Divorce on Tuesday; Couple’s Tattoos on Saturday

The last several weeks have been centered around chaos and turmoil in my home which has sadly kept me from my true intentions by allowing it to do so. After my crush decided he only wanted to be friends, my life began to really change drastically between my husband and myself. The night I got the news and wrote a blog about it and my husband was very triggered and we got a fight after a great night at our favorite bar. 

That night I told him his inability to allow me to do things with others outside of my relationship plutonically makes me miserable. He thought about it for a bit and then decided it would probably be better off if we ended our ten year relationship and got a divorce as he didn’t know if he could stop using his fear of abandonment against me. I stated that was not what I wanted, I wanted him to work on his emotions so that I could also continue to work on healing myself.

A few days later a family altercation on my birthday lead to a week’s worth of verbal abuse over social media between my husband and step brother, I quit my job as my grandmother’s caregiver, and my husband had a miniature melt down that slammed him with depression and self loathing. This lead to him getting a therapist through his health insurance and he has currently attended one session. Due to our fight with family, we missed our first marriage counseling session since December because we did not have a babysitter. I wish now we would have just taken our daughter with us as we cannot get back in again until mid June.

My husband returned to work as normal the next week and I had resumed talking  to my crush now friend fairly often since my birthday. He had an accident on an ATV in his front yard and sustained a concussion. After intially refusing to go to the hospital, he was acting strange for several days. He ended up having some personal issues as a result of his concussion symptoms​ and I had been checking in on him daily because I was genuinely worried about him.

This past Tuesday I asked my friend when an upcoming appointment was and he responded sometime in March. I asked if he meant March, 2018 and he responded “No, March of this year.” I told him that it was now April, 2017 and asked if he knew what day it was. He responded about his concussion and then I did not hear from him at all. I began to get frantic as I read some of the injuries that could form from a concussion and thought I should go check on him.

I knew from his description somewhere close to where I thought he lived and headed there as soon as I got my family fed at my husband’s suggestion. He asked me to just check on my friend and come home as soon as I could. I agreed to his request but soon disregarded it after my arrival and text messages kept coming every twenty minutes. I know my husband has social and anxiety issues, but after ten years of being back in his life and fully committed to him, my normal empathy for his feelings was replaced with anger.

I hadn’t seen my friend since around St. Patrick’s day or interacted with him in any flirtatious manner since the decision to be friends was made. I wanted to make sure my friend was really alright and in all honesty we probably had the best conversation we have ever had this far in our journey; except for my rising anxiety at the angry texts coming from my husband. I was incredibly irritated by this point and decided that if he didn’t trust me enough to even talk with someone I care about after all these years that he never really had and realized this happened every time I left the house for the most part.

I have never cheated on him, and I isolated myself for a decade because he would always have something negative to say about the people I choose to spend time with. When he comes along to something he is not interested in attending he makes me miserable by constantly sighing, rolling his eyes, or tapping his foot. If he stays home, he makes me miserable constantly texting me and demanding the attention still be placed on him by my rising anxiety to check my phone constantly in the hopes to not return home to a hurt or irrate husband. That night I got sick of walking on the eggshells and decided they cut too deep.

I returned home two and half hours after I left my home, admittedly at a very late time. My husband was asleep on the couch where he said he would be and I approached him to speak with him. He was madder than I had ever seen him in the seventeen years we have known one another. He asked me to get away from him because all he felt was betrayal and rage and he wanted to hit me for the first time ever, to cause me pain. He did say he did not really want to physically hit me nor would he hit me so I left and went to the bedroom.

The next morning he was very icy as he dressed for work and left with little to no interaction. We texted and fought all day long and when he got off work that afternoon we sat down and he told me he wanted a divorce. He said he would not be able to forgive me for my actions and that all trust and faith in me were gone. He was infuriated that as a mental health professional I had put another mans welfare before his and that I was unable to understand how far the depths of the feelings he had been holding inside really were. 

I was shocked and immediately started crying. I asked him to wait for a bit, to do more therapy, get a proper diagnosis, and perhaps start some medication before making a final decision about the fate of our relationship. We both agreed to work on things between now and the end of May and reasses where we are both at then. We both love each other tremendously, I would not have stayed with a man I did not love for a decade. I know that if we stay together or divorce I will always love him as a friend, father, and someone I know that will always genuinely love me back. 

