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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Not You – It’s HIM

Let me start out by saying that I am by no means a forensic psychologist with a degree and years of clinical experience with psychopathy.  I am, however, a woman who ran into a really bad dude.  I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that during the year I spent with Luc I did see some odd signs – or red flags.  Sadly, some of the signs I didn’t pick up on, and others I simply ignored in hopes that things would improve and my son’s father would actually be the man I had hoped he was.

Since starting my blog, I have heard from hundreds of other women who have also run  into some really bad dudes.  While these men are different guys, and not all are psychopaths, they are all people each one of these women now wishes she had avoided.  All of them showed signs, and we all ignored these signs until it was too late.  These women are all strong women who have stood up and admitted to having ignored these signs (or completely missed that they were signs at the time), and have shared their stories in an attempt to help other women recognise when its time to RUN.  Ladies, I salute your courage and I congratulate you for leaving no matter how long it took.

If you are reading this blog entry and recognize one of the below red flag situations as similar to something that is currently happening to you in your relationship, please take the advice of many women before you – and run.

 

Compulsive lying:

Red Flag Story:  ”One night he received a phone call from his mother.  I was sitting next to him so I heard the entire story.  He said, ‘sorry we couldn’t answer we were just eating dinner.  Yeah, we made mashed potato, baked chicken, and carrots.’ When he hung up, I said ‘why did you tell her that’s what we ate when we had grilled chicken with broccoli cheese rice?’ He then said, ‘What difference does it make?  We ate dinner, we had some kind of chicken.’  The lies continued to get worse.
My thoughts:  People who lie for the sake of lying have problems.  Luc used to lie about things that didn’t even make sense to be lying about.  Psychopaths are convincing liars because they don’t have the conscience that makes non-psychopaths feel guilty about their lies.  While it may seem like the lying is small and “no big deal” as they will claim, the root of the issue is that this person is not trustworthy and is probably also lying about things that are big deals.
Cheater: (and I don’t mean just cheating with another woman)
Red flag story:  ”At 35 years old he cheated at carnival games because he ‘wouldn’t feel like a man if he couldn’t win a prize’ for me.  I hated the stupid stuffed bear, but he insisted it was for me.”
My thoughts:  This red flag goes a bit hand in hand with the compulsive liar.  Luc used to cheat at golf every single time he played.  He would brag about fake hole in ones and talk about how great he was at the game.  A cheater translates to someone who cannot lose and needs to always be the best.  Since many psychopaths have deep self esteem issues, they cheat a lot because they cannot stand feeling less than perfect.  Find yourself a good, honest man who isn’t afraid to lose a game.
Blaming other’s for their own problems:
Red flag story:  ”He would always insensitively talk about most people-as if he was better than them. Even if Mother Theresa was around-he would say she was something negative. He always blames everyone else. Always. Never takes full responsibiity for his actions.”
My thoughts:  This is a big red flag that a lot of people miss at first.  Typically, this red flag plays out when your partner says or does something terrible to you (i.e. calling you a degrading name or straight punching you in the face) and then turns the situation on you and makes it appear as if you were, in fact, the real problem.  Additionally, if you run into someone who never seems to be able to apologize for their bad behavior and always finds someone else to blame for their “circumstances” – you have run into a bad dude.

Can’t hold a job:  
While several women wrote in about this particular problem, this one is quick to sum up:  If the guy has too many problems that prohibit him from finding work or keeping work (be it sheer laziness or violent tendencies), he is also not likely to be capable of sustaining a romantic relationship either.

