Dating…AFTER a relationship with a psychopath

Today I went on a “mini date” of sorts (that means we just grabbed coffee in the middle of the day).  Dating as a single mom has proven to be more difficult than I thought.  Up until a few weeks ago, I wasn’t even thinking about dating – ever.  I recently realized, however, that the best revenge is living well and that means I need to get out there and have a life again.  I can’t stay home forever and think of all the pain and suffering Luc has caused.  Having been out of the dating game for a few years (and of course grown up and had a child in between), I feel a little like I missed the boat.  I feel like a fish out of water and like I need a dating brochure or something.  So here are some of my initial thoughts…

 

How will I tell my story?

Not only do I need to find the time to balance spending time with baby boy, work, and now having a life, one of the most awkward parts about this experience is explaining how I ended up single with a toddler.

When you have a child, it seems like folks feel like they are entitled to know just how much baby father drama you have.  They want to know the whole story on date number one.  Anyone who has heard the story of Luc knows that I have way more than just baby father drama – I have the kind of drama that you only see in bad Lifetime movies.  So, what do I tell these men who want to dig into my past?  Well, here is what I did:

Starbucks guy (this is what we will call him for now):  So, may I ask…what happened to baby boy’s father?  Is he still around?

….awkward silence as I think of what to say that isn’t going to make him run screaming….

Me:  Well, we aren’t together anymore.  He wasn’t the person I thought he was and when I found out who he was – I took baby boy and left and never looked back.

…another awkward silence as starbucks guy waits for me to elaborate….I don’t elaborate…

We went around in circles like this with him asking me follow up questions and me either answering them only on the surface or dodging them completely.  Finally, I just said, “I think this conversation might be better for another time.”

I don’t fault starbucks guy for prying into my situation.  If I were him, I would want to know too.  That being said, I am fairly sure that starbucks guy had no idea the level of insanity in this story.  How could he?  Had he known, maybe he would have understood when I gave him the “back off” cues.

Post Psychopath Relationship Paranoia:

After the utter insanity of Luc’s pathological lies, I have become a completely paranoid dater.  As I was sitting there sipping my coffee and listening to different elements of his life story, I caught myself saying, “hmm…so he says he went to college…I will have to check on that.  I wonder if I can find him on Google.”  Instead of thinking if his story would later “check out”, I should have been listing to his story.

Oddly, I also wondered if he was lying and if I would find out a few months from now about some wife and children he was hiding.  Then, my mind automatically thought, ‘well, that would be better than finding out he killed someone.’  Seriously, these were actual thoughts that went through my damaged head as I tried to have a sophisticated cup of coffee with a good looking, sweet man.

The “why would he want to date me” thoughts:

Before I met Luc, I had a lot of self confidence.  Actually, if I am honest with myself – I was cocky as hell.  I walked around like I just knew I was smart, educated, funny, and hot.  Now, things are different.  I feel damaged like a crushed bag of chips left on the shelf in the grocery store.  I am carrying extra baby weight and none of my cute going out clothes fit anymore.  The weight, however, is not even the biggest issue.  The biggest issue is that I no longer trust myself.  I worry about my judgment (because I fell so hard for Luc), I worry that any good man isn’t going to want to put up with my baggage, and I no longer feel as desirable as I once did.

This is a very hard position to be in.  While I know on the outside I don’t look much different than I did a few years ago, how I am on the inside is not the same as I once was.  Luc spent the last half of our relationship making me feel as if I had to put up with his abuse because I couldn’t do better than him.  He was very good at making me feel like I was no longer desirable (especially when I didn’t do the things he asked me to do).  While I know this isn’t true (because Luc is a bottom feeder even amongst Psychopaths), living in that chaos with him still took a lot out of my self esteem.

 

When Starbucks guy asked me out for coffee yesterday, it was an interesting moment.  I saw him watching me and it appeared as though he was building the courage to approach me.  He finally did, he said, “I see you here always getting coffee when I do.” (Note:  This is not true…we never get coffee at the same time) After a moment of awkward introduction, he asked me if I would get coffee with him.  I hesitated for a moment (having been so long since I had actually been asked out) and then eventually said yes.

At that moment, he half smiled out of the corner of his mouth (he was clearly trying to hide that from me) and appeared slightly shocked that I had agreed to go.  On the other hand, I felt slightly shocked that he even asked.  I admired and appreciated his bravery and something about him intrigued me.

