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The Worst Person I’ve Ever Met, Part 9 “The Doppleganger”

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I’ve changed the title of his installment, as I realized I had swapped some things on the timeline. “It’s All Right Here Waiting For Me” will be the title of part ten.

If you’ve missed installments, here are links to Part OneTwoThreeFourFiveSixSevenand Eight

On Cathy’s last day in Kalamazoo, she wanted to meet up to return some things she’d borrowed from me. Because my son attended school downtown, I suggested we meet for coffee. She arrived with my things, and an addition: copies of my books that I had signed and given to her, with personal messages about our friendship written inside. She didn’t need them, she explained, because she didn’t have room to take them with her. She needed that space for “real” books.

Two things happened during this meeting that made the entire ordeal worth it. The first is incredibly petty on my part, but I’ll never get tired of remembering it. Cathy, who prided herself on her intelligence and her vast knowledge of the English language, admitted that she had no idea what “dichotomy” meant, despite seven years of studying and writing papers on literature.

The second was…I don’t want to say it was magical. Because it was more horrifying than anything. But it did provide me with some small measure of intense satisfaction.

We met Cathy’s behavioral doppelganger. And she treated Cathy exactly the way Cathy treated everyone else.

Cathy was in the middle of recounting how she’d gone to say goodbye to her son and how he’d “manipulated” and “tried to trap” her by crying and clinging to her as she left for what would likely be the last time he would ever see her, when the door to the coffee shop opened and a woman a little younger than us stepped inside. She spotted Cathy. Cathy spotted her. And while it’s somewhat misogynistic to compare competitive women to cats, there’s really no other metaphor for the way they looked at each other, like two strays who don’t care for each other much and must maintain frozen eye contact to judge the other’s intentions.

After a beat of this very unfriendly glaring, both of them pasted on identical smiles and uttered extended, upward tilted, “Hey!”s of forced enthusiasm. They hugged like old friends and Cathy invited the woman to our table.

I don’t remember much about the other woman besides that she was blonde and had a lot of anti-capitalist slogans on pins and patches on her coat, but she was carrying a giant Coach bag. She––I’ll call her Tori, which I hopefully haven’t used yet––and Cathy had been roommates before we’d ever met, so they chatted a bit about mutual friends from days gone by. Of one of them, Tori said, “Oh, he got married to Maggie. But it lasted less than a year. Can you believe that? What kind of a loser can’t make their marriage last more than a year?”

My husband nearly choked on his scone.

It became obvious to me from the way Tori steered the conversation that she knew much more about what was going on with Cathy than she let on. “I heard you were moving,” she said, and then, with a laugh, “If you met him on the internet, can I slap you?”

Watching their exchange take place was like seeing the face of God and finding out that God is a huge a-hole. Because I was so entranced, I took notes on my Blackberry under the guise of answering an urgent email. When Cathy informed Tori she’d be moving to Colorado, Tori had to top her.

“Oh, well, I’m moving to L.A. on October first. And then my face is going to be plastered everywhere because I’m going to be famous. We just finished a new album and we’re going to release it when we get out there and wait for someone to snatch it up. It’s so good. Everyone who’s listened to it has just been––” Tori opened her mouth wide and made jazz-hands while imitating a choral “ah!” “––So, I’m pretty much going to be mega-famous.”

I looked up. “So…you’re moving to L.A. with your band and you hope you’re going to get a record deal but you don’t have one yet?”

She shook her head vehemently. “Oh, no, we already have a record deal. There’s a billboard and everything on Sunset. I would show you a picture, but it’s supposed to be really hush-hush until the record comes out.”

To this day, I have no idea how she thought I was going to buy that a billboard in L.A. would be considered hush-hush, but perhaps it is a truly different world out there. I also wasn’t sure how they already had a record deal but they had to wait for a label to pick them up, but I wasn’t about to stop her from digging. For once, I was able to observe Cathy’s species in the wild without danger of being mauled, myself.

“It’s not really a band,” Tori went on. “It’s just two of us. But I’m the cute and talented one.”

Unable to stand another moment of not being the center of attention, Cathy jumped in. “Well, I just finished writing my first book. It’s really long, it’s like eighty-two pages of poetry. I submitted it to a very small and exclusive press, and my old English professor says he knows it’s going to be published.” She didn’t mention that the small, exclusive press was her MySpace boyfriend’s zine. Or that the praise her old English professor––the one she’d been so convinced she would bed––had heaped upon her staggering work of incredible literary merit had been a curt, unsigned email warning her that if she continued to send him sexually suggestive materials, he would take action.

Then, with an indulgent smile, Cathy turned to me and said, “Just think, by this time next year you can come to Colorado and be an assistant to a world-famous author.”

I had to restrain myself from sarcastically gushing, “Golly, a real author with real books!”

Her purpose fulfilled, Tori stood and announced she had somewhere to be. She got her coffee to go and left, and once the door closed behind her, Cathy said, “Ugh, I can’t stand her. All she can do is talk about herself and how wonderful she is. But you know, I’m just like, ‘You win,’ because if it’s so important to her to be better than me, I don’t really feel like competing.”

It was, nearly word-for-word, something I’d said about an author I’d been on the outs with the month before. But that was Cathy’s way; she would hear someone say something, the repeat it to them weeks later as though she’d come up with it. Someone could say, “Cathy, I said that yesterday,” and she would insist that they were wrong, that it had always been her personal philosophy. Then, she would shake her head and smile fondly, as if lamenting the folly of her less enlightened friends.

