Always good to keep that in mind. Seriously.
Had a weird event occur this week, and since I can’t get to sleep I might as well journal about it. This involves a young man I met at my old regular bar about 4 years ago when he as a 21 year old began coming in with his roommate. Just chatted casually there at times, and that was the gist of our relations throughout much of the time we’ve known one another. Then in recent months he began showing up at another local bar due to moving to a house in the neighborhood, so we ran into each other and became a little more familiar. Not much to it really since we don’t see one another often, I having been back and forth on re-quitting drinking throughout most of this year.
Fast forward to a couple months ago when he asked me out to dinner. Well, wait, before that there was a bit of an issue back in the spring when he would call and text my phone late at night, which I had to check him on a couple times, roughly at that, since I try my best to discourage most people from playing on my phone in the late-night hours. Thought I got through to him that that pissed me off, and so I dropped the matter and he eventually came back around to invite me to dinner in the summer. That went fine. We enjoyed chatting, had a decent night together. And then that was that. Basically went out separate ways afterward, for whatever reasons. Saw him out and about a couple more times, maybe.
I recall he texted a few weeks ago at 4am to ask me to lunch the next day, which I declined due to too short of notice. Once again explained to him that he needs to contact me during daytime hours to request that we go on a date, letting him understand that this disregard for my boundaries and sleep schedule is doing nothing to turn me on. Kind of irritating to keep having to spell this out to the guy, but he’s young and I grasp that youths aren’t too quick on the uptake so I was trying to have patience and explain myself clearly.
Then a couple weeks ago he tried texting me around 11pm, inviting me to meet him for drinks, which I declined since I quit drinking again (and intend to stick with my decision this time around — going on nearly 8 weeks as of today). Kept texting me that evening, and I kept telling him NO, not coming out, done with drinking, don’t appreciate being bugged when I’ve already said no. Was out grocery shopping at the time and was on the phone with my best guyfriend, so he heard about how persistent this young guy was proving to be.
Which then brings us to the events of this week. Wednesday night I laid down to go to sleep about 2am. Was watching a video and had just started to drift off when I heard my doorknob being jiggled, then came a knock. I’ve been sleeping in the livingroom (per my usual custom) so there’s not much distance from the front door and where I tend to sleep. I had no idea who it could be — maybe a crazy neighbor, maybe someone wanting to rob the place? No clue. So I jumped up and grabbed something to defend myself. Another knock at the door. It’s about 2:30am at this point. I’m half-dressed and already know from past experience with a crazy neighbor to not answer my door unless I’m damn sure of who’s on the other side. Called out asking who it was, and he said his name, which I couldn’t catch at first. That’s how much I know this guy — took me a minute on hearing his last name to even process who it was. Man, not too cool to show up here this late and completely unannounced, so I was hot under the collar about it right off the bat. But I decided to open the door and he then asked to come in, and I figured it would be best not to wake up everybody else in the corridor and so let him. Immediately took note of the fact that he was somewhat drunk. Smelled like liquor from a foot or two away. Not fucking cool.
So, he came in and I was pretty pissed, understandably so. Told him how not okay this shit is, in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS. Wasn’t in the mood to try to spell everything out to this otherwise typically non-idiotic guy. Not sure what the hell is wrong with him this year, but it’s grating on my nerves big-time by then. Anyway, I said my piece and he started acting like he thought I’d let him stay the night. Hell no! Stopped by unannounced and I had to work in the morning, plus we really don’t have this level of familiarity where he should be expecting anything from me so casually. He took off his coat and started untying his boots while I’m telling him he needs to head out. Started telling me about how he recently inherited some money — great, that has nothing to do with me, nor is an excuse to show up at my place in the middle of the night. Should’ve invited me out on a date like a normal person instead of disrespecting me this way. But it’s useless saying much to a drunk — goes in one ear and out the other. So, fuck it, I decided to get kinda loud and told him he needed to leave, which he finally did. Told him never to do this again while locking the door behind him. And that definitely should’ve been the end of the ordeal.
