A Timeline (with some TMI)
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
June 20, 2008 - I turned 30.
July 5, 2008 - My father is diagnosed with an aggressive cancer.
September 20, 2008 - Jeff proposes. The proposal was a bit of a let-down, but had its own story. It was kind of rushed anyway, as I didn't know how much time my Dad had (my mom died in 2000), and I wanted to make sure he saw me engaged to the guy I'd been with for so long.
October 9-12 - Blizzcon: I paid for the flight, hotel, food, most of the purchases at the convention. Jeff paid for the tickets. First time meeting Jezi in person.
October 28, 2008 - Death of my Father
March 2009 - End of my dream job
Spring 2009 (April or May?) - Death of my grandfather
Summer 2009 - Complications in the estate, my brother proves to be a greedy jerk...stopped only by the grace of the legal system.
July 2009 - I start school again after deciding that my job was what I REALLY enjoyed doing, and I needed to get some kind of accreditation under my belt to make myself more valuable for a company.
August 2009 - Jeff gets fired from his job. We go to Blizzcon (that I paid for entirely). See Jezi again, meet Wern, Mae, and Nyco.
October 2009 - Charlotte Ren Faire with Tollus, Keldrin, and Khlar. (I paid for.)
December 2009 - My brother begins sending me nastygrams (cc'ed the estate lawyer) to get money from real estate rent checks...which SHOULD have been coming to my address, but thanks to his meddling, were sent to my father's house. He didn't receive them immediately because I didn't receive them like I was supposed to so I could forward them, even though I was watching for them. He accused me of trying to steal them from him.
January 2010 - After another round of nastygrams from my brother, and finally locating the checks (neighbors had picked up the mail and had been away for the holidays), I send my brother his money and tell him I will deal with him on legal matters alone, but I wanted no more to do with him.
Spring/Summer 2010 - Depression begins setting in. Job hunt wasn't going well, Jeff was still unemployed and began asking me for money (ie paying for his car repairs), I began feeling very isolated and lonely. Jeff makes the comment to our friends that a wedding "is a bride's day, so he is happy to stay out of the planning and let (me) do whatever (I) want." That's the extent of his thought process toward getting married other than, "I don't want to get married until we lose weight so we look good for the pictures." He made no effort toward THAT front, either. Really began to feel the weight of everything come crashing down upon me with no hope in sight that I can climb out of it.
October 10, 2010 - I join SparkPeople. I try to encourage him to join. LOLOLOLOL. SparkPeople isn't a "magic pill" so of course he'd never join!
October 2010 - Blizzcon (again, I paid for) - See Jezi, Wern, and Mae again, meet Leo for the first time, as well as Call, Vor, Thuryn, Cervus, Cadi, Bo...um...I feel like I'm leaving people out... Jeff accuses me of paying too much attention to Leo. (I paid Jezi as much, if not more, attention...and only paid attention to them because Jeff ignored my existence except when he needed money or suddenly realized A GUY was talking to me.) Seriously, he woke me up one night 2 hours after I fell asleep for sex, and the next night woke me up 2 hours after I fell asleep to b!tch at me that I spent more time talking to Leo than basking in the glory of his presence and stories I've heard (and was often part of) a million times already.
November 2010 - Charlotte Ren Faire with Tollus, Keldrin, and Khlar. (I paid for.) I'm in a VERY bad depression at this point. It was the last time we had sex, and even then I ended up crying because it was so bad. (I think he coerced a handjob out of me at Thanksgiving or Christmas that year at his parents house?)
March 2011 - After attempting to diet with guildies and Jeff, I finally hit that point where I hated myself so much that it was either make a change or give up. I don't like giving up. I started dieting and exercising seriously. I began cooking all of the meals at home.
April 2011 - Jeff FINALLY gets a job after mooching off my inheritance all this time. I gave him $2000 to cover rent and bills (approximately $1300-1500, I believe), expecting my "change" back. He used the rest to pay for a full year of car insurance, then begged me for more money to cover gas, his lunches, and other bills until his first paycheck came in. I gave him $500 more, insisting that when his first paycheck came in, he owed me a nice dinner at the Melting Pot. However, then he got mad at me that I couldn't help him pay his income taxes. When his first paycheck came in? He bought a few boxes of cards for the WoW trading card game, but didn't have enough left over in his bank account to cover an oil change.
Spring 2011 - Jeff discovers My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. He soon begins a roleplay Twitter account.
May 21, 2011 - Blizzcon tickets are released. Jeff gets in the queue fastest, but his check card is declined. (He had money, but he used it with his PSN account when "hacking Sony's network" was the new "Hello World!", so the bank had issued him a new card that he hadn't activated yet...he could use his old card for small purchases, but not large ones like $600 for 4 Blizzcon tickets.) I end up paying for the tickets. I also bought the flights and hotel that day. He said he wanted to pay for Cadi's ticket...except HE didn't pay for it. I did. (The other was earmarked for Leo, who ended up not going due to school.)
