was fine with the girlfriend being a casualty. i had never before completely given in to my worst impulses, but there is a first time for everything.
so i played my hand:
i don’t know the details of your relationship with carlos. maybe you two have an open arrangement, but i didn’t know about you. i apologize for writing to you like this, but i couldn’t find you on facebook and 140 characters didn’t seem enough. i’m sorry for crossing this line. i just wish i had known, and i feel that you deserve to know. i’m writing to you because i would have liked to know that you existed before i invited him over last december. i apologize if you and carlos have an open relationship, and you knew about me the whole time.
while we never met, you probably know that carlos broke up with me last may. since then, he has gotten back in touch with me every few months, usually late at night, telling me he felt badly about how he ended things and how much he always cared about me. i am embarrassed to say that i fell for it more than once. most recently, late december through january. i ended things in early february. carlos stopped returning my texts, and i felt stupid for, once again, believing his talk of how we had this special connection. he cancelled on me the night we were supposed to have drinks and a conversation. so i emailed him. i never heard back, and i was hurt. i guess i had hoped carlos might try to talk me out of ending things with him. recently, when i asked him if we could meet up to talk, he told me that he was seeing someone. from carlos’s twitter, i guessed that you are the person he is seeing. from your twitter, i was horrified to find out that it seems he was seeing you the whole time. i have been begging carlos to meet me for coffee to clear all of this up. i wanted to know the truth. i can’t believe that anyone could say all the things he said to me while he had a girlfriend. i wish that i had known about you.
i know what i must sound like. i am still shocked by what a fool i was/am. i am including links to two posts on my blog, for proof i guess, that i had no idea he was seeing someone else:http://dstaradventures.tumblr.com/post/42948980709/this-is-how-you-write-a-break-up-letter and http://dstaradventures.tumblr.com/post/45384640633/mistress-know-thyself
i thought you deserve to know about me. i deserved to know about you.
yeah. i’m a real cunt sometimes.
it does hit all the right notes, yeah? do you know how long it takes to compose such an email? to hit that proper tone of hurt and incredulous without sounding like a nut? all i can say in my defense is that i had decided to give in to my worst impulses. it is not something i have done before. i do not think i will again. the only thing that comes from pain is more pain.
and anyway, it turns out she had a better hand than i. i am going to paraphrase her response. since she is the only half of that pair with the decency to be straight with me, i’m not going to turn around and put her words on the internet without permission. of course, in all of this, i only have her word to go on, but since she does not seem like a lying, manipulative piece of garbage and carlos is definitely a lying, manipulative piece of garbage, i choose to trust her.
- she and carlos began an open relationship in november 2011. [yes, you read that correctly. november 2011. that is a month before carlos and i met.]
- she first knew of me in december 2011. according to her, she encouraged him to tell me he was in an open relationship, as she had done in such situations.
- carlos did not tell me about his open relationship, and apparently lied to her about the nature of his relationship with me.
- eventually, carlos told the girlfriend that he had come clean to me about his open relationship. she did not believe him, but didn’t get involved. [thanks a fucking lot, p.s.]
- she knew carlos broke up with me in may of 2012.
- she and carlos decided to become exclusive in july 2012. [was that before or after he came over to christen my new bed?]
- she knew we had seen each other in january when she was out of town.
- though she never got involved, she says that when she and carlos talked about me, she always encouraged him to be honest with me.
