to the place where they can do the least damage: management.”
-- Scott Adams --
FW is heating up, and I don't understand why. I wouldn't be surprised to find her coming at me with a jar of acid. I'm not kidding. I almost never lock my front door during daylight, but I'm locking it now. She's flat-out crazy.
I have found that I can usually let go of things by writing them out, so here goes. The history. This is pretty long, as is every study in madness.
She's a member of Mid-Hudson Mensa. At a group dinner in late 2006, I mentioned that I couldn't remember ever going out for New Year's Eve. She mentioned a dinner and a good retro band, but she couldn't afford it, so we decided to go together, and I paid for the evening for both of us.
We enjoyed it. We started going to parties, dances, dinners, movies, and so on together. She and I are very different (she's a nudist, heavy marijuana user, politically involved, artistic, and she has described herself as bi in the past "but is no longer"), so I found her views fascinating. She's on disability, so I usually footed the bill. I didn't mind, because I have it and at least I was getting out.
This was also the period when Roman was jerking me around, and I needed someone to talk with. She was madly in love with a guy who was living with another woman, with whom he had two or three small children. They used to get together at a place back in the woods near Mohonk where nudists hung out all summer. (She tried many times to talk me into going there with her, but I'm absolutely not a nudist, not even close, and from the stories, it wasn't a place for people just to be free of clothing restrictions - it was more a place for gays to cruise and straights to roll around together in the poison ivy - very sexually charged.) Or he'd show up at her house and they'd roll around there, then he'd leave. He kept promising her he was going to leave the other woman, but it showed no signs of happening.
Anyway, within a few months, she was chewing me out for not being attentive enough. She informed me that she expected chatty phone calls, a minimum of once a week. I'd told her many times that I hate the telephone, when I make a call to anyone, it's brief, to conduct some kind of business or ask a question, I just don't EVER call anyone just to chat. I hate the telephone! Even my cell phone was turned on only in emergencies. She continued to castigate me for not calling. She said some nasty things to me over my not calling. (Note - she rarely called me because it was a toll call.) She said hurtful things that left me feeling bad.
Things bumped on that way through most of 2007. I, by early summer, had started turning down invitations, because it seemed that no matter what I did, how I was, it wasn't what she thought I should do/say/be, it just wasn't enough for her. She was very demanding, and vicious when things didn't go as she wanted.
In September of 2007, she decided she wanted to go to the Mensa Hallowe'en gathering in Chicago, but she didn't want to go alone. I wasn't particularly interested, but she talked me into it. What the heck, this is supposed to be one of the largest and best of the regional gatherings, so ok, at least I'd have someone to go with. (I absolutely wouldn't have gone alone, so this was an opportunity.) I said yes, and paid for my gathering registration and four nights at the hotel, and made the flight reservation.
A week later, she informed me that she couldn't afford both the gathering registration and the plane ticket. I shrugged and paid her gathering registration. A few days after that, she asked if she could share my room, since she couldn't afford a room of her own. By now, I'm already into this for two registrations, four days' room for me, and my plane ticket, almost $1,000. Either I find her a place to sleep, or cancel everything and take the loss, or I end up going alone. I don't share a room, ever, except with a man I'm sleeping with, it just doesn't work for me, so I shrugged and reserved another room for four nights for her.
Yeah, you feel what's coming next? A few days later she says she can't afford the plane ticket. I somewhere acquired some balls and wished her luck finding a courier ticket or something. No, I couldn't afford to fly her out. Sorry.
I guess she found some money somewhere, because she made it to the gathering. I arrived Thursday afternoon, she arrived in the evening, and we had dinner at the hotel. She was having new troubles with that guy, and talked steadily about him during dinner. I knew she wouldn't want to hear what I had to say about him, so I listened, I really was attentive, "uh huh"ed at the appropriate moments, didn't say anything against him, and refrained from changing the topic.
She didn't sleep in her room Thursday night. She spent the whole night in the hospitality suite, drinking and talking, and then slept most of Friday.
Friday night was the Hallowe'en party. She decided she was going to go '60s and had asked me if I knew how to do a beehive. I said yes, so she decided I was going to do her hair early that evening. At a time of her choosing, of course. It took 1.5 hours. There were two presentations I wanted to see that I blew off to do her hair. She slept in her room that night, BUT, and I'm sorry, but I found this unbelievable, she informed me that night that she was leaving the gathering in the morning to meet a blind date in Chicago, and would be going clubbing with him Saturday and Sunday nights, and would be staying with him until her return home Monday. I asked if she had canceled the hotel room for those nights, and she acted surprised.
So Saturday morning I frogmarched her down to the desk and made sure she canceled the room, and wished her luck with the rest of the weekend. So, except for dinner Thursday, doing her hair Friday, and checking her out on Saturday morning, I was there alone for the gathering. Exactly what I didn't want to do. I felt royally used. She just wanted a trip to Chicago.