Sexual violence/ problems:
Red flag story:  ”The neighbor’s boyfriend was caught having sex with her fifteen year old daughter.  The ex tried to convince me that it was consensual, and that I was a sheltered prude who needed to up my awareness and game so that I could agree with him.”
My thoughts:  Luc was famous for using sex to control people.  He would always try to tell me that I was a prude because I wasn’t willing to get into his “fettishes” such as swinging, voyerism, etc.  Don’t ever ever ever let someone make you feel bad about not wanting to enter into some type of sexual situation with them.  If what he is asking you to do doesn’t feel right, that is probably because it is NOT right.  Sexual problems are a big red flag.  I would venture to say that most psychopaths have sexual problems that they call “fettishes”.
Extreme behavior even when there are no other obvious signs: (also known as “raging”)
Red flag story:  ”My ex boyfriend burned nearly everything I owned while I was at work.  He never showed any violence before, so I gave him another chance and things went well for another couple of months….until he snapped again and dragged me across the house by my hair, squeezed the breath from my throat as he bashed my head into the wall, and shoved me off the porch.  Sometimes the signs just aren’t there, or they seem so small all the time that you don’t put them together in your head until after something bad happens.”
My thoughts:  I destinctly remember looking into Luc’s eyes and thinking, ‘wow…he looks crazy right now’ while he was in the middle of one of his rages.  Crazy men act crazy when they snap.  While they are mostly on their best behavior, there are moments when they won’t be able to control themselves and they will show you a glimpse of their true self.  When you see that scary look in their eye (or after you have learned that they have burned your stuff), you best leave immediately because it will only get worse.
Attempts to get you away from family and friends:
Red flag story:  ”It happened slowly as we moved to an area that was further away from my family (I have a really close family).  He tried to isolate me by taking my car keys and ringing me every five minutes to make sure I was home.  One night, when I didn’t clean the cutlery to his standard, the next thing I knew he had slammed a phone book into me and started punching it (so he didn’t have any bruises).”
My thoughts:  Bad dudes don’t want you to have friends and they want to cut you off from your family.  Why is this?  Because when they start to beat you they don’t want you to think you have anyone to run to.  This might start out subtle, but eventually it will be obvious that they are not interested in fostering a relationship with those you are close to.  He wants to be your best friend, your lover, and your only family – he wants to own you.  Don’t let him – keep your people (friends and family) close.
Finally, by no means is this a comprehensive list of red flags.  This is simply a list of things other women have shared as red flags they wished they had seen and run from.  When you are in a relationship or considering a relationship with a man, consider both their actions and what they are saying to you.  I leave you with one final thought.  If a man says the following statement (or some variation of) run away fast before you end up in family court with him, and find yourself beating your head against a brick wall in anger:
 ”I haven’t seen my kids since they were born because their mom(s) is/are crazy and kept me away from them.  But, I mean, my kids are my life.  I raised those kids, I was always there for them…”

V-Day

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.  Many people will be celebrating with their loved ones, giving and receiving candy and flowers, and feeling generally warm and fuzzy.  While part of me would love to join in on the love fest, I have decided to write about the other date that falls on February 14th - V-Day.  For those of you who have never heard of this, V-Day is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls inspired by Eve Ensler’s play, The Vagina Monologues.

Critics of V-Day are angry that there are people who want to talk about Domestic Violence on a day that is supposed to be about relationships and love.  To them I say – until domestic violence is no longer tied to “relationships” and “love”, I will continue to talk about it.  I think Valentines Day is the perfect day to talk about this issue.  It is a time when women and men should examine love and relationships and either cherish having found a man who isn’t abusive, plan on how to escape an abusive relationship, or try and help someone who is being abused.

So for my V-Day blog post, I am going to tell one woman’s story of abuse as a tribute to this day.
(Note:  The man in this story is NOT Luc)
“Mr. GQ” and the loss of innocence:

I remember the first time I saw him, he looked like he had walked right out of a GQ magazine.  He was tall, dark, handsome, and very well dressed.  I had arrived at the party early and the only person I knew hadn’t arrived yet.  Though I was super confident, I was also shy around guys.  I was 22, had just graduated from college, and only recently moved away from my entire family.  While I had dated in college, I was still a virgin.  I was waiting for “Mr. Right” or “Prince Charming”.  I still believed in fairytale romance and hoped to one day be swept off of my feet.
Mr. GQ flashed me a smile from across the room.  Initially I looked behind me because I thought he most certainly couldn’t have been looking at me.  A few minutes later, he was standing in front of me asking me for my number.  Over the course of a couple weeks, we went out on several dates and things seemed to be going pretty well.  I told him I wasn’t interested in sex before marriage and to my surprise he seemed cool with that.  One day, he invited me over to his place to watch a movie to which I accepted without a second thought.
Upon arrival, he led me into his bedroom.  I remember asking him why we couldn’t just watch the movie in the den like normal people.  He made up some excuse about the main television being broken and having an annoying housemate.   A couple of minutes after the movie started, he handed me a drink.  Things went south quickly as he moved to taking off my clothes.  I protested and reminded him that I didn’t want to have sex with him.  He told me to be quiet and that it would be over quickly.
I remember feeling confused and scared.  Why didn’t I feel normal?  I felt like I was fighting to remain conscious and I kept blacking out.  Was there something in the drink?  As he forced himself on top of me, he didn’t care that I was pushing him off trying to make it stop nor did he care that I continued to say no.  I felt like a rag doll and he looked like a robot on auto pilot.  After it was over, I was in shock.  I felt dizzy and wondered if this was really happening or if I was going to wake up from this nightmare.
I never called him again.  I went through the next several months wondering if I was still a virgin or whether I could even call that rape since I had agreed to go into his bedroom.  I chose not to report it, because I knew that it would come down to my word against his and I had gone to his room willingly.
The Aftermath:
The woman in the story was 22 year old Cappuccino Queen.  I was raped the first time I had sex.  I don’t talk about my first time, nor do I look upon it with the same fondness that I imagine some women who planned it might.  Until recently, I didn’t even want to consider what happened to me as rape.
Ever since my son died, many people have told me how strong I am.  I wasn’t strong as a 22 year old woman.  I was scared and I let a rapist go free to rape others because I was too afraid to report it.
Almost ten years later, I met Luc (a different guy that Mr. GQ and clearly even worse).  After having lived through such a terrible experience in my 20′s with Mr. GQ, I believed that maybe I had just met someone nice and charming who was actually Prince Charming.  Right after I had Prince, this man I had believed was my Prince Charming (Luc) raped my 19 year old sister.  After learning what he did to her, I wanted my sister to report it.  I didn’t want her to feel the shame that I feel now – ten years from now.  After my sister reported the rape, however, I learned a very scary and painful lesson.  Unless a man jumps out of the bushes with a ski mask on, beats you to a pulp, and its all caught on a retail surveillance camera, you will be lucky if the rapist sees any jail time – you will be lucky if it isn’t turned on you.
Having been a victim myself of this violent crime, I am here to tell you that women don’t report rape for the hell of it – out of anger – or for revenge.  Rape is not a black and white issue and not all rapists jump out of bushes with ski masks.  It takes a very strong woman to admit that she has been raped and EVERY report needs to be taken seriously.  In our country, criminals receive the benefit of innocence until they are proven guilty.  When it comes to rape, that often means the victim is seen as guilty until proven innocent.
Recently, the Washington Post reported about what happened to me and my sister after my sister tried to remove the man who raped her from the streets.  I am certain that instead of being appalled at what occurred, at least one person commented on the article about how awful it is when women report rape falsely.  I am willing to bet that people who jump to the conclusion that the report was false have been in situations themselves where they have committed acts of violence against women.  These people fight fervently to make it seem as if women run around the streets crying rape at the drop of a hat.  This just doesn’t happen.
The man who raped my sister was not an innocent man.  Having potentially escaped the law in several murders, and then after raping a woman not even half his age, he became emboldened.  He felt above the law because he had been.  Then, he went on to kill an innocent child for money.  I can almost guarantee that the police officers who didn’t want to believe this man could possibly be a rapist have still not learned their lessons.  I am willing to bet that these same officers will continue to charge victims and allow criminals who commit acts of sexual violence to walk free.  They will do this because our system allows it and  encourages it.  When  a victim is further victimized by the system – authorities are never punished for getting it wrong.  In fact, the officer who arrested my sister after my sister had been raped was promoted soon after.
This week – I encourage you to celebrate love and cherish healthy relationships.  While you’re receiving flowers and chocolates, however, please also think about the work that still needs to be done in this country before women are truly equal and before we are all truly free.

