Sunday, October 7, 2012
The Sociopath: I thought it was normal to wonder when husband would kill me
….and I would have thought I deserved it and that my family would be better off without me anyway. I know he wanted to kill me because we would talk about it. I know exactly how he wanted to do it: he would strangle me to feel his power over me and my life. Why in the world did I think that was normal? That desire in him has only increased; I’ve seen it in his eyes. His internal rage toward me ebbs and flows, unpredictably, and actually silences produce my greatest fears. I’m thankful he and his family are not able to save money because, for now, their credit seems to have dried up or I would still be in court. I avoid communicating with him as much as possible, but then every month or so I have some sort of interaction to gauge his current level of internal rage and understand my level of danger. I have learned to predict him somewhat by staying as emotionally distant and logical as possible; I’ll never understand his thinking or actions, but I do have enough of a history that I know what to look for and sometimes can stay a step ahead. I have had to train my brain to react differently than with anybody else. I NEVER think that what I say or do has any influence over what he will say and do. I try NEVER to be influenced by an “act of kindness” or engage with cruel comments. This is difficult to do, but essential when dealing with a sociopath. I give him as little information as possible and try to NEVER antagonize him.
There is not nearly enough information about sociopaths who live among us, but what information I have found is so disturbingly consistent and similar to my experiences that when I read I become physically ill, my circulation decreases so that I’m very cold and my body starts to tremble. I am fearful simply reading and remembering painfully similar information; this fear has been instilled over decades and will be difficult to change. Others have said this same thing to me about my story. If you’ve had dealings with, and been affected by, a sociopath it’s difficult to not become afraid again. I still fear him and I can hardly believe I lived so intimately with such wickedness.
A friend and colleague, who follows my blog, mentioned a television show that reminded him of Peter. This show is a popular detective show and the suspect was being interrogated. To determine if he was lying, detectives set a plate of cookies on the table and left the room. They observed him eating a cooking through the two-way mirror. The detectives returned to the room and asked the man if he had eaten a cookie. He said no so they explained that they had watched him eat the cookie and he denied it again and again.
About a year before Peter finally left, I found web addresses on my work computer he wasn’t even trying to hide. One was “How to Catch a Cougar,” and other dating websites. I confronted him and he denied it, without flinching, over and over again. I showed him the websites, went to them and showed him the time and date he was on them (while I was at work during the day). Nothing mattered, he would not waver. During the year-long divorce, Peter had taken documents to Warren’s elementary school. I believe they were motions, but whatever they were I was completely cut off from Warren while he was at school, though I never lost joint custody. I was escorted off of the school grounds three times and not allowed to pick up Warren for therapy or medical appointments. I was told over and over that they needed documentation that countered what had already been filed at the school. The parent coordinator at that time sent documents and called, the GAL did as well and my attorney. Nothing mattered the school would not let me take Warren out of the building and I was not allowed into the building for most of that year. Finally, the parent coordinator sent the final divorce decree which stated joint custody. Peter not only repeatedly denied ever taking anything to the school or talking to anyone, he was infuriated that everyone would make such accusations against him. These were the circumstances under which the female parent coordinator resigned from our case. These are just a few examples.
I have two friends that, when they tried to get away from their sociopath husbands, without any means, lost their children. This was the Walton’s tactic as well, they were going to ruin me financially so I could not fight in court and they could take everything. In one case, the boy, now in his 20s has spent a decade fighting drug addiction. When he was court ordered rehab his sociopath father abandoned him. His mother, cut off from him for a decade, is the only person that he has now. My other friend lost her children at 6 and 7 to her sociopath husband. As soon as they turned 12 they asked to live with her, seeing their father for who he was. She picked them up at the airport horrified to hear their stories of the last 6 years. One is a stripper, the other a drag queen. Wonderful adults who are wounded from the 6 years they lost their mother. Another friend won the custody of her children, but the oldest female will not speak to her, as in my situation. Sociopaths require complete loyalty or they will reject even their own children.
I walk a fine line with my 8 year old Warren. I have to be very careful to offer him enough connection to his father to see for himself, but not so much that he is sucked down into the Walton family den. I made a mistake last week. Warren was on the phone with his dad and sitting next to me. He kept putting the phone on speaker and playing with it. I could hear his dad say more than five times to tell “his mother this and that.” He was attempting to find out if he would have excused absences from school for his recent illness. I don’t know what he’s up to, but he’s very concerned about Warren’s school and school activities hold a lot of weight in family court. And as I’ve just mentioned, who knows what he’s told the school about me and the divorce, they certainly don’t appreciate me at all. I finally had it and grabbed the phone and said to Peter, “If you have an adult matter that you need to discuss with me you can email me and copy our parent coordinator. Warren is a child and should not be involved in adult matters. Say goodnight, Warren needs to get to bed.” I was rude and unprofessional…Warren was crying. Warren said to me, “You were mean to my dad.” I messed up. I looked him in the eye and said, “Yes, I was and that is your dad and I was wrong. I’m sorry I made you feel uncomfortable.” He stopped crying, but I need to be very careful to take the higher road and be the parent he feels comfortable expressing himself with, the parent he feels safe with and the parent he can attach to. He will need to figure this out on his own, even though, wow, it’s difficult to let him go for even a weekend.
Every day I wake up and think…I’m free…I’m safe right now..I’m lucky…my beautiful son is in the next room, most minutes in most days I am free. Yes, I am still afraid, but now, what I feel more than any other emotion is…JOY.
at 8:04 PM