Well the next week, she called me and chewed me out up one side and down the other for not being sympathetic enough at dinner Thursday! I, like a guilty puppy, just took her abuse. I said nothing. In fact, I think I may even have apologized. It was only later that I realized that I had done nothing wrong. No thank you for the registration and room, no thank you for blowing off my plans and doing her hair instead, nothing. I felt royally used.
I did nothing, said nothing. But the next time she called, wanting to go to dinner or something, I told her that I didn't think I could be around her any more, that she made me feel bad too often, that I had worked very hard to learn to like myself and I couldn't allow her to keep tearing me down, so no, I don't think our getting together is a good idea.
That was 2007.
Now, she was the president of the local Mensa group, and I had volunteered to rewrite the Bylaws. The sessions were to be held at her home, as central to the three of us on the committee. That worked out ok. We were civil. And then something terrifying happened in April of 2008. It's amusingly described here: http://thesilkentouch.blogspot.com/2008/04/1752-psycho-ex-girlfriend.html.
I had to "break up with her" all over again.
In June, another group member, John, was having a cookout and invited all the active members. When he called her to invite her, he asked for other members' phone numbers. She wouldn't give him my number. She told him not to bother calling me, she'd call me and tell me about it. She never did. When I heard about the cookout, I was a little hurt that everyone but me (I?) had been invited. Of course, no one knew that FW had told John she'd take care of it, John didn't know she hadn't, and of course no one was going to ask John why I hadn't been invited.
That was all in 2008.
In 2009, other people in the group starting having run-ins with her. There was a public incident in a restaurant which resulted in the group treasurer resigning on the spot. Other members of the governing board were accused of undermining her control when they simply did what they thought were their duties. She was getting increasingly paranoid and irrational. A possible contributing factor was that the guy she'd been involved with married the other woman and moved to the Carolinas.
In August of 2009, she had to go to the hospital for surgery, and, amazingly, called me to ask me to take her to the hospital and to help her. I did. Somehow, that's an "of course". I was still thinking we could be civil. That story is here: http://thesilkentouch.blogspot.com/2009/08/2464-day-in-hospital.html.
That was 2009.
In March of 2010, we had the public "F**k you" screaming incident, described at http://thesilkentouch.blogspot.com/2010/03/2803-buck-you-fuddy.html, in case you skipped it in the previous post.
2010 was a group election year. I was on the nominating committee, and I worked hard to get a full slate. Several of the people nominated were people she'd had problems with. She announced that she wasn't going to run for reelection, and I didn't push her to change her mind. She started skipping governing board meetings, and then suddenly resigned her position. She dropped out of the Yahoo group. She withdrew from chapter activities, which was a relief for a lot of people, because they had gone beyond finding her merely difficult to work with, and were beginning to actively fear her.
Several people told me that she had decided to no longer take her medications. She thought she could function without them. That scared ME! Not for me, for her.
Our last direct contact had been the "F**k you" thing. The next time I saw her was at the holiday dinner in December, when we ignored each other, and I got the distinct impression that she expected me to approach her first. Then there was the dinner last week, when I again did not approach her.
And now there's the Yahoo group exchanges detailed in the previous post. All I was trying to do was help her, and she attacked me and anyone who attempted to defend me.
It has gotten worse since.
Yesterday I found something amusing and posted it to the group. This is the complete text of my post:
Subject: Accepting your Oscar: A GuideI thought it amusing. If you watch people accepting Oscars, that's exactly how they do it. Except for the last sentence, maybe.
From Shoebox.com (http://www.shoeboxblog.com/?p=23859):
Thank the little people, but don't call them "little people" because they HATE that.
Thank the spiritual being of your choice. Point up/over/ wherever (probably not down).
Thank the producer, even if he's just some rich jerk who knows nothing about movie making.
Definitely act surprised. Practice this one in the mirror beforehand.
Thank significant other, then blow a kiss to him/her. Have significant other
practice "in love" face.
Use the exit music to dance your way off stage. "The Worm" would be preferable.
Well, today I got this personal email from another member:
FYI and confidential - [the group moderator] has placed [FW] in a "Moderator must approve posts" category on our Yahoo group. One of her two most recent posts is pending moderator approval. It claims your "Accepting Your Oscar" post is actually a slew of double entendres, and the tone of her note implies paranoia.(I admit I am wrong to post that note when the author has marked it confidential, but if I turn up dead or seriously injured this weekend, show this post to the cops.)
Regardless of whether there is anything going on (which I seriously doubt), I don't think anyone else would see that and would simply assume it is "[FW] being [FW]."
[FW] will be at [the regional gathering next weekend].
By the way, the other of her "two most recent posts" was "Subject: The excitement is Growing", and contained only this link: http://mediumlarge.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/cats-quote-charlie-sheen/. Now, how does "the excitement is growing" apply as the subject? Do you find it ominous that it's hate-filled ranting?
So. I'm seriously scared. It will be impossible to avoid her at the gathering, and if nobody shows up at her Oscar party tomorrow night she WILL blame me. That's just the way she thinks. And she WILL retaliate. I'm serious. But I can't allow her to keep me from going to the gathering. I won't hide from her. I think I'm going to have to ask some of the other friends there to act as bodyguard. Never leave me alone.