When my ex returned to my hometown, his behavior was the worst ever, as I discussed previously. And while I lived around my family, he had distanced us from them.
It was only after my oldest son had a nightmare that I was shot (he was 12 yrs old) and my daughter (just 3 yrs old) was afraid from nightmares and wanted to stay with me to sleep, (both episodes occurring within 24 hours) I sought an ex parte against him. I remember telling my children that they’d come to realize it was for the best. Again, it was my 8 yr old son who emphatically stated, “we already know it’s for the best!”
I was just a shell of my former overachieving self. I know I was being guided by God when I went to fill out the paper work for the ex parte.
My ex called me a week later, crying, wanting to return home. I asked him on the second night after his return, what he did the week before. (I knew he had been interested in a nurse where he worked, as he brought her home one night as I was preparing our family’s dinner). His guilt put him into the offensive mode. I reminded him that I hadn’t yet signed off on the ex parte (still foolishly worried about him).
I called the police that night and I struggled to remain distanced from him through the divorce—which included a bankruptcy, because of his manic spending (and despite our significant income from our initial medical practice in my hometown.) After the bankruptcy was completed, but before the divorce, his behavior became more frightening to me. Very erratic, and on drugs he would drive from where he lived to my hometown, a 2-3 hour drive. He left his job to move back in with his parents, where he had a new job.
One day after school, I had taken the children to get ice cream and he pulled up behind us. I think only my oldest realized it was him. He needed money for gas (so he said). I filed another ex parte. Shortly after he was caught at his job for using illicit drugs. He asked for syringes, under false pretenses. He went to drug rehab for over a year in an attempt to save his medical license. Those were the happiest months I’d experienced since meeting him.
He continues to try to manipulate me through our children. The night the police arrested him at my home, he was trying to take his journal and a book, “Getting Even—The Handbook of Dirty Little Tricks”. I’ve had 5 psychologists read the journal and 3 attorneys. They have all agreed that he is a sociopath and the journal was a sort of plan to keep me down, a plan to make me question my sanity and stay away from my family.
I’ll never forget the day my attorney called me and read his words out loud to me. He described, in detail, how he would plant drugs on me (putting them in my purse) and then call anonymously to report my car driving recklessly. He included the idea of blackmailing my family for money or he wouldn’t allow me to complete the driving classes involved with the case. I froze as my attorney read this to me. It had already happened, just as he wrote it. There were detailed plans for a torture chamber in there as well. Luckily, or by God’s will, I moved against him before this reached maturity.
I’ve struggled to regain my joie d’vivre and raise my children well. He surfaces enough to mess with me through our children. I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis around the time of our divorce. It is an autoimmune disorder that is caused by extreme stress and fatigue. I continue to fight the symptoms and I desperately want to tell my story. At this time it disturbs me less than it did a year ago, but leaves me continually exhausted, as I try to find a way to live with myself after I complete raising my children.
My oldest has now gone away to college in one of the best schools in the country. He is, like his siblings, extremely gifted and intelligent. I’m worried that I won’t be able to live with myself once my younger two children have moved on and I have nobody left to care for, but I fight this thought. I know he did significant damage to me, but I continually strive to make sense of this in my life, or even to just learn to live with it. I think if I were to work with other women like me, it would give my life some meaning, other than my role as a mother.
That’s why I’m writing this now. And for every horrific thing I’ve shared, there are infinitely more horrors I’ve not touched on. I struggle financially to give my children the life I felt they deserved, the life that we started with our marriage and subsequent establishment of a successful business.
I haven’t returned to the practice of medicine. My ex did not renew my medical license but had controlled prescriptions written under my name and DEA number through our practice (during my convalescence after the car accident). Obtaining a medical license at this stage of my life is a lot more difficult but possible. I think I hesitate because his voice became embedded in my head—though I can tell myself it’s not right, it’s blocking my progress.
Still manipulating me
I fight the anxiety I feel on a regular basis at the thought of him manipulating me through my children. I fight for money for child support, even though he now has had his medical license probation lifted. He owes me more than $100,000 in arrearages, but seems to squirm out of payment at every turn.
The losses I’ve experienced are profound and exponential. I have difficulty wrapping my brain around all the ways he’s stolen from my life, and the many ways he continues to try to hurt me with the children being collaterally injured. I fight to keep my head up, both metaphorically and quite literally, as the diagnosis of myasthenia gravis includes weakness in those muscles, among other symptoms.
And while I can reason with myself that I did nothing wrong, I can’t shake the guilt that runs through me. I know I’m surviving but I have a hard time shaking away the role of a victim and only wish I could love myself again, that I could find interest in my life outside of the life I have as a mother. I will never give up.
If you’re going through something similar I beg you to pray and hold your head up high as I do. And I would ask for your prayers that I continue to renew myself, and regain my full sense of self-love.
Addendum: 9 months after I wrote the above description of my life with a sociopath
Greetings Lovefraud readers. I write you today to encourage you to take your life back!
Do you stay for the children? My own children knew it was right for me to get away even before I did.
Do you feel powerless? STOP! It is your life. You need to take it back. You’re the only person who can make the first move.
Do you stay but have a voice, distantly, deep inside you telling you how wrong your life is? Get a megaphone for that voice, because that is your true voice. There are resources to help you through your trauma, but they can’t reach you until you make your move.
The healing I’ve encountered since writing my ‘summary’ down has been magnanimous. I feel like the person I was when my sociopath entered my life. I’m strong and vital again. My eyes are open to the ways of my ex sociopath. He was trying to kill me, and almost did, but I recovered and so will you.