I Got Spiritually Love Bombed

"He told me that when he first saw me walk into the room, his spirit called mine to him."
"I took in the way he moved, at the time thinking it was like the gentle glide of a gazelle. But perhaps it was always the stalk of a cougar or a lynx plotting his next kill."
"I took in the way he moved, at the time thinking it was like the gentle glide of a gazelle. But perhaps it was always the stalk of a cougar or a lynx plotting his next kill."
Illustration: Jianan Liu/HuffPost; Photo:Getty Images

Last winter, I began to fall for a man who told me he was not human, not really. Perhaps that should have been the first warning signal 鈥 when he told me he鈥檚 not from here. Here meaning planet Earth, of course.

At a conference I attended in Montreal last year, I arrived at one of the seminars and settled into one of the last vacant seats. In the beginning, I thought it was some divine happenstance, a beautiful coincidence that the only seat I could鈥檝e sat in was right next to him. But maybe everyone else in that room was onto something I wasn鈥檛. Perhaps that empty seat was another warning.

It wasn鈥檛 long before he leaned over and asked me if I spoke French. I do not. Do you? He did not. He asked me if I was Cree and in that moment I was taken aback, feeling seen for the first time in a long time after navigating my way through white Ivy League spaces for too long. He was Smelqmix and Blackfoot.

When it was time for me to leave and return to my squad of attendees, I said goodbye. It was nice to meet you. He pulled out his phone and asked me if I wanted to put my number in it and I did. He soon texted me to tell me he loved my energy. What a refreshingly different compliment from the usual man-on-the-street: Damn, shorty, you鈥檙e lookin鈥 fine.

That night, I saw him arrive at the restaurant first. I paused outside of my Uber and watched him walk in, his long hair peeking out of his toque. His earrings dangled gently, and his jacket was vibrant and Indigenous and proud. I took in the way he moved, at the time thinking it was like the gentle glide of a gazelle. But perhaps it was always the stalk of a cougar or a lynx plotting his next kill.

At dinner, he told me that when he saw me walk into the room at the conference, his spirit called mine to him as if he had been waiting lifetimes for me. The next three days were filled with tender moments, soft kisses, whispers telling me that I taste of soapberries. He spouted visions of the future, and grand proclamations about divine orchestration and the universe setting our paths in alignment.

If you鈥檝e ever been love bombed, I鈥檒l be the first to admit how good it feels to be told every romantic thing in the book in rapid succession. There鈥檚 a reason why this tactic is so potent. But once you鈥檙e in and they feel like they have you, that鈥檚 when the cracks really start to show.

Love bombers are the worst. But a love bomber who uses spirituality to manipulate a member of the same cultural community 鈥 that鈥檚 a special kind of evil. It entices in a very specific way. So many of us are longing to feel understood for all of our delicate and destructive tendencies. And for many minority groups, a huge portion of that understanding is intertwined with our cultural beliefs about the universe.

As a Native woman, I have dated a handful of white men, but there have always been parts of myself that I had to hide from them because their understanding of the world has been very different from mine. It can be difficult to share with them my experiences in the sweat lodge, powwows, prayers, healing circles and what I mean when I say I feel the presence of my Kokum all the time.

With the man who told me he was not human, not really 鈥 I didn鈥檛 have to keep certain walls up. I was able to tell him about the things I have seen that most of the white world does not embrace or accept. Indigenous peoples thrive on our connection to our ancestors and loved ones who have passed on, knowing we will one day join them in the spirit world. That is something I believe at my core, but it鈥檚 not an easy thing for non-spiritual (or non-Indigenous) people to accept.

And so, my exchanges with the love bomber felt extra intimate and ripe with potential. He felt that and used it to his advantage.

In one moment, he would fill me up with warm remarks and then be cold and distant the next.

While I visited this man in his land, the Similkameen Valley, 10 days after we met, he took me to see Coyote鈥檚 Eye where we prayed and I thanked the land for welcoming me into it. We drove through the Ashnola, where I was enchanted by the way the ponderosa pines sloped gently downward, mimicking the path of the water that pushes down against the earth and down into the river. I was welcomed into the sacred pit house by his community, helped to hang cedar branches with black widows gliding down their webs. Once we were cozy in our chairs, we listened to stories of the Smelqmix.

There, one of the oldest storytellers spoke about how special it was that we had some of our Cree relatives in the room tonight from over the mountains and how our collaboration and sharing of collective knowledge is essential to maintaining and preserving our languages, and I felt that in my bones.

But when I was in his space and home, the red flags began to wave; I鈥檓 thankful that I have learned how to keep my eyes open for them.

He began trying to convince me that I was insecure, which I didn鈥檛 agree with. He implied that I needed to heal as a person, and often insinuated that I didn鈥檛 have self-love. Those were the first instances that began to make the hairs on my body stand at attention, because for years, I had felt confident, self-assured, filled with a strong sense of self. In one moment, he would fill me up with warm remarks and then be cold and distant the next.

It was no coincidence that around him I began grasping for that self-worth that was so easily ingrained in me before. In hindsight, I can see the way that he was the one who had not healed from his traumas and how he was projecting that onto me 鈥 taking out his own insecurities by trying to make me feel less secure as a woman.

I am thankful for the moment he told me not to trust his best friend鈥檚 girlfriend. In my heart, I felt the opposite 鈥 that I connected with this woman鈥攁nd that urged me to explore my love bomber鈥檚 warning. I spoke with her and uncovered every single lie and manipulation tactic that this man had used. Turns out, he鈥檇 tried to win back his ex-girlfriend the entire time he was making his future plans with me. Him, this man who said he was not human, not really.

I am constantly making meaning of life around me, hyperspecific events that led me down the paths I believe I am meant to be on. Sometimes, lessons never truly unfold until later down the road. The gift of uncovering lies can be both challenging and beautiful. For me, the veil was lifted, the rose-hued shades were shattered, what stood before me was nothing more than a manipulative human. You see it clearly, eventually.

So you say goodbye, run yourself a bath, light some sage and cleanse your space 鈥 reminding yourself to never trust a person who says they are not human, not really.

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