unrestrained jane

digital holding tank for memories that hijack my thoughts

Tag: survivor

One Year No Contact: A Snapshot of the Chaos That Once Was

One year of zero contact with the psychopath con artist (literally, not figuratively). That’s one year ago now, since I “woke up” and protected myself and my family from the man who deceived, depleted and abused us so coldly and calculatingly. I’m finally eligible for divorce; this will happen as soon as I can afford the associated financial costs. 

In that year I’ve healed physically from his abuse, and I’ve largely healed emotionally, but still won’t ever see the world the same way. The damage is lasting in some ways… mainly trust issues. Trusting others and trusting my own judgment will never be the same. 

I haven’t said a lot about what happened, but to celebrate this day, I offer you a glimpse into what I survived at the hands of this one psychopath…

I’ve known him since we were teens. I never had reason to question the things he’s shared with me about his many unfortunate experiences and his many amazing accomplishments. We take the things our friends tell us at face value… at least, I used to. By this time last year I had shockingly uncovered that almost everything he’d told me over the years was a lie of some sort. It all fell apart for him because I persisted and wouldn’t ignore that voice in me that told me to survive. 

In September of 2012 he arrived, from his hometown across the country, on my doorstep, with two suitcases and a backpack. He claimed he’d been drugged and raped at a swingers party and that it’d been arranged by his girlfriend of 5 years, with whom he had two step-children that came out of two separate affairs she’d had while they were together. He claimed he’d contracted HIV from the rape and that his father, who allegedly abused him sexually as a young boy, had banished him from the family home for being an “aidsfaggot” and that his girlfriend beat him and his mother up and abducted the kids that he had sole custody of. He was still on WCB from a forklift accident he had the year before. He was a mess and humbly asked for a couch to take a break for a few weeks while he figured out his next move. I took him in. 

Four months later I’d somehow fallen in love with him. It was magical… he was *perfect* for me in every way. I didn’t care if he had HIV, or was hurt and couldn’t work and had step-kids he was fighting for, etc. The baggage  didn’t matter. We were soulmates. It felt like I’d fallen in love with my best friend. I’d somehow fallen so deeply that I agreed to a rush wedding in April 2013, just four months after we started dating. It was one of the happiest days of my life (at the time).

In the past year and a bit, it was revealed (with undeniable proof for each fact) that pretty much everything was a lie…

– The HIV was a lie. He maintained that lie while I had to go on anti-retrovirals for six weeks due to a condom break a week after our wedding, and then again six months later when I was cleaning and stuck myself with a used needle (I had no idea he was using needles in the house!!!) He never had HIV, and he knew it. He went to great lengths to fake it and to milk as much compassion, opportunity, and pity as he could. 

– The allegations that his father sexually abused him were a lie. The accusations and events he put his poor family through are bone-chilling. I’ve seen very colorful medical, psych and juvenile criminal records dating back to his childhood. He’d been diagnosed by one psychiatrist at an institution he was at as a psychopath as a teen. He put his parents and sibling through sheer hell. 

– That his step-children aren’t biologically his and arose out of infidelity was a lie. They are his biological children; he’s a deadbeat dad. He threatens to abduct them or harm their mom, and keeps her living in fear. 

– That his children’s mother beat him and his mother was a lie; in fact, he struck her, more than once. He tried to press charges against her, making her life hell. She’s still afraid of him; as am I, so I don’t blame her. 

– That he got raped at a swingers party was an elaborate lie to set the stage for the HIV lie so he Gould gain pity and opportunity. 

– That he had been clean of hard drugs for many, many years was a lie… he hid a painkiller addiction that turned out to be an IV heroin addiction (when his crazy does shine through, he blames it on “addiction” and “PTSD” to encourage pity for him). 

– That he has ever had cancer was a lie. He faked liver cancer about a decade ago. And is currently faking advanced liver disease and interferon treatment. He even made conflicting statements in the media this past Xmas when he was featured on the local news, HuffPost and local newspapers (for begging for food via Reddit). He later got called out on Reddit and subsequently largely deleted (or set to private) his previously large web presence complete with various fundraising campaigns (all for his own pocket money). 

– That he has the capacity for empathy or has ever truly cared for or loved another human being was and is a lie. He is a predator through and through. There is no cure. 

