It was the wee hours of the night, a lot of laughs and several bottles of Chardonnay later, I found myself at the home of my neighbor, surrounded by the ladies of my street. I like my neighbors, they’re fun and we always have a good time together. Especially these impromptu gatherings that just seem to happen, spur of the moment, where everyone ends up laughing so much that no one wants to leave.
It was 2:30am when the phone rang. “Ohhhhhhhhhhh,” came the chorus of giggly females at the prospect of a gentleman caller at that time of night. We all knew who it was – her long-time, on-again- off-again, love interest.
My neighbor and I have had many, many conversations about him. She has used phrases like, “He’s not just my soulmate, he’s in my blood.” To which I would respond with quips like, “Really? When I think of a soulmate they usually aren’t sleeping with other women, treating me like crap and ghosting me whenever I need something.”
We all took our cue and started heading for the door. “Enjoy your evening,” the ladies giggled as they walked out. I was the last to leave. I opened the door and turned around to have one last look at her. We made eye contact without saying a word. “I know, I know,” she said. With that I left and walked down the street to my home.
My phone rang several days later. “You were right,” my neighbor said. “Right about what?” I asked. “About him being a huge a-hole and that I shouldn’t have anything to do with him.” “Oh. I don’t remember saying that,” I replied. “You were thinking it,” she laughed. “Maybe I was.”
“It’s just that I always think it’ll be different this time, you know?” “I think finally he’s seeing things my way and I don’t get why he doesn’t want what I want when it’s so good. I don’t know what he’s thinking.”
I laughed, “What do you think he is thinking at 2:30 in the morning? He’s thinking of one thing and who would be his easiest target. He wasn’t meditating and suddenly had this moment of Zen and it all became clear to him that you were the one, so he thought 2:30 in the morning was the perfect time to tell you.”
If someone is calling you in the middle of the night this isn’t a compliment. It’s not an indication of their undying love for you, or that they can’t get you off their mind. If you want a booty call – which means you have a very low emotional attachment and no expectations, then have atter. But if you’re looking at it like it’s an indication of true love then you need to get some perspective.
What does calling someone, who they know has strong feelings for them, in the middle of the night, really mean to them? It means – I want to get laid and I don’t want to have to work for it. I want what I want, when I want it and I don’t care about who gets hurt in the process. If they did really care about you they’d realize that they can’t give you what you need and they’d leave you alone. Treating you like a last minute Lisa isn’t the way someone who loves and respects you behaves.
Think about this for a second: If a person you’re involved with really had an epiphany about you and your tumultuous relationship, you’re not getting a booty call in the middle of the night. It should be – first of all sober – it should be respectful and it should last longer than an orgasm.
As I sat down to write this blog I got the following comment in my inbox, which cemented in my mind the need to write on this topic of self-esteem and boomerang relationships:
I hate that people always assume that you have low self-esteem. Sometimes it’s just because you want to be with that one person and no one else so it makes it harder to let go. So every time they return it feels like a new opportunity to get it right this time and finally have the relationship you want. I have very high self-esteem– I’m attractive, outgoing, educated, I have a good career, I own everything, I’m caring, fun, adventurous—but I’m just tired of always starting over with someone new. I’m tired of the whole “get back out there and try it again. There’s someone out there for you.” I just want to be with one person who I am comfortable with who makes the relationship feel secure..…
Let’s analyze this for a second: I would reply that first of all – I don’t hate you, sorry you feel that way about me. Second, I would ask you – how do you feel when he leaves? Do you feel hurt, disappointed, devastated as most of my readers do?
If you do, I would say that people who have high levels of self-esteem don’t consistently put themselves in situations where they keep causing themselves harm. If someone hurts you once and they hurt you again, odds are this trend is going to continue. If you keep giving them opportunities to hurt you then it stops being about them and it becomes about you and why you keep allowing it.
If you have become conditioned to accept and expect this kind of treatment I would argue that your level of self-esteem has been eroded to the point where you think this is ok and you’ve gotten comfortable with it.
Most people that get involved with emotional manipulators are attractive, educated, successful and responsible. Why? Because they make the best targets. Just because you might be all of those things is not indicative of your level of self-esteem.
