A Year Ago Today…..

Exactly one year ago, almost to the hour, my husband left………..

He discovered weeks and weeks of attempts (from various tactics) had not stopped me from meeting with my attorney that afternoon.  He made sure to have an audience (i.e.; every child in this house) as he flew through the house packing, telling them he was being kicked out, the sheriff would be showing up to make him leave, he’d never be allowed back or he’d be arrested. He kept repeating his son would be “snatched” out of here soon and I didn’t care. I was only thinking about myself. I was stealing his kids, leaving their father homeless. I was selfish, hypocritical, evil, heartless, a cunt, a bitch. He had his son sobbing hysterically, he had two of my kids glaring at me, my daughter crying, and me not at all shocked. All I could do was watch, anything else would have been fuel. Despite begging him not to do this in front of them. He left in a shower of glory. A day we’ll all remember forever.

Things did not magically get easier, in fact he paid me back, and I’m still cleaning up the damage, but I’ve become one of the strongest women I’ve ever met! One day I hope my story helps me save a family from hell; just like two very strong women I’ve never even met did for me.

Happy Anniversary 

One year ago. Today. I married the man I am now separated from. I thought I’d be indifferent today, but I’m not. I’d like to crawl into a closet with a bottle of wine, or two or three. At the same time, I guess marrying me actually did me a favor. It gave him the freedom to let his true colors show and without that i’d probably still be getting gas-lighted, lied to, manipulated, and controlled in ways that weren’t quite as obvious before we got married. The day I got married I truly believe I knew this wasn’t going to go well. When we got together we talked about it, and I was pretty honest about wanting to eventually get married again and he seemed to be agreeable. We wanted the same things, of course now I know it was all part of the game.

We moved in together and of course things weren’t perfect, but what couple is? He was still in his nice, courting phase I guess. We even had a daughter, planned, but now I realize she was part of the game too. How many times did I hear “I give you almost anything you want, you wanted a child and I finally agreed.” <<<< effective guilt inducing diversion. About two years after we got together, and mere months before our daughter was due, he informed me that he never wanted to get married again. I felt like someone punched me. I was completely tore up, and that never changed.

I recently discovered that while I was pregnant he was still trying to go back to his not quite ex-wife. I also found out that he asked her if they could just not finalize their divorce because he really never wanted to get married again and it would prevent him from having to marry me. That was my own stupidity.

That was fucking nice to know. Still is in fact.

We got into an argument and just like past ventures, he took off for a few days declaring we were done. By this time I was numb to that shit, I’d heard it 20 times. When he came back, he proposed to me. *i was a wonderful woman, he loved me tremendously, he knew marriage was important to me and he couldn’t imagine spending his life with anyone else. If I was able to accept him and love him than he shouldn’t be dumb enough to lose me. Being with me had made him a much better person, and a better father and he wanted us to be a true family.* ☠ That was in September, and I was shocked. We had a lot of trials and tribulations outside of our control that largely impacted our household and the makeup of it between then and Mar 11th. It was easy to relate much of our daily stress to other circumstances. I also think I had been so heartbroken and shocked when he informed me he’d never get married again, that there was no way I was NOT going to keep moving forward. I DID think many times about how long it took him to come to this and will he hate me later because he “only did it for me” <<<<< which definitely became another huge guilt inducing tactic. I heard MANY TIMES about the baby and NOW about the marriage.

After we got married, he did change. He became much more open and “honest”. He took great care to make sure everything was decided between US and not just him. He made sure we discussed any plans or let me know well in advance if he needed to be somewhere or had something to do. He was much more doting than he’d been in quite awhile, and it was easy to see that marriage really did have an impact on him as far as the health and wellbeing of “our family”.

Anyone that has been through any of this knows all too well what I’m about to say……….for every positive intense emotion, there is an equally intense negative response. Everything about us was intense; from the quick whirlwind romance to the mind boggling fights and disagreements to the overwhelming heartfelt makeups. It just became par for the course.

