How do I get rid of this very toxic guy?
March 10, 2016 3:09 PM   Subscribe

In retrospect, I feel absolutely imbecilic after having gone through such a tempestuous period over the course of perhaps three years. If I were to count all the times that we were actually together without contention then that would probably amount to six months or maybe one year for good measure.

The sporadic nature of our relationship was so dizzying. The rollercoaster finally halted just a few weeks (2 weeks to be exact) ago but now, I am left ruminating over what happened during that time and feeling really shitty about myself. This guy stripped me of most if not all of my self-esteem which is usually through the roof, I feel so broken and out of control of my thoughts -my mind. I am left wondering how the hell, even with it right in front of my face, LITERALLY -more on that further down- I allowed him to abuse me the way he did.

Background: I met this guy when he was 25, at that time I was 28. He was charming and adventurous, he was enabling to my whims and fancies. He was down to earth and mystifying, enchanting -he was everything, ambitious, he had plans of grandeur, he knew exactly what he wanted from life. He had his own business, his own vehicle (all those things are viewed as self-empowerment where I’m from).

He was a go-getter and those qualities in such a young man were very appealing at the time and aligned to exactly what it is I was looking for in a guy. I saw him as a compliment to my ruthless ambition and just moving forward toward achieving goals. I thought we could set goals and achieve them together since we were two driven individuals. Still, even with all his sugar frosting I had a very bad feeling about him and I even told him he emitted this dark energy that made him seem shady. Against my better judgement and constant knacking to walk away, I entered into a relationship with him.

Fast-forward three years, it turns out this utterly amazing guy was a NYMPHOMANIACAL, PATHOLOGICAL lying SOCIOPATH. He had not only one other relationship but three, one of them being with my neighbour who lives directly in front of me, whom he has since gotten a baby with (he did this all the while we had been together). He managed to convince me it was a mistake and he really wanted to be with me, he pleaded he was a changed man he told me how much he loved me and being the imbecile that he had reduced me to, I took him back. How was he able to do it was beyond me.

Looking back at it it seems unrealistic but this guy was so crafty, it was as if he begged to explain things because then he would be able to tell me grand stories that sounded too real to be lies. He is a career liar. Nothing about him is true, he is still in the same place I met him, except for the fact he let the business run aground and now has a kid with a woman he denied being with over the course of our relationship. When it all came down, it was like a ton of shitty bricks being splattered by a shitty fan all over the fucking place.

There is so much more to the story, so many schemes, so many women, so many lies more than I would want to get into. What I want, is to get over this very terrible trying period in my life. I am usually a strong, confident, independent woman but now I am so filled with self-doubt, I self-loathe, I am hurt beyond measure and so disappointed in myself. I hear about these situations all the time and could never begin to imagine how a woman could allow it to happen to them. It happened to me and I don’t know what to do, how to move forward. I am trying not to become bitter, but the idea of having any semblance of future relationships have been banished all because I feel hoodwinked and do not know if I can trust myself to discern true intentions from false ones. I want to be able to put this behind me but I am haunted by the events of what happened, beating myself up, crying, depressed and vengeful.

My questions: How do I recover from this? How do I completely free myself from the shame and disappointment that this guy has left upon me? How do I get over this, get him out of my mind when every time I open my front door he is on the next side of the street with his baby and the girl he has never been in a relationship with? Every time I see him outside I get chills, my stomach sinks and I start to shake… Why???

I keep replaying everything in my mind and beat myself up over all the things I accepted, all the red flags I ignored. I thought I loved him, He’s told me he loved me. I already blocked all communication, he called me on my job yesterday I ignored the call, I told him via message not to call me and then he started telling me how in love with me he is and how sorry he is for all he’s done (a panacea of his it seems because he has been in love with me and sorry for three years.) I keep cutting him off but he keeps growing back like a cancer and I keep allowing it. HOW DO I STOP THIS MADNESS ONCE AND FOR ALL? Is anyone here with perhaps similar experiences who can advise as to what to do? Help!?
posted by Whatifyoufly to Human Relations (27 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
On the repeated call front, I can't recommend the book The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker enough. He has studied stalking situations in depth and basically says if you answer after the hundredth call, that just teaches the person that they need to call you 100 times to get your attention. So block him everywhere, and don't do messages or any other contact.

On the side of your own emotions and sadness over the breakup, I would lean on friends and your support network as much as you can for a bit. Even when a person was really bad to you, it can still be a serious grieving process to lose the relationship. If nothing else, you are losing hope about the person you believed them to be, and that hurts like hell. So reach out to all the awesome people in your life who are not this dude.

