Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Religious Sociopath: Honor Thy Father and Mother

From the beginning, dating Peter, I was forced to sever potentially threatening relationships. I was almost able to get away from him when I decided on a college 400 miles away, but that was not meant to be. He started at my college the next year and there began my isolation. It wasn't overt, but a subtle withholding or a misplaced emotional outburst. Basically manipulating me into severing most of the relationships I had developed in the past year. Peter would cut off from his own friends and family as well. Any threat would be eliminated.

I have been racking my brain trying to remember the phrasing of the scripture shrouded mantra for the family cuts because I am sure that phrase is being used with my daughters. And because I believe the sharing of my story to be my calling, I stumbled upon the actual letter.

On May 9, 2006 Peter wrote the following. Peter had severed relations with his family for years prior to this, the mantra being John and Jack were narcissists. John Walton had showed up at our house. Peter escorted him to the back porch and would not let him into the house. John had driven hundreds of miles. John confessed to ongoing affairs throughout his entire marriage to Elaine. He said there had been no bond with any of the women; so basically he fornicated for decades. Peter thought back and realized that must have been why they moved so much...church secretaries. John was mysteriously let go as president of a liberal arts college with speculation of an affair. This is the alma mater of Peter, myself, my oldest daughter, David and Susan, my parents and brother.

John Walton,

I am writing to respond to your unannounced visit last Monday. I want you to know that I in no way believe you to be repentant--you are a liar. Nothing in what you said suggested to me that you actually care about my wellbeing now, any more than you did when I grew up without your emotional presence. The cost of your self-worship is a son who doesn't desire relating to his father in any way. I believe you are a destructive influence on me and my family. I don't care if you believe otherwise; I'm not interested in any contrary evidence you might submit for consideration.

You are a tiny person manipulating weak-minded people in order to perpetuate your own kingdom, which shields you from undesirable realities. I honor my father by telling you I utterly oppose you. I will not enter your kingdom every again. You will not be permitted in my home again, and I will work to weaken your manipulative power whenever I can. I suspect you will not be able to keep your walls up much longer. All I encounter will know the truth about you.

I will explain to my children that their grandfather is not fit to interact with any of his grandchildren. Perhaps at your coming funeral I will explain the same to a larger audience: John Walton was unfit to deliver the gospel when he failed to receive the good news!

Peter Walton

So how about that chilling letter? Scary isn't it? This is the man Peter turned to when our parting was inevitable. John showed up in court proudly standing by a son who shrugs off people, when they become unnecessary, like animals. John and Jack (who paid every cent of Peter's attorney) and Ben seemed delighted to destroy me, without consideration of the children involved.

I'm sure that I am being "honored" by utterly opposing me and leaving my kingdom. The problem is the undeniable biological draw between a mother and her child. How cruel to deny a child that attachment; what devotion to Peter's pulsating rage.


Monday, October 7, 2013

An Interview

I have been contacted by a freelance writer who would like to interview me for a magazine. She believes this the best way to market my book, along with this blog.

What did your ex do to you to get the bruise on your eye and why? How many times did he beat you? Often and for how many years?
Your questions are what anyone would ask. Domestic violence has become more readily acknowledged thanks to a force of passionate researchers and courageous victims. I see this as similar to the "CSI effect," where jurys expect some sort of biological evidence in order to prosecute; eye witness accounts and testimony no longer hold the weight they once did. I am thankful he hit me hard enough to inflict the damage he did. I needed those pictures for my divorce trial or no one would've believed the real terror I endured. Too often women will contact me, with similar stories, wishing that they had been hit so they had evidence for children, court, friends or family. This would make their story “believable” and prove that they weren’t crazy. It has generated the most concern since I came out of the closet with my story; it was the least pain Peter inflicted on me. I didn't even feel it I was so numb. I remember my only thoughts being about how to cover it up so my co-workers wouldn't do something to Peter. A few days later, Peter started to escalate with threats of taking everything from me and I had the wherewithal to take pictures of myself. The mind control is by far the worst form of abuse; you lose yourself and become very small and helpless. The ultimate goal being my suicide, thinking it was the only way out, and he nearly succeeded. Sociopaths are, for the most part, very cool, methodical, intelligent and unbreakable. Peter had a vulnerable moment where he was also intoxicated; his physical violence was generally putting me in positions where I couldn’t move and suffocation. When abuse is primarily psychological it’s difficult to convince anyone of victimization. It’s already taken me pages and pages to try and articulate this insidious and subtle form of abuse. For those with similar stories they are very appreciative, that is my greatest motivation; initially it was a public documentation for my protection.

