Dear Lee Burbage Part One
If any of you on the internet have been following my blog for any amount of time, you probably have learned three things about me.
- I like the Sims
- I like to write poetry
- I like to write Ted Talk novel length blog posts about my life.
That being said about number three, I go very long periods to where I actually talk about my life or what I’m going through. This is mostly because when I am writing these blogs, I am literally taking a piece of my soul and putting it out for the world to see. It’s very emotionally draining and takes a very heavy toll each and every time I write. On that same note, writing is also very cathartic and I am told not unlike giving birth. (Has no first hand experience to giving birth) You are literally creating life. Words have meaning and have impact on each and every person who reads them. Some will completely resonate with what my writing while many others will simply roll their eyes and move on. It’s all up to the individual and the context of what’s personally going on in their life in how they will perceive in what I have to say.
For instance, there are people who will believe that the trauma I went through in April wasn’t trauma at all. At the end of their day that is their opinion and right to think so. I know what it was for me and I told my story.
This is another story of what happened to me that I’m about to tell. So buckle in folks we’re here for a bumpy ride.
But before we begin, I do want to preference that I am using real names and no longer using a pseudonym of “The General.” I don’t really feel like the person at hand deserves any public protection over his actions. He did a shitty thing, refuses to make things right privately, and thereby deserves shitty consequences as I need to heal from the wounds he reopened up and reestablish my own closure that I had once made for myself between him and I.
I need to tell my story.
I am also sharing this particular story today because before I had written this, I had finally gotten closure I needed with Lee. Lee was a man I had dated but also not dated. What I mean by this is that we originally had met on Tinder, our intentions were dating. I will go greatly into depth with screen shots of conversation I have with a very good friend during this time whom I had expressed very detailed information on everything as it happened. She is still my very good friend and we still exchange these heart to heart conversations about our lives to this day. For her privacy though, I have removed all detailed information concerning who she is and any information about her. Certain words will be blocked out concerning other people and information not relevant to the topic.
When Lee and I had reconnected for the second time, it had been as just to be friends with benefits. But as I describe the events in the sequence of which they happened, I will leave it to you the reader, to be able to see if the emotions that were felt were one sided to just myself. I do not say Lee loved me back as I had felt for him, nor have I ever made that claim. What I have always claimed is that there were feelings of more than just friends with benefits on his end as well. That lines and boundaries of what we had setup were not just blurred and crossed but straight up violated.
I am also sharing this because of the closure it’s help giving me. I have Lee blocked on every social media and do not wish to have contact with him. I do not care about his opinion of me. At the end of this blog you will see the gross mishandle of the situation at hand as he had reached out to make contact. I hope whoever is reading this will understand why I needed to share this, my story. This is for me and any person out there whose gone through something similar. This is for any person whose been not just been shut out and lied to but have been manipulated. It wasn’t just that Lee shut me out but, as you will see in his “apology,” in the next part of part 2 with the screen shots, he refuses to acknowledge that there had been anything more than friends with benefits. To him that this was what we had agreed on and that was where it hand ended. I hope you see with my own screen shots that it wasn’t. I don’t even think he means to manipulate me or the situation at hand. I think that he is more lying to himself and thereby trying to manipulate the story to ease his own conscious and not feel guilty, to not be as big of a bad guy as he actually was. But I digress.
Let’s start where all stories should begin, at the beginning.
Like I said a few paragraphs ago, I met Lee on Tinder in November of 2020. We had met at Kudo’s coffee shop one evening for our date. It’s not presumptuous to say we both had a great time. We talked for at least an hour, probably closer to two moving from the inside coffee shop to an intimate corner outside. Afterwards we took a walk and strolled through the streets of downtown Charleston. At one point we had stopped across the street of a church. The giant Christmas tree was up and lit and as the sun set I very much remember in the moment wanting to kiss him. I didn’t, and the moment passed and we kept walking, each with these huge smiles on our faces.
