Thursday, April 29, 2010
I met with my coach last night, and we briefly talked race plans. I'm not going to post them here now, but I'll reflect on them afterwards. D gave me a hug and said we'll talk Friday. I couldn't thank him enough for all his help. (And, actually, I'm still struggling with an appropriate thank you gift for him...)
Last fall D trained me well for my half marathon and 18 mile race. I ran strong, I ran confident. I know he has trained me well for this race, so with each flutter of nerves I'm feeling, I'm reminding myself I ran really well in that 18 miler, so I can do this. I ran really well in my two 21 milers in this training, so I can do this. I had a rough 15 miler two weeks ago, which I was due to have and was a result of stress in my life, so I can do this because the rough run already happened.
I want to line up on Saturday remembering all this.
I want to line up on Saturday feeling confident that I can run the paces D set for me. He wouldn't tell me to run them if he didn't think I could.
I want to line up on Saturday and enjoy the day, finish strong, and make D proud.
I really don't care what my finish time is, because my ultimate goal is to run what D set for me. If I do that, I'll be happy with my time.
Important finish times can be a goal for another race. They don't have to be a goal for this one.
I can do this.
I want to do this.
I can do this.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
I met with the detective on Monday after work. I went there pretty sure I was going to close this case today. Not press ahead with the charges. I had told the guys, the night I laid it all out with them, that I didn't need any of my friends to go to prison, I just needed to know who did this. As much as I didn't want G to get away with this, I also didn't want to go back on my word. I hoped that G would suffer the consequences of all this through his relationships with our friends -- and maybe that would be tough enough. A big part of me wanted to make him go through all the legal stuff, especially because I felt that whatever damage he felt with the friends wouldn't last forever, but the other part of me wanted to be able to move on.
The detective was patient with me and my questions and sat with me for an hour. I asked if he had spoken with G and whether G admitted all this to him. He had, and G did. That made me feel a bit better. I didn't want G to admit this to me but deny it to the police -- then I'd feel like I still didn't have my answers.
I also asked him what advice he'd give his daughter in all this, and whether he thought I could feel safe if I didn't go ahead with pressing the charges. He told me he'd let his daughter make her own decision. The safety question was tougher to answer. His impression, in the several conversations he'd had with G, was that he didn't think I would need to feel unsafe. He could tell I wasn't completely sure I was doing the right thing by not pushing ahead with the charges now, though, and gave me some information that helped me feel better about my decision.
The felony charge of identity theft with the intent to harm carries a five year statute of limitations. The harrassment charge carries a one year statute of limitations. At any time, if I am uncomfortable with something with G, I can ask the detective to reopen the case.
I left that meeting feeling better about my decision, but still not better about my situation. I think I had thought that once we knew who it was, we could just go on with our lives. I was beginning to realize just how wrong that thinking was.
I never contacted C to fill him in on my meeting with the detective. He had been pretty obvious in his disinterest in talking with me. That was tough. I had been keeping him informed the whole way through. I thought he was as upset and angry about all this as I was.
And then, two days later, in the middle of a conversation I was having with one of the guys, I was told C had been hanging out with someone else.
Shoot me now. The hits keep coming.
This threw me for an emotional loop. On top of me dealing with the fall-out of the ad itself, I now had to deal with knowing why C was so distant.
Now, C and I were never technically boyfriend/girlfriend. But, we had had a close relationship. He relied on me and I was there for him. I know my friendship had been important to him, and his to me. I don't have the right to be angry that he's seeing someone else, but it hurts. And, in a sense, I am angry that he didn't at least stand by me through to the end of this. But he has his life to live, and I can't change how he does that.
So, I've spent the last week coming to terms with all that I've been dealing with. This was a very difficult, emotionally charged weekend. My sister has been my lifesaver -- getting me out of the house, letting me hide on her sofa, understanding as I cry on our runs. My training is coming to an end, and that's hard for me, too. I like the training so much more than the race itself. I haven't been eating like I should, and my sleeping has suffered. I'm hurt, I'm overly emotional, and I'm angry at G for such destruction.