I would also suggest making a sort of a "bucket list" of all the cool things you've been wanting and dreaming that you haven't been able to do because of all the mental energy and time you've been devoting to this asshole. Like, maybe you've always wanted to learn French, or take a painting class, or read the complete works of Shakespeare, or whatever. Make a list of everything big or small that makes you smile and feel expanded when you think about doing it. Then pick a few things off the list to actually go out there and try out, and see what your life really feels like and how full it can be without this guy. (And as a bonus, it will distract you from sitting at home alone being miserable.)
posted by rainbowbrite at 3:25 PM on March 10, 2016 [3 favorites]

Hi, friend! YES. Been there, got the scars to prove it.

- Can you move? You need to move.

- Do not ever ever reply, block all contact.

When you've replied in the past (even to say "fuck off") you are teaching this guy it takes X amount of effort to get you to respond.

In my case...I cut off contact in 2008. I answered ONE (tearful on his end) phone call in 2009? 2010? Told him all was forgiven and nice-but-firmly not call again. I finally had to change my entire social life, cancel my landline, hide myself online (no FB, etc.), and pull some hacking magic with my iPhone (at the time Apple did not support blocking) because I was STILL getting occasional text messages and calls 4 years after I married and well into the first year of my child's life. Which was upsetting. Because eventually "sorry" messages became tinged with subtle threats - kinda like I wasn't allowed to get away from him??

I fucking refused to give up my cell number because it was all I had left. Now apple and most other phone manufacturers include blocking. You might be able to keep your cell number if it's not linked to multiple ways to track and follow you. Like Google+ and the like.

So... you might have to move, lose every friend and connection to him you can identify, get off social media and just generally change everything. In return you will get back your precious life, your sanity, and your emotional stability.

Walk away. Don't leave a trace.
posted by jbenben at 3:35 PM on March 10, 2016 [25 favorites]

I've been in a very similar situation, and I had to surrender to the fact that there was nothing I could do to change him. Nothing. Nada. Nunca. And that the best decision I could make was to get away from the abusive man and stay as far away as I could.

Get away from him and don't look back.

You will get through this. Not as fast as you want to, but you will get through it. One step at a time. Pathological liars want to suck you in and then get you to co-sign their bullshit, but it's not about you. It's about them.

What ended up happening for me was that I learned that I had a lot of childhood abuse that I needed to work on and heal. It was very painful and difficult. But ultimately, it turned me into a stronger person who doesn't need to take shit from anybody anymore. No matter what the circumstances are. I always wondered how women could end up in "those kind of situations". And then I found out for myself how they do. I had to repeat the insanity from when I was a kid to be able to see it for what it was and let the healing happen that I desperately needed.

This may or may not be your story, but I found that there were many others like me. And finding a support group was immensely helpful. What helped me a lot was a domestic violence resource center. YMMV. Best to you.
posted by strelitzia at 3:43 PM on March 10, 2016 [4 favorites]

Be really careful who you share your feelings with as you seek out support. It sounds like you are in a small pond, and information has a way of going where you don't want it to.

You're right. This person is a total user and predator. Save yourself. This is a crisis and there is real danger to your well being. NO - you did not bring this upon yourself. You don't have to do penance or suck it up, or be the bigger person or any of that garbage you might be thinking. He is garbage, tho.

If you can move away from his vicinity I highly highly recommend it.
posted by jbenben at 3:44 PM on March 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

First, I am so sorry this happened to you, and so proud of you for getting out of the situation! Give yourself credit for seeing the Truth of Who He Is. These stories, when seen from the safe perspective of I-Can't-Imagine-That-Ever-Happening-To-Me-ville are always from the perspective of seeing the whole story at once. When It Happens to You, you are the frog in the room temperature pot of water that is slowly brought to a boil. It happens over time, slowly, methodically and by someone so skilled that you do not realize it is happening. No one goes from first date to full on psychological abuse in a week or no one would ever be in an abusive relationship. The abusers tear you down, bit by bit.

All that is to say: Don't beat yourself up for this. This guy is obviously very good at what he does and you, as a not-sociopath and likely as a female conditioned to Be Nice took his words and actions at face value as he started chipping away at your self worth and self esteem. Try to take the perspective of being grateful you got out without further damage. You have your whole life ahead of you. You aren't tied to this monster with a child. Don't Victim Blame yourself and stop giving him the mental power over you by beating yourself up.