June 20, 2011 - I finally get that dinner at the Melting Pot to celebrate my birthday. About this time, I start opening up to Jezi and Leo about how unhappy I am.
Summer 2011 - Jeff begins to annoy and drive away a lot of our friends and guildies due to his pony obsession and constant spam of Pony *things*. He takes it personally, and accuses them of not liking him because they got annoyed with his spam.
Fall 2011 - I get my weight down about 30 pounds. Jeff tells me "Exercise hurts, it's stupid, and people who like it are stupid!" He also insists on wanting Chick-Fil-A instead of my cooking because he wanted "real food." I think at this point he weighed around 350-365 pounds. The few times he tried exercising or eating better was when he realized I was losing weight and he thought it made him look bad. I realized a lot of his yelling at me about losing weight being hard, or how he wanted fast food or comfort food, or how exercise was stupid...these were all sabotage tactics. I was depressed...therefore how could I "beat" him at anything?
October 3, 2011 - Jeff began cheating on me...yes, by cybering while pretending to be a cartoon pony with people on Twitter who I'm sure were underage. (He has since become more careful about the "underage" part.)
October 6, 2011 - I found out about his cheating.
October 7, 2011 - I confronted him about it, said I wanted to break up. He said he wanted to work things out. I believed him. I told him the one requirement was to end the cheating/relationshipping. You can roleplay without that kind of relationshipping. He agreed.
October 9, 2011 - He started cheating again. For a person who "wanted to work things out," that conviction didn't last long. (Jezi's comment: "He didn't want another chance to work things out, he just wanted another chance to hide it better.")
October 12, 2011 - We have another talk. "We want to remain friends" we said. I give him back the engagement ring, saying maybe someday he'll propose to me again with it as we relearn how we became friends in the first place.
October 19-24, 2011 - Our Blizzcon trip...that *I* paid for. He does not cyber, but sends her messages like "I miss you" and "I can't wait until I'm home to talk to you more!" (Connection there was bad for AT&T customers, and I wasn't about to shell out $35/day for wifi...obviously, he wasn't willing to, either, and waited for me to pay for it.)
October 28-30, 2011 - His sister's wedding...that I was a bridesmaid for. Again, he doesn't cyber, but they pass "I miss you!" messages the entire time.
November 11, 2011 - The person he's cybering with asks him if their relationship could work out IRL...he insists it can. We were still living together. I still believed he wanted to work things out. She rethinks it, says it probably wouldn't work. He gets more insistent that it would. A few hours later, she says she's a guy. Communication ends there.
Thanksgiving, 2011 - We travel separately. I do not join him when he visits his family. I needed some space.
December, 2011 - He finds a new cyber partner. This one is a high-school age boy. Yeah.
December 6, 2011 - I graduate. With honors.
Christmas, 2011 - We go to visit his family again. This time he cybers while we are there.
New Year's, 2012 - We go to a friend's New Year's Eve party. He's cybering AT the party.
January 30, 2012 - I realize he's hunched over his iPhone all the time again, unable to even sit through a half hour tv show or dinner when we'd go out. I recognize the same behavior, manage to get his passwords, and confirm that the cheating never actually stopped except when he was between partners. Without telling him, I begin the moving out process.
February 12-18, 2012 - I face my fears, start coming to the house to clean, and begin moving boxes of my belongings that he won't notice are gone. I make appointments for various house needs - water and gas to be turned on, a plumber, etc. to make the house livable. That includes buying and changing out fixtures and other necessary fixes.
February 19, 2012 - Our last major fight. I tell him I know he's continued cheating, but didn't tell him how I knew for certain. Just cited his behaviors. He screams that he hates living with me. I tell him I'll be out by Friday.
February 24, 2012 - Moving day.
March 2, 2012 - Jezi moves in with me.
March, 2012 - Our boythings come to visit. There is much love and happiness (despite the bout of food poisoning.)
April, 2012 - Start job-searching. Jeff tells one of his cybersex partners that in our time together, most of the time I was either unemployed or "working minimum wage." No, retail might not be great, but it's not the same as minimum wage. (Also, I supported HIS unemployed a$$ AND paid off my student loans on my "minimum wage" job.) I note that I now have 2 degrees under my belt, while he has none. Is he making more money than I am? Yes. He's in a technical field. It happens.
April 13, 2012 - He insists it's been 3 months (it had only been 6 weeks. And during those 6 weeks, see above "moving, moving roommate in, having house guests") so I should have my belongings out by now. He gets particularly nasty about it. I tell him that he's made it very clear that leaving him was the best thing I've ever done. To that, he just laughs. (Yeah, we shall see who gets the last laugh!) I /gquit our guild because I refused to be under his thumb anymore. Many friends follow suit. The story comes out on Twitter. Jezi defends me in 5 words, and mostly discusses how he hurt her. (Important for the next day's events.) Overall, it's not as much of a dramabomb as it could have been, and we did a good job of refraining from name-calling. We just left the barest facts out there. (He cheated, treated his most loyal friends poorly, abandoned responsibility, and laid blame at the feet of others.)