Coming to terms with all this is a work in progress. I haven't spoken with G at all, and I haven't spoken with C in over a week. I've had great support from those of you who read this blog and from friends I never expected. I still can't answer the question, "How are you doing?" but as so many people have said, this is the way things are right now, not forever.
This will most likely be the last post, the last chapter, on this part of my life. It's so hard to write this all out -- so draining. I wanted to tell it, though, because it has so consumed my life for the past month and a half. I've learned a lot about people during this time. I've been surprised by people, and disappointed by others. I used to feel like I was part of a good group of friends; I had a sense of belonging there. I was happy, really happy. I don't have that anymore.
The deception and destruction I've dealt with has been devastating. I wouldn't wish this on anyone.
His reply was a long message saying he'd rather talk to me -- email is so impersonal -- but he takes full responsibility for everything that happened to me and wanted to "apologize for letting this go on for so long." He's "embarrassed and ashamed" and asked me to "find it in your heart to have the forgiveness and kindness to end the investigation." He's "very sorry."
Wow. Ok. It sounds like he's admitting he did it (not that shocking based on everything pointing in that direction, but sad and shocking nonetheless), but he didn't actually say he posted the ad.
I emailed him and asked him directly: are you saying you posted the ad, as C, on craigslist, that included my name and phone number, in the sex section? WHY?
When he didn't reply right away, I contacted C. Asked him what they had talked about after I left. He was brief with his recount, and I had to ask direct questions to get information from him. Frustrating. I told him of G's sort of admission, and he had a much more confusing reaction than I expected. He was pretty calm. Not livid, the way he had been for much of this time. He seemed to be disinterested in talking about it any more, and suddenly I had the feeling I was now dealing with this all alone.
I eventually heard back from G, and his reply was that he "whole-heartedly admits to doing it." He blamed it on being pissed at C for several things. Again, a really long message. I wanted to know if he did it alone. I wanted to know if anyone else knew about this. I need the truth, I told him in my last message.
And then my phone rang again. By now it's around 7pm, and after such a long, draining day, I didn't want to talk to him. But I knew I'd have to. When I answered the phone, I said, I really don't think I can talk to you.
So I listened. I listened to G tell me how sorry he is. I heard him say he just didn't have the stomach for this and couldn't take it anymore. I heard him try to reason out why he did it. I listened as he told me he wanted to call me last night but it got too late. I asked him about the "break-in" at his house. He didn't budge on that being legit, but he basically brushed that aside. I listened as he claimed this was a stupid thing to have done, and he's sorry. And then I listened as he told me he spoke with C earlier and apologized.
You spoke with C today?Yeah, I called him earlier and apologized.
Wow. Now I was floored. C had plenty of opportunities to tell me he had spoken with G. Never mentioned it, not even a hint. What the hell?
I hung up with G. I texted C. You spoke with G today?
C responded that he had, but just briefly when G apologized. I was confused. I was mad. Why hadn't he told me? I was worried about how C was feeling about all this. I told C I hoped he was ok, and that I understand it's tough news to hear that your friend of 10+ years would do something like this to you. I also said I was confused as to why he didn't mention he talked with G.
C said there was nothing relevant to discuss about it. He wanted to see if both stories were the same. I was hurt and confused. Nothing relevant? Stories the same? I've been sharing everything with you! I hoped he meant G's stories to the both of us. I've been upfront and honest the whole way! We went back and forth for a bit and I ended the conversation. Nothing more to say. Not getting the support anymore.
The next morning C apologized for that, but our conversation later in the day about that and about the G admission and whether to go forward with the charges became strained. It was obvious, and very confusing and hurtful, that C was not with me anymore on this. He was done.
And as it turns out, that's pretty much the last conversation I've had with C.
I called the detective and told him about G's admission, and planned to meet with him on Monday to talk about where to go from here.