What do you want to draw attention to in order to help other women?
These people are real and they can entrap any of us. No one that has dealt with a sociopath would argue that I’m exaggerating. Those that have not might find what I am saying downright silly.  To end this, as with any problem, is to do the opposite of what an abuser would want: talk about it, break it wide open.

What do you hope other women will learn from your story?
You are not crazy. You are not alone. If you make any changes or try to leave be prepared, there is no conscious so the unimaginable is going to happen. You will be treated unjustly and there will be casualties. They have an obsessive perseverance that will take your breath away. You won’t be able to keep up if you fall apart or second guess; get in the fight immediately.

What year did you leave and when did you get divorced? Is he still causing trouble or is he leaving you alone now that he is living in another country?
August 1, 2011; my first taste of freedom. I am always on guard and always will be. He will not stop trying to shame me or take whatever he can from me. It’s wonderful that he left the country; that was a huge bite of freedom.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Life on the Other Side: A Love Story

A lot has happened this summer, preventing me from blogging. Jason was transferred from almost 4,000 miles away. I moved from my previous location, with Warren, 10 hours away, and in with Jason. I gave my renters over a month and lived in tense silences and anger I could feel, which was much worse than if they had just talked about it or confronted me; even yelling at me would've been better.  I know it stunk for them. A few weeks before the move, my toilet leaked bringing up the pleasant smell of animal urine from years before. Jason paid to have my entire house re-carpeted. If anyone knows the trials of selling items on Craig's List...it's a part time job and the haggling is very tiresome. But, I sold most of what I owned, the night before I moved, finally my washer and dryer. My brother flew in and packed my 10 foot truck while I sat in court with Peter, on the phone again, avoiding his responsibilities. It was both scary and exciting. I had lived in that area for 19 years; it was the only place Warren had ever known. I was able to maintain my current position with a slight reduction in pay and teach my class as a web-based course.

It was the best decision I could've made for my son and me. Physical health is obviously interrelated to emotional and mental health. Warren has gained 19 pounds and grown 4 inches. He doesn't have any digestive issues anymore and rarely wets the bed. He eats whatever we cook and is an overall well behaved, adjusted and healthy boy. He loves his new school and is thriving, running over two miles most days (they have PE and an option to run every day). He went from being one of the smallest boys in his class at school to being one of the biggest. He is strong, confident, speaks up for himself, popular (we have kids running through our house whenever we allow it); he smiles all the time. I love being Warren's mom and tell him every day.

Today, we have had a typical peaceful Sunday. I've sat on the porch grading papers watching Jason close our pool. He works so hard around the house. Peter's idea of working around the house was proudly trimming the shrubs leaving the scraps for me to gather, which is a good picture of our union. I do not take Jason for granted and am thankful for everything he does. And my gratefulness is reciprocated; I am thanked and loved tenderly, daily. My work productivity has increased exponentially.

Now, a group of neighborhood boys have congregated on our back porch to watch Jason practice shooting his compound bow, from now 60 yards. He is the Super Hero of the neighborhood. Jason is a well decorated, yet humble, Navy SEAL. So for those of you who have become convinced that they could never do better, as I was told instead of being loved and cherished....keep reading....the love story…

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Who I Am: Fear (Part I)

I loved to be outside with my brothers. We just loved the outside. We always lived in the country so we didn’t have many friends to play with outside, just ourselves.  Growing up, with limited income, we played with home-made milk carton blocks,  Barbies, matchbox cars,  imaginary play; mostly  played outside!! Their children and Warren are much the same way we were; sun up to sun down outside playing.

When I was in elementary school I imagined flying above everyone else in line for the cafeteria and being above all the difficulties and misfortunes that haunt children then and today. In middle school, I was a 60 pound, red headed, freckled face, awkward girl. I was filled with insecurities, anxieties and un-comfortableness with my changing body and mind. I always felt different, awkward and always hiding from shame.
But… I also had an adventurous side.  The older of my brothers and I would often do something we called “creeking” (We grew up in upstate New York with an abundance of water sources). This meant that we would put on old jeans and sneakers and head to nearby waterfalls. We would spend most of the day going up stream against the current, sometimes in water above our chests. We would sometimes slip under the water and the current would take us until we could maintain footing on slippery, mossy rocks.  Those were some of the best and most exciting days of my life. I loved summer creeking days and walking along the edge of an at least three story high water fall. There I was confident, stable, strong and grounded both mentally and physically.

He and I also loved to climb all over the roof of our old farm house. I remember sitting straight up on the highest peak looking over the edge to the front lawn; I could see the top branches of the fully grown oak trees in our front lawn at eye level.  
What happened to me that I would have a devastatingly incapacitating fear of heights?  Fear of people, of situations; fear of what might happen, what might currently be happening….

