Grumpy Cat Goes To The Zoo.

My dad’s birthday is October 8th and mine is October 10th and we both love animals so the family went on a field trip to the Akron Zoo today.  My nieces/brother/sister in law got me possibly the world’s most perfect gift – Grumpy Cat wearing a shirt that says “It’s not me, it’s you”.  I LOVE HIM.

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I carried Grumpy Cat all over the zoo and at one point a 3 year old-ish kid was looking at him and I made him talk to her and said “Hi I’m Grumpy Cat” and her dad literally said the words “hee hee hee” and took her hand and pulled her away.  Possibly because at that point I was alone, my family had gone elsewhere, looking at a lion and bouncing Grumpy Cat at the lion.  I guess what appears to be an adult woman playing with a stuffed animal and expecting an actual lion to respond is probably concerning for other adults.

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The lion liked me, I think.

I also saw a Capybara who I really liked and I am pretty sure is just like a giant ham ham and I do love the ham hams very much and I think my niece is getting one for her birthday and I want to buy the cage for him so it can be extravagant and big.  Basically a hamster mansion is what I’m going for.

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Grumpy Cat was forced to pose and he did not like it.  And yes, I know Grumpy Cat is really a she.

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I fed goats and that was fun because I also got to pet them, but I could not pet this doggy.

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My dad saw one of those doggies two houses down on his walk one day.  The neighbor said “Did you see the coyote”? and my dad said “Where?” and she pointed behind him and the doggy was just walking down a driveway like it was nothing.  I saw a dead one on the highway once and it was very sad.  Actually, I saw him many times because it took a long time for whoever has to pick up dead animal bodies off the highway to get to him.

Oh, and on the way to the zoo, we had many adventures.  I drove my parents, and I had no idea where I was going so they were supposed to tell me but they forgot to tell me to turn and caused me to make a very sharp and sudden turn which caused me to panic.  Then we were stopped at a light at a busy intersection and a squirrel walked under the car in front of us and I started yelling and gesturing wildly for the squirrel to get out of the street and it was extremely tense and my mom said “Darcy!  You’ve got your clompotin in you, just let it happen!”  Clompotin = Klonopin, which I had just taken because family field trips always make me nervous.

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I still have not had my first coffee date (see this post for details), but I might have one tonight if someone responds on Facebook.  I put up a post and said that I am available tonight.  If no one can, I might take a nap.

Grumpy Cat photobombs Mr. Meow Meow.

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Sociopath Series Part III

I get confused. I remember everything. I remember too much, and… some of its made up, and… some of it can’t be quantified, and… there’s secrets.

This is probably going to be my last sociopath post, but I think it might be the most helpful to future generations of Dar Dars and even normal people.

I have learned from my shrink that there are not just Red Flags, which I listed in my first post on this topic, but there are also Yellow Flags.  Yellow Flags are the ones that, in retrospect, you can tell were not quite right, but in the moment seemed charming and normal.  I have a lot of those.

First ask yourself – is the relationship equal?  This can apply to preferences of what to do or where to eat, privacy rules and a few other things.

When I first met AJ, I still do not understand why, but he was, or seemed to be, enamored with me.  It was adorable.  But that lead to some things like…

He would drive me to and from work every day, which meant he had to drive in the opposite direction of his house to come pick me up, then towards his house and past it to take me to work.  Then he would pick me up at the end of my shift.  I loved seeing him.  I would get very excited to see him at the end of the day.  It seemed like he just really wanted to spend as much time with me as possible.  But being picked up and dropped off every day meant I stopped doing things with other people after work.  I did not have my car, so I just went wherever AJ went.  I did not mind at all, I was happy to be with him, but this was the start of me alienating all my friends that I had previously spent quite a bit of time with.  He controlled what I did after work by appearing to just really want to spend as much time with me as possible.  And maybe he really did want to spend all the time with me.  In the beginning, we couldn’t get enough of each other.  As a result of this, though, it set the standard for me being so attached to AJ that I stopped interacting with anyone else.