We agreed on a second date a couple days later on Veterans day since it was a holiday for his work. I had plans that morning to volunteer at Pet Helpers but he would pick me up afterwards and we were going to go to Charlestown Landing for a walk. He had even mentioned otters so I was instantly sold. Unfortunately the weather had other plans and rained us out. Instead we went back to his apartment where he introduced me to his dog Roux and we put on a movie. We ended up fooling around but not fully having sex. This was mostly due to my embarrassment of being on my period and his very white bed sheets but I digress.
We made plans to meet up on Saturday with no specific date planned except that we would meet after I was done with work. An hour or so before I was done with my shift he texted me to cancel, not even a reschedule in sight. He said he had eaten a bad salad for lunch the previous day and had gotten food poisoning and had been on the toilet all morning. I had wanted to believe him but pun intended, I could just smell the bullshit. Disappointed, I said okay and hoped that he felt better soon. I didn’t want to call him a liar or not believe him but I just couldn’t shake the feeling that something was off, that he wasn’t being honest with me. We talked on the phone the next day and he let me down gently, that things were just moving too fast and that he wasn’t ready for a relationship because of the divorce he was still going through.
I was heartbroken but I understood. I respected him because even if what he said was or wasn’t true, he had at least let me know one way or another that he didn’t want to date anymore. And I was fine with that. Let’s fast forward to a month later in early December.
In December I matched on Tinder with a guy I’ve called Fishsticks. Fishsticks was probably the most unique experience for me up until this point. I say that because he was a marine biologist and a Mormon. Not that the two can’t go together, I had just never dated a religious person before let alone a scientist. It felt a little bit like an oxymoron. Not that someone can’t be two very different things at once, I was very curious and interested to see how it would go.
I was also interested in him for more than his religion or his background. Like so many of the other guys I’ve gone out with, he was simply interesting. I liked the way his mind worked. For example, when we matched on Tinder we spent 12 hours straight just texting before meeting. We ended up having a date literally the next day because I just had to meet the guy who I couldn’t put my phone down from 4pm to 4am. I ended up liking a lot about him. I liked how he took the seriousness of ordering food off a menu with the same decision making skills the house and senate do when it comes to voting. By that I don’t mean he was critical of the food when it came. As he read the menu, he liked to imagine each ingredient that he read and visualized it as the dish itself. Then he would try to decide which meal sounded best based off of what sounded the most interesting. To some this would drive absolutely nuts who just want you to pick something already and I won’t say this didn’t test my patience once or twice. But usually it got me to slow down and imagine ordering food through his eyes. It made me stop and ask questions and really question what was in my food.
I liked how he always tried to teach me stuff about the ocean and our many trips to the beach. We would stare literally every shell and would try to get me to understand what the difference between a mollusks, a clam, an oyster even if the shells were broken. Especially if the shells were broken. We probably spent about 20 minutes on this dead sea slug.
I liked the games he would invent in his mind. This mostly included “name that movie quote.” At first it was extremely frustrating but when I was open with him about my frustrations, he began to tweak and compromise the game to make it enjoyable for both of us.
The other thing was that Fishsticks was waiting till marriage to have sex. This was also something we had discuss in advance and I wasn’t sure if it was something I could do. Of course one of my former coworkers Yvette, who I screened every man in advance to her, always reminded me that yes, yes I could. He was Yvette approved so I said I would try.
Christmas was fast approaching and then the next thing you know it actually was Christmas. Which made me think of Lee but, not in a romantic way. Back in November, after the second time we had met up he had told me how much he loved Star Wars. While scrolling through Facebook I came upon an ad through Amazon of a Darth Vader coffee mug that simply said “Whose Your Daddy.” I got a good chuckle at it and had ordered it while Lee and I were still seeing each other. I had no expectations at the time if we would still be going out or not by Christmas but I had wanted to buy it anyway. It was literally still sitting in it’s packaging on Christmas Day when I thought, hey why not try reaching out to Lee? So I wished him a Merry Christmas through Facebook and said that I hope he was doing well. He seemed happy to hear from me and we exchanged messages for a few days like this. I joked about the Christmas gift I had for him and he said he thought it was thoughtful of me. Then I had asked along the lines how if it was okay that I’d really like to be just friends and maybe even drop off the present. I told him it was totally okay if he wasn’t interested but he said that he was. He seemed genuinely happy to hear from me.