April 14, 2012 - Jezi and I go over to get my belongings. He locks us out for 2 1/2 hours until his mom, sister, and brother-in-law show up. He bellows at Jezi, saying she is not welcome in his home (too late, she'd already seen the mess it was a week earlier...even got pictures). His mother insists she leaves, leaving us with one less pair of arms, legs, and car to help schlep stuff. He or someone in his family help me pack...they break some of my belongings without owning up to it, even if it was an accident. (My glass rose, for example.) Several of my belongings are still unaccounted for.
June 2012 - Visit Leo. There is much love and happiness.
July 2012 - Have job interview. Despite having the most experience, I am rejected for someone else because I haven't been working for 3 years. You know, in hindsight? The office was in a perfect location, and I could do the job, but I didn't see much room for growth for me there.
August 2012 - Job searching. Jezi's boything comes to visit. I know Jeff is still "cleaning up from living with me." Funny, his apartment was looking pretty good without my belongings there. I know I didn't go in and mess it up again. He tells a pony cyber friend that I was a "hoarder" (funny, he was the one always buying junk on ebay) and that he's throwing out anything of mine he still finds...as opposed to being a civil adult and bringing or sending them to me. My house, on the other hand, is still fairly neat and tidy. There are still a few boxes of belongings that need to be dealt with, but have to first clean out the belongings of my father and brother. Unlike Jeff, I have no dirty dishes laying in piles on my couches or in the sink, no bags of garbage to trip over, and it's clean enough on a daily basis to have company over at any time without feeling embarrassed about the state of the house.
September 2012 - Job searching. Apply for a position, and recruiter condescendingly tells me that I haven't been working in so long, so I'm basically not worth even submitting to a job position. (Funny enough, I've had 2 or 3 other recruiting companies try to submit me for the same position at the same company. =P) Honestly? This pisses me off. Fire is lit under butt. It stuck in my craw. Like dealing with the ex, I took the attitude of, "I'M GONNA SHOW YOU!"
September 28, 2012 - Recruiter calls me for a position. I'm a little nervous as to whether I'm qualified, but you know what? I'm gonna try anyway. I put on my "positive face" and go for it.
October 5, 2012 - Get a call from the recruiter saying the person hiring is interested in talking to me. Would I be able to do a phone interview THAT DAY?! I say yes! We schedule for 4:30 pm, but at 4:50 get a call from the recruiter that the interviewer is SWAMPED and can we reschedule for Monday? YES!
October 6-7, 2012 - Nervous and excited Budgie is nervous and excited! Also notes that this is marking the year anniversary that Jeff cheated.
October 8, 2012 - After 45 minutes total sleep, I get a call from the recruiter that the interviewer is swamped, and can we reschedule for 4 pm? YES! (Also meant I got some more sleep!) Had the interview, and interviewer wants to schedule an in-person meeting...for the next day! Schedule it through the recruiter...11:30 am for October 9th.
Today - Meet at 11:30. Have lunch. Felt really good! Then she says she'd like to bring me in for the rest of the week, see if I would fit with the team, and she'd make her decision on Friday/over the weekend to have me officially start on Monday! I've never heard of a 3-day "trial" before for a technical company, but I roll with it. Not about to turn this down at this point! Call recruiter when I get home, but she's out to lunch. No response for several hours. Finally get call around 3:30. They've nixed the trial period idea.
Instead, I GOT THE JOB! I START TOMORROW!!!!
So in about a year, I got rid of a major negative, draining, unhelpful influence in my life, I moved on to my own home, I have someone new, I have a best friend and roommate always there for me, I have a HUGE circle of friends cheering me on, and I have an employer who WANTS me to work for them!
Up until today, the ONLY thing Jeff had "over me" was the fact that he's employed and is NOW financially stable (because I bailed him out so often). He drove off his/our circle of friends, he still lives in the apartment with no ambition to get out, he's still only cybering with people online rather than getting a social life, the only time he goes out is to visit his family or when they come down here (it's a 3 hour trip), and he blamed me for being a "downer" in his life when I was struggling alone to pull myself up.
If the ONLY thing he had over me was a job and financial security, I'd say I still came out ahead. Jobs come and go. But now? I have one too. And the prospects of my future with that job are already looking good.
Does he have a wonderful roommate?
Does ha have an actual girlfriend?
Does he have a large circle of friends who know him in person and cheer for him?
Does he have a home that he takes pride in and keeps clean?
Nope. Guess what? It's been a year, but I'd say that after being "beneath him" due to depression, I've caught up to and surpassed him.
As I told him...leaving him was the best decision I've ever made.
Who's laughing now?