self esteem

Week 11: ARP (The Girl Who Lived)

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Over the next 10 weeks, I want to share:

10 Character Traits in People who are Susceptible to Toxic, or Emotionally Abusive Relationships.

But first, I need to tell you the story of a girl I envied.

 The Girl Who Lived

When I was dating Mr. Cruelly Handsome, he told me the story of a woman he tried to date a few months before we met.

We’ll call this woman Julia.

Mr. C met Julia in a bar and was instantly attracted to her.

He came on strong, flattering her, lavishing her with attention, practically getting on his knees to beg for her phone number. She happily complied.

Mr. C called Julia right away and scheduled a date for the following day after he got off his work shift as a paramedic at 4:30 p.m.

He told Julia he’d just have to swing home to shower up and change and would pick her up by 5:30 for dinner and clubbing.

She was delighted.

4:30 p.m. rolled around the following day and Mr. C’s shift ended.

He thought about heading home to get ready for his date, but decided he should take advantage of the tools at the station to give his personal truck a quick tune-up.

It shouldn’t take long.

By about 5:30, he was still working on his truck and realized he was running late for his date with Julia.

He was making such good headway on his truck that he really didn’t want to stop just yet, so he called Julia and told her he was running a little late because, he lied, one of the medic-runs he’d gone on had kept him later than his end of shift.

But he’d pick her up at 6:30.

Of course, she completely understood and looked forward to seeing him.

Mr. C hung up and decided that bought him just a little more time to finish up with his truck.

Plus a couple of his buddies who were working the shift following his, hung out with him in the garage to “shoot the shit” while he wrapped things up.

Suddenly, he realized it was 6:45 p.m. and Julia was probably really wondering where he was.

Rather than feeling sheepish about losing track of time and disrespecting her time, Mr. C felt a little bit annoyed by Julia.

He didn’t like knowing she was waiting for him and this made him a little bit resentful. Even though he was the one who asked her out.

Mr. C decided he’d get there when he got there. Which was at 8 p.m.

A full two-and-a-half hours later than he was supposed to arrive.

But it was a Friday night, he reasoned, and 8 p.m. was still an early time to go out.

So Mr. C alighted from his now perfectly tuned truck and rang Julia’s doorbell. There was no answer. He rang the doorbell again. No answer.

After ringing the doorbell several times he was really ticked off. I mean who did this girl think she was, standing him up this way?

This had never happened to this strapping 6’’ 2” darkly handsome paramedic sporting his six-pack before.

He pulled out his phone and dialed Julia’s cell phone, wanting to know where she was and to give her an earful.

She answered on the first ring.

“Where are you?” he furiously asked. “I’m at your front door to pick you up for our date and you’re not even here.”

“Actually I am here,” said Julia. “But I’m not going out with you tonight or any other night, for that matter.”

“What are you talking about? I’m here. We can go out right now. I have a really romantic dinner planned.”

“Mr. C,” she said … and I envy her poise … “You’re not interested enough in me for me to be interested in you. Don’t come here again. And lose my phone number.”

I think that deserves its own photo:

good self esteem

This just about drove Mr. C mad. Suddenly, this woman was so desirable.

He was willing to do anything she asked at any time in any amount. She told him she just wasn’t interested and wished him well.

Julia knew something in one night it took me five years in a relationship with Mr. C to figure out, that he was toxic.

So. Why was Julia able to spot the first and second toxic people Red Flags and cut bait, while I was unable?

My guess is she had incredible self esteem and didn’t have the first character trait in partners of toxic men, I’ll be covering TRAIT #1 next week, so keep an eye out.

To start from the beginning of my Asshat articles click here. And be sure to opt-in to Shannon’s weekly newsletter HERE.

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  • Jamie@southmainmuse
    Posted at 09:54h, 13 October Reply

    Yep. Yep. And yep.

  • the gold digger
    Posted at 23:09h, 16 October Reply

    Dating the big jerk in grad school (the one who asked my friend Debbie out the second I was on the plane for the second-year exchange program) was not enough for me. I had to have lesson #2, the big jerk from my college alumni association who told me that he could see a future with me, but we couldn’t date yet. Because – because I don’t know why. So he could call me and talk to me every day for an hour and he could take me to meet his parents, but the second [wxyz] happened, I was an evil seductress who had tricked him and how dare I, etc. (Yes, I will see him at my upcoming class reunion. But I think 15 years should be enough to get over a jerk, right?)

    After two dating jerks, I think I learned to spot toxic people, which is why the warning bells went off when I met my (now-husband’s) parents. They told him not to marry me and threatened to boycott our wedding (which would have been fine with me), but it wasn’t until they told my husband that the reason they didn’t like me was because of how I eat bacon that I knew they were just looney and it was not me. I told my husband I did not care if they liked me and I was no longer going to try. I went to my MIL’s funeral just to make sure she was dead.

    • Shannon
      Posted at 22:58h, 18 October Reply

      Okay, you just made me laugh out loud. The good news is you didn’t marry a jerk. Now that’s a victory!

  • Jacqueline Snider
    Posted at 19:24h, 29 October Reply

    So true! And I’m really happy to hear that this woman had the self-esteem she needed to tell him No!
    I might not have. Not when I was younger, and not quite as wise as I am now.
    Good article!

    • Shannon
      Posted at 18:04h, 30 October Reply

      Thanks so much Jacqueline! Glad you enjoyed it.

  • Liz
    Posted at 16:53h, 07 March Reply

    Made my daughter(college age) read this article and bookmark your page. She was starting to follow in my footsteps. Thank you for this Web site.

    • Shannon
      Posted at 21:23h, 11 March Reply

      Liz so glad to know it helps!!

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