Which in point made me happy. We joked around with our messages but not really having too much to do with each other. It was mostly our schedules, and we kept having to postpone till we finally did meet up on January 23rd.
By mid January, I was at the typical check point that most new couples a month in start to ask themselves about the person they are seeing. Or well, maybe it’s just something I do and I am projecting. A month is when I start to ask myself, is this someone I want to continue dating? Could I see a future with them? What do I like or dislike about them so far? I am not one for labels, at least not that early, and I’ll explain why, but about a month is when I want to start to push for exclusivity. It’s more or less a ticking time bomb. Fishsticks and I had talked when we first met that neither one of us were looking for something exclusive, even though neither of us had been seeing other people. By this point I had deleted my Tinder profile and was going to take a break from dating either way. I told this to Fishsticks and was willing to give it another month before bringing up the topic again. Except we never got that far.
Fishsticks went to go stay with his family that weekend in North Carolina when Lee and I finally decided we could make time for one another to hang out. I wasn’t extremely worried about anything romantic happening with Lee but there was this little on going debate in my head over if an opportunity presented itself, would I take it and do I want to open Pandora’s box if I do? Our messages weren’t anything but friendly if not albeit silly on Facebook but I remembered the way my lips tingled when Lee kissed me from last November and had always wanted to know if he was a good lover. That being said even though I knew I had a green light from the agreement Fishsticks and I had made I asked myself, if the shoe were on the other foot, how would I feel?
Fishsticks had understood that I didn’t know if I could wait till marriage to have sex or what exactly it was that I wanted. Because of this, it was hard to make even jokes about sex or to be too leud without making him feel uncomfortable. I don’t exactly consider myself as someone who is sex crazy or makes constant inappropriate jokes but it was just like, once I realized I needed to suppress these thoughts and feelings in order to not cross boundaries with Fishsticks you might have well combined Samantha from Sex in the and Michael Scott from the Office into me as one person. At the very least, I always wanted to say “that’s what she said!” But I tried my best not to of course. I think one of the biggest values I have is to never intentionally make someone uncomfortable and to always do my best once I’ve realized my mistake to correct any kerfuffles on my behalf.
That being said, I knew when I met Lee that I wanted to just be friends without any romantic involvement. Even though Fishsticks and I weren’t exclusive, I didn’t want to open that Pandora’s box. I didn’t want to date two people at once when I could barely manage my romantic feelings for one person. This was the reason I had deleted Tinder off my phone, I just am not a juggler when it comes to dating. Which is why the messages I exchanged between Lee at this point were fun and silly, they were in no way flirty or suggestive.
I was nervous about meeting Lee again though. Just because I knew where I stood, I hoped he was in the same mental state too. I hadn’t mentioned that I was seeing anyone since it wasn’t serious with Fishsticks and yet Lee hadn’t mentioned any women he was seeing either. Hindsight says maybe I should have brought it up anyway. Hindsight says maybe there was a reason because there was a part of me that wanted to be sexually intimate with Lee. But I didn’t want to go there while I was dealing with how I felt with Fishsticks nor was I so bold to assume that Lee would even reciprocate my intimacy.
Then Lee and I met up. You can read the screen shots below for more detail.
So it’s pretty obvious I was dealing with a lot of internal conflict at this point. I was struggling and suppressing my sexuality with Fishsticks but found his intellect more interesting than Lee’s. If I could have molded them into one person, I would have.
