*** The following story is True. Names have been changed for privacy. ***
It was just after midnight when I got the text from Kacey. I was half asleep, contemplating whether or not to get up to pee when my phone chimed.
”Are you awake?”
It wasn’t strange for Kacey to be texting me, of course. Kacey texts me often – usually when she’s lonely, or needy, or struggling, or coming off of some love-addiction bender where she just wants to brag (to ME of all people for some reason) in gruesome detail about her most recent manipulative love adventures and sexscapades (including, especially, nitty gritty unsolicited details about size and positions and how many times throughout the night).
Wow, that escalated quickly – Let’s back up a bit.
I’ve known Kacey from an outpatient recovery group we were in together. And from the start, I’ve had my guard up with this one. See, when we were in the group, she’d have conversations with me in private outside the group – things she hid from the group or flat out manipulated and twisted in her public retelling to the group. For the juiciest stories, Kacey would call me on the phone. And that, well, that made me a bit uncomfortable, for a lot of reasons.
You see, I knew Kacey better than anyone in the group. And the reason for that is because she would tell me things, stories about what she was doing in her time outside the group, stories of hookups and game playing and random late-night rendezvous, stories that she didn’t tell the group or even our therapist, despite my encouraging her to do so. (So, I’d often just tell the therapist myself) All that to say, I’ve heard some crazy stories about some crazy situations she has placed herself in. And none of them are good.
If anything, these conversations were just – odd. So odd that I even talked to our group therapist about it in some of our private sessions together. I told the therapist things that Casey would be telling me in private because (1) I was very bothered by what she was disclosing to me in private yet not sharing with the group at large (2) I was the only dude in the group (me plus 10 women) and the level of detail with Kacey’s disclosures made me uncomfortable and set-off my intuition alarm, and (3) Perhaps Kacey was hiding these things from even the therapist, which is harmful for a person in recovery. So (and Kacey never knew this) but, a loooong time ago, I privately gave our therapist insight into all of this (and I’m so glad I did).
But it wasn’t just the conversations that made me uncomfortable. Lately, since finishing the outpatient program, Kacey has been trying to get me to meet up or “hang out.” In all kinds of ways and scenarios. Actually, it’s quite hilarious.
Here’s an example. Just two nights earlier, Kacey was texting me trying to “hire“ me to come over that night to help “nanny” her one year old. You read that right. Hire me. For the night. To nanny. 🤔 A 37year old single dad. At 8pm at night. Was Casey going out that night? No. Did she need to go run some errands? No. Did she need a mom break while I watched the kid? No. It was fucking 8pm. Was she going anywhere at all? No. Do you know any 1-year-olds who need random 37year old white male nannies after 8 PM on a weeknight? While sleeping? Do know any 1 year olds who stay up after 8pm?
You see, based on the context of Kacee and I’s previous conversations, and based on past precedent, I knew what this was. As soon as I got at text from her after midnight, I expected her to say something that would require me coming to where she is -either at her house or at a bar (at the end of the night) – because, as history shows, that’s what Kacey wanted. Thats what she always wanted. That was her endgame, and I knew it from the start. Why? Because of precedent. This is what Kacey does. Exhibit B: Kacey gives me shit for “bailing“ on her when I put up proper boundaries. In addition to “baling” on her by not nannying, Kacey would also claim I “bailed“ on her whenever I don’t jump at her flirty invitations to come out to the bars. One example: Just 2 weeks ago she was out at the local bar by my house (she lives nowhere near me). she knew this bar was my favorite. ”hiiiii” she texted, all coy. “Im at the Celt….” (My favorite local bar… An Irish Pub and NOT Kacey’s type of place….) And that’s it. Nothing else. What do you think that means? Mmmmk, I thought. I’m not going. You lose again. “it’s a cool bar!” I replied. “Have fun!” She was pissed by this, telling mutual friends that I “bailed” on her. Thus, Kacey was on a mission, and had been for sometime: to orchestrate a set of circumstances in which we could hang on, or one that involved me getting out of my house and, somehow, to her.
