December 26, 2019 at 3:06 pm #55562germanicusParticipant
I’ve tried to keep this brief, and failed. It is too complex and convoluted to explain with any brevity. Even this long writing omits many germane and bizarre details. Anyway, here it is …
Some years ago I met and was aggressively pursued by a beautiful woman 18 years younger than me. I was 52 at the time and recently divorced, so it was both flattering and exciting. She was the mother of 4 children, the oldest two adopted with special needs. She painted herself as a devout Christian woman with many of the same interests I had. She seemed enthralled by me and my past, especially my education and military service. Personality types always interested me and when I told her what my perfect Myers-Briggs match would be, lo and behold, she was that exact type. She was highly sexual … any time, anywhere, anything … which my male brain conveniently failed to reconcile with the devout Christian persona she portrayed. She took a great interest in helping me with my past trauma … abusive childhood, military combat and failed relationships … building trust for me to share all kinds of intimate and personal details, fears, and failings.
She portrayed her ex husband as a cruel monster who abused her and the children … and contrasted me as everything he was not. I was her knight in shining armor and she was the woman I had always wanted, in every exact detail.
We married and things began to change. She slowly became more critical of me and my actions … portraying it as a desire to help me with tough love. She claimed that was what a dutiful wife does. She was her own best advocate, often claiming that nobody would understand, love and help me the way she would. Over time I stopped seeing my friends, who she proclaimed ungodly … stopped going out, which she deemed un-Christian … and subtly turned me and my family against each other, under the guise of trying to help them find God, but the poor, misguided people just didn’t understand. Home was total chaos. The house was always a wreck and the kids were disrespectful and destructive monsters, even though she was a stay-at-home mother. She home schooled the four children and claimed that took up most of her time. She was actively involved in evangelizing to various people and always jumped in at church and bible groups to “help” others see how they were doing things wrong.
Her criticism became greater and greater. She would accuse me of cheating on her if I glanced at a woman for half a second, even on television, a movie screen, or a billboard. She would spend hours accusing me of things and browbeating me like a rabid police investigator until I confessed to things I had not done, just to end the drama. She did the same to the children. She would interrogate me repeatedly about every woman with whom I had contact at work … details about every interaction we had … and invariably tell me how I handled it wrong, how that indicated I had a desire to cheat in my heart, and how I was a pervert and going to hell because of that. If I replied that I had no interactions, she called me liar, deceiver and hidden adulterer and told me I was going to hell for that. She grilled me repeatedly on every thought that went through my head, often using the intimate things I shared with her early in our relationship as leverage or accusations. Variations of this process played out in different aspects of my life, including my work, my relationship with my mother, son and friends, my devotion to God, what I read, my hobbies/interests … and much more. When I called her on it, she said that God had given her the gift of being an exhorter, to make people better, and that I was very lucky to have her as a wife. She frequently used the threat of divorce because she knew that would send me into a tail spin and bend me to do whatever she wanted. She often spouted memorized bible verses to both support her actions and paint me as a degenerate piece of filth.
Interspersed between all this negativity were moments of adoration, uplifting words and kindness from her (always self-promoted afterwards) and amazing sex. I later discovered that this is a very basic, very effective and very powerful psychological control technique called intermittent reinforcement. The victim remembers the good actions and wants them back … thinking that if he only does a better job at loving/serving/protecting/engaging/providing for (take your pick) her then things will be back to “normal” again. She was a master of spinning things. For example, she could scream abusive language during a fight, but I was not permitted to say anything negative back to her, no matter how minor. When I mentioned this, she said that God made women fragile and made men to take abuse, and it was my duty as a husband to understand her in a loving manner and help her through arguments by weathering whatever she threw at me. She would also use the same rationale to explain that it didn’t matter who was right or wrong in an argument, only that the husband respected the wife’s fragility and feelings as God commanded. Of course, if she was right, that did not apply. She played a variety of victim cards as well, claiming to have cancer which was never verified by any medical records … only a quack homeopathic “doctor”. She also claimed to have borderline personality disorder, which gave her even more license to be abusive towards others, then claiming to be a poor victim if anyone called her on it. Whenever nothing else worked, she would play one of these cards and make the person questioning her actions out to be a heartless monster with no compassion for a poor, sick woman who had such a hard time with health issues.