I put up with his poor behavior and treatment of me because I’m tired of always starting over with someone new. Does that sound just as crazy to anyone else as it does me? Staying with someone who treats you in a disrespectful manner because meeting new people makes you feel uncomfortable is not only illogical it’s really harmful to your wellbeing. How about you learn to be alone and learn to be ok with that, because I promise you, being alone is much better than being with someone who makes you feel bad. Being with the wrong person can make you feel more alone than actually being alone.
Self-esteem is about doing things that are in your best interest – that enrich your life and empower you. Being with someone that can take you or leave you and only shows up when they want something from you is neither empowering nor adding value to your life. So the next time that call comes in the middle of the night, respect you enough to let it keep ringing.
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Narcissists will never change. Narcissists will take your soul and destroy you. Please understand the phases of narcissistic behavior:
Love bombing means they will charm you and give you the moon oh and they will tell you they love you. NEWS FLASH… Narcissists are not capable of love or compassion their brains are wired differently. They get to know you and your weaknesses only to use that as ammunition.
Gaslighting meaning they will manipulate their words and your words as well. Narcs are masters at gaslighting. They never take blame for anything, it’s always the other person at fault. They lie and bs constantly. You literally have to record all conversations to prove a point. At the end they say nothing and change the subject.
Devaluation meaning they will start with put downs pointed in your direction and start getting in to your self esteem department. Trust me IT IS UGLY FOR THE VICTIM!
Triangulation I’m not talking threesome in bed. Narcs love drama, it’s all about everything negative for their victim. They are masterminds at getting your friend on their side only to shred you emotionally. It is very bad.
Discard meaning throwing you into the garbage bin. They are bored and tired of you they’ve found another victim. BUT they’ll be back… I promise you they’ll be back. They never want to give up any source EVER! This is the basic to narcissism, there is so much more in between. I know I was with a narcissist on and off for about 6 years. I FINALLY LET GO!! Remember you cannot change a “normal” person don’t think you can change a narcissist.
I have a good guy friend that I dated right after my separation almost 7 years ago. It was an unhealthy attachment – I was codependent and coming out of a 20 year marriage to an alcoholic. This guy would invite me over late in the evening and I would GO. He never came to my house, I always went to him. One morning I even went before work! He has been married and divorced (#3 for him) since then. Somehow we have stayed friends. He still texts me after 11pm or at 4am sometimes and I just shake my head and say ‘come on you know better… I’m not that girl anymore’. Most of the time I don’t even respond to him unless he texts me at a reasonable time and asks me on a proper date. If I ever DO need a quick roll in the hay with no attachment, I can do it with him and be ‘okay.’ But I’ve only gone one time and even then, felt mildly disappointed. I have to keep good boundaries in place where he is concerned. We’ve been friends for so long (he is intelligent and we have other things in common), I can’t see blocking him. And I have told him straight up I am not looking for casual booty calls. As long as both parties are clear, then all is well.
So now it’s hé who is grovelling to me…this is what I wanted. So what does that make me? Not very nice but this is what they make you. Nevertheless hé called me all week-end and to night hé sounded so low it broke my heart for him. Yes they are not nice and never will be,they are such sad people. Will never be happy at least we can be.
Through all the exploring & sharing I keep getting this sense inside that digs deeper to the point of origin. We are no doubt primed for these people by our past, but more than that, I have realized the whole concept of romantic love being the ultimate goal may well be the biggest primer of all. In my solitude & healing, post ‘string of patterns with Ns & me as the common denominators’, I am grasping a wisdom of life, freedom, love… outside of romance which is leading me to thinking it is the ‘love concept’ that we fall for..that island of blissful fantasy called “in love”..where you go for a time & think “life should be this way”.. Do we love them anymore than they love us? Or maybe it is us loving the concept of romantic bliss & being validated by another. Sometimes hooking into what we think is that storybook love we have been trained to seek is stealing our true opportunities for true fulfillment, rather than investing the effort into a relationship with ourselves, our world, our life, where what we give is not connected to any other need outside of us.
It is so helpful to hear others’ stories to soothe the bewilderment & incredulousness of my own years lost wandering through the dark forrest of it all, but when we get past the blame & find some clarity, the questions as to why we draw what we do to our life remains. Knowing they, like we, are buying into the concept of looking for love outside ourselves, gives us a commonality even though our modes of operation differ hugely.
