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time-to-be-selfish

Image Credits: Whisper App

So… I’ve had a rather interesting week.

Casey tried to connect with me on LinkedIn on Wednesday.

Casey as in THE Casey. The one who I met on my 23rd birthday and fell hopelessly in love with. The one I had a crazy long distance relationship with. The one I loved with every ounce of my being.

The one that was here one day and gone the next.

The one that thought deleting me from social media and not answering my texts but then sending me a few sentences in an email on “why he did what he did” a few months later was an acceptable way to break up with me.

The one that broke up with me for no apparent reason.

The one that made me want to set myself on fire and watch my skin turn to ash as a way to relieve the pain I was feeling.

The one that made me not only lose my mind, but my whole self.

The one that broke me.

The one who wanted to get back together a few months later because they realized they made a horrible mistake.

The one I forgave.

The one that scared me.

The one I trusted.

The one my soul hungered for.

The one I was addicted to.

The one I swore was a gift from God to share my forever with.

The one who cheated.

The one who got engaged.

The one who got married.

The one with no explanations.

The one with no apologies.

The one I cried over.

The one that suffocated me.

The one I would have gladly died for.

The one that made a mistake.

The one that got away.

The one that ruined my life.

The one that’s still married.

The one that just won’t go away.
Yes, that Casey.

My first instinct was to almost laugh at it. I couldn’t believe how pathetic the whole thing was. The ex from hell whom I refuse to talk to trying to add me on LinkedIn because he probably thinks that’s his best chance at staying connected with me. It’s barely a step above MySpace.

I let it sit in my inbox for a couple of days. I wanted him to know how it felt to wait. How it feels to not know. How it feels to try your hardest to reach someone who couldn’t care less about you.

I debated on whether or not I should accept it. I couldn’t bare the idea of going down this path and ending up crushed again. But a part of me wanted to be able to flaunt and dangle my successful career in front of his face to show him just to show him all that I can and did do without him; to show him just how much I really don’t need him.

The last time I talked to him was in October after ignoring a series of Facebook messages from him (we are not Friends on Facebook; he sent messages to my Facebook page). He told me he was miserable and that his wife didn’t appreciate him (there’s a feeling he’s taught me quite a lot about…). He called me the one that got away and said he had no one to blame but himself (no…You don’t say?). After I ignored 5 or more he finally made the mistake of saying, “I wish you would talk to me. I miss you.”

But I didn’t want to hear it.

In the past I may have been different. More trusting. More forgiving. More understanding. Excited to hear from him. Excited at the possibility of getting back together.

In the past I would’ve had hope.

Because I loved you.

I can forgive many things but I can’t forgive you for marrying her. Especially not when you’re still married.

I told Casey off when I received that message in October. It was like every wound on my heart had been reopened and this time instead of having a heart of love, I had a heart of pain ready to attack before it even stood the change of taking on any additional pain.

This is what I said with his response at the bottom:

ss message from casey

 

I thought that settled it. I never imagined this would still be going on now, another 2 months after sending that message and just a few days after he “celebrated” his 2 year wedding anniversary with his wife. Actually, thinking of it that way makes me sick. For someone that claims so much to be a “disciple of Jesus” you sure haven’t mastered the whole “Love thy wife” part…

I accepted Casey’s LinkedIn request a few days after he sent it. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s a part of me that wanted to show him just how much I didn’t need him. Maybe I had hope still for him for some reason. Maybe I wanted something to happen. I don’t know.

But when Casey followed me on Twitter the day after, I know how I felt: scared.

Scared that this was all going to start over again. Scared that a marriage was ending and I’d be to blame. Scared that I was going to ruin the life I’ve gotten comfortable living – alone. Scared that this time would somehow be the worst than the last two times.

I thought about everything very deeply. For a few days, I couldn’t sleep. On the one hand, it was the same old, same old and I’d be a fool to go back to it. On the other hand, what if this was the one time things were going to be different and I was giving up on the one I was meant to be with?

I thought about it over and over and over and talked with some friends. And this is what I learned:

He didn’t love me.

He didn’t love me before we started dating, after we started dating, after we met, before we met, when we met, or now.

I loved him more than anything.

But he didn’t love me, nor will he ever.

No matter what you do for someone, regardless of how much you love them, you can’t make them love you. It doesn’t work like that.

And it’s not worth my time or energy any more and things aren’t how they were when I was 22. One of us is married. The other one is in a deeply committed relationship with work and school and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let anyone stand in the way of reaching my goals.

When I was 22 I had the whole world in front of me. I worked as a crummy cashier at the local Walmart begging for an escape. I thought you were that escape. There was nothing in the world more thrilling and exciting than being a 22 year old new college grad with a 32 year old long distance boyfriend. When I graduated I was so excited about the possibilities and what the future held not just for me, but for you, too; for us. I thought we’d take over the world – travel together, open a business, be our own boss. Be entrepreneurs and both business and life partners.