I am not sure what will happen with Starbucks guy, but going for coffee felt like a first step.  I was really doing this – dating again even though I know had a son.  So this is the beginning…I am moving on.

 

 

Family Law: A Psychopaths Playground for Legally Sanctioned Abuse

As a young child, my parents always called me the “party police”.  I was the good girl who never liked to see people breaking the rules.  I never smoked, never drank underage, never did drugs, and never stole anything.  I grew up believing in justice and always believed that the courts and the police would protect me if and when I needed them.  That belief ended when I entered a custody war with Luc (my psychopath ex).

Going through a custody war with a sociopath will change the way you view the justice system.  In fact, most of my time in court with Luc felt more like an “injustice” system than anything that resembled justice.  The painful lessons I learned about how our system works rocked me to my core.

As a parent who is madly in love with her baby boy (which most parents are), my maternal instincts were telling me to fight this man with everything I had.  That being said, the very nature of our courts and what was happening throughout the trial felt like it was taking my stress to new levels.  As I became weaker emotionally, Luc became stronger.  He would file ridiculous motions to drive up my bills, sling as much mud at the walls of the court hoping that something would stick, and always find lawyers willing to represent him for free (or believing he would someday pay them back) and psychologists to make excuses for his immoral and criminal behavior.

Legal Abuse Syndrome and PTSD

Shortly after I fled Luc’s house with my son, my therapist diagnosed me with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  He then explained to me that he believed I had something called “Legal Abuse Syndrome”.  I had never heard this term so I looked it up on Wikipedia and learned that Legal abuse refers to abuses associated with both civil and criminal legal action.  This abuse can originate from all parts of the legal system to include frivolous and vexatious litigants, abuses by law enforcement, incompetent, careless or corrupt attorneys and misconduct from the judiciary itself.  Legal abuse is a personal injury that develops in individuals assaulted by ethical violations, legal abuses, betrayals, and fraud. Abuse of power and authority and a profound lack of accountability in our courts have become rampant.

Sociopaths and legal abuse

From what I have learned through both my independent research and my experiences, sociopaths enjoy chaos.  They like to inflict pain on their victims in a way that appears sadistic.  These individuals seem to flourish in Family Courts because its legally sanctioned abuse.  I fled Luc’s house with my newborn son just weeks after baby boy was born.  Even though I filed for custody a few days after leaving, Luc waited three months before he responded to my motion for custody.  During those three months I didn’t hear anything from Luc about my son – not a text, a phone call, an email – nothing.  So why did he wait so long?  He wanted to wait until the day when he believed he would inflict as much pain as possible.  He officially filed a response to the motion on my birthday.

Luc came into my life and completely destroyed my belief in law and order.  One of the most painful lessons that I had to learn throughout my court battle with Luc was that psychopaths don’t play by normal rules.  This is true in their lives and it is certainly the case in the courtroom.  The most disturbing part about this was that Luc would get away with many of his lies because it would come down to my word against his.  He knew how to play the game and what he could get away with.  It was hard for me, at first, to anticipate his next move and prepare myself for the chaos.  Laws are not always enforced and true criminals are experts at figuring out which laws they can break and which are so hard to prove that no prosecutor will bother taking the case.  Psychopaths have a reckless disregard for the law and this allows them to play the system against us.

Overcoming Legal Abuse Syndrome and “The Death of Justice”

I still struggle with panic attacks when I think of all the things Luc has been able to do to me through the legal system and what he is capable of doing next.  Sometimes it feels like Luc has stabbed me right outside of a Police Station.  Instead of arresting Luc, the police rush to put me in handcuffs and arrest me for bleeding on Luc’s boots. (While apologizing to him and letting him know that they will make me buy him a new pair of shoes)

Justice as I knew it is dead and along with it went my youth and the naive version of myself.  The small piece of little girl cappuccino queen I have left inside of me is storming around and throwing a huge fit.  She is screaming and crying and stomping her feet.  Grown up cappuccino queen, however, is constantly thinking of ways to protect her son while trying to quiet the little girl inside who is throwing a royal tantrum over the death of justice.  

In my darkest moments of despair, however, I keep fighting.  I fight because I have to and because I have no other choice.  I am baby boy’s mom, I am his only healthy parent, and I love him.

