I received what I am going to term as a cosmic bitch-slap this weekend. Or maybe I could term it as a sucker punch... in any case...bleck.
It's been an incredibly busy week. I had a friend visiting from out of town, which involved alot of gatherings with other friends who knew her. Then on top of that, there just seems to be a shit-storm abrewing with this board that I am chair of, then adding in my normal stuff, and then we get to the incident yesterday...which I will detail in a few paragraphs.
The issue exploding on the board I'm head of revolves around the executive director of the organization. I've never been as continuously mad at someone as I have been at him for the past few weeks. Normally I am good at letting the anger go, but I still reserve the right to make snarky comments from time to time. Tomorrow is the board meeting, and I've just sent out emails letting everyone know that the executive director is not coming. There is no good solution to this problem. Either I go, he goes, the board agrees to work on the issues to resolve the problem, or we just make plans to close the non-profit. All of these are good solutions- none of them are great solutions. Part of me just wants to hide under the covers and not come out until this next weekend.
And then we get to the "incident". So yesterday at my Theosophy meeting, there was a new guy there. As soon as I sat down he remarked at how he loved my profile picture on the Meetup.com site. I thanked him, introduced myself, and sat down. I was a little bit more vocal than I usually am during the meeting, but the topic was historical gender issues...and of course, I was chomping at the bit to get a chance to pontificate. During this little soap-box moment, he made several comments about how much he liked my passion on the subject, how he loved opinionated women, and wow...she's a leo...no wonder...I like leos, etc.
After the meeting he asked me if I wanted to go somewhere and talk. Appreciating the directness, I accepted and we sat outside at a shop near the library where the meeting took place. I'm going to give the highlights here rather than a blow-by-blow account. What started out as me getting hit on, turned into a sales pitch for the self-hypnosis program he does, and then became this very creepy pushy attempt to have me sample his technique so that I could teach it as well. There were alot of things that didn't add up. He would tell me about how he left a job installing heaters and air conditioners that paid him $2000 a week, to becoming a life coach/hypnotherapist earning $700 a week because the "spirit called him to do this work". It isn't the money that concerns me, but the excess information about these things that he was giving me. People who give too many details that don't matter are often lying. He was also driving a 20-year old 2-door geo metro that looked like his life was in the back. He was excessively touchy. His complimenting of me (while in the beginning was nice and sort of sweet) became almost oppressive. And then his insistance that I experience his hypnotherapy technique so that I could "teach" it to others....he even offered to lead me through it right then for free, although he suggested that going to a park might be more comfortable...and of course noting that one of the two parks nearby might be better because it was more "secluded".
I agreed to meet with him, which I will cancel in the morning. After our discussion I got into the car, and freaked the fuck out. Complete panic attack, the shakes, random crying....the whole scary melt-down thing. I ended up texting the HBM saying that I needed a hug and for someone to tell me that I was safe. He immediately came over, and was able to give me what I needed. He made me feel safe, he calmed me down, and he distracted me. Of course, I think that I might have also ruined everything by putting myself in the category of girls he regularly rescues, or I might have fixed everything because I was vulnerable and needed him...or something like that. Who knows...
I am not sure if HBM really understood the reasoning for my freak out....I wasn't very coherent to begin with. When I told Libby the story this afternoon, I wasn't even halfway through it when she said "You met another Mike" which for those who don't remember is my ex-husband, aka Mr.3. And its true, I did. Although Mike was much better at the manipulation, or maybe I am just better at spotting it. Later that evening, Jimmy and I looked at this guy's website....all of the women who had testimonials about how wonderful he was....all looked like me. Again, shades of Mr.3....inducing a hell of alot of shivers and that creepy desire to shower in scalding hot water.
I'm still trying to process what happened. Part of me feels a little betrayed... just when I decide that I need and will be more open with people (especially with the likes of HBM)....I then have a run-in with the type of person that is precisely the type of person I have been hiding myself because of. On the other hand, it was a very clear realization that HBM is not ever going to be the person who would hurt me....as my immediate response after this meeting was to contact him. Then on the other hand, this makes me worried that I attract a "type" and that I should just forget any notions of being with another person ever ever again. And then on the other hand....I spotted the deception and was able to get myself out of a situation before it ever became bad. Too many things going on here...so I am still really confused at what the moral of this story is going to be.
I do know this....It's Sunday evening, and I already feel completely overwhelmed with the week ahead. I feel like I am setting tiny deadlines...if I can get through writing that email, if I can make it through this meeting, that appointment, I'll make it past this all. Oh, to be out of this crisis mode of operating, that would truly be lovely!