The list is not exhaustive. Not even close. He crashed my car, strained relationships with and stressed out the kids, smashed electronics, ruined my house, destroyed friendships, isolated me, drained my bank and credit, made false claims to doctors and police, berated me with abuse daily, and tried to destroy my reputation. He *almost* broke my will to live. The list goes on…

THIS COULD HAPPEN TO YOU. IT COULD HAPPEN TO ANYONE. Trust me, I am the last person who anyone thought would be duped by a psychopath. I’m experienced, jaded as fuck, educated, and intelligent But it still happened. 

I am now one year free. He has a criminal record for assault and breaching probation by violating the no-contact condition. And he legally cannot come near me or my children. I have regained myself, and my life. 

I share this because it happened. I share this because my story is valid and because I AM NOT ASHAMED and I believe our society needs more awareness about psychopathy and sociopathy, as well as domestic abuse in general. 

Questions, comments, or sharing your experiences are most welcome. This was written from a place of healing, not anger. I’ve reclaimed my peace and strength. You can too. 

(written March 7, 2015; picture added January 4, 2017)

All sorts of effed up

Could you imagine, assembled in a room, all of the different people a sociopath or psychopath has kept so neatly segregated, so individually groomed with custom information that plays to their specific vanities and insecurities, so painstakingly compartmentalised? 

What would happen if they started talking to each other? What would happen if the sociopath/psychopath was not even there to do damage control? Not one bit. What if they were not talking about just anything, but had gathered for the express purpose of sharing their experiences and intimate feelings about the sociopath/psychopath? 

My husband (with whom I’d successfully maintained no contact with for one full year) died a few days ago. Since then I’ve had some of the most incredibly awkward conversations. People he’s known for 20 years have said to me that they are finally realizing that he was never who they thought he was and experiencing that eerie chill down their spine. It is the most surreal thing. 

His memorial and his funeral are going to be… interesting? I’m kind of afraid to attend, but that’s another post in itself. 

I’m starting to find out more and more about the insanity and ridiculousness he told people, not only about me, but about everything. Cleaning out his tiny apartment was intense. I cried, again, for the millionth time since I broke free last year. It’s over. It’s really over. Except it’s not, not quite yet. 

Vulnerability or fear? The risks of openly discussing sociopathy

Three thoughts…

(1) I have been considering going back to university, at the grad school level, to study narcissists/sociopathy. Some of the world’s leading experts are at institutions near my home, and my undergrad degree is related. I’ve been holding off, however, to ensure that the interest persists once there is more time between my personal experiences with narcissists (most recently my soon-to-be ex-husband) before diving in. I am not 100% sure that I want to commit that much of my life to surrounding myself with this heinous topic. It feels like a strong calling, but I don’t want to rush it.

Do I really want to immerse myself in their world as a profession? I’d have to be around narcissists. What if I got duped by one that I was interviewing or observing? Even Robert Hare speaks of getting duped in one of his early jobs working in the field. Would it lead to emotional unrest over time? Would it affect my children? My quality of life?

(2) I have a lot to say, but haven’t posted much here yet, and I’ve been reflecting on why that is the case. I frequently have urges to delete this blog. When I stop to investigate those urges, it seems to come down to a fear of exposure to further injury at the hands of narcissists/sociopaths. I fear narcissists once in my life will determine my identity (we all know the Internet is never truly anonymous), or, perhaps more likely, new ones will use the information I post to woo and groom me as a future target. It’s frightening. I feel like I’d recognize the signs, but again, even experts get duped.

I read some comments on a popular WordPress blog from sociopaths. It *terrifies* me that there are angry sociopaths leaving comments on her site, yet she seems unfazed and even pastes their comments for discussion as feature posts. I’d be having nightmares about being on their radar. They are insidious and so it feels incredibly risky. The alternative of keeping it all inside and censoring oneself out of fear seems unhealthy; frankly, it feels like the sociopath still owns me. How do other bloggers feel about this?

(3) I saw “Gone Girl” last night. It was incredible!! I’ve heard a lot of people comment that it was unrealistic. That kind of thing wouldn’t happen. Well, it seemed completely (and insanely) legitimate to me. I felt validated that Hollywood made a film that was so relatable for people like us, who have seen the face of insanity and been gripped by it. Any other film recommendations?

I’ve only just started blogging, so I don’t expect much response, but I welcome all feedback!