Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fleeing the Bastille Anniversary

Oh what a difference a year makes. I wish you could see and compare my old drivers license picture with my new one that I got last week.

It's all in the eyes.

Last year on the 26th of June, I sat at my parents' dining table not knowing what the future would look like for us. All I could think of was the worse case scenarios - having to foreclose on my house, losing everything, filing for bankruptcy and the fear of heinous things vileman may have done prior to being caught.

The last six months of 2008 were so uncertain, but by December I was feeling pretty darn good. The first of that month, I went back to the old place to pack up some toys for the kids and to sign some paperwork at my lawyer's office. His paralegal was shocked when I gave her my drivers license (the old one) for her to write down my DL number in her notary book. She gasped and said I looked nothing like that lady in the picture. I joked and said that yes, I had definitely aged over the last six months and she insisted that wasn't it, that the picture depicts a very sad woman.

That old photo just screams "help me".

The paralegal wasn't the only one that day to notice. Prior to heading to the lawyer' office, I stopped at my swimming buddy's house to drop off the entire "Left Behind" book series, where her 12 year old son looked at me and said "you look different."

I guess I was wearing a new attitude.

2009 has been the year of transition . . . it started off perfect with the divorce finalized on January 6th, the selling of the house in April and (keeps fingers crossed) this fall, I hope to find a job and return to work after 6 years of being a stay-at-home mom.

Those first few weeks last June, I slept with a large, heavy, lucite award given to my dad in 2000. What little sleep I got, you could bet my fingers were tightly grasped on that odd security blanket/protection. I kept my fears to myself, but the boy voiced them out loud - "I'm scared he is going to come and kill you because you didn't bail him out of jail". That is so sad, yet he knew, at age 11 (at that time), that vileman might be capable of violence.

I believe the book "The Sociopath Next Door" says one in 25 people are a sociopath and suggests the best way to avoid one that was previously in your life, is to ignore them. The author counsels not to try and spar with them because you cannot reason with a sociopath.

On April 6th, when we closed on our house, the realtor asked me if I needed to be in a separate room from vileman. I assured her I would be okay and I sat next to him. I was very civil and made small talk with our realtor and on occasion with vileman. At one point he had to excuse himself from the table because he had started crying. I chose to ignore his tears. Afterwards when I was getting in my car, he pulled me toward him for a very uncomfortable, awkward and unwanted hug.

I used a pay-as-you go cell phone when I lived there. It was the best plan for me at that time because I never talked on my cell phone and only kept it for emergencies. I kept it going when I moved up here because my lawyer and realtor lived there and they wouldn't have to phone me long distance because my number was a local number for them. On the evening of April 7th, that cell phone rang and it was vileman. Just as casual as could be, he reminded me that "Rescue Me" was coming on that night. What the heck? The man had caused my family agonizing pain and he was calling me like nothing had happened. I said thank you and hung up.
The phone was immediately turned off and it will never be turned back on.
There was no reason to ever have contact with him after the house was sold and his wages were garnished for child support and paid through that system. Time to implement the ignoring him strategy.
I used to get 5 emails along with two typed letters via certified delivery every week. He also includes letters to the kids which I will never give to them. No contact means no contact. He provokes me in the letters, but I know it is just an attempt to get a reaction from me. Since ignoring him, the emails are showing up only once a week and the mailed letters have almost stopped (though I did receive one late last week).
The best way to deal with vileman's actions, is to remind myself that he feels no shame, no remorse, no love. He is a robot.
The emails and letters he sends I read with my eyes wide open, telling myself he is a psychopath/sociopath ped-o-vile. I'm like an English teacher grading a student's paper. I take out my red pen and break down the letters, circling key phrases and writing out beside them what his intent really is.
Right now he is accusing me of alienating my children from him. He will cite that he was their primary caretaker (what!) and that they are being deprived a loving father. (A loving father who left his family penniless for 45 days and when he found a new job making $120,000/year, refused to pay child support for four months so that he could, instead, pay for his criminal lawyer.)
What I'm doing is called protecting. And I have the power of a divorce decree which outlines that he has no access or possession to those sweet babies.
Speaking of those sweet babies, they are doing beautifully. The boy even mentioned how relaxed his baseball games were without vileman coaching him from the bleachers through out the entire game.
Who knew losing 185 pounds of vileness would feel and look so good.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Welcome to Oz!

Maybe a better title would be First Comes Denial then (if you are lucky) Comprehension.

Do you think the Scarecrow and the Tinman were sociopaths?

Switching movie genres, do you remember that scene in the movie Sixth Sense where Bruce Willis realizes the little boy can see dead people and Bruce's character quickly goes through all the past events and realizes that he (Bruce) ***spoiler alert*** . . . . is . . . (gulp) . . . dead?

