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My Life Is Unmanageable
I got sober a little over 4 years ago. Put myself through detox, treatment, halfway, 3/4s, then got my own place. I got a full time job but damn it's expensive to be alive. I made matters worse by taking in unwanted animals. I now have 2 rescue dogs, 5 cats on accident, 4 ferrets, and 11 bunnies. I fixed all of them and now working fixing the bunnies. The amount of time and energy on the animals should be under the unmanageability part but it's actually the easiest situation out of the others I'm currently in. I started escorting again (something I'd only do when I was using) to pay for it. Everything was easy peasy at first.
I met a client (38m) who developed feelings for me. We made plans and I was going to move to him in another state. He was loving, gentle, and patient. We started dating around the end of last year. I was still working dom jobs with a handful of clients and he was understanding about it. About a month ago I made plans one weekend to have dinner with my coworker because her son had gotten kicked out of a halfway house for drinking hand sanitizer and she wanted me to talk to him after dinner.
My boyfriend flipped out and it was a hard slap in the face - and for a week tried using gaslighting techniques into making me feel bad about going when that was a day he got off work early and could come see me (even though we didn't initially make any plans). It reminded me so much of my mom before she got treatment for her bipolar. His words were like venom and they cut through me like a knife. I told him we needed a break but deep down I don't think I'll ever forgive him for the things he said to me. He now sends me photos of himself in the waiting room of therapists offices because he promised he would get help. Even said it was because of an iron deficiency. We are on the rocks.
In the period of two years in my home I've had neighbors in the same unit (different times) I've had to call police on. One tried coming into my apartment and was arrested then evicted. I felt bad for his wife and new baby. The next tenant is what I think some type of paranoid schizophrenic. I'm pretty sure he thinks I'm part of some group in the building looking to get him evicted. I've received letters on my door like "You so sad, Pervert, We don't want you here, We know you do not want us here ect". I guess there's a process for evicting someone crazy...at least that's what the leasing manager said.
About 11 months ago I started getting emails and texts from an unknown person inquiring about my services as pro dom. This person became harassing and finally told me that she was out to ruin my life because I had ruined hers (husband paying me for service). I still have no idea who she is and I've exhausted all means in finding out. This year I've found trackers on my car, emails of compromising photos of myself sent to my father, my boss, and my boyfriend's coworkers, my leasing office manager. I've changed my number 3 times, I've gotten threats from her, I've tried going to a detective at the station (he can't find anything out either), I've gotten texts of photos of vehicle tags on my guests who come over and photos of me walking my dogs. I bought a firearm and wear it on a belt wrap holster every time I leave the house. I quit seeing clients. In the last 11 months I've seen the same blue Mercedes following me 3 times. I'm tired of looking over my shoulder. I'm more scared of finding out who it is and what I'll do to her than what she's been doing and will do to me.
I guess when I ended things with my ex recently I looked constantly visibly distraught, because my quiet shy next door neighbor spoke to me for the first time in 3 years. He started coming over and we had sleepovers for 3 weeks. Last week he told me he wanted a relationship and I freeaked. I told him all the reasons that was a bad idea for me and how I simply just couldn't handle that right now, but I wanted to still be friends. He's been bitter through text for 2 weeks. It felt good for a minute and nothing more. We went thrifting one day and I got mine and his (74$, I bought a little candle) then we went out to eat and he told me I had a 25 dollar budget and asked the waiter to go to the bartender to see how many ounces was a glass of wine. We were at freaking Applebee's. He also didn't know what a UTI was. I never should have slept with him.
One reason I shouldn't have is because my ex is a lawyer and told me the "gift" he gave me of 25,000$ he could sue me back for- claiming I pretended to love him or some shit. I slept with him last week so he wouldn't.
Another reason I shouldn't have is because after the night at my coworkers house when I spoke to her son about my journey in sobriety, I started sleeping with him. He's bat shit what can I say...I am attracted to crazy. I had to tell my coworker I've been helping her son with more than just accompanying him to meetings. Turns out she wanted that to happen and I got invited to Thanksgiving and Christmas in the mountains. He spent the night again last night. I don't know what the hell I'm doing with that.