We said goodbye. I forced myself to hug her. She promised she would call. I hoped that she wouldn’t.

Later that night, I met with Cristin and we compared notes. She’d seen Cathy a few days before to say goodbye, though she wasn’t as warm as I had been. It hadn’t seemed to bother Cathy, though. She’d chatted away as though everything was still fine between all of us, stating that it would “be nice” to see her son one last time before she left for Colorado, but, “If that doesn’t happen, well, I’m just really busy.” Though she’d claimed she was all set to attend the low-residency writing program in Massachusetts in a couple of months, her tune had changed slightly. “Writing is the most important thing in my life,” she had explained to Cristin. “If I’m too busy with this book, school is going to have to take a backseat.”

My theory is that there was no such thing as a low-residency writing program for people with associate’s degrees and in the days between leaving for Colorado and actually arriving there, her two fake worlds collided. Cathy prided herself on being the most intelligent, well-read, and educated person in our social circle. Though Cristin was a former journalist who’d gone from private school to a top 100 university, Cathy easily dismissed Cristin’s major as not “creative” and therefore not on par with her seven years studying English in a community college. I never completed my degree and grew up in a rural area, so I was the endearing yokel who thought she could be a real writer, bless my delusional heart. And Sam had been forced to withdraw from school in the wake of the divorce, so he was a “loser.” But her smarter, more urbane and witty friends in Colorado were all highly educated, with advanced degrees and had published papers in the fields in which she considered herself an expert. With no hope of topping their credentials, Cathy now dismissed formal education as an unnecessary, expensive, mind-numbing waste. The fact that this new attitude directly contradicted everything the people who’d known her for nearly a decade knew to be true didn’t matter, as she would be leaving and we would all cease to exist without her presence.

She’d also lamented the breakdown of her marriage, telling Cristin that people didn’t understand how hard Cathy fought to make her relationship with Sam work. They’d gone to counseling. It hadn’t worked, she’d explained, because he’d been unwilling to make changes like not spending enough time with her between his several jobs and classes. They’d been sexually incompatible, as she enjoyed rough sex, including choking, and he was never able to truly get into the spirit––a claim unsupported by anecdotes from female friends who’d enjoyed S&M activities with Sam. And, she’d confided in Cristin, she hadn’t been in love with Sam for over three years.

Total time of marriage and engagement: one year and five months. But she hadn’t been in love with him for three years.

She’d also vented her frustration over the fact that, due to their noncontested arbitration, she couldn’t demand alimony payments. Her plan had been to move to Colorado and immediately resume the assistance programs she was on in Michigan, but she’d learned that she would have to be a resident for six months before she could apply. Now, she wanted Sam, who’d worked sometimes three jobs to support them while she napped on the couch reading Harry Potter, to make court-ordered alimony payments, and the system was unfairly stacked against her. On top of it all, Sam refused to continue paying her cellphone bill, and she was in danger of disconnection. And that was very important because she’d already made arrangements to interview Warren Ellis over lunch when she arrived in Colorado. Interview him about what?  Who knew. Why was he flying all the way to Colorado from England just to have lunch with Cathy, who wasn’t a journalist and who didn’t write for any publications? Don’t question it. And there was, of course, no connection between the phone bill, her sudden, important meeting, and the fact that Warren Ellis was one of Sam’s favorite writers.

The next day, Cathy left Kalamazoo with no fanfare and only what she could carry in a backpack. Though she’d told me she would call me to let me know when she arrived safely, she didn’t and I really didn’t care either way. As far as I was concerned, she’d dropped off the planet and life was the better for it. We were finally free.

Next Time: Part Ten, “It’s All Right Here Waiting For Me”

74 Comments

  1. I have just phoned the police about eve the fraudster nothing as usual off the police just the same old story if she gets intouch again i think she is close to being found out

    March 14, 2018
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  2. HerImperialMaj
    HerImperialMaj

    “As far as I was concerned, she’d dropped off the planet and life was the better for it. We were finally free.”

    That is some ominous shit right there. It’s right up there with narrators declaring, “I should have known it couldn’t last.”

    March 14, 2018
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    • Dove
      Dove

      Yeah… I’m guessing “waiting for me” is gonna be the (hopefully brief) return of Cathy because OMG what else could possibly happen? But I’m on the edge of my seat here because I couldn’t truly guess how future installments were gonna go down. o.o

      March 14, 2018
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  3. That interaction between Cathy and Other Cathy was just delightful to read.

    Billboards are a very top secret thing, ya know.

    March 14, 2018
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    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      They were ROOMMATES.

      Can you imagine being a fly on the wall?

      Or just a neighbor. Pity the neighbors during finals week. I suppose they’d have to study at the library.

      March 14, 2018
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  4. ViolettaD
    ViolettaD

    You know, I never looked up the official definition of “dichotomy,” but I’d seen it in context so many times that I always supposed I could use it correctly, i.e., “the dichotomy between what Cathy was and what she told herself she was….”