Domestic Abuse – Stupidity does not unite us

A few days ago I wrote about something I like to call Non-Traditional Domestic Violence.  Since I wrote that post, I have received several emails from women who have lived through all kinds of horrifying abuse at the hands of likely sociopathic men.  I wanted to share some of the experiences of these strong women with my readers.  When I was living through the abuse, I felt very alone.  Even though I had friends and family living near me, I didn’t think anyone would understand what I was going through.  I was not even sure how I would begin to explain why I spent so much time crying.

One of the things people wonder about me is why I write.  Let me clear this up for the record.  I do not write out of vengeance.  While I know that Luc (and likely his old man housemate too) are reading every single word I write, this blog is not for them.  It is also not to try to change the minds of those who don’t believe psychopathy exists.  I write for the mothers (and fathers) who will one day be in family court trying to protect their children, for the man or woman who falls in love with someone who doesn’t exist (a con), for the judges who care about saving kids, for the lawyers who will represent a victim of domestic abuse, for the men and women living through abusive relationships, and most of all – for my son.  I want people to know what happened.  I promised him that I would see to it that his life will is not forgotten and that I will fight for justice.

It’s unfortunate that my son’s story began with his mother’s horribly abusive relationship.  Though its not pretty, it’s important to tell this part of the story.  For all the women who have had the strength to write down their story – me and my baby send you hugs.  Here are a few that I have heard:

1) ” …I found out I was having twins.  My pregnancy was lonely.  He wouldn’t touch me, he wouldn’t speak to me.  He treated me like a test tube only making sure that I had enough nutrition to keep the babies healthy.  I developed pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and was put on bed rest.  While in the bathroom, I collapsed from a pain in my back.  My mother and I tried calling “J” (the sociopath) all night and into the morning.  He did not answer.  I was in the hospital for five days and my boys were in the NICU for 3 weeks.  I was there with them every single day and most nights too.  “J” was not there.”

2) ” …he would tell me that he was going to China to buy a woman whom he would bring back home to raise his sons.  He said a stranger could do a better job that I could.  He called me a “negligent cunt” when he discovered a diaper rash on the baby and he threw dirty diapers at me.  He asked me to leave the house so he could have a prostitute come over.  He would lock the car seats in his car and sleep on the keys so I couldn’t escape with the babies.”

3)  “He stopped letting me sleep at nights.  He would stay up late playing video games and would come into the bedroom periodically doing something idiotic like yelling at me just to wake me up….or he would shove me out of bed and I would end up down on the couch.”

(Note:  At the risk of being a little controversial here, if your boyfriend/husband plays violent video games ALL day and ALL night….to the degree that it impairs his ability to get a job or socialize with others…this is a HUGE red flag.  Luc did this – I should have left when I realized this was a problem.)

4)  “After a year of abuse…I started planning.  I met with a lawyer and I started telling my friends about the abuse (I had previously kept it a secret).  One night, when I knew he would be away – I left.  I had 13 friends and family show up with a moving van.  An aunt took the children and the rest of us packed anything we could for as long as my nerves would hold me at that house.  Then – I left.”

5)  “After he pushed me into a wall, punched me in the stomach (post pregnancy while holding my 3 month old son), and tried to kick in my front door, I gave up and tried to get him to stay away from me and my son.  I finally realized that this was not the kind of man my son needed in his life.  He fought me for custody.  At first it was supervised, but now its unsupervised.  I refused – now we are going back to court because I violated the court order.”

6)  “My ex husband poured scalding water on my face because he was upset with his finances and because I wouldn’t allow him to leave the country with our son.”