We decided that we would continue to get our couples tattoos because of this reason and kept our appointment yesterday instead of cancelling as originally planned after Tuesdays events. I told my husband I no longer give him permission to read my messages but that I was not going to change my passwords. If he reads something now that he does not like, it will not be my responsibility to handle the emotions that arise for them. I will do the same in return and own my actions. This decision was made after stumbling on a post in a poly group in which most advised against this type of behavior in a healthy relationship, especially in a poly one. I also did this at his request to not vent about him to others I know after he stated that venting on my blog would even be better for him, and received this advice from multiple sources.

I need my husband to trust me when I spend time with plutonic friends or even others I love because without it, we have nothing. I need my husband to know that I am level headed enough to take care of myself and although I am still learning new boundaries, I’m stronger than I have ever been in every aspect of my life. I would not do anything to intentionally hurt anyone,  and I know I have areas to improve and my husband does as well. I’ve realized that even if my husband does not care for the people I care to have in my life, that is his problem.

I will continue to work with him on becoming more comfortable with me being away from him and check in, try to be honest as possible, and be realistic in my time frames to the best of my abilities. I would like for my husband in turn allow me the time and respect to do the things I enjoy with or without him, and without intimidating me with guilt or fear of conflict and the barage of negative comments about myself, my decisions, and my loves and intrests. 

In the past three weeks I am happier now than I have ever been simply because I know that I am healing, I’m not afraid to be alone, and I’m tired of living my life according to everyone else’s feelings. I will continue to put my husband and household before my free time, but I will start doing things I enjoy with people I enjoy being with and hope it works to a satisfactory compromise with my husband.

I do not know if my husband has been checking my messages at this point, but I also no longer care as I never had a reason to hide in the first place and I still do not. It feels strange that the week your husband tells you he wants a divorce is the same week you get a couple’s tattoo and write about how you still feel happy about your life, but it is the life I live. I do love my husband, and if he choose to leave, I would be lying to say it wouldn’t be reluctantly on my part. 

He is my best friend and support system, he is the one that has gotten me through the pits and cracks our traumas have caused us and always stood by my side. I know we are very different from one another and it takes so much work for me and him to remain together, but so far it has been worth it and I’m committed to continue working on it until we determine what is truly best for us and our children. I hope he feels the same and that we are able to overcome the obstacles placed in front of us.

I Went Out While My Husband Kept the Kids

I normally do not venture to far from my husband during his off time. We enjoy being around one another and value the alone time we do get although our intrests vary greatly. Last Friday was no different, I wanted to listen to a friend play a show at a local venue, we had no babysitter, and Andy wanted to play video games. I found our new friend was going to the event and Andy decided he would be all right if I went. I hastily prepared for my last minute plans and was surprised when Andy rushed me out of the door.

The event was BYOB so I turned into a liquor store to grab a six pack of beer. As I did I saw a woman riding her bike in my headlights. I slowed to almost a complete stop when she lost her balance and fell over. I pulled into a safe spot and made sure she was okay before proceeding to make my purchase. A few minutes later I arrived at my destination and my friend came out to great me. I entered the venue and almost immediately became paralyzed by social anxiety. I felt so weird to be out without Andy or another family member, but it was also fun.

My friend helped himself to a seven layer dip and I quietly stood by the kitchen cabinets and took in the scene. A man approached me and introduced himself and when I replied with my name, he responded that his brother had the same name as me. We chatted for a bit and then we made our way to the back balcony so the group could smoke. I gazed at the Fayetteville skyline while the others laughed and chatted and checked my phone. Andy had messaged me, just to check in. I smiled and began to relax and we checked in with each other throughout the night.

The man that introduced himself to me apparently took a liking towards me and I spent most of the evening deflecting his advances, I was there to see my friend not hook up with a random man. We laughed as the man continued to try to touch my breasts, he was being polite and asking but I was not going for it. As the night wound down, we helped clean up the venue and proceeded to get ready to leave. I checked my phone and Andy had been texting and was not happy with my lack of contact over the last hour or so.

We stayed out later than I expected and Andy began to get annoyed, as is understandable. When we arrived at the house, Andy was asleep on the couch. I tried to wake him so we could visit with our friend for a moment, but he did not wake up. The tension was fairly thick so I sat between my husband and our friend on the couch. Andy finally got up and went to bed upset, and I stayed to visit with our friend until he fell asleep.