    March 14, 2018
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    • Dove
      Dove

      Same, I’m familiar with the term but it’s one of those words that I had to look up ’cause I stumbled trying to define it for myself. Then again, I find I have to refresh myself on a lot of words. Some I have nailed down, others I’ve misremembered, misconstrued, or conflated with a synonym or a word that is spelled/pronounced similarly, and others I thought I knew but somewhere along the way I’ve just forgotten them. Generally speaking, I’ll tend to look up definitions if something suddenly troubles me: either I’m not sure the right word came to mind first or the right word has suddenly escaped me altogether because I have dysnomia (or something similar.) I think in this case, I just don’t use dichotomy that much, so I recognized it, but I couldn’t pick up on the context clues to reassure myself. :U

      March 14, 2018
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      • Drakendottir
        Drakendottir

        I honestly didn’t know the word. However, I’m not a native speaker, and upon looking up a definition, I knew the German counterpart right away ^^.

        Gosh, at this point, Cathy (to me) seems like the Antichrist. It is so hard to imagine there’s more than one of them, and yet I keep seeing comments of people who’ve met someone similar – and it turns out, even Jenny has met two of them!

        I have to be one of the luckiest people ever because as far as I know, none of those horrible people have stolen themselves into my circle of friends. Thank everything that’s good and holy for that.

        March 14, 2018
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        • ViolettaD
          ViolettaD

          I had one for my best frenemy in Jr. High, but i suspect Cathy could eat her for breakfast. Mine was a dilettante compared to this.

          March 14, 2018
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        • Saint_Sithney
          Saint_Sithney

          Hey, even in the Bible, there is no singular “Antichrist”. There is “the spirit of antichrist”, which can mean an infinite number of people.

          I’m related to one of them. Though to be fair, she’s never unleashed a demonic entity in my home.

          March 16, 2018
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      • RMH
        RMH

        There’s words that are regularly used incorrectly – like ‘prodigal’ – and there are words like ‘dichotomy’ that, while they may be hard to come up with a succinct definition, a native English speaker who styles themself as an author should be able to at least give a meandering definition of.

        Looking things up is no shame – I do it to, even with words I assumed I knew, but thought “wait a minute, that might not be quite right”.

        Of course, making people feel shitty about not knowing the definitions of words, or getting confused about homophones, is really shitty behavior in and of itself in conversation & internet commentary.*

        *This doesn’t apply if you’re a terrible author who regularly talks about your three editors, LANI.

        March 18, 2018
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  5. Mike
    Mike

    The fact that this isn’t the last one is both terrifying and enthralling…

    March 14, 2018
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  6. Lily
    Lily

    Oh my gosh, I worked with the avatar of these britches. “Oregon” came to us from the private sector; specifically, a record company based in New York. O told us so many amazing things about her stint there–her singing had been likened to Mariah Carey’s, but sadly the label already had a Mariah Carey. The real one. Oh, and a top rap star had saved O’s life during a drive-by, but the label had kept it out of the papers. Because you know rap stars don’t get linked with drive-by shooting s in NYC papers. Everyone had LOVED her there, but her daddy had asked O to work for the government, because a smart girl like her could really make a difference.

    One difference I noticed was just how little O knew, or wanted to know, what the boring things we actually did were, and I was also impressed with how easily she could vanish when the work came in. O left us just before we might have suggested she do so; I found a new copy of her resume and apparently she’d been running the entire agency…

    March 14, 2018
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  7. Lily
    Lily

    Bitches, you stupid spellchecker.

    March 14, 2018
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  8. Caitlin Nolan
    Caitlin Nolan

    Every part of this story is cringey and fills me with secondhand embarrassment, but I especially can’t get over this:

    “Cathy was in the middle of recounting how she’d gone to say goodbye to her son and how he’d “manipulated” and “tried to trap” her by crying and clinging to her as she left for what would likely be the last time he would ever see her …”

    Yeah, I’ve got nothing after that. How fucking heartless.

    March 14, 2018
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    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      I console myself with the knowledge that in the long run, however unintentionally, she was doing him a favor

      March 14, 2018
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    • Alex Silvers
      Alex Silvers

      I hope that he never sees her again, which is a terrible and horrifying thing to say, but… I honestly believe that poor kid will do so much better without her in his life. His father will raise him well, I hope.

      March 15, 2018
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    • Vix
      Vix

      I know. I actually teared up a bit at that point and had to take a break. Poor kid. Poor dad and stepmom dealing with the mess his mother left him in. I also hope that she left him alone and he was able to heal (or is in the process of doing so).

      March 15, 2018
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    • If it’s any consolation, I doubt the kid did cry, or even show any signs of caring about Cathy being in his life at all. It’s probably one of those moments where people are being blunt and cold to her, but Cathy can’t imagine anybody not being in love with her and so rewrote reality inside of her own head.

      March 15, 2018
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      • Cat
        Cat

        I said this in a comment below but I do think her son cried. When she was singing about how she was going to get laid and Sam left the room crying, she accused him of trying to manipulate her. When she causes pain or distress in others, she turns it around and makes them the bad guy. So I don’t think she would make this up. If everyone had been cold and blunt I can imagine her lying and saying that the ex was really jealous that she was going to go live this awesome life and that her son understood how important this was for mommy or some shit.

        March 15, 2018
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  9. Tez Miller
    Tez Miller

    copies of my books that I had signed and given to her, with personal messages about our friendship written inside.

    I would’ve ripped out the page with the personal stuff, and then tried to offsell or donate the book. But since Cathy gave it all to you, it sounds like offloading the friendship. How symbolic.

    her son and how he’d “manipulated” and “tried to trap” her by crying and clinging to her as she left for what would likely be the last time he would ever see her

    He’s a farking kid, Cathy! He’s not being manipulative – he just genuinely wants to love and be loved by his mom.

