Fishing on Facebook, Chapter Five: Lake Casitas

This is Chapter Five of a true story. All of the names (except mine) have been changed to protect the innocent, or not so innocent, depending on your perspective

On Thursday, April 14, 2011, I wrote in my journal:
Fell asleep very early. Woke up 2 am and started working on Chapter Five. It was very painful. Sometimes reading my journals feels like getting kicked in the stomach. One sentence keeps jumping out at me, “For my mental, emotional and spiritual health I must write down everything.” I can see that I was trying to stay conscious. I still remember the drug-like intensity that day we went to Lake Casitas…

On Monday, November 29, 2010, I wrote:
Adam called at 8:45 am, just as I was leaving to go teach. He sounds so relaxed and confident, it kind of intimidates me. His voice is really powerful. Have to really work to keep my center. I have to work today–so it won’t work out to see him. Thankfully, he is very busy with meetings. He asked if I like picnics. Heck, of course I do! Thursday is the first mutually free day  so we will go explore and picnic at Casitas that day.. He has to go back to Santa Barbara  for a meeting by 4pm so we’ll head out early morning.

I could see from the photos and comments on Adam’s Facebook page that he was both spiritual and political. He wrote how he went to Meditation Mount to meditate and find peace. I told Ann to check out the photos of his amazing garden and also his house that showed how he decorated for the holidays. Not many men have that kind of feminine streak. I was impressed when he wrote that he bought a new cookbook and was going to try a new chocolate cake recipe. Plus, he wasn’t shy about expressing his feelings. Adam’s Facebook persona was your all-around sensitive, successful male. There were no photographs of Mrs. Johnson or any hint he shared his house with anyone.

Adam’s  image was firmly etched in my mind.

The main shadow on the horizon was this business of “social dating, “ that he had brought up on our date at Krotona. Our date at Lake Casitas would give me a chance to ask all my burning questions. I decided to run what I planned to say by Ann:

Sent: 12/1/2010  Subj: Questions re “Social Dating,” and Life

Here are the questions I want to ask…the things I want to say…my challenge is to ask the questions in a friendly way, at the most appropriate time…without sounding suspicious  or like I’m accusing him of something…

Some of his behavior reminds me of my last husband, who was a pathological liar. Maybe I’m just projecting stuff from the past.
Yesterday on the phone we talked about self-esteem….how no matter how it looks on the outside if you are not right in your core you will “act out.” We talked about guys like Tiger Woods…etc.. Some of this I tried to say last time but can’t remember what he said. How does this sound?

You said that these “social dates” you go on are not romantic…not sexual…that these are women who ask you out …but how do you think these women see these dates? 
This leads to the question of why would he ask if “I’m not comfortable with that,” unless there is something going on that I might not be comfortable with.
I want to know why he calls in the morning and tells me how much he loves me and wishes he were holding me.  Is this is just one of his lines he uses to get women thinking about him in a sexual way? It worked the first few times but now it just leaves me cold.
I suspect he likes having a bunch of women interested in him.
I already told him that my feelings are as much about my history with men as they are about him.
But most of all I want to find out what he is looking for.
I do feel comfortable talking about anything with him…but I have to keep my emotions in check… .I need to gather information to figure out if this is a man is available for a real relationship.
And I want to know when he had these six month live-in relationships did he carry on, on the side…Is it OK to ask all this…in the right tone…???

I can’t feel romantic toward him if I know after our date at Casitas he has a “social date.”
So I think the best course for me is just be myself and put a lid on romantic hopes!
OK enough of this… I really do need to protect my heart!
Ann wrote back:

Your questions–if asked in a loving way–all sound appropriate to me. These are things you need to know because you’re taking care of yourself! 

But I do want to add a thought, in response to “I really do need to protect my heart!” –that the heart needs no protection. Only the ego wants protection!

Also, try as you might, you’re not going to be able (I don’t think) to put a lid on your romantic hopes. You’re a human and a woman and you’re attracted to him. What you can do is keep acting as your own wise parent and do (and accept) only what feels right for yourself.

Good luck tomorrow.

I was worried that Adam had me on a pedestal. I wanted to be upfront about where I was in Life so I decide to have him pick me up in the river bottom at my humble writing hut. I wanted him to know that I didn’t have any assets, other than myself.

Early Thursday morning Adam picked me up. I wore my most feminine outdoorsy top and pants and he complimented me on how nice I looked. I tried to act perfectly natural and relaxed like it hadn’t been aeons since I spent the day out in the boonies with a man.

I was still on my juice feast/raw food cleanse and brought along a bottle of fresh carrot and celery juice. I also loaded up a basket with ripe organic bananas, apples, oranges, almonds, walnuts, dates, carrots, cucumbers and a container of humus. And, since this was a romantic picnic, I’d made a special trip to Rainbow Bridge for three kinds of organic Fair-Trade chocolate, including my favorite: Sunburst Farm chocolate covered ginger pieces.

Being a woman, I also remembered to bring water, cups, utensils, a table cloth from Africa and a yoga blanket.