But it’s not what you wanted, obviously.

You were selfish back then.

Now, it’s my turn to be selfish.

I want to earn my MA.

I want to work 2 or more jobs at a time.

I want to dedicate more time to my church.

I want to study hard and harder and earn a Ph.D..

I want to teach.

i want to write and publish a book.

I want to move to Philly.

I want to move to Cincinatti.

I want to big time editor for some fancy NYC magazine.

I want to move to California.

I want to work 80 hours a week because I can.

I don’t want anyone to tell me who to be or what to do.

I don’t want to waste my time on you (I’ve wasted too much time already).

I want to be selfish like you.

I feel no guilt.

I feel no shame.

No sorrow.

No regrets.

No sympathy for you.

We’re not meant to be together.

You’re not my lover.

You’re not my friend.

You are most certainly not “the one”.

And you don’t love me.

Not then.

Not now.

Not ever.

Because you don’t leave the people you love.

You don’t destroy the people you love.

And it took me awhile,

But I don’t love you like I did yesterday.

And I’m tired.

And I’m sick.

Of you.

And all the hell you put me through.

And I’m done.

I’m so, so, so, done.

And so, so, so ready to go on being a little selfish and to live this life without you.

And here is what I want from you:

Please. Please. Please.

LEAVE. ME. ALONE.

I have nothing more to say to you that hasn’t already been said.

This has burnt up in flames many times over.

It’s time to leave the the ashes along so the dust can settle

And this can finally, finally, maybe die and be over with.


stop

Image Credits: Paul Downey Serving Seniors

Hey guys! So I’ve been procrastinating doing day 9 of the 30-Day Writing Challenge. I did have a little bit (not much) of free time. I’m starting to get more used to this new work schedule — I’m wide awake by 4 and I crash before 10 like an old lady now (even on weekends!). However, I’m not loving the theme for day 9, so I’ve been dreading writing about.

The theme? Write about your feelings on ageism.

Now this sounds like a really easy topic to write on at first. AGEISM SUCKS, DUH! However, when you really critically think about it and sit down to write about, you realize it’s not as easy as you think.

As much as I hate to admit it, I am guilty of committing acts of ageism.

And more than likely, so are you.

I actually looked up the definition of ageism on Dictionary.com. The first definition I totally agree with and is pretty straight forward:

Discrimination against persons of a certain age group.

The second definition, however, I’m not so sure of:

tendency to regard older persons as debilitated, unworthy of attention, or unsuitable for employment.

I agree that is PART of the definition — but what about ALL AGES? Honestly, I think I see ageism is younger people more than older people these days.

Ageism is a huge problem in the work force, especially for the younger generations…the “millennials”. If I see another article on how lazy and unmotivated and undisciplined millennials are, I might scream. Based on my age I fall into the category of being a “millennial”. So basically all of these articles are telling me I’m lazy and unmotivated. Yes because going into work at 7:10 or 7:15 every day when I don’t have to be there until 7:30 (and I live over 45 minutes away…) and leaving around 4:30 (when I can leave at 4) makes me lazy and unmotivated. Oh, and I just got accepted into grad school which I’ll be attending as I continue to work full time. Not to mention all of the other things I plan on doing…so by saying “all millennials are lazy, terrible workers”, these people who are writing these articles, or even thinking these thoughts, are committing ageism.

And yes, older people face it in the workplace, too. This is especially true for certain positions. How old is the average social media manager? They are the millennials! Many people think it looks weird or is wrong to hire someone over the age of 30 to manage social media, because it is a “kid” thing or a “millennial” thing. Older people won’t understand how it works. If you agree with this way of thinking, you too, are guilty of committing ageism.

Ageism exists in the way we view and judge relationships, too. I only want to date people older than me. I think they are the only ones I can relate to. Younger men are too immature and not on my level. This is ageism. Have I met and dated every younger man in the world? No, I have not.

I have, however, dated two different men on separate occasions that were more than a decade older than me. One of them broke my heart, but was the first (and maybe only) man I ever truly, whole-heartedly loved. The other was a good relationship. Nothing “wrong” really happened, we just lacked chemistry.But people judged me so much on these relationships. These relationships were perfectly legal — I was 22 and 23 and they were 32 and 34. This is what I wanted. This feeling was mutual at the time. There were times before we broke up that we were happy. Yet people didn’t think we belonged together because of our age gap. Who were they to judge us or to tell us what was or wasn’t right. If we were happy, isn’t that all that really mattered?

But even though I know how bad it felt to be judged based on my age and the age difference in my relationships when despite the difference, I was happy, I still am guilty of judging people and participating in ageism for the same exact thing!