The way you get past this is one step at a time. One hour, one day, one week..... You will slip and keep feeling bad, but it is part of any mourning process. Allow yourself to Feel the Feelings so you can process them and move past them.

Gift of Fear is a great rec. If you can afford it, get some counseling (and look for someone who specializes in abuse survivors) to help you process the fact you are a victim and probably have some PTSD. If you can't afford it, maybe try an al-anon meeting (I think that is the organization for people who have been partners of substance abuse.... your partner was just addicted to mental abuse). I think some of the concepts there may help you cope if you can't get traditional counseling.

Again.... you rock for getting out of the relationship. Be strong and stand tall. <3
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 3:44 PM on March 10, 2016 [9 favorites]

Best answer: As others have said, the reason you fell is BECAUSE he's a sociopath. That said, check you out, you got hip and got out! The lady with the baby isn't so lucky, is she?

So, first and foremost, move. You may have the best flat in the history of flats, but not if this guy is within shouting distance of it. Now you have a project. You have to pack, and you have to find a place to move to. YAY! That will occupy a lot of brain space and will physically exhaust you. Even if you have to take all kinds of money hits, do it. Get a GoFundMe, I'll contribute.

Then start doing cool things. Make new friends, date new guys, live well. Get certified in something. Get a degree. Move to Boliva.

Don't let this relationship define you or your life. It's a thing you did, among a lifetime of things you've done, and you're well out of it, and considering the lady with the baby, reasonably unscathed.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 4:02 PM on March 10, 2016 [22 favorites]

You're getting (mostly) good advice here. I moved. Only a town away, but I couldn't risk being where he was. It was worth it.

No contact. Don't even look at his social media, or even that of anyone he knows. Pretend he's dead. Awesome!

Search AskMe for advice on emotional abuse / narcissistic abuse, etc. There's some good stuff here, it saved me.

That being said, don't pay attention to stuff like this:

and now if you get enough people to make believe with you that he is a monster and you shouldn't love him either...

But you still love him, and that will never leave you.

posted by WesterbergHigh at 4:15 PM on March 10, 2016 [5 favorites]

This guy put you in a trance, and now, thankfully, you're out of it. Reality is preferable to every other way of being. Keep walking forward and find new outlets. The advice to move given above is excellent, if you can do it. Let your friends know about this scumbag; he will be in touch with them.

This bit set my alarm bells ringing:
-he was everything, ambitious, he had plans of grandeur, he knew exactly what he wanted from life.

I know it's hindsight, but this smells like hubris and unearned confidence. Guys who have doubts and wonder if they're occasionally on the wrong life track are so much more real; human. That's my experience, anyway.
posted by BostonTerrier at 4:34 PM on March 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Uhg. Well, on a practical level, yes if you can move - do so.

I totally know what you're feeling. Skip this background if you want but:

Was dating/engaged to a guy in college for 2 years, horrible relationship, finally realized he was a jerk dumped him after tears and him begging and saying he would do anything. I felt fine. Good even. FOUR (!!) days later I saw him on campus holding hands with some girl I'd never seen before heading over to his group of friends. Two weeks before school got out. I freaked. Because I thought I knew what had happened in our relationship and breakup, but then, how could he date someone after 4 days - and openly to his friends - if I knew the whole story.

But yeah, que gut wrenching anxiety, anger. I would shake when I saw him in public and have a panic attack. My heart rate wouldn't go below 90bpm no matter what I did and would just pound. I got shooting pains in my chest and down my arms. I could barely eat. I was a mess.

So, now to advice.

Time and space. Literally. It SUCCKSS but it just took time and space. He was at the same college the next year but I never saw him on campus. I think he dropped out after that. Now I don't live in the same state. I'm sure if I saw him I would just laugh about it. Because he's not worth my anger. He needs some serious therapy and he totally screwed up my self esteem, but time and finding an awesome relationship now healed that.

But I know how you feel. It's like you don't even recognize yourself. I mean, I'm a smart person and this dude just kept lying and pretending things were a way that they weren't. He used words to tell me how awesome I was but didn't show it. I literally can't imagine the barrage of DTMA advice I would have gotten on the green. Plus the fact that all my friends hated him.

But the thing is, you have information now that you didn't have then. If you would have known who he was when you started dating him, then you wouldn't have dated him. So don't guilt yourself for making a mistake. It happens.