I made myself have that awkward conversation with Fishsticks in person. We sat in his car in front of Yee Old Fashioned. It took me awhile to open up as I had been very nervous the entire evening. He had just gotten back home just the night before. So I told him. He paused for a moment and thought about what I said. Then he nonchalantly shrugged, “We’re not exclusive.” I proceeded to tell him that I knew this but having sex with Lee meant something. The actual sex didn’t mean anything with Lee but it had developed a standing point of where I needed to be with Fishsticks. A point of no return. The confusing part was is that I didn’t want any official labels of boyfriend or girlfriend. I didn’t want a committed relationship, I just wanted to continue to exclusively getting to know one another. Sure, you might say, a boyfriend. But to me there is a difference. I don’t like labels. Dating. That’s a word I like because as defined by Merriam-Webster “to record the time of the execution or making of : mark with the date”
In an essence, a precursor to the label of boyfriend or girlfriend or the step just before. For example when I dated my ex Chris, we went six months before we had the conversation of labels of boyfriend and girlfriend. Labels also mark possession as “mine” or “yours” and I didn’t want to be firmly anyone’s until I spent more time getting to know them.
But yeah. Because of the sex I had with Lee, I was ready to see if Fishsticks was open to trying out exclusivity. He wasn’t and I said okay but that I needed to walk away romantically from us. He said okay. I said I was still open to being just friends and he said okay. And that was that. That was the last time I ever saw Fishsticks again even though we did text off and on for the next two weeks. I stopped texting him after he made fun of me for getting my learner’s permit, it wasn’t funny after that, had crossed a line and he never reached out to me either.
I should have ended things with Lee right then and there. When I say ended, I should have never slept with him again. I was too emotionally vulnerable even though I had thought I was fine, that we could do the whole friends with benefits thing. The thing was I couldn’t. Not when it came to the emotional side of what we talked about. Lee and I met up again on February 2nd. Two days later I was catching up with my friend about it.
I opened up some very, very, intimate details with Lee, like about how I had been forced to have an abortion. It’s not something I hide but again it’s not the everyday thing you tell a random stranger. Except… I guess I kind of am now by publishing this blog. At the time I didn’t feel like I had a choice. I still to this day feel as if my mother emotionally manipulated or forced me to have an abortion. I went to church this past weekend and in the sermon, the pastor talked about how Eve gets the blame for eating the apple but people rarely talk about how it was the snake who convinced her in the first place. So while it was her choice to do what she did, she only did so at the advice of another. I’m not trying to get into the topic of abortion or religion, it just gave me a lot to think about concerning my past. There are just many points in my life where I wish I could stop myself and go back in time, telling myself that I didn’t have to listen to my mother, that I did have a choice is definitely one of the things I would have done.
Rereading these messages, I can quickly see where I was developing feelings for Lee. Four days later I openly admitted to my friend that I was developing a crush. I talked about how I didn’t feel worthy or would ever be good enough to be with Lee because of his job. (Which I have blocked out/won’t be sharing on my blog)
Then I started to fantasize about what it could be like being in a relationship with him. I was able to separate reality from fantasy but that being said, I really began to appreciate things like his calm demeanor and being so open with me about his feelings. When we talked, we talked. It meant a lot coming to me as a victim of abuse from my past relationship and growing up with my mother. His intellect was showing more and more as just down right.. clever, instead of shoving it into people’s faces. It was the little quips and zings and unexpected turns he could follow me into conversation.
Maybe it was just the romance of Valentines Day or maybe it was just me but I remember the kiss he gave me when I walked into the door. I had barely said hello to his dog and then to him before he locked his lips on mine. The lines became blurry for me at this point. I didn’t want to rush what I was feeling but I was seriously falling head over heels for him.
I want to unpack the screen shot above some more. This was the first time I had ever used the word date to describe meeting with Lee. Now that being said, it was Valentines Day and I had been dirty sexting him pictures of lingerie, trying to turn him on. I had wanted sex and lots of it but this would also be the very first planned sleepover between us. I had talked my boss into letting me switch shifts. Sleepovers hadn’t been off the table before but I had worked a job that required me to be in at five in the morning. Even still, my recent dating history with sleepovers with a man had left two very bad experiences for me. So sleeping over with Lee was a big deal.
I should have been more honest with Lee about the sleepover but in truth I didn’t want to put any unneeded pressure onto him. I know he would have told me it was okay and that I could go home at any time. The thing was, I wanted to sleepover. I was playing with fire because I wanted to know what it was like. I wanted to know what it was like to wake up in his arms as he gently held me. I wanted to know if he snored or slept on his back. I even wanted to know if he farted in his sleep, which yes gross, but I wanted to know how human he was. What were his flaws? I was more scared of him seeing my flaws. I do snore and I have restless leg so bad that I’ve kicked any partner I have had in my life several times a night. I was afraid of him seeing me like this the next morning.