One of my ex’s that I just described is actually dating a girl who is significantly younger than I am right now. Actually, it’s more than just dating. They are engaged. More than that, they are expecting their first child together. She just turned 18. He just turned 36. When I first found out they were dating, one of my first thoughts weren’t “aw I’m happy for them” (even though they are both my friends). It was What the heck? Is that even legal? (For the record, it was. The age of consent is 16…she was 17 when they started dating).

And I was surprised when I found out they were expecting a baby, naturally. She’s so young and he’s so much older than her. He was so much older than me and she is like what, 7 years younger than me? And I felt sad for her because I felt like she was being robbed of part of her life that he’s already gone and experienced.

And then when I went to write this post and really evaluate my feelings on ageism…I reconsidered my thoughts. It’s not my business. This couple is facing so much crap now because of their situation and their age gap. And it’s messed up. Yes, their is a big age gap. Yes, it’s considered “taboo”. Yes, she’s going to be a teen mom and this wasn’t planned and I know she’s probably terrified.

But do you know what else I know? I, and everyone else, has no right to judge them. I know they are happy. They love each other. I can see it in a way that others cannot because I dated him first. He broke up with me because he didn’t love me and knew he never would. He sees her in ways that he could never see me and I see it in the way he talks to her, about her, all he does for her. It is obvious. And although I never met her in person and don’t know her as well, I believe she feels the same way about him, too. I mean, she moved like a thousand miles (or several hundred at least) when she was only 17 to live with him, before ever even meeting him in real life. It is insane, but it reminds me of what I would’ve done back when I was with Casey, so in that sense, I understand exactly what she’s doing. The difference is, her fiance really loves her. At the time with Casey, he didn’t love me like I loved him.

They love each other. They’re happy. They want to be together. Nobody has any right to take that away from them and any negative thought anyone has about them being together, is, or may be, an act of ageism.

Ageism is a horrible thing and something that we as individuals need to stop doing so much. However, as I hope I have demonstrated, it’s not always that easy. Ageism is one of the easiest acts of prejudice a person can commit, because it comes so naturally and we often times don’t even realize that our thought and actions can  be labeled as ageism.

Instead of casting judgements on people because of how old they are, let’s instead judge them based on their character. Character is what defines us. Our age? That’s just a number.


cf9ac92afc3ffc116c04e71666b2f937

Image Credits: Pinterest

Yesterday I wrote part 1 of day 3 of the 30-day writing challenge about my awkward first kiss experience and the painful experiences that stemmed from that. Today I will finish the writing prompt with part 2 about my first love, who just so happened to be a con artist out for more than just my heart.

My first love obviously wasn’t my first boyfriend or my first crush even and as I stated yesterday, definitely not my first kiss. But those who really know me will not at all be surprised when I tell you the name.

It was the one and only, Casey Fraites.

I’ve written about Casey one hundred thousand times over in the past. I explained about how much it hurt when he left me and I explained why, despite the fact that he hurt me, I still loved him.  I also detailed my frustrations with him and how I was “done trying” (which we all know was an outright lie.)

I met Casey online in 2011. At the time I was finishing up my last year of college as a dual English/Writing Arts major, working full time, and interning for a few companies like Bit Rebels in hopes of building up my writing portfolio and landing a decent job post-college. I wasn’t a fan of online dating at the time. I just got out of a terrible, abusive relationship with someone I met online and I thought that online dating was for the desperate/weak and I thought it was “fake”, mainly because that’s everything that my relationship with Alec has been previously.

But with Casey, it was all different. I didn’t meet him through online dating. I met him through my writing — my greatest joy, love, and passion in life. And I didn’t throw myself at him or he at me. Nothing was rushed or forced at all. We never had any intentions of having things work out like this…or at least, that was never my initial intention…

When I first “met” Casey I didn’t really see him as anything more than a fan. I was starting to write more and more for Bit Rebels at that time and I had a few articles go viral. I was definitely beginning to succeed in “getting my name out there”. A few of my fans followed me on social media. I didn’t really think anything of it.

But Casey was the only “fan”that really talked to me and seemed to really pay attention to me beyond just my Bit Rebels articles.

It was hardly anything at first, but then we got talking more and more frequently about more and more things. He was becoming a very good friend to me, despite never had met him in person. And I liked him. I liked him a lot. And I was beginning to sense that he liked me too. But I just dismissed it. I was 22 and Casey was 33. I also lived in NJ and Casey lived in Florida. It’s not like anything could ever happen between us…right?

Even though I knew I had feelings for Casey, I didn’t think it made any sense to act on them or that anything would ever come from it, so I did what any other 22 year old would do…I left myself open and available for  anyone else.

In the Fall of 2011, I found my someone else.

