Froggy Fridays: The Manipulative Marine

I thought I would never be writing another one of these... but I guess my Marine was a frog in disguise.  More like a toad actually...

After the Mouth Rapist, I made a decision that I shouldn't talk to anyone else.  That I should just resort to the fact that I'm supposed to be single and just carry on with my life.  Because my choices in men.... well, they were just getting worse.

I had been communicating with this newly turned 29 year old Marine.  And while he seemed really sweet, smart and handsome, I just knew he was too young.  See, this guy had just returned from the military only a couple of months prior... living with his parents, unemployed... planning on going back to school to eventually join the NYPD, divorced with a precious little girl that would be spending 2 months with him... While, I was ready to settle down.  Not to say that my situation is perfect, because it's not, but I have my shit together regardless, and I'm ready to stop playing games, fall in love and build a life with someone.  And I made these things clear.  I kept telling him that while it didn't seem like a huge difference, it was because I'm ready for the next step... and he still had so much to work on.

 A couple of weeks of communication and he continued to pursue me. I actually snapped at him a couple of times because I would be working and he would be texting me constantly throughout the day.... constantly.  He was very persistent and I was on defense mode due to all of the disappointments I've come across in my 32 years. Plus, there was just something innate in me that told me, this guy is just bored.  He insisted that wasn't the case.  He reassured me he was very interested. But in a deep conversation one evening he also told me he had just gotten out of a long distance situation or relationship or romance of some sort in December.  And I asked him many times if he was really ready to start something with someone else.. not only being that it was so soon but because he was about to have a very busy schedule.  He insisted that he was ready... that he wanted someone and that we wanted the same things.  He insisted that he had no lingering feelings for anyone else.  I guess I should have just gone with my instinct... but between his convincing me to give him a chance despite our small age difference and my need to believe in love again... I gave in.  Once again I failed to listen to my common sense.

We made plans to see one another about 3 times, but several things came up.  Foreshadowing of what was going to happen later on down the line apparently.... His stepfather ended up in the hospital after suffering a heart attack...  And he would get stuck watching his nephew... sometimes more than one...and I almost gave up on him but he convinced me not to, always apologizing profusely and giving me every little detail of his days.... Eventually, the day came that he was finally able to come see me.

That first night, I rushed home to shower, and do the girl thing.  All the grooming required when you're meeting with someone new.  He lives in New Jersey.. I live in Queens.  So there's a small distance between us, even though he drives but on this day he was already in NY visiting family, so I agreed to meet with him.
Initially, I can't say I felt anything but the usual nervousness one feels when meeting with someone for the first time.

We went to a local Starbucks... sat down and when I was finally able to sit down and take him in... I can't even describe to you all what I felt.  I was taken in.  His energy was just.... it was... refreshing.... it felt good.  Something about his eyes.. they seemed so sincere.  Something about the tone of his voice... He just seemed to be so genuine.  He had my completely undivided attention.  So much so, that once we were done there, I guess neither of us wanted to part ways so we moved it to a diner and sat there talking for a good couple of hours as well... And did I mention this dude's stature.  Built like he was made to be a marine.  EXACTLY my type physically... Did I mention I was just immediately enamored?  And I really shouldn't have been.  I really, really should have listened to that little voice that just kept getting quieter and quieter....

Well, we parted ways with a small hug and I wasn't sure if he was even interested but I let it be.  Later, when he arrived home, he expressed that he had a "really good time" and that he'd looked forward to seeing me again... Okay... So I saw him just days later.  We had dinner that time and enjoyed each other's company again.  Everything just happened so quickly..... Next thing you know, we are having a talk about waiting to be intimate because he wants it to "mean something," and while I am cynical and was skeptical about it, I agreed.  Of course, he slept over, and that wasn't entirely the case because he had some stage fright which I chucked up to his nerves...  still it felt good to just be with him.  The chemistry between us in those couple of weeks was fire....

