~Monday, January 16, 2012

As far as I could throw him

It was the early September. I had just gotten off the boat from Mexico. Abraham was still only sending me witty text messages and not meeting up with me in person. Schmoozer called.

"What are you doing?" he asked.

"Cleaning my apartment."

"Can I come over?"

I sighed. I didn't want to entertain. "I'm cleaning my apartment, and then I'm meeting up with friends to watch football."

"I'm in the city. I want to come over."

"You would literally be sitting on my couch while I clean my apartment," I tried.

"That's okay!"

"Fine," I huffed.

"Okay, so Guy and I will be there in a few minutes," he said quickly.

"Wait a minute!" I cut him off. "You didn't say anything about Guy."

"Well, we're out drinking together."

Guy was one of Schmoozer's co-workers that I met when Schmoozer's BF and I tried to pick him up from Guy Night. Guy was the reason I left abruptly. He kept asking me if I had a drug connection and what kind of drugs I could get him. He first asked me for weed. When I said I didn't do drugs, he responded, "Well what about Oxycontin then?" Who makes the leap from weed to oxy? They are nowhere near the same class of drugs. It unsettled me further.

"No way," I said. "I don't like Guy. He makes me uncomfortable, and I don't want him in my home."

"He'll be good. I'll talk to him."

"No," I said. Since S, I have very strong feelings of feeling safe in my home. Guy does not make me feel safe. He makes me feel the opposite.

It was the first time I had ever stuck up for myself in that capacity. Putting my emotional needs in front of my need to be accommodating.

I said no. Schmoozer pushed. Schmoozer told me I was making too much of a deal of not liking his friend. He told me to lighten up. He pushed and pushed my boundaries until I relented. Until I doubted myself. How bad could this guy really be? Maybe I was being sensitive.

I called Schmoozer's BF and told him what happened. He said that Guy is "a royal dickhead," but he's not a harmful person. He said if anything happened to call him and he would come over.

Schmoozer and Guy appeared at my front door. By the look on Guy's face, I could tell that Schmoozer told him I didn't like him, which really made me feel worse.

I tried to regale the boys with stories from my cruise, but they were too drunk to follow along. Schmoozer, with his position at work becoming an uncertainty, had been drinking a lot lately. And when I say someone is drinking a lot, it means he was drinking to the point of passing out in bars multiple times a week. Schmoozer's BF and I had been having concerned conversations about Schmoozer's drinking.

The time had come for me to leave to go meet up with my friends to watch the football game. I changed into my football jersey and a skirt. The boys said they would come with me. We stepped into my parking garage. I immediately began walking toward my car.

"No, let's take my car," said Guy.

"I live in the city. How am I going to get home if I go in your car?" I asked.

"I'll make sure you get home," Guy said.

"I think we should take my car. I'm driving," I reiterated.

"No, I really want to take my car."

Once again, I was uneasy. Guy was drunk, and he'd only get drunker as the afternoon turned into night. If I took them in my car, they could return to my building and get their car at the end of the night. But once again I was pushed and I relented.

Halfway to the bar Guy wanted to stop and buy cigarettes. I would miss kickoff, but I stopped. As he ran into the store, I picked up my phone and saw a message from Lawyered. The original bar we were going to was so full that it couldn't seat us for an hour and a half. He changed the location to a smaller bar.

Guy returned to the car. "Change of plans," I said. "We're going to another bar now."

"No," said Guy. "I want to go to the original bar."

I pulled out of the grocery store parking lot and started driving down the road. "Okay, just let me get to where I am going and you can take the car to the original bar."

"No. Either you drive to the original bar or I want my keys back now."

"Just let me get to where my friends are, and you can do whatever you want," I pleaded.

"No," Guy spoke sternly. "I want my keys now."

And this is the thing: I was driving Guy's car at his request. Legally, I couldn't take him anywhere in his car against his will. It's called kidnapping, although it would have been highly unprosecutable. But Guy was drunk and belligerent. He wanted possession of his car, and I didn't know what he was capable of.

I pulled over to the side of the road and left the keys in the ignition. I wasn't going to get back in the car with him though. He was too drunk to drive. Hell, he was drinking while driving.

Guy left me on the side of the road.

I called Lawyered and told him my location. He dispatched his friend to come and get me. I began walking back to the grocery store.

I began to cry. I didn't want this. I didn't want any of it. I didn't want Schmoozer to come to my place, and I let him after he pushed. And then he sprung Guy on me, which he did manipulatively because he knew I didn't like Guy, and I relented again when I was pushed. I wanted to drive my own car to ensure my safety, and I relented when I was pushed. I did my best to be accommodating, and I was left on the side of the road.

Guy's car reappeared. Schmoozer got out of the car. "Don't be mad, Sarah," he slurred. I was fuming. He grabbed my arms. "I like you, Sarah," he paused. "Not like that, but I like you as a person. I came back for you. You can't be mad." Schmoozer was falling over himself.

