She’s 34, a single mother of two daughters aged 12 and 4. For this story her name will be “K”. Divorced for 2 years and working to make ends meet. For most people, that’s two full time jobs and not a moment to ourselves. But life is more than a job and raising kids. If we were meant to be alone all our lives, we would all have our own plant. K recognizes this and tries to steal a few moments of a social life out of her busy week. She isn’t a bar hopper and not looking for a one night stand. She enjoys a great many outdoor activities like bike riding, bowling, relaxing at a nice “down home” restaurant, taking in a movie, a drink with her buddies all the normal things we all enjoy doing whenever we get the chance. Unfortunately, those chances are far and few between when raising children, and in today’s age of technology, it’s not unheard of to get online and make some new friends farther away than is reasonable offline.
K is a passionate and compassionate big hearted woman who likes to make friends but at the same time is always looking for a guy she can share her life with. Someone to have at home and do things for, spend time with, share the chores, and be a good role model to her children, who will love them like his own.
K has dated and had a few boyfriends since the divorce and though each had a certain “fun factor”, none had all the qualities she was looking for. We all feel the frustration of dating and though we may end up with more friends than we ever hoped for, we would just like one to be the one we can melt into the arms of, be at peace with, laugh and play with, cry on and complain to, and most of all, it’s all ok because you trust each other with your most secret fears.
She had no idea that the Internet would reach out for her across borders, over land, shrinking the miles between her and her someone. That day came. She found herself chatting with her usual friends, and quite when she was least expecting it, found herself discussing the more important things in life with a man not too far away. They had a few things in common, but a great more things not so in common which was just fine with K because she likes the idea that her opposite is a challenge, interesting, colorful, playful and unique. She didn’t want to find her twin anyway, because she knew she would eventually tire of too many things in common and the spice of life would escape her.
They chatted online for hours leaving no stone unturned, which progressed to talking on the phone…oh so nice to have a voice to go with the words. You hear so much more when the words take on the colors of the voice. Soon it was time to meet, and add the rest of the communication that was missing, the body language, the animated facial expressions, the blushing, the eyes of true interest fixed most frequently on her smile and laughter, taking in her language of emotions through even the littlest things, like the way she tugged gently on her ear when they were discussing the simpler things in life that meant so much more than most realized.
As the days passed, they found themselves in each others company more and more. Sometimes they would spend time at his house, some times at hers, and everything felt “just right” for K. He was a good father figure to the oldest daughter, and to his own. We will call him “J”. J recently became a single father only months prior to meeting K when his significant other took her own life. They had known each other for years and had been living together for 4 years. His children, both girls also, one of 4 years one of 6 years. J and K found themselves spending almost every free moment together. It was a match made in heaven. For two weeks solid this continued, when the first curious thing occurred. K noticed J getting messages on his computer from women asking “where are you? I miss you so much!”, and Are you O.K.? I haven’t heard from you in weeks. K became nervous about these generally innocent messages that arrived as we all tend to lose a bit of security in a new relationship. J explained that we all have friends of both sexes, and some are closer than others, but that he cant fault these other [female]”friends” of his for their genuine concern and care. K understood this and accepted with all her heart that J was the kind of guy people were drawn to. K , with her big heart, hiked up her security and trust in the man she was falling in love with and let it go, proud that she was with the kind of guy all admired.
A weekend off for both J and K finally arrived as their schedules had finally coincided for a short time, and plans for a weekend camping trip were made. The excitement was high, the anticipation was great, the children all abuzz about catching frogs, chasing butterflies, trying to lure a fish to jump onto their hooks, doing the chicken dance around a camp fire well past their bed times. The gear was packed, the kids loaded into the back seat, the drive to the quiet retreat of peaceful abandon had begun. K was quietly contemplating making love under the stars, listening to crickets chirp a symphony of love’s serenade keeping her mind busy all the way through the arrival, unpacking, pitching tents and getting out the snacks until the first attempts at catching dinner could be made. K, thinking ahead, didn’t have high hopes that dinner “would” be caught, so she had brought along the necessary food stuffs that could be cooked over an open fire “just in case”. J had been busy with manly type duties, making sure trenches were dug around the tent in case it rained so rain wouldn’t flow into the tents, making sure there was enough wood to have a fire for both days, having a nice big pile of dirt or sand nearby, to put out the fire or any “accidental” attempts of the fire to escape the confines of the rock prison the fire was to live all its days in. Oddly, not much conversation between J and K which again made K nervous. Several of her attempts to “break the ice” she felt they were well past, had not produced the results she felt should. All through the evening and up to the time of going to sleep was an eery silence between the two of them. K knew J would find his sexual male prowess and make his move when the kids were fast asleep in the tent poised close enough for comfort but far enough away for privacy. That moment never came.