I invited him over to a get together at the house.. he met some of my closest friends and everyone liked him.  They all said he was sooo nice, and sooo polite, and sooo funny...and one of them even said "and he's good looking too.."  etc etc.  And that he seemed to like me soo much. You can imagine that I almost.... almost... felt relieved.. like a sense of, "Finally, I found a good one!"  Clearly, you know there's a bomb about to drop since I'm dwelling on the smaller details, right?

The time came where he had to go pick up his daughter who lives in another state with her mother, his ex-wife. By this time, we were talking on the phone almost daily because he would call me or ask me to call him... we would text constantly... Anyway, you get the point.  I told him he could leave his car by my place since he'd be leaving from an airport by me and he wouldn't have to pay for parking.  So the night before his flight out, he asked me to slap a label on "us."  I was a bit apprehensive about this official being that it was such a short period of time... and we were still getting to know one another... and he was about to have the busiest schedule ever.  After I dropped him at the airport in the morning... feeling like I was dropping off someone who has been around much, much longer than he actually had... I made the decision to allow the labels and jump right in.  Stupid me!

The evening he arrived, after many messages of "I miss you," "I wish I were lying next to you," and "I can't wait to see you"s, I picked him up in his car, gave him a hug and kiss, and just being with him in just that very short amount of time, felt right.  I don't know how else to describe it.  Another feeling of "finally," and then he says something similar out loud. I don't quite remember how he worded it, but it was something like, 'I knew it would feel just like this.  Comfortable and easy. I'm so happy right now."

I requested him on Facebook after we had a conversation where he seemed to feel a certain way about not being friends on there.  He said that he found it strange that I hadn't requested him so I did. But three days had passed and he never accepted my request.... That was the first sign of shadiness.  I never addressed it because I figured that maybe he hadn't been on or maybe he'd listened to what I said about how maybe it wasn't a good idea being that we were still getting to know each other and well, I didn't want there to be any misunderstandings.  But stranger yet was that he hadn't addressed it either.  And I'm sure now that he noticed.

That week, I went to FL for a bachelorette party... I FaceTimed the Marine on his birthday while I was in the airport (which I hate doing).  He called me twice while I was away.  I had 3 days off after I returned.  And we made plans to take his adorable toddler to the zoo.  And then, he got a job. We didn't see each other... and again, and again, we made plans, and each time nothing.  The kid, the and the texts became less... and our communication became less.  And we stopped talking on the phone and that's when I got it.

It was late one night less than a week before my friend's wedding.  I got a message from some random person, more than likely a female with a picture of what looked like my boyfriend a some chick.  The girl in the picture looked a little familiar but I couldn't figure out where I had seen her.  I tried zooming in on the picture, and it just looked like an older picture of the Marine but it looked exactly like him otherwise.  It was very hard to tell though.  Well, I tried sending him the picture.  You can imagine my anxiety and anger.  Not only was I seeing a picture of my so called boyfriend with some unknown girl, who had started to be incredibly inconsistent with communication blaming it on work and his kid... but I was getting the message from a third party. And who was THIS bitch?

 Furious, I called the dude.  I know that the picture wasn't taken any time within the past two weeks because it was a beach setting... most likely Japan which is where he'd been stationed the previous three years.  I just didn't understand why I was getting hit with it.  What was the point and who was this girl in the picture? Who was the one contacting me?  Of course, he didn't answer me.  So I called him.  He said several times he hadn't received the picture.  Looking back at that night, I'm pretty sure he was lying.  It was easier to say that then to address it.  So I confronted him and asked him if he was carrying on a relationship whether real, emotional.. etc with this other person.  He was half asleep so it was nearly impossible to talk to him.  After about an hour or two, we got off of the phone.. nothing really resolved.  Just some sort of expectation that things would work themselves out regardless of whoever decided they would be a cryptic messenger.  On my way to work the next morning, after only having slept for two hours and an audit pending my phone goes off.  A text from this Moronic Marine asking me if I had contacted his friends on Facebook.  Really?  Can we go back to that part where I requested him on FB weeks before and hadn't gotten accepted, therefore, how could I contact any of his friends?  An argument on the bus that went on and on until he finally had no choice but to drop the subject.  I was on my way to work.  I am a grown woman.  Who has time to send people pictures, and why did this become sooo important all of a sudden, when I confronted him the night before he acted like I was wrong for being upset and never even addressed the picture.

