Crazy And Deranged

When I was with Luc, he always used to refer to the woman he dated before me as “crazy and deranged”.  He would force his son to call her by that name despite the fact that it was clear the child didn’t harbor the same ill will against her.  Though Luc claimed that they had broken up a whole year before we had met, he frequently spoke about how terrible the relationship was due to the physical and emotional abuse she put him through.  Of course, from what I now know of Luc, it was Luc who was physically and emotionally abusive.  Instead of the ex-girlfriend, it was Luc who was “crazy and deranged”.

Every so often, you run into someone who has been in an abusive relationship.  When you meet someone who claims this, whether male or female, you should be weary.  I say this knowing that someone will meet me in the future wondering about my story too.  They should be weary too because many times the abusive person claims that everyone else around them is crazy.  Their relationships have failed because they keep running into “crazy and deranged” women, etc.  These people always seem to have an excuse as to why there is constant chaos in their lives.  Luc would always say, “I must have been a bad person in another life to deserve all this back luck.”  Newsflash psychopath:  You are a bad person in this life – that is why all these bad things are happening.  I digress.

Before meeting Luc, I really didn’t know how to spot a crazy and deranged person.  By “crazy and deranged”, I don’t mean what we would typically think as someone who is insane.  This person isn’t always as obvious as a grown man walking around talking to his imaginary friend.  Sometimes, it takes a while for the person to show their true crazy.  That said, there are always clues and when you see those clues you should question them – listen to your internal warning system – and run.

Gaslighting:

For those of you who are not familiar with the term gaslighting, it is a form of mental abuse where false information is presented with the intent of making the victim doubt his or her own memory, perception and sanity.  This may range from denial by the abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim.  For people who have been through this form of abuse, it can be terrifying, upsetting, and extremely confusing.  When I was going through it, I was dealing with pregnancy hormones at the same time.  Luc’s gaslighting episodes would have me questioning my own sanity and wondering why I had perceived certain events as abusive when Luc swore that the events never occurred.

If you have heard a variation on the following, you are probably dealing with someone who is gaslighting:

1)  “I wish I had a tape recorder because I would play back that conversation.  I never said ____.  You are making that up.”

2)  “That never happened, you must be imagining that.”

Luc’s Gaslighting:

Every single person who came into Luc’s life likely experienced some form of this type of abuse.  Before Luc’s mother was found laying dead on a plastic bag (police ruled this a suicide and claimed that she must have suffocated herself), Luc had her believing she had alzheimer’s disease.  While I never met the woman, I suspect that she didn’t have alzheimer disease.  I suspect that Luc was staging bizarre events to make this poor woman believe she was loosing her memory.

In December 2010, Luc beat his older son.  After the abuse, the boy went into school and told his teachers who then reported the abuse to police.  The child had physical evidence on his back in the form of Luc’s ring marks.  While Luc awaited trial for the domestic assault of his son, CPS believed it was best to put the child back in the home.  Luc spent the next three months before trial convincing this child that he had imagined the entire event.  At one point, his son asked him, “don’t you remember punching me in the chest?”  Luc responded by saying, “that never happened!  You must have imagined that!”  The boy’s face dropped and he looked both terrified and confused.  He then dropped his head and quietly uttered, “maybe I did imagine it.”

A few days after giving birth to Prince, I was hungry and went downstairs to get some food.  Luc had left us in a room upstairs, and disappeared for days.  I knew I wasn’t supposed to be going up and down the stairs, but I also knew I couldn’t starve myself.  As soon as Prince fell asleep, I put him in his crib and went to the kitchen.  As I was returning upstairs, I saw Luc glaring at me from the top of the stairs.  “What are you doing,” he asked in an angry tone.  “I was hungry.  I am having trouble with my milk coming in….I have to eat or else Prince won’t get enough milk.”  As I stood there explaining, I was tearing up at the fact that I even needed to explain why I was getting food.  “You shouldn’t be eating all that food.  You need to lose weight,” he said.  I immediately broke down crying.  I was sore, tired, and hungry.  Here I was with a bagel and some greek yogurt, and my son’s father was making it seem like I was eating chocolate cake and bon bons.  As I cried, Luc started yelling more.  “What is wrong with you,” he yelled.  “I am just trying to help you!  You are overreacting.  It must be your hormones.”

There is no rehab for a psychopath:

People often wonder if abusive people can ever change.  I am not in the camp of people who believe that they can change.  If someone is exhibiting the above mentioned behavior, chances are that this person is far past the point of rehabilitation.  If you stay with a person like this, you will be driven crazy by the constant mental abuse and life chaos.

One of the most dangerous things about these people, perhaps, is their ability to remain calm as they fabricate bizarre scenarios to make those around them look criminal.  For example, George Zimmerman has been in the public eye for the last few years.  He first entered our radar when he shot a teenage boy in cold blood.  Of course,  he created a whole story about how this teenage boy (who was only armed with skittles and iced tea) attacked him.  Since the teenage boy was dead, Zimmerman’s story was the one that stood up in court.  In the past few months, two different women have accused Zimmerman of domestic assault.  According to Zimmerman, both of these women are crazy; however, in these two cases Zimmerman is the only common denominator.