In the brave words of Martin Luther King Jr.,

 ”The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

Why do we pity the abuser – The Rihanna Interview with Oprah

On Sunday August 19th, I watched Oprah’s interview with the R&B singer Rihanna.  I usually don’t stay awake this late, but last night I made a point to do so because I was intrigued by what Rihanna would say when asked about the abuse she suffered at the hands of Chris Brown.  In case you missed it, the gist of what she said was that in one night she felt like she had lost her best friend and that even though she was “hurt and betrayed” (he actually beat her up so badly that she was barely recognizable and he even bit her face) she felt bad for him that night and was more concerned with how he felt than herself.

Now, my first reaction to this interview was not a good one.  I was actually screaming from the couch and wanted to jump through the screen, shake Rihanna, and beg her to wake up and smell the coffee.  Then, I decided to give her a break when I realized that there was a point in time (granted it didn’t take me as long as it might take her to learn this tough lesson) when I was just like her.  After my initial desire to slap her passed, I wanted to hug her and explain to her that while her feelings are shared by many abused woman, she needs to place her concern where it needs to be  - with herself and NOT with the abuser.

I thought about this interview all day today.  The thoughts were painful as I remembered my own “abuse” at the hands of Luc.  For me, these memories are like my version of that photo of Rihanna’s face torn apart by Chris Brown.  Here are just two examples of things I endured that other woman (who weren’t going through it )would have wanted to slap me for staying over.  (Just like I wanted to slap Rihanna)

…I was four months pregnant and crawling to the bathroom to throw up during a terrible night of food poisoning.  After screaming for help for what seemed like hours, Luc came into the room, yelled at me for throwing up on his floor, threw a trash can at me, and then left for nearly two days.  When he returned and I asked him why he didn’t help me, he went into a rage and told me how insensitive I was being and that he had a headache.  Immediately, I asked him if he needed anything and began to take care of him.

…Nine months pregnant, feet swollen after an eight hour work day.  I came home to Luc who had been playing video games all day and was still in his pajamas.  He asked me to rub his feet.  After rubbing HIS feet, I asked him if he could rub my swollen feet.  Enraged, he said, “how could you even ask me that.  You know I don’t do stuff like that.  I am never going to ask you for anything because you always expect something in return!”

Today, as I continued along my own emotional roller coaster with Luc, I realized that it has taken me a long time to really even accept that I was abused.  My mom (among others) keeps telling me to go find a domestic violence support group/advocacy center to help me.  I have been fighting this idea because the abuse that I endured doesn’t seem like the typical abuse you see in the media.  I don’t have any pictures of my face with cuts and bruises.  Luc didn’t bite my and physically throw me out of a moving car.  (Like Chris Brown did to Rihanna)

The world is judging Rihanna for that interview she had with Oprah and for the choices she has made in the aftermath of her abuse.  While I have accepted that there is something terminally wrong with Luc and I shouldn’t feel bad for him, I am judged every day for the decision I made to stay with him for as long as I did.  Most people feel comfortable blaming the victim because they don’t want to even imagine that this sort of abuse could happen to them.

As I have said before, if you put a frog in boiling water – he will jump out.  If you put the frog in a pot of room temperature water and slowly bring it to a boil – you will kill the frog.

I am sure Chris Brown didn’t introduce himself to Rihanna and say, “Hey girl, I am going to beat you up one day and everyone will be talking about your bruised face for years.”  Just like Luc didn’t introduce himself to me saying, “Hey sweetie, I hope you are ready for the trauma I am going to cause.  First, I am going to treat you like a Queen for about five minutes until you are fully smitten.  Then, I am going to make you feel like trash.  Next, I will convince you to pay my bills while I continue to sit at home and think of stupid ways to make myself rich so I can continue to not work.  And the icing on the cake will be when I attack someone you love, get away with it, and then take your son on a weekly basis to torment him just as I have done to you.”

Quite possibly the saddest part of the interview was when Oprah asked Rihanna if she and Chris were still together.  Teary eyed, Rihanna explained how Chris had moved on and was dating someone new.  She then said that she was single and that every time she saw Chris it was awkward, she needed to keep from showing how she felt inside during these encounters, and that Chris was the love of her life.  So Mr. Chris came into this young girl’s life, made her fall in love with him, beat her down physically and emotionally, and then moved on to the next victim.  Sounds like a sociopath to me…what do you think?

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was “love bombed” by a Psychopath

Today me and baby boy spent the day doing some of our favorite activities.  We went to get crepes for lunch, roamed around the bookstore, and went to a gym class at the baby gym and chased each other around (yes, I know…you know you are a mom when this is your idea of a great Saturday afternoon).  Before I met Luc, I remember spending Saturday afternoons alone in the bookstore and other places and watching other people my age out with their spouses and children.  I remember feeling hopeful that I would one day have that, but also feeling incredibly lonely.