Much back and forth commenced that week... with the wedding days away and already having RSVP'd with a guest, I asked him several times, if he had no intentions of going, so I could tell a friend who was basically ready to suit up and go. After making me go through some intense anxiety, he shows up for the wedding.. however, very cold.  He made several snide remarks about how he has never attended a wedding, and he treated me like I was any other person on the street.  He even told me he had to be home by 8 because his mother wanted to come to NY to visit a relative and wouldn't be taking care of his daughter all day, even though the reception started at 7 and clearly, that would completely defeat the purpose of inviting him to the wedding.  I'm sure now those were also lies.

Sometime during the middle of the reception, after going out of his way to be sort of an asshole to Omar with some super annoying antics... he decides to bring up the previous week's events.  And again, rather than take into account that this happened TO me, he made me promise it wasn't me sending these cryptic messages with his picture attached.

Here I am at a wedding, eyes watered, having to hold back tears and make a promise that I hadn't done something I was accused of doing even though I was the first person to bring it to his attention.   Like the idiot I am, I promised him to keep the peace and keep myself from making a scene, because I wanted this situation to somehow, magically fix itself.  How is it that something that felt so right and so good, could've gone so bad so quickly...?

He stayed that night and while his "stage fright" had magically disappeared after several other times he'd had trouble, this time it hadn't, but there was still something lacking.  Because once he returned home, I knew after he'd turned around and walked away that I would never... ever see him again.

No matter how much I wanted this one last try to work.. NO matter how much I liked this man and how much I cared for him in so short a time... I just knew.  I felt it in my stomach... and I laid in bed all day tears in my eyes and all.

Later that week, we had a three hour conversation on the phone that seemed momentarily to repair some of what we'd lost.  But shortly after that it was gone.  The "babes", "loves," all terms of endearments went from consistent to almost non existent.  I invited him to meet my family and told him bring his daughter no big expenses since it was my invite, right?  He had lost his job due to school but was looking and stated that he could not come with me, even if it would've cost him nothing, because he would be too busy... too busy every weekend.  Too busy with his daughter.. too busy with whoever.

I reminded myself that it was only 2 weeks he had left with his daughter and that he would only have to go to school and maybe eventually work again.  I reminded myself that he needed to spend every single second what that little girl because she needed her father's love being that she wouldn't see him again for who knows how long.

So I never once suggested we see one another those 2 weeks.  I never once said much of anything.  There were reassurances here and there that he still felt the same way he did for me but that he was just so busy and stressed... and I poured my heart out here and there but I was lucky if I ever received any reply.  His feelings were changing and try as he might, he couldn't deny it.

I received another set of pictures from that random third party.  This time a picture of him kissing that girl.  A recent post in which she stated she was back from boot camp, and he told her to "Get over here right now." (conveniently deleted later on). Her response, "All in due time."  By now I had stopped following him and so I had no way of trying to figure out who this girl was until I received that posting.  Another post in which he refers to her as babe.  Another post where this girl, we'll call her Navy Girl, was talking to this 3rd party and denied that the dude in the pictures was the Marine even though you can't deny a picture.  I mean, really?  Now, why would she publicize her pictures on a social network, yet deny that it was him in the pictures when it was most obviously him?  What kind of game were these two playing? And once again, I gave him the benefit of the doubt when he said that she was just a good friend that he got into the habit of calling babe.  Because I have one male friend I refer to as "babe", I let it go, except that I'd had a fling with that friend so....  No explanations about the pictures though.  He was just too focused on who it was that was sending these pictures.  Never taking into account my feelings.

Always more concerned about his Navy Girl and whoever else had been contacted, but never ever concerned about me.  Best of all, blaming MY friends for having been the source of this conflict.  Someone connected to me, that somehow knows his friends on Facebook.  Now, let me bring some logic to the equation guys.  If my friends only know you by your first name, have NO idea what your last name is... how would they find you on any social network, when you don't EVEN use your real name? Your user name on both networks is a phonetic spelling of your initials.  Which took ME forever to figure out. But somehow someone knew how to find him and contact his friends and specifically, supposedly and only me on IG. And by now I don't follow you on IG anymore.. soooo.... Right.