I figured we could stop at the Farmer & the Cook and pick up a sandwich for Adam but he said that the food I packed would be just fine. As we drove to the Lake he told me that he fasts one day a week. It was something he an his dad started doing while they worked in Africa to show solidarity for all the people that go hungry every day.

I thought to myself, “What great global consciousness he has.”

We talked about all the environmental issues near and dear to my heart.

My opinion of him went up ten notches.

The effect of a free day out in nature was electric. It had been ages since I’d taken a whole day off and I felt happy and carefree.

True to his word, Adam took me to the hill on the land where he grew up. There were no other people in sight and as we sat on the grass looking down at the sparkling lake we could have been anywhere.

As they say in romance novels, “Time stood still.”

We took a little walk. I had stuffed the bag of chocolate covered ginger in my pocket. After awhile we sat on a log. As if in a fairy tale, a deer appeared in the distance. Adam saw it first and put a finger on his lips, signaling me to be quiet.

We were so still, Adam and I and the enchanting deer…

When the deer disappeared I hand-fed Adam the chocolate…my fingers touched his lips…we started kissing…

Every plant, every leaf, sparkled… When an eagle flew over our heads, I took it as an auspicious omen…

From my journal, Thursday night, December 2, 2010
I felt he really revealed himself at a soul level today.
The energy between us was pretty intense. Good thing we had our picnic out in the open. I had to move away from him a few times just to keep my feet on the ground.
Asked him lots of questions…felt I got honest answers…I was projecting past fears.
I’m still a bit confused about his past relationships. Talked some more about why he’s never been married.
He said he feared that I would realize he was not as far along as I was spiritually.
I love how he notices everything in nature …details I miss…I am afraid I am smitten when he starts describing all the plants and birds… I feel his soul connection to nature.
He is very different having never gone to public school…just grew up in nature and traveling the world with his dad.
Rode horses all his life…wants to go horse back riding again.
We saw deer…hawks… such a romantic setting, hard not to get swept away.
There is something  mystical about us reconnecting forty years after we first met.
Whatever the future holds, this is a great learning experience for both of us.

Adam sent a sweet email that evening. I saved it in my journal:

Sent: 12/2/2010 Subj: A Special Day

My Dear Suza,

WOW…what can I say? I spent a very special day in a most wonderful place, feeling the soul of my parents and sharing it with a very special woman, YOU…who I have special feelings of love for.

  I felt so much inner peace after I left you.
Suza, you are very precious, very special, very loving, very caring, very pretty and  a very interesting woman.  Please don’t stop being who you are….this is the Suza I am attracted to.

Good Night…I am off to bed now, with sweet thoughts of you.


I smiled and reread those blessed words several times. The eternal young innocent girl in me quickly wrote back:

My Dear Adam,
It was pure delight to be in Nature with you, and to feel the forces of Nature all around, inside and out.
You shared many things about yourself today at a soul level … I feel our connection,  our friendship, deepening.
I hope you are in heavenly peaceful sleep as I write this.

With love from my heart to yours,

I called Ann and gushed that we had another amazing day…

Later that evening I remembered more things that happened and wrote this in an email:

Ann, I forgot to tell you how he blurts things out totally uncensored. He says things that most people think but don’t usually say. Here’s an example:

As we were headed back from Casitas we passed a  slender, very fit, woman jogger with quite noticeable breasts in her tank top. She looked like she works very hard for her “hard body.” He made a comment about her breasts, questioning if they real.
Well, the anthropologist in me is always curious to hear what men think but still it startled me. 
 And then he turns toward me and asks, “Are your breasts natural?”
I wasn’t really prepared to bare my bosom about my bosom. But, instead of keeping quiet and smiling sweetly I plunged into a swamp.

I said, “They are mostly natural…”
And in the next breath I added, “You really should not be asking sensitive questions like this.”
Then I gave him this whole spiel about having a baby at eighteen that I breast fed for three years. And how fourteen years later I had a daughter who I nursed for over two years. Then I told him how my third husband was crazy about me but after a few years he started clipping ads for breast augmentation or whatever the euphemism is.

I even felt it necessary to explain that I have quite a large rib cage and having had a baby so young and nursing two kids for almost six years left me looking …not as nice… I told him how the surgeons always want to do what he saw on the jogger we had just passed but that I had insisted on a smaller  natural looking enhancement.

I even told him how back in the 1980’s I wrote a humorous story entitled, “It’s Not My Fault the World Wants To Be Fooled.” Some people thought I made it up!

I was feeling defensive. So I said that this was twenty year ago and I never think about. I assured him my breasts look and feel natural and that it was no big deal…

Ann wrote back:

oh…these admissions…these bare-rings of our soul…and bosoms…

I am smiling and chuckling as I read . . . And I must say that I had no idea about your enhancement; your bosom looks completely natural.

I slept well that night, confident the day had gone well, except for Adam’s rude question.

Three days after our date at Lake Casitas I emailed Ann again:

Something about this does not make sense. We’ve had three dates, each time we hit it off…and then SILENCE…

I won’t call him although I’m sorely tempted.