I've been going underground on the review sites for provideclients in my area to see if anyone suspicious pops off that could lead to information about my stalker. One person was creating multiple accounts claiming I had given him an STD and other things. Thinking this was my stalker (and it very well could be) I created an account pretending to be a fellow client who was concerned. I had him email me and found the IP address- a local hospital. I had a past client I had to cut ties with that worked there that sent me flowers to my day job professing his love. Without hesitation (and I should have) I textnowed his girlfriend and told him he was seeing escorts.
Little did I know they've been married since 07 and have a 9 year old kid.
I'm sitting at work yesterday (reception desk) and I look up and SEE HIM. He's in a ruffed up white shirt and all 250 pounds of him are booking it toward me while he tries not to slide out of his brown flip flops. We lock eyes and it looked like he had just taken an intravenous shot of methamphetamines. I have a friend of the owner in the waiting room and his eyes narrowed. We watch him bust through the door and lean on my desk. "WHY, WHY, WHY DID YOU DO THAT, I'M NOT YOUR STALKER, WHYY". I turn to the customer seated and said, "Excuse me", while I swung the chair around and tried to calmly walk to the restroom where I could lock the door. He follows me repeating "Why" through panting and I open the door and twist around to slam it shut and he puts his warped flip flopped foot in between the door. I have to raise my voice and tell him to get the fuck off me while I pushed him out and pushed the door closed. After waiting for 2 minutes my coworker knocks on the door telling me they got him out of the building. I went back to my desk and worked the rest of the day a little more awake. Before I left I sent a textnow message to his wife, saying I knew where they lived and if he ever showed up to my work or my home I would defend myself. I haven't gotten a reply.
I've had "It's A Small World After All" stuck in my head the last 2 weeks. I've been playing Ava Maria and Lacrimosa on the piano at night till my fingers cramp. I bought a carton last week and already need to buy another one today. I'm currently cross stitching a pabst beer can. Last night I broke down and called my mom. My coworker just brought over christmas aloe vera socks and asked when me and her son will be official. I think I need therapy or an acid trip or an induced coma for the remainder of 2020.
An ode to "The Triple Threat" Era of ECW
Shane Douglas truly was The Franchise.
- Cut the fucking music! I have never had more respect and appreciation for a wrestler whose matches I did not care for much. While Shane Douglas had previous iterations of The Triple Threat including Malenko, Benoit, and Brian Lee, the mid-97 to early-99 iteration was far and away the most memorable. Once Shane recaptured the world title at Hardcore Heaven 97, he carved out a perfect character who was both a credible champion and bully-coward bailed out by his more proficient buddies.
- The Rick Rude Challenge was really fun and immediately gave Shane’s world title reign a unique dynamic. Rude, under the guise of being helpful and allowing Shane to sharpen his skills, presented Douglas with increasingly challenging opponents. This led to some great Hardcore TV matches against (pre-Head) Al Snow, Axl Rotten, and Phil Lafon. The angle concluded when Rude pulled a great double turn on Shane, by hand-selecting Bam Bam Bigelow to take his world title on the October 20, 97 episode of Hardcore TV. (Bam Bam re-joined the Triple Threat after losing the title a few weeks later, which didn’t make that much sense, but was enjoyable nonetheless!)
- After Bam Bam caused/exacerbated Shane’s elbow injury at the November to Remember 97, Shane was on and off the shelf for much of 98. It was really entertaining to hear him on commentary for much of that year. He was a great heel color commentator, and had pretty good chemistry with Joey Styles, who was used to flying solo. I loved that The Franchise was constantly scouting potential future opponents. Though it was clear his main rival was Taz for much of 98, he was constantly revealing awareness for other contenders who were nonetheless on his radar. He was particularly concerned with Justin Credible and Rob Van Dam, which instantly raised their (justin) credibility, and planted the seeds for future feuds.
- At Wrestlepalooza 97, Taz defeated Shane, for the latter’s World TV Championship, in less than 4 minutes. Once Shane won the world title in August 97, it really felt like a video game where Taz had to go through Candido, Bam Bam, and his final boss, Sabu, before getting to Douglas. It felt like Sabu was the final boss, and not Douglas, because that’s how the storyline played it up. Shane even admitted in a December 98 Hardcore TV backstage promo that he expected to ‘get got’ by Taz, and that he did not mind dropping the belt to an old-school guy like Taz. I’d say this was the first time ECW did the long-form chase to the title, where the somewhat traditional babyface had to overcome an empire in order to hold the throne. Taz was the perfect character to complete this mission, and his World Championship victory at Guilty as Charged 99 was exceptionally well-deserved.
