Life Gave Me Lemons, so I Took Half the Furniture

Everybody has their own version of a horrible break up story. Unfortunately, many of us have experienced being lied too, cheated on, taken advantage of, and even emotional or physical abuse in a relationship. We’ve all been exposed to the countless horror stories that cut like a knife from either our own experiences or those of someone we know. I’m not trying to one-up anybody here, but I’m pretty sure my horrible break up story is worse than your co-workers, friends, cousin, Amanda’s. Let’s just say that life gave me lemons, and I couldn’t make lemonade without asking for permission first.

Life Gave me lemons. Being stuck in a horrible relationship can leave a sour taste in your mouth.

Fresh out of my marriage, I thought I was finally on the greener side of the grass. Little did I know, that the grass on the other side wasn’t exactly green. If I had looked really closely, I would have seen a bunch of tiny narcissists with selfie sticks, swinging from blade to blade-like little asshole monkeys in a rain forest of lies. Since my natural inclination is to automatically see the good in people, my naive and extremely vulnerable self jumped right into a relationship that was pretty tumultuous from the start. I really should have been able to see the events that transpired coming from a mile away, based on the sheer fact that I was dealing with a man who validated his self worth in selfies and conquests that mostly consisted of women who wrote jokes on the internet, in 140 characters or less. Being the hopeless romantic that I am, I truly believed that I was the exception and that the outcome for me would be different (Let’s all just take a minute to roll our eyes together).

Ignoring all the red flags that were basically punching me in the face as if I were the underdog in a match-up against Conor McGregor, I proceeded to not only let him into my life but actively pursue. The force of someone who possesses a manipulative personality is something you can only truly understand if you’ve experienced it first hand. Before you can even question your own actions, you are just a shell of yourself being jerked around by invisible puppet strings like a helpless marionette. Some flags stand out more than others, but here is a list of just some of the red flags that I shouldn’t have ignored. Ladies, take note:

  1. When a man posts more selfies than your 14-year-old niece who just discovered Snapchat, red flag.
  2. When a man still has a girlfriend when you meet him and he tells you he’s breaking it off with her for you and it takes him 3 months or more to do so, multiple red flags.
  3. When he describes all the women from his past as “crazy”, and blames them for everything that went wrong in their relationship, red flag.
  4. When a man won’t acknowledge or add you to his social media pages after a year of dating, MAJOR red flag.
  5. When he cries at a dancing 3 legged dog on America’s Got Talent, get off the couch immediately and head to your nearest women’s shelter!

Under a spell of infatuation and the potential that things would improve, I began to settle into a lifestyle that was both comfortable and desirable not only myself but the outside world. Completely engulfed in co-habitative bliss, the sweet outweighed the sour in a lot of ways. Saturday mornings spent at the local farmers market, long romantic walks through the aisles of HomeSense and NASCAR Sundays curled up on the couch that took months to pick out. I always held on to the fact that this person really understood who I was and he knew how to make me happy. Our mutual love for fine wine and Turkish cotton towels were always the good that came with the bad.  In my la la land of dodging flags and making mason jar salads, I became quite good at justifying his belittling and disrespectful actions towards not only myself but to my undeserving family and friends. Making excuses for someone else’s behaviour became my full-time job. Where is HR when you need them?

A woman’s intuition is a powerful thing but we never seem to listen to it as much as we should. The feeling in your gut that someone is taking you for granted and projecting their own insecurities onto you to make you feel less than, isn’t something we should ever take laying down. In my case, I was laying down in a king-sized mattress on the floor surrounded by goose down pillows with someone who claimed to love me unconditionally but still felt the need to slip into any thirsty woman’s DM’s. As I got ready to leave on a much-needed girls trip to Naples, Florida, I had the rude awakening that my partner in crime had actually turned into my probation officer. Making me feel horrible on a regular basis for treating myself was one of his favourite ways to deflect from the underlying truth at hand.

A lemon by most people’s definition is bitter, sour, and at times, even a little bit sweet. As a woman, my natural instinct when life hands me a dilapidated lemon is to bring it back to life by being an overly nurturing doormat (apparently). Funny that a person who gave themselves the nickname of a detoxifying fruit, would also be the person who could benefit from said detox the most. Not ever having a substance abuse problem personally, it was hard for me to understand the need to blackout my emotions on a fairly regular basis, but as I watched one of my decorative planters being thrown off the balcony of our apartment and into the side of a van in a drunken, unnecessary rage, I realized that my lemon wasn’t only sour, it was completely rotted from the inside out.