- my email made her cry.
ditto on the last point, lady.
did i ever cry. i haven’t cried so hard since my brother died. i sat on my couch and cried so hard i couldn’t breathe. i was in shock. i had thought it was pretty bad. i had thought carlos was pretty bad, but it turns out he is a fucking monster. he is more selfish and manipulative and deceitful than i could have imagined. her email made true the feelings i pretended in contacting her.
i appreciate your honesty and candor. if i was horrified before, i don’t know that there is a word for what i feel right now. you have completely re-written a large part of my history. entire months of my life were a complete lie. i had beyond no idea. all i can think of is every single moment that he had to tell me the truth and didn’t, including many times when i specifically asked what our situation was. of course this is not your problem or fault. thank you for telling me the truth. i kept thinking that my opinion of carlos could not get lower, but this breaks new ground. he took away my choice. he took away my ability to choose what i wanted for myself by deliberately misleading me. and here i thought he was just a selfish coward. oh god. and when he agreed to be my allegedly exclusive boyfriend last april. it was all a lie. he lied right to my face. over and over. he told me what i wanted to hear. he took away my choice because he knew i didn’t want this. he lied to me to make me do what he wanted and then dropped me when it stopped being convenient for him. i can’t breathe i’m so upset. again. not your fault or problem. in january i literally asked carlos what the rules were this time. he acted as if he were fumbling through our reconnection the same as i. but he had all the information. not only was it never going to be me. it was never going to be me on such an epic scale that i can hardly conceive of it. it was never going to be me from the very start. from before the start. and all his talk of fate and how we were destined to keep coming back to each other. oh my god. his fucking pact on how we should be together if we hadn’t found someone in whatever bullshit he was saying when i interrupted him. he fucking has someone. there is no “if we haven’t found someone.” he had someone the whole time. oh my god. it’s such a enormous lie i can hardly process it. it was all a lie. i feel so betrayed. i am so beyond hurt. there aren’t words deep enough for how appallingly betrayed i feel. he let me introduce him to all my friends as my boyfriend. all the time, knowing that he already had a girlfriend. it turns out that i AM the consolation prize. i AM the back-up. i am his fucking real doll with the girlfriend experience that he picked up whenever he felt like it and put me away when i was inconvenient. not a thought for how i would feel. i have never been treated with so little respect in my life. especially from someone who professed to care for me. for someone he allegedly found intimidatingly smart, he treated me like the idiot and fool that i apparently was. am. i was only ever straight-forward with him. and he repaid me with lie after lie. so many lies i can barely comprehend it. it was all lies. from the day we met, just one lie after another. even at the end, he didn’t care enough to tell me the truth. if i never knew the truth. maybe i’d still be there on the shelf in two months or six months or a year. ugh. because we have a special connection and he can just drift in and out of my life as he pleases. oh god. i am so disgusted.
now, friends. that is what i sound like when i am hurt and incredulous. i apparently only believe in full stops and find sentence fragments much more expressive than full sentences.
i am still so shocked by all this. last night, i remembered asking him in january whether he had been with anyone else while we were together last year. he looked me right in the eye and said that he had been with people after, but not during. his ability to lie is staggering. for our entire acquaintance, he deliberately withheld information to manipulate me, or he outright lied. every time that he could have told me any part of the truth, he doubled-down on the lies. i still don’t have words to convey how deeply this hurt me. the lies. the lies are what hurt. the manipulation. the deception. the sheer enormity of it. it is hard to comprehend.
my trust was violated so completely. he stole my agency. if he had been honest with me, i may have still dated him knowing he was in an open relationship, but i would have had the knowledge i needed to make my own choice. he took away my ability to choose for myself. it is unlikely that i would have been with him for as long or in the same manner, if i had known the truth. he is more selfish and more terrible than i had given him credit for. he only thought of his own selfish desires. i didn’t want to be a side player in someone else’s relationship. i still don’t want that. instead of having his open relationship and not having me, or having me and not having the girlfriend, he chose to lie to everyone and have both as long as he could. he is appalling. he was never going to tell me the truth. as long as i never knew, he could come back into my life with his talk of fate and connection. and i would have fallen for it again.
the night that we talked about becoming exclusive last april is painful to remember. i told him that i wasn’t seeing anyone else and asked if he was. he said no. i asked him how he would feel if i started seeing someone. he said that it would hurt him. i said that i would feel the same way. i said that this didn’t mean we would become serious, just label the situation we were already in, casual but exclusive. he agreed. he sat across from me on my couch and told lie after lie. he told me that he cared about me and wanted to be with only me.