You learned from it. You know what to look out for in another relationship. Take that knowledge forward with you and be glad you got the experience and laugh that his life is so sad.
posted by Crystalinne at 4:40 PM on March 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Gonna be another person suggesting the Gift of Fear. I strongly urge you to read it, especially if he continues to remain persistent about contacting you. Also going to agree: you should move, do your best to disguise your online life, cease any contact, and resist any urges to creep on social media.

Please don't feel bad for feeling like you were foolish for "letting this happen." This is not an incredibly uncommon thing at many strong people fall in love with or get seriously invested in people who are incredibly, incredibly skilled at manipulating and sucking others dry. It's not a weakness on your part. They prey on (and require) the good parts of people that want to be empathetic, give the benefit of the doubt, and trust the good in others.

I would recommend reading into things like psychopathy, sociopathy, and narcissistic personality disorder. Even if they don't tick all the boxes for any of these (which I kinda doubt given your description...), I have personally found it very helpful to understand that people who have an extreme lack of empathy and conscience do exist and are prolific at what they do. It's important to know that the abuse you endured is not a reflection on yourself, but rather a reflection of who they are as a person. I found this helped me come to terms with my own situation a lot better and provided some amount of closure...otherwise you spend forever blaming yourself. It is not your fault.

I also don't think you should feel like your ability to judge character is now broken. It was a horrific lesson for sure, but you may notice that you have an even more heightened ability to pick up on those red flags once you've healed. I've found I'm much more able to read people these days (people I formerly expect I would have trusted easily), and while that may make you more cautious to let people in your life, the vetting process is undoubtedly more thorough, as long as you keep listening to those red flags. But right now it's important to be kind and nurturing to yourself and to reach out to your support network. Keep on being strong and working your way free of this!
posted by giizhik at 5:21 PM on March 10, 2016 [4 favorites]

Oh man, those assholes with the elaborate lies. Look, you believe them because you're a good person - because the idea of doing that shit would never even occur to you. You'll find someone. When you do, be up front about the fact that you have trust issues because of the last asshole . A decent guy will try to work with you past them.
posted by corb at 5:29 PM on March 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I am not going to tell you how to feel. But I am going to ask you to please try to be kind to yourself. This kind of thing happens to amazing and great people, people with large hearts and a lot of empathy. This does not make you stupid. This is a thing that happens. And it is so tragic and awful that it happens, but it does, and now you've got some pieces to pick up.

I would urge you to work on being super kind, and to work on not thinking about other future relationships right now. You need time to heal, and I promise you that if you take the time, you will heal, and the likelihood of this happening to you again in the future will be close to nil.

When I was in your position, I did a few things: I went to individual therapy, I got some EMDR therapy for my post-traumatic stress disorder, I got my own apartment and decorated it how I wanted to decorate it. I threw things out that reminded me of him. I got new friends, and I started going to a support group for women who were survivors of abuse and domestic violence. I am still friends with one of the women I met there, three years later. I'm dating again, and I have a really nice, kind, respectful, non-sociopath, non-narcissist, normal boyfriend who treats me really well, who not only knows the words "emotional labor" but actually does a lot of it. But it took me time to really be comfortable dating again, and I sometimes wish I had waited longer to do so.

Another thing I did when I was trying to get over my ex was that I wrote everything terrible he ever did to me down in a notebook. Because I missed the asshole, terribly, and I so believed that this time he might actually change, and what an idiot would I be then, if he finally changed and I had given up after sticking out so much abuse? (Spoiler alert: He did not change.) So instead of calling him, or picking up when he called, I would read the notebook. When I felt angry about something he did, I would put it in the notebook. This thing was pages and pages and pages long.

Now, this all happened to me three and a half years ago. And time really has helped to heal the wounds, really. I still get angry at him, for the damage he caused me, but I am no longer afraid of being in a relationship. I am worthy of love. And I no longer love him, even though I thought I always would.

Those first few days after leaving a man like this are awful, really hard stuff. The next few weeks are hard. The next few weeks, and the next few, and then suddenly you are free. It will happen. Take care of yourself, and be kind. Do nice things for yourself. You really deserve them.
posted by sockermom at 6:58 PM on March 10, 2016 [8 favorites]

Response by poster: "Because I missed the asshole, terribly, and I so believed that this time he might actually change, and what an idiot would I be then, if he finally changed and I had given up after sticking out so much abuse?"

This is exactly how I feel at times... per the move... it is not practical right now which is what makes this soo much more difficult to live through😢... I would have gone in a heart beat... all great advice here... thanks oodles...!
posted by Whatifyoufly at 8:25 PM on March 10, 2016

Best answer: Ahh, the Sunk Cost Fallacy. Yep.