I went to a water park this summer. I hate even the steps up to the slide. All day I was lovingly badgered by my companions to go down the scariest slide. I began to “work up to it.” I thought back to my creeking days and wondered why this was so damn hard. It was a 10 foot straight drop and then sharp turns. The slide began in an enclosed case with the sound of a beating heart.  I wanted so much to bravely conquer this unnatural (for me) fear.  I got into the torture chamber and told myself to just keep breathing through the seconds of free fall. I was in a full panic by the time the floor dropped out from under me. The next thing I realized I was underwater and thought, “really?  They fill the tubes with water for further torture?”  As I came to my senses…. I was at the bottom and could get out. I did it. I survived. I did it again just to be sure.
For some reason physical and emotional abuse, especially by someone promising to care and love, affects the external environment as well. A horse freely running one day might after being beaten repeatedly fear leaving the stall of a barn. We sink into smaller places as our emotional and physical stability is robbed. Our freedom, our bravery, our ability to understand how our physical bodies will react in the environment is stolen. I have, systematically, put myself into situations I fear to practice freedom. I’ll get back on those roof tops.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

From the Beginning: Emotional Incest

While cleaning out my attic, I found a journal I kept when my oldest daughter was born. I was just over 2 months into my 20th year (Jan 1, 1991). Although I was very young and had to have the nurse show me how to change a diaper, I wrote pages about how much I loved her; how overjoyed I was to hold her and watch her. I carefully documented her birth, her every move and every development. My words show a deep and steadfast motherly love.

Jan 14, 1991 "...I can hear you stirring in the bassinet at the end of the bed, it's 1:42am and I'm wondering when you'll wake up for your feeding. I miss you and can't wait to hold you close to me. You're my little girl and I love you so much. I hope you'll always love me back..."

Jan 25, 1991 "I've already gone back to work at PASS (an after school program)...It is almost unbearable to leave you, I hate it."

And then July 1993 my entries stopped. The next and last entry was completely different.

June 22, 1994 "It's been a long time honey, I'm sorry. I'm sorry for sleeping in the mornings. You are such a good girl....."

Looking back, it's clear what happened. At the beginning, my essence was still bubbling forth; I had taken to motherhood, wholeheartedly, accepting my unexpected role as if there was no other path for me. But within a few short years, my organic generally positive, happy and outgoing individuality had been altered within a controlling and fear-based union. I had become depressed and had begun my slow, methodical decent toward the edge of sanity and insanity.

Many scientific journal articles include psychological aggression (behaviors that are non-violent but are intended to increase or maintain control over the victim) as intimate partner violence. These behaviors include insults and name-calling, restriction of victim’s contact with friends and family, isolation and financial abuse.

“Women with a history of IPV face severe health consequences, including poor mental health…depression, anxiety, poor social functioning, poor physical health, increased substance use, and increased frequency of chronic disease, chronic mental illness, and injury compared to women without histories of IPV.”

I went through nearly a dozen wheels for my girls’ wagon, pulling and pushing to every free service or food bank…..a scavenger. Peter’s answer was to ask for money from family. He was not compelled to take responsibility himself; it was always someone else’s fault and responsibility for our poverty.

In an email from Peter at the end of March 2013, where he justifies not paying support for Warren, Peter says this: I don't have any excess cash. I put my money toward raising two daughters solely…”

The daughters he “is raising” are ages 19 and 22. So he is providing for two young women as if spouses. He took no financial responsibility for his real spouse and those same daughters when young. Only when they became young women did he chose to put his money toward them. They are very isolated and cut off from family and friends that counter the Walton’s agenda, and remain very much within the Walton's perimeter, as if in an intimate partner violence union. That’s what Peter demands…complete loyalty and control.

The circle is not a little mind-blowing:  When I was 19 I was pregnant, when I was 22 I was raising the two year old that Peter now supports, but was not compelled to do then, when she truly needed his financial contribution (at least). So Peter “supports” two adult female children and makes excuses as to why he can’t support the male 9 year old.

At one of Warren’s baseball games last year, a friend leaned over to me and said, “it looks like Peter found someone else; maybe he’ll leave you alone now.” I looked and turned to her sadly and said, “that’s my daughter, not his girlfriend,” and to see the look on her face made me feel even more helpless.
When we were in divorce proceedings and I was still interacting with my middle daughter, she picked up arguing with me where Peter had left off. She ridiculed, belittled and scolded me as if it were him. She accused me of things from his imagination. Beyond the sheer astonishment that I felt from her acting more like Peter than my own daughter, I realized he was sharing everything with her. He was talking to her like his spouse and she was taking care of him and defending her, just like I had done.

I stayed too long and tolerated too much. I betrayed myself and my daughters. I was scared of so many things….. Dear Precious Daughters,
It's been a long time, I'm sorry. I'm sorry for sleeping through 2 decades. You are such a good girls….