I’d rather not say the name of that person because it’s someone who is still a casual friend of mine and that person is engaged and expecting a child with someone else right now. I don’t want to focus on our past and cause any drama or anything. I’ll just say what’e necessary to say here: we dated for a month. We had SO much in common, but when it came to our morals and where we were in life, we clashed. Probably because I was 23 and he was 32. He lived and experienced so much in life and I was just a kid. So we broke up.

Breaking up with he who shall not be named was the best decision we could have made, but the timing was awful. We broke up less than a week before Thanksgiving and it seemed to have come from nowhere. I wasn’t really expecting it. While I’m fine with it now and we’re sort of friends, I was pretty pissed about the breakup when it first happened. Who dumps their girlfriend unexpectedly right before the holidays? (Okay, lots of people do, sadly, but it doesn’t make it any less awful…)

Casey came to my rescue right after I broke up with he-who-should-not-be-named.He backed off a bit when we were dating. I think he was jealous and a bit hurt by my actions, but he’d never come right out and say that. How could he? I mean, he lived in Florida and I lived in NJ and I was single and free to date whoever I wanted, right? Age was no longer an issue…he-who-should-not-be-named was about the same age.

I missed Casey when I dated he-who-should-not-be-named. Casey and I were beginning to talk on a nightly basis and were growing really close. It was never like that in my relationship with he-who-should-not-be-named. I wished he was Casey the whole time, if I’m being honest with myself.

I remember a few days after announcing my breakup, I admitted to someone, I’m fine. It sucks and I wish it could’ve waited until after the holidays…but he’s not Casey. I want Casey. God, why does he have to live 1,000 miles away?

When you love someone though, distance really doesn’t matter, even if it is 1,000 miles.

With my newly single status, Casey and I were free. Free to feel whatever we wanted. Free to talk whenever, wherever, and however we wanted.

We’d talk throughout the day and every night was like our “alone time”. We talked about everything. I’d vent about my frustrations working as a cashier at Walmart. He’d tell me about the great things he was grilling. We’d talk about the future, all of the places we wanted to go, things we wanted to see. I’d talk about my writing and he’d talk about his film. We had one big thing in common – we both loved social media and SEO. We both wanted to work in the field.

Casey seemed perfect to me. He was everything I ever wanted in a man, and I was suddenly falling in love with him.

I was going through some hard times in my life, too, and Casey was always there to listen. He was always there to make it better. Often times, he seemed like the only one that could make it better.

By March of 2012 I knew I was madly, wildly, and passionately in love with him.

I don’t remember exactly how it happened, but on April Fool’s Day – April 1, 2012, we made it official. He was my boyfriend. And I told him I loved him. He said he couldn’t say it back but I didn’t care. He just was too scared. He didn’t want to hurt me. But I knew how I felt. I loved him. I loved him with all my heart and soul and every fiber of my being. I loved him more than anything in the world. I didn’t have to know him IRL to know how I felt.

We started dating on April Fool’s Day. It was the perfect metaphor for our entire relationship. The joke really was on me. Now I think I will forever hate April Fool’s Day. Casey ruined it for me.

Casey loved to travel and would do it often. I was beyond thrilled when I found out he planned to travel to NJ to see me. He managed to book a flight and a hotel for my birthday week…the week of May 8, 2012. His first day in NJ would actually be on my birthday.

My parents were a bit less than thrilled by the news. My friends were excited for me though. They knew it was completely insane, but they also knew how serious I was about Casey and that I really did love him. Some of my friends even though it was oddly romantic – like the crazy kind of love story you’d only find in a Shakespeare play. They rooted for us from a distance.

There were a few complication with Casey’s travel plans. Everything with his rental car kind of fell through, so he didn’t have a car the entire time. I didn’t have a license or drive either, so we relied on my parents to drive us around. We were kind of limited on where we could go for those reasons. Casey also booked a hotel in Cherry Hill…a little far from my house and in a high-traffic area, to make things worst.

Despite some changes in plans and unexpected, unfortunate events, my birthday still ended up being okay. I met Casey for the first time and he was everything I thought he would be — exactly as he said he’d be online. I’ll admit I was a little disappointed that he didn’t buy me a gift or flowers or even a card for my birthday, but I tried to dismiss it and just tell myself that him being there for a few days was my gift — the hotel, flight, etc. had to be expensive, and I didn’t pay him anything at all for it.

Casey spent three days with me in NJ. They were simple, but at the time, they were the best three days of my life. On the first day we went to the mall and then my favorite diner. We spent most of the time just talking and I remember we sang and danced to “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys when it came on the radio. My parents didn’t like Casey. When we went out to dinner, a war almost broke out between my dad and Casey. He said something stupid my dad didn’t like. I never knew what it was. I didn’t have my cochlears and couldn’t hear well at the time, but I could see the look on my parents face and knew it wasn’t good. At all. My mom gritted her teeth and told my dad to shut up because it was my birthday and she didn’t want him to ruin it and she also knew how much Casey meant to me.