Now, its a little different.  Me and baby boy are our own little family.  I still, however, sometimes feel small stabs in my heart when I see parents with their children walking through the bookstore together.  I know baby boy has a lot of love at home between me and his grandparents, but I still feel myself mourning the life I hoped for with Luc before I knew he was a psychopath.

These feelings of sadness have started to make me think about how I got into this situation with Luc.  Why was I such a good target?  How was I able to ignore so many signs?

Donna Anderson, on her blog “lovefraud.com” posted a video talking about how sociopaths “love bomb” their victims by showering them with affection in the beginning of the relationship.  She made the point that this is often what cults do in order to get people to join and pray upon people’s weaknesses.  The term “love bombing” really hit home for me because that is exactly what Luc did.  He swooped in at a time when I was vulnerable and he dropped a bomb the size of Hiroshima.

Just before I met Luc, I had been down in the dumps after a breakup with the man I believed I would spend the rest of my life with.  In some ways, I wonder if I was projecting what I wanted onto Luc instead of what was really there.  I wanted so badly to have my own family that when Luc presented the potential for family and showered me with affection, I fell for it hook line and sinker.

My relationship with Luc was like a roller coaster of the worst type.  This roller coaster went from 0-120  as soon you got half way into the seat.  My head was spinning so fast (not to mention that I was hanging on for dear life because I wasn’t strapped in) that I wasn’t thinking straight.  He was so intense and I remember feeling like I had met my soul mate.  In reality, my head was still spinning at the beginning of the roller coaster and hadn’t gotten a chance to catch up with my heart.

Unfortunately, pregnancy didn’t help.  I was so caught up in Luc that before I knew it I was pregnant and living with him.  Interestingly enough, as soon as I got pregnant the “more real” Luc started to come out.  He wasn’t as attentive.  He stopped taking me on dates and he started to emotionally abuse me.  He also started to manipulate me into giving him money.  I started paying for his mortgage.  At first, I was “helping out” and after a couple of months “helping out” turned into full on supporting him and his lazy lifestyle.  I would work 8 hrs plus a day (while pregnant) and he would call me up on the way home (after a full day of sleeping and video game playing) to ask me to buy some groceries for him.

The emotional abuse turned uglier when in the dead of winter he would shut off the heat in an attempt to get me to pay more.  I can’t for the life of me understand why I didn’t leave this mad man.  I remember being sick when I was pregnant and he would leave me by myself in the bedroom and yell at me for throwing up on his floor (before leaving me to fend for myself).  Whenever I needed him, he would disappear and make up a lie about being busy with “work”.

So what lessons can I say I have learned from all this?  Well, I am NOT going to be “love bombed” again.  After surviving the Hiroshima of love bombs, I need to make sure that I am strong enough and smart enough to not get on that roller coaster ever again.  Before I trust or take a chance, I am going to stand back and watch.  I was not guarded with my heart before and I wore it all over my sleeve.  To a degree, that is part of who I am; however, before I get into a serious relationship again I have made a pact with myself to go into it with my eyes wide open.

 

Feeling like a “Relationship Leper” after dating a Psychopath

I recently started dating again.  It’s been over two years since I have been on a date and now I have a child.  (I know this is pathetic, please don’t judge me – I have been traumatized)  Being a single mother (not to mention one with extra ex psychopath drama) makes dating feel like a whole new ball game.  One of the things that I have struggled with is how much to tell a person you just met about your situation.  Honestly, I still don’t know what the answer is to this question.  How would you react if on your first date they asked you about your child’s father and you said, “well, he threatened to kill me and 50% of the women he has lived with in the past ten years have died violent deaths.”  Ok, so maybe I will leave that discussion for another time.  (It’s ok, I would run screaming too)

Throughout my relationship with Luc, he would often get frantic and make me promise that I would never date anyone else – even if we broke up.  This was another one of his attempts to break my spirit and control me.  He wanted to have complete control over me even if I eventually walked out (which I am sure he knew was inevitable). So this leads me to one of my first dates.  Mind you, I have since learned it wasn’t really a date and was more of a “platonic friends getting together for drinks” sort of situation…but none the less we will call it a “mock date” for the purposes of my story.  (We will also call him “Bob” for the purpose of anonymity)

Bob and I knew each other through a good friend of mine and I hadn’t seen him in years.  Our mutual friend recently told me that Bob’s wife suddenly decided she wanted a divorce and Bob was devastated.  (So clearly, this was never meant to be a real date given the situation)  I had lost touch with Bob after he got married, but I remembered him to be a sweet guy who was funny and really fun to hang around (not to mention very attractive).  I asked him to get drinks and catch up thinking that he would be a good person to go have drinks with as a “practice date” if you will.