I was scared of him seeing my flaws and not finding me attractive enough, there by not worth loving. So yes. That sleepover did mean a lot to me. And I wasn’t honest with myself about it nor with him.
The sex itself up until this point had been the most liberating and freeing sex I had ever had before in my life. I am far what you call a prude but I am also very inexperienced despite how much sex I’ve actually had. I am very cautious on what I will and won’t try in the bedroom albeit I have a very pretty long list of things I’m curious about. The simple truth was I hadn’t found a partner I could trust to really turn things up until this point. For example he told me to bite the inner part of his thighs first saying “harder!” So I chomped down and he moaned. So I did it again and then yelled out, “Yes mistress!”
I remember freezing when he said that, trying to see how I felt about it. I didn’t hate it, it wasn’t degrading as other words would have been like slut or whore but instead had a very girl boss vibe to it. The word mistress instantly said to me that he wanted me to be in charge and in control. Then I realized I kind of liked it except I had absolutely no experience with S&M and I didn’t know how to act. So… I acted like I didn’t hear it, hoping we could bring it up later. Not to stereotype but it made me want to run out and go buy some thigh high black stiletto boots, a whip to spank him with and tell him what a very naughty man he has been. Several times he introduced a toy he that belonged to his ex wife, twice he tied me up and once he blind folded me, being my dom. It was incredibly hot and sexy. But again, I didn’t know how to act. I wanted to reciprocate as it seemed like he wanted me to but I just didn’t know how. I wanted to learn these things and experiment with S&M play and toys among other things. There were talks of three-some’s, orgies, and anal play for both of us. Again I had absolutely no experience on any of this and Lee was the first person I could finally feel liberated with.
That being said, he would very much tenderly hold me and make sweet love. It was a plethora of different experiences. And after each time, we would hold each other, usually my head on his chest and we would talk. We talked about so many intimate things about our lives and past, for example the abortion my mother had. He talked to me about his ex wife, his job, so many things. Then we would have sex again. We did this for hours upon hours till we finally lay exhausted side by side. He let his dog Roux in and she immediately jumped up to me and snuggled into my arms.
“Roux you traitor,” he said with a smile and I smiled back.
“She’s such a good girl,” I said smugly kissing the top of her head. And I fell asleep all night with his dog in my arms and him curled up on the other side of the bed.
I guess this is the part of the blog I want to ask you, do you think that we are just friends with benefits? This actually made me stop to do research and here is what I found.
Yes. And no. I said in the beginning of the blog that the lines had become very blurry.
According to this one article from Brides.com
It’s important to recognize that this person isn’t going to be able to provide you with the emotional support and care that are typically demonstrated by a partner in a committed relationship. That may include more intimate activities such as crying on their shoulder, attending family events, or going on a formal date.
So let’s see and break that down. Emotional support and caring? Yup. Crying on the shoulder? Yup. It was true that we had not gone on a formal date or gone to any family events but then again, it had only been three weeks and we had only remet up three times up at this point, seeing each other roughly once a week, now with the sleepover. The sleepover definitely felt like a blurred line to “only being friends with benefits.”
And yes my dear readers, this was a gray area of not being just friends with benefits and yet not dating. Dating but not dating.
I told myself that I needed a few days to step back and think. I was feeling very overwhelmed about everything. Except…
And three days after that, I started to feel sick. Really sick. Also I had gotten the date wrong when I had written to my friend, it would have been January 23rd not the 16th but that was a small error on my part from being stressed about my possible
Six days later after that…
There are four things I want to point out that break the only friends with benefits rules. One: Wrapping his arm around me in public. Two: Him feeling guilty for sex being the only thing we did, particularly just having sex and leaving afterwards. He felt guilty that I had to work so early the next morning that I couldn’t sleep over. Did that mean he wanted me to sleep over but just couldn’t say it and understood that my job came first? Three: Implying that we could go out to do more than just stay at his place to have sex, to go out and do things together. Four: We started talking on the phone a couple times a week before we go to bed having really good conversations.