For the rest of the time, my dad tolerated Casey, but he never liked him. He’d drive us back and forth for our “dates”, but he was never particularly happy about it especially since it meant getting stuck in heavy Cherry Hill traffic and Casey always managed to be late. How someone could be late without a car living in just a hotel for three days is beyond me…but considering the type of person I later discovered him to be…maybe it’s not so strange after all…

On the second day Casey and I went to a book signing for some of my professor’s at Rowan and listened to them speak. Casey was fascinated by Rowan. It was a University, which I get the impression he never went to before…he’s only been to like trade schools, community colleges, etc. He bought me a Florida state shirt, too. It was like we were exchanging pieces of each other. I didn’t even care that it was baby pink, a color I’m not usually particularly found of. I liked it because it was like a piece of him, and wearing it would make me feel like he was with  me, even when he was more than 1,000 miles away.

On our last night we went to the movies and then had Applebees for dinner. He held me so tightly when we said goodbye and promised he’d be back for his birthday which was less than 2 months away.He kissed me on the cheek. It was the most action I’ve gotten from him. I tried to kiss him prior, but he wouldn’t let me. Sometimes we’d hold hands, but even that was ehhh. He didn’t want me to touch him much, which was kind of weird because I was technically his girlfriend and he lived 1,000 miles away…it wasn’t like I was going to see him again anytime soon…

Casey said he had a great time with me. He told his mom (he still lived at home) all about me. He thanked me for being a great host (which was kind of weird because I mean I thought I was more than that…I was supposed to be his girlfriend, right?)

When he went back home though, things with us started to drastically change.

He started interning for a digital marketing company and he went back to school, or so he claimed. He suddenly wasn’t available for me anymore.

Our conversations got less and less frequent.

Then they stopped altogether.

The next thing I knew, Casey was gone.

I was deleted from Facebook. Unfollowed on Twitter and Instagram.

He wouldn’t answer my texts.

I had a nervous breakdown. I went insane.

He never told me he was breaking up with me. He never gave me any explanation at all.

I found out he was fired from his internship. I tried to reach out to his friends, but they didn’t know what was going on, either. Some of my friends said he sounded like he might be suicidal, which scared me to death.

I blew up his phone. I tried to reach out to him on social media. I blogged. I emailed him.

I was so confused. I was so hurt. I was so lost. I was angry.

My anger prevailed the most at first. I would scream at him through caps lock about how screwed up his actions were and how he knew it was wrong and how I deserved an explanation. Then I’d apologize profusely for getting so angry. I just wanted to know what I did wrong to make him leave like that.

A few weeks later, he emailed me. It was a very short email. It basically said, “I’m sorry but this isn’t working. I’m busy and this distance thing sucks.”

I begged him not to leave me. I told him I could handle the distance, we could work it out. But it was useless.

I went completely insane.

I destroyed everything. The shirt he brought me? Shredded it. Destroyed the toy he bought my cat. Ripped up and destroyed all of the pictures. When I was done I layed in the middle of my bedroom floor with all of the destroyed things around me and cried. Hyperventilated. I felt like I was dying. I wanted to die. I imagined death to be a pleasure compared to the pain I was feeling.

I didn’t have any more physical products to destroy, so I spent the next few months destroying myself. I was horribly depressed. I just wanted to die. I was living for Casey. Without Casey in my life, how was life possibly worth living? I was so sure he was the one for me. God put him in my life so randomly, I believed it had to be a reason. He was meant to be my husband. I saw it…but why couldn’t he? He was making a huge mistake.

I tried so hard to get over him. I did so many things I am not proud of. And it never worked. Because there was only one Casey Fraites. But he was gone. I lost him and I had no idea why or how I lost him. I had no idea where I went wrong. But I spent every waking moment of my life over analyzing everything I ever said to him, trying to find out. I never came up with anything.

I couldn’t and wouldn’t give up on him or give up on us. Every couple of months, I’d try again to send him another e-mail or Facebook message or Tweet, hoping to get a response. But I never did.

That is, until December 31, 2012. Just a few short hours before the new year.

Suddenly, I got an email. Apologizing for everything. Wanting to be friends again. Begging for my forgiveness.

You should never start a new relationship on April Fool’s Day. That was my first mistake with Casey. You should also never take an ex back or forgive one or talk to one for the first time in over 7 months on New Year’s Eve. That was my second mistake.