I had an answer as to who posted the ad, but I didn't feel much better. My friendships were ruined. My core group of friends no longer existed. I was left wondering how people would react when they found out it was G -- would they be shocked, but a few weeks from now meeting him out for beers? I was left hurting, feeling an overwhelming sense of loss and betrayal. I had an answer, but I didn't feel much better.And I still had a decision to make.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
The detective, still leading me to believe he was convinced it was G who did this, or at least G knew something about who did, answered all my questions and told me he'd be speaking with G this week. He also informed me that the charges were "theft of identity with the intent to harm" (exact wording may be off) and "harrassment." The identity theft is a felony, and that carries a maximum 1 to 3 years in prison. The harrassment charge is a misdemeanor (basically) that would result in fines. Both could be pleaded down.
The detective suggested I may want to let my social group know this info. It could scare the person who did it into admitting it. At this point, so many weeks after this began, I was so weighted and emotional that I just wanted to know who did it. I didn't need anyone to go to jail, I just didn't want to keep wondering. I talked with C, and we pulled the gang all together. For the first time in weeks, I had to contact G. I asked him to please come to the guys' apartment. He said he would.
It was awkward and uncomfortable. C was no longer showing me the strong friendship and support he had been, which confused and saddened me, and I still didn't know for sure who was responsible for all this. I was desperate to have the past month just erase from our history. I wanted to go back to the complete happiness I had felt on the day before this began.
When I laid it all out on the table for this group of my friends, I didn't use names. C knew all the info I did, but no one else. When I mentioned the IP address connection, G is the one who owned up to it being his. He denied having done the post, but he looked a bit scared. Then he started complaining about how scary and uncomfortable it is to have the detective question him. He was denying having posted the ad, but saying he was nervous the police would take it to court without a thorough investigation. He even said he would just admit to it so I can end the investigation, even though he didn't do it.
This angered me. I told him so. This isn't about you being uncomfortable that a detective had to question you BECAUSE YOUR IP ADDRESS IS WHERE THE CRAIGSLIST AD CAME FROM. This is about my whole social world (which, quite frankly, felt like my whole world) being stripped from me. Friendships broken, trust shattered. I'm barely keeping my head above water, and you're complaining about a detective questioning you? Unbelievable.
After a while, when no one confessed or said they had info about it, I headed home. One month to the day after all this started, I still didn't know for sure who was responsible.
And then my phone rang at 6:30 the next morning.
It was G.
I didn't answer.
Monday the 29th, G called me late in the evening and told me his house had been broken into that day.
You ok? What was stolen? He was ok -- he had already talked with the police. They only took his old computer (the one he uses for social stuff on the internet, etc) and an old digital camera. They didn't take your bikes? (He's training for IMLP) They didn't take anything else? Nope.
In my head, this seemed weird to me. I mean, think of all your friends. Have you ever had two friends have crimes commited against them in a matter of two weeks? I haven't. Seemed weird, but I had no idea at the time just HOW weird...
Two days later, on Wednesday, the detective on my case called me and told me the IP address that the craigslist ad was posted from belongs to my friend, G.
I learned that this doesn't necessarily prove that G did it, although it would take someone with a strong technical knowledge to have hacked into G's address and posted the ad. The detective explained about open internet connections, router logs, and lots more. He and I decided that he would speak with G, rather than me doing it. I told him at this point I don't know what I can believe from G.
G's response to the detective was "There's no way it could be me," which struck the detective as odd. I could tell the detective was pretty convinced it was G that posted the ad, and as much as all the arrows pointed that way (G was wanting to spend lots and lots of time with me, it was his IP address, he often talked negatively about C to me, the "stolen" computer, etc), I wasn't ready to accept it yet. I needed proof, or someone to admit to doing it.
G called me after talking with the police, but I didn't want to speak with him. He denied, denied, denied having anything to do with this. I told him I couldn't talk with him right now. I don't know what to think, what to say, who to believe.