Though once you’re woken up like that it’s tough to get back to sleep, so I stayed up another half hour or so smoking a cigarette and watching part of another video. Nestled back in and tried to get to sleep when, lo and behold, here comes ANOTHER KNOCK on my door. I stayed silent and refused to answer, but I did look out the peephole and observed him standing in my hallway, using his phone. A few more minutes went by and then—DAMN, more jiggling of my doorknob followed by another knock. Answered that one briefly simply to shout at him to “Go home!” and locked the door again.
Now I’m wondering what on earth is wrong with this guy. Never figured on him being that crazy. Pondering on how maybe my judgment of him might’ve been flawed. Could he be dangerous? An hour had elapsed from the time he initially knocked, meaning he was hanging around my apartment building all that time — until about 3:45am. Laid back down and was once again starting to fall asleep when my phone rang across the room. Didn’t answer. A few minutes later it rang again. Gotta be fucking kidding me, right? Didn’t answer. Rang a third time — I answered to ask if he’s trying to make an enemy out of me, telling him to stop trying to contact me. Laid back down…a few minutes later a text message arrived. I ignored it and went to bed.
Woke in the morning to a message where he was apologizing, telling me how he was “seriously” sorry about the night before. Ignored it for several hours.
Forgot to mention that while he was inside my home he kept saying that he missed me, which was pretty weird considering we don’t hang out hardly ever and don’t know each other that well. That sent off a red flag in my head — never any fun to deal with in the middle of the night when you’re super tired and already sleep deprived after 2 nights of being woken up repeatedly by my cat walking all over me. Ugh. Just no fun at all to deal with. Yet in his drunken brain he seemed to think this should somehow melt me toward him, like he was expressing something of real significance to me, a woman 12 years older than him who’s wanting to be left alone and not harassed while trying to sleep.
Sometimes you have to ponder the audacity of some people. But then again, I’ve been a drunken idiot numerous times in the past myself, so…I do try to be somewhat understanding about that shit, though also firm with people about how I don’t want that bullshit around me any longer. Trying to heal, recover, and move forward in my life. Do my former barpals give a damn about that? No. Honestly they don’t. It’s just the way these types of people often can be. Done it enough years to know this for certain. And there’s no point in trying to reason with a person in such a state. Will only forget whatever you tell them. Even if you explain things to them while they’re sober, next time they get drunk they’ll either forget what was said or at least pretend to. Every. Fucking. Time.
I texted the guy Thursday afternoon to let him know how tired I was after being kept up all night, how I’m not interested in his empty apologies, and basically to never pull a stunt like that ever again. Crystal clear. He responded back: “Understood.” Talked to my best guyfriend about it later on and he didn’t like the sound of all of this and so requested the guy’s name. Just to be on the safe side and all.
You’d think that would be the definitive end to that crap, at least for this week. But no. At 2:41am today (now Saturday morning) my phone began ringing. Was from a number I didn’t recognize. After about 4 rings I finally picked it up. Guess who? Frickin’ amazing…
Shouted at him to never call me again. No more contact! He murmured something about how he just wanted to let me know he got a new number — as if that’s relevant in the middle of the night. I hung up.
And so now I can’t sleep. It’s approaching 5am and I need to be up in 4 hours, but I got to wondering if that son of a gun might try walking over here and knocking again, so I’m up. Shouldn’t have to deal with this, but I’m really not one to call the police unless it’s absolutely necessary. He’s treading on a fine line with me right about now, and only getting away with this much because I do know him and previously assumed he was a relatively sane and decent person. Now I’m not so sure. He received a head injury earlier in the spring (due to his drunken shenanigans), so I’m starting to wonder if possibly that has changed him somehow. Is he not the same young guy I thought he was? Is this just alcohol getting the best of him? Either way, I should be able to sleep in my own home in peace. Dialing and texting my phone was annoying enough, but stopping over unannounced is completely unacceptable. AND THIS IS WHY I RARELY LET PEOPLE KNOW WHERE I LIVE. People call me paranoid, but THIS is why I’m like that. This shit sucks.