So understandably, I debated for a few minutes before responding. But respond I did. Mistake #1. it was out of the ordinary for Kacey to be texting me after 12 PM; so, being a member of her ongoing accountability group where she has asked us all to help hold her accountable to not (and I quote) “use my phone to hit up dudes for dat dick” i replied:
“Hello.” Short and simple.
“Hi I am wasted” she texts, “like bad”
I believed her. And from that moment on, my guard was up. Because I didn’t know if Kacey was being Kacey or if Kacey was in some actual trouble. After all, she’s never texted me like this after midnight claiming to be completely wasted. So I felt caught. (Or, manipulated – a better word for this night) Charlie knows that Kacey (though sweet and kind at times) is a seriously shady, duplicitous, manipulative piece of work whom should not be trusted. At ALL.
But Charlie is also not an asshole. And Charlie tries to see and believe in the best of people, even the worst kinds of humans – especially those suffering from the monster of their own delusional Self destruction.
So I continued.
“Hi ruh roh” I said. “are you safe?”
I knew what was coming next.
“I need a ride” she said. “Not gonna lie.”
Riiiiight, im thinking. What a coincidence. Two days after I “bailed” on not coming over to “nanny”
Then she says: “Like I’ve never been this drunk”
I didn’t really believe that last part.
“Kacey, Where are you?” I asked.
She immediately sends me (the speed of the response was quite noticeable for someone who has “never been this drunk in their entire life”) a pin on a map of her current location. And I see that she’s at some hip Gen Z hangout 25 minutes across town. Not exactly convenient for me. At all. Even if she’s needing help.
She immediately texts me again:
“I can barely walk. Can you. One get me”
Her botched spelling made me actually start to believe her. Maybe she’s telling the truth. Maybe. Or… Maybe she indeed is the next-level psychopath I’ve suspected her to be. Maybe that too. My first gut reaction: Help her get home from AFAR and DONT get personally inolved. This girl is a loose canon and dangerous.
So I tried that: “I can, but why don’t you get an Uber? Are you able to make it?”
“Nope” came the quick reply.
I don’t know why I expected to see some kind of different response. I already knew what I was going to hear. This is Kacey we are talking about.
I called her to get more clarity on the situation. Why was it that she couldn’t call anyone else? She told me that I was the only person that I could call, but she has no one. She wasn’t making much sense, and I was worried for her.
So she started pleading, saying that she would pay me whatever I wanted. I told her it wasn’t necessary, but she should just pay for an Uber. Casey tried to explain how this was not possible, that she is “black out drunk” and that the situation was serious: “are you coming bc I’m literally fucked”.
This is the moment where Charlie’s codependency reared up and snagged him in the ass. I knew that in this moment that what I probably needed to do was to leave Kacey hanging out to dry and have her figure it out herself. After all, she’s an adult, and this is not my problem. But, at the same time, I’m her friend and in her accountability group. And it’s this shit right here, this dysfunction, where we are supposed to be there when she fails. And she’s reaching out to me to help her, because she got herself into a situation that she shouldn’t have been in in the first place.
So I cave.
Alright Charlie, I told myself. It’s time to Man your battlestations. You know what you’re walking into, so don’t be deluded. Your mission is simple: find Kacey, get her ass into an Uber, and send her home. That’s it. Hold the line, stay focused, and get it done. Don’t be an idiot. You can do this.
“let me get dressed” I texted. “You are 20 minutes from me so you need to get someplace safe and comfortable and stay put.”
And so, at 12:38am and smelling some serious bullshit, Charlie headed out to handle the rescue and add another real-life story to his collection of crazy ones to tell the grandkids one day.
And that (as it would turn out) was Mistake #2.
Continued in Part 2: The Silver Lot…….
© Charlie Young, 2021