Since about the age twenty-two, I've had a steady diet of women trying to punish me for past misdeeds against other women. The first time I recall this happening, it involved a couple of girlfriends of someone I had a fixation on in high school. So, years later, in college, I found out that another girlfriend of these women represented herself as available and interested in order to try to punish me for my weirdness from years past.
Another notable time occurred in my last semester of undergrad, when "Linda" feigned interest in me in class. On the second to the last day of class, she talked with some other girls about tattoos, and icily mentioned that her BOYFRIEND had a tattoo of... Linda then came into the class where I stood and drew the model, and she stomped her feet repeatedly and demonstratively as if to symbolically stomp on my heart. In recent times it occurred to me that she was trying to punish me back then for the time I made a crude sexual proposition to "Wanda" in February of 1987. I suspect that a girl from that clique of friends that knew about that incident made sure that word got round about it in the art school.
Another notable time this seemed to happen occurred after I returned from grad school. A friend of mine named Jim seemed really amused by my behavior towards Wanda and related a version of that incident to anyone within earshot for like, the entire time I spent in grad school in New York City before returning. I'm still picking up the pieces from that time, and today I will work on the next five issues of "The Legend of Richy Vegas" that detail my descent into madness.
Another notable time involves the time I worked at a restaurant in 1998/ 1999. I tell my version of what went down in issue number 4 of Richy Vegas Comics, "Anita You're the Reason I'm Not In Prison." I published that comic in late 2010, but the other parties' version of what went down had been circulating for years. The book seemed to speak well for me on that score, because I noticed a change in the demeanor of at least one person whom I assumed instigated a lot of the trouble I faced. I noticed a change on other fronts as well.
Now, when faced with these kinds retaliatory behaviors repeatedly, I've come to a couple of conclusions. The wrong way to handle these behaviors involves trying to retaliate in what I consider fair and equal measure for whatever wrong I've felt these parties' have perpetrated on me. What would constitute a more constructive approach? Well, I believe that speaking my mind about what I see in regards to these situations would help.
I think the factors that unite every one of these actions taken by these women- and quite a few men as well- I think these people make these decisions based on two factors, and two factors primarily: 1) that I seem vulnerable to such an attack and, 2) that they think they can get away with such an attack with no negative consequences. These two beliefs stem from the socioeconomic realities and stigma of what it means to have a major mental illness in this society, and not so much to do with any actual wrongs I may have done. These people make these decisions because they feel they are justified in their course of action and that they will derive a great deal of satisfaction in the outcome. I would guess that the idea that I am not like them, let's say that I'm subhuman to their fully human, aids in this whole thought process. That is a very ugly side of human nature for me to see over, and over, and over again through the years.
So, if I suspect an attractive young or youngish woman in my world had taken something of an interest in me through my deft handling of such an attempted aggression by themselves and others against me-and I'm not saying that is going on right now, but just suppose- what should I do? Should I retaliate in what I consider a fair and equal measure? I think not. My experience in years past tells me that the other party will not feel as if they deserve to be treated that way, and that I will feel bad after I behave that way towards them, and that such actions will cause a lot more problems than they solve. If I had a chance to get to know such a person better, I hope that I would have the courage to broach such a subject at an opportune time, using language they could accept and behaving in a manner that they could accept. Again, I think that not having the courage to take such a course of action would only serve to make me come off as afraid of losing that person. If I learned anything from my time with Sara in 1988, I learned how to accept and even embrace an outcome where myself and the concerned other party do not become boyfriend and girlfriend.
I think I can understand if someone out there doesn't want to hear about the kinds things I've just brought up in this post on some supposed future date with me. Maybe that explains why I've NEVER, EVER dated someone who has come after me in such an adversarial manner. I mean, lots of women have totally come after me, but I've been intimate with only a handful of women not that many times and dated even fewer of those I've been with. If anyone sees themselves in what I've described in the above paragraphs in regards to stigma and wants to beg off right here and now....well, okay.