I had been filling C in on everything each step of the way, and called him immediately to talk with him about this latest development. I was comforted in knowing he wanted to be in the loop and wanted me to keep pursuing this. Until we found out it was G's address, that is. Then C seemed to pull back a bit. He and G had been friends for more than 10 years. I know this was a blow to C. I was upset he was pulling away, but I couldn’t do anything about it.
C and I agreed it would be better to not tell anyone that G was connected to this just yet. Since we didn't have all the answers, we didn't want to bring his name into it. Keeping this secret from our friends added to my stress. I was able to let some outside friends know what was happening, but since they didn't know C, and really wouldn't have known to connect him to me in the craigslist ad, I was able to feel reasonably certain that they weren't involved. However, I was constantly in a state of wondering who I could trust, and what to believe. With everyone.
I was leaving Friday for the Florida Keys to stay with my family for the week, but there was something I had to take care of first. G had planned with my dad to stay at my parents' house in the Keys for a few days while I was there. (G is a doctor, and was helping my dad with his knee issues.) I wrote G an email (I was keeping all interactions with him written, thinking that would be important) and told him that under the circumstances, I would appreciate it if he would make other arrangements. Having him stay at my parents' house would be uncomfortable. He eventually responded that he would not be flying down. He again denied having anything to do with this, he was freaked out and upset by all this, hopefully we can talk. I didn't respond, and didn't have any contact with him the whole time I was away.
While in Florida, I touched base with the detective, and was reassured he’d be speaking with G again and moving forward in the investigation. I tried to enjoy my time on vacation, but knowing that things at home weren't yet resolved made feeling good in Florida difficult. I met up with a mutual friend down there, and found out that G made up a story about why he couldn't come down. I also spoke with C and found out that G was going about his life like nothing was going on -- they were all going out for beers like usual, etc. This really started to eat away at me. It bothered me that C was part of that, though he said he was hoping to get G to say something about it all. It bothered me that G never told anyone about his break-in. It bothered me that G was now lying to other people about this. I was feeling more and more weighing me down.
G, someone who was my friend -- and in my world every day -- may be the person who caused all this turmoil, destruction, deceit in my world, and he gets to live life like normal. I can't, but he can. Unfair.
Friday, April 23, 2010
C supported my decision to go to the police, as did all my friends. My friend G and I went for a run and talked about what was happening. G is also someone I've mentioned here before. We speculated on who could have done this. It HAD to be someone who knows us. MY name, MY cell number, C's name all included in the ad.
Over the next week or so, things fell apart with C and I. (My stress on this stuff contributed, but it was C's decision that things change between us. I wasn't happy about it. It added to my stress, though it never made me question whether he had anything to do with the ad. I never believed he did.) During that week, I questioned who I could trust, who I could believe, what to think. There was just too much here for this to be a random person posting the ad. Too much coincidence. I knew it had to have been someone I knew.
G and I continued to go on runs together, and I continued to meet the guys out for beers, though things were definitely not the same. The situation was always part of our conversation. And I was always watching people's actions, listening to their words, seeing their reactions. I went through more than 2 weeks feeling like my social world was crumbling around me. (Truth is, that is something I’m still dealing with, even now.)
It is a defeating feeling to have your trust of your friends compromised and, essentially, stripped from you.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
On Sunday, March 14th, at about 6:45 pm, I received a "restricted" phone call on my cell phone. I answered it because I thought it was my brother. It was not, though it took me a moment to realize it.
It was a man telling me he met my friend C in a bar and C gave me his number. This guy said he was "a single man, looking to meet a woman, and C said, here -- call my girlfriend. She'll talk with you." I kept asking, Who is this? and Who gave you my number? and What?! The call wasn't making any sense to me, and I hung up.
Then the texts started. Some restricted numbers, some not.