    We just finished a new album and we’re going to release it when we get out there and wait for someone to snatch it up. It’s so good.

    Is Tori also Lani?! 😉

    March 14, 2018
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    • Black Knight
      Black Knight

      Oh my god, Tori is Lani! Lani is Tori!

      March 15, 2018
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      • MyDog'sPA
        MyDog'sPA

        Oh my god, Tori is Lani! Lani is Tori

        Ooh, ooh! I got it: Invite every Cathy/Tori/Lani to be the ‘special guest’ to be honored at an awards show (don’t tell them that their doppelgangers are invited) and invite them all onto the stage. The we all sit in the audience and watch the cluster-frack when they realize they had to share the honor. . . .

        March 15, 2018
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    • Anon
      Anon

      LOL

      I just posted the same Tori/Lani question before I read the comments!

      March 15, 2018
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  10. Sigyn Wisch
    Sigyn Wisch

    she’d gone to say goodbye to her son and how he’d “manipulated” and “tried to trap” her by crying and clinging to her
    ^ oh dear. I don’t think people who feel that way about children should have them :/ so glad he was going with his dad instead.

    No, you hadn’t used Tori yet. Shame, though, that’s the name of one of my favorite singers.

    What kind of a loser can’t make their marriage last more than a year?”
    ^ hi, I’ll be your understudy loser for the evening 😀

     I have no idea how she thought I was going to buy that a billboard in L.A. would be considered hush-hush, but perhaps it is a truly different world out there
    ^ NOPE!

    But I’m the cute and talented one.”
    ^ so what does your bandmate do, Tori?

     a curt, unsigned email warning her that if she continued to send him sexually suggestive materials, he would take action
    ^ I know people don’t really say “Pwned” anymore, but PWNED. Also, I guess being sent up as evidence is sort of like being published?

     All she can do is talk about herself and how wonderful she is. 
    ^ well, they do say our sins look worse on other people.

    I’m a little concerned that there’s a part ten.

    March 15, 2018
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  11. Anon
    Anon

    Every time I hear or read a woman say she prefers male friends over female because there’s “less drama,” it’s usually the woman saying it who brings the drama in the first place. I suspect they’re all much like Cathy and her “frienemy.” The problem isn’t that there aren’t wonderful, caring, loving women in the world who make excellent friends. It’s that you refuse to see them. Or you can’t because you’re a horrible person yourself.

    Was Tori actually Lani Sarem????

    March 15, 2018
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    • Cat
      Cat

      Women who say they prefer male friends because there is less drama typically do not have close friends of either sex because if they did, they would realize that men do, actually, have drama themselves. I have male and female friends and the drama is almost always with the guys. I have also found that “I prefer male friends” women to be the sort that need to always remind their friends in some way that they are, in fact, a woman. Sexual innuendos, body language, and sexual anecdotes to ensure that male friends remember she has a vagina.

      Cathy being confronted with Tori provided me with so much schadenfreude! I liked how Cathy competed by saying she was going to be a famous author to Tori’s soon to be skyrocketing music career followed by Cathy’s insistence that she doesn’t have the energy to compete with people like T. It’s disturbing but, from an outsider’s perspective, also really interesting how someone can be THAT lacking in self-awareness.

      Not going to lie, when I pulled up this site this morning, I legit said in my mind “worst person I’ve ever met, worst person I’ve ever met” like I was on a game show going “no whammy no whammy no whammy!”

      March 15, 2018
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      • HeidiAphrodite
        HeidiAphrodite

        I have also found that “I prefer male friends” women to be the sort that need to always remind their friends in some way that they are, in fact, a woman. Sexual innuendos, body language, and sexual anecdotes to ensure that male friends remember she has a vagina.

        Yes yes yes yes. Oh my. My former best friend, who I call Usurper for a reason, once lamented to me that she had a really hard time keeping girl friends, because they got jealous or competitive or threatened by her. Or some other reason that just made no sense. Of course I felt sorry for her, even after I realized that all her female friends left because Usurper always had to be sexier, prettier, more talented, smarter than any other woman around her. Always. She was always , always trying to inject sex into every male relationship she had. It was so studied and overt that it made everyone feel awkward, but if we asked her to tone it down, or hinted that so-and-so was uncomfortable with her, she would be upset that we were so “threatened” when she was “just being herself.” She would say, after being rejected by a guy who wasn’t interested in her, that it was just because she was TOO sexy. “I can’t help it that I’m too much woman for him.” Sure, but you CAN maybe not drape yourself all over him when he’s talking to another girl or get jealous when he has a date with someone he likes after he’s made it clear that he’s not interested in you.

        It was exhausting. She lied to me over and over again, she embarrassed me, she manipulated me, she pushed me out of friendships that she wanted, and I always forgave her because she’d been abused as a child and didn’t have close girlfriends. I felt sorry for her every time, until I realized what she was doing and how she was beating me down. Cutting her out of my life was one of the best things I ever did for myself. It was nice to be sexy/pretty/talented/smart again. 🙂

        March 21, 2018
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        • HeidiAphrodite
          HeidiAphrodite

          Or maybe not KISS HIS NECK when he’s asked you not to and told you he’s not sexually interested in you. Or fake an engagement to make him jealous and follow you to Philadelphia. Or text him to ask why some other guy rejected you. Or fake a migraine and kick everyone out of the birthday party you’re HOSTING for your best friend (me) and then admit days later that you did it because you were jealous over a phone call.

