This is the first of 4 pieces about an encounter I had with a sociopath. The rest are here:
I met Chicago Man last November on OKCupid. He represented himself as single, never been married, no children, and looking for a long term non-monogamous relationship. He sent a lengthy, forthcoming and very articulate letter of introduction. On paper, our kinks matched quite well. He lived in Chicago, but assured me that I shouldn’t be concerned about that, because he could live anywhere he wanted to; he traveled for work. From the start he said he didn’t have much time to offer; his career was in full swing, and was always his priority.
We began to get to know each other. We clicked. He told me his name and the field he worked in. I looked him up on the internet and found his business website and many mentions of him for conferences, consulting and various projects.
He came out to meet me in January. Our connection was an unexpected level of incredible. He said he was enthralled with me. The feeling was mutual. A flurry of texts followed his visit. Every time I talked with him we had this instant connection, and I always hung up feeling happy. I liked him. A lot.
I started writing about him. Always with his permission, and with a certain thrill in my words, because I was falling for him. We handled the distance with sexting, and sometimes I had control over his orgasms, which was a thrill for us both. He’s a brilliant man, and I am a sapiosexual. That added to it. But he also listened when I spoke about emotions. He responded when I expressed needs. I felt understood and cared about.
The lack of time he offered was ever-present, and I tried hard to work with it. I figured that since I wanted to be non-monogamous, perhaps there was a space that Chicago Man could fit in my life, even with the lack of time.
He came out to see me again in April. We enjoyed an extraordinary visit. He arranged for me to get into the hotel room early. I was ready and waiting for him right when he walked through the door. Our time together was so joyful, erotic, and intense. We just seemed to fit.
He continued to speak in terms of a serious relationship with me. He asked me what would need to happen for him to be considered my primary. He expressed unconditional support of me and my goals, always encouraging me and offering occasional business advice. He would tell me of his meetings in the high powered business world he traveled in, and I would encourage him to go to those meetings confidently, with all of his brilliance. He even spoke of job possibilities out in California that we were both excited about.
The lack of time he offered began to wear on me. He rarely seemed to have more than 15 minutes to talk with me, even though he spoke of going on dates occasionally. I complained about that. I felt like I was being managed, like I always came last in his world. We talked. He reassured me and promised to make changes.
He said beautiful words during that conversation. He said no other woman he’d ever known held a candle to me because I was world class. I wasn’t the cream of the crop; I was the whole fucking crop. He even said ‘I love you’.
A couple of days ago, I sent a text. I sent another one 14 hours later. Then, recalling that sometimes he didn’t receive my texts, yesterday I sent him an email.
The email bounced back – no such email account.
I called his phone. Disconnected.
I looked at his FetLife profile. Gone.
Chicago Man had fucking ghosted me.
Wow. I didn’t see that coming. It pulled the rug right out from under me.
I went to the gym and worked out hard to take the edge off my angst, and still cried all the way home.
Today I went to his business website and sent him an email from the contact link. My email said that since he’d eliminated every channel I’d ever used to communicate with him, that his actions spoke louder than words. I called him cowardly and said it was a shame he couldn’t have been honest with me. I pushed the send button. I wondered what would happen if a secretary received the email and not him. I didn’t care. I had no illusions of hearing back from him.
I began to look up ghosting to educate myself. It’s such an emotionally cruel thing to do to someone. I wanted to understand the usual repercussions so I could take care of myself from a place of knowledge. I felt stupid, like a fool. I felt used, and a part of me felt like I should have known it was happening. It shook me to my core.
Instead of doing the research on ghosting, though, I satisfied my urge to do some cyber research on Chicago Man, finally forking out $10 for some information. It turned out to be well worth it.
Chicago Man is married with children.
Wow. That was like a punch in the stomach on top of the rug thing.
I was amazed at the amount of information I got. Home address, phone, wife’s name, the year they bought their house, car registration, kid’s names, where they go to school. The wife has a facebook page with lovely pictures of their cozy, very religious family. Many pictures of family trips had been posted since he first contacted me in November of last year.
I was seething with anger.
I went back to his business website and called the mobile number listed there. I used Google voice so my number wouldn’t show up in caller ID. I didn’t have a plan. I was angry.
He picked up.
“Hi, this is Steve…?” (not his real name)
I was silent. I didn’t know what to say. I was shocked that I’d actually reached him.
“Hello? This is Steve…?”
“It’s Ruby.” My tone dripped with accusation.
“Okay, look. I don’t have a whole lot of time to talk…but please don’t call here anymore.” The slight note of fear in his voice gave me great satisfaction.
“Because you’re married with kids?” No point in beating around the bush.
“FUCK…YOU!” I yelled, and hung up. That was the best I could manage in the moment with no plan.
His level of dishonesty leaves me speechless. Thinking back, the lies seemed to roll off his lips effortlessly. How does one even do that? From all appearances, he was a man quite comfortable with himself, with nothing to hide. Kinky as hell, and not anxious for the business world to know that part of him, but that’s true for 99% of kinky people.
He used me for as long as it was convenient, and then discarded me. I’m so fucking angry. Angry enough to where it’s tempting to message his wife, I must admit. And I haven’t decided whether to do that or not. The thing is, my intention would be to wound him, to fuck him over like he fucked me over. I don’t want that negativity. I don’t want to hold onto it like a cancer inside me. And as always, my anger is covering up pain.
Pain because now I’m not sure what part of our relationship was real and what was a lie. That fucks with my head, as well as my sense of self-worth. The foundation I thought was there turned out to be non-existent. I’m a trusting person. I showed up in that relationship. I was honest, open, willing, and communicative. The only red flag was his serious lack of time.
Instead of obsessing about what was real and what wasn’t, though, I prefer to find solace in how I experienced what we shared, because that is all I can be certain of. And honestly? I savored what we shared like fine champagne. It was real for me. I was all in. It was magnificent. I’m not sad that I trusted him. I’m not sad I let myself fall for him. All I did was believe him.
So what now? In each and every moment, we all have a choice, to contract with fear or expand with love. I refuse to let this experience shut me down or make me fearful and suspicious. I still want to walk around in the world with trust and openness as my default. I choose to stay open with love. I choose to let go of the bitterness, work through the pain and move on. The sociopath will not win.
Someday, when I feel ready to have another relationship, I will resist the urge to require a questionnaire, personal referrals and 3 forms of supporting documentation. Because I believe the sociopaths are few and far between, and it was just an unfortunate chance that I encountered one.