Everyone tried to warn me that I was making a huge mistake. My mom was furious with me. “THE MAN DESTROYED YOU. IS THIS REALLY WHAT YOU WANT IN 2013? IS THIS REALLY HOW YOU WANT TO START A NEW YEAR — MAKING LAST YEAR’S MISTAKES? YOU WEREN’T GOOD ENOUGH FOR AN EXPLANATION FOR THE LAST 7 MONTHS, NOW IT’S NEW YEARS EVE AND HE’S PROBABLY BEEN DRINKING AND HE WANTS TO APOLOGIZE? SCREW THAT.”

But I didn’t listen. I never do. The heart wants what it wants, and at that moment, my heart wanted Casey.

I told him it would take time, but I’d do my best to forgive him. I knew I still loved him with all of my heart and soul, but I was still so hurt from before and terrified of getting hurt again.

We’d talk. We followed each other on Twitter and Instagram again. It took me awhile to be ready for Facebook. We didn’t talk nearly as much as we did before. I was scared.

I felt like he was playing games with me and screwing with my help. He was horribly manipulative. One day I thought he loved me and that we were getting back together. The next day I thought he couldn’t care less about me and I was ready to permantly swear him off.

I went off on him and told him I was totally done. I couldn’t stand the confusion and the mind games anymore.

In less than 24 hours, I wrote him a heart-felt apology and begged him to take me back. He did. And promised to make more of an effort.

Actually, he took it a step further. He made travel plans. He was going to come to NJ to see me during spring break in April. I was totally on board with it, but I knew better than to tell anyone. NO ONE would support this, especially not after what he did to me the last time.

But then the plans changed. Casey didn’t have quite enough money to get to NJ. He’d meet me a little more than halfway – he’d come to D.C..

I never been to D.C. before. It wasn’t the closest place in the world for me, but compared to Florida, it was. I could get there by train. I could do it. No one would support it…so it would have to be a secret. I planned it all out. I had a friend volunteer to get me to the train station and help me to meet Casey there. I wrote a note for my parents to leave on my desk explaining where I’d be, for how long, and why I was doing it. “I know you don’t understand…but I love him and I have to do this. He’s the one. I know it. One day this will all make sense.” I wrote in my letter.

The trip never ended up happening. Casey told me his grandmom was sick and he had to stay home to take care of things and help his mom. But I didn’t buy it. I was so mad. I was so hurt. And I was so tired of hurting. I knew it was time to permantly write him off. But it wasn’t easy.

My mom did find the note. She wasn’t pleased.

She said she never ever would have allowed it. She knew more about Casey than I did. He wasn’t the great hero I thought he was.

Casey went bankrupt many, many times in his life. He was the business owner for many different businesses  which always failed. He worked many jobs, but none for ever more than a year (most were for less than 3 months at a time). He also went to many different schools.

Casey was a professional liar.

He was a con artist, and I was his victim.

Casey scammed me.

But he didn’t steal money from me or anything like that.

What he did was far worst.

He pretended to be the man of my dreams.He studied me as I wrote for Bit Rebels and he got to know me and what I want in life.

And he became that person for me. He was a phenomenal actor.

But it wasn’t real. None of it was.

I fell in love with the most beautiful lie in the world.

Oh, and Casey’s grandmom wasn’t sick. He actually did something huge in his life the weekend we were supposed to go away in DC.

Casey got engaged. To another random, hopeless girl from Ohio.

She didn’t live all that far from me, compared to the distance between Casey and I. She didn’t even look that much different and her age was closer to mine than his. She was very similar to me.

And I don’t believe he loves her, even though they’ve now been married for over a year. I don’t see love in him at all. And I feel so bad for that girl. Because I was her. But she’s even more far gone than I was. And her situation will be much more costly to get out of.

I didn’t necessarily get catfished from Casey. He was physically who he said he was, just not emotionally or personally.

But what happened to me was worst than being catfished. I fell in love with the man of my dreams — someone who was so perfect for me in every way possible…except for the fact that he didn’t exist. He wasn’t real.

But that person exists in my mind and I’m so in love with him. He is the standard in which all else will be compared to.

I have dated since it all went down with Casey and I’ve been in love with someone since him. I had my longest relationship that lasted for over a year with someone else that I loved very much. But I was never really sure if I loved him as much as I loved Casey, if I’m being completely honest. It was definitely close, but with Casey I felt this strange sense of hope that we could conquer the world together. I’m not sure I always felt that with Larry…sometimes I felt a bit of doubt that we could ever be like that.

It’s so frustrating. To have this feeling, to have this person, in my mind and in my heart that I’m in love with…who doesn’t even exist. I am holding out for the person who can make me feel what Casey made me feel…or something even better…when what I felt wasn’t even real. It’s probably not right to compare everyone to Casey…but I can’t help but do it. I can’t even explain it. It’s just how it is with me.

I can only hope and pray that one day, the “REAL” Casey will come around.

It won’t be the first love in my life, but maybe, if I’m lucky, it will be genuine, real, and the last love of my life.