It was in April, I needed to renew my CPR and working in the ER provides a wonderful advantage of working with certified instructors. If you could catch one at a slow period at work, they can get you up to date and current in a fraction of any class time. I told him I needed to run to work and get mine renewed (and I had been telling him all that week) the EMT/instructor was working until 1am, but I needed to wait until the busiest part of the day had passed. I was about to leave at 8:30-9:00pm. He began questioning me to a ridiculous degree about the whole thing and how suspicious it was that I’d be leaving at night for a class…..no matter how many times I explained it AGAIN. He said “is it xyz that’s going to certify you?” My eyes had to have been the size of dinner plates, he even said to me he didn’t know why I was so shocked. How could he possibly know the name of the person?? We weren’t even friends on FB and he said that by itself was suspicious. I was floored and couldn’t believe I had to spent a few hours explaining what would take all of 90 minutes to leave and come back. He said “I wouldn’t have to be so doubtful if you weren’t acting like a cheating whore.” <<<<< and there it was.

The first mention I can recall of being referred to as a cheating whore. The first of MANY. And his true colors only got brighter and brighter and brighter from that point forward. The heartfelt, undying love apologies stopped. Until he finally realized I was dead set on leaving his ass………months later.

 

Open Letter to the Rest of the World

It seems as though I have people in my life that think I write this for them. Well, I don’t. I’ve been told stop writing everything and “move on”. Stop talking about it so much, it really just needs to be put in the past so you can “move on”. Yeah, what an asshole, you need to drop him and “move on”.

I have a crazy idea, how about shut up and let me grieve and hurt and “move on” at my own pace and just support me while I do. I didn’t realize I was on a time limit. I didn’t know that after 4 1/2 years, that a few months would be all I needed to just “move on”. And still……..nobody understands. Does anyone seem to get that he can smell my loneliness and desperation for interaction……and makes it that much harder for me to “move on”.? It only serves to further isolate ourselves. Do you want to know who I talk to MOST, my husband and his EX-wife!! <<<< how fucked up is this shit?!? The ex that he was telling all of our business to, the ex he tried to go back to more than once, including the month we started fertility treatments. The ex that he swore he only discussed their son most of the time, the ex that didn’t bother to tell me any of this. He created the perfect triangulation and she was a willing, although unknowing perfect flying monkey. And THIS is who I talk to most because I have her son. And him because well, he’s my husband, and I don’t have a plethora of people on speed dial. I’m kinda pissed off that everyone has the nerve to tell me to “move on”. Is this when I am given the proper time allotment? I need to know. This is my first split from a sociopathic, manipulative, lying, asshole. I’ll know the rules better next time.

I still go through spells where I can leave and then spells where I can’t leave these walls. He mocks me, tells me I don’t have anxiety or PTSD; cause I was just as abusive. It “went both ways”. And here I am again……..almost the same nightmare, but at least it’s not all the time, right? And here I go, questioning if I’m the crazy one. I call him out on lies and he makes the million dollar “you’re a nutcase” speech to convince me that what I’m seeing is wrong.

It’s cool. When one of the “experts” finds some spare time, they can fill me in on the rules. And then I guess I’ll easily glide right into “moving on”.

Honor Thy Father?

This is the shortened conversation I had with him regarding his son.

Me-you need to talk to his mother. Him-I have nothing to say to that bitch. Me-you actually have to come up with some kind of parenting agreement. Him-tough shit, you handle since you think you know what’s best for everyone. Me-YOU are his dad and you still have legal custody of him. Him-no, I signed him over to you. Me-you did not. I do not have legal custody. It was temporary guardianship while you went into a facility. Him-I would never allow him to go live with her, but if you can use it to your advantage, good job. Me-you are his dad! Step up. You’re just dumping responsibility on someone else because it’s more than you know how to handle. Him-fuck you. You took my abilities away, kicked me out of the house, and you still want me to do shot from afar. You’re a real piece of work. Me-contact her! Him-I don’t need to talk to her. I signed him over to you until I write something stating otherwise. And don’t send me anything cause I plan to be at an address you’ll never find me at.