Maybe this isn’t the place for all the depth past the relationships part, but I just feel to address one without the other is stopping short of the part of the path that veers toward true healing & missing a huge mark.
Denial is real and it includes not realizing how little you value yourself … All in vain effort to perpetuate the hope of something working out with the narcissist. Because to really, truly admit to yourself and really acknowledge that the person is abusive and poisonous means letting go and walking away…unless you can minimize their damage somehow by making excuses for them and not asking for much, not having boundaries- if you don’t have them it’s easier to not have to protect them… If you need nothing (including respect!) then it’s easier to not feel disrespected. All to be “chosen” as you have written about Savannah, chosen by an asshole who really doesn’t care about you and will never treat you well. You are so spot on: if someone treats you like crap once, twice…they will do it again!!! What you see/feel/experience is what you get! A version of hell on earth. Run, don’t walk, away!
Hi Savannah, another perfectly timed article.
I moved out 5 months ago, my Narc had someone pretty much straight away, she has moved her into her place. But that hasn’t stopped Racheal from contacting me and turning up at my door every 1 or 2 weeks the whole time. I have taken her back 2 times and tried again over the past 9 years. Always starts out so perfect then disaster.
Just last week she messaged me out of the blue she asks me out for a drink on a Monday night. Of course I jump and say yes. She is beautiful kissing me in public (haha Monday night nobody is out anyway) she was drunk when she got there, drank more mixing her drinks actually buying mine I was a bit surprised. Told me how much she loved me wanted to be back with me couldn’t stand the new girlfriend and that she was so unhappy and cutting herself again….Fuck so I went into carer/lover mode and said she has to go.
Anyway she comes back to my place all is beautiful for an hour or so until she has to go suddenly. Rips my heart out again…..back to the girlfriend she was leaving 5 mins ago. Ive lost it and texting her, the next minute she puts the girlfriend on the phone and she starts abusing me.
I was worried the next day about her cutting herself so I contacted one of her sisters, well that was a mistake….this is all my fault the sister said because Racheal has contacted you. It’s always my fault in their eyes and they love the new girlfriend because she wants to make Racheal well……….What the fuck.
9 years of trying to keep Racheal well is what I did. Why do I still love this woman and miss her contacting me. It’s bee 8 days.
So hard to move forward. I have blocked all the family numbers now.
Thanks again for this article coming into my inbox today. I have so many parts of your articles on my walls in my office.
“If someone betrayed you once-one time-that should be all the chances they ever get with you and one of the first boundaries you set for yourself”
Every time she hurts me I try to stay angry and say no more, but I just seem to push it away and start to cry and miss her again.
Never Ending……….but again I will try.
The comments here about self esteem are really enlightening. I’m only just beginning to see I hid my lack of it behind “assertiveness” which is not the same thing. There’s loads of stuff in these pages and out there about how to gain/improve it and I’m proud of myself for having started.
When I cut away from the Nb/f I realised I had used up (and been used for) the five years I thought of as being a “soul-mate” which could have been spent healing and validating my own life. Effectively, like Larry says, I was on my own all that time in any case.
Savannah’s posts about standing alone, cosseting yourself – starting with cleaning everything and buying a nice throw and some scented candles from a thrift shop – getting to grips with yourself and setting goals are really important.
More people live solo and look forward than you would ever think.
What words of truth about how lonely you are in a relationship with a NPD. I am learning I attract Narcissists by allowing their cruel treatment to continue. A healthy person would have rejected this behavior and the Narcissist would find somebody else. It is true that we train people how we want to be treated by what we allow.
When I would ask him if he still wanted me around when he was crabby, he’d say “I’ve put a lot of time into training you”. I thought he was just being a jerk but in reality, he meant it. He trained me to have no expectations, not hold him accountable and tolerate his self centric lifestyle.
