As I begin to think about how to write about this topic my heart is racing and I can feel my body telling me it does not like this situation.
On May 22nd I received an email in my inbox from a woman named LynnAnn. She writes in the subject line, " 'vv' and a past we have in common, please read" (vv is a female pain condition with no western known cause or cure.)
I wrote in my post about Sacred Contracts that I was sick for many years rendering me unable to have or even want to have sex. Long story short, I became a "leader" in that community and started a website so others would not feel isolated upon their diagnoses. Through that site this email popped into my box.
Well all things considered, knowing the location of the problem, my heart is racing as I open that email. My breathing becomes intense and fast and all I can think is what the heck am I about to read. I'm skimming the email fast for words like AIDS, HIV, or Herpes.
This was the opening of that email to me:
Sorry, I didn't mean to be cryptic but I am sure that you get a lot of emails and i want to make certain that you read this one. I too have had the same diagnosis and a similar path with the same medical problem. But in addition to all of that we also share a past boyfriend.
Then she wrote the name of the guy. (Not a happy memory for me.) The last guy I dated while in college. I graduated in 1995.
She didn't say too much more. But I knew exactly where her head was because in 1999 when I developed this condition my first thought was that I had some kind of STD.
Upon getting that email however my first thought was HOW THE HECK DOES SHE KNOW ABOUT ME DATING HIM?
I am realizing that alot of my lessons that surround other lessons are that although I am a question asker for sure, I have often been afraid to ask the important ones for fear of the other person's reactions etc...So no more of that. And so I asked her.
And amongst other things this is what I heard back:
No we didn't got to school together. I went to Q college. I dated "S" from February, 1990 on. Now this is all from my perspective- I know now that there was an overlap period when he dated the two us. He and I were on again off again - His idea- and apparently he dated you during one of our off again times. Then we were on again and I guess he was still seeing you though I didn't know it at the time and I can only guess that you didn't know about me either. Even though he did a lot of things that are "less than honorable" (to put it mildly-) in my book. We are still in touch.Some how or other when were talking about my diagnosis your name came up. I guess he googled you or something. I have thought about contacting you for a while now and it took some time to get up my nerve. Not an easy letter to write, you know?
YEAH LynnAnn, yes I know and I also know it is not an easy letter to receive either.
Then she says this:
I haven't read your history on the website in a while, so I don't know how your doing now. But I can only hope that you are well, and I DO appreciate you taking the time out of your life to respond to me.
She hasn't read my history on the website is a while! How long has she known about me, about my site and more importantly how long has he!
Before I go on with this story of mine let me clarify some thoughts behind sharing this with my blog readers. I realize now that for a very large part of my life I lived in a foggy state. Unconscious in many of my own choices. So many times I never even thought to question certain behavior of the men I dated. Why would I question it if the pattern in my life was consistent between most of the men, I never had another reference point to tell me the things they said or did weren't proper and in my best interest. Realizing this now only in the last few years, I also realize that I cannot be alone in that. There are probably so many other women living in the fog.
Writing these particular stories on this blog is my way of releasing. I trust that those of you who have found me will treat my "confessions of an idiot dater" with respect and also understand and respect my need to confess my stupidity and lessons I have learned. AND realize this is just one part of me.
And perhaps some other woman who googles some keywords will happen upon this post and see similarities in her story and get a wake up call to change herself and her patterns too.
For shits and giggles at the NYEXPO this year, I went to Jill Dahne who told me,"Every year you get younger and smarter."
(I captured this short video back in April while walking to meet a date. And as I believe in the language of symbolism I realize it was a sign telling me that I was smarter now and would assess this person properly.)
Well, back to the email from LynnAnn. The man we have in common was a man I broke it off with, who then decided to stalk me. I would see him drive around the block of my apartment, wait for me outside of classes and I received many letters, usually 5 or more pages hand-written front and back telling me about how we should be together, none of which I would answer.
Getting letters professing someone's feelings for you can be a great thing. It matters the context. However when we were dating "s" was emotionally abusive and started to become 'handsy' with me toward the end, grabbing my elbow hard and twisting my arm literally.
I left my home at the age of 20 because of physical and emotional abuse from my father and it was something I was clear about that I would not live with for the rest of my life. And so I dumped him.
Ours was not a relationship built on any solid foundation. We did not separate because of things that could be repaired. And from what I remember, any time I let him know that I wanted marriage and family he made it clear it would never be in the cards.
It was a no brainer to be free of him.
I moved no less than five times since breaking it off with him. I never left a forwarding address with the post office. I contacted all creditors and friends and family directly of my next move. But somehow about 9-10 years ago a letter pops into my mailbox where I was living at the time. No return address.
I honestly do not remember a lick of what was in that letter. I only remember who it was from and my reaction to it. It was from "s". I was hysterical. I ran to a neighbor who, about to get into the shower at the time, ran for the first thing she could find to cover up, a rain slicker, and invited me in and helped me calm my nerves down.
She got me to realize I had to make a report to the police. And that is what I did. I walked into the precinct and met with a detective. That detective told me he was going to call this man, didn't care if he had friends who were cops, and that I could be sure that "s" would NEVER contact me again.
Until May 22nd of this year I didn't hear another thing about or from him.
I wrote back to LynnAnn and I let her know in great detail about all the stalking he has done to me over the years.
Then I turned inward to see how my body was feeling, and try to figure out why this was put in front of me at this time.
It's no accident that I am reading Sacred Contracts right now. Much of what I am reading has been very helpful to keeping myself centered while dealing with this psychic attack. I was not crumbling this time. And I won't.
I doubt that LynnAnn will see things as I do. As Caroline Myss writes in Anatomy of the Spirit in meeting a woman suffering from AIDS as well as addiction, (paraphrasing) "I could have had the cure to AIDS in one hand and a cigarrette in the other and although she would have wanted to take the cure for AIDS I knew she would have taken the cigarrette."
I woke up this morning from a nightmare. In that nighmare "s" showed up. I tell him I am not afraid of you this time. You cannot hurt me. I am feeling confident and proud of myself. And then he pulls out a gun with a silencer on it and I run for my life.
I guess this is still stuck in my subconscious. And so I am using my blog today to get this the hell out of me!
---From Daily Om:
We are on this earth, in our physical bodies, because our souls have things to learn that we could not learn in any other way. It is through our physical body and the physical world that we can experience life. Purely spiritual beings are just that - they are in a state of being rather than doing – in a place that is beyond the limitations of time and space. But when we incarnate on the physical plane, we are automatically subject to the laws of physics and the world of dualities. In this place, we know what happiness is because we have experienced sadness, and we understand the value and power of light because we have known darkness. Knowing this, we have the opportunity to let ourselves be spiritual beings having a physical experience...
We can live from the place of oneness while truly appreciating the beauty of diversity, the bittersweet feel of love and loss, and the elation of triumph over challenges and adversity. It is through these opposites that we experience life itself, and we can ride through the dark times with the understanding that it will help us to appreciate the light of life and love and spirit more fully."