On this Superbowl Monday morning in Charm City I decided to revisit my little space on the Interwebs. I haven't posted a rage-filled epithet about the antics of NSNs generally (orHeeHaw or Assmonkey) in three months. I took it easy this fall. That was my motto: Take it easy. And I did, and it was good.
In the intervening months I've had the opportunity to practice my boundary-setting and maintenance. Wow! That stuff is good! As a result, I am making great strides in my recovery from co-dependency and abuse. It's almost as though I am a real person who matters again. Owning my part in the relationship with a NSN has been empowerful (to quote Twisty) not only in resolving the trauma, but also in preventing future damage. As it turns out, I DO have a douchenozzle detector! I got to learn this over the holidays. I had almost forgotten about the incident entirely but a Spinster texted me the other day,
"How's Captain Cuckoo these days?"
So here's what happened. Ms. Bubbly invited me to an event as her +1 (Mr. Bubbly don't dig shindigs). We go, and while there I meet a seemingly nice, moderately charming man. We chitchat, etc., and after the event he walks us to the car and asks if he may call me. I was all, "Whatevs" but Ms. Bubbly insisted this was A Very Good Thing. So ok. I mean, clearly I have demonstrated the world's worst taste in men, and the opposite of good instincts, and so I acquiesce. My pal and I head back to my place, quaff a bottle of bubbly and giggle the night away.
When the bubbles wore off I returrned to being the Crone that I am. I asked of Ms. Bubbly: how well do you know him? Who else do you know who knows him? What do you know about the end of his marriage? How about any relationships since? She energetically reassured me (without data) that all was well.
As it turns out, all those questions, born of my natural instincts to which I can finally listen because THERE'S NO LONGER ANYONE SCREAMING IN MY FUCKING EAR ALL GODDAMNED DAY AND NIGHT, were correct.
Fast forward several weeks into his acquaintance and he was confessing that his infidelity, manipulativeness and deception preceded his divorce and his subsequent relationships. Oh, sure he did. Of course, it was couched in all the victim language these idiots use when they want to deflect responsibility for their actions i.e. two of the women were "crazy". Now, I know crazy. Trust. And crazy is not the same thing as "driven to distraction by a lying deceptive selfish motherfucker."
Alerted to the fact that I was probably dealing with a NSN (although his treatment of me up to that point was fine) I knew exactly how to handle his first, subtle test of my tolerance for his duplicitous behavior. "This doesn't work for me. Call me in 6 months if you are no longer up to your ears in exes."
Because my experience tells me that they DO test your tolerance. They cannot seem to help themselves, and they will confess their misdeeds, only couching themselves in the best possible light. They create a fantasy world that is warped in its relation to reality and the next thing you know it's several years later and you're supporting his unemployed ass while he spends your money on other women and you're asking yourself "How did I get here?" You got there as a result of accepting a series of escalating incidents. You were coached and built a tolerance for it. Don't do that. Check back in with reality. Try taking care of yourself as you would your friend. Check your reality, check in with a friend. Grab a compass and check that you know which way is North.