Surprisingly, the choice to leave wasn’t my own, my lemon ultimately sought out greener pastures which by his definition, meant the town “lush”.  As I crammed as much as I could from my lakefront condo into the back of my 2 door hatchback, which included the rug that was ripped out from under me, half the furniture and a set of mason jars that were clearly replaceable that I purely took out of spite, I felt gutted, mostly to be leaving behind my access to the 5th-floor gym.

As I tried to piece together the remnants of what was left of my self-esteem, the whole situation, unfortunately, took a turn for the worse when shit started hitting the fan like a grotesque murder scene out of a Quinton Tarantino movie. Having a gut feeling versus knowing the cold hard facts, unfortunately, doesn’t change the outcome of your emotional state, but it does make you feel less like a crazy person.

My validation came when I received a message from a woman scorned in a neighbouring province. Radiating venom in flames of desperation and malice, her words were the ones that would finally make sense of it all. All the pieces immediately fell into place with each exposed lie and the weight of all my self-doubt was lifted from my betrayed shoulders. With every gruesome detail coming to light, including a charming little anecdote that he took both one of his mistresses and myself to the same Blue Jays game, sneaking back and forth between innings (talk about a 7th inning stretch, imma-right?!), I felt the overwhelming need for protection and security, which unfortunately meant cutting ties with the people whom now represented a past life I’d sooner like to forget.

As each story started to surface from the bottom of the acidic sinkhole that was his own grave he had dug, I made the choice to take the high road…straight to my therapist. After an hour and a half of “can you fucking believe him?” revelations and coming to terms with the idea of dating again with newly developed harbouring trust issues (which lucky for me, happen to be trending right now), I spent the next year basically trying to recreate my own version of Julia Robert’s Eat Pray Love voyage. Running from my feelings while sipping airplane bottled wine in the emergency exit row, I was able to completely divulge myself in international selfishness. Spending much needed time with family on the west coast, doing yoga with the purest souls in Tulum, being able to wonder at the sheer beauty of Athena Nike’s much-deserved temple in ancient Greece, and even feeding giraffes while sipping Cab Sauv in sunny California, was really the only therapy that I needed. Not to mention, the drool-worthy Instagram photos that were revenge enough all on their own.

I’m not really sure how you ever get over a traumatic event of betrayed trust and being yelled at in public because clearly, I still have moments that I relive again and again in my mind, but just to know that my female intuition had been right the whole time, was pretty healing in itself.

I lost a lot more than just a cat and a set of Egyptian Cotton sheets from this experience, but I can safely say that what I gained from it was far more relevant. The life he provided felt priceless at times, but it ultimately came at a cost. Lemons may be a vibrant and refreshing fruit, but after being saturated in Vodka waters at the local dive bar week after week, they start to become pretty transparent. I don’t know if I believe in karma, but I do think that what you put out comes back. If that’s the case, I hope I have a front-row seat…in first class.

Signing off from Naples, Florida ✈️👍🏼

xo

Copy of Copy of Natasha


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15 Comments Add yours

  1. Me says:

    I love this post. Knowing you, and more so, him and his history, I was hopeful that you were the one. From the outside looking in, it was the perfect relationship.
    You’re strong, Nat… and you’re doing awesome. Keep on keepin on. 💙

  2. artbrymer says:

    A well-written piece of necessary soul searching with insightful parallels. Keep fighting the good fight.

  3. Mom says:

    You are one of the smartest women I know and this has made you so strong xxx your gut will never lie to you …. you have always had amazing foresight remember as a child you always knew what was dangerous… that’s when you would listen to your logic not your heart ❤️ your old soul served you well the first 18 years of life just go back to taking care of your it again and life will be an adventure with a little caution tape wrapped around you 😉
    Love always mom

  4. Desiree says:

    💕

  5. Me says:

    When I first found this almost a year ago I should have recognized all the same red flags I was reading. But of course he said it’s all lies look at how everyone took his side and not yours, so I was naive and trusting and believed him. Like you I thought I was the one who would change him. Things would be different with me. But they weren’t. We were never the issue. The common denominator was not us it’s him.