Now I can spot narsistic people immediately, it’s like I can smell them. I have been trained. 🙂
I was married to one and naively went straight into a relationship with another. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, my mind was spinning all the time as we seemed so close but something was very wrong. It wasn’t until I through him out that I started researching narc behaviour. It was him to a ‘T’, incredibly so. That was 6 years ago and yes he’s been backwards and forwards. I encouraged it as, although I was taking a risk but I really wanted to see him, his true colours but with some distance between us. It was so painful as I still wanted him as the ‘soulmate’ I thought he was, hence my name, phoenixburning, I know I’m playing with fire. It turned out he had a girlfriend in another town, which was convenient for him as he could mess around during the week. During this time one evening he came to my house with a female neighbour of his, I didn’t suspect anything, they stayed the night, she in one room, he with me. Unusually we didn’t have sex that night…now I know why, he was saving himself for better things! Late the next morning he went for a lie down and I was going to the shops to buy lunch. I left the house only to re-enter as I had left something behind and what do I discover? She was in bed with him and they weren’t sleeping! It was absolutely horrible, so shocking, it took me days to get over the initial shock and I’m not sure I’m over it yet! Since then I have seen him again, yes call me stupid, mad whatever, but I’ve been trying to get our relationship onto another footing whereby we can be friends. Why bother? I think I am trying to save face and get some form of respect from him? Not even sure, I think it’s my way of not feeling such a piece of nothingness, that I do actually count to someone who counts for me? But why does he count for me? When we’re at this level of relationship, he is fun to be with, charming and I am incredibly lonely. It’s all very well to say be on your own but I really am as I am now suffering from PTSD and am shy of forming friendships among other things. I think it’s also because I understand him, even if I detest what he does to people. The interesting thing is that he talks about himself, sees his patterns but can’t understand why he acts the way he does. I have told him he’s a narc but he hasn’t bothered to find out what that really means. The latest issue was Friday evening, his car had broken down and he wanted me to drive to his, which is now a couple of hours away. It was pouring rain, dark and my headlights are not working properly. I started out but stopped the car, called him and said I couldn’t see properly and it was too dangerous. I was actually proud of myself for putting me first in spite of the fact I wanted to see him. As I expected, he was furious and hasn’t been in contact since. That’s ok, in fact could be the perfect opportunity to say goodbye once and for all. Don’t sound very convincing, do I? In fact I feel embarrassed to be admitting any of this! Talking about low self-esteem! Having said that in-between his comings and goings I did date one man a couple of times but recognised red flags so ended it just as quickly. I think I feel comfortable with this b/f narc because I know him so well but as Savannah pointed out, it keeps you stuck, it’s an easy cop out and no, it doesn’t really boost the morale 🙁 I’m also struggling with friendships as they too have been based on my unhealthy family/adult past with me acting like the underdog all the time. Being too amiable to sooth their egos while hurting my own, just so as not to be alone. However, I am not at a point where I feel comfortable with healthy people!?? I can see the patterns only too well but wow, it leaves me feeling so lonely.
To quote Savannah from another of her articles:
“When you show someone that you don’t respect yourself enough to walk away when you’re being mistreated, you open yourself up to being exploited if your love interest just happens to be an emotional manipulator. It gives them the message that you do not have boundaries and that they can treat you however they please, because you will still be there, regardless of what they do.”
And to add to that thought, one of my favorite quotes: “what we allow is what will continue”
The person who wrote that email may believe she has high self esteem, unfortunately, she’s not secure enough to be alone, and allows herself to be a bench warmer, used when it suits the N, available at his whim … people with high self-esteem, who have a sense of their own value and worth, not only don’t need to prove they have high self-esteem by defending it, they simply don’t tolerate being treated as a convenience.
If you’re really secure with yourself – when you know who you are – you don’t discount yourself or lower your standards in order to maintain some illusory status quo. You know your value and don’t accept anything less than what you deserve, what you are worth. And that means walking away from that which does not serve you.
If the email writer is okay with simply being a booty call, and doesn’t want anything more from her N, then more power to her. However, I get the sense that that’s not all she wants to be. That she doesn’t feel like “starting over” leaves me with the impression that, given the chance, she’d like to be in a healthy, functional relationship with someone who deserves her, and is worthy of her.
Until she decides that she’s settling for less than what she wants, is settling for being treated as a convenience, I hope she’s okay being a bench warmer… because that won’t change.
For her sake, I truly hope she finds her inner strength and walks away.