- It seemed like even in kayfabe, Taz truly bought into his own gimmick (meta). This led to nothing but golden segments and matches throughout this stretch. There was nothing that Taz did on the microphone or in the ring that wasn’t in perfect alignment with his character. The way he just wrecked fools left and right with brutal, stiff T-bone suplexes was insane. If any other wrestler had tried to cut credible, badass promos with a ripped up sweat towel over their head, they would have looked like an idiot. But not Taz. His commitment to the gimmick really made his words and actions look serious at all times. An egotistical Taz creating the FTW Championship and pissing off an injured Douglas by believing himself to be the rightful world champion (even before getting his win back on Bam Bam at Heat Wave 98) was perfect.
- I love Dreamer vs. Raven (vs. Sandman), but Taz vs. Sabu might take the crown on longevity alone. Taz and Sabu both debuted for the company in its charter year of 1993, their paths crossing numerous times in battles over tag titles, TV titles, neck injuries, and who stayed vs. who did not. I loved that Taz and Sabu feuded in 98 as an unexpected treat. Taz was gunning for Shane, and it seemed like the last guy he’d have to face before getting a crack at the champ was Bam Bam. He defeated Bam Bam, and then his old nemesis Sabu appeared at the perfect moment to steal his thunder and number one contendership in the 6-man tag at November to Remember 98.
- I loved the build-up where Taz eventually hugged it out with Sabu to cement the team formation. Ending the November to Remember 98 match with Sabu pinning Shane, who was locked into the Tazmission, was the perfect swerve to re-open the Taz-Sabu grudge feud. Taz talking about giving Sabu “three receipts” for the contendership theft (and various other past slights) carried the program from November to Remember 98 through Guilty as Charged 99. The angle peaked when Taz seemed to have re-broken Sabu’s neck with a vicious Dragon Tazplex through a table on a December 98 Hardcore TV episode. It was not clear if the dangerous move was intentional, and the cell phone call from the Jersey Turnpike where Taz explained not giving a fuck about hurting Sabu (and the upcoming two receipts) was icing on the cake of a great angle. Did it make sense that Taz let himself get pinned by Sabu to hand him the FTW Championship? Not really. Did I care? No, because I was too wrapped up in the overall great storytelling and characters.
- Bam Bam had been making appearances for the company since February 96. It was always great to see him, but it seemed like he would disappear before he could really get started on any feud or hyped up match. He didn’t consistently start appearing on Hardcore TV until mid-97, and that more present run included an early loss to Spike Dudley. It was weird. That being said, his feud with Taz leading up to their match at Living Dangerously 98 was really entertaining. He overlooked Taz, caught up in his own celebrity and external distractions, but he was still able to pull off the win. The infamous spot where the two men plummeted through the ring was really impressive, and a moment for the all-time wrestling highlight reel. It made sense for Taz to come up short in their first encounter, and the follow-up where Taz gave him props for getting the W at the PPV was great. Their rematch at Heat Wave 98 was dope, going through the stage and seeing a finish reversal from Living Dangerously. Though Bam Bam really only got the spotlight and world title for brief windows, he really seemed to give a shit and made everyone he feuded with look good.
- Candido was both goofy and serious as fuck, and his feud/partnership with Lance Storm completely stole the show on the undercard. I’ve highlighted ECW’s ability to perfect the shades of gray feud, where no characters are truly babyfaces or heels, and the Candido vs. Storm feud perfectly encapsulated this. Candido, especially when Sunny started regularly making appearances for ECW in 98, was at both times a detestable, borderline-abusive boyfriend, and a undeniably talented mat technician. Lance Storm, featuring that hilarious blonde rat tail, did a great job of being both an underdog babyface betrayed by the Triple Threat (a cruel ending to his internship), and also the kind of a cocky douchebag who deserved his beatdowns. Their feud eventually dragged a bit, as they just never seemed to stop facing off, but they always put on a great match when the bell rang. I could have definitely done without the whole “Tammy Lynn Bytch” (Dawn Marie) inclusion into the storyline, as it merely seemed like a way to disparage Sunny without any quality pay-off. Sunny herself was an absolute bombshell in every appearance she made, but her characterization by booking and commentary (and that of most of the women in ECW) was incredibly regressive.