I invited him to the bedroom, but he declined. I left and went to my bed with my husband, however we went to sleep with much tension between the two of us. The next morning was a bit better, but Andy was still visably upset. I took our friend back to his vehicle and we said our good-byes. I thoroughly enjoyed my night out, and I also learned valuable experiences for my relationship. Andy and I discussed his feelings about the previous night’s events and I listened and understood his concerns. 

While I never imagined I would go to an event with another man I was attracted to while being a married woman, I have to say it was really a great time. My husband would have been miserable at the venue and the music was not anything he would ever listen to. I got to see one friend perform, which I thoroughly enjoy, and get to know our new friend better at the same time. We did not kiss, we did not have sex, we held hands and we talked. It felt really wonderful to be able to connect with someone I like to be around and knowing that even annoyed, my husband would be waiting for me without a worry of him leaving me.

I am proud we have a relationship in which I can go do the things I want with the people I enjoy being around and not have to feel guilty about it. Of course I missed my husband on my night out, but I also know how uncomfortable and miserable the evening would have been for all of us had we insisted he be present as well. Of course jealousy pops its head in, my heart jumped when I saw him entering data on a dating sight, but it was short lived after a brief conversation. 

My main concern was that he had downloaded it without telling me first and I wanted to know if he was going to let me in on the knowledge. He assured me he was and my feelings subsided. I want my husband to meet someone that he can enjoy spending time with doing his intrests and in turn allow me to do the same with mine. I enjoy the value our new friend adds to our relationship currently, with the negative and positive emotions that have arisen. 

I know I’ll be jealous when my husband does meet another pretty lady to spend time with, but I love him enough to know that he would pick someone that added value to our relationship as well. While I never expected to be in this type of relationship, I am thrilled at where we are at this far and I’m beyond excited to see where things go from here. I have learned through this experience that as we continue to grow and change, our relationships must grow and change to fit. Growth is uncomfortable, but it is necessary for relationship survival, and that is one lesson I can say I am proud to have learned through this experience.

I Will Become; a Year Later

I originally made this post at this time last year to my Facebook wall in an attempt to let go of some of the anger and resentment I continued to hold on to from the last time I was in an abusive relationship, which thankfully has been eleven years ago now. I haven’t written about these stories on here yet, but I felt it was important to reflect on where I was a year ago and to document  where I am now. At this time last year the person that I wrote this poem about was on my no contact list. Although he is very much still a part of my life through family, I went for several years with no contact with him in an attempt to heal myself. From 2013 until this past August we did not share a word, and after some pressure from other family members who were not knowledgeable of our past began to pressure me to speak with him again, I decided I could compartmentalize enough to handle a person to person interaction if it were to manifest itself.

I started speaking with him again through Facebook messenger and by occasionally commenting on posts that I passed in my news feed. One day, right after Thanksgiving, which he did not attend, I commented on a post he made about how much simpler life was if one told the truth. I responded with “you don’t say ;)” in my attempt to show that our past was something I was working on healing. He took it the wrong way and deleted my comment which immediately triggered me into my past belief that nothing I say matters to anyone, my opinions, thoughts, dreams, etc. I asked him about it and we discussed it for a bit, and then he left the conversation with “we will talk about this soon.” We never did. I just decided he was never going to give me the validation I needed or wanted from him and I have not talked to him through messenger since. I do occasionally comment on posts I find relevant  but I will no longer have emotionally charged conversations about our past.

I will never get the answers that I want.I do not know if it is because he cannot or does not want to give them to me, but that is out of my control. Just like my current situation with my friend and suddenly being blocked, I have done all I can do. I have reached out and said and made my peace. I have no idea if he has read it, I have no idea if he will ever respond to it, but it is absolutely no longer in my control. I am still working on becoming the person I am today, but everyday I get closer to knowing who she is. I learn more about myself, my behaviors, and why I choose to behave that way. I am absolutely not ashamed of my past anymore, and I do not have any more secrets to hide.

I have learned that my secrets are not ones that everyone wants to hear, and I never expected that they would be. I simply want those that want to be in my life to accept me for who I am, all of my battle scars, regardless of where they came from or who gave them to me. I spent my entire life trying to fit into the lives of others, and all I have ever gotten from that is misery. I want to continue to grow with my husband and family in whichever lessons life throws at us, and I want to keep moving forward with my goals and dreams. While I may not have “become” last year, I know that I am still working on becoming her, and so far, while I still make mistakes and have insecurities, I like her–a whole lot.