I think, “What if he’s depressed…” “What if he’s thinking if she likes me she’ll call…” but I realize that does not make sense…
So…he’s either terribly immature…afraid…has “social dates” … what?
I try not to think about it…but I do wonder WHY he doesn’t call…

I last saw him Thursday at 3pm. FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY. That seems awfully long not to call and I am pathetic thinking about it…just like I did in my teens…

I assured Ann I would do as she said. I would not call Adam. “Whenever I have the urge to call him,  unless it’s a return call, I will call you instead. If you’re busy just allow me to leave a message on your answer  machine and that will quell the urge.”

I googled “Rules of Dating.”

The Rule for sex: Wait as long as possible.

On December 5, 2010, I wrote:

Ann,  I am going to write a story about this.
I am going to write exactly what we said and did on Thursday at Casitas. I am going to describe my state of mind, and, I am going to find out his state of mind and describe it.
I feel like I have been duped and lied to.

But I won’t say any of this when I talk to him again.
My heart hurts so bad…

I let myself feel the pain I’ve been trying to keep a lid on…

I sat in my bed with my head in my hands.

I just sat there and prayed for guidance.

Ann, if what you say is true, that he is clueless that after our very intimate time together (I did not have sex with him, thank god , but it feels as if I have on an etheric or is it astral level ) after the kissing and deep sharing at a soul level…if he is really clueless what three days of not talking means to a woman…then I need to know this for myself and hear it from him.

I just wanted to scream.

Then as if in  a dream I dialed his number…he never answers…it is some remote voice mail system…not even his voice… I left a very calm message…my voice was detached..I said,
“Hello Adam, this is Suza, calling about 9:15 Sunday evening… I wanted to ask you something,” in a tone that was friendly yet business-like so he would never suspect what is boiling beneath the surface.
And I added, “It’s OK to call even if it’s late.”
After all, he did say in his early emails to please feel free to call him anytime.
Well, I just did!

So now it’s 11:10 pm and he still has not called.

I’ll bet he’ll have some excuse. Well, I can’t wait to hear it. Maybe he went to bed early.  Sleeping peacefully while I ‘m crying!
So I am writing all this because when he does call I am going to try with every ounce of compassion and strength and unconditional love  that I can muster– to give him the benefit of a doubt and hear him out without interrupting.
 I want him to feel safe to reveal himself. I want to understand his state of mind. I want to know what I’m dealing with. A three year old? Thirteen? Emotionally how old is this man-child?
Because I cannot keep going through this. I want to tell him “Three strikes and you’re out…”
He contacted me first and he initiated this relationship.  He is very experienced with women and by now he knows what he is doing.  I gave him a nice easy out that first week (and I have the letter to prove it).
So if after all this he still wants to keep seeing me I am going to set up some rules because I’ll be damned if I’m going to play this game by his rules! Clearly I need to be the one setting the rules!


Ann wrote back:

God–I so feel for you! It’s exactly what I (and maybe every other woman in the world) go through. One thing I’m pretty sure of:  He has no idea that his three days of silence are a problem for you. Men are just unconscious that way! 

You’ll find out, probably tomorrow, what he’s been up to.


And what was Adam doing while I was torturing myself?

I found this entry on his Facebook page.

Adam Johnson
Peace on Earth… What are you wishing for this Christmas?

I called Ann. She yelled, “Oh, for Christ’s sake! Does he have multiple personalities?”

If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drives us crazy, can be our teacher. – Pema Chodron, author, When Things Fall Apart

To be Continued, Chapter Six

Adam is fishing on Facebook but women want to reel him in real life….


7 Responses to “Fishing on Facebook, Chapter Five: Lake Casitas”

  1. Sarah Says:

    Very well written and from the heart. These guys should come with a public health warning!


  2. nancy Says:

    On the one hand I already know this story, having lived it a few times. On the other hand I’m riveted to each new chapter. Of course it is because it is your writing, Suza, and I’m enjoying reading how this unfolds in your honest voice, and relating from past experiences, appreciating taking the journey with someone else. Helps me stop blaming myself for past mistakes. I am also entranced in that way we women can get when there is that crazy hope that Mr. Mixed Messages will finally become Mr. Clear and Committed, recognizing not only what a great woman is in front of him, but what a dismal life he is leading by never sticking with one deepening relationship. In my own life, I have finally learned to quit once I have to be the one doing the work to stay connected, but I still tend to want to see the Beast connect with his vulnerable heart.


  3. Suza Says:

    You said it Nancy, “that crazy hope that Mr. Mixed Messages will finally become Mr. Clear and Committed!” Now that I’m writing the story I realize just how extreme the mixed messages were…and how hard I tried!


  4. Bryn Says:

    “I want to know what I’m dealing with. A three year old? Thirteen? Emotionally how old is this man-child?” You articulate the feelings of every woman! I love your style, Suza. Even though my current relationship is stable (whatever THAT means), I have been to self-inflicted hell and back so many times with various man-children. Hoo, boy. x


  5. janeson Says:

    Suza, you absolutely MUST see the movie “Catfish” – you will find it riveting. Google it.


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