I mean hello?!
I would seriously like to meet the person who wouldn’t call this mixed messages from Lee. His words from before were one thing but his actions were literally proving another. I decided to be honest with Lee about my feelings and how they were developing
My friend had asked me how Lee had responded to getting his Covid vaccine but the important part I’d like to point out is that he and I were having more serious conversations. Then he did the biggest thing by bringing me into a discussion his parents were having: the chicken debate. It was a big deal to his parents and something the three of them had been arguing about for quite awhile and now Lee wanted my opinion.
It honestly felt like just a matter of time before he introduced me to his parents and us going on dates. And then officially dating. That’s where I could see where we were going, all the signs pointed to it.
There was also this look that he would always give when I met his eyes. It’s hard to prove feelings from just a look but it was always there when he watched me. He looked at me like I was beautiful and wanted to reach down right where he stood to kiss me. Even this one time when I had thought my ass had gotten red as a baboon’s ass and I had wanted to cry when he saw it, he just sweetly chuckled at my over reaction and kissed me tenderly. He thought me… just me.. was beautiful.
The next week I started pulling back from Lee a lot. A lot of things were going on in my life like trying to move forward with my goals. Those goals included getting my taxes done, fixing stuff with my bank, and I had a possible opportunity to move out of my ex’s place. On March 6th I sent this to my friend.
A week prior to the March 6th message I had made the comparison about my needs developing from what I wanted between Lee and I. I joked that I was like the mouse “When You Give A Mouse A Cookie.” I didn’t realize how right it was.
I was constantly needing the next thing. What I wanted right then was more time. Not a ton of time but at this point we had only been meeting up roughly once a week and one time we had met up twice that week. I had loved it but I had wanted more. I wanted to a couple nights a week go over to his home, put on a movie together and cuddle up on the couch for a couple of hours. But he would never make the time.
I had reminded myself that we were technically not dating but at the same time, all these boundaries up that I have outlined in this blog had been crossed by both of us. My feelings had developed into something stronger than he felt for me at this point because of it but I still knew that he enjoyed my company. I knew that he still liked me and was potentially falling in love with me back, albeit at a slower pace.
I told myself I needed to pull back, I was being too needy especially how I handled him when he was at his friends house. He didn’t need to check in with me on who he was spending his time with but I had hoped to at least he’d want me to know. I wanted to plan time together around his life but at the same time felt too uncomfortable to ask him when a good time that week would be to meet up again. So instead I became insecure with myself.
But my friend always seems to know exactly what I need to hear and the right words of advice to give me.
Except I had caved and didn’t do what I said. In the moment it felt like I had made everything better…
Here is where I was extremely honest with Lee. He promised me that he would let me know when things felt “too relationshipy” and when I asked him about hanging out more, he said was okay with it and willing to see how it goes.
Two days later his grandmother fell ill…
Like the last line says in the screen shot above, this was a whole new ball game now that his Grandmother had passed away.
The problem with me is that I always caved. Always. I could never leave well enough alone. Not talking for a day with knowing what he was going through felt like torture to me. I 100% realize this toxic trait that I did. I was making this event about me in relation to Lee. My biggest fear was abandonment. I was afraid Lee wouldn’t want me anymore, that he didn’t want me anymore. It didn’t matter that his grandma had just died in the sense he wasn’t letting me be there physically for him. I was making it about me.
And now for the breakup that wasn’t a breakup.
I will be very honest because for some reason until I had reread these messages for the first time since it happened back in March, I had always remembered that Lee was the one who broke up with me. Maybe I remembered events this way because it just simply felt that way. It felt like he put the gun in my hand and with his hand over mine, pulled the trigger that would shot the bullet into my stomach, ending things between us. Assisted suicide.
The biggest key note to take in here is that we agreed that we would talk again in a few months. I pictured myself in a better space physically and emotionally checking in.
End of Part One.