"Congratulations on not being the worst person in the world," I spat at him.

He kept grabbing at my arms, and I kept shrugging him off and walking to the grocery store. I was so angry that I didn't want to talk to him. I didn't want to look at him in his stupid, drunk face. For the first time I wanted the safety of my kickball friends. Through tears I sorted through my phone to see when my friend would arrive. Schmoozer grabbed a hold of me and told me I was "ruining [his] night with [my] emotions."

I was livid. I went out of my way all day for him and he had the gall to say that to me.

Lawyered's BF pulled up, and I got into the car. Schmoozer climbed in the back seat. "I was going to pull up to you on the side of the road and ask how much, but I didn't know you were this upset," Lawyered's BF said when he saw my tear-stained face. We drove to the bar in silence.

Schmoozer got in trouble for trying to bring a beer into the bar. Then he sat down at the table and tried to tease Lawyered's fiancée. She shot him down hard. Lawyered warned Schmoozer to cool it. Schmoozer then fell asleep at the table.

I was embarrassed that Schmoozer followed me to the bar. I wished he would have stayed with Guy. I was ashamed that people had to leave the bar and come get me on the side of the road. I was ashamed that I had a puffy face from crying at a bar during football season. Per the norm, Lawyered and his friend teased me. They referred to me as "Drama."

We lost the football game.

Lawyered's BF drove me home. "I'm not full of drama," I said quietly.


The next day my mother called and asked how my night was. I burst into tears and told her everything.

"I'm so ashamed of myself," I bawled. "I didn't learn anything from S. I knew I wasn't comfortable having this guy in my home, and I went along with it. Look what happened! It was the first test and I failed!" I sobbed into the phone.

I cried hard. I thought I was fixed. I got out of the relationship and did a year of therapy and moved on. I was supposed to be all better, not repeating the same mistakes. I had broken my own heart by allowing that to happen to me.

My mother tried to calm me down. "The only thing you did wrong was letting them talk you into not taking your car," she said.

She said I shouldn't be so hard on myself. She said me knowing this guy was not a safe person was proof that I had grown and learned from S. She said I had grown in that I knew for certainty that this wouldn't happen again.


I put serious distance between myself and Schmoozer after that night. Schmoozer has always been a dominant personality, but this was too much. I told him that his friend made me uncomfortable, and he pushed me until he got his way. That is not the behavior of a safe person. And maybe it was an off night for Schmoozer, justifiable by being blackout drunk, but I've already lived through that story with S.

Schmoozer was supposed to be my friend. I trusted him, and he took advantage of that. Between this incident and me finding out that he lied and purposefully told me his friends weren't attracted to me, the trust was now broken.

He continued to hang out with Guy and drink until he was passing out in bars. I spent more and more time with Schmoozer's BF instead. And then Abraham properly appeared.

That's why I don't write about Schmoozer much anymore.


Anonymous said...

You made the right choice - friends dont do that to each other.

Emma said...

Sarah - Good call. 2012 is the year of cutting toxic relationships out of my life. Sounds like you've already done that.

I can't believe he did that, and then told you you were being emotional. UGH. I recently read an article I feel applies to this: http://thecurrentconscience.com/blog/2011/09/12/a-message-to-women-from-a-man-you-are-not-%E2%80%9Ccrazy%E2%80%9D/

It's called "gaslighting" - it helped me feel so much better about owning my own emotions. Because as females we're constantly told our emotions have no validity to them - that we're "overreacting" or "PMSing" or just "being crazy." And it's not true. Our emotions have validity and come from a real place.

Je m'appelle Danielle said...

I find it irritating when guys say no or decline, that is the final answer, but when girls say no or decline, that means to try and sway them to change their mind.

It sounds like you tried to hold your ground, but I think you cared too much about not hurting his feelings versus going with gut instinct. In this situation, I personally wouldn't care if I hurt peoples feelings, if my gut tells me no, that is my final answer. If that person cannot respect that, we don't need to be friends.

Put your own safety first, no one else is going to. Sounds kind of harsh, but the people who want the best for you, wouldn't put you in that kind of situation.

Angela said...

What an a$$hole. I remember you posting something to twitter about him leaving you on the side of the road.

I'm very protective of my personal space, too - I have been since I was a child, and dealt with certain things. I actually ended up in a physical fight with my sister, just before Christmas, because I didn't want her fiance here, for anything from ten days to at least a month. When she was getting her way, she was quietly mocking me, and when she didn't, she got physical. She quickly changed her tune (mostly), but not because of me. We would get along fine if it weren't for him (well, mostly); he made a pass at me the first time he was here, but she believed him over me, and even after he got drunk and declared his undying love for me one time, she never once apologized to me for believing him over me, she just worked through her problems with him and expected me to go along with it. He, who acted like I was some pathetic, delusional thing, and caused so much trouble between us. I was having panic attacks at the thought of being stuck with him here - I'm stuck, anyhow, and just wanted a nice, quiet christmas - and my own sister kept pushing me. I almost ended up ion a motel for the holidays.