Excellent post Savannah. I wrote about my experiences which somehow morphed into several books and from the feedback I get, I think it’s different for each of us. Like Savannah, my ex left me purportedly to move to another city, but within a couple weeks he was with his new supply. Even though I’d been the one to finally draw the line in the sand, I was devastated that he could move on that fast as if I didn’t exist. It appeared to be a complete discard – never heard another word from him. Thought that was the end of it, then nine months later he tried to call, which I ignored. I knew he was probably having difficulties with his new supply relationship and sure enough I found out through the grapevine that they had split up. He has attempted several times over the last 3 years to get in touch (including stalking and driving past when he is in town) and I have ignored all of it – NC all the way. So I will say this; even if it looks like they have done a complete discard, there is usually some point, like Eileen describes above, where months or even years later, they will give it one more go. As Savannah says, there is nothing flattering about it at all. They’re not sitting there suddenly realizing they can’t live without you and that you were actually the one. It’s just a game play – ‘Oh I’m bored with my current situation – let’s see if I can reel her back in again.’ Where you should congratulate yourself is if you haven’t heard from your narc at all – this means he knew his game was up and that there is no point. He will be preying on someone weaker who he can manipulate better than you. Such brilliant stuff you are writing here Savannah – keep up the great work!
@Marie- Once talking with Savannah I asked her why with so many boomerang narcissist mine left me, get married had a baby and never heard from him again. Savannah said that I was lucky and now after 2 years of NC I can tell you I really am lucky.
Now I wake up and I”m happy . Happy not to think to anyone in that way, happy to do my things and not feeling so low because I was dipending on his call or on him in general. I feel free. this is the real comfort. And can I tell you? I’m a little bit afraid to experience that picks and valleys again. I care a lot to my well being. Believe me having those people (narcissists) close to you it’s like living in the dark , in a prison. But I couldn’t understand until I’ve done a lot of work on myself starting with just appreciating the single little things of my life. Savannah helped me a lot, reading her posts and talking to her changed my life. She’s the only one to tell you things they way they ‘re, much more then any doctors I ever had.
Hey Cristina – so glad you’re doing great 🙂 Thanks for the kind words.
Wonderful article, I read it 3 times to make sure it sunk in. I could really use some perspective from you guys. My story is exactly like all the others, until the end.
I was with Nbf for almost 3 years, lived together and engaged for more than 2. We were both mid-40’s. Of course he was extraordinary the first several months. (Idealization). Then the devaluing began, he was nasty, selfish, drunk, rude, cold. I was blindsided and shocked, so of course I tried harder and jumped through hoops. This all occurred in the first 2 years. The last year he was discarding me and it became ugly, but at the same time I started realizing I don’t deserve this BS, so lots of arguing. I finally moved out after constant silent treatments, name calling, him drunk every night, me crying regularly, absolutely no warmth and affection. When I walked out the door he was mocking and cold as I was crying and defeated.
I called a few days later and we saw each other 1-2 times a week for a month, his behavior was the same and he acted superior. I sent a couple lengthy emails apologizing for my part, explaining his parts, etc. as usual, no response. Sobbing and totally broken, I went NC. That was 3 months ago. Now this is where my story is different.
I’ve not heard from him at all. Zero. I have no idea what he’s doing, we have no mutual friends, he lives an hour away. It’s like I didn’t exist. He could care less about my existence. Many here will think this is great, but I didn’t get the opportunity to ever say F you or anything. He never chased me after I left. I suppose I had the last word by leaving. But it feels weird having a chunk of my life where I loved this person so very much, just be gone without a trace of existence. I’m working on myself and enjoy being alone by myself and not lonely with him. I still think of him frequently and wonder. My heart is still with him.
Thoughts? Anyone else have this kind of ending? Thank you.
My long-term Narcissist left me for another woman. The day I moved out of our house was the last time I ever heard from him. It’s not so different – some boomerang – those that don’t generally already have someone else lined up. People are often interchangeable to them. In all honesty it made the healing a lot easier to know he was never coming back. It made me look at him differently to know that after almost a decade together he could throw me away like I was nothing – no contact – no concern for my welfare – no interest what-so-ever. It was shocking and really opened up my eyes to the way his mind worked. Once I was of no value to him I was discarded – loyalty, nostalgia, respect…these are not things that plague a narcissist.
Yes, I’ve had something similar, although very different in other ways. It’s rather a long story but I’ll try and keep it brief, lol. My son’s father left us when my lad was less than 2 yrs old (he’s now over 38). He kept in touch occasionally, with months and sometimes years inbetween, then started visiting every now and then when my boy was grown up. I considered him an old friend (I’ve known him for over 40 yrs)and it was only ever platonic.