At first, when I did interact with other people still, AJ would make it go wrong in some way that seemed very innocent and sometimes even charming.  I was at lunch with a couple friends and I did not realize it was near his house, so he texted and said he would come meet me there.  I told him no, it is a “girls lunch” and I would see him another time.  He insisted on coming, and I ended up leaving abruptly before he showed up.  My friends consoled him.  Another time, still very early in our relationship, we attended our first “big event” together, my friend’s wedding.  After the wedding we were socializing in the hotel hospitality room and one of my friend’s asked AJ where he lived.  He said “Solon” (a city).  My friend said “Where in Solon”.  This is a totally normal question – we are all from the same very small area and it is likely he could have said “My friend lives on that street” or something.  He wasn’t asking like “Give me your address so I can come over”.  AJ did not respond, he literally got up and stormed out of the room in a huff of anger.  This is where I made the wrong choice – I chose him over my friends.  Instead of letting him have his tantrum and staying with my friends, I followed after him and left the wedding at his insistence.  He did not want to be there anymore, he felt violated and invaded, and he wanted to leave.  So I left.  MY FRIEND’S WEDDING!!!  I left my friend’s wedding.  Bad decision on my part, but just one of the many times AJ pulled me away from my group of friends and refused to become part of it with me.  These are two small incidents, but they add up quickly to the point where it was routine to leave not just my friend’s functions, but family functions, early because AJ became depressed and wanted to spend time alone with me, or was annoyed by my nieces (they were little at the time), or didn’t want to be there anymore.  No matter how many times I gave him chances, he never allowed himself to become a part of my group of friends, he always found a way to take us both away from it.  My niece, who is now 8, has known AJ basically all of her life.  She was 1 when AJ and I first started dating and I had him at a lot of family functions.  In those 7-8 years that she knew and he was such an integral part of my life, he saw her so rarely that she did not know what he looked like when we met him for coffee one day.  I told her “Watch for AJ” and she had no idea who to watch for.  That is how much I was pulled away from family events and how short lived it was when we went to them.

Another way the relationship was unequal was in terms of privacy.  I did not know where AJ lived for at least 6 months.  He was a regular at my house, knew how to get in if no one was home, stayed overnight regularly (on the couch), etc.  When I was at the restaurant with my friends and he said I was near his house, I had no idea.  My phone/computer/iPad were always open territory – he knew the codes, he could pick them up and use them without fuss, I had nothing to hide.  I have never been able to touch any of his computer items, especially his phone.  He would go so far as to show me a picture, but refuse to let me hold his phone to look closer at it.  Yet he created his own thumbprint log in on my phone, just a few months ago.  If I would so much as glance towards his phone, he would turn his back on me.  As it turns out, this was because he was hiding about 5 different lives from me, so I suppose he had good reason.  But the point is, everything of mine was public domain to him.  I was/am an open book, I have nothing to hide, so I am open and honest about everything.  I only learned things about AJ when he “slipped”.  He is actually a really bad liar, so I always knew when something was up and I (almost) always found out what it was – those are the big red flags.  But the “yellow flags” were there from the beginning with his obsession with his own privacy and disregard for mine.

Another unequal thing was where we would eat/movies we would see, etc.  I thought the reason we went to the restaurants he wanted to were so he could impress me (he used his dad’s credit card and took me to really fancy places), but it occurred to me that he never even considered the option of going where I wanted to go.  He also always found ways to get me agree to his preferences without me even realizing it was happening.  He was in complete control of our dating life and I did not see it, I just thought he wanted to introduce me to new things – but it turned out he was forcing me to try new things whether I wanted to or not.

The last unequal thing I can think of was appearance.  I have always worn jeans and tee shirts and hoodies.  It is what I do.  I do not dress up, I do not wear colors and patterns, I do not wear shoes other than tennis shoes.  AJ started pushing me to wear things I was not comfortable in, but I did it because he liked it.  I wore pink and purple shirts, I “dressed up” sometimes for nights out, sometimes I tried to not wear a hoodie, or if I did, I bought “fancy hoodies”.  My entire wardrobe changed significantly.  He would never listen to a thing I would say if he asked my opinion about his clothes.  I was always honest, I would say if something looked goofy or I did not like it, but it never mattered, he did what he wanted.  He had this awful hat he wore for quite awhile and just completely ignored me when I said it did not look good, but he would dictate what I would wear.  When we broke up, I got rid of everything that I hated wearing and replaced it all with my black tee shirts and jeans.  It was freeing.  I did not realize how much I had bought in an effort to make him like what I was wearing.

