Cleaning Out My Rooms


This is the third of 4 pieces about an encounter I had with a sociopath. The rest are here:


Last night, I was feeling sad. I missed the sociopath. Upon closer inspection, rather than missing him personally, I missed and longed for what he pretended to offer – intimacy, connection, and partnership. Being single has its challenges. Loneliness happens.

So I drank 3 margaritas.

At this point I’d like to say, for fuck’s sake, why isn’t there an app to prevent drunk texting? And as a thorough writer who does my research, I checked and must report that apps do indeed exist for that purpose. Perhaps I should look into them.

In my world, occasionally margaritas are good for bringing unfinished business to my attention. I don’t drink them with that intention. Sometimes it just happens. They allow a particular type of access while my inhibitions are down. They lead me past the normal walls I maintain around things unfinished and uncomfortable. They take me into those rooms to have a look, kind of saying – excuse me, were you aware there was more work to be done here? Kind of a fucked up time to show me that shit, because…well, drunk texting. But hey, margaritas aren’t perfect.

So after 3 margaritas, I remembered that I still had the number I’d reached the sociopath at when I called him. In that moment, it seemed like a good idea to send him a text.

The sad part for you is knowing that no one will ever truly be pleased with you, no matter how much you want it…you have no integrity. All smoke and mirrors.

Well, at least the text made sense; could have been worse. But why the fuck would I ever want to text that asshole again? Honest answer, to wound him. He had a hypercritical father who left his mark, and more than anything he needs to know people are pleased with him. So I was basically digging the knife in his weak spot. Not proud of it, but shit happens in Margarita Ville.

This morning I winced when I remembered I sent the text. Because here’s the thing. That hard little place of satisfaction from throwing words at him designed to wound felt so icky and negative inside me. I realized pretty quickly the twisted darkness of revenge far outweighed the satisfaction of causing him pain (if I even did). Vengeance is a decidedly uncomfortable business.

I needed to write the angry piece, for my own healing. That’s what I told myself. But that piece obviously had some vengeance in it, too. I’m not going to judge myself too harshly here, because I was royally fucked over, and was quite angry and hurt about it. I’d like to think that there are rare situations where a bit of vengeance is deserved. So I embraced that justification and labeled my revenge cathartic and necessary for my own healing. I wrote an angry, vengeful piece specifically designed to be intentionally wounding.

Fine, I claimed that entitlement and wrote it. But then I needed to be done with it. I needed to let the anger of that piece of writing, posted for the entire world to see, shoot through me like white hot fire, cleansing me of all the shit that resulted because I was the target of a fucked up sociopath. I needed to let my words be a flamethrower, and then walk away from the worthless pile of ashes that was left.

But apparently I wasn’t done. Instead, in an alcohol-induced state, after a good look into those uncomfortable and unfinished rooms, I sent that text. The next morning I felt humbled.

Time to take a look at my shit.

Right off, two things were front and center.

First was that need for revenge, which felt dark and awful.

The second thing was a touch more insidious. I was keeping things. I told myself it was “in case I needed them”. Things like pictures and messages. Needed them for what purpose, exactly? To prove how much he fucked me over to whoever wanted that information? Oh hell, no. That was just revenge waiting for another margarita opportunity! Clearly, I needed everything to be gone.

First I patted myself on the back that I was handling my shit, and then I texted a trusted friend.

Hello. Could you give me some encouragement about something? I need a bit of help… I need to purge my computer and phone of all things sociopath. There is no reason for me to keep any of it. Phone messages, pics, phone numbers, emails. I don’t need it.

She responded quickly and supportively. We talked for a bit about why the purge was a good and necessary thing to do. I shared with her the text I’d sent him. Then she said the magic words.

You are trying to fuck with his mind and hurt him, prey on his insecurities, but you are truly only hurting yourself.

Wow. That hit home.

I’m going to purge everything, and then I’ll report back to you.

Keep NOTHING. She encouraged me.

Faced with the prospect of instant deletion, I balked. I didn’t want to just delete stuff without looking at it first. That felt like it was an essential part of the purging process for me, so I allowed it. I began with the phone messages. I’d kept them all. So I listened to them from the beginning, back in December.

At first I got sad. Missed him. Missed that voice, and the fine memories it brought back. Then as I played more of them, that changed. Nearly every message was an apology for not being in better touch, for not calling/texting when he said he would, along with excuses. That man never had time for me. Instead he offered a constant refrain of excuses, liberally sprinkled with compliments and endearments carefully designed to mollify. Listening to those messages, the pattern was easy to spot in hindsight. I deleted them all.

After playing the phone messages, I didn’t have any interest in reading the emails, and I deleted them en masse. Gone. The pictures? Flipped through those quickly and put the folder in the trash. Then I deleted his contact and the text I sent. Then I found one more thing. I‘d copied his initial message to me on OKCupid. That document went to the trash, too.

The moment had come.

I emptied the trash.


I reported in.

DONE. Everything is gone. Phone messages, contact, pics, emails, everything. It felt great.

I’m so proud of you. You are empowered. (My friend is awesome, by the way.)

Cleaning up the mess inside me - that’s what it felt like to methodically and completely eliminate every trace of him from my life. I do feel empowered. I feel less encumbered. I feel lighter.

I said no to the darkness, and yes to the light. I cleaned out a couple of rooms.

It’s been a good day.


4 Responses

  1. I was very moved by this writing and equally disturbed by your feeling pain, so unnecessary. FYCM is just a lost and frightened little boy. What goes around comes around and his actions will come back to torment him in some form or another. I send you thoughts of love light and healing.

    1. Thanks, Peter. Much appreciated. I guess I look at it this way. I learned valuable lessons, I had a couple of hot hotel sex experiences, and I got some excellent writing out of all of it. Not bad at all. And I am on the upswing, now, happily.

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