Over drinks, Bob shared the hideous story of his divorce which both made me sad for him and added to my terror about relationships in general.  While I had not intended to share the most hideous aspects of my story, he had read my blog (and knew it was me) so I couldn’t get out without covering it in some detail.

The “mock date” was nice. (Despite the bleeding hearts aspect) It was nice to get out with another person roughly my age and share a drink that wasn’t spilled all over me by my little boy. (Sorry baby boy – mama loves you despite your mess and poor hand eye coordination) Bob brought something up, however, that had me thinking all week.  He said that after his divorce he felt like a leper.  While I tried hard to convince him that he was certainly NOT a leper, I completely understood how he felt because I feel like a leper too.  Though, my “dating leprosy” is a little different than his.

It’s interesting because as he was talking, I couldn’t help but to remember when I was that person who had all these “standards” and “a list” like a lot of woman have when they think of potential mates.  That list seems so silly now because not only did I break some of the smart rules with Luc (i.e. job that you can verify, college education, not abusive), I now had several things in my life that I would have ruled someone out for five years ago.  For example:

1)  Child:  I never wanted to date someone with a child.  Mainly, because I didn’t want Baby Mama Drama.  Well, right now I would certainly take baby mama drama over “psycho killer bad dad Luc”.

2)  Extreme baggage:  Five years ago, if I was on a date with someone who had such extreme dating baggage that they were not sure if they would ever trust someone enough to marry them – I would have run in the other direction and never returned their call after the first date.

3)  Living at home with parents:  I have always viewed people who live at home with their parents as somewhat scrubbish.  (Yes, I just made that word up – scrubbish)  While there are some people who have valid reasons for living with their parents (childhood, taking care of elder parents, temporary place to stay while waiting to buy a house, etc), most of the time it shows a person who is either cheap, has bad credit, or is lazy.  Or at least this was how I felt before I was in a situation where I needed to live with my parents.

The above are three reasons are a few examples of my feeling of dating leprosy.  I wonder if this means I am not ready to date.  I have always heard that it is important to build yourself up after a relationship and be confident standing on your own before you try and invite someone else into your life.  Maybe this is what that means.

 

Gym Lady and 13.9 Million single parents

As part of my mission to bring back some of the old (and fabulous) parts of Cappuccino Queen that have been missing since tornado Luc, I have being trying to go to the gym as often as I can.  For those of you raising small children on your own, you understand that finding time for yourself can be a bit tough.  This morning, however, I dragged myself (pre coffee) to the gym for a spinning class.  Baby boy enjoyed the kids play area at the gym while I sweat nearly to death on a bike for an hour.  (Oddly, I actually enjoyed the class)

After class,  me and my sister were chatting in the locker room about working out and I was complaining about how hard it is to find the time to work out now that I have baby boy.  A woman about my age was listening in to our conversation and as it was winding down pipped in, smirked, and said, “you need to just get yourself out of bed early and work out then!  Me and my husband have a deal – I workout in the morning and he works out at night.”  As I turned around to acknowledge her comment, I felt my hand wanting to slap her – hard.  Then, I realized that she just assumed everyones situation was as wonderful as hers.

Instead of slapping her, I merely turned to her and said to her in the sweetest voice I could muster, “um well, I am a single parent.  I don’t have a husband to watch my son at 4 in the morning while I work out.  I have to be at work by 6:30am in order to get home in time to pick up my son.”  The woman then got an embarrassed and sheepish look on her face.  After apologizing quietly, she nearly ran out of the locker room.  I couldn’t figure out which hurt worse – her first comment or the pity she had for me when she learned of my situation.