- This rivalry was particularly enjoyable, because it was a feud involving four massive egos feeling conflicted between wanting to establish superiority over their partner, and wanting to be the best tag team. Every time they faced off in 98, a high quality match was guaranteed. As a side note, I love the continuity of long-term alliances presented throughout ECW, and the fact that Candido had not forgotten his way-back friendship with Sabu at various turns of the rivalry, including when the two teamed together at A Matter of Respect 98 vs. Lance Storm and RVD. Nevertheless, the match ended with Candido betraying Sabu, and both men returning to their original tag team partners.
- It’s wild that Joel Gertner didn’t have a job for life in some nationally-televised company. He was such a great heel manager, so creative on the mic, and had one of the most punchable faces in wrestling history. Even the way he said his own last name was downright aggravating. He made each Dudley seem special with their own unique call, and did a great job of shooting down the crowds who were getting too into his intros. His promos on Beulah leading up to the 6-man tag at Heat Wave 98 of the Dudleys vs. Dreamer, Sandman, and Spike Dudley were really outstanding. Was it very distateful to bring a blown up sex doll to the ring and call it “Beulah”, after kayfabe breaking the neck of the real Beulah? Absolutely. And it was also super effective at building the most dastardly team in ECW history. It’s also kinda funny that D-Von pulled a somewhat-Katie Vick in 98, with that sex doll in the back of an ambulance. Gertner also did a great job of sharing the mic, particularly with Buh Buh, which helped the latter transform into one of the nastiest, most scathing promos in the company.
- Facing off in a mixed tag team match with their respective partners of Tommy Dreamer and Rob Van Dam, the two demonstrated their insane value to the company by orchestrating one of the most emotional finishes in company history. Beulah hit her spots like a pro, and blew the roof off the ECW Arena when she hit her DDT and heDreamer’s pose. Fonzie bumped like a motherfucker for Beulah, and when he bounced out of the ring in a bloody heap, the crowd rightfully lost its shit in his honor. Crazy to think that for non-kayfabe reasons, Bill Alfonso likely kept his job because of this match, but this is a kayfabe enjoyment post, so I’ll leave that out.
- Speaking of As Good As It Gets 97, Bam Bam Bigelow throwing Spike into the crowd, and then Spike getting surfed around the ECW Arena, was so fucking cool. It was one of the moments I’ve seen on the ECW highlight reel that I looked forward to reaching one day. The David vs. Goliath mini-feud between Bam Bam and Spike was perfect for both of them. Bam Bam was kinda sputtering in nothing feuds and a background member of the Triple Threat, while Spike regularly appeared on the undercard, getting his assed kick by main eventers and his brothers. Spike getting the shock win on Hardcore TV in August 97 gave both guys a jolt, and set the stage perfectly for Bam Bam trying to throw Spike around in increasingly faviolent ways.
- Read also: Spike Dudley Dick Kicker. Spike’s sequence of marching to the ring, looking like a psychopath, kicking his much larger opponents in the balls, and then hitting the Acid Drop on them was truly the perfect formula to get him massively over in late 97 throughout 98. It was fun to see him go on a tear, defeating random fatsos and bigger names making one-off appearances (Mabel, One Man Gang, 911). It’s no surprise that he really started feeling like a force when he started getting wins over his big brothers, and it was particularly fun to see Buh Buh or Big Dick carry him halfway across the ring when taking the Acid Drop. When he challenged Shane for the world title on a late November 98 episode of Hardcore TV, it seemed like everyone at the Elks Lodge in Queens was ready to see Spike walk out with the gold. While it was all for not, Spike established himself as the most loveable underdog in ECW during this stretch.