I called C, someone I was very close with. I've mentioned him here before -- he's someone who has brought me great happiness over the past few months, but also some frustrations and hurting heart feelings. We had just decided to move forward with things again when this happened. So, I called him and asked, Did you give my number to some guy in a bar???
He was shocked. No way! I didn't give anyone your number! Why would I do that? What are you talking about?
I told him my phone was now being flooded with phone calls and texts from men looking to meet me or talk to me. All of them are telling me they "met C, drunk off his ass, in a bar" and he gave them my number.
C came right over. We tried to reverse-look up the numbers we could (most calls were restricted). The calls and texts kept coming. C finally answered, and that man hung up.
We were floored. What the heck is going on??? What is this??? C eventually headed home, swearing he had nothing to do with this; both of us perplexed and shaken and confused. And angry.
Monday the calls continued. C called/texted the ones we could identify and told them to stop. He eventually learned through one of them that they were just responding to an ad on craigslist.
I emailed craigslist immediately. After the automated response, I went ahead and emailed the CEO and owner directly and asked for their help. I requested a copy of the ad and any posting information they had. They were great. I had my information in about an hour.
But not all of it.
I had no idea what this one ad would mean in the long run.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Friendships destroyed, trust broken, criminal behavior, police investigation, enormous stress.
It's taking me a long time. It's a long, drama-filled, sad, shocking story.
It'll easily be the longest post I've written.
But it's a story I'm ready to tell. I need to tell it. I can't hold the secrets anymore. I need to release the weight, and I'm getting there.
I won't be able to get all of it in here -- there's just too much -- but the story will be complete enough for the important information to be told, and the picture painted.
It's not a Hollywood ending, but then again, who knows, really, if the ending is even here yet...
Thursday, April 15, 2010
I headed over to Philly to run the same route I had done for my last 21 miler. This time, though, I was doing it alone. I wanted it that way.
I parked and headed out. Plan was 10 easy first, and though they were a bit faster than I should have run them, I was comfortable and things felt good.
By the time I headed onto the trail, I had about 5ish miles left at easy pace before I was to crank it down to MP for the next 10 miles. I took a gel at about 7 ish miles (maybe just before) and peeled off my Voodoo cheetah print arm sleeves.
By the time I was starting the MP miles, it was just about time to turn around and head back to Boathouse Row. Those MP miles ticked on by, and I was feeling pretty comfortable. I took another gel around mile 13.5/14, and kept on going. One thing I know is that I need to get better at keeping the right pace; more specifically, feeling MP and staying there. I was often running faster than MP, and I had to keep checking myself. That often meant my pace was all over -- too fast at one point so I slow down, then I realize I was too slow so I speed up, etc. I ended up in the right range throughout, but I have to get better at that.
So with one last gel around mile 18.5ish, I finished out the last two MP miles and got ready to finish the run with mile 21 at an easy pace. As I got there, I was realizing how great D has trained me. How prepared I feel I am for this. I hit mile 20 faster than I ever had before -- in under 3 hours -- and I felt fine. I'm actually in awe of how good D is at training me. I'm still working on the mental part, but my body/legs feel prepared.
I didn't slow down completely to easy pace for mile 21, but I did back off MP. I knew I could have kept going. I felt good at the end of 21 miles, with half at MP, and that was amazing.
In that moment, on that day, after those miles, I felt prepared.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
with my dad.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
on my running.
But things keep getting turned upside down and inside out. I've barely been able to keep the tears inside my eyes.
I found out some answers to all this craigslist stuff, but not ALL the answers I need. And what I found out may be even worse than not knowing at all. I now don't know who I can trust, who I can believe, what to think. Friendships have been broken.
But I haven't given up on the one thing in this crazy month that's been a constant.
March ended as my highest mileage month ever -- 242.4 miles. This week will be my highest week ever after Saturday's run -- 61+ miles.
And my legs still work.
My heart hurts, and my being feels heavy, and my mind is constantly swirling, but my running is still here, and it's working right now.
I'm not giving up.