I guess I have every reason to be afraid of men, after what I had subjected myself to, I am surprised that I was willing to say the word “Love” at all without a facial tic. I lived through pretty much being left at the alter by (Ben) I was a victim of others lies (Ta), I was raped (Keith), cheated on (Melvin), Beaten and abused (Chris) Alcoholism (Ruffo) You would think that I could smell a bad man’s stink from a mile away, Lord knows I had been through everything a man can dish out, You would think I would know what it was I wanted out of life by now, but that is not how it works.
Beyond the Pane may have been a story about overcoming the pain caused by the Men I chose to be in relationships with. It was the path I had to go through to learn to value myself, selflove. The first door of many that I must learn to open before I can open loves door. Before I can be worthy of a real mutual and equal relationship.
Beyond the Screen is my continuing story. I had entered a virtual world that was safe, I had no fear of rape, abuse, and hurt feelings was as easy as delete to disregard.. yep I was safe from physical pain, but removing the damage done by my past was a bit harder to do and facing the emotional world of getting to know people, trusting them, well I had some real work to do.
Let me walk through it with you.
I had started school back when Melvin was with me, I had worked for the past 3 years at a nursing home as a setter for very rich ladies that families didn’t want them medicated so my services were pretty much to protect the other patients at the nursing home from my clients dementia, I often worked 40 hours a week, bought a house, balanced my finances and my kids on my own. I was being able to stand on my own two feet without Melvin. I was also working but having a summer break from school when Ruffo came to visit, yes I was quite the modern woman, I could handle it all.
I had never touched a computer before starting school in 2004 I seriously had no use of them, being forced to do assignments for class was hard to adjust, I only did homework, Microsoft word, math sites, I seldom enjoyed sitting at the computer at all, my own mother knew more about computers than I did.
Remember when Beyond the Pane first began I was talking with my West African friend on the phone? Kadasia was in a few classes of mine and she had been talking about her boyfriend’s roommate liked me, we did become close, but the reason he was interested in me was I had suggested a solution to a problem he had with his visa, he had a student’s visa and his time for school had expired, I suggested that if he fell in love with an American he could marry and stay here. I wasn’t going to get married any time soon, I might as well help someone I knew that was in desperate need, he was very afraid to go back to his country, I wanted to save him.
After all the problems with Melvin and Ruffo had subsided I saw Kadasia at school and asked how her friend was doing and I apologies for not being able to discuss it farther with him. She said not to worry because over the summer he had actually met a woman and they started dating, she wants to marry him in real and that his problems were solved. I was happy for him, he was a nice guy and he deserved a good life. But it kind of made me think, if I could do that for him, why couldn’t I do that for someone else, a man of my choosing. If men can have mail order brides why couldn’t I save some man from a third world country and have him appreciate what I had to offer. I thought long and hard, I made a list of pros and cons. I made a plan, first on the plan was to pick a website.
I searched Free matches, foreign marriage site, I found webmarraige.com (it was the only one that was free) I was still not very comfortable with the computer yet, it took some mistakes and learning the whole making a profile, trying to find a way to put a picture but when I was done, my add was accepted all I had to do was wait, and I waited, and waited and I lived my life while I waited, it was weeks before I checked again on the site and I was weeding through, too old, too young, oh my God ugly, and hell no, not a Russian! I came across a man from India, his picture looked a little dated and I wondered if he was telling the truth about his age. Sanjeev, 28, widower and father of 2 children, I sent a message “I had seen your profile, do you have any more pictures of yourself?” I waited another week for his reply “here are more pictures of me. Will you marry me?”
I laughed so hard, I was so shocked! Was he joking or was he serious? What was he thinking? Was he crazy? Then I opened his mail and saw his pictures, wow! He was handsome, the right age, beautiful children, good job with education. I looked at his eyes in one of the photos and they seemed so warm, friendly but lonely. After explaining to him that was not the way people approach a woman and ask her to marry, the relationship began, he was only able to get on the computer on his days off and I had to stay up late because of the time difference but weekly we talked, chatted on yahoo, I got a video cam and microphone and we had what I called dates often and regularly, we discussed politics, religion, our past and our dreams. Then after a few months he asked me to stand up so he could see my full figure. I hadn’t thought about it, I mean we always talked about emotional things and feelings, we talked every time until his time was up and he had to go, we never talked about sex and I loved that we didn’t, but I neglected to mention one thing about me, I was fat.
I mean I was always honest, if he had asked about my frame I would have told him, but I have a beautiful face and it doesn’t really reflect my size, I am tall and very “plump” the men here usually didn’t care much for me or they were the types that loved my size “chubby chasers”. Now I was worried, I started really liking Sanjeev, what if he didn’t like me? What if he didn’t want me anymore? I had started to get too attached to him. But regardless I had to stand and face this; I had to face what I had become. I could have blamed it on the low self-esteem or the asthma, hell I could rationalize this as a choice. Point was there are no excuses, you are who you are……. and I stood.
“Why didn’t you tell me you were so large?”
I was mortified! I started immediately crying and I turned off the computer, I cried myself to sleep that night and many nights after. I was so angry at myself for being so huge and I hated him for judging me, I didn’t open the computer for weeks. And when I felt like I was strong enough to face that question, I opened my mail. And there were 50 mails in the past 2 weeks from Sanjeev, everything from apologizing for saying it wrong, that there was a misunderstanding, to telling me that his wife was a fat girl and he loves a soft woman to hold. I started crying again only this time they were tears of happiness. Maybe I could be loved, maybe I had not been so damaged that someone could actually love me just the way I am, flaws and all.
He was so scared he lost me forever and his mails were so desperate he didn’t have my phone number or he would have called me. I sent a mail back “I am sorry to make you worry so badly, sorry I reacted the way I did. Will you marry me?”
Our life changed after that moment, he of course demanded my phone number and I had his, we talked more often and he introduced me to his children, they started calling me “new mom” and they started asking when they were going to be with me. Sanjeev felt a need to send my Dad a mail, asking to marry me, I tried to explain to him that just doesn’t happen here anymore but he felt he had to out of his own tradition. My father respectfully mailed him back. Basically telling him that it is great that he loves his daughter but we will see if it is love when it is face to face. And there lay the problem… face to face
Within the time that Sanjeev and I fell in love and 2 years later, I had signed two different papers trying to sponsor him and his lawyers actually laughed at him. I had bad credit, didn’t own my property, hadn’t worked above poverty level in the past 2 years and I had no one willing to help and co-sponser. Lord knows my family wasn’t going to, they just as well see me never in another relationship again with my track record. I couldn’t help him; he tried a few other things within a small time frame of then giving up.
He said he would never give up but when his mails became farther and farther apart, and he seemed to lose his passion for our love, well I knew he had lost his interest in me, I do not blame him, it was just too much work, I understood, so when he sent me a mail that he drank alcohol for the first time in his life and for me to forgive him, (I knew something was up) I pressured him and pressured him to tell me why did he drink? He admitted that it was an engagement party; his mother wanted him to marry a woman there. He swore that he would not marry her but he had to make his mother happy, he said he will still try to be with me, but I knew, I felt myself UNLOVE HIM if that is a real thing. That was the day (I) gave up on Sanjeev