Well.. this leads us into my next story- Superman Catfish Sickness. Interesting title right? To my surprise on a fish named dating website (again DON’T partake in this creep-o-weirdo website. There are many other better sites to be on), I was approached by a DROP DEAD GORGEOUS man. I call him Superman because that was his profile picture- a sweaty, tan, muscles gym picture with a Superman shirt on.
He was rating a 8.5-9.0 on a 10 point scale. Let’s just say… I was ready to let him save me.. in anyway possible. We quickly made plans to meet. We were going to go out around his side of town (about 50 minutes away from my house). I was going to pick him up. That is safe right? If I am driving, there are no worries. HAHA… wrong. As I rolled up smelling and looking great.. I had this feeling in my stomach.. “Oh shit, sketchy ass apartments again?” Did I listen to my intuition? Hell no, I am no quitter.
He meets me outside– However, I do not recognize him. I REPEAT- Ladies and Gents.. I had officially caught my frist CATFISH. He was at least 50 pounds heavier than his picture- his hair had thinned dramatically and his face- well handsome would not be a word I would use to describe it.
*Side note: One thing you should know about me- I am blunt and honest but in a situation in which I am taken back or surprised (especially with men.. Yes traumatic experiences shaped this response) I hesitate and freeze up. I feel that I owe that person/situation. Respect? My time? I am unsure.. But I feel responsible for the outcome somehow. Yes, I am going to therapy for this.. But changing your outlook on life and being cognisant of your natural reactions/thoughts is very hard work that takes time and a lot of failure comes with the territory.
So guess what I did? I was reluctantly escorted inside to this Catfish’s territory.
—DISCLOSURE: When serial dating always go somewhere public- no matter how desperate you are to date or experience life.. It may just save your life–
As I entered the apartment, this horrid moldy smell overcame my senses. Yet I still proceeded to be “nice” and sit down on the couch that felt and smelt 1000 years old with a hint of cat piss.
He asked me to quiet my voice as we were talking because his DAD was sleeping in the next room. If I had ignored all the signs by now- I couldn’t ignore this. A 30 year old man living with his Dad in this shit hole?!
He began to say he was helping him out and how he is Native American and worked for an organization that helped Native American’s overcome addictions. I took another look at this deceiving Superman Catfish. With a background in child development- I put my finger on what was “off” about this individual’s face. He had smooth ridge between the upper lip and nose, small and wide-set eyes, a very thin upper lip, and other abnormal facial features. He had slurred speech and movement. These are common features of someone with “Fetal Alcohol Syndrome”; which is very common in the Native American culture. I am also part Native American, therefore I have done some research on the subject. Native American communities have some of the highest percentages of babies born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
Dear Lord forgive me, help me… I felt bad for him. I asked if we were going out for a drink and he said “NO”, with a firm grasp he led me to his bedroom. He told me he wanted me to meet his new puppy. I am a sucker for puppies. Needless to say, his room was just as smelly/gross as the rest of the dingie apartment.
I sat on the floor to greet the puppy– is there any other stance to greet a puppy?! The dog smelled terrible too but I couldn’t help but let him lick and jump all over me. The pup had an accident from excitement, #2 do-do was now a mess everywhere. Surprisingly, the poo didn’t make the whole situation smell any worse…. I helped clean it up. What a great distraction from this Catfish trying to tell me to join him on his twin bed….
This is the part that I make readers everywhere cringe and perhaps they lose some respect for me. Yes, I let him have his way with me for the next 5 minutes or so. Call it disgusting, self inflicted, disgraceful.. An embarrassment to women everywhere… whatever you may say, it doesn’t change the reality of the situation. I felt obligated- I felt bad. I came into his house- People perceive that as giving him permission to have me. YES that way of thinking is fucked up and wrong. BUT people will say that I deserved what I had experienced because I didn’t leave, I did say no but he must have known that I wouldn’t fight. Fucked up? Absolutely, but it happened. I will explain what happens to my body when in this type of situation in another post. My sex therapist describes it as a type of “PTSD”. My body goes into shock/freezes and it is like an out of body experience. More on that later….