According to the U.S. Census, as of  2010 there were 13.6 single parents in the United States.  Since I only spent a couple of weeks with Luc after baby boy was born, I have been a single parent for nearly my entire time as a parent.  I find this number interesting as most of the people I run into assume that if you have an infant, you must be married of still with the child’s father.  Will the 13.6 million please stand up?  You can’t all be made up of older divorced parents with teens, 16 year old mothers still in high school, or parents in poverty with the other parent dead or in jail! (Oh wait, I better not be so judgement filled myself as my sons father could end up in jail soon as well)

One of the reasons my relationship with Luc lasted even as long as it did is because I was terrified to be one of the 13.6 million.  Even though I had never been a single parent before, I knew it would be tough.  I hate it when I am in public trying to enjoy a day with my son and people notice my ringless finger and either pity me or look at me in disgust.  The silent judgement I receive from large portions of the population is shocking and upsetting, but it is only the tip of the iceberg.  The most painful piece to being a single parent is knowing that I am the ONLY person truly responsible for baby boy.  Sure, I am luckier than most as I have a lot of family who loves my little boy and has stepped up to help me out more than ever, but it will never be the same as a two parent household.

When gym lady gets out of bed in the morning to workout, she is only worried about finding the motivation to exercise.  She is leaving her child with a loving father and not someone who is considering that time “babysitting” or “watching” HER kid.  Since baby boy was born, I have been working.  When I am not at work making money, I am working on raising him.  There is no down time when you are a single parent.  Any time spent away from baby boy is filled with mixed emotions as I am usually feeling either afraid (because he is with his father) or guilty (because I am relying on someone else to watch my son) or just plain miss him.

In addition to working out to get that part of me back, it is clear that I need to figure out how to have balance in my life.  I will let you know if and when I figure that out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mourning the man that never was (because he is a psychopath)

 

Before I had children, I always dreamed that my children would have a wonderful relationship with both me and their father.   Given the close relationship that I have with my father, I could never have imagined a situation where I would NOT want my child’s father to have access to him/her.  (Until now, of course)

Here is a quick example of how I felt about my father as a child and why I dreamed for my child to have the same: (This conversation took place as my father was tying my shoes)

 

Young Cappuccino Queen (circa age 5):  Daddy, when I grow up can I marry you?

My father (holding back laughter):  No baby girl, I am already married to your mother.

Cappuccino Queen:  But Daddy, I love YOU and I don’t think I will ever love another boy as much as I love you.  You are perfect…you taught me to swim, you let me have Ice Cream for dinner one time, and you are really really tall so you give good back rides. (Yes, I know, silly)

My father:  I will always be your Daddy baby girl, but one day you will find a man your age whom you love who will be YOUR husband.  He will be wonderful too and he might be having this same conversation with your daughter someday.

 

For those of you who have read my story, you know that two weeks after my son was born I fled my ex’s home with my baby boy after learning that he wasn’t the man he led me to believe he was.  Ever since the day I left, I have to constantly fight both my own instincts (of wanting my son to have what I had -in his own father) and society’s belief that every child is better off having contact with their biological father.  In fact, as many of you know too well, Family Court in America shoves this idea down your throat every time you have the misfortune of stepping into the courtroom.  Those of us who share a child with a sociopath don’t have the ability to have “No Contact” with him/her.  Instead, I would argue that we are re-traumatized every time we have to deal with this person and this is how the sociopath likes it.

 

I have been trying to put my finger on what about the end of my relationship to this man made it so painful (besides the obvious deception, violence, etc).  For me, it felt like a death I could never properly mourn.  It felt like I had fallen in love with a memory or a figment of my imagination.

The violent death:

The night I learned who Luc (my ex fiance and sociopath) really was (or more like who he WASN’T) felt like a death.  I remember looking into his eyes that night and seeing a stranger in the body of someone I had loved.  It is hard to describe this feeling because it still scares and confuses me.  I remember feeling like time slowed down as I reached for my son and looked into the eyes of his devil in human flesh.  He had turned so dark and cold and that man I loved (the fake man) was now gone forever.  In was as if in that one instant he decided he was tired of the game and I was the game.  It was hard for me to understand how someone who had been convincingly professing his love to me just hours before could turn so cold and murderous.

In the weeks that followed my dramatic departure from my the relationship with the psychopath, I felt like the man I had loved (my sons father) died.  This might sound strange, but that was all I could equate it to.  I kept remembering how I felt about him and how much I trusted him.  I wanted to speak to the man I loved, but I understood that I couldn’t because that man wasn’t around.  It was like he had died – but worse – he had never existed.  My thoughts about this “death” were worsened by my obsession of how I would one day explain all of this to my baby boy.

