Lola Rolls
Advice on Life from a Former Sideshow Fat Lady

One Crud Ball is Enough

Posted By on Sunday, July 12th, 2020

Dear Lola,

I dated a man for over two years. Let’s call him Crud Ball.  At the time, I had really high hopes that we would get married and have kids. CB was reluctant to commit though because he couldn’t be sure we would be happy in the long run.

I tried very hard to reassure him and make all these positive changes to be a better person. Then he cheated  with a work colleague of mine. He broke up with me to be with her. Going to the office became a sort of hell because it felt like this colleague was always smirking at me. I became convinced that she and CB were making fun of me when they were together.

Thankfully, she was transferred to another office a few months later. That was also the end of her relationship with CB.

Suddenly, my job was enjoyable again. No one was laughing at me. My work improved, and I didn’t have to rush home to be with CB, or worry about how the apartment looked or haul myself to the gym or stress about how I always talked over people. (That was one of CB’s common complaints.)

I realized how much happier I was without someone criticizing my behavior, appearance, and personality. When I was with CB, I felt convinced that I was just doing the hard work to make a serious commitment. When he was gone though, I felt free.

I realize now that he wore me down and made me doubt myself. Probably it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that his behavior amounted to emotional abuse.

I’m in a pretty good place now. I’m not sure what it would look like given the current state of the world, but I’d like to start dating again.

The problem though is that I’m terrified to get involved with someone new. I didn’t see what CB was doing to me until he was gone. What if we had gotten married? Would I have been miserable for the rest of my life, but not known any better?

How can I be certain the same thing won’t happen again?

–Bullet Dodger


Dear Dodger,

First off, congratulations on freeing yourself from an emotionally abusive relationship! This is no small feat. Nor, unfortunately, is it one that everyone can accomplish.

Even if you weren’t fearful about doing so, I wouldn’t recommend diving back into the dating pool right away. Emotional abuse takes a terrible toll on a person, and you need time to heal from that.

To protect yourself from this type of relationship in the future, you should perform a very careful autopsy on your relationship with CB. Examine it with great care until you find the red flags you ignored or minimized and until you can understand how your negative feelings became ingrained to the point of being unrecognizable.

I very strongly recommend that you enlist the help of a therapist to guide you through this process. That person can also help you define healthy relationships so that when you do start dating again, you don’t ignore warning signs or sabotage your efforts by over correcting.

All the best,



Barbara Boehm Miller
Fiction Writer and Creator of the Character, Lola Rolls

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