          Oh, this brought back a lot of crap. Wow.

          March 21, 2018
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          • Cat
            Cat

            Please tell me it was shortly after the birthday party that you cut ties with her!

            On one hand, women who behave this way are despicable and should not be enabled, regardless of any abuse they’ve suffered. On the other, it is hard not to be somewhat sympathetic because it can become pretty obvious that such women don’t realize that their worth is not tied 100% to their sexuality and attractiveness to men. That really is something that I pity (not in a condescending way) and something that, the older I get, the more I’m concerned with young girls believing.

            I’m afraid I’m a coward though. I think I would have just distanced myself from this person and avoided things if I knew she’d be in attendance because that sort of thing makes me really uncomfortable. An impatient. No one cares that you are the sexiest sexy to have ever sexed, Nancy!

            March 22, 2018
    • MamaLich
      MamaLich

      See, when I was 12 I discovered how easy it is to turn into that kind of person. I changed schools and got relentlessly bullied at that age, and because I was young, angsty and confused at why people would suddenly dislike me despite of barely knowing me (plus my relationship with my mom crashed like a ton of bricks at the same time))–my dear ol’ dad tried to be nice and told me, “Well, maybe those kids are mean to you because they’re jealous.”

      So I inadvertently started thinking that I ‘should’ retaliate against my new bullies, because they were wrong and they’re punishing me for something that I have no control over (think, “I can’t help being popular!” except replace the last word with ‘book smart’ or ‘not a slut’ (ugh, yes, I did actually use to slut-shame the other girls that bullied me)) and I started having this desire to show up my bullies in some way, and ‘put them back in their place’ like in hundreds of teen movies.

      In the end, I wound up turning into a petty little shit–maybe because I was desperate to stop the bullying (I mean, I’d get treated like shit at school–and then come home and face the same treatment there), plus I probably realised that nothing’s gonna happen like in the movies, and I wouldn’t be able to see my bullies get their ‘just desserts’ like in Hollywoodland, but I was so convinced that it’s all ‘their fault’, I started doing a lot of stuff that I’m not proud of (name calling, slut-shaming, spreading fake rumors, looking for any tiny mistake or vulnerable detail to use against someone). I started a LOT of shit against my female bullies, but I didn’t do much with their boyfriends because they occasionally talked to me without insulting me to my face (I didn’t know until YEARS later that they said horrible things behind my back, and it took me a while to figure out that if someone wouldn’t stand up for you (or worse, gleefully participate in bullying you even once when goaded by their girlfriends), then they’re still shitty people).

      Luckily, I later on met some wonderful girls that befriended me (and helped me repress a lot of bad habits I’ve gotten from that awful year)–but I realised how hard it actually is to ‘switch off’ that competitive and paranoid behaviour. So I can really see why people like Lani (and Tori) would think like that towards their female peers (or in Lani’s case, act like everyone’s out to attack her for no reason (or for jealousy) when nothing’s ever her fault). But yeah–it’s SO EASY to become a horrible person yourself, and it does affect how you meet genuinely good people (male AND women), because they are out there–and when you’re used to dealing with people who were mean, vindictive or just insulting in nature, you start treating other folk like they’re already mean, vindictive and insulting.

      March 15, 2018
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      • Chris
        Chris

        I think that was a very honest and vulnerable story of yours and it gave me some perspective. Thanks! And I’m so glad you’ve found good friends eventually!

        March 15, 2018
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        • MamaLich
          MamaLich

          Thanks! It’s just something I realised and had to share (especially in case there are any younger readers out here). I had to look back into Lani’s writing (especially about the Lemonade Girl and Sophia–and gah, it was like being in the perspective of my 12 year old self). It’s just a huge shame that neither Lani (or Tori, or Cathy in some way (though she seems like a cross between preteen me, all of my high school enemies and Betty Draper) had snapped out of it–and it’s interesting (in a trainwreck way) on how they’re so competitive and desperate for attention and adoration.

          March 16, 2018
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      • Anon
        Anon

        I can see being bullied turning someone into that. But I see it from women who have not had those kinds of experiences. They’re just not nice people. And I mean people I’ve known mot of my life, went to school with and they were well-liked and included.

        March 23, 2018
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    • Rebecca
      Rebecca

      “Every time I hear or read a woman say she prefers male friends over female because there’s “less drama,” it’s usually the woman saying it who brings the drama in the first place.”

      I would generalize this further and say that every time I’ve heard anyone complain about ‘drama’ repeatedly, they are usually the one that brings the drama.

      March 21, 2018
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  12. Cat
    Cat

    I have to believe that Cathy’s son actually did cry and try to hug her when she was saying goodbye because, for better or for worse, she doesn’t seem like the sort of make up complaints about people manipulating her. She will say that someone’s distress is phony and a ploy to manipulate her, but that is how she reconciles causing someone pain, turning it around on them. But make up an instance like that? No, I don’t think she would. That being said, I suspect the child cried because of how she told him she was leaving. We don’t know what she said but, let’s face it, it was most likely awful.

