Moving Forward

I know I’ve been silent here lately. Life is challenging. Every Friday, I relive getting the call telling my dad is gone forever. Everyday I try to balance work, my daughter, her activities, my own mental health. I have started chatting with someone online again. I don’t expect anything from it, but the point is I am moving forward. I am trying.

The past weekend was very difficult.

First, my computer crashed. Two of my jobs require a working computer. So, I had to go and buy a new computer. Talk about stress. Spending that much and deciding which bills could wait.

Second, a very difficult thing, I changed my social media profile picture. Since my dad’s death, my profile picture has been the last picture of us together. He has been gone for three-and-a-half months. I changed my picture. I still cry thinking about it all. I don’t want to seem like I am forgetting him. I’m not. He crosses my mind hundreds of times a day. I don’t want to be stuck in the past either. My dad loved life. He would want me to love life, too. He would want me to keep moving forward.

Third, dealing with my ex. Sundays are my days with my daughter. They are typically the one day where we are not running from one activity or job. We can relax. We can enjoy spending time together. Well, softball is starting up. Ex asked if he could keep her a little longer on Sunday to take her to the sports store to buy her some gear. I of course said no problem. I mean, she needed equipment. She has outgrown her helmet and cleats. Her facemask got busted last semester when she got hit in the face. Plus, she needed to be there to pick out her equipment. He brings her home with new equipment. Six hours later, ex shows back up at my door wanting her back. Saying she asked him if she could spend the night. I wanted to scream. I seriously wanted to punch him. I fought back anger and tears. I knew he was lying to me. I went ahead and let him take her for the night. I told him not to pull that on me again. I try to do what is best for my daughter. Of course, I would love to have her 24/7.

Online Dating Makes You Less Empathetic

Hope everyone survived Valentine’s Day. Mine was just another day. I gave my daughter a gift. I avoided social media for the most part – get so tired of seeing everyone post flowers, candy, gifts, rings. Had parent-teacher conferences, ex came, but my daughter has straight A’s. I’m so proud of her. She is absolutely amazing!

So, back to my original point – Online dating makes you less empathetic. Agree? Disagree?

With yesterday being Valentine’s Day, the news had a story about how to avoid scams with online dating. This one victim gave her suitor over $50,000. She said she was a caring person. She wanted to help.

I remember when I first joined the world of online dating. I wanted to be empathetic to everyone. I gave second chances when guys stood me up on dates. I was caring.

I was stupid.

Almost four years experience with online dating I have found myself to be less empathetic towards these guys.

For example, I had on message me that he was going through “a very, very sad time” because he just lost his girlfriend of three years. Now, if a friend was going through a sad time I would ask them to talk to me – lost because of a break-up? lost due to death?

This guy? Hell no. *BLOCK* Red flags screamed at me.

First scenario, let’s say the girlfriend died. That is a common scam. Usually the wife/girlfriend dies in a car wreck. Let’s pretend she really did die and it was not a scam. Hell, I’m still working through my dad’s death (car wreck ironically enough) why would I torture myself right now to try to “fix” a guy.

Second scenario, he lost her due to a break-up. No thanks! If you are not over your ex, I am not interested!! These guys are lonely and just want a warm body to jump into bed with. They don’t care about you, just them.

See, online dating makes you less empathetic. Almost have to take a break just to avoid becoming a cold-hearted bitch…

Loneliness

The other day my mom called me. She was watching the news and there was a car accident where I lived. So, she was calling to make sure it wasn’t me in the accident.

During our conversation, I could tell when her mood changed. It went from talking about good and pleasant things to depression and loneliness.

She asked me “how do you deal with the loneliness?”

Keep in mind that my mom married my dad when she was 16. She’d been with him for 35 years. This “loneliness” is a brand new life for her.

I remember dealing with the loneliness when I first stopped seeing my ex-husband. Days that he had our daughter, I spent hours staring at a wall. Sitting in the dark. Crying. Not functioning. Completely lost.

Everyone expected me to be fine. I was the one that filed for divorce. I should have been fine with the outcome. The loneliness.

I knew my mom wanted an answer. I did my best. I responded “You learn to live with the new normal.” Dad is never coming back. As hard as it is to think about, it is true. We can not go back into time and prevent his death.

That was the best I could describe it. I understand she is lonely. I understand she lost her soul mate. I never imaged that I would be the one having to comfort and give my mom knowledge about hard life lessons.