*The following was written last January 14, 2016

January 14, 2006 I walked away from what has thankfully been my last toxic and traumatic experience in my life. The next 7.5 years were fueled by self-medication, denial, and not really knowing why I thought and acted the way I did. When I finally started to understand that my experiences had greatly effected the person I always thought I was, I finally was able to ask for help. Since then, my life has gotten better. I am learning who I am and I am able to accept that had my past experiences never taken place, I would not be the person that I am today. If you or anyone you know are in an abusive relationship of any kind with anyone, please encourage them to ask for help.

I can honestly say that the longer you deny and hope that it all just goes away, it doesn’t until you work through it. It is hard, it sucks, but it feels a hell of a lot better than being stuck. I debated making this post because it exposes me and some of my past, but as of this time in my life I have decided that I can own my past, I don’t have to be embarrassed or ashamed, and I take my responsibility in creating whatever problems I created for myself and others, and I do what I can to be the best person possible.

This year my resolution was to not visit my past unless it was necessary for healing or growth and not denying my emotions when they arise. My goal this year is to face my intrusive thoughts and work through my traumas as I re-experience them instead of continuing to ignore them. Because of that I am sharing a poem I wrote. It is significant to me because the last time I wrote was when I was living in the above mentioned situation. It took me almost a decade to write anything for pleasure because I shut myself down for ten years of my life. I am ready to live again.

I Will Become

I see you; everywhere.
I erased you for so long.
Myself too.

Radiantly beaming; seemingly with ease.
Flashing the smile I used to long to see;
Strangely always a comfort.

The love you give and show now,
So effortlessly and free,
Stabs me to the core.

Like thorns from the decade old rose,
Unbelievably still in my possession.
The only symbol of beauty or love in which you did not destroy.

Hard, frail, dead;
The way you left me,
Huddled in a tearful mass on our apartment floor.

Memories constantly pulsing through me;
The good and bad torment my soul.
Electrifying, intense, impulsive; just as you were.

I miss you, I love you, but the person I love was only an illusion.
No heat, no phone, coins to survive; seeking death.
Abandoned by you, I had to save myself.

My control an attempt to resist your demands.
Your power, isolation, fear; my ultimate savior.
Betrayed; you took all I gave you, everything.

You left me with scraps of a life,
I will never know again.
Shocked and hopeless; my light smothered.

Broken, destroyed, weak; invisible.
Denial, trying to make the pain stop.
Cover it all up and bury it deep.

Exploding rage, grave mistakes;
A silent plea for help
Before deciding to overcome.

We will never be the same again.
I can’t.
You nauseate me, yet I grieve for you.

Frozen, paralyzed; numb.
Was it real?
Was any of it ever real?

So fooled by you and jaded by the rest;
Hopeful for a fresh start, but stabbed in the back,
Night, after night, after night.

Your evil; masked by my love and gullibility.
Lies, deceit, chaos;
I died a little bit each day.

Stomach growling; my heart devouring itself.
Curled in the red chair; alone.
I just wanted someone to love me, but I banished the true.

I had so much to give and share;
It was never wanted or appreciated;
Taken for granted.

You didn’t want me, but you didn’t want them to have me.
Lonely and miserable;
Always steadily idle.

Hoping for the slightest hint of affection;
But only able to give you what you wanted, until someone else offered more.
Discarded like the trash I ate for food.

My passion and intimacy stripped; raped emotionally.
My ability to know real love long forgotten;
I cannot feel.

I fight myself daily.
A chameleon in my own skin; hoping not to be revealed.
Judged, ridiculed, rejected again.

Sick of hurting.
Sick of thinking and re-thinking.
It’s all so stupid-you didn’t care, never did.

But why should I?
Why should I still care?
Because they tell me you’re different now;

You’re sober now; happy.
Rebuilt your life to your liking.
I’m choking and stumbling to make it through the day, and every day since I left you there.

Never even the slightest hint of an apology;
Not one.
“Mutual partners in crime” was the stated belief.

You’ve been out of my life for so long, but I still hold on to every single memory.
Do I want to?
Is it because it is all I have left of you?

The thought of you invokes panic.
I wouldn’t know what to say to you.
I have nothing left to say.

You can’t torment me anymore.
I have to let you go; from my thoughts, my dreams, my life.
They are mine.

I can forgive you.
I can wish you happiness.
But I can no longer be a part of you.

“I’ll always have you,” you said, “You’ll be there forever, I already told you bye.”
Final words muttered to my desperate pleas.
Your anchors can’t drown me anymore.

I will heal my wounds and become;
A lover he deserves, a mother they hopefully cherish,
The person I desire to be, the dreamer I was.