However, after a devastating run in with an Nbf and subsequent therapy and working on myself, I came to realise who else was an N in my life (most of them, lol), including this man who had done such terrible things in the past and had never once been interested in his own son. I was a bit naive and it took my daughter-in-law to point out that my son’s dad was trying to get his feet back under the table, so to speak!
Then on one visit he abused my hospitality, was outrageously selfish and literally made me feel quite ill (I have ME/CFS). After that weekend I’d had enough of his lies and increasingly insane behaviour, and after one tall story too many I stopped replying to his emails. He sent one to say he was coming to visit, so I replied not to and told him why not. He excused his behaviour (of course it’s never their fault!) then told me to have a nice life. Just like that.
That was 3 1/2 yrs ago. Fast forward to 3 wks ago, and I had another reply to that same last email I sent!!! LOL! So, although it’s not the same story, I did go through being a bit miffed that he could just walk away like that and not care, but it wasn’t long before I was glad of the peace. I honestly didn’t expect him to get into contact again. But guess what? He then gave all the same excuses, with embellishments, then ended by saying that he’s just had an awful episode with someone with NPD (oddly enough, lol). I happen to know he’s living in another country so I suspect his latest ‘love’ venture didn’t turn out as planned and he’s wanting to come back and looking for somewhere to stay. Needless to say, I didn’t reply, but it’s confirmation of the way they don’t care how long it’s been until they want something.
Thank you for your insight and support, it has really impacted my healing. I feel lucky that I don’t have the huge anxiety every day wondering if he’s going to call, what kind of mood, etc. and hoping he’s kind to me. It’s over. Going forward I too will be far more protective of my wellbeing.
If this man that I gave everything to can just walk away unscathed, I don’t need him. He has little to really offer. I fell in love with the shiny, sparkly charm and thought that’s who is was.
Shortly after I went NC, I was sobbing one night saying to myself “how can he just go on like his world is all put together and I’m trying to find my puzzle pieces after a thunderstorm”.
That message sent to you is an excellent example of rationalizing. I used to do the same with my narcissist. I would make excuses and build his crumbs up into more than they were yet he would continually disappoint me.
It honestly never crossed my mind that my low self-esteem was part of the problem. I used to say, ‘I am smart, talented and I know he could never find as deep a connection with anyone else that he has with me.’
This is what I said to reassure that our relationship, in addition to his feelings for me, were ‘special.’ Yet he never treated me like I was special, but rather like a 3rd rate person in his life. ‘Where do we stand?’ I’d wonder over and over.
And when I’d get to a point to accepting that he and I would never be that close, he’d come back full force, showering me with attention.
I wish your blog had been around then, but chances are I would not have read it. Unfortunately, it takes us getting hurt over and over until we finally ‘get it.’
As result of this experience, I don’t let people treat me like that anymore, and if I sense myself reverting back a little, your articles always remind me what’s important.
Right on the mark! I am outgoing, attractive, intelligent and successful. My cousellor did a self-esteem… I answered with flying colours, with the exception of footnotes I wrote on the page….*except when I am with NARC. All it takes is one type of relationship with one person to highlight in bold me as someone with self-esteem issues. If I respected myself, I would be no contact with NARC!
‘If they did really care about you they’d realize that they can’t give you what you need and they’d leave you alone.’
Took the advice of people on here about the guy who is involved with his male partner but wanted to go out again. I only went out with him the one time because of the things he told me he has done to the women (left his wife because his intelligence made her boring for example). Really did not think he would call again because why tell me that stuff otherwise? Well guess what, he called three times yesterday…has been calling constantly and we only went out the one time with nothing intimate. I have deleted the messages without listening to them as what background could we possibly have that would make those messages of any significance to me? Met him at my friend’s wedding and I think my mistake was accepting a date after when the couple driving me home asked how to get to my front door. The guy was also getting a ride to his home and couple of blocks from my building he said let her out here. The male driver and his girlfriend said no and drove me to my front door. That should have been a red flag to not accept a date with this dude. Reading today’s article brought that realization.
Oh Hell no my xN doesn’t get an opportunity to call me in the middle of the night. He’s blocked and its going to stay that way. I would never ever give him the satisfaction of a booty call. Thanks to you Savannah, I blocked him after the first Hoover. He may have discarded me but I ended it.