Now, I’m not going to lie… the loneliness is hard. But the truth is you adapt. You seriously do learn how to live in the new normal. You find things to keep your self busy. You find people to talk to. You enjoy your time with yourself.

The truth is, I’m not lonely anymore. I enjoy my me time. I would like to be in a relationship, but I’m not trying very hard to find one. I don’t mind being alone.

Pushy Guys

I don’t care if you’ve been trying online dating for one hour or one year, you are going to come across some pushy guys (and girls). I’ve had my online dating accounts for almost four years now – WOW. That’s insane to say that number out loud – and I still deal with pushy guys.

Okay. First off, know what you want. If you want casual sex, friends with benefit, a relationship – whatever – know what you want and don’t be pressured into anything other than that.

Second, protect yourself. Common sense don’t provide personal information online. Make sure you meet in public. Make sure someone knows where you are when you are meeting someone.

Third, don’t take it personally. You have to have thick skin to handle online dating. Seriously.

So, I received a message from this one guy. He had several pictures of himself, but I still had a feeling about him. We exchanged a couple of messages – I was watching for red flags of a scammer. His grammar was deceit (he used “cuz” and that drove me insane! We are not junior high students anymore.) Then the red flag – he asked for my phone number.

Now, some might think that if we were exchanging messages then exchanging phone numbers would be a good idea to continue to the conversation. NO! I haven’t handed out my number in years. I learned that lesson a long time ago.

My favorite app to use is kik. You don’t have to use your phone number or email address (Skype connected to my email information. Viber connected to my actual phone number. Google Hangouts connected to my google account.) kik is free to download. You create an ID and password. You can call, text, video chat, and exchange photos with kik. It is easy to block people. It is fairly user friendly.

Anyway, this guy asked for my phone number. I declined. He continued by saying he’s not on that site very often so texting would be easier. That’s the trap. You think you are missing this opportunity to continue to talk to someone – maybe “the one” – if you do not give them your phone number. Nah. You’re not missing out on anything. They are still going to be on that site. Once you give them your phone number they are able to access your real name and physical address. Also, if your Facebook is connected to your phone number then they can find you there.

I offered my kik. He ignored and still asked for my phone number. Bye boy.

Dating is like Shopping

First off, I’ve survived another insane week. Went three days without water at my house (a water main busted). That was an adventure… Oh, and subzero temperatures froze the lock on my car one morning. I was about to break through the window just to be able to get into my car for work. I go to the doctor tomorrow for my follow-up. Unsure about my feelings on going back to the doctor.

Okay, okay. So, a zombie popped back up on one of my dating sites. I’d messaged this guy ages ago. Honestly, I don’t remember if he responded (a part of me says “no,” but he claims we exchanged messages). But, I am guarded. I am leery about him right away. I don’t like zombies coming back – I’ve learned that lesson!! He claimed that he’s never met anyone in person from online (um, then why sign up for online dating?!?). He said that he hasn’t met anyone from online because he didn’t like the idea of jumping from one date to the next until it felt right.

I was speechless for a minute. I mean, seriously?!? First off, online dating is like window shopping. You go by looks. If you like what you see then you go into the store and browse around. Same thing with online dating; if you see a picture that you like then you click on the profile and start reading about the person.

When shopping you look at different clothes. You don’t grab an item and say this in the one. You check sizes and prices. You pick a color and style. This is the messaging part of online dating. You want to see if you two click at all. You are messaging multiple people. Just like you are looking at multiple articles of clothing.

You try to the clothes on before you buy them – typically. This is just like dating. You are trying the person out. Is the chemistry in person? Trust me, I have clicked with someone through messages but not in person.

Now, some people may buy multiple articles of clothing. But, I’m poor – and I hate shopping – I only buy one. This is the same with dating. Some date multiple people. I’ve tried dating a couple at a time, didn’t like it. I prefer to focus my energy on one. But, I also know I’m not getting any younger and so focusing all my energy on one guy is a slow and often painful process.

I am also about sex before marriage. I know some people are not, but I have anxiety and I need to know what I am getting into. Just like I lived with my ex before we got married. It was easy to date – even after our divorce when we had our own houses – it is easy to be around each other when you had a place to get away from each other. It is a different story when we lived together all the time.

Honestly, I will probably end up blocking this current zombie (just with that site its more of a pain to block people – that’s why he wasn’t blocked a long time ago). I just like the comment he made. A part of me thinks it is an act. Think he might have been born with a silver tongue.

Dating Dilemma

I was thinking about this yesterday: my dating dilemma.