So in retrospect I can see that AJ put himself in control of who I saw, where I went, what I ate, what I wore and what I was allowed to know.  At the time, it was NOT obvious.  After he cheated on me the first time, it became obvious to all of my friends, but it was never obvious to me.

And a word about friends – if you are a friend who is watching someone go through this sort of thing, I can tell you that you should do exactly what my friends did.  After they realized that AJ was not a great person, and I was still forgiving and making excuses, they let me know how they feel in a very gentle and nice way, and basically said “I will never be Team AJ but I am Team Darcy and I will support whatever you do and continue to accept AJ if you keep dating him, but I have noticed things that are not right and I want you to know that he is not good for you”.  It must have killed them to watch me continue, but if they had pushed it, it would have caused resentment.  They supported me, told me the truth in a nice way, and never judged ME.  Karyn and Mary in particular, you guys could write a book on how to support someone in this kind of situation.  HPB friends, you were a little more “upfront” with it, but I appreciated your approach as well ;-)

I cannot believe I left this part out.  I do not know which category this fits into, but another huge thing AJ did to alienate me from what I love was convince me to stop doing theater so we could spend more time together.  At first, in what seemed like a really impressive and supportive way, he would do theater WITH me.  I would stage manage, he would work backstage.  But almost every night when we would come out of a rehearsal or performance, he would be so angry.  One time it got so bad with him raging about how much he hated theater that I tried to fire him.  I told him it was hurting our relationship to have us working together, and that I could find someone else to work backstage, and that he should not work on the show anymore.  He refused.  It was not a question on my part, I was TELLING him that he was not going to work on the show anymore, and he shut me down and did what he wanted.  He kept tabs on me by working in theater with me, and then wore me down until I agreed that he was more important than theater, and I was too tired and old to keep doing it while still doing a full time job, anyway.  I thought it was my decision, and in retrospect, it was not.

Once AJ became my entire life – no more friends or family get togethers, no more theater – that was when he started the cheating and the lying.  He had me where he needed me – completely dedicated to him and willing to accept whatever he did because he had become my life.  I thought I was his, but I was not, by any stretch of the imagination.  I was his back up for when all the other things he did didn’t work out.  I was the fall back, the stable one, the one who would always be there for him unquestioningly.  That gave him absolute freedom to go from normal cheating to outright telling me “I will be dating other girls, but you will remain my main girlfriend and you will not date anyone but me”.  I had to sit at home and wait while my boyfriend went on dates with other girls.  AND I DID.  That was a Red Flag.  I was essentially brainwashed into thinking that was normal and ok.  He was not happy with me – I wasn’t sexy enough was the complaint most often, or I was boring – so it somehow made sense to me that he should go find that elsewhere while I stayed and waited for him to come back.

I don’t think I would have done it any differently, in retrospect, so I don’t know that this would actually help anyone who is going through this, or a friend of someone who is going through it.  But it helps to share it now that I have that 20/20 hindsight, and maybe someone will see it and be stronger than I was and get out sooner.

And I am still so brainwashed that I miss AJ.  He was a constant in my life for nearly 8 years.  No matter how messed up it was, I miss him.  Bleh.

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If You Are My Facebook Friend You Must Read This.

I have a new idea.  I always have ideas and then they kind of fizzle out.  Like that time I wanted to send letters to everyone and I only sent a few letters to a few people.