The next morning was a beautiful day, the kids up early making funny noises at the worms they had found meandering through the wooded floor of mother earth near the smoldering campfire waiting for the adults to ok them for a frantic swim in the motionless lake just down the hill. Still no words or even a look of enjoyment on J’s face. The weekend ended in silent discomfort for K, her daughters inside getting their baths that were much needed after the mudpie fights after dinner that weekend. J, just getting ready to leave with his daughters, gave K a kiss goodbye and told her “Thank you for the weekend, I’m afraid it will have to be our last together”. K stood there mortified and stupefied and she watched J and his daughters drive away.
The man she felt she was going to marry, the role model to her daughters she felt could only be found in her J, had left and not called for 2 days. When she finally could not allow him anymore space, she called him. K wanted to know, what went wrong. J explained he “just cant deal with some of your ‘quirks’ and felt it was time to move on”. K was devastated yet again. What quirks? Why is this suddenly news? Why wasn’t this mentioned before so they could discuss like they have been able to in recent weeks about anything and everything? That’s when J said the most unimaginable thing he ever could, “your oldest daughter is messed up and it’s not from anything I did, she was like that before I came into your lives”. K couldn’t believe what she was hearing, and hung up on J, breaking down in tears of anguish and anger and confusion. A few more days had passed, and the phone rang, it was J, in full apology mode and more humble than apple pie. “I’m sorry K, it’s my fault, it’s me, I am just having to deal with a lot of stuff in the last few months.” K, emotions pouring out of her so fast even she couldn’t keep up, asked J, “why had you signed up to so many dating services so soon after the passing of your children’s mother if you were so in love with her, if she was your entire life”? (as this was something J unwittingly expressed to K out of what seemed to be just filler conversation in those awkward silent moments they had prior to that fateful weekend). K had seen the red flag, but buried it under her overwhelming attraction to J. J was silent for what seemed like hours, he had no answer, there was no answer good enough, any answer would sound like the lame excuse it would have been, and he hung up.
That was the last time K spoke to J. Her heart broken, emotionally bulldozed, used, daughters who thought they got a second chance at a daddy, confused and emotional, wanting to know when J was coming over.
Did you see all the signs? J is a con artist. He is ill, and needs help. J was looking for sex and nothing more. J was able to find the emotional tools in K and her daughters and use them to his advantage, just like he had been doing with the other women in his life, both online and off. J had a great tool at his disposal, the passing of his daughters mother, and two beautiful little bait traps to gain the affections of his prey. J is a sexual predator of the worst kind, not to do physical damage, but far worse, emotional damage. In his own selfish ill conceived ways, he looks for the tools to use against you. The big heart, the compassion for life and children, the desire to find her “one and only” amidst frustrations of the searches in vain.
This is a true story. I hope it’s one of very few, though I have heard more than I felt I should have in my lifetime. My word of caution to the women out there, K is going to blame herself and feel she is at fault for some or many reasons, none of which are going to be valid. She is going to blame herself for making a HUGE mistake when she did not. If having a big heart, compassion for life and children, genuine feelings and emotions is a fault, then I hope we ALL have that fault. To me, it’s a gift. Granted a gift that some people search for and use for their selfish means, but please…PLEASE…if you allow someone like J, to “change” how big your heart is, causing you to blame yourself, and harden your heart and your ways, then J and his kind WIN! Do NOT let him win. Our hearts our big for a reason, because even though J thinks he is getting the best of us, or even if that thought never crossed his mind and he is still only thinking about the sex he is getting, our hearts are that big because there is certainly plenty for the RIGHT guy or gal that comes along and cherishes what we have to offer. Our hearts mend and have an infinite supply of love to give with no strings attached. J was given a gift and had it in his possession and didn’t even know it, and it disappeared for him. K will eventually come to realize she has more than enough still to share with the right man. She is just wiser to and more aware of “the signs”.