 From: Blogger "Going Down in a Blaze of Glory"

[1] Adkins, K.S., Dush, C.M.Kamp. The mental health of mothers in and after violent and controlling unions. Social Science Research. 39 (2010) 925-937.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Life on the Other Side: Cleaning My Closets

The housing market has finally turned around and I am trying to sell my house. I was awarded the house in the divorce settlement and it's far too big and expensive. My weekends are spent with upkeep; the responsibility is overwhelming. It has been a huge burden with no help.
Along with the upkeep of having the house "showing ready" I'm packing up my attic. It has been physically and emotionally exhausting.

I saved the dresses my girls were photographed in, I saved every worksheet, report card, ballet shoe, dance outfit, every pointe shoe, piano book, favorite baby clothes, pictures, albums, baby books, toys, dolls, room decorations...and now what do I do with all this?

I'm taking it one box at a time...

I sold the Barbies and the doll house toys, some clothes and some room decorations. Things that weren't as sentimental as others. I've sold the living room furniture and other smaller furniture. I'm still paying attorney fees so I'm selling everything I can.

Today I began the photo albums and miscellaneous awards and papers. I found dozens of cards and notes to me, their mother, the mother they hate now. I found notes from Peter thanking me for bringing the girls into the world and taking such good care of them (while I was a "team player" allowing myself to be controlled, I was a "good mother."). I should have gone through this prior to the divorce trial when I was accused of the exact opposite.

But here I am reading and remembering my life with my girls. It was hard, but I loved being with them. They brought me tremendous joy and love.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Dear Ma, I love you, ur the greatest ma alive. You are always supportive of me. Thanks for offering kind and gentle words to me. You are wonderful...

You have been a great mother! You still are a great mother! You are such an amazing mom. You even cared about me during your doctorite (and that's hard, because a doctorite is hard). You know what you are? Your warm, you are fun, your my whole sunshine. I love you! XXxOoOXOxoXx (ask for explanation).

A card "The beautiful center of our family."
Dear Mom, Like the card said, you are the center of our family. Happy Birthday P.S. I hope you like your present.

Dear Mom you are a genius at work but a lover at home. Happy Birthday
And that's what your famous for!

I love you, You are my very best Mom. You are my friend. You are we, I love you better than anything! I love you with my heart.

Dear Mom,

Because you were here you've been a role model. Also you've helped me be more confident about myself. You do just the right things a mom should do. You do not embrass me because I'm not afriad to say "that's my mom over there!" Also you let me express myself through ballet and art. It always makes me feel good when you say I did awesome on my dance. Yours truly...

Dear Mommy, I love you very very very much! I missed you so much. I hated being away from you. I never ever want you to leave.

And now we are apart and I hope they're ok. It would be hard to live without a mother. I hope....they  see me in their past...sometimes. Mine is FILLED with them.

I miss my girls so much.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Religious Sociopath

Peter is fanatically religious. Members of the Walton family rarely write or speak without incorporating scripture. They use scripture as a way of judging others using knowledge they believe to have been bestowed especially to them. They then wield this extraordinary power in supporting whatever decisions they make and whomever they decide to ban together to destroy. Even when the Walton men find themselves answering for various indiscretions, there is no hesitation to destroy the victim, without remorse. They place themselves so centered in religious communities and institutions that their passionate words are more easily believed. Christians are the least likely to believe (generally believing the best in others) that they could be so dishonest and manipulative, unless they maybe had first or second hand experiences with the coldhearted.

Peter is convincing Warren to become a priest.  If Warren were a priest, the Waltons would proudly bring him into their religious circle without worry that Warren might have a life outside of the family and in doing so see more clearly the cult-like Walton way. He would personify this extraordinary religious gift the Walton’s have spent decades to cultivate. This is not about Warren, this is about the family and what would best promote the family agenda.
Every Sunday when Peter Skype’s with Warren he asks if Warren has attended Mass. If we haven’t, he sighs a judgmental and shaming sigh. It is meant for me; Peter likes to send me messages through Skype….He then “blesses” Warren at the end of Skype sessions. Meanwhile, I still receive hostile and condescending emails. Three emails ago Peter, shaming me about child support, said, “the money I [Samantha] was able to procure from the judge.”  So while Peter looks toward the future and what Warren can do for him, playing pretend daddy when Warren needs more obvious daily support, Warren and I live day after day together creating a life with less guilt and shame and more love and freedom.