    I am absolutely astounded by her gall with regards to her marriage. She tried to save it? Really? Sam begged her to stay, begged her to go to therapy with him, provided her with a place to stay even after she left and even after she was singing about how she was going to have sex with someone else. But Cathy was the one who put in all the effort? And saying all of that bs to someone who was around at the time and who knows the truth?? There are no words.

    I’m not going to lie though; I would love to have someone support me so I could spend my days napping on the couch and reading Harry Potter.

    March 15, 2018
    |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      “I suspect the child cried because of how she told him she was leaving. We don’t know what she said but, let’s face it, it was most likely awful.”
      Sweetie, if you and Daddy had ever shown me any AFFECTION, I’d be HAPPY to stay, but I can’t live in a place where there is no LOVE. Well, don’t start crying NOW. I mean, you shouldn’t need people to PROMPT you to show affection. It has to be a SPONTANEOUS thing. Will you PLEASE let GO of me and stop making those NOISES? You’re going to have to learn the world doesn’t revolve around YOU. I need to feel FULFILLED, and I can’t keep sacrificing my needs for people who don’t even APPRECIATE me. Maybe you and Daddy should have thought about how you were treating me BEFORE it was too late….

      [Etc.]

      March 15, 2018
      |Reply
      • The plausibility of that scene sent shivers down my spine.

        March 16, 2018
        |Reply
  13. MamaLich
    MamaLich

    ‘Cathy was in the middle of recounting how she’d gone to say goodbye to her son and how he’d “manipulated” and “tried to trap” her by crying and clinging to her as she left ‘

    You’re projecting there, dear Cathy. Something tells me that poor Marvin had probably tried to ignore/dismiss/act angry at her because he didn’t want to get attached (and didn’t know how to play it cool like an adult), only to try to make one desperate, last-ditch effort to reconnect with her when it turned out that she really was leaving. I could only guess because I’ve seen it happen twice (both involving little kids, from shitty/distant parents).

    Still, I’m kinda glad that Cathy’s balking at the idea of taking part in the ‘low residency’ writing program. Even though it does sound so fake, it makes me wince that Wallace could’ve been suckered into paying for her next vanity project, since she’s half-assing life so hard that she would rather ‘work’ to force Sam to pay for her parasitical lifestyle than look for an actual job (Jesus, how on earth does she laze around THAT MUCH without going stir crazy from all that inactivity?!). I am so glad that Sam managed to finally escape, and I honestly hope he was able to get back to his feet post-Cathy.

    March 15, 2018
    |Reply
    • Jane Eyre
      Jane Eyre

      The most agrivating thing about the whole money thing from Sam is that Cathy wasn’t even a housewife, who would stay home and clean up or cook or something else. I mean I don’t like this whole ‘women at home, men at work all day’ tradition but her asking for anything in that settlement would have been somewhat ok, but SHE DID NOTHING, heck she not only didn’t clean up SHE MADE MORE MESS, all with her not using pads or tampons, smoking(like she occupied Sam’s flat and within short period of time THE WALLS WERE DIRTY) and not even bothering to reach the bin to throw trash out and just dropping it on the floor. She didn’t contribute a single thing in this relationship and even had Sam give up his new flat for her. Like, true he had his inconsiderate moments, but jeez, he worked very hard to earn the money AND tried to get an education at the same time. Also if anyone should be paying here it’s Cathy. She should have paid for the renovation of the flat she kicked Sam out of because her actions got it dirty and ruined. Again, Sam had his jerk moments but maybe he was a person one should just be casual acquaintance with, but Cathy is the kind of person one should steer away from the period. Like no interactions at all and restraining order, because she’s manipulative, physically and emotionally abusive liar who should be in prison, before she either leads someone to actual suicide or god forbid kills someone. I mean she is capable of great physical violence and violent temper, she does seem to me like someone capable of killing another person in that rage…or in malice, I think US even has a charge of murder or manslaughter with malice.

      March 16, 2018
      |Reply
  14. Ria
    Ria

    That last line has just filled me with a bit of a dread. CLIFFHANGER. THIS IS LIKE WHEN THE KILLER IS DEAD BUT THEN HIS BODY IS GONE.

    March 15, 2018
    |Reply
    • HeidiAphrodite
      HeidiAphrodite

      RIGHT?!

      March 21, 2018
      |Reply
  15. HerImperialMaj
    HerImperialMaj

    Cathy, when not writing shitty poetry about her sexuality, is writing shitting poetry about being a mother and how her son literally saved her life. And yet when her son cries because his mommy is moving away forever, he’s “manipulative” and “trying to trap her”.

    The dichotomy (suck it, Cathy) between her desire to win brownie points for being an elemental mother goddess and her malicious neglect of her son is truly one of the despicable things about her.

    March 15, 2018
    |Reply
    • Nanani
      Nanani

      You win an internet with that dichotomy.

      March 16, 2018
      |Reply
  16. Cristin
    Cristin

    Oooh the memories. Cathy was the absolute worst. Even with the Tori, her twinsie, Cathy was in a class all by herself. I am cringing to the brim with memories today!

    March 16, 2018
    |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      You KNEW this creature?!!

      March 16, 2018
      |Reply
      • Cristin
        Cristin

        Oh yeah. Every bit of this story was all of this and worse. She is one of the absolute WORST people it has ever been my misfortune to have contact with. Although, she did give me something very special. I wouldn’t have met Jen, or Mr. Jen, or a few of my other AMAZING besties, had it not been for Cathy. I fully believe her only purpose in my life was to bring me to the soulmate friends I have found because of her.