The one I’ve been hiding for so long;
From myself, them, the world.
No longer ashamed.

I will rise above.
The names you made me believe, the lies you told, the fear you instilled;
The trust you stole, the loyalty you shattered; the hurt.

You never gave me your time.
Why do I keep giving you mine?
I will set myself free; I will become.

respect

Back to the basics

Having PTSD has taught me numerous and countless lessons in my life so far but the ones I have the most problems fixing or correcting seem like they should be the simplest to overcome. Remembering to eat, or that I’m hungry, forgetting to set out something for dinner, the piles of random items placed with the intentions of one day making it to their assigned designation, the forgotten medication, freshly washed laundry still in the machine two days after you started them; I could probably keep going, but just simple things I used to take for granted that seem like such a massive accomplishment now.

I know it gets annoying and is hard to live with. I’m reminded fairly often by multiple people, so it isn’t just one person that notices. How I’m late everywhere I need to be, I don’t communicate effectively, I don’t know what social barriers are acceptable to cross with new people, and I either end up intimidated and shutting down or freaking them out to the point that they just disappear. Shutting down and being numb are no strangers to me.I spent so many years that way because the few times I did try to talk about it at various times in my life, I’ve always been asked to stop when I brought it up. Was I sure? What responsibility did I place on myself for putting myself in that position? Did I try to fight? Why didn’t I tell anyone in charge? The would have, should have, could haves already consume me daily since they happened. They are not something I have never thought about. But they are absolutely things that I could not control because ultimately the responsibility comes down to the person committing the action. I thought being quiet was the only acceptable thing to do about my past because after talking to others about my experiences and their rejection, it was really the only way for me to survive.

This afternoon my husband was snippy as is pretty typical during the work week, and for the obvious aforementioned reason of lack of housework I already don’t get done being the main troublemaker. Anyhow, we were discussing things and he made a blunt statement, that no one wants to hear about my past, I’m a very boring person (I know I am a nerd, but I still think this one is debatable), and I guess now that I’m not instant messaging with others, all I want to do is spend time on Facebook or this blog. I get it, my past isn’t pretty, but it is what made me, me. How am I ever supposed to heal from past wounds if I’m never allowed to grieve them, let them out, accept them, rediscover the person that was left in the aftermath, and continue to attempt to live a fulfilling life if I keep shoving all of it down for only my brain to consume itself with?

It is hard for me to feel comfortable in many situations while trying to act like everything is fine on the outside but all I want to do is run and hide on the inside. I think I have to get out my  past troubles before I can get back to the basics of living the life that I desire. I hope by using this outlet as my means of healing, I will be able to make more meaningful connections with people in the future, that are fulfilling and nurturing on both ends. When people ask me why I think and feel the way I do about things that are so different from the views I held as a child, but then make no attempt to meet me where I am at presently in my life, it makes it really hard for me to answer them. I usually end up saying something to the effect of “the eyes can’t change what they have seen and the ears can’t un-hear the things they were told.” I can adapt my beliefs to fit my new world beliefs, but I cannot and I never will be the person I was before the Navy and I wouldn’t want to be. PTSD and all.

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Cat fishing: You never know what you are going to get.

Catfish lurk in dark areas of the water and mud, not unlike those that intentionally pursue relationships with real people under the guise of another, they have to be in a dark place to do this in the first place. Cat fishing has grown in the recent years, however my first experience with it was when I was 17 years old. My small town in South East Arkansas was slow to get new technology, especially our household, so to say I was surprised to find a computer with internet access connected in our home after I returned from my Dad’s and our summer trip to Woodstock, I was over the moon. I had gotten to go to my dream festival and now I would have a way to keep in touch with the people I met during our travels.

We finally made it through the summer working hard and saving up our money and it came time to depart for our trip to New York. We drove up in Dad’s old jeep and made many pit stops along the way. I wanted to be a criminologist so we stopped in DC so I could get an FBI shirt. My brother was obsessed with baseball so we spent a couple of days in Cooperstown, NY to see the Baseball Hall of Fame. My dad, the history buff, ensured we made our way through Hersey and Gettysburg, PA, and we got to make a stop in Scranton, PA to see my cousins that I had not seen since childhood.