During this time she got pregnant and we had a daughter. Shortly after that, the bottom fell out of everything. I came home from work one day and her and all the children were gone. I received a text from her that she had gone to visit her sister 400 miles away because her sister was having marital problems. Shortly thereafter I was arrested by the police. She claimed that I had sexually assaulted her 14-year-old adoptive daughter and coached the girl to corroborate the story. She lied to police that I was a flight risk because I had friends in Mexico … all lies that the investigators or judge never bothered to verify. They clamped a non-removable GPS ankle monitor on me and I was stuck, not being able to follow my wife or see my daughter. I also discovered that she had cleaned out our bank account and taken all the valuables we had locked up in the house. I had to sell my house to pay for the legal bills.
We spoke by phone over the course of the next few weeks and she told me that the daughter had lied, but convinced me the situation was still my fault because the girl was only looking for a loving father figure (since her ex-husband was so cruel) and that if I had handled that role better the girl never would have lied. In retrospect, I think my wife “softened” because I promised her my military pension if I went to prison. I was facing 20 years in prison for the false charges. The legal process lasted 2 years, despite clear evidence from the beginning that both my wife and step-daughter had lied. (I could write volumes about the corrupt legal system and biased judges who cover up and enable prosecutorial misconduct just to win cases and elections.) After 2 years, hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal defense costs, wearing that GPS shackle the entire time, and being falsely vilified as a sex offender … the charges were dropped without so much as an apology or any form of restitution. I had to change my name because of the “assumed guilty if arrested” mentality in this country today. I still cannot purchase a firearm or rent an apartment today, and have issues with financial transactions because of it. Even though I was never convicted of a single crime, in all my life. None of this is legal, yet it happens.
During this time, my wife joined a religious cult in another state. She made all kinds of wild claims of prophecy and special powers to her family … aggressively trying to get them to join the cult. It was clear that she rapidly became one of the cult leaders. She kept the children away from me and her first husband. Family learned through video calls with the children that she had an older woman living with them with whom she would spend hours in the bedroom in bed together, while the children fended for themselves. She would spank the woman in front of the children and let the children spank her as well, whenever the woman would not obey or “revert into a demonic 6-year-old.” The woman would also revert to a 13-year-old persona who wanted to have sex with the oldest boy (15). The children were ritually beaten and verbally abused to “drive out demons”. She left the children alone with people who had a history of molesting and violence towards children. The home schooling sham was finally exposed. She had never taught the children anything, just kept them at home as a means to control and use them. The oldest four, ages 11-16 were all completely illiterate and could not even do the most simple math. While all of this was taking place, I was confined to my apartment with a shackle on my leg, unable to do anything.
Her ex-husband and father raided one of the places they stayed and rescued the two youngest girls, including my daughter … who was filthy, without a diaper and being cared for by her 11-year-old sister. The two older ones, completely brainwashed, attacked their father and grandfather. The younger boy, having been anointed a “deputy prophet,” was off with his mother doing cult stuff. Her ex-husband and father both confronted her about the child abuse, endangerment and neglect (via text) and she fled the state. No one has seen her since. That was almost a year ago. Her ex-husband, the “monster,” cared for my daughter until I was released and he testified on my behalf about all the lies my wife and step-daughter told. He was instrumental in getting my charges dismissed. He then let me and my daughter live with him for a few months while I got back on my feet. During this time, we talked and unearthed a 20-year history of lies, deceit, false personas, online accounts, cheating, scams, adulterous affairs and manipulation by the woman to whom we had both been married. She masterfully compartmentalized people and fed them all wildly different stories. She had been the glue that held the family together spiritually, but we now realized she probably didn’t even believe in God … just used religion as a way to control everyone. I found a throw-away phone recently with texts showing she was carrying on an affair with her attorney while she was proclaiming reconciliation with me after I was arrested. Almost everything she said was a lie of some sort.
Today I have custody of my daughter. I work from home so I am able to care for her full time. Her first husband was awarded sole custody of all 4 of his children and she was ordered to pay him child support. She is permitted only 1 hour of supervised visitation every two weeks. However, she still has the older 3 children and no one knows her whereabouts … making her also guilty now of both failure to pay child support and parental kidnapping across state lines. My divorce proceedings are underway and I hope for a similar judgment. Her ex-husband has become one of my best friends through this shared hardship. Her father and her sister are supportive of my efforts and, to varying degrees, do not want her near any of the children. The three oldest children, we believe, are hopelessly brainwashed and will need years of therapy, if they are ever even able to function in society. The two oldest adopted ones already had issues from time with their drug-addicted birth mother.