Religious talk unsettles me still; it takes me back to Peter and his family and all of the guilt, shame, judgments, and hate. I know they’ve come up with some mantra for my daughters as to how to circumvent the honoring your mother commandment…something probably like “they are honoring their mother by….tough love…” something that will justify their dishonor and hatred. I’ve heard the mantras for other Walton victims and they literally repeat the story and mantra so much, and with so much consistency between family members, it does become believable.  And thinking about the circular energy I experienced, even Peter’s very redundant, circular emails….I think the Waltons are orbiting, year after year,  a very earthly god… and that’s the Waltons. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Life on the Other Side: The Creepers

Jason was also married to a sociopath. She has used his children against him without regard for their mental, physical or emotional well-being. She had nothing other than contempt for him while married and to this day lives to control and destroy him. She also lies as if it’s breathing. I could devote an entire book describing her and what she’s done. Jason helped me write “You Might Be Married to a Sociopath If....” because our sociopaths said and did so many things exactly alike, as if they were referencing the same play book. It’s both good and bad that we were both married to nearly the same individual. It’s good because we, without hesitation, believe one another and take any communication from the other party very seriously. He helps me respond with my situation and I his. It’s bad because it’s double the stress for both of us. And we are rarely free from attacks from one of them.

Over Christmas, while I was with Jason (we live very far apart with him being in the military), he received an email from his x wife. It was really a five page rant/rage against me. The difference between her and Peter is where he can restrain himself sometimes she seems to have very little self-control sending at least a hundred  pages of emails trying to coerce him into more communication with her. She shows a great deal of emotion and instability in her emails and is either drunk when she writes them or her psyche is diminishing. She is not very bright, though very resolute in her schemes to destroy Jason for leaving her, where Peter is a dangerously intelligent manipulator. For example, she is very direct in her parent alienation and deteriorating respect for Jason with his children, where Peter’s is more insidious and undetectable. Both end with the same results. Honestly, together they could wreak some havoc in our lives and have.

Jason and I share all communications we have with these two miserable individuals (I use miserable because they both wallow in their victimization and negativity and will tell anyone who will listen). Around November there was a statement in an email from Jason’s X that made us both think our Xs were talking, but didn’t know for sure. The Christmas break email rant included, for instance, the social services case that Peter had initiated before moving out of the country. Peter would not have known the case was closed as unsubstantiated; only the person accused is notified of the findings. So her misinformation about an ongoing case would have come from Peter. Those records are confidential, I know because part of my work involves working with that particular department. She either received that information directly from Peter or Peter could have easily “convinced” my oldest daughter to communicate with her by inciting her anger toward me making Jason the reason for the broken marriage. Regardless they are sharing information. The same things I fought in my own case are now appearing in Jason’s case. They are most definitely communicating in some way.

Neither has moved on and continue to be obsessed with relationships long gone. So when we are not stressed about continued attorney fees and anticipated histrionics from both, we have actually laughed about the two of them together.

They both, very proudly, continue to make statements in emails with information only the other would know. It is of course meant to unsettle Jason and me and, again, without regard for how that appears to the normal person…..CREEPY!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Life on the Other Side: Continued Financial Abuse and Chaos

I was actually thinking today I just might have it made. For years I tried to get Peter to pay just his school loans and nothing else. To work at a coffee shop and earn just $600 per month to pay that one bill. He had to take on that debt in our settlement and now he owes me $900 per month in child support. So I was thinking, wow, not only is he required to pay his own bills, but I'm getting help taking care of Warren, for a change, and I have him most days of the year! Even the poorest of dads pay child support and the courts and society don't look kindly on the "dead beat dads." Eventually he'll have to pay me the over six thousand he owes in back payment and then the continued$ 900 per month!

Ha! With a Sociopath there is never reprieve. Ever. I have received $500.00 from Peter in the almost year I've had Warren. Today I received notice from the bank that there were insufficient funds in his account and I was charged for the transaction. Of course he can't pay me. He will make demands and belittle my parenting from another country and not look out for Warren's best interest though he declares that's his only concern.

I recently had a water heater break and there was a substantial amount of water damage in my house. I had used that money to help offset those costs. Now I will be very tight until the end of the month. How dare I count on a check from Peter. It still hasn't taken root that Peter does not care for anyone but Peter. Warren is only a pawn and Peter breaks the law without regard for Warren. He has no normal fear of consequences. He thinks he will swoop in and take Warren from me when he sees fit. He can't take care of him now. Peter has not had sole responsibility for a child ever; he couldn't handle the daily care of a nine year old child. I will continue to gladly take full responsibility for my child and won’t expect anything from Peter. I cannot wait until the day I don’t have to hear or read anything from Peter ever again.  


Sunday, February 10, 2013

From the Beginning: I don't think I can....