The day finally arrived that we made our way to the festival. We quickly unpacked our jeep and worked our way to the front gate entrance. We finally were admitted and scouted out what we thought was the perfect spot in an already crowded camping area. We got everything set up and then spent the next four days exploring, learning, meeting, and thriving with all of the people that we came across. I met friends from all over and went from camp to camp to spend time with them, always after I had checked back in with my Dad of course. I had the most freedom I had ever had in my entire life, yet I was still a pretty sheltered child. I did not do any drugs or have sex with anyone at the festival. I left it still a virgin.

We returned to Crossett and my parents had surprised us by getting the internet at our home. I quickly logged into the “world” as I called it back then and began chatting with people almost immediately. My parents had no knowledge of the dangers of the internet or giving out personal information to strangers online, so I never thought twice when I started talking to a man I met in the Woodstock chat room. He said he was twenty-two and had been at the festival with his friends. I was still seventeen.

We began an online relationship as I knew there were not any guys interested in me in my town, or if they were, I never knew it. I had never had a date, I had been made fun of and lied about the first time I kissed a boy, so I to say the least, I was smitten with my new “love.” He gave me attention and compliments I had never had before. He made me feel wanted and special, and that anyone would be lucky to end up with a girl like me. I finally sent him a picture in the mail and we began writing not only on the internet but back and forth to each other as well.

We talked on the phone, he sent me gifts, he sent me money. None of these were items I asked for, he just did it he said because he liked me. One day after school I hurried home to check my inbox before scuttling off to dance practice and there was no message. I thought it was odd as he always left me messages before practice during the week. When I got home that night and finally logged back into the computer, I got it.

Across my screen in bold letters, “JACK IS NOT THE MAN YOU THINK HE IS.” At first I thought he must be playing some kind of trick, so when I responded ‘What?” a flood of messages came across my screen back to me. The next message stated that I was no longer talking to Jack, but his wife instead. She informed me that Jack was a Vietnam veteran, whom I later found out as technology progressed is older than my Stepdad, and was pretending to be twenty-two year old son who was incarcerated for vehicular homicide.

My heart dropped immediately. How could I do this to another woman, I thought. What did she know about me, what did he tell her. All of this was stupid, of course, I did not do anything to cause his problems, but at the time, I was mortified. She told me she had installed software on the computer and had been reading all of our conversations for the past several months. She asked me to stop talking to him in an effort to save her marriage. She never said anything about me only being seventeen or that a much older married man had tricked me into having intimate conversations with him.

My sense of security and trust changed after that. I wasn’t sure who to believe as the cognitive dissonance was too much to bear. He attempted to contact me again after the initial confrontation, as a man his own age, but I found it hard to differentiate between reality and bull shit the longer we continued to speak. I eventually stopped talking to him after I was stationed in Virginia Beach, two or three years after his wife busted him. In fact, after I returned from cruise, I was in his area in New Hampshire to get my friends belongings to bring back to her ship in Norfolk. I spoke with him on the phone that day for the last time in my life.

Although this man never met me, he had an enormous impact on my development.  The only relationship I had before Jack was with the guy that lied about me and made fun of the way I kissed. I started to doubt myself and my self-esteem continued to plummet. After Jack’s outing, he tried to be like a father-figure type I guess, and would tell me how proud he was of me. He sent me money for toilet paper and food in college, a four hundred dollar check for graduation, and many, many letters.

A few years back, I looked him on social media to see what he was up to, to finally see the face of the man that knew me inside and out. I found him, and he is still with his wife. His son is out of prison now, his youngest is grown, he’s a grandfather, and the least gratifying thing I found out was that he had been named the winner of an award in his community for being an outstanding citizen with exemplary re pore. I felt sick to my stomach. I wondered how many other minors besides me there were during his years of online sex seeking adventures while his wife and kids went about their normal routines in their home.

It made me wonder how many others this had happened to? Did they still think of their cat fishers? Did they still feel exposed and violated the way I did, half a lifetime later? Did they still trust others or had the experience made them a better or worse person for it? Finally when the television show catfish came out, I realized this happened to people all over the world. It made me horribly sad to think that so many people were out there making these connections through invisible means, but did it ever really lead to happiness?

As a seventeen year old girl, excited that a guy liked me, for me, for the first time was a big thing. The violation I felt after this incident stayed with me throughout the remainder of my other relationships, and is still with me today. Why do people treat others with so little respect to get a few mere minutes of gratification? I may never know the answer, and of course, I trusted and put myself out in the world again, but each time I do there is always a little reminder that Jack and others like him are everywhere in this world. They can’t keep us from trusting and loving others, but they will always leave their mark on the innocent souls they deceived.