Mourning the death (or the inability to) and Family Court

I remember one day arguing with one of my family attorneys about how devastated I was and how I would never forgive Luc for deceiving me.  My lawyer said, “think of it this way – there was a time when you were in love and happy.  For Luc, he was never in love and never happy.  He was always worried about keeping up the lie.”  While I understand that he was only trying to make me feel better about the time I wasted with this man and the shattered dreams that I will never be able to recover, this statement also showed me that he didn’t really understand Luc.

Luc is a psychopath.  Yes, I was a game to him  and a mark; however, he didn’t worry about keeping the lie.  Luc doesn’t feel how pathetic he is because he is incapable of understanding or believing that there is anything wrong with him.  If I was a hateful person, I might take comfort in the fact that Luc is also incapable of sustaining real relationships.  He has no family, no real friends, and doesn’t trust anyone enough to let them know the real him (if he even knows himself).  That would be a lonely life for someone who was capable of feeling enough to care.

 

Finding comfort in the idea of a death:

Sometimes it makes me feel better to think of the situation as a death.  When a person dies, you still have the ability to just think of the good times you had with that person.  It’s tough to think of Luc associated as anything good because I know it wasn’t real.  That being said, when baby boy is old enough to understand and ask about his father, I will show him pictures of the day he was born and how both of his parents were there.  I will explain to him how this was the happiest day of mamas life.  I will also explain to him how sad it makes me that his father isn’t capable of being the man I thought he was.  For that day, however, we were the family we would never be – the family I wanted for my son.  A mother, a father, and their baby boy.  Mama is sorry baby boy.

 

Hope after death:

For so many years, my idea of a father/son relationship was wrapped up in biology.  Since this was my experience, I was devastated when I realized that my son would not have that same experience with his father.  I felt terrible about this (and still do to a degree); however, I realized that my son can have amazing men in his life despite the terrible reality of his father.

When I came home today, I was surprised that my son was not waiting at the door smiling and doing his wiggle dance per usual.  When I asked my mother where my baby boy had disappeared to, she directed me toward the back door and told me to go outside and see for myself.  As soon as I stepped on the back porch, I heard my father having a seemingly one sided conversation with my non-verbal toddler as they stood under the berry tree eating blackberries.  (Note:  my son won’t take these sour berries from anyone else)  After a few minutes of watching the two of them (and fighting back tears), I joined them for a group hug as we all walked back into the house.  I looked at my son, who was now covered in berries and smiling from ear to ear, and I realized that he would be ok…and eventually…so would I.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A letter to my baby boy

I have thought a lot lately about what I will tell my son when he starts to ask me about his father.  Of course, I hope that when that day comes his father is in jail where he belongs.  This jail dream is where I will keep my thoughts for the time being.  I haven’t yet accepted the reality that justice may never be served when it comes to Luc.  (I digress)

I anticipate my slightly grown up baby boy asking me questions like, “Mama, do you regret loving my father?  Do you regret falling for his lies?”  Even thinking about my son asking these sorts of questions nearly brings me to tears because I dread the day when my son might realize that his conception was built on such a terrible con.  How could I be honest with him about what happened without making him feel like a terrible mistake?

I want to be the type of mother my son can look to for love and honestly.  I don’t want him to ever feel that I am lying to him.  When he is old enough to understand, I believe there are a lot of important lessons to be learned from my relationship with his father (if I can even call it a relationship).  Here are some of the lessons I hope to be strong enough to share.  This is my future letter to my baby boy:

My sweet “Baby Boy”,

First and foremost, Mama loves you.  I always have and always will no matter what.  I don’t regret you.  Even though it might be hard to believe, I don’t regret falling in love with your father (or really the man I believed he was).  I was blind sited by him because I was (and am) the type of person who had the ability to love deeply and completely.  If I regretted how I behaved in the relationship with your father (i.e. my love for him), I would regret one of the core things that makes me who I am.

There are times that I wish your father really was the man I fell in love with.  I would want nothing more for you to grow up in a complete and loving home with both of your parents.  There was a time right after I left your father (and learned who he really was), that I didn’t know if I would ever be able to love that way again.  I worried that my ability to love had been a dangerous vulnerability.

I have learned, however, in the past year that my ability to love deeply and completely is fully intact.  Baby boy, you taught me that I did not lose myself after my relationship with your father.  You have shown me that not only is my ability to love still here, but I am a better mom because of it.

I learned a lot of tough lessons from your father.  Importantly, people make choices in their lives that define who they are.  You can’t hide from those choices – they will follow you everywhere you go.  You have your whole life ahead of you Baby Boy.  How you treat others is a very important part of your character.  Go forth and love completely and deeply – just do it with your eyes wide open knowing that not everyone is capable of this same love.