I was a stay at home mother who had just given up my dream job I had worked a decade to obtain. I realize now that of course Peter would not have tolerated me continuing in this line of work; positive messages would have persisted and promotions alone a boost in self-esteem. I was also finding my individuality away from Peter, identifying talents and developing a promising career. Most importantly self-efficacy was taking root. Killing this is fundamental in a controlling relationship.

In 1977 Albert Bandera published a seminal paper defining self-efficacy as a person’s belief that they can succeed in situations. Weak self-efficacy means a person would avoid challenges; believe difficult actions to be beyond their individual capabilities, a focus on failings and negative outcomes and diminishing confidence of personal abilities. An abuser does not want their victim thinking they have any options but to stay and tolerate however they chose to live. The victim begins to circle around the abuser losing mindfulness of self and purpose thinking everything is beyond their control. The sociopath feeds on this weakness gaining power and control.

To put my transition to being house bound in further perspective I’ll go back to college. During my two years of freedom my freshman and sophomore years in college, I had three suite mates, two of which are still very dear friends. We often talked about the future and came to conclusions of how we all would end up. I was so ambitious and career oriented we all joked that I would likely not have children if I even got married. In high school I was voted most likely to succeed. I am one of those females that thrive when being productive in and out of the house. I have a strong personality and since freeing myself of Peter have been called often an Alpha Chick.  But just a few years out of college I was weak and helpless.

Peter decided he would work part time and attend Seminary part time. He decided to change his degree from Theology to Counseling. He believed me to be so unstable he needed to help me by getting a counseling degree instead. He also thought there was a lot of redundancy between the Theology degree and the Master’s degree he had just earned in American History. He worked at a religious home for children and youth that had to be removed from their homes for various behavioral problems. He worked evenings and most weekends so he could study and take classes during the week. He needed a lot of time and quiet, when he wasn’t working, to take a course, even needing to stay in a hotel during stressful times in the semester. Peter had done a wonderful job of making everything about him again.

Evenings and weekends are family times and the city we lived in had nowhere to engage in social activities. No McDonalds, no library, no central place to meet people. Additionally, I had given up full-time pay and with Peter making minimum wage and Seminary being very expensive we had very little to live on. This is a recipe for nearly complete isolation and disaster.

I remember needing milk for the girls (1 and 4) and having no car, no family nearby and no friends, I decided to put the girls in their wagon and walked to the store. It was at least in the upper 80s, it was a hilly route and it was about 4 miles one way. Peter was working a double shift and would not be home until the next day. I made this trek often in winter and summer. I was alone nearly all day every day with sometimes no money for food. I got us food stamps again and Women, Infant and Children (WIC) help. I also began to “wheel” the girls to the local food bank, also across town. I loved my daughters more than anything and was doing my best for them.

There was no intimacy between Peter and I; we weren’t really connected in any way other than our existence, financial desperation and children. I thought often about leaving Peter, even then. As with “The Little Blue Engine” thinking just ain’t enough. If you find yourself a prisoner in your own home and are thinking…….. The grass is much greener over here.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Anonymous Responses: Part III