So…….wtf? He can be a manipulative asshole, he needs to step in and deal with his child’s mom. This is craziness. I went through hell making sure he stayed here when his dad kept making false promises to him. All I wanted for him was stability. For once. He wants to live with her and I know that is his mom. His attitude with me is getting worse (he knows what the hell is going on though)

He has told me that above everyone, he loves his sister most. I truly believe that once he leaves he will not see her for a long time. I truly believe that they will not grow up knowing each other very well and that feeling alone kills me. I think as they get older they are going to need each other because of their dad. He told me he’s scared he’ll grow up to be like his dad. Personally, I hope he’s like none of them! I’m NOT perfect. But if the most consistent thing they can gossip about the most is how much delivery pizza I feed these kids…….fuck them.

It’s all too much. Too much stress. Too much loss. Too much sadness. And too much damn guilt!

The Power Of Guilt

 There are days I wake up feeling guilty. I have to think hard for awhile to come up with a source for that guilt. Guilt for me has always been a confusing emotion. It’s like a bad heartbreak and you just want it to stop. If you can get the source of the guilt, it’s easily fixable. I don’t know if it’s like that normally.
I’ve lived four years with that being used against me completely, and continue to live in a guilt ridden, built up world. I hate feeling guilty. With a passion.

I remember nearing the end of all I could take anymore (and this was one of his over-used phrases) he said “I’m tired of your apologies. I could wallpaper the house with your apologies”. I’ll never forget the look he had when I said “yeah, cause I’ve apologized too damn much!”

I always felt guilty; for being too needy when he had such a bad childhood. For needing his help when he was working hard at a degree that would help us all in the future. For ordering pizza two+ nights a week (yeah, I was bitched at many times for that one)

But now he’s playing Mr. Nice-Guy. And every conversation leads back to how he’s been “cold and hungry and his knee is tore up from walking and he’s been standing on the street with a sign”……..he’s easily gained 15 lbs. Go figure. But I feel guilty. Because I’ve been warm and fed and no street signs, ect.

My stepson wants to go live with his mom,  He says “he wouldn’t want to live there if his dad was here. He’d want to stay here with his dad and siblings.” “Now he’s going back to an unsafe situation because of your need to be in control.”

So where does that leave me……..feeling guilty. He won’t get involved, because “I kicked him out and made sure to make it impossible for him to have anymore say in what happens to his son.” He still has custody, he could hold his ground and help me with his mother. But it’s more fun to play pitiful victim.

He can list all the things he’s done to change (I don’t have that talent, I’ve tried) and how I’ve done nothing, I won’t even acknowledge my part in the demise and continuing demise of our marriage. Now I feel guilty. Am I being too hard?, should I be trying? He got a minimum wage job, doesn’t have a car or phone, and reminds me often that I have a few extra phones. So now I feel guilty. He is after all my spouse, should I provide him a phone?

He hasn’t even been served separation papers. He hides and then I get bitched at for trying to have him thrown in jail…….what the hell is he talking about? (child support I assume) But now I feel guilty for something I didn’t even know I was doing. I am getting too snippy about my stepsons parents in front of him, so then I feel guilty. I take his iPhone away and he uses it to text her all day, now I feel guilty.

I was told (many times) by my darling husband that you only feel guilt when you have a reason to feel guilty. So………what I’m doing must be wrong cause I feel guilty, but my gut says don’t you dare walk into that trap. I get pissed at him (he is a chronic liar) but he’s so convincing that he’s being honest that now I feel guilty for accusing him of lying.

But that’s his weapon. Guilt. Why am I so sensitive to guilt? And he’s very good at it. For every issue I could point out, he can counter it in a hot second with a more pitiful issue or downplay my complaint to the point where I feel guilty for even mentioning it.

Rent is high- at least you have a home

Kids are driving me nuts- yeah, I really miss my kids

Cars acting funny-at least you have a car

You called me a whore-you shouldn’t have acted sneaky

I didn’t leave for days-I always was honest about where I was and what I was doing

So was I- but you lied that one time when you claimed to be going downtown and weren’t at work

Cause I couldn’t tell you the truth-you weren’t really going downtown, you just said what came to mind first.

You were in my face and I was scared- you can’t keep holding the past against me. OR you weren’t scared. You were intimidated, there’s a difference.