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Image Credits: Careers Galaxy

Hi everyone and Happy May Day! It’s the start of a fresh new month filled with new writing possibilities! May has always been one of my favorite months because there are so many exciting things happening. My birthday is in exactly one week (yes, it’s Mother’s Day), the second draft of my novel, God Granted Me Hearing is almost complete, and there are several other projects in the works for me right now, some of which I currently have to stay mum on but I’ll discuss when the time is right.

For now, I’d like to kick off the month by doing a 30-day writing challenge I found posted on Facebook. Here’s the challenge for anyone else who is interested:

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Image Credits: The Writer’s Circle

As you can see, the first prompt is to write about 5 problems with social media. This is a little bit of a challenge for me since I make a living off of social media. However, while I love working with social media, even I am not immune to the fact that social media comes with several problems and drawbacks, too. Here are 5 problems with social media.

  1. It’s making us anti-social. It’s so easy to “like” things on Facebook and to comment on someone’s post or send them a message. When we have a screen separating us from people, we feel like we have protection and that makes us fearless. But what happens when we take away the screen? We lose our communication skills. Communicating online isn’t the same as communicating in real life. We as a society have gotten so good at communicating on social media that we forgot how to talk to each other in person. When we are alone with a group of our “friends” we often don’t know what to say, so we pull out our cell phones and talk to each other on Facebook or Twitter or send photos on SnapChat or Instagram instead. It’s pretty sad and well, depressing, which brings me to my next point…
  2. It depresses us. Thanks to social media, we are constantly made aware of what is going on in everyone else’s lives. We don’t really know these people or what their story really is. We probably don’t even ever talk to them. But we see the things that they post. We see the picture of their new expensive designer handbag. We hear about their new home, job promotion, new car. We see their engagement announcements and baby announcements. These are such happy, exciting times for those people, so why aren’t we happy for them? We are depressed instead of happy because rather than being happy for these people, we are forced to compare ourselves with them. We look at their lives and see how they compare to our own. Are we happy in love? Are we engaged or married and/or expecting a baby? Are we making the same amount of money? Are we as happy and successful as they are? While these people are often not on the same level as us (often times they are actually below us), we aren’t capable of seeing it that way. We only focus on what they have that we don’t have and then we devalue our own feelings of self worth and become depressed. Before social media, we didn’t have the ability to know so much about the people in our lives. We were happier before social media.

    3. It distorts the truth. On social media it is so easy to connect with anyone from any place in the world. This also means it is easy to become anyone in the world. How would anyone know? That random person you met online could actually be a terrorist. That 25 year old might be 55. The 18 year old could be 12. You don’t always know what’s true and what’s not.

    I learned this lesson the hard way. When I was in my early 20s, I met a man online through my work with Bit Rebels. He was in his early 30s. He was everything I ever wanted in a man and I loved him very much. He lived in Florida and I lived in NJ, which naturally posed some challenges for our relationship, but I did end up getting to meet him in person once when he came to NJ for a few days. We had a great time together. He really was the 32 year old Puerto Rican man from Florida that he said he was. However, personality and personal life wise, there were many things he hid from me. He was a con artist. He met many different women over the years just like me and he made himself the person that woman wanted. Then he would come home and break up with them and go on to the next one. He was also a failed businessman that has gone bankrupt multiple times and been fired from many jobs over the years. I never quite found out the truth about him, but I did learn a very important lesson; you can’t trust anyone online. No one is what they appear to be.

    4. It is being taken over by businesses.When is the last time you used social media without seeing a post or advertisement from a business? I can’t remember the last time I did. Even back in the last days of MySpace, businesses were starting to realize that if they wanted to reach people, they needed to be active on social media.

    I must admit I feel kind of guilty writing about this because I am part of the problem. I work in marketing and I market to people online such as through social media. I am fortunate and blessed that social media has had such a huge role in marketing because without it, I may not have a job. But at the same time, sometimes all of that marketing and all of those ads from businesses on social media gets really annoying and I yearn for the days when social media didn’t exist and I couldn’t be as easily marketed to.

    5. It’s highly addictive.I will be the first one to admit that I am highly addicted to social media. It’s so easy to become addicted because it’s always there. I have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest LinkedIn, and SnapChat all installed on my smart phone. My phone is constantly going off with notifications about someone on social media. I can and have on multiple occasions wasted an entire day doing nothing more than posting on Facebook. That’s no way of living life.

    I am getting much better with my social media addiction though. I realized there is more to life than social media and so much more that I want to do. I always say I don’t do things I enjoy because I don’t have time for them. Actually, that’s not always true. The truth is that I don’t do things I enjoy because I waste all of my time on social media.

