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.