That is exactly what happened to me after I finished reading the book "Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us" and realized that vileman fit most of the characteristics to a T.*

All of vileman's questionable behaviors through the years, played out in fast motion in my brain . . . and I finally knew what he was.

To back up a bit, over the course of the first month in counseling, the Healer begin to refer to vileman as anti-social. Then it was suggested, gently, that he exhibited sociopath/psychopath characteristics based on some of the events I told her about. I never could grasp that he was a psychopath/sociopath. I didn't want to believe that someone I was with for 13 years could have no remorse and be heartless. Also, I was thinking more on the lines of him being a sick ped-0 -vile. Seems I hit the jackpot - I got the psycho ped-o-vile.

The Healer recommended I read the above mentioned book and after leaving her office that morning, I headed to B&N to purchase the book. I didn't read it right away because I was still in that denial phase but after two weeks, I finally picked it up.

I was mesmerized and quickly found a highlighter to underline passages. At the next counseling session, I brought my highlighted copy of the book and sat down on the Healer's couch. The first words out of my mouth were "I should have known."

She assured me that when it is in your face all the time, you can't see it, as in "you can't see the trees for the forest."

The Healer went over all the characteristics highlighted in the book, then I would give an example. I won't bore you with the characteristics but instead, will tell you about an event that occurred early on in our relationship. After reading this you are going to think "girl, you are stupid"!

I had a very high tolerance of putting up with his behavior. He could do something so rude or unfeeling, and I would think to myself "what is wrong with him?" For many years, I thought I had settled for someone like him, but the truth is, he chose me.

Once, long ago, I was about six weeks pregnant when I begin to spot. It was on a Saturday morning, so vileman took me to the emergency room. After the doctor examined me, he said I was still pregnant but probably was going to miscarry and needed to go home, relax and get off my feet. When we were leaving the ER, vileman asked me if I wanted to go eat at Olive Garden. I looked at him like he was crazy. Did he not hear the doctor tell me to go home and lie down? When I reminded him and suggested that maybe he could place a to-go order from there he replied in a whiny voice "but then I can't get refills on the salad or get extra breadsticks". (Inside my brain: What is wrong with him!?)

The next morning, I woke up with horrible cramping. I asked vileman to please call my OB/GYN. Instead of acknowledging me, he asked me to give him a B J. (Yep, you read that right.) I remember being shocked and yelling at him that I was having a miscarriage and he wanted me to perform a s** act!?! (Inside my brain: What is wrong with him!?)

Later that night, since I had ruined his weekend - no Olive Garden and no BJ, he decided that he was the true victim and begin crying and boo hooing about the miscarriage as if he were the one experiencing it.

I should have walked out the door and never looked back.

But I didn't.

Girl, you stooooopid!

I didn't, because I probably thought I could fix him. And vileman needed me, so he could mimic my emotions, since he was/is incapable of feeling any.

Unlike the scarecrow and the tinman, you can't fix a sociopath/psychopath. No great wizard can give vileman a conscious and a heart.

And when I finally understood what kind of person I had been dealing with, the light bulb went on. Acceptance of what vileman is and will always be has kept me sane and strong for the last few months . . . as I deal with his wrath toward me via emails and letters. . . my next post will be how I have been dealing with him since we closed on our house in April.

*Vileman has never been personally interviewed and given the Psychopath Checklist by a forensic psychiatrist. I just choose to believe he is one.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

One Sliver of Pie at a Time, Lady

One scary thought running through my brain recently, has been this:

I went through a life-altering, stress filled year and I only managed to LOSE LESS THAN 15 POUNDS!!!!!!!!

Not only that, half of those pounds have crept back on, thanks to giddiness. Grrr.

So, back to doing what worked in the past:
  • Eat healthier (the Dash diet worked when I lost 30 pounds in the past)
  • Smaller portions
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water each day
  • Keep a food journal
  • Take vitamins
  • Walk at least 5 times a week
  • Weight training 3 times a week
  • Yoga
  • Meditation - quiet time
  • Setting goals
  • Weekly weigh-in
Put all the above into a pie chart with each representing a slice of pie. Some slices might be cut into slivers, for instance: Eat healthier would include only lean protein, high fiber, 8 to 10 vegetables per day, whole grains only, etc.

In the past, I tried to consume the whole pie on day one, which only set me up to fail. Now that I'm older and wiser, I have portioned out a few slivers for this week and when those are mastered, I will add a few more slivers.

Goals (slivers) for this week:
  • Writing down everything I eat in a notebook (no calorie counting)
  • Walk at least 3 times
  • Drink 4 glasses of water per day
  • Take my vitamins
In two days, I have already identified a bad habit - eating 6 year old's leftovers (by the way, 5 year old is now 6). I am not a human garbage disposal and I wasn't aware I was doing this until I started writing it down.

In the meantime, I have been re-reading my favorite diet books - not for a diet plan - but for tips and reading all your blogs for motivation.

Have a great day.