    1. Thank you for reading my story, and for stepping forward with this comment. I’m deeply sorry that you had to experience his manipulation and extreme narcissism the same way so many of us did. But once you realize that you’re not the problem, you start to see things so much clearer. Feel free to reach out if you ever need to chat. I found it helpful to talk about what I went through❤️

  6. KC says:

    So many women are coming forward and have been manipulated by this psychopath, Casanova narcissist. He sleeps with married women in your hometown and also flys them in. He hooks up with many women locally. He has unprotected sex with all of them.
    You can’t fix him, you’re not the exception, and the future he promises (marriage and that baby) is never going to happen. He’s never going to get help.

    1. None of us are “special”. He’s just a special kind of sociopath. Thanks for your comment, you are 100% correct. ❤️

  7. One of the Girls says:

    When I first read this post, I thought my back story was worse. He had me believing this was just an overly embellished story to get back at him. Until I recently realized I was living almost the same story, along side at least 7 other women. And, you were right, was worse than I had ever imagined. He was trying to have a baby with one, playing house with another, talking marriage to others… I should have listened to the red flags. But I didn’t, and now I’m devastated, picking up the pieces of my shattered heart. He blamed all his poor actions on his exes. I’m sorry I ever thought you were a horrible person…thank you for sharing your story.

  8. She’s just a friend says:

    If you’ve found yourself on this blog by googling him or if he’s still telling new supply (that’s you) about it, I’m very sorry.
    A woman went through his phone (gasp!) and found all the women (plural) that he was dating, fucking or stringing along in various stages of hoovering, love bombing or grooming. He promised a future to all of them, told them they were the only one and manipulated them. The man is a predator. He seeks out women mostly on social media and dating sites (he loves bumble, less rejection with the woman making the first move).
    He will make himself the victim, tell you all his exes were crazy. He will use triangulation with you and any ex or women you suspect he’s with. He will find out your vulnerabilities and insecurities to use against you. He will verbally abuse you. He will fly off the handle with his temper, at you or anyone around you. He will leave you bruised. He will intensely look you in the eye and then close his eyes, shake his head and look away. This means he is lying. In fact, mostly everything that comes out of his mouth is a lie. He will entrap you with his superficial charm and “mamas boy” ploys; before you know it, you’re so entwined in a trauma bond that you’re drowning.
    All the women that he says are “just friends” are never “just friends”. He has had sex (most likely, unprotected) with all of them; even the married ones. He will turn his phone notifications off while with you, so you don’t notice, or turn his phone face down.
    He will not “post” you on his instagram (not a story with a tag, a post). He has an incredible talent to make you feel like he is “the one” and that the connection you have with him is real. He can also sell ice to eskimos; he’s that convincing in his lies. He always has more than a couple women that’s he’s dating/fucking at the same time, although claims to be monogamous. If he’s told you that he got caught and he’s “changed”, that’s a lie too.
    Natasha wrote this blog in 2018 and 4 years later, he’s still doing the EXACT same things. He made her out to be crazy and vindictive, playing the victim. All those mutual friends that he said took his side? They’ve all left him now because he is such a slimeball.
    Do not fall for it, and if you have, please try to get out of it. The truth will come one day and it will rock you to your core.
    Your love can’t heal him. He doesn’t want to stop, even if he says he’s getting help or going to AA, it’s all lies. Do not give him the benefit of the doubt.
    I wish you well on your journey.

