Man. I haven't posted here in awhile. Tons of reasons -- mostly tumblr. But I've always thought of this blog as my place of depth. Tumblr is good for those quick hits -- thoughts that are too long for twitter but not thought out enough for here.
Guess I haven't been doing a lot of deep thinking.
I have done quite a bit of learning over the last several days. Right after things initially began to happen, my first instinct was to blog about it. I have always come here to help myself process the crazy things going on in my life. I have frequently found myself searching for keywords on my own blog looking for inspiration or some advice from my own mouth (they say it's always harder to take your own advice).
But every time I sat down to write this post, I stopped. I think I was a bit embarrassed. On the one hand, I've shared some pretty personal stuff here, but on the other hand I've always been able to do so cautiously. There's no way to do that this time. There's also the issue that at this point, I don't know who reads this blog -- if anyone does anymore. I know there are people I know personally who come here. Some because I gave them the link and others because they've cyberstalked me long enough to find it.
I decided to share this because, ultimately, it's a life lesson that I hope I remember and if my mistake can help someone else -- good.
What I learned had several parts to it. The biggest was: it's ok to have strong convictions about something. Often our convictions are security blankets. They protect us from things we're not prepared to handle. Sometimes they just protect us from crazy. Just like I believe we should respect others' beliefs and convictions, we should respect our own.
I have written, previously, about a guy -- W. It's hard to describe our relationship. Over the past several years, it has been very complicated. It has involved marriage proposals, intimate conversations, lies, brave honesty and so much more. But I think I always thought that despite our missed connections and the fact that he seemed to always be unable to vulnerable enough to admit his feelings for me, we were friends. Not necessarily close, but still friends. I felt like I could call him if I ever needed anything.
W and I haven't spoken in a while. He briefly text me a few months ago -- the conversation really went nowhere and felt very pointless, but it was classic behavior for him that I read as attention-seeking so I didn't think much about it.
While home visiting my mom and family for the holidays, a friend hit me up and asked if I'd join her and her brother for drinks. Initially I declined saying I was already out and too far away, but she mentioned that W would be there and so I figured I'd make it happen because I had a feeling I wouldn't see him otherwise.
From the moment he arrived he was flirting very heavily with me, which isn't unlike him. I was mildly annoyed because he began to act a bit too possessive for my tastes, but he's always doing something out of the ordinary, so I ignored it.
After drinks, W invited me back to his place. I agreed -- it was late, and I was well aware of what I was doing and what it implied. I didn't have any specific intentions, but I figured I'd see where the night led.
I don't talk about sex very much on this blog -- and I have prefaced almost all my commentary on the subject with that same point. But what is true about me and sex is that I find it to be a very personal act. I have people in my life who would talk about it, and all of the "it" they've had until the cows come home and with no problem. While I talk freely about sex in general, talking about it as it specifically pertains to me has always been something I was less comfortable with. I've always held it in high esteem and always felt that no matter the circumstance, it should be a respected act -- I think the way people devalue it contributes negatively to a society and culture that already has a hard time dealing with sex and it's consequences (good and bad).
As a personal rule of thumb, I typically don't have sex outside of a committed relationship. That is not a hard and fast rule, but it's something I do try to work with and I think it's helped me out a lot. Including in this relationship with W. Sex has come up and it has mostly come up without coming up, but I've always felt convicted that I needed to be careful around him with that. On this night, however, for whatever reason, I didn't think about it. I just did it -- and immediately after, I knew it was the wrong thing and I felt sick about it.
I really don't know what I was thinking -- maybe I felt too comfortable with him. Maybe I felt like while we aren't in a committed relationship, he and I have been doing SOMETHING for a while and that should mean something with regards to sex. Or maybe I just wanted to so I did. I really don't know... I really don't.
As I prepared to go, I started telling him I thought he was a jerk. There was something about the way he seemed very uninterested in me as a person right after, that didn't sit right with me. I am a counselor and I do tune into the things people do unconsciously. He claimed he didn't know why so many people thought he was a jerk and he insinuated that I'd hurt his feelings, but I could read him from a mile away. I dealt with an emotionally abusive person before and I know when someone is trying to flip something around on you to make it your fault.
Eventually, to prove my point, I asserted that I knew he'd probably had meaningless sex with someone recently and he said he had. I asked him who -- thinking it would be the neighbor he'd mentioned -- but was shocked to hear him say "L" the name of the friend who'd invited me out that night.
She and I aren't close friends. We went to high school together and we've maintained connections over the years. We're cool and we certainly respect each other. She knew that W and I had a strange relationship and I knew that W had previously tried to get with her, but she'd told me then she had no interested in him and I'd been told nothing to make me think anything had changed.
Appalled, embarrassed and angry, I got up and left. I was sick about it all night and into the next day. I just didn't know what to do.
Out of nowhere, L text me to say she really needed to talk to me because she had information she needed to share. Turns out she and W had been "talking" or working on being a serious committed relationship for about a month. I felt like I'd been sucker punched. He flirted all night with me, with her sitting right there. I called another friend who'd been there and she confirmed that not only was he all over me, but that there was no indication that anything between L and W was going on.
Her story made a lot of things make sense. Like why he asked me not to tell anyone and why he blew my phone up the next day (I didn't want to talk to him because I was so upset about it). It even made me think twice about comments he made, seemingly out of the blue, about L and I.
Initially I struggled over whether or not to tell her what happened. I didn't want to get any more involved in the mess, and I was still embarrassed. I felt like I looked like an idiot. But I realized that if nothing else, she needed to know what she was dealing with and that he couldn't be trusted.
L and I are cool. She subsequently had it out with W and he of course blamed me. Claimed he'd passed out and I popped up in his bed all over him before he could say anything. Even claimed that I started talking about how bad I felt about it -- which, while I did, I never conveyed to him because I couldn't articulate why.
But now I'm left wondering why. Of all the people and all the situations, why me and why did I allow myself to do that, knowing that's not my speed, and it's not my thing.
I'm also upset that I've truly lost a friend -- or maybe I'm realizing I never had a real friend. He was motivated by selfishness through and through. And while I realized that from the jump, I never thought his selfishness would be used to purposefully hurt another person, just because he could. For me, this has felt like loss on several fronts.
But I did learn a huge lesson on convictions and now I have hard evidence that what I'm convicted about is important in terms of keeping me emotionally safe. Everyone isn't convicted about the same things. There are things in life that don't bother me; that I just don't care about that really matter to people I know. Different strokes for different folks -- and that's fine. Just as long as you know what works for you and stick with that, I think you'll always come out on top.