G:  I read your blog last night. it is amazing, I have a neighbor is is going through much of the same. She has 2 young kids. What resources do you recommend?
H:  Your blog has captured my attention for sure.  I can relate to much of what you have experienced and find myself dealing with many of the same types of challenges.  Thanks for sharing your stories.  Sociopaths are very intelligent and manipulative, and certainly use any bit of information against their victims.  I learned that the hard way.  It's very easy to lose yourself in the midst of a sociopath.  In everything you read about a sociopath, I find it curious that your story is the first I can compare to where children were used to take sides with the sociopath.  That is something that should be documented as a typical behavior from a sociopath.  I have believed it is because that is truly their level of emotional maturity and they can easily manipulate children. I will keep reading.  I feel like for the first time, I am not alone.  Thank You!
I:  I have been married to my husband for twenty yrs. He is mean to our children and spends no time with our two boys. I went to see a psychologist and she told me after. Brief conversation about him what his problem was. I have heard of the word but never knew the definition
[ I find this interesting because Peter did not want a son, he wanted another daughter. I believe this is because of the “father/daughter relationship” and it being easier to manipulate daughters. It is known to any of us who are on the other side of our teenage years that there is a period of time where the relationship between a teenage girl and mother is strained and difficult. And to be with a man who was triangulating and putting me in the child role made my relationships nearly impossible. Peter took normal mother/teenage daughter issues and created an impossible wall to surmount.]
J:  The hard part is confronting him. I have tried many times to tell him I was unhappy but he always managed to talk me into staying and that he would change. Only to go right back to the way he was.
[I find myself talking to woman and men in various, and sometimes surprising settings, about sociopaths. At an airport recently a woman told me about a story of her husband of over 20 years. She had four children, he wanted five; she didn’t want the fifth and was asking for a divorce. For a month he treated her as he always should, connecting, being loving, treating her as precious, romantic and kind. She softened. After about a month, he turned to her one night and said, “That is done, I just wanted you to know I could do it, but choose not to because you don’t deserve to be treated that way.” She holds three jobs and cares for the children when she gets home. She’s exhausted and doesn’t know what to do; she is afraid of a nasty divorce and losing her children. He threatens to present as the perfect and attentive stay at home dad. Oh, I forgot to mention, he chooses to not work one hour outside of the home. So he is threatening that he would take the children, stating that he would be the best to care for the children since that’s what he’s already doing….the same story over and over.....]
K:  im reading your blog and thinking WOW..pretty much same situation for me. but only mental and verbal abuse for me.. thats enough! it is so frustrating dealing with this. and nobody believes me. my husband, loved by all, im the crazy one…..AND he is making me out like the one with the problems.  I do admit that i started this process after i realized  that i dont have to take this anymore. i was so beat down and i though i was a worthless person (lots and lots of examples of things he has said to me) and …i did contact my first love. so that makes me look like i am the horrible person….this is awful. and im scared too.
[What is a person supposed to do when they go years without even the lowest level of human decency much less getting any sort of emotional need met? You are not a horrible person. We, as humans, need to connect to each other and when you’re living with a hollow shell of course you were vulnerable and of course you would look for someone with whom you had connected with. Unfortunately, they wait for us to “fail” and then take full advantage. I will share some emotional connections, mistaking a need for validation with receiving attention (in my blog), that were also used against me. You are not alone.]
L:  I feel like crying as I read some of these. It's as if you've been living my life, and you have the words to explain it as I can't. His tone, his condescension, the false accusations, the embellishment, the false concern..... And I've been trying to get the divorce since…
M:  The strange thing about sociopathy are the subtleties and physiology that are not aggressive enough to actually have these diseased people committed…this extreme mental chasm cannot be rectified with any amount of therapy . It's a part of the human condition and will be with us forever ….I suppose we should pray for these people , as they are 3 percent of the worlds population. I am deeply scarred forever by what she did, as she committed an act of mental suicide to me and my loving parents….but she will never know she is , because she is , and always will be , a devout sociopath.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Family that Stole Christmas Cont...

We were already down the road and could not take the time to go back and retrieve the presents. I called Susan, who was the only person I knew to be in town, and could barely explain what had happened I was sobbing so much. David and Susan gladly picked up the gifts.
I am much like my father in regard to communication. Both my father and I have to talk to everyone: cashiers, bank tellers, people waiting in line, etc. We strike up conversations with anyone who will listen. So while I was selecting items, during my repeated trips to the mall, I had of course discussed my daughters and how excited I was about their gifts and how they would likely use the apparel, purses and shoes.

When I returned home I planned to take back the clothing and more trendy items and save the jewelry. I went over to David and Susan’s house, unwrapped the gifts and Susan thought she should go with me, with me being extremely upset again. We went to the store and the same sales clerk was there. She asked me how my girls liked the presents and I began to sob, a sob where unavoidable sounds come from your guts. We had to leave. I returned a few weeks later, and though tears still ran down my face, I could make it through the interaction. I cannot return to the store to this day.
My friend (J) whose 26 year old daughter hasn’t spoken to her either, for years, says she stopped giving gifts when her daughter left her birthday present on her front porch.  She and I have an unfortunate bond of shared pain; we will always just know on birthdays, holidays……I am so thankful for her vulnerability and for being there with me every step of the way. For some reason the rejection of even gifts is just devastating, for both of us.

Good intending people recommend that I still send cards and gifts and not let up on my girls. I cannot bear it again. It hurts way too much to be rejected over and over by my own flesh and blood.  Even as I write this my heart tightens, tears run down my face. I have to be able to not only function but be a productive employee and be a good parent to my son. Susan tells me, when I start to second guess myself, “they rejected you, not you them, and you were a good Mom, you have to wait patiently for them to take a step toward you.” She’s right, though it hurts so much, it feels right. To do anything other than that leaves me vulnerable to an emotional crash.  It feels like death, I mourn for them daily. And then I stop myself, every day, hope and pray that they are well and will someday be able to free themselves from the Walton’s, and move just one inch toward me. And then I turn away from the pain and darkness and look at my new path with the sunshine shining brightly on it. I wish they would walk with me just once and a while.    

Friday, January 11, 2013

An Interesting Article about Sociopaths! Please Comment.....

This article was passed along to me by Jason's mother. Who, I am thankful to be in my life and who unabashedly supports the two of us, and has since the beginninng. I find it an interesting article: John Walton, clergy; Jack Walton, lawyer and politics; Peter, politics and some sort of advisor. Peter was miserable in all of his many professions, quit a teaching job, could not make it as a therapist (claimed in the end he only did it to "help me," and was fired and even escorted to his car when employed as a group therapist  at a residental home for teenage boys.