This time I have decided that throughout the next five years I am going to meet each of my FB friends at a Starbucks and have coffee.  I do not care how much we do not know each other, or do not remember each other, we are sitting down for at least 15 minutes and enjoying a beverage.  I will meet you where you live, except for you, Mo, because I will not go to Israel.  We can meet somewhere neutral like Switzerland.  Everyone else, I will come to you.  My only requirement is that you write a brief description of how we meet/how you know me.  And that you take a selfie with me.  Maybe I will write a book.  I might make you sign a release form.  Probably not, though.  I will probably just start a new section on my blog called Starbucks Selfies.  EVERY LAST ONE OF YOU WILL BE SUBJECT TO THIS.  We can meet and stare at each other if we actually do not know each other well enough to have anything to talk about, we can play a game of Scrabble, we can chat, we can color pictures for each other.  I am open to anything.

This also applies to people I see everyday and know well.  Oh, and if you do not remember how we met, either make something up or just say you do not remember, because I cannot remember how I met some of you.

So there is my project.  Sometime within the next five years, expect a message from me with a link to this blog and an invitation.

Also, tonight my mom suddenly appeared and said we had to go to Malley’s to get chocolate so I put my shoes on and got in the car and sat there for a good four minutes.  I honked my horn which I never do because I was getting very anxious waiting and kind of spazzing out and it turns out she was making coffee.  In an actual mug, not a travel mug.  For our 5 minute trip to Malley’s.  It was funny.

Prepare for coffee.

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I Am Drinking Butterbeer At Starbucks.

Seriously, have you ever had it?  It’s on the “secret menu”.  Sometimes it is so secret that you have to tell the barista how to make it, but it is so very delicious.  Two pumps caramel, two pumps toffee nut, and then you can get it as a latte or as one of those warm milk be beverages.

i went to my new therapist and I really like her.

She has a very soft orange blanket that I can pet and she promised to start bringing in her puppy.

I am still sad about AJ and I miss him which is stupid because he lied a lot and wasn’t very nice to me, but my Thundercat friend brought up a good point.  I said “why did he choose me when there were so many others”.  The answer is that I have something the others don’t.  I call him out on things, I force him to (eventually) tell the truth, I see through every lie and I hold him accountable.  It is very parental.  But I really don’t think he has anyone in his life who does that.  He has girlfriends who don’t know the true AJ but serve their needs, he has family who know the selective truth, and a therapist who knows the selective truth.  So I guess instead of feeling sad that I was picked, I should be proud.  My real ness and honesty was what made him stay with me as a friend for 8 years when no one else made that cut.  It hurt me a lot, but in some small ways, it bettered him.  A little.  In some ways.

My point is, there’s a bright side to everything and this bright side is that I was a strong, positive force in his life and even though I was used for him to learn every life lesson, I was the only one strong enough to do that.

It is very hard to do this on an iPad and I just made the keyboard part disappear.

I am going to drink my Butterbeer and read now.

 

Sociopath Series Part II

I have gone through every emotion in the book since posting my sociopath blog.

First, I was sad because I betrayed AJ.  I always told him that if he pushed me far enough, I would do it.  He had plenty of warning.  He did not have to lie to me.  He knew how sensitive he made me to any untruth, and the only way we could be friends was if he did not lie, and he lied a lot about really stupid things.  So he knew it was coming, and the reason it came was because he was horrible to me, and yet, I still feel sad for him.

Mixed with that was absolute rage.  Why did he pick me?  He’s gone through many, many other women and friends and he never did this to any of them.  What is it about me?  Up until the very last argument, he said “I want to be your friend, please, we can still be friends”.  We had been through that same conversation so many times, and I always said “Ok, but just don’t lie to me anymore”.  He did every time.  His last words were “Please let’s talk and be friends” and mine were “I’m posting it, goodbye AJ”.  The nonlogical part of me wishes I just talked and forgot it as usual, and went back to him lying and me pretending not to know.

I know logically that the thing I have to understand is that he incapable of actually being sorry and incapable of actually being a friend.  But the stubborn part of me thinks “He owes me an apology, surely he sees what he forced me into”.  But he doesn’t.  I know he doesn’t, but I still wish he did.