        March 21, 2018
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        • ViolettaD
          ViolettaD

          Holy Guacamole. Did Cathy do the Slow-Boiled Frog routine on you too? I NEVER would predicted the petty pain-in-the buttness depicted in the early posts could metastasize into the incarnate evil of the later ones.

          March 21, 2018
          |Reply
        • Cat
          Cat

          I love when people can have sunny attitudes like this! People are often brought together in survivor situations so you and Jenny having one another was very fortunate indeed!

          Still can’t get over Cathy leaving a message for Jenny asking when would be a good time to get together with you to discuss her living arrangements after you’d both said “absolutely not”.

          March 22, 2018
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    • JaneDoe
      JaneDoe

      You’re the Cristin from the story? All my sympathies to you, then.

      March 18, 2018
      |Reply
      • Cristin
        Cristin

        Yup, that’s me! Thank you for your sweet words!!

        March 21, 2018
        |Reply
    • vee
      vee

      Oh Cristin. Start a sideblog. I’d read the shit out of that.

      March 19, 2018
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      • Cristin
        Cristin

        I have honestly not been so flattered in a long-ass time. 🙂 <3 This is lovely and I just may do that!

        March 21, 2018
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      • CI-B
        CI-B

        Agreed!

        April 2, 2018
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  17. Kim
    Kim

    ‘We we’re finally free…To be continued in Part 10’
    So not free yet, huh?

    March 17, 2018
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  18. vee
    vee

    Does anyone else find themselves wondering with some gleeful anticipation whether Cathy has read these posts? What her reaction is?

    Orrrr…. maybe that’s not possible…?

    OK. I just creeped myself right tf out.

    March 17, 2018
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    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      I have, and even though I don’t know her, the thought makes my skin crawl.

      March 17, 2018
      |Reply
      • Jane Eyre
        Jane Eyre

        Same, and for Jenny’s and her family’s sake I hope she did not because that woman imo is capable of doing much harm, and I’m not talking about the demon thing or curses but given her self admitted vengefulness and her violent temper and abuse of Sam and the uncomofortable way she behaved around this guy on the trip, I don think she’s someone capable of at least stalking someone on social media and not giving them rest as well as spreading vicious rumours. At the very least…I do have worse scenarios in my head.

        March 17, 2018
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    • HerImperialMaj
      HerImperialMaj

      Do you remember her reaction when Jenny got CPS called on her? When she made implied death threats? And she loves her own reputation *way* more than she loves her child. So, uh, her reaction would be bad. Pretty bad.

      March 18, 2018
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      • vee
        vee

        EXACTLY. Does it make me a bad person if I’m therefore kinda hoping Cathy *can’t* possibly see these? For … uh …. any reason?

        March 19, 2018
        |Reply
  19. Cat
    Cat

    Mr. Jen doesn’t feature much in these stories but when he appears, he is one of the highlights. I found “My husband almost choked on his scone” hilarious.

    March 19, 2018
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  20. Ceiros
    Ceiros

    I’m sad to say that if it weren’t for some of the specifics, this could be my (thankfully!!) ex-sister-in-law. Most notably the way she treats her kids like disposable props for her role as Mother of the Year. At this point, she demands to have the kids for specific holidays even if those fall on my brother’s scheduled time (total 50/50 custody, by the way). If he graciously agrees, she fails to pick them up, leaving these three poor kids packed up and waiting for a mother who doesn’t even care enough to call and explain why she’s late (by 10 hours… once a day and a half). When my brother tried to put a stop to this by telling her that if she didn’t pick the kids up at the scheduled time, he was going to church with them, she accused him of trying to keep the kids away from her. Even though it was his scheduled time with the kids. And does she dote on them when she has them? Of course not! The four year old was picked up by cops wandering in the streets two blocks away once.

    Naturally her FB feed is full of things about how a mother sacrifices anything for her children and the greatest thing on earth is a mother. Very few people earn my hatred. She has.

    March 19, 2018
    |Reply
    • Cat
      Cat

      Maybe next time she is late beyond an hour, your brother should just take the kids to do something and/or have them unpack and let the ex know they will be staying with him instead because he’s sick of her shit and his kids need stability and security. Or just stop agreeing to let her have them when it isn’t her day. His kids deserve that.

      I’m not being snarky towards you. I hate that this woman does that. My dad would cancel on my brothers and me and he would let us down all the time when we were little. I don’t remember any of it but my other has told me stories that make me reall sad for little girl Cat and the little kid versions of my brothers.

      March 19, 2018
      |Reply
    • MyDog'sPA
      MyDog'sPA

      If she fails to pick the kids up within an hour of the scheduled time, just go do something else with them and have fun. If she stops by and no one’s there, then arrange another scheduled pickup time. If she doesn’t show up within an hour of that time, go do something fun with the munchkins. It’s all about control and her desire to excise control over the spouse by using the kids as a tool/pawn. Take control away from her (If you don’t show up within an hour we’re going to execute Plan B) and don’t let her control your life.

      Best of luck.

      March 20, 2018
      |Reply
      • Cat
        Cat

        Also, maybe he can check with his lawyer to revisit the custody agreement if the four year old is found walking down the street ffs.