As I crawled out after the dismound of Superman Catfish- left him snoring loudly in unison with his Dad in the next room. I hesitated as I climbed into my car, looking for a Clorox wipe- hose- water- sanitizer- ANYTHING to help me feel clean. 50 minutes home– those types of drives were some of the lowest parts of my life. Grieving for the past and future, embarrassment, guilt– My mind raced as I felt my skin itch. The smell of it all still strong on my skin and clothes. I told myself to forget it. To write it off as a mistake, a moment of weakness. To rip this page out of my book of “life” and burn it. However, there is more to this that I can not leave out.
As the next few days go by I try to wash and scrub my skin raw. However, some strange things start to happen. I feel a bit ill and a bit dizzy. I have a long running record of being quite dramatic and letting my mind have some dramatic effects on my physical well being. So I tried to write it off as nerves and disappointment in myself. As I am walking outside to my car one night, I faint. As I start to get my bearings back I start getting violently ill. Now, I am not just talking about the flu. This was a bug x100. Shit and pissing in my pants while puking kind of hustle. After 48 hours of no relief and being severely dehydrated, I went into the Doctors. Blood tests and stool samples were collected.
The next day, I get a call from the Health Department. I had someone contracted a PARASITE called Cryptosporidium or Crypto for short. Crypto infection begins when you ingest the one-celled cryptosporidium parasite. Some strains of cryptosporidium may cause more serious disease. These parasites then travel to your intestinal tract, where they settle into the walls of your intestines. Eventually, more cells are produced and shed in massive quantities into your feces, where they are highly contagious.
You can become infected with cryptosporidium by touching anything that has come in contact with contaminated feces. Methods of infection include:
- Drinking contaminated water that contains cryptosporidium parasites
- Swimming in contaminated water that contains cryptosporidium parasites and accidentally swallowing some of it
- Eating uncooked, contaminated food that contains cryptosporidium
- Touching your hand to your mouth if your hand has been in contact with a contaminated surface or object
- Having close contact with other infected people or animals — especially their feces — which can allow the parasite to be transmitted from your hands to your mouth
The Health Department required a list of every place I had been in the past 10 days- food I had eaten, where I shop, where I had visited. The call ended with the clarification that I was to be kept in quarantine (stay home from work and stay in my own home) for the next week. They would contact me in 5 days time and see if I felt better. Then they would allowed to roam freely and participate in life again because contamination would not be a risk.
A WEEK OFF OF WORK?! I don’t talk about my profession much because I am a teacher. However, it was only my 2nd year of teaching and taking 1 day off for sickness is avoided at all costs… 1 week of work?!? That wasn’t even the worst part… the Health Department was required to report my sickness to my work. The office and Administrators now knew I had a gross parasite. HOW HUMILIATING.
I am actually a bit of a germ-a-phobe myself. As I was going stir crazy all week, I thought more and more about how/where/when I had contracted this nasty bug. When the Health Department called back that week, they asked me if I by chance had a puppy. I have a dog that is 2 years old and he had no signs of illness. The lady on the phone began to inquire if I had any contact with any puppies within the last 2-3 weeks that had intestinal problems (as puppies often do).
My heart stopped as I began to realize the last time I had come in contact with a puppy… Remember the embarrassing catfish moment that I was trying to forget about for the rest of my days?!?!? That stinky puppy from my grimmy Superman Catfish encounter?! Could it be?! Yes, it was indeed the culprit of giving me a parasite. This unfortunate situation has occurred because I would have rather kiss that dog than that guy. Thank goodness my parasite days were over with a quick antibiotic regimen and it was over. But damn.. WHOOOOOA- this shit was literally haunting me.
OK Universe… well played. I get the hint. Punishment accepted and acknowledged. Let’s be for real though… I am so Thankful it was a parasite infection from the dog rather than an infection from that guy. Whew..