7)  “For nine hours, he held me hostage in his apartment, violently assaulted me, suffocated me with a body pillow…he didn’t allow me to use the bathroom.  When I finally told him that I would pee on his floor, he allowed me to go to the bathroom.  While I was using the bathroom, he took pictures of me.  He then told me he would use these pictures to embarrass me.  He did – he sent them to my father’s work e-mail address.”

8)  “I’ve seen the scariest man I have ever met walk into a court room with his head bowed, hands clasped, voice low and one tear on his cheek.  This has only made him more frightening.  I know…how it feels to lose a child.  To lose a child due to another’s complete lack of empathy and, in fact, humanity.”

9)  “…now he has started to emotionally abuse our son.  Every time my five year old son has to go to a court ordered visit, he says ‘please Mommy I will listen, now can I stay at your house?  Please, I don’t want to go to any sleeps at Dad’s.”

10)  “When I finally got the courage to leave him, he held me at gun point.  He told me that I would leave one of two ways – by jumping out of the window or in a body bag after he shot me.”

 

These stories are horrifying, but sadly they are not as uncommon as we would all like to believe.  I have heard the statistic that only four percent of the male population is considered a psychopath.  I wonder, however, how many more have gone undiagnosed and how many people are “on the spectrum” and, while not killers, are still abusive and dangerous.

The women who have shared their stories with me are all pretty, smart, and educated.  They are someone’s daughter, sister, cousin, friend…

Abuse can happen to anyone.  Stupidity is not at all a unifying characteristic for women who have been in abusive relationships.

 

Screaming at the top of my lungs

Today I spent most of my day on a plane traveling.  Looking out at the clouds, my thoughts were a reflection of how my mind is racing in a million directions.  I wondered how my son was doing in heaven, if he was mad at me for not fighting hard enough to protect him, whether Luc would ever have to pay for all the terrible things he has done…

Amongst these thoughts, I also wonder how I will feel once I slow down.  Ever since Prince died, I have been running.  I have been running and “screaming”.  By “screaming” I mean that I have been screaming to everyone who will listen to me through my writing and through my words about what happened to my son.  I haven’t just been screaming since Prince died.  In fact, I started screaming the moment I left Luc’s hellish cave.  The difference now is that it seems as if people are finally listening.  It kills me that it took my son’s death for others to realize what I have known since the moment I walked out of that man’s house and saw what he really was.
Seven weeks ago, I had to take my baby off of life support after learning that his brain was officially dead.  Though I have been trying to run away from the memory of that night, its times like this when those memories creep back into my mind.  I was holding Prince when his heart stopped beating.  I remember wearing a white adidas jacket – he bled all over my sleeve.  I remember feeling completely helpless because no matter what I did – I couldn’t do the only thing I wanted in the world to do.  I couldn’t bring my little boy back.
Last night I was on the phone with a friend.  As I told him about all the plans I had and how I wanted to hold people accountable, he stopped me and said, “You need to grieve.  You can do it now – or later – but you need to grieve.”
He’s right and I know this, but I’m scared.  I’m scared because there is nothing I can do with those thoughts.  I am scared that if I let them in, I won’t get out of bed.  I am scared that I will die right along side my son.
I am also determined not to let Luc have that sort of power over me.  Psychopaths count on scaring their victims into silence.  I will not allow him to do that to me.
So I sit here thinking about how I will “strike a balance” between grief and strength.  I cannot slow down until I am sure my son will not be forgotten.  I think about Prince every day and every minute.  I think about all the things I wish I had done and all the things I wish he had been able to do.  Lately, however, I have also thought about the things that I can do in order to be sure that Prince (through his memory) still has an impact on the living.
Several of my friends and family have expressed the reality in how dangerous it is for me to speak publicly about what Luc has done to me and my family.  I understand that danger better than anyone (because I lived and continue to live in fear).  That being said, I will not stop because even though I was not first – I want to be the last.  I want to be the last woman who is charmed and conned by this man.  I respect my son’s memory and my role as his mother too much to be silent and hide in a corner because I am afraid.
Yesterday I went to the police station.  Before leaving, I said, “If something happens to me, there is only one person who could be responsible.  I have only one person who wishes I were dead and would do anything to silence me.  One person.”  While nobody likes to hear someone say this to them, I am realistic enough to know that my odds of survival are not as good having been involved with this man.
I could be silenced by fear – but that is not who I am.  I guess I wasn’t the perfect target after all.  This particular con ends with me.