 

The sociopath’s rape by deception

I’m angry – period.  I am tired of people telling me that I need to “get over it” because Luc is baby boy’s biological father.  In that vein, I guess rape victims should just “get over it” too?  People who have been physically abused should just “get over it”?  If Luc had jumped out of the bushes and raped me or punched me in the face every single day I had contact with him, would he STILL be allowed to have the same parental rights?  I endured psychological abuse on a daily basis from Luc for over a year.  In addition, the man completely lied and deceived me.

My son was the product of a lie – a con.  I consented to have sex with a man who doesn’t exist and who never existed.  Is this a form of rape?  If I didn’t consent to have sex with THIS man, is this rape?  While I was not dragged behind a bush and raped in the typically accepted sense, I certainly feel raped.  He raped my soul and the court is endorsing him and allowing him to continue to rape me and now my baby boy.

So why do I bring this up?  Well, the courts don’t recognize this form of rape.  The judge in my court case had no words for me other than, “you CHOSE to have a child with this man, so you will have to deal with him for the next 18 years.”  Would the judge tell a woman who has had a child from a rape that she has to “deal with” the rapist because she got raped by him?

According to Wikipedia, there are several types of rape.  The one that applies here is “Rape by deception” which holds the following definition:  Rape by deception occurs when the perpetrator gains the victim’s consent through fraud.

I feel like I have been stabbed outside of a police station.  Instead of arresting Luc for stabbing me, the police have arrested me for bleeding on Luc’s shoes.

Staring at a reflection of me – pre psychopath encounter

Tonight I am spending the night in a city I haven’t  been to in almost 8 years.  Earlier today, I took a walk on a pier that held a very special memory for me.  I was 23 years old when I stood on this pier the last time.  Tonight, as I stood on the pier looking out over the water, it was as if I was looking at a reflection of who I used to be.  I laughed to myself as I thought about all the things that used to stress me out.  All those things now seem so silly as I think about the challenges I have faced in the past year and the ones I will surely have to face in the future before Luc decides to move on – IF he decides to move on.

I called my father as I walked along the pier and reminded him of the memory.  My dad, who has also been very traumatized by the fact that Luc hit my family like a high speed train, said, “do you ever wonder how if your life had changed just one bit, or that if the event that happened at that lake had turned out different, if you would have even met Luc?  We would never have known how lucky we were had we never had the unfortunate chance of him coming into your life.”

First of all, I want to say that I don’t regret baby boy for one second.  Being that child’s mom is the best thing to ever happen to my life.  That being said, I do think a lot about how there are many events in my life and decisions that led me to Luc.  Had I made one of many different moves, I would never have met him.  So I pondered my dads question as I continued to walk back to my hotel.  And here are two important conclusions I came to (after, of course, taking a moment to mourn my naive youth and inexperience):

1)  I am not only a different person, but I am a better person for having met Luc.  That sounds crazy, I know.  I do a lot of complaining and I am certainly terrified on a regular basis when I think about the reality that my life may come to an end BECAUSE of Luc; however, I am a stronger and wiser person for having survived his terror.  Don’t get me wrong, HE didn’t make me a better person because of his personality or anything actually pleasant about him (because he doesn’t have real pleasant qualities).  I am a better person because this experience of trying to get away from Luc and his terror has forced me to dig deep and survive for my son.

2)  If I had made even one different major decision, I wouldn’t have ever met Luc; however, I could very well have met someone just as terrible.  One of the hardest lessons that I have had to learn in the past year is that I was the perfect target for Luc.  I had no idea what a real psychopath looked like and I was naive, trusting, and wanted to fall in love.   I have learned that people like Luc search for people like me.  They search for good people with good reputations because bad people are not as much fun for them to destroy.  The knowledge I have about people like Luc has armed me to never fall into that trap again.

My life is a lot different than it was eight years ago.  I spent parts of the walk being sad that naive and innocent Cappuccino Queen is probably gone forever.  The silver lining, however, is that who I am today is someone I am proud of (despite some clearly terrible decisions I made along the way).  I was a good target because I was, and will always be, a good person.  I wondered for a moment if I would make the choice to go back to that time if the decision were mine.  Although I don’t have a time machine and can’t make that choice, I don’t think I would even if I could.  I respect those years and the wisdom they have given me.  I am a better person and certainly a better mom after learning some very hard lessons in these past eight years.