    For the past couple of weeks I have been really limiting myself to how much time I spend on social media (with the exception of work related usage). Instead of constantly being on social media, when I’m not at work I try to abide by the following schedule: Read a chapter or two of a book, read the latest industry-relevant news posted on LinkedIn or Twitter (in this case social media is different, I’m not using it recreationally but for my career), color a picture (I love to color in adult coloring books – it relaxes me), read your bible, pray, clean the house, go for a walk or go to the gym, edit your book, write a blog post, watch TV.By the time I get all of these things done (It’s very rare that I have time in the day to do ALL of them), I don’t have time to waste on social media, and I’m more than okay with that. I have been much more productive as of late and I’ve also been much happier.


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Image Credits: Raychel Mendez

Last week I read an article on Thought Catalog by Aiz Alegre titled “Loving You Was Worth The Heartbreak”. I can’t get this article off of my mind. It was so perfect. It described everything I felt, and still do feel, for Casey so well. I had to double check the author’s name on more than one occasion to make sure someone didn’t publish something I have written. It was absolutely something I’d write and very similar to the blog posts I already wrote regarding my relationship with Casey. 

 

Some of my friends were a bit less than happy with me for posting a link to the Thought Catalog article and talking about how much I related to it, how it described everything I felt. But here’s the thing: I do believe Casey was worth all of the heartbreak and pain he brought on to me. I will never regret our relationship. And I don’t think this is a bad thing at all.

I can’t begin to describe everything I felt, experienced, and been through regarding my relationship with Casey. At best, I can only attempt,  but I don’t believe anyone else will ever fully understand or comprehend how much Casey meant to me or the impact this relationship had on me, how or why it was different from anything I ever experienced, and why, despite all of the pain, I still feel it was worth it.

Here’s the thing, Casey broke my heart and screwed with my emotions. He did some screwed up things that I will never fully comprehend and I no longer know what was or wasn’t real.The only thing I know for sure is that I was crazy about him…crazy in love with him.

When we broke up I felt pain like never before. I felt utterly broken. I’m pretty sure I felt all 7 stages of grief 10xs over. I cried. I broke things. blogged. I felt anger. I felt okay. I felt happy. I accepted it was over. I begged him to take me back. We worked on getting back together, and everything repeated itself several times. It was a rollercoaster.

I have now finally accepted that this is truly over and done with. We will never get married. We will never bear children. We will never have our happily ever after. But that’s okay. I loved and I lost, but it’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.

I learned a lot from my relationship with Casey, and I’m still learning everyday.

 The three most important lessons I learned are:

1. Love is not sex. You don’t have to have sex to love someone. Love in itself should be enough. I never have felt a deeper form of love than what I felt for Casey. We obviously weren’t having sex considering we couldn’t see each other being 1,000 miles away. Love was enough…for awhile, anyway.

 

2. Never settle. Casey was everything I ever wanted in a partner…or at least I thought he was. It was the perfect relationship until he left. That kinda ruined things. But I haven’t dated anyone or really even looked too closely at anyone since we broke up. No one has compared — everything has been a huge step down. Why am I going to settle for something that isn’t truly going to make me happy? Something better than Casey exists and in time I will find it. Why bother wasting time on things that I don’t want, that won’t make me happy in the mean time?

 

3. Regret nothing. Everyone comes into your life for a reason. Never regret something that once made you smile. Life is a never ending learning experience. Everything happens for a reason. I needed Casey in my life at this time for a reason. I learned a lot from Casey. Yes, it didn’t last. Yes he broke my heart and practically destroyed me. But yes, I would also do it all over again in a heart beat. Casey confirmed what I always suspected, what I wanted so badly to believe to be the truth. I know it is the truth now — it is absolutely possible to fall madly, stupidly, passionately in love with someone. To be completely attracted to them based on the person they are (or I guess it’s more appropriate in this case to say the person I believed Casey to be, since I’m not sure what was or wasn’t real…). To be in love with their soul and to fill a spiritual connection…as if your two hearts, souls, emotions, everything is completely in sync with each other. Love does not have to be a physical thing at all…it is so much more. 

 

My relationship with Casey was amazing, but it didn’t last. When it ended it was painful. Very, very painful. But I know it’s over and done with and the pain is finally starting to reside. What I had with Casey is the kind of thing most people  could only dream of having…the kind of thing you only read about in books. But it was real, very really, and I don’t and never will regret it.

 

On a more positive note, Casey is not my Prince Charming. He is not the one.

Something…someone better…is out there for me. I will get my happy ending in time. And if what I had with Casey was a magical, wanderlust of a love story, well, no words have been invented to describe the next chapter in the (hopefully) everlasting love story. I’m excited to find it when the time is right, though. 

In short, Casey, it’s done. It’s over with. It was amazing. It was painful. It was amazingly painful. But it was worth it. Loving you was worth the heart break. 



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