I guess I should start with the worst. The one who ripped my soul out, swirled it around in his mouth, chewed it like a dog toy, spit it out, shit on it, then showed it to me and laughed in my face. “Gotcha. I win. I crushed you. You’re not better than me.” This was his actual thought process.
It was 1985. I was twenty five years old. I had just come back from the greatest trip of my life. Two months of tooling around Europe. I drank wine for breakfast and ate boys for lunch and dinner. I was swimming in ego and confidence. I had the world by the balls. Then I came back to America and the balls swung right into my face, gave me two permanent black eyes and the rest as they say is history.
His name was Michael Mayo. Full name. Real name. If he’s still out there actually alive and breathing it’s a fucking miracle anyway based on the amount of cocaine he shoved up his nose, down his throat, or anywhere else he could shove it. He was an aspiring model. Which is the same as saying – he was a waiter but he was too lazy even to do that. I think most of his “model” work can be found in old hair salons around the country. He posed for a picture once and sort of became the poster boy for hair cuts. Makes sense. His personality was akin to razor burn – smooth at first then leaves a nasty rash. But it was awful after we broke up because I would see his giant head all over the city – a bloated daily reminder of what a dumb dumb I was to fall for his manicured perfection. Even to this day – all these years later – I can pass by a salon in a shitty neighborhood – and see an old worn out faded reminder of his assholeness – sitting in a window – staring at me.
We met at the China Club back in NYC and I remember thinking – that guy is way to good looking for me. I should have cut bait and run then. But I liked a challenge and so in I went and I guess all of my pheromones and confidence aligned in the correct fashion that night because I GOT HIM!! YAY ME!! THE HOT GUY WANTS TO GO HOME WITH ME!!! Worst mistake ever. Two years later I woke up out of my coma and sadly – was really never the same since – when it came to men.
I wasn’t thin enough. My hair wasn’t short enough. I didn’t make enough money. I didn’t do enough drugs. I wasn’t understanding of his lifestyle. Translation: I became anorexic. Chopped off my hair. Worked two jobs. Tried to like cocaine. And accepted when he cheated on me. YOU’RE AN ASSHOLE HEIDI. But you guys, he was a MODEL! Everyday this man broke me down – bit by bit by bit – until eventually I changed from the strong confident woman I was – to a tiny shell of my former self – putting up with anything and making excuses for everything. I also lost all of my friends who were too disgusted by what I was doing to watch it happen. Of course I didn’t realize this was actually happening to me.
There are 1000 stories of what he did to me and how he did it to me but the one I shall tell now is WHY he did it to me. Because I let him.
I had to work one of my two jobs the day a mutual friend got married and so I told him to go on his own. He seemed to have a good time. I don’t think he even came home that night. (Oh yeah he lived with me rent free) About a week later – my friend asked me to edit together her wedding video and there it was. Right on the tape – right infront of my eyes – my boyfriend making out with some other girl. And it went on and on and on. I immediately went home – packed up his shit – and changed the locks. But that wasn’t the end.
Eventually he came to me and asked if he could just tell me what happened. Sure. What the fuck. Why not. I’m so damaged now anyway what more could you possibly do. Wait for it.
He told me that he literally set about destroying me. That I was so strong and confident and he was so weak that it physically hurt him to watch me go about my day with a smile on my face. So he set out to wipe it off. And he did. He cried. He apologized. And then – he moved back in. YOU’RE AN ASSHOLE HEIDI!! I wouldn’t let him tell any of my friends that he was back because I had just got them all back in my life and I knew they’d leave me again if they found out. And then one day it happened. I knew where it was all heading and I just looked and him and said – “If you are any kind of a decent human being – and have ever had any kind of love for me at all – you will pack up and get out of my life before I completely lose who I am forever.” And you know what he did – he listened – and left. So I guess I should thank him for that.
Eventually I got my shit together and dated a whole other bunch of giant energy sucking assholes. So really , I didn’t get it together at all. I guess what I still need to learn is that you can’t let other people control how you feel about yourself and the minute you notice someone zapping your confidence – and you will – leave. I’ve decided to start writing about them all because they are literally the road map to my romantic misery and maybe if I write about them I’ll find the key that unlocks the door to where all the good love memories are waiting. So if you dated me – look out – it’s about to get real one sided.