Every week, a chapter of my book, “Husband, Liar, Sociopath: How He Lied, Why I Fell For It & The Painful Lessons Learned” (available via Amazon.com, just click on the title or book cover) will be published here on Lovefraud. To read prior chapters, please see the links at the bottom of the post.
I’ve also just released a new ebook titled Narcissists, SOCIOPATHS & Wolves: Lessons From Little Red Riding Hood. (Just click here to find it on Amazon.com Narcissists SOCIOPATHS & Wolves.)
Chapter 53C: The Puzzle Pieces Finally Fit
Our divorce was mediated at record pace, not even nine months after Paul left. To get the emotional abuse to stop and to get on with my life, I made huge financial tradeoffs. I left the mediation feeling broken, tears streaming down my face. Paul left the mediation downright giddy. As in many states, Utah assumes and requires joint legal custody of minor children in all but the most heinous situations. It also requires both parents to stay within 150 miles of each other “for the sake of the children.” I offered that Paul reduce my already modest financial settlement (compared to what I was due legally) by one-third if he would allow me to relocate back East with Daniel, where I could be with my friends and family and have a much better chance of resurrecting my career. He refused, and Utah law backed him up.
Knowing that I had been conned into moving where Paul wanted to be for the rest of his life and that he could now bar me from returning to my family back East, the most likely place where I could craft a meaningful career, was more than I could take. If I could relocate at fifty-five years old, it felt “young” enough to start over. If I had to wait until Daniel was eighteen and a legal adult, I would be almost sixty when I would be free to move back East, it seemed much harder economically. Even worse, I would not be able to help my parents in their advanced age. They might both die while I was required by law to stay in Utah unless I was willing to leave Daniel behind with his father. I asked Paul if he would agree to send Daniel to private school somewhere, because he had become desperately unhappy in Utah due to our divorce. Paul refused.
In tears, I told my mother and father the next day that I would not be able to relocate back East for almost four years, because Paul would not give his consent. The only other option was to bring the case before a judge, but I would not likely win. My mother and I cried together on the phone. We agreed to call each other daily to help each other through this difficult time.
But the next day, I could not get in touch with my parents. I couldn’t reach them the day after either. I called my brother. Unable to reach my parents, he called the State Police to see if they had been involved in an accident. We called local hospitals. Two days after my gut-wrenching divorce mediation, I discovered my mother was in the hospital fighting for her life. She had suffered a major heart attack hours after we spoke. The guilt was more than I could bear. Already on shaky ground, my faith in humanity, the future, and the world making any sense shattered. My will to keep going, to care enough about even seeing the next day dawn, slipped to nothing. But somehow I had to make myself care. My son needed me, my mother needed me, and my family back East needed me. If something happened to me, Daniel would have to live with his father. I could not let that happen. One breath at a time, I had to keep going.
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Identifying names, places, events, characteristics, etc. that I discuss here and in my book have been altered to protect the identity of everyone involved.