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner you can’t go anywhere without being reminded of the holiday – there’s all the commercials, posts on social media, the stores are proudly displayed of gifts, candy, and subtle reminders.

I’ve never liked the holiday. I get the history of the holiday – liked learning about that – but I mean today it seems like it is a game to see who’s lover displays their love the best.

When I was married, it was ironic… Ex would bitch about my weight and then buy me a box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day.

Okay, I digress.

It is hard to believe that in April will mark one year since I’ve been on a date. April will also mark one year since I’ve had sex.

Okay, Okay… I’ve gone longer than a year before. After I finished with ex, it was eighteen months before I had sex with the guy from online – those who’ve read my past posts will remember this is the guy I knew for less than two weeks and then he ghosted me. At the time, I was so angry with myself. How could I throw logic and common sense out the window?!? I went to a guy’s house that I did not know – and no one knew where I was. I had unprotected sex with him. I absolutely HATED myself for that stupid stunt!! Ironically, eighteen months later I found the serial dater – another guy I have written many posts about – and had sex with him. Even though I hate that I ignored the red flags with the serial dater, I did stay smart about the situation – someone had an idea of where I was, and we always used protection.

I’m actually tired of the dating apps. I spend more time blocking guys then I actually do chatting with anyone. There’s the one that I’ve been chatting with, but he’s gone silent too. I’m sure he will resurface. But, honestly, I don’t care either way. It’s nice to have someone to chat with about random things, but I’m definitely not going to chase him.

So, I know what you are thinking: if you’re tired of the online dating sites, then delete them. True, true. But I live in a small town. So, without the apps I really don’t see me ever going on a date again. ha-ha.

Some Updates

I’m still taking the medication for depression. Said people usually start to notice a difference after three weeks. Really, the only thing I notice is it makes me tired. I sleep a lot more. I am actually able to sleep. Some nights are still tough for me, but other nights are not as bad.

I haven’t really told anyone about my mental health. I’m not sure why. Don’t really think that I’m “ashamed.” I’m actually quite proud of myself for finally going to the doctor. I’m quite proud of myself for still trying each day.

Hopefully one of these days I will find my voice to tell others. Who knows, one of these days I may stop hiding behind the name “Stormie.” But, today is not that day.

I like the idea of writing a letter but never send it. I do plan on doing that, sometime.

I’ve been chatting with a guy for about a week. Conversation is good. It’s more than “hru?” But, it’s good – not great, but good. It’s nice to have someone to chat with though. I doubt we will ever meet up. He lives in the same state as I, but we’re still several hours apart. But it is nice to have the attention for now.

I remembered the days I had to force myself not to text ex. I missed the attention. I missed having someone to talk to. Honestly, I’m very content not messaging ex. Now, if it is about our daughter, I will text or call. Wish he would do the same…

It did kind of annoy me yesterday… It was in the afternoon, I still did not know if he was wanting to take our daughter to school or not. All of her school stuff was still at my house. I called him and he said she wasn’t “home” yet (meaning gf’s house) – She’d spent the night with a friend the night before. I bothered me that he referred to gf’s as my daughter’s “home.” Up until a week ago, she didn’t even have her own space!

Thank You

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I have reached 100 followers on this blog. Thank you each of you for taking the time to like, follow, and comment on this blog and my posts.

I’d wanted to start a blog several years ago and I always talked myself out of it. I started this one last summer – 2018 – because I really needed somewhere to express myself without judgement.

As I started writing and continuing to have life experiences – i.e. online dating adventures – I seen an opportunity for others to learn from my mistakes. I know what it is like to feel lost and depressed. I also know what it is like to just want to be acknowledged by another person and that is not always the best frame of mind for online dating.

Over the past months I have had my highs and lows. My daughter is always a high point. Some lows include drama with ex-husband and the death of my dad.

I know dad’s death has seriously taken its’ toll on me – mentally and physically. I know I lost a lot of people in my life after that because death makes people nervous – and sad to say, stupid. People say stupid things. People say hurtful things. I know I still get the looks from people – you know, the look like I’m broken or some charity case. Look, everything I have been through during my life I’m not broken! I have been damaged, but I have not broke. Even though some days I wonder how much I can take before I do break.