Anyway. What's impractical now is NOT moving. So go ahead and put all of your energy into this goal. It will take up all of your time and energy, leaving very little leftover for ruminating, feeling upset, or getting pulled from your center. When you finally make it out it will be the biggest sense of relief and accomplishment you've achieved in life thus far.

The least practical thing is sticking it out. The cost is too high and you can't afford it.

Ask me how I know.
posted by jbenben at 10:54 PM on March 10, 2016 [5 favorites]

If you can't move permanently at the moment, could you switch living spaces with a friend for a while, even a couple of weeks? You need to get this guy out of your daily consciousness as much as possible.

Also, just adding my voice to all of those who say not to blame yourself. This guy was playing an entirely different game from the one you thought you were playing, and deliberately keeping you in the dark about his real intentions. Sounds like you got out as soon as you were sure what was happening, and that's the best anyone could do.
posted by rpfields at 2:00 AM on March 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Oh hi, me.

The hardest thing about this kind of disordered relationship pathology is that it is so hard to make your brainy, logical, sense-making Self pay attention amidst the hardcore psychological din of aching, body-slamming abandonment, why???, is it me? I missssss himmmmm. The sex, the build up of intimacy, probably very quickly and the hyper grief of going through mourning the relationship you never actually had. Faaaaarrrk. It was all lies. You realise you are a female shaped object who simply got in the way of an emotional vampire, and not only got in the way, you LIKED it, the self-punishing is extreme.

It's unbearable and the hardest person on yourself is you. Ruthless Bunny is right about finding ways to forgive yourself. It's like being a mark for a con artist - you feel stupid and self-hating.


Hey, you did the best you could, with the tools you had. Not everyone can go through the world knowing how to recognise assholes whose very being is schooled in how to hide Asshole cleverly. But you can't second guess if he was an asshole. Seriously, a baby with the neighbour. It's outrageously bad. But know that heaps of smart people get into this paradigm and do just what you did, not because they're stupid. But because they are kind and sensitive and probably well schooled in the caring professions or whatever. Alice Miller's The Drama of the Gifted Child is dated, but it does show how schooled some very smart and gifted people, women mainly, are in co-dependence.

You could also take some kind of medication for stress to get yourself through the worst days. Which are now. It will get better, but these things are cruel. Try to imagine him as a serial murderer, he's mad, bad and dangerous to know. When your mind veers to lust or love, tell yourself that these are unicorn thoughts, they are not real, they were based on lies and deception and someone treating you like a supply unit, not a person.

And warning: as you know already from his treatment of you, when you just get yourself a tiny bit free, another Love Bomb from the perp will turn up in your life - eg an anniversary of some kind, a life event, a birthday, some excuse to bother you; or his birthday, an excuse to re-insert yourself. Don't do it girl. You have to cut off the supply.

I found these slideshares about getting over an NPD relationship, which sounds like what you experienced. I watched them every day for months to remind myself what had actually happened, instead of the wistful shit that would come to mind every day anyway.

I found Women Who Love Too Much really helpful, because in my case I became aware that getting involved with such a person, not leaving the first time shit happened etc was a good sign that I was co-dependent and I need to learn not to persevere with people who really don't deserve my attention or care. I also did the rounds of Baggage Reclaim for awhile. You'll know when to give these kind of books a rest, but they are good ways to get you back to thinking about you, the relationship and some of the ways you can fortify against this shit in the future.

I'm sending you lots of healing thoughts. What a fucking trek this stuff is, and you are strong, strong, strong just getting to where you are.
posted by honey-barbara at 2:30 AM on March 11, 2016 [10 favorites]

Best answer: "This guy put you in a trance, and now, thankfully, you're out of it."

This is a great analogy, but I would say you're not entirely out of that trance yet, Because everything you've written above that you are feeling — "I am so filled with self-doubt, I self-loathe, I am hurt beyond measure and so disappointed in myself" — these are things he GROOMED you to feel during the course of your relationship. See, narcissists work by chipping away at the defenses of their victims. It often happens so slowly that you don't relaize it until the end.

Those feelings, that is not who you really are. That's just SHIT getting in the way of you being your true, happy and fulfilled self. You gotta move that shit out of the way though, and the first step is to recognize that the shit is there in first place. You've already done Step 1, hence this question.

Step 2 is, when that shit comes up, to push it away, ignore it, tell it you aren't gonna play today. That means being kind to yourself, being patient, trying to avoid negative self talk and rumination on all the red flags you ignored.