My gut tells me he’s lying about where he’s at, what he’s doing, who it’s with……but he’s SO convincing that in the end, I feel guilty for jumping to conclusions.

Maybe I should hire a PI for just a few days if only to prove to MYSELF I’m not completely crazy yet. And maybe, just maybe, find out that my “gut instincts” (that have been lost for so long) really are back and reliable.

They Are Great Victims

There’s another side of the coin I haven’t even touched on. If they can manipulate the ones closest to them, imagine what they can do when it comes to your friends, your family, your co-workers, and anyone else they see fit. That begins to play into your “compliance”. When you watch them in action working against you it is known as the “smear campaign”. They play the victim and they play it well. I’ve heard him talking to other people about me, I’ve watched him lie to the police about me. Hell, I’d probably think I was crazy too (oh wait, that DID happen). As you pull away, you’ll see them getting friendlier with your support system. That’s hard to watch, and I remember days I’d cry or be in constant fear over which friend I’d “lose” today. I’m over that. Either you believe me or you don’t, I don’t even care anymore.

It’s not just your friends and family you have to worry about. I was in a meeting with my therapist and domestic violence counselor, both I’d been seeing for a few months. He had left, wouldn’t tell me where he was, claimed to have all this money and I still had his son here with me. The therapist said at this point someone should be getting CPS involved because he “abandoned” his son. But they both agreed the odds were pretty good that he could possibly manipulate the social workers and it could actually end up being me on the chopping block. Let me interject that i don’t do anything to endanger my kids, but he would put my mental stability in question. (I had a lawyer tell me later that calling CPS was not warranted) I also remember telling another person at Family Services I’d answer to whatever authority figures I had to at a later time, but for now the last thing this child needed was more social workers in his life.

He said to me OFTEN, that everyone else might think I’m this nice and wonderful person, but he lives with me and he knows better. He knows the “real” me and he knows who I really am and everyone would be shocked to learn I’m not the sweet person they think I am. He said that to me a lot. I can’t stress that enough. He told me once (about two inches from my face) he would ruin me, he would take me down, he would make sure everyone knew the “real” me and he would take away this “good girl” image everyone has of me. “Making me your enemy was probably one of the worst things you could have done, you do know that right?!?!” All I could do was say yes, I believed every word he said.

He would get mad at me and threaten to tell (the boys dad) whatever it was he had “on me” at the time. Once he said “he might be interested to know all the pills you take.” I said WHAT?!?? I was on ambien because I worked night shift and that was the only way I could sleep and I think I had a few left over Xanax from an older prescription (when one of my kids was hospitalized). So I guess “pills” could be said and over-exaggerated a bit. However, I knew my ex would know better, he was with me long enough to know me. (But then again, he could convince anyone of almost anything) I could talk about all the damn “pills” I am on now just to deal with this fool!! He DID get mad at me once and told my ex something that had life altering, forever damaging results. He would never acknowledge the impact of what he had done. NEVER. He justified himself for four more years and placed all the blame with me. I don’t want to think about that anymore.

So when you read that they can ruin someone, they really CAN and are perfectly willing to if it means making them look better, if it means they can play victim another day. He posted almost hourly on Facebook for awhile about emotional abuse, being an abuse victim, freeing himself, ect, ect. I read an article that said how to tell who the true victim is and who the true abuser is and THAT was one of the examples listed. The abuser will go overboard and be more than willing to talk about it, the victim is usually not nearly as open. I only told my father because it was 5am and I knew he’d be up, my husband had been in and out of the room getting more drunk and aggressive each time he came in. So I sat here in the dark and sent my dad a text that basically said I was scared, I was alone and I was sure the next time he came into the room he was going to hit me. I just needed someone to be awake with me, even if only through text.

He uses his victim card to get money from people, to get rides to wherever, to get places to stay. He plays the victim. Wonderful husband tossed out of his home into the street and tricked into giving up his kids by his horrible, cheating wife. I can’t roll my eyes far enough anymore. He’s crazy.

