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USA Real Estate Blog

Catfishing the Judge – Jordana del Feld – Medium

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Even though I ate up my me-space and my me-time and my me-freedom, none of those things were paying the bills. I knew that to love someone and to have a healthy, productive, growth-oriented relationship with them, I needed my freedom and my space. But love was not the question. Bills were the question. I loved being happy, and I loved living my own life, but I needed money. The US had been clear: the only way I could be excused from my student loans was death. (I believe active service in the armed forces was one half of another possibility, comprised of another half even less enticing than death). I wanted to hang on to being happy and alive, but, bills.

So when this judge from InterNations met me and fell for me — with no encouragement, let me underscore — at first I pushed him away because he made me sick to my stomach and spending one minute paying attention to him cost me a week of my life’s energy. (Which he probably loved, because negative attention is still attention.) But then I realized that I, an immigrant with debts and no job, could do worse than to literally have a rich judge in my pocket.

So I started lying through my teeth.

Simple things like saying hello back when he said hello first…because you have to understand, this was all over WhatsApp, for some reason he refused to meet me….

He was a profoundly unhealthy person, the product of an abusive Catholic family, and then his older brother had died and his parents never got over it. — In the German news at the time there was a story of a man who had called the police because a baby squirrel had attacked him, and the judge reminded me of the baby squirrel. Apparently the baby squirrel had attacked the man and refused to let go, and when the police sorted the situation out, the squirrel was an orphan who had lost its mother, and had grabbed on to the man as a new surrogate parent. The police took the squirrel into custody, fed it, named it Heinrich, and, I believe, also assumed responsibility for its emotional well-being (that’s Germany’s finest at work for you).

He was texting me several times every hour, demanding to know where I was at all times, demanding nudie pix over and over and over again that I refused to give him, and I was like, dude, let’s have coffee and meet each other, and he…a deeply crazy man…preferred to have this electronic pacifier with a constant drip of energy that he could suckle all day long.

I have no idea how he managed to be so crazy, so needy, and so constantly-in-my -phone while simultaneously deciding the fates of Germany’s evillest murderers, child abusers, rapists, and sometimes all three in the same person. But I know that if I ever have to go to court I will not be able to look at the presiding judge without knowing that underneath that black robe lurks an ordinary man with his own personal life, and Justice may be Blind, but humans are ruled by emotions even if they say they’re not. In the interest of Justice, so that he would not make decisions coloured by his emotions, I tried to be as nice to him as I could be without actually throwing up….

I already felt like I had given away half of my life and was living condemned in a prison cell for eternity and we had never even met. Finally though we did meet and we had brunch in some awful place and I got as far as “hello,” when he French-kissed me and I hated it and I knew that the passersby in the restaurant must have seen my miserable grimace. I hated how he smelled. But I had to put up with it, because I had bills to pay.

I hated his taste in food, his conversation, how he looked, how he dressed, how he carried himself, his crazy obsession with trying to make me part of himself instead of letting me be me, and his insistence on making me part of his nuclear family like we were already married before we had ever even met, and every second that ticked by filled me with grief because I knew I was never getting it back.

But Citibank had been trying to “protect” my account by freezing it whenever I tried to take any amount of money out of it, a game they loved to play, and also by refusing to let me transfer money into Germany, and I had rent to pay and was in danger of getting evicted because I couldn’t get my money out of the United States….

He demanded to see me later that day. I went with a dirge-like step.

His touch repulsed me and his presence suffused me with rage that I could not be free but rather had to sell my soul and my body and my life to some crazy man simply because I had bills I couldn’t pay. I tried hard not to shove his hands away but eventually my body took over and shoved his hands away regardless of what my mind said. I tried to force myself to let him touch me but I just could not allow it, it was such a horrible experience, and it made me feel so sick.

I hated myself for being lazy and selfish and not being a “go-getter” with a “good attitude.” And yes, those are my dad’s words in my head.

Eventually he gave up and went to sleep.

In the morning he made me breakfast and made me take my tea the way he liked his tea, because I was his now. I told him I could not possibly see him again for at least two weeks. It was like talking to a wall; it didn’t sink in.

I left his house in the richest part of the city and was miserable and furious with myself. My friends had been advising me to settle and if some Nice Rich Man wanted to take care of me, to let him. I was twenty-five years too old and twenty-five pounds too fat to earn even pocket change as a whore in Berlin, especially in a market cornered by emaciated adolescent Slavs with injected lips and tits and asses, and it’s not like legit job offers were pouring in. I hated myself for not letting this man who wanted to help, help. If I had let him, I would never have had to worry again for the rest of my life.

But the cost was too great. I wanted to sell my life in order to pay my debts but it turned out I simply could not do it.

I wanted to live my own life for me! That made no financial sense but I plumb refused to do it any other way! I had nothing else to sell, that anyone wanted to pay for, but by God I just could not sell that!

….I had once told my mother, while getting divorced, “Mom, if I ever really love a man, and he loves me, I won’t marry him.” I had learned enough about myself to know that I could not love if I felt like a prisoner. I could only love where I felt free.

So I told the judge I couldn’t see him any more. I was incredibly clear. Because nothing causes me more pain than men confusing me, and I didn’t want to perpetuate the muddy pain of being confusing to people. I wanted him to understand that this was it, we had had our one magical day together and I never wanted to have anything to do with him again. I said I couldn’t give him what he wanted, wished him the best of luck, and set him free to find someone who could give him what he wanted. — I also didn’t want God to find me responsible for the judge sentencing the wrong person to life imprisonment that day because of me hurting his feelings.

He ignored me and kept badgering me.

I told him again.

He ignored me and kept on.

I blocked him on WhatsApp.

He ignored me and switched to the InterNations platform and messaged me from there.

I blocked him on InterNations.

He ignored me and switched to phone.

I blocked him on phone.

He really was just like the crazed baby attack squirrel, who, let the record show, was just a poor little baby squirrel with nobody to love him. That’s fine until one becomes the recipient of the attack.

You know what they say: place the mask over your own nose and mouth before assisting the child!

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