Melissa K. Dean was a new lawyer in a new job. All she needed was a new romantic interest. So she posted her profile in Match.com, and received more than 30 responses in the first two days. One of the men started began his message boldly, writing, “Hi Gorgeous!”
For a woman who had long doubted her feminine appeal, the words were irresistible. More words followed—words that seemed to indicate mutual interests and goals, words that appealed to the woman’s sympathies.
Melissa K. Dean tells the story of being seduced by, married to, and then abused by, Jack Cass, a man who claimed to be a former Navy SEAL. It’s a classic story of sociopathic victimization.
Dean tells her story in a new book available in the Lovefraud Store, Hi Gorgeous! Starry Eyes and Toxic Lies.
They communicated online and by phone for a short time. Then they met for lunch, which Dean describes early in the book:
Conversation superseded our interest in our salads as we prattled on about various topics, including the characteristics we valued and disliked in potential mates. He spurned spoiled princesses and victim-oriented women, a group that included his mom—a counselor “ahead of her time,” yet victimized by by his Baptist father’s verbal abuse and infidelity with Jack’s piano teacher. He hated civilians, abhorred dishonesty and disloyalty—especially infidelity.
My bleeding heart was moved by his tale of woe, which he fully anticipated. Here was a man who’d been wounded on the battlefields of war and romance. “I let women walk all over me,” he proclaimed. The three purple hearts to which he laid claim paled in comparison to the heart he said was repeatedly broken by women who’d either cheated or bilked him out of money. “Learning to trust is a difficult task for me,” he said.
Can anyone say manipulation?
At one point before meeting Cass, Dean worked as an exotic dancer—that’s how she earned the money to take a prep course for her bar exam. Cass was fascinated by her former stint as a stripper, and after he manipulated Dean into marriage, saw his future in marketing his wife as a sexy model and dancer at biker clubs.
He, of course, had financial problems, child support payments and no steady income. But he had big ideas, which he convinced his wife to participate in. Gradually, he became more and more impatient with Dean’s contributions, and displayed his displeasure through emotional, psychological and sexual abuse.
Message of hope
In their letters to Lovefraud, many people have said their experiences with a sociopath were so outrageous that they should write a book about what happened to them. Melissa Dean has done it.
Many of you, who thought you were the only person on the planet experiencing the abuse and crazy-making of a sociopath, will take comfort in her story. You are not alone. In fact, many of you will recognize yourself, and the person who victimized you, in the tale.
Dean’s book has a happy ending—she escapes and begins to rebuild her life, her way. Her story is proof that you can recover from the abuse. It’s the message of hope and healing we all need.