“His World” I Just Live In It

I get to spend another weekend with this man. He’s a controlling jerk. He can go WEEKS without even asking about his kids, and now he’s wanting to stay with them every weekend because that’s what he should be doing. He is full of shit. I love how this works;

You haven’t even bothered to ask about your kids in days or weeks. Reply- I figure they are being taken care of, I trust you and know you’d tell me if anything was wrong.

But if something IS wrong; why the hell didn’t you tell me that xyz happened with this kid or that kid?? -Ohhh I thought you trusted me so much.

And boundaries! Holy cow do they have absolutely zero clue what that even means. I’ve said to him so many times, he’s smothering and I need him to back the fuck up! He’s that kid that hugs the puppy too tight. I’m the puppy. Even still.

It creeps me out. Sociopathic people do not see others as individual people. They see their spouses, children, ect as extensions of themselves that they own and control. (this comes from everything I’ve read) Makes sense; he uses often “my wife”, “my kids” and thinks we are his to do as he pleases. (which is easy when your ability to manipulate makes them do it readily)  For example, when I’m pissed as hell at him and he comes and hugs me. I don’t want to be near you, but you choose NOW to come hug me……if I flinch…..he looks at me like I’M crazy and says “you’re my wife, I should be allowed to hug you whenever” He’s gone to touch me, hug me, he’ll even kiss me on the cheek and even though it is clear you’ve invaded my space, he does it anyway. Because “I’m his wife”. Last weekend I was getting ready for work at 5:30am and happened to look over at the door and he’s just standing there. Scared the shit out of me! I’m not used to someone being up that early, and why the fuck are you creeping at the doorway while I’m getting dressed?!? He smiles and says “I just wanted to say good morning”. (in that voice) I ask why the hell are you even in here…..”I can’t come and say good morning to my wife?” <<<< Are you able to see a little better how this works?

He used to do that shit all the time. The bathroom door could be locked and he’d force it open anyway. And then act like a real dumbass “why are you locking the door, I should be able to come in when I want, you’re my wife”. Just like (well not quite) that day I took the kids into the woods to see the sunset and he FOLLOWED us because he wanted to see what I was “really doing”.

LOOKING AT THE SUNSET IDIOT!

But who got bitched at because the baby was left in the house alone? Me. Because if i wasn’t being “sneaky and weird” he wouldn’t have had to walk out there anyway. I’ll never forget him grabbing my arm and jerking me back……he said he was just “lovingly touching my arm to try and calm me down”. IT WAS WEIRD! That was one of the creepier things I picked up on; how quickly their mood switches based on the level of crazy they want you to feel. They simply do not see the emotion of other people. But will quickly tell you how their feelings are being ignored.

He still doesn’t hear the words I say, because that’s not his plan. I’ve said many times “I wouldn’t live with you ever again for anything in the world!!” But he still calls this “his home, “his house”, “his bed”, “his family”.

I think I’m just super pissed I have to spend another few days with him. Another week my divorce is prolonged. He knows what he’s doing. It already gives me a headache, especially if his current texts are a reflection of what it will be like.

Remember the voice? And how it is the last warning before your non-compliance pisses him off? I think we just got there. THAT’S when he scares me. That’s when the lectures of his enormous efforts go on for hours. That’s when he wakes me up at night to cry to me about what the hell ever. That’s when he starts giving me ultimatums and deadlines. This weekend is going to be a nightmare. I just have to try and remember it’s temporary.

I hate the circular conversations of how I’m going “to give him some real answers”. Hey Einstein $3000 to a lawyer WAS your real answer!! But he can’t seem to get served. It’s been 3 months. He doesn’t want “to resort to lawyers. We can work it all out on our own.” Haha! No, you can manipulate and guilt me much easier without a lawyer.

He also thinks that because HE wants to be here and HALF of the kids want him here, then he should be here. That I’m being selfish, and he thought I was all about making my kids happy. And I’m putting my own feelings above everyone else’s. We’re STILL talking about this? He makes me want to gouge my eyeballs out! If I didn’t need to get a paycheck, I’d say “fuck it” and take Saturday off. I can find someone on Sunday. But then I have Nate wanting to know why his dad can’t come over and his dad texting him telling him that I won’t let him see them. 😠

I CAN’T WIN!