Karma is an Angry, Scorned Woman – Watch out Psychopath

Tonight I received a letter from a woman who reads my blog.  She told me that she has been in a Custody War with her psychopath ex for eight years.  She has been through countless hearings and has suffered from both physical abuse at the hands of the psychopath and legal abuse from the courts.  Though her children haven’t been in contact with the psychopath since 2006, he continues to drag her to court for the sheer “enjoyment” of it.  It continues to amaze me how a person can actually ENJOY being in court.  Personally, court makes me feel terrible.  I could be winning and everything could be going my way, yet leaving court often makes me feel terrible because its always an abusive incident when dealing with a psychopath.

The Psychopath Blood Sucking Monster

Many people would read this woman’s story and say, “hey lady, what is wrong with you?  You should be happy your kids don’t have to deal with him and blessed to have left that abusive situation!”  I, however, understand how terrible she feels being dragged through the coals of court over and over again.  It doesn’t matter if the psychopath is clearly a dysfunctional mess.  The courts don’t care about the fact that this process allows a psychopath continued access and a constant chance to feed off of the emotions of their victim like a blood sucking predator sucking the life out of its prey.  This poor woman has been dragged back to court every six weeks for the past eight years.  In the psychopath’s feable brain, he believes this is a perfect scenario.  He doesn’t actually have to BE a father, but he gets to pretend he cares while causing maximum pain and suffering to the person he believed scorned him.

My Advice

Let’s be honest – I have only been in this hell for a year and a half; therefore, I completely understand that I am just chipping the top of the iceberg on information about psychopaths and how to recover.  That being said, sometimes I feel as if my story mirrors so many others.  There are so many women (and sometimes men too) who have suffered at the hands of these monsters.  When I read this letter, my first reaction was near panic as I realized how possible it is that I could be fighting this same war eight years from now – even 17 years from now.

So in moments of panic and despair, what do I do?

1)  I look at my son and realize he is worth it.  He is worth every minute of the fight.  I have said this before and I will say it again.  I would go to the end of the earth, jump off, feel the pain of the impact, and do it all over again for my son – every single day of my life.  I can have the worst day and feel completely helpless, but coming home to his smiles and hugs keeps me fighting this war.

2)  I try to put things into perspective.  Luc chose me for a reason.  I had my life together.  I was successful and I had an amazing life ahead of me.  No matter how long this war takes, I will still be me and he will still be him.  He is a parasite who lives to feed off of people whom he wishes he could be.  I have the power to NOT react to his terror; therefore, I had the power to take away his supply.

3)  Finally, God works in mysterious ways and Karma is an angry, scorned woman who gets her revenge on people like Luc – psychopaths.  I believe that God and Karma work as a good team.  Luc will have to answer to God someday.  He will be standing at the gates of heaven and likely receive a heavy kick in the butt on his way down to hell.  Karma, on the other hand, works her magic here on earth.  Psychopaths aren’t happy people because no matter how much they get away with – bad things always happen to them eventually.

There have been many moments over the past year when I have been reduced to tears – crying and shaking in a corner like an infant.  I am sure I will have more of these moments before my son turns 18 and the courts finally allow me to remove Luc’s vampire fangs from my neck.  In the meantime, however, I will always be baby boy’s mom.  At some point, we are more important than all this.  So allow yourself to cry, but don’t forget to also allow yourself to have some joy in the midst of the madness.  Let Karma’s rage and fury take care of the psychopath.