The most recent 911 tapes released in the Zimmerman domestic assault charge brought me back to a bad place.  Listening to this man who had just pulled a gun on his girlfriend calmly explain to the police that she had been the aggressor made me sick to my stomach.  For years, Luc got away with so many violent crimes against women and children.  When accused, he created fantastic stories while remaining calm.  His victims, however, are never calm because they have had to endure the trauma of the abusive incident.

My greatest regret in life allowed me to experience one of the greatest joys in my life.  I biggest regret in life is my relationship with Luc, but everyone who has read my story knows that without that relationship I would not have had the opportunity to meet my angel (Prince).  I am forever thankful and grateful for having known that child.  That said, if there is any wisdom that I can impart on other women – if you see any of the above behavior from your partner, do not have a child with this person.  If you have a child with this person, leave now and prepare yourself for the fight of your life.  Sometimes I wonder if Prince would have survived if I had stayed with Luc.  About two seconds after I start thinking that, I remember that Luc is now an “alleged” serial killer.  Not only would Prince likely have still not survived, but I likely wouldn’t have either.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Be A Good Dad…

Last week, my good friend Daddy Doin’ Work called me a week ago and asked me if I would answer an important question as part of a guest posting on his blog.  He wanted to capture the opinion of Mom’s he respected on what it meant to be a good Dad.  At first, I laughed and told him, “Doyin…seriously…you know my story!  What makes you think I would be in the position to preach about what it means to be a good father?”  I probably couldn’t have consciously picked a worse Dad than the man who was my son’s father – even if I had tried.  After some thought, however, I realized that having scraped the bottom of the barrel of fatherhood I had learned some important lessons about what my son’s father should have been.

While I kept my comments somewhat brief for the DDW guest post, I wanted to take the time to elaborate on some lessons I have learned for my readers.  Some of you might think that having been through such a terrible experience with a man, a person would naturally turn into a man-hater.  Though I am in no rush to get into another relationship, I look forward to someday meeting a man who is capable of being the type of father that every woman should expect for her children.  Let’s jump right in…

1) Selflessness:  While the rest of this list is in no particular order, this particular characteristic should always come first.  Lucifer was one of the most selfish people I have ever met.  At first, he didn’t seem this way.  He knew it was not a good quality so he hid it well in the first few months we were together. That said, when selfish rears its ugly head – you better run.  There is no room for this trait in parenting.  Children need their parents to ALWAYS put them first.  You don’t eat before your children have eaten.  You don’t sleep before you know they are safe, warm, and have what they need.  A selfish person is not capable of being a good parent.  When I was a kid, my mother showed up at just about every kid event.  I know she couldn’t have enjoyed watching my middle school basketball team lose or the terrible singing that went on in the Christmas shows; however, it didn’t matter because she came to show me how much she loved me despite how painful the show.

2) Presence:  Some parents think that if they are physically present that is enough.  Some think that if they are financially present that is enough.  Lucifer believed that just because he claimed a child was his and “was around”, that made him a good father.  This couldn’t have been further from the truth.  A good father is a man who is all the way present – physically, financially, and emotionally.  A good father is present for his entire family.  When Mom comes home after a hard day at work, a good father makes a point to help her feel better.  A good father knows that “if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”  One of the biggest mistakes that I see many women making is that they believe that if Dad is present in one of these areas, he is good enough.  I would argue, however, if he is absent in at least one of these areas he is dead weight and likely a bad Dad.  (Note:  the exception to the physically present rule would be someone who cannot be as physically present because the only way they can be financially present is to be away sometimes – i.e. men and women in the military.  That said, when they are home with family they can make the most of their physically present time and this is key.)

3) Responsibility:  Last week a Facebook friend of mine posted a picture of her husband with one of their children.  The caption on the photo explained that he was “babysitting”.  A parent is never a babysitter.  The differences between a parent and a babysitter are abundant but the most obvious difference between a parent and a babysitter is responsibility.  A parent is responsible for raising a child in a way that a babysitter will never be.  A babysitter is merely around to make sure the child doesn’t get hurt while the parents cannot be there.  A parent is responsible for raising a productive member of society.  A good Dad will not only accept this great responsibility, but he will embrace it and enjoy it.  You should never have to ask the father of your child to take responsibility.  You shouldn’t have to ask him to help you make important decisions because he should want to.

Finally, one of the hardest lessons I have learned in the past few years is the importance of boundaries and standards.  I was with someone who pushed my boundaries and consistently drained me physically, emotionally, and financially.  I didn’t hold the father of my child to the same standards to which I held myself.  The father of your children should be your best friend, the love of your life, and your partner.  He should respect your opinion as much as you respect his.  He should be the person you want to consult with.  He should make you feel safe, and you should never be scared of him.  He should push you to be the best version of yourself without making you feel like you are less than wonderful.

There was a time when I settled for much less than what I have outlined above.  I have paid the ultimate price for my mistakes.  When you are choosing a partner, realize that you are not just choosing for yourself – you are choosing for your unborn child.  No matter how terrible this person turns out to be, the child will never have the choice to walk away from them.  A mother  can divorce the father of her child, but the child will not have this luxury.