I'll see if I can delete this, soon. I get it, though. He was in the wrong, not you. Both of them were. Although at that point, I would have reported them for drunk driving. I'm ready to live up to the previously undeserved reputation of Medusa.

Red Stethoscope said...

Ugh! What a jerk! Good job cutting him loose.

Anonymous said...

Therapy doesn't fix us, it just gives us the tools to recognize our problems. Nobody is ever fixed we just have to keep learning from every new hurt, from every experience.

Breeza said...

What a creep. It's good you're standing up for yourself more and more. It's hard but gets easier. Cut the toxic people out and focus on the good ones like Abe.

Scrumps said...

Wow - I for one wasn't expecting that. I just didn't think Schmoozer was that guy. You did the right thing putting distance between you both. Whilst I realise that alcohol clouds peoples' judgement, he had no right to bully you into doing something you didn't want to. His loss. You have so many good people in your life (from what I've read), you really don't need idiots like that.

treacle said...

I am surprised at Schmoozer too but I guess that things are occurring in his life that are bringing out the asshole in him.

Learning to maintain your boundaries when pushed by people you care for, without allowing the circumstance to manipulate you into doing what you don't want; is really hard.

Your Mum is right. Don't be hard on yourself. Nobody likes to be the "no" girl. It takes guts and perseverance. You won't let that happen again will you?

That Sarah, is the main thing.

misslizsarab said...

Utter wanker, you did so well saying no to him and understanding your own feelings whilst trying to be a good friend.

I hope he is ashamed of his behaviour

LLandL said...

sheesh. i just wondering the other day what happened to him. i'm glad for you that you had the gumption to cut him out, it's just a hard thing to do when you think someone is your friend.

fullmooncrazies said...

This sucks that it happened. Schmoozer should have respected your boundaries with Guy. He also should have respected that you initially told him no when he asked to come over. It was an asshole move on his part.
I'm sorry you had to go through this. I am happy that you came out of it physically unscathed. It could have been so much worse. It did seem to reaffirm the lessons you learned from the past.
This being said I had actually forgotten all about Schmoozer. You really seem to have found a fantastic guy in Abraham. After everything you've been through with past relationships, you truly deserve this guy. I hope he's your penguin.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Schoozer and Guy are both douche bags. Good riddance!

freckledk said...

Sarah! I love you madly , but I'm a little peeved with you for not going with your gut and for allowing someone to bully you into relenting. Please go online and read the first few pages of this book - and then order it for yourself. You basically just posted something that could have been one of the cautionary tales referenced in this book's content. Read it and then post a review, so that all of your commenters who put the onus on your asshole friends can read the book as well. Every woman should be required to read it, honestly.

If you feel uncomfortable about a person or a situation, there is a good reason for it. Trust your own judgement and don't allow yourself to be dissuaded. The fear of being seen as difficult could one day get you hurt or, worse, killed. Please be careful, honey.


Anonymous said...

I'm the 'anonymous' who kept bugging you for a Schmoozer update, so thanks for giving it and shutting me up.

I had a soft spot for Schmoozer and liked how he motivated you to go running etc. It's so sad he turned into an alcoholic douchebag. I sure hope he can work out his issues. Sadly, his alliance with that turd 'Guy' will probably lead to him being further alienated by his friends.

He needs to clean up his act! Thanks for the update, although now I kindda wish I didn't ask because what happened is so appalling! Who leaves a friend on the side of the road???

Anyway, onwards and upwards! Looking forward to the next mushy gooey Abe story. It always cheers me up, as he's so caring and tender to you.

And you deserve that.


Erin said...

Sorry to hear about Schmoozer betraying your trust and taking advantage of you. It sounds like he's going through a dark time now. I think he will apologize to you in the future, but you are right to keep your distance now.

The Singleship said...

Wow. You made the right call to put some distance between you two. I liked Schmoozer based on earlier posts, but if his doucheyness is becoming a pattern then you're better off without him.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah. I love your blog. I feel I can relate to you, and your honesty is refreshing. :) I have been through something similar recently- and trying to please everyone else before yourself is a hard habit to break but hopefully we will get there. Kudos to cutting this guy and his friend loose!

Anonymous said...

Hi... I just want to support your choices in the matter. You got the help you needed, but maybe this was the first real-life challenge that came at you, and it was a lot, all at once. It's okay that you didn't do it how you would have envisioned. But this will help you fight harder for what you know is right and safe for you, next time.

I was told in therapy that sometimes when we have these experiences (PTSD, for example), in the moment, we "freeze" We may intellectually know what's going on, but that freezing is what was once our survival mode. Now we freeze until it all blows over it and we can safely assess it and figure out what happened. This is something that will get better and easier in time, too.



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