Am considering my options currently. Emailed my best guyfriend after receiving that last call, letting him know what info I have on the guy (phone number, approximate address, full name). Just so that info is logged somewhere. I don’t play with people who behave like this. He’s not my boyfriend — we’ve been on exactly 1 date and he’s been to my place exactly 2 times (once a year or more ago, once this year). Knows me from the barscene, fine, but still — this is not acceptable. Why would he jiggle my doorknob like that, and not once but twice?? Even after I told him that scared the shit out of me. He knows I don’t play, and yet here he was, trying to mess with me anyway. Did he want to be cussed out? Because that’s what happened and what keeps happening and is what he can reliably expect from here on out. I won’t be any fun to deal with. The goal has become to create a strong disincentive so that he’ll give up on whatever he thinks he’s trying to pursue here and move along.
Part of me feels kinda bad for the kid. He’s told me previously about how his mom was a major alcoholic and he drinks a great deal himself, which we’ve discussed many times throughout our time knowing one another. I understand he wants someone to relate with, that he’s craving attention and comfort right now. And this is not the way to go about it. I do believe the alcohol is messing him up badly these days, that that’s probably the main culprit, but it’s not going to improve until he figures that out and decides to make a change. Still, it shouldn’t be my problem. The kid hasn’t taken any advice I’ve offered on that so far, and I’m busy working on helping myself these days. Can’t help someone who won’t help himself. Can’t even reason with him. So, there’s really nothing I can do here except walk away and maintain a firm boundary to ensure he keeps a distance from me. Won’t reward this shitty behavior and lack of respect. Am getting too old for such nonsense.
I figured this matter was over on Thursday, but here it is again on Saturday. Here’s hoping he heeds my warning and decides to move along, but I don’t trust people under the influence of drugs (alcohol most especially included). Have too much experience with how badly we can behave on that substance, with plenty of regrets of my own. I hate that lifestyle and wish it would cease and desist entirely in my realm. But maybe the gods are giving me this experience to strengthen my resolve and to clearly remind me how many problems one can create for oneself. He was otherwise a nice young man whom I enjoyed playing cards with and would’ve, under different circumstances, liked to have played board games with and listened to music. But no. Now he’s taken things too far, and that cannot be tolerated. Give someone like that an inch and he’ll take a mile. No respect for boundaries or rules. Seems to think he can win me over by appealing to my sympathy — not alluring.
So much feels like looking in a mirror nowadays. I’ve made so many poor choices in the past that I can usually find a way to relate to others’ drunken shenanigans. Hard to not feel guilty about the times I’ve made others uncomfortable when it was totally uncalled for. But that still doesn’t mean I ought to be tolerant of that behavior in others now. It was wrong then and it’s wrong now, regardless of which one of us is responsible for the bullshit at the time. The best thing any of us could do for ourselves and others is leave these substances alone. Obviously turns some of us into people we don’t want to be. Gives a person reason for regrets that can last years. Not to mention how many of our relationships wound up damaged along the way.
It’s not as if I’m devoid of compassion for the guy, but I can’t fix anything there, nor should I have to put up with it. It’s truly sad to see younger folks going down that same wretched path of self-destruction. Hell, check out the old folks who succumbed to it — pretty gross to behold. Who wants to become that? Who wants that to be their story in the end? And I know the young man likes me and looks up to me (or at least he seemed to), but he’s stepped over a line here and has to get that through his head. He’s ruined relations with me at this point. And now he’s gotten me worried about what he might wind up doing next or if this will become a more regular occurrence. I’m not going to stand by silently while losing nights of sleep as he’s trying to demand my attention. Puts me in a bad position since I don’t want the kid to get in trouble because he won’t control himself, yet I have to think about taking care of myself here. This is my home. You do not bring bullshit to my doorstep. Romantic partners might give one another some grief, but that’s not who he is to me. I don’t think he means harm, but he doesn’t seem to be thinking much at all right now. Just wanting something, nevermind how the other person feels. Alcohol is a hell of a drug — true story. Can allow a person to behave very selfishly and myopically.
Anyway, I need to try lying down again since time is ticking by and tomorrow (or, technically, later tonight) I have a dinner date scheduled with a very sweet older man whose company I enjoy very much and who’s always behaved like a gentleman toward me thus far. Really prefer not to be tired all day again, so I’ll probably have to shoot for a nap in the afternoon if possible. Am not too good at crashing during daylight hours.