  9. Long Game says:

    He pursued me for years on instagram, copying my temperature posts so much that I muted him. It wasn’t until he used triangulation with an ex of his, that he really got his foot in the door. Our relationship was very plutonic for months and I let my guard down enough to give him my cell number the day his ex wife passed away. As I got to know him, I couldn’t understand the warnings I received about him. He seemed so kind, thoughtful, funny and incredibly sweet. He was always calling to check in and we would talk for hours. We were even talking one night when his neighbour asked if he was okay after a women was screaming his name in his building looking for him. Our chats escalated and I was already very vulnerable after a failed relationship. ( note how well he finds the vulnerable ones coming off break-ups and self esteem low). I talked to him so much throughout the day that he became a routine and the dopamine hits got me addicted even before I met him in person. It was so incredibly flattering how much attention he paid and how much he called. He told me I was his person and talked marriage. We talked about a future together and I wholeheartedly believed he was authentic. I believed every word like gospel because I had no reason not to. I worshipped him like a homecoming hero. I even made a book of his vocabulary (“lish”). Hundo.
    The red flags started to pop up when he would talk about his exes. He always had his phone face down and very guarded of it. He quelled my suspicions by offering me his passcode to his phone very early on in our relationship. It felt like he had nothing to hide and I went back to trusting him.
    Then things took a down turn in December. He picked fights a lot and would go mia for hours. Or his would say he was napping or going to LR or Big’s. He even said he was spending his birthday alone (lie, spent with a date after I bought him a cake and gave him money for supper)and went alone to a fancy restaurant (lie, spent it with a date).
    Things started to go south when I found out he was still hooking up with his ex (turns out it wasn’t his ex, but still gf) and another woman that he said was just a friend. He worked his magic though and I forgave him because he said he would end it.
    Fast forward to finding a note in some cookies from another woman (he told her he was working out of town) and then the revelation that he was dating two other women, having sex with 7-9 others and talking to several more on social media (ex hookups and FWB). He was having so much unprotected sex it was going raw.
    The truth was something just shy of a Netflix show and I’m still struggling to get my head around it. I didn’t “sign up for this”. The man is diabolical. The way he closely scheduled several women in a day (vacuuming his duvet in between women with different hair colours and a quick penis wash in his sink, hiding the gf pictures in his room)
    He gave two of us the same necklace for Christmas. He regifted some gifts to other women that he received from another woman. He referred to all his exes by profession or place.
    Lawyer, professor, the teacher, edibles, Fergus, heart surgeon, newfie. He loves to be the hero and saviour.. he will stick his neck out to rescue you and you will think he’s amazing, but it’s all an act. I didn’t know what a narcissist was until now.
    I fell in love with someone that wasn’t real, the whole thing was a made up persona and he mirrored me to suck me in. He got new glasses and said he was getting help with a counsellor and not drinking as much, but I fear it’s all a lie. It’s sad to walk away from someone that isn’t helping himself and wasting his life away. Having said that, I still have enough compassion to hope he doesn’t die alone, but it’s heading that way.
    To the new women he met on bumble this week, (may 8) hooligans, beach walk, mmmdonut drop off, bakery walk and bingo…. Good luck.. you’re already sharing him with uninformed consent.
    To the ones that go back to him after this, I hope you know you deserve better. The anxiety, triangulation, mood swings, walking on egg shells and his “lawyering”(yes or no!) condescending way of talking to you, sharing him with many many women, is not worth it. “True story or tall tale?”
    PS
    I named his fish and his emotional support alligator and I cleaned the hand prints off the wall behind his bed.. you’re welcome.

  10. It’s been done before says:

    The chairs on the beach with blue umbrella.. don’t think that’s original if he takes you there.
    The kisses on every beach “to remember the moment”. The floating dock at the marina..
    And he wears bracelets from women he dates.
    Sex in his work truck, the sauna, the pool, his balcony, in a car in his parking lot, the beach .. it’s all been done.

  11. SourLemonGang says:

    There are so many of you now I feel like you should form a club (The Sour Lemon Gang) and sell t-shirts for a nominal fee. Certainly raise awareness tat he (and others like him) are out there and very active.

  12. Another Ex says:

    The man doesn’t kiss well and he can’t find your clit
    Susan’s dusty ass son is not worth crying over

  13. Nunya Bidness says:

    As I’ve learned about this man and what he’s done/is doing the more I’ve felt heartache for those he’s hurt. Then I tried to figure out how he’s done it. Keeping up with all the intimate details of 7 women’s lives at once is quite astounding, I have trouble remembering my own schedule. But to remember birthdays, favorite colors, drinks, kids names and activities, parents names, favorite books and movies, silly stories from 6th grade; millions of details. It astounds me he was capable of this while being employed and drinking a quart of booze every day. Just think what this man could have accomplished if he’d used his brain power for something useful like curing cancer. What an absolute waste of space this guy is.

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