Then I’m mad because HE had the gall to block ME on all social media/texting, etc.  WAIT-don’t get mad.  I wasn’t texting for social purposes.  He set up all of my computer stuff and he can remotely access all of my family’s computer things.  I did not realize that he can’t do this without me sitting on the computer approving his request.  I opened my computer and it flashed his name and then something else that I didn’t catch, and I panicked.  I thought for sure I’d end up on a revenge porn site or something (there are no naked pictures of me anywhere, don’t worry – but those things can be photoshopped).  I texted him and asked why his name showed up on my computer.  I didn’t realize “blocking” was a thing on iPhones, so when he didn’t answer, I sent multiple messages saying I know he was on my computer and he better tell me what he did.  Well, he wasn’t on my computer.  I THINK what he did was delete our shared Dropbox folder where we would put mostly cat pictures so that we each had sufficient copies.  So that is how I found out he blocked me on everything.  And that makes me mad.  *I* should be doing the blocking, here.  *I* am the victim.  I am NOT the blockee.  But.  I am.  And that left me feeling even more impotent than before.  I have never won, I have always been the one who was hurt, damaged, lied to, accused, and now blocked.  I always defended AJ no matter what he did (RED FLAG), and he never defended me, not that I needed it.  I mean, I just needed it with his dad.  I never did anything that needed defending, so I guess him not sticking up for me is a moot point.

I digress. Or maybe not, maybe I made some really good points in there.  I am just very angry, I have no closure, somehow-and this is accompanied by much shame-I still think I want to be his friend (don’t worry, it’s not going to happen), and I somehow still expect a sincere apology, admitting all that he’s done and admitting how much he changed me/ruined part of me, and accepting responsibility for it.  Not gonna happen, I know.  BUT I CAN’T STOP WANTING IT TO HAPPEN.

I do have a therapy appointment with a therapist who specializes in abusive relationships/people – to which AJ’s friend Sean said “You have no fucking clue what abuse is.  You should be ashamed.  You are a piece of work”.  But, out of the literal hundreds of people who said anything to me, he is the only one who said anything along those lines, so I am thinking he is wrong on this one.  My appointment is not until the 11th, so until then, my blog is my therapy, I guess.

I have not shown any of this to my parents because you see, I live with them.  And my dad will feel bad and not know what to do, and my mom will feel as angry and incapable of doing anything as me, and they don’t need that.  Plus I still don’t like to talk out loud about any of it because my default is to defend AJ.

Here is the last thing.  I do not understand the need to lie.  AJ has said, over all 8 years, he wanted me to be in his life.  I believe that, because no one else has lasted that long in his life.  He also hasn’t treated anyone else like this.  So I understand lying if you are cheating on your girlfriend.  But once we established that we were just friends back in November of 2012, why continue lying?  I made it clear that what he does is his business as long as he doesn’t treat me differently (and by differently, I mean the few times when he wasn’t cheating/didn’t have a girlfriend and we were actually friends).  So why lie that for the past few months he has a friend he’s been hanging out with?  I hang out with my friends.  I don’t care that his friend is much older and female and most likely sleeping with him, and that they have matching wine glasses with their names etched into them even though she has a boyfriend and kids.  I mean, I know that SOUNDS like I care, but I actually don’t.  I think it is immoral and I would have told him so, but it’s not like there is anything I can do about it.  If he had just said “here’s what I’m doing”, I’d shake my head, say “Don’t do anything weird in front of the kids and don’t let the boyfriend kill you”, and then we could hang out just like we did.  Why lie about it?  Why let something that stupid end everything?  I suppose something had to end it, and again, LOGICALLY I know it’s good that it ended, but it does not feel that way right now.  It just feels like I really, really miss my friend.

And here is the other thing.  I have AMAZING friends, and a very large number of them.  I have my close circle and then I have pretty much all the people I have ever met in my life, because I tend to keep people that I like.  And everyone has been so supportive, so kind, so caring and they have said some of the nicest things.  So saying AJ was my best friend makes me feel like an ass.  I don’t know how to explain it, but I want it known, that doesn’t mean any less for my true friends.  I don’t honestly know what I’m trying to say, but given that those of you in my life know me so well, I think you know what I’m trying to say, even though I only have a vague idea.

So I feel a bit better now.  I hope everyone is doing ok, I have been wrapped in my selfish bubble for the past few days and probably will remain there for a bit.