Society Blames the Victim Instead of the Psychopath

I am not sure why I am still shocked when people choose to blame the psychopath’s victim.  I have heard that this is normal from others who have suffered from an encounter with psychopath, but I still get a shock each time it happens to me.  From friends, to family, to the courts, to complete strangers – people seem to want to find something wrong with me to somehow better explain to themselves how this happened to me.  It has been happening so long that sometimes I find myself wondering there is something wrong with me that made me ignore the red flags and believe the completely fantastic story he was telling me.

The Judgements:

This week alone, I have experienced both friends and family trying to psycho analyze me and question how I ended up with such a monster as the father of my son.  I am not sure how to respond to people when they ask me absurd questions or decide that it was somehow my fault that I ended up being conned by Luc.  Here are some of the things I have heard over the past year (the first two were said just this week):

1)   “CQ, really…how did this happen?  What were you thinking?  I mean, please don’t feel as if I am blaming you…but how did you not see this coming?”  -  An old friend

2)  ”I know what happened….I think CQ must like to be controlled by an abusive man.”  -  A family member (behind my back)

3)  ”Let’s be honest…you wanted a bad boy…so you are now getting what you asked for and deserve.  My daughter, who is your age, would never be in this situation because she doesn’t like bad boys.  She is marrying a man who wears suits and collared shirts.”  -  My Lawyer

4)  ”You are not without fault here CQ, what you saw in this man…well, it must have been fairy dust…and now the fairy dust has disappeared and you are going to have to deal with him for at least the next 18 years.”  -  The Judge

5)  ”You didn’t have a problem with him touching you, so you shouldn’t be so bothered that he is now touching your son.”  -  Family member

My Reality:

The hardest thing for people to understand, it seems, is how a person can be conned by someone who is so clearly dysfunctional.  My response to that is, “when a person’s full time job is to learn everything about you – your hopes, dreams, weaknesses – in order to exploit and con you – you will likely end up conned.”  I have used the analogy before of the frog and the boiling water and in this case I can’t think of another analogy that would prove my point any better.  Psychopaths control the boiling water.  They know that if they threw their victims into a pot of boiling water, most people would jump right out screaming and cursing at them.  Instead, they slowly bring the water to boil with the intension of burning their victims alive.

Every time I walk into court, I feel like I am holding my heart inside of my chest with my bear hands.  This process, this war, with Luc has torn me apart from the inside out.  Luc’s boiling water effectively ripped me apart, but sometimes I feel as if the judgement and misunderstanding I receive from those I love and society at large is worse.  I went from being a beautiful, self confident, intelligent, and successful woman – to a victim of a completely misunderstood abuse.  Luc burned me alive, but society will always blame me as if I willingly jumped into a burning fire along side satan.

The Future:

I want my son to know his mama as the woman I was – but wiser.  I dread the day when my son might join society and make judgements about what happened with his father.  Will he understand how his father used my kindness against me?  Will he understand why I tried to hold the relationship together even when it seemed clear to the rest of the world that it was a hopeless situation?  Will he understand why I fought so hard to protect him from a man I once trusted?

It’s easy to think about all the horrible things Luc is and ignore the things that attracted me to this man.  While many of the things that attracted me to Luc were not real (most of them were completely fake actually), there are good qualities in Luc.  (Yes, you read that correctly)  Despite the fact that my family refuses to see anything of Luc in baby boy, this is not the stance I will take as baby boy’s mother.  Luc wasn’t born evil – he made choices.  He took his talents and used them for evil.  For example, being charming is not a bad thing if you don’t use it to manipulate and control others.  Being a good actor isn’t a bad thing as long as you use it on stage to entertain instead of to lie and cheat.

I love baby boy for everything that he is and that means that I accept the fact that he is the product of what now feels like a violent emotional rape.  I refuse to make my son feel bad for carrying half of the psychopath’s genes and I also refuse to lie to him.  So while I kick myself every day for not paying attention to the now obvious red flags of Luc’s psychopathy, and I suffer through the constant judgements I receive from others, I would do it all over again for baby boy.  I didn’t choose what Luc really is – but I will choose baby boy every day for the rest of my life.