Finally, all terms of endearment gone.  His daughter gone.
Him ignoring my texts filled with all sorts of ... blah... just mush.
Our relationship non existent and from one day to another.... another shady act... He blocks me from Instagram.  No rhyme or reason.  Just blocks me.  I call him, we argue, the way we usually do now... Me, hyper in anger, loud but not quite yelling, him calm.  Him telling me that he cares about me and wants to be with me and thinks about me, and loves all of these things about me but thinks it's better for us to go our separate ways. And so that was it. His reason for blocking me from IG? It hurt him too much to look at my pictures all the time.

 And once that was done he hangs up the phone calmly as if nothing happened and goes about his day.  I took the whole thing pretty hard because I had never intended to get attached to this kid.  Because that's what this 29 year old was.  A kid.  An ignorant, and foolish child with absolutely no regard for anyone's feelings but his own.

What I didn't know... comes later.  When the last shoe drops.
Two days after the fact, this guy is still pretending to care about how I am. Sending me one text a day to check up on me.  And that's when I got the last picture.  It was Man Crush Monday on IG aka MCM... and she posted a nice clear shot of the two of them.  His arms wrapped around her, both facing the camera, "The world is a better place when I am in your arms. I love you!" was her caption and of course, he didn't comment, but he sure liked it. I felt like the wind had been taken from me.  How can someone so unskilled and inexperienced in life, manipulate me enough to get me to believe that it possibly wasn't him in the photos... Ah... I can't even continue writing because my heart hurts too much just to think of what I went through that day... that week.

And when he was confronted, he still managed to make it about whoever the third party was. Now his story about her being a "good friend" went to her being his "ex girlfriend" that he still talks to.  And now he says, he can't help how she feels.  And I tell him so many times that he could've helped it all.  He could've put a stop to it. Because if it was ME who was supposed to carry this label of GIRLFRIEND, then why was it okay for her to post all of these pictures while he and I were together.  WHY was that okay? There was nothing okay about any of it.  My heart and my dignity....MY FEELINGS were hurt.... all of it... all the pain, and misunderstanding... the humiliation and the tears that haven't stopped falling.... all of it could have been avoided.  And all he could do after I quieted him with all the shadiness and with the truth... all he could do was text me numerous times that he was sorry for hurting me.  But how could anyone be sorry for hurting someone else when they were perfectly aware of what was going on the entire time.  He was never ready to be in a relationship because he still had his heart in the last one.  And where would that have left me regardless of how I found out about it?

And to think that this man has a little girl.
Shame on him.  Shame on any man that could live with themselves knowing all the lies they've told.  Putting women through unnecessary hurt.
Shame on you all.

And karma? I guess there's not much to be said about karma.  Everyone always pays at least three times more for the harm they bring to others, no matter how hard that is to believe when you're simmering in your sadness.

What hurts the most is that I never had an actual title.  I never had an actual position in HIS life.  It was him who'd taken an acting role in mine.  I once had a conversation with someone and I think I've mentioned this before... every person you allow in and makes their way out of your life takes a piece of your soul with them.  I initially thought it was an over dramatic statement but if you think about all the time and emotions you invest into trying to carry on a relationship with someone, it completely holds true.  Unless you have an accident or develop dementia, then you will never be able to erase your memories of that person.  How they made you feel when they made you feel when things were good, when things were bad... They will always have that part of you and your time that you can never get back.  And there's no way to know for sure, but to continue taking chance after chance after chance until you have nothing left or you're one of the lucky few who can finally find someone who allows you to take a part in their lives as well.  A part of their soul.

As for them? Well, I did write to Navy Girl because I was upset, confused, and hurt. I got exactly the response I expected. I was blocked. See, because again, I was never part of this sick and twisted scenario.  It was always only about them.

When I think about the dates I turned down for the Marine, I feel stupid. Do you know how many times my special muscular friend hit me up to pay me a visit? Thank God I wasn't stupid enough to tell him I was dating anyone.


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