        March 20, 2018
        |Reply
    • Stormy
      Stormy

      A friend of mine adopted her son through the foster system after his bio-dad and his girlfriend (wife? not super sure of the specifics) beat the kid at the age of three so badly he ended up in the hospital. A few years later, the woman gets out of prison and brags on social media about how she’s trying “so hard” to get her “beloved child” back from the unfair system, and how her only crime was “loving that boy too much”.

      Friend nearly burst a vein. I didn’t blame her. Fuck the Mother Goddess bullshit that allows terrible people to skip out on responsibility.

      March 20, 2018
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      • ViolettaD
        ViolettaD

        They’re all Salt Moms. Kids exist only so they can reflect glory onto the Mother of all Mothers. God help the kids if they don’t play their parts. And God help them if they play them too well, because then you get parents envying their own children (Gypsy Rose Lee and June Havoc’s Mama Rose and GOK how many pageant moms).

        There is NO way to get these creatures’ approval. Either they despise their prey for failing or they envy their success. They are ravenous for praise themselves, and have none to spare, even for their own children. They cannot feed their children because they’re too busy feeding off them.

        March 20, 2018
        |Reply
        • HeidiAphrodite
          HeidiAphrodite

          They cannot feed their children because they’re too busy feeding off them.

          Oof. What a terribly descriptive phrase. Emotional vampires. I knew a man who faked chest pains and a fainting spell after his daughter got praise for a violin solo in church. He couldn’t handle the attention not being on him, not even for his child. It makes me want to throw up just remembering it.

          March 21, 2018
          |Reply
  21. “Why was he flying all the way to Colorado from England just to have lunch with Cathy, who wasn’t a journalist and who didn’t write for any publications? ”

    ZOMG now we know where E.L. James got the idea!

    And I just imagined Cathy as Anastasia Steele. Since this is a traumatic image, I thought I’d share

    March 20, 2018
    |Reply
  22. Zev
    Zev

    I got to the part about meeting Cathy’s doppleganger and it delighted me more than I can describe. I couldn’t stop laughing the first time I read it. Your descriptions are marvelous. I go back to re-read it because it still gets giggles out of me. It’s my favorite part of this so far.

    March 23, 2018
    |Reply
  23. BlackSwallowtail
    BlackSwallowtail

    It’s a difficult thing because women are often under-diagnosed for autism. One reason is we tend to pass better. That is, it’s easier for adults to write us off as “a handful” or “a little weird”, because we do tend to start analyzing neurotypical people and mimicking them.

    I do still feel uncomfortable self-diagnosing, even though it was my aunt who has an autistic son (professionally diagnosed) who pointed out to me that I probably was. When I started talking to close friends about it, their reaction was basically “water is wet”. Another aunt of mine agreed, having had a hand in getting students a diagnosis (she’s a teacher). But it’s really hard to get a diagnosis as an adult for, well, lots of reasons.

    So, I’m not sure what the answer is. Judging by your description, though, which sounded like much of my childhood, I’d say you definitely are. And…yeah, there is something of an autism-dar. I don’t know how one properly navigates publicly naming one person or other as a fake self-diagnosis over one who’s spot-on that doesn’t open a whole ugly mess, though.

    But I wish you luck in pulling off the “don’t eat that, it’s awful” joke. Maybe if you said it while suddenly scooping a lot onto your plate? Most of my jokes fall flat. lol

    March 24, 2018
    |Reply
    • Anónimo
      Anónimo

      I think you commented on the wrong post. Either way I wanted to ask you, why do you think autistic girls tend to pass better? What could be the cause of that? Also what makes you think that autistic girls start analysing neurotypical people and mimicking them? I would love to know more about this.

      April 3, 2018
      |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        I’m not the original poster and I can’t say exactly how accurate this is, but I’ve read that autistic girls have their brains wired more like neurotypical boys, while autistic boys are wired differently from either gender of the same age. Girls are pressured from a young age to fit in better and play nice, while rowdy or anti-social behavior by boys may be excused as “boys being boys” especially if it’s low-key and less obvious. Acting that way would be seen as masculine, rather than erratic, but being a tomboy is usually more socially acceptable than being a sissy, and that’s what people might assume. Girls are also expected to understand emotions and be more sensitive to other people’s needs, while boys aren’t. Given all of that, studying neurotypical people and trying to mimic them is a natural response to these social requests, especially since it’s possible more autistic girls might want friends, even if they aren’t urged to find some anyway.

        It might be better to ask this question in the other blog post, btw. 🙂

        April 3, 2018
        |Reply
  24. El
    El

    If it isn’t already obvious to folks, the Warren Ellis interview claim is so desperate and laughable because depending on the time period this took place he rarely if EVER came to the states for conventions (one of the few times he did was when he attended Heroes in NC specifically when Wizard World refused to change con dates), much less left England at all. He sure as shit wouldn’t do so for an interview. My bet is what Cathy was calling an “interview” was MAYBE posting a question then lifting forum posts wholesale because – and again, depends on the time period – Ellis was an early adopter of using forums and social media to write and to communicate with fans to a limited degree. His own forums required the use of a real name because he felt if everyone knew his name he deserved to know theirs while in his own space.

    What’s extra amusing to me is I knew one of Ellis’s “filthy assistants,” someone he’d communicated with online for years and thus built trust with, so it makes Cathy’s claims especially hilarious and petty. Just one more barb to abuse Sam with.

    May 24, 2018
    |Reply

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