My wife meets 18 of the 20 diagnostic criteria on the Hare Psychopathy Checklist … the other 2 unmet criteria involving jail or prison time, which she may fulfill sometime in the future. No, I am not qualified to administer or evaluate this checklist … but I challenge anyone to pin her down and do a proper clinical evaluation. This is all I can go by. Her ex-husband produced very similar results when he filled out the checklist separately. She scored over 30 for both of us, which is higher than the average for psychopathic prison offenders. It makes perfect sense that she is a psychopath given all her lies, manipulation and that she could abandon her baby girl without even drug or alcohol addiction as an excuse. I always thought psychopaths were people like Ted Bundy and Gary Ridgway, cunningly murdering people by the dozens. I have since learned they can be your co-worker, boss, or even spouse. Most of them don’t physically kill you. They just destroy your life and then move on.
Although I am free of her, my mind is still in turmoil. I have a fear of doing things (like having a beer, going out for the evening, praying incorrectly, or saying “amen” a certain way) that ultimately stems back to her programming. I have nightmares at least once a week of her returning. Imagine that … I witnessed the carnage of the Basra Highway back in the Gulf War and was also a paratrooper. I don’t have nightmares about war, being killed, or the parachute not opening … I have nightmares about that woman returning into my life. Her ex-husband has nightmares of her returning too. Both of us get up with a flashlight and gun every time we hear a bump in the night. I wrestle with anger daily, which is illogical … because I should be happy she is gone and my daughter and I are safe. I’m presently seeking a good counselor or psychologist to help sift through all this.
- This topic was modified 3 weeks, 4 days ago by germanicus.
December 26, 2019 at 7:04 pm #55565ridgidParticipant
Germanicus, I wish to thank you for your service and from one man to another my heart goes out to you. My encounter was bad, but atleast we didnt share a child nor were we married. The mask, the manipulationand controlling and the waking dreams all very familiar to me. Day by day is all I can say, it’s been months for me and day by day I gain little pieces of myself back.
Its great in a way that you and her ex became friends through this. My biggest problem trying to tell my friends of my encounter is, no one gets it. You have a friend who does it seems, that’s a huge plus for you.
December 26, 2019 at 11:19 pm #55566germanicusParticipant
Thank you! You are correct that my friendship with her first husband has been a huge blessing. Not only did it help us unravel a lot of her compartmentalized deceit and manipulation over several decades … we were also both able to vent to another person who completely understood what we were venting about. Not to mention that the man put himself personally at risk to rescue my daughter and then protect her for several months. What a contrast to this cruel, selfish monster she portrayed him to be.
A Hollywood producer would reject my experiences as being too unbelievable, the villain as too brazen and unstoppable, the victim as too gullible and foolish, and the authorities as too clueless and incompetent. Yet, there it is. Truth stranger than fiction. Now to just get her programming out of my head.
December 27, 2019 at 8:46 pm #55570polestarParticipant
Thank you germanicus for relating what you went through. That is because someone who has gone through or is going through something even a semblance near to what you have gone through, will get validation from reading your story. Validation is so important because most victims are very isolated by their abuser. So as ridged was saying, and as you know, your ex’s ex husband was thus able to be so supportive in validation as well as the other ways that you described. I congratulate you on getting through that horrific experience and the many courageous things you did and the huge will power you put out to get your life back. What you said about now needing to get her programming out of your head is very accurate. I believe that a huge amount of reclaiming our lives actually happens once the abuser is totally removed physically from one’s environment. From what you described, and the ordeal you went through, you must be suffering from PTSD ( Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ). Kathy O’Brian has written a book called ‘ PTSD – A Time To Heal ‘ that you might find to be helpful. It is a very short book that has techniques to deprogram and free your mind even to deep levels. You can find the book on Amazon. As far as personal advise from me, my suggestion would be to see the whole situation as a horrible scrape with evil ( you might be tired of hearing that terminology ). But I must say, that your ex really did seem like the personification of evil from what you described. So aside from doing Kathy O’Brian’s techniques which helps to not dissociate from the trauma by writing ( we use a different part of our brain when writing than thinking )and thus healing – but in addition to doing her techniques ( if you do want to go that route ) then at other times, try to keep your mind from thinking and reliving the nightmare. When you become aware that your mind is revolving around the trauma, then remember it was a nightmare and turn your attention to the beauty of your life now, especially with your daughter. I’m so sorry you had to go through that horrific ordeal but I am happy that you were able to get free and can now totally remake your life according to all the love that is in your heart. Thanks again for sharing.
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