- I can’t even imagine what these guys put in their bodies to make these matches happen. I mean, based on shoot interviews, I kinda know, but just oof. Two guys who could realistically die in a wrestling ring, jumping off of ladders, throwing chairs at the back of each other’s heads, and sending the crowd into absolute frenzy when they’d get up to hit their iconic poses after smashing the other through a table. Paulie did a great job of hyping up their November to Remember 97 match as too violent for PPV, and ‘sneaking it into the broadcast’ against the wishes of the providers. Their Stairway to Hell Match at House Party 98 was even more brutal, ending in barbed wire halo for Sandman, a broken jaw for Sabu, and a brutal caning finish. The match was so violent, we only get to see a few highlights on a follow-up episode of Hardcore TV.
- ECW did a great job of gradually building guys, and not hot-shotting anyone at the expense of long-term booking. RVD went from the karate kid in 96, to cocky blue-chipper in 97, to the whole fucking show in 98. He may not have been world champion, or even in the championship picture, but he was clearly being built as the most talented guy on the roster. As RVD and Sabu fought classic matches with Candido/Storm, DreameSandman, and The Dudleys in this era, the backstage segments told a few brilliant stories at once. An arrogant RVD felt like he was carrying the team, and that he was really just showcasing himself as Mr. Monday Night, in order to be scooped up by Raw or Nitro. Sabu gave him a shove every time he threw a verbal jab at his partner, and their mini-feud against each other recaptured the magic of their 96 series that originally put RVD on the map. It’s no surprise that at Wrestlepalooza 98, the two put on a classic, 30-minute time limit draw for the Television Championship.
- Another RVD highlight from this era was his execution of the Van Dam lift on the January 20, 98 episode of Hardcore TV, where he lifted a 166-pound dumbbell while split legged over two exercise benches. Unreal. By fall of 98, he was mega-over. His historic TV title reign had begun with his defeat of Bam Bam Bigelow on the April 8, 98 episode of Hardcore TV. The early part of this run included a great mini-storyline about how RVD was the one guy who Bam Bam couldn’t beat (beat). There was no looking back. Crowds started losing their shit when he’d appear, and chant along when he thumb-pointed Rob-Van-Dam at himself. You could see him getting more and more confident on the mic and in backstage segments, and it’s truly a crime how his promo time and vocabulary got cut down to nothing in his post-ECW career.
- He went from debuting at As Good As It Gets 97 to looking like a credible main eventer by the end of this era. I wasn’t a big fan of his look, as the jorts and flannel look reminded me too much of Raven, but Credible had a way funnier face and no hair. Then I realized, Credible got really good heat by taking the best parts of other wrestlers, but just clearly not being that guy. He had Raven’s attire, adopted a slightly modified version of Dreamer’s pose, and took Sandman’s cane. It’s like he was a loathsome collector of all the things you liked about other wrestlers. He was great in the ring, and the return of Jason at Orgy of Violence 97 immediately elevated him. His entourage including Jason, Nicole Bass, Chastity, and eventually Jazz really had a freak show vibe to it in the best way. Building him up through injuring Mikey Whipwreck in late 97, to going after Dreamer at his grandpa’s tribute in spring 98, to an awesome summer series with Jerry Lynn (another guy with some great build-up during this stretch) later that year, did a great job of establishing him as a threat and (seemingly) future top guy.
- You can find the segment on YouTube, and I’d highly recommend watching it. I wrote about Spicolli in my last series post, but it really was heartbreaking to see his young life mourned by the entire roster on a February 98 episode of Hardcore TV.
- ECW had already done the crooked ref storyline before with Alfonso, and that wasn’t great, but at least they almost immediately transitioned Fonzie into a managerial role. Jones would do the same thing each week, where he’d screw face wrestlers without a whole lot of backstory or clear motivation. It led to some fun moments, like Beulah kicking him in the balls (seemingly every week), but it felt very overdone.
- I bring that up more so to talk about the New Jack singles run that never truly got off the ground in this era. He had some great runs with The Gangstas and The Gangstanators (huge Kronus fan as well), but New Jack cut some awesome promos in the summer of 98 (specifically one on a subway car from the July 13, 98 Hardcore TV) and it felt like it was his time to shine. His first major singles feud was against Jack Victory, who looked very out of shape and like an 80s wrestling character who inexplicably time-traveled into the modern wrestling world. Their singles matches got bumped from back-to-back PPVs at Heat Wave and November to Remember 98 in favor of parking lot brawls, and while a New Jack brawl was always entertaining, it just seemed like he wasn’t a priority enough to get a featured match.