It's time to stop living in the past. Accept that this happened to you, and start moving forward. You got this.
posted by Brittanie at 3:40 AM on March 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

One more thing — if you are messaging him to ask him not to call you, then you have no cut off contact with him. No contact means NO CONTACT.
posted by Brittanie at 3:45 AM on March 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: You know, another thought: You were not the One. I know that's how you feel, like you're the only one who gets him, but that's pathology. There isn't a One. He was a three year experience. If your guy is like the usual, he will have had will have much longer 'relationships'.
Women who were in thrall for years longer than you've endured. (You got out quickly.) Maybe a mother or a sister. They Can. Not. Change. Their whole life is a pursuit of this kind of relationship.

I realised my own narcissism. Even if it's not a disorder, we all have it. In this paradigm, I really absorbed the myth that I was the One, for whom all this other crap would be forsaken. He would get better, not worse, in each conflict because of the power of his love of me. Despite every other real world enactment of Opposite. You are right, he's not given you more than a few months of nice in the whole time you've known him, that's as much as these folks can masquerade. Things to hold onto when you are wavering with lust and longing - nothing, nothing, nothing can improve him. Not your unique connection, not him even finding happiness (it's not possible- this is his happiness, bullshittery and fuckwittage), not you being perfect, forgiving, kind.

Damn, it sucks. Don't go back, don't keep dancing. Really , he cannot change.
posted by honey-barbara at 5:27 AM on March 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'm going to urge you to think about practicality.

It is not practical to live across the street from your abuser (sure, why not call a spade a spade.)

If you own, put your place on the market. I cannot stress how important it is for you to get OUT! You may not be in physical danger, but you're hurting yourself every day you're across the courtyard from a man who abused your trust and emotions.

If it's just money, rally friends and family ask for donations and get out. It may feel humiliating, but trust me, so many people have been in your shoes and sometimes it's a blessing to let other people help you with money.

Perhaps you can sublet. Start thinking about all the possibilities about ways to get out of this guy's eyesight.

Once you do it, your future-self with thank your past-self.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:33 AM on March 11, 2016 [4 favorites]

Get some time and space (I agree that moving should be your goal) and then work on forgiving yourself. So many wonderful, strong people have found themselves in these types of situations ( just look at the posts above).
posted by Alluring Mouthbreather at 6:28 AM on March 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

When you think "what if he changes THIS time?" maybe it will help to remember that he will still always be the guy who treated you like shit all these years. Do you want to be with even the reformed version of that guy?
posted by MsMolly at 3:29 PM on March 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

It's very much repeating the above, but absolutely no more contact, move away if possible, even to a different part of town. Don't answer calls, emails, texts, anything. It may mean different friendship circles.

Once that's done with, think about how young you are and how much time you have to do new things and start enjoying life again!
posted by stackhaus23 at 1:29 AM on March 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

Your self described "ruthless ambition" is a gift, but it's also very dangerous. The idea of pairing up with someone who can potentially escalate the pace of your achievements is intoxicating, and I'll venture that this predator got as far as he did with you because you wanted to believe in that synergy and how it reflected on your ego.

Well, you've seen now that you can't even trust your own instincts all the time, much less someone else's. You will get over him, but what next? The best thing to learn from this painful experience might be to wait and watch the next potential partner for a while as a bystander, and determine if they're a decent soul worth taking a risk on. Not everybody is.
posted by Scram at 6:49 PM on March 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: The days have been long and hard and painful, waking up to the sight of that piece of shit every day, picking up dropping off, I come here to read and re read all this sage advice when I feel as if I am being overcome with hurt and pain... it is going on two months since I posted this question and every waking day, seeing him and his "family" feels like a life sentence to torture... even after spending time with friends, doing new things, spending as little time home as possible when the dust settles and I have to come back to this place, its fucking excruciating... I just felt the need to report to you strangers who've dispensed great advice and support that... I FINALLYYYY got a placee... and I already feel that chip being lifted...woohooooo...!!! thanks strangers...
posted by Whatifyoufly at 3:06 PM on April 24, 2016 [3 favorites]

Congratulations! Getting your own place is a huge and amazing step! Go you.

You might want to see if there is a women's shelter with support groups in your town. This was intensely helpful to me when I went through this.
posted by sockermom at 5:07 PM on April 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

Fantastic! So glad you did this!

May you enjoy many lovely days in your new digs.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 4:49 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

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