I think  increasing information is becoming available in trying to deal with the heartless among us. And we all need to keep talking! 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My Worst Fears: The Family that Stole Christmas

Warren and I shopped for weeks. We found the perfect gifts for his sisters. He often said: “maybe they’ll love you again if you buy them nice things.”  We did buy them nice things. We talked about what they would like and their favorite colors. I sold my engagement/wedding ring to a jeweler in exchange for jewelry for them. Sentimental items that were unique to their personalities. I spent our time at a distance thinking and buying in anticipation of Christmas; our favorite family holiday. I thought this would be a way for me to connect with them and remind them of our relationship. Jason sat with me while I chose pictures from photo albums to put in their cards and special ornaments from their childhoods. [Every year I bought them a Hallmark Christmas ornament, which they unwrapped Christmas Eve, and hung for the next day.] I filled the gift boxes with ornaments before I wrapped them.

Jason has two boys and had them with him on this Christmas. His boys are one year and four years older than Warren; the three get along very well, even better than we had expected. All blonde haired and blue eyed; they could be brothers.  The boys played while Jason and I prepared for Warren’s exchange to his Dad in the McDonald’s parking lot Christmas Eve. We were court ordered to exchange in a public location because of the domestic violence. We were going to drop Warren off then head directly to his family 6 hours away. We wanted to get back so it wasn’t too late for his boys to enjoy the evening and the next day. I could’ve spent time with Warren for part of Christmas day, but we didn’t want to split Jason’s time with his sons, having not seen them since the summer.
The night before Christmas Eve Warren started to become unmanageable and emotional. After about an hour of trying to calm him down he revealed that Peter had told him I loved Jason and his sons more than him. I asked why he would think that and Warren said, bordering on hysterical, “Dad said the Judge let you have me on Christmas day and you said you didn’t want me.” I had revealed in court my plans and, yes, Peter had relayed the proceedings to little Warren with the additional comment that I had chosen Jason’s boys and not him. I reassured Warren of my love and his place in my heart. He was fine by the time we parted.

We all jumped in the car and drove to the exchange. I noticed that John Walton was sitting in the passenger seat and was somewhat relieved to have a “neutral” person to help with the bags of presents. Warren was concerned that he would not be able to carry them to his Dad’s car all by himself.  I got out of the car and retrieved the bags of gifts that the boys were holding in the back seat and walked across the parking lot. I stopped on the passenger side of the car and held out the bags looking for John Walton to help with the exchange of gifts, prepared to be polite. He looked straight ahead with a stern look on this face; he did not even glance in my direction. This highly religious man, leader in the church, had known me for 25 years and could not even treat me like one of his employees; a grown man. Peter stepped out to help Warren and began to yell for me to get away from his car, to not step one step closer. Warren was crying. I panicked, and threw the gifts in the car saying goodbye to Warren whispering that it would be okay.
They drove around to the back and we followed. Peter stopped the car at a dumpster and proceeded to throw the gifts away. I opened my car door and started to film what he was doing, with my smart phone, so he put the gifts in the trunk of the car. Talk about unnecessary drama! I texted my daughters: “I just gave your Dad hundreds of dollars worth of presents. I think he was going to throw them out. I wanted you to know, please let me know if you get them.” Twenty one minutes later I received a text from my oldest daughter: “Thanks anyway. Just returned them in front of the P Clubhouse.” And 13 minutes after that from my youngest daughter: “Thanks anyway, they’re at the clubhouse.” I quietly sobbed, tears running down my face, for the entire 6 hour trip to Jason’s family. Jason asked me what he could do and I said to just please hold my hand. He did.

Jason said it was heartbreaking to watch me excitedly wrap the gifts, talking about them opening them, writing in the cards, selecting pictures…he knew they would not accept the gifts, he had observed hostility toward me.
When we arrived at his father and step mother’s house he took a call from his x wife. She had called dozens of times. He hadn’t wanted to answer with me being so distraught. She had left messages, obviously drunk, slurring her words, cursing and scolding. She proceeded to yell at him for about 30 minutes; that was one of the last times he would take a call from her.

Christmas day his stepmother made it very apparent I was not welcome, though I had told her what had happened with my daughters. To her credit Jason and I were having difficulties with the long distance part of our relationship and the stress of our exs were taking a toll on both of us.  I had to look at pictures of his x wife all over the house. I was sick about leaving Warren in so much suffering, was missing him, felt out of place and unwanted…. Six months later Warren was still talking about Christmas Eve with his therapist.