- Mostly because it cemented the forever Dreamer formula of getting the absolute shit kicked out of him for weeks at a time, and then getting a big win. Their wildly overbooked match at ECW’s second-ever PPV, Hardcore Heaven 97, (interference by Rick Rude and Beulah, and two lights-outs for debuts by Jake Roberts and Sunny), was a lot, but was very fun (a running theme in ECW).
- I cannot believe Al Snow went from a somewhat confused guy who turned up in December 97 to ‘what everybody wanted’ to see by May of 98. It’s really one of the wildest six months run in wrestling, to go from nothing, to mega-over, to gone. Well, one mannequin head, some deranged locker room promos, some rave lighting, and thousands of bashing styrofoam heads later, Al Snow was an overnight success. His entire run of defeating midcard guys, showing up as a very helpful mystery tag partner, fluking his way past RVD and Sabu (when they cost each other their matches while teaming/feuding), and then being the uncontrollable foil to the manipulative Shane Douglas, simply worked. While it made sense that Shane went over at Wrestlepalooza 98, Al Snow built himself up credibly and got a really cool send-off where the roster held both title participants up on their shoulders as the show went off the air. Far and away the greatest beneficiary of the WWF/ECW talent exchange.
- ECW made-off fairly well, all things considered. Having Sunny appear at what seemed like the peak of her career in 97 was a big deal, and Al Snow quickly became a big star in the company. Brakkus and Darren Drozdov kind of seemed like snoozers, but Brakkus (with sniveling manager “Mr.” Lance Wright) had a pretty good mini-feud with Taz. As always, Heyman did a great job of highlighting Brakkus’ strengths (taking off his shirt and posing), and hiding his weaknesses (wrestling, anything wrestling related). Even 2 Cold Scorpio came over for an awesome pair of two-off matches with Taz at House Party 98 and RVD at Living Dangerously 98.
- Debuting in July 98, he had some out-the-gate bangers with Mike Awesome. The way these two guys would throw each other around, power bomb each other through tables, and smack the shit out of each other with chairs was equally terrifying and magnetic. Tanaka getting Awesome-bombed through a table and then his head immediately sliding under the guardrail was really scary, but instantly made him feel like a bad-ass-mother-fucker. His power-ups from chair shots, and him bombing Awesome through a ringside table from the ring certified him as someone who could take anyone on the roster.
- Knowing what happened to both Balls and Axl in real life makes watching their matches (read: the chairshots) exceptionally depressing, but wow were they loved by the fans. On top of being great hardcore wrestlers, I was pretty impressed with Balls’ regular ring skills. Joey Styles remarked that Balls had a fairly impressive amateur wrestling career, and it showed in his execution of suplexes, dropkicks, and lifts. This could not have been more apparent than in his June 27, 98 match vs. Masato Tanaka, which was so good it was replayed in full a few months later on Hardcore TV. The short-lived team of Balls and Tanaka, with Axl as their manager, in November 98 was also great, and their tag titles win from The Dudleys was a feel-good moment where the underdog team (or at least half of it) finally got its big win.
- It was very sad to see Richards go from one of ECW’s hottest stars in the first half of 97 to just gone. I know there are non-kayfabe reasons for his departure, but as someone who got excited when he showed back up at November to Remember 97 (as Superstar Stevie Richards), I was bummed to see him just disappear again. Nova, in some December 97 backstage promo, had a one-off line about Richards leaving him (“Twice!”), and that was it.
- I loved when Hardcore TV would start off with “Breaking News,” as it added a layer of reality to the show and made you think not everything was just in the can. When Heyman broke the Sandman news, I was sad he was gone, but happy that the guy who had been there since Episode 2 in April 1993 (and even before that in the pilot episode from 1992) had a big-money opportunity. I love that ECW did not seem to begrudge him of this, and if anything, it was a breath of fresh air for a character who had done it all to leave for a while.
- I am most excited to watch matches featuring Super Crazy and Yoshihiro Tajiri. Their debuts in December 98 and January 99 (respectively) were instant eye-catchers, and their match against each other at Guilty as Charged 99 stole the show. For ECW’s final two years, I’m excited to see what stars they make as their original headliners move on to ‘greener’ pastures.