Leaving…..

“Escaping from the relationship

There are four ways that you escape from a relationship with a sociopath

  1. They die
  2. They get sent to jail
  3. They find a new source of supply
  4. You escape and hope that they will not hunt you down
A sociopath will not leave his latest victim, unless this is forced (through death, being imprisoned, or if you run and hide) until they have a new supply. They never leave a victim alone until they have a new supply.
People question, ‘why did you stay if it was that bad?’ or ‘why don’t you leave?’ they don’t understand, you cannot leave a sociopath, they leave you. Either they leave you, or they haunt you. Or rarely, it ends naturally, when you will no longer give, and they can no longer take, and neither of you care anymore. Too much has happened for it ever to work (this was my final ending) although we did countless endings prior to this.”
***taken from Dating A Sociopath
This is where the understanding part gets lost on most people. You do not leave them. I left. On my own terms, it felt good. To have escaped, even though it wasn’t easy. He discovered all his faults, how marvelous I really was, went to a rehab/psych facility, was willing to stay however long it took, loved us more than anything ever in the whole wide world……a week later…..ONE WEEK later he left that facility, told me I was a vile, manipulative, mean, selfish bitch, he “washed his hands of me” and if I didn’t stop contacting him he would get a restraining order. He said it took going to that place and being put on too many medicines to finally see how horrible I was. He was also 100% convinced I made them keep him longer than he wanted (apparently he tried checking out 2 days after he got there). They would talk him into 2 more days (maybe cause they saw he was crazy too perhaps?) I actually had some faith in him, he was convincing, believable, remorseful, you name it. I had very little faith, but a little none the less. He crushed me, that hurt, it was painful, I cried, I was shocked……he made sure the tables were turned CORRECTLY so that he was the one that left me. Only he didn’t “leave”. He killed the person I was even then, and a week later wanted to “redeem himself”. This is all a game of tactic.

Never A Dull Moment

I tend to think I can set a boundary and stick to it. HOWEVER, he will find a way around it, whether it’s over, under, whatever. Eventually (and usually not gradually) i find myself in the same damn conversations. Didn’t you just hate me a few weeks ago? Wasn’t it 2 days ago that you were keeping me at “arms length”? Haven’t you been saying for three weeks that your plan is to get into some sobriety house/home place? So WHY are we having the SAME circular conversation about “us” and “our marriage”…..? Why are you asking ME what you should do?? Last I heard, you were convinced I had the last place keeping you longer than you wanted to stay. And I “tricked” you into going in the first place. And wasn’t it you saying that you needed to “hide” from me? Why in the hell would I jump in that boat again?

Is It An Addiction?

Sadly, I believe the answer is yes. I’ve spent four years taken down, crying and just knowing this time was the end and I needed to face that. Then he’d come back and declare how much he loved us and we just have to make this work. Until next time I was crying and hurt and facing that THIS was the real thing this time. And he’d come back nicer, happier, ready to truly work this out……

For four years. The depressing despair to the sudden rush of endorphins…he really DOES love us and he really is here and this isn’t the end!! Even once I got used to it, that rush of relief remained the same. I came to see that “this time” really wasn’t the end. And he’d be back. But that low to sudden high became a way of normal.

It doesn’t matter if it’s telling me a bunch of lies, cussing me out or declaring his love….it still is a “relief” to see the bridge. Maybe most people don’t confess to that because no one understands, and our friends and family only see an abusive man that you need to run from and when you don’t or find it more difficult than they think it should be; then you’re told “you must enjoy it” and “stop complaining to me about it when you won’t even do anything”. I imagine it’s very frustrating.

Its just me. Just me and six kids and I know what i would tell me, but if you think about it……it’s easier to get that relief and see the bridge just to keep functioning for them, than it is to do what I SHOULD and have to 1) find the willpower 2) fall apart for a few days in front of them. I’ve done that enough. And most importantly; THEY WON’T LET YOU LEAVE.

I used to have friends. Now I just feel alone, while he’s getting drunk with his buddies! 😡 To hell with him, geez, my whole life is consumed whether I want it to be or not!