of course, he dumped me a month later. so obviously, even in the false narrative he created for me, that wasn’t true.
carlos didn’t want us to change our statuses on facebook. i literally could not have cared less. i hate facebook. it’s a well-known fact. i’m not 13. i don’t need to broadcast to everyone i’ve ever met that i have a boyfriend. besides, at that point we were still casual.
he told me that he didn’t really have any friends for me to meet. well, carlos is pretty lame and awkward. he had been through two serious relationships in four years that resulted in losing all his possessions, an ex suing him, an ex keeping his dog. it wasn’t unbelievable that he came out of that with few friends. i myself have only acquired a large group of friends relatively recently. this did become a problem towards the end. i kept pushing him to introduce me to his friends because i reasonably thought it a normal step after being together 5 months and exclusive.
carlos told me that the girl he interacted with frequently on twitter was his best friend. okay. i’m not a jealous person. if you tell me someone is just a friend, i will believe you. people have friends of the opposite sex. i have some myself. it turns out, this was the girlfriend the whole time. it now makes sense why he was so resistant to introducing me.
i mean, i guess these things are suspicious. i guess. they weren’t a big deal at the time. in hindsight, it’s more like, “oh yeah. that makes more sense now.” the way we interacted in person seemed so genuine that the rest of it didn’t really bother me. he seemed so obviously into me. our chemistry felt so real. like i said, carlos is my kryptonite.
the thing i have come to realize is that if i were put back into this situation, i would fall for it again. i treated him as i expect to be treated. the only way i could have prevented this situation is to have been a jealous, suspicious, crazy person. i don’t want to be that person. i don’t see this situation as a negative reflection of how i approach the world. carlos took advantage of me and manipulated me into doing what he wanted. he is disgusting. i will never forgive him. there can be no forgiveness for such a terrible, enormous, continued manipulation. at the same time, i refuse to let his being such an appalling person change me into something i am not. i have to believe that people will be basically honest. i refuse to view the world through a lens of distrust.
that being said, when i think about the enormity of the manipulation, it makes me nauseated. i spent two days physically ill with rage. i couldn’t eat or sleep. all i could do was be angry. all i could think about was how much i wanted to punch carlos in the face until his own mother wouldn’t recognize him. i had to/have to let it go though. that kind of anger only hurts me. if i could actually kill people with my mind, it would be a productive use of my energy. alas, this is not the case. all it did was make me have to down pepto in order not to throw up everything i forced myself to eat.
i am doing my best to breathe deeply and let go of my anger. i find it helpful to imagine jake gyllenhaal rubbing my back and telling me to breathe in love and breathe out anger. i know everyone’s all about ryan gosling these days, but did he ever play a teenage nerd rocket scientist from the 50s? i didn’t think so. [p.s. go watch october sky, if you’ve never seen it.]at the end of the day, yes, this is the worst thing anyone has ever done to me, but it will not break me. i will be fine. i still have a wonderful life, with wonderful people in it who love me. carlos cannot take that away from me. the carlos i thought i knew is dead anyway, or never existed.
at the very least, i burned it down alright. even if i am not to be trusted, i think exposing his lies to his girlfriend killed off any affection he may have been harboring for me. that, and i wrote him this:
from this moment on, you are dead to me. do not ever contact me again. if you see me out, do not speak to me or even look at me.
you violated my trust so deeply, i cannot even begin to express my anger and pain. you are an appalling human being. the level of deception and manipulation of your every word to me is horrifying. you took away my agency. do you have any idea how violating that feels? you deliberately denied me vital information to manipulate me into doing what you wanted. at times, you flat-out lied to my face. you are disgusting.
you are dead to me. if you ever talk to me again, i will fucking end you.
surely, that did the trick if nothing else did.
*the policy on my blog is that identities are changed to protect the innocent. carlos no longer qualifies for the courtesy.