I was thinking about that this morning, actually. My alarm went off at 3am. I wanted to say fuck it! I wanted to stay in bed. I am working all three jobs today. I want to fast forward through the day until I can crawl back into bed. Then tomorrow is another day that I start at 3 am and I am completely busy until about 8pm. I found myself wondering if anyone even gave a shit. Does anyone care I’m exhausted? Does anyone care that I want to disappear? My jobs don’t care. As long as I do my job and make them money. My family doesn’t care – we are all dealing with our grief and life. Like I said, people avoid me now – so friends don’t care. I’m not dating – but I am chatting with someone. Probably will chase him off before the weekend is over – haha. My daughter cares, but it is not her job to worry about me.

New Guy

I’m still talking to the new guy – we’ll name him “James.”

James did send me a picture of himself. That dreaded bathroom selfie – at least the toilet wasn’t in the picture or anything. ha-ha. But not a great picture, but at least I have an idea of what this guy looks like…. He looks like my ex-husband….

Now, that might be the poor bathroom lighting. The angle of the picture. I don’t know. The fact that, like my ex, James is a tall, slender white guy with short brown hair and blue eyes.

The conversation is still going on. I wonder how much he really wants to know about me, though.

He makes small talk, very well actually. He answers all of my questions. He asks general questions, but doesn’t dig deeper. For example, he asked if I like my job but didn’t ask what I do. He asked if I was looking forward to Christmas – of course, this year the answer is “no’ – but he didn’t ask why.

He notices that I’m guarded. He said that he is tough and willing to wait to break down my walls because they seem pretty thick.

Before he sent me a picture of himself, he asked what happens if I like his picture. I said I don’t know, I might ask you out. He said he’s never been asked out before. He said he always asks first. So, don’t know if I’m insulted or not. If he always asks first then why hasn’t he asked me out. Or, if I ask him out will I get rejected, ghosted, or played.

He has tried to talk about sex. I told him I’m not discussing anything sexual or that personal until I really get to know the person – I’ve learned that lesson. No sex talk, no sexting, no pictures, no sex until I am ready. And, seriously, that serial cheater made me not ready to put myself in that position – no pun intended – for a while. I mean, I miss sex. But I don’t want to be used by another guy. Anyway, James said that sex was his specialty, but he would respect me not wanting to talk about it so he hasn’t asked anything else sexual in nature.

He seems like a descent guy, right?

I mean, maybe I should ask him out and at least see what happens in person.

Against My Better Judgement…

I know the past few weeks I have wrote a lot about my dad. Today marks three weeks since he was killed. I ordered a picture book of him. I got it in the mail yesterday. I cried and laughed the whole time looking at the pictures. Cried because he is gone. Laughed because all of the wonderful memories. I thought to myself, I can’t wait to show him this book. I stopped and cried even more. I know he is gone. It still doesn’t seem real though.

But, actually I’m not really going to write about dad or ex in today’s post. Surprised, huh?

So, against my better judgment, I’m chatting with someone.

He did not have a – still does not have a – picture of himself. His profile picture was a meme. A sexist meme, I might add. It was the female dictionary. Now, the meme has been deleted – he got reported for it and the site removed it. (No, I did not report him.)

So, red flag – no profile picture. I asked why no picture. He said because he wanted someone to get to know him for him, not for his looks. Hmm.. I’ve heard it all before. My thought is there needs to be a physical attraction. I’m sorry. As shallow as it sounds, there needs to have physical chemistry. I have chatted with someone and then seen them and got turned off completely.

We have chatted about music and movies.

He tells me he loves horror movies, but found The Nun scary.

Ummm… hmm. I’m not joking when I say I love horror movies. I watch them all the time. So much so that I predict the scares. So, if a guy thought that movie was scary then he probably shouldn’t watch movies with me.

He has a good taste in music. He likes similar bands as me. He is more rock and alternative, not the metal bands though.

He’s never been married. Okay, that worries me. Why has he never been married?

He has two kids by different women. Hmm, not quite a red flag but definitely a yellow flag.

Grammar… he can not properly use their/there/they’re or your/you’re. My pet peeve is improper grammar. Drives me crazy! And not crazy in a good way…

I asked him what does he do for work. He is on disability. Apparently has a prosthetic leg. I didn’t ask details or anything. He said if that was a deal breaker than he understood.

I don’t know if it is. I’m not so shallow that I would not give someone a chance. But if anything happens I would definitely want more information. I don’t know. So, I wonder about since he gets disability what was he do with his time during the day.

He has a similar personality as me. So, maybe my humor and personality isn’t too bad.

I have the impression he is either a complete push over or has depression or anxiety. Something. I haven’t pinpointed it yet.

Seriously not holding my breath. Too many flags on the play. But, nice to chat with someone.