Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following e-mail from a woman who we’ll call, “Cybil.” She was married to a sociopath, and is now raising two toddlers, paying 75%+ of their support, and being run into the courts, stalked, threatened and harassed.
Today I was thinking about this comment I get a lot from the supposed “resources” I have. What I have found is that there really is not much in the way for resources out there for abused women. Even my family, who have been helpful and are starting to “get it” little by little, can be a little backhanded in their support.
The comment goes like this: “Well, you chose this guy. You chose to have kids with this guy.” It is always said after they are frustrated at your upset or stress, or after they have gotten stressed, or when they realize they really can’t help you. I guess it’s a kind of guilt deflector. A way of saying, ultimately it’s your own damn fault so take the drama somewhere else. Even if the drama is externally created and you’re trying your best to have the boring, drama-free life that is SO attractive now. I would love boring.
The thing is, I didn’t “choose” this guy. He chose me. I chose a different guy, the one he was pretending to be. Yes, maybe I got involved too quickly. They are good at moving things along. So yes, I made a bad decision. It’s true. I would undo it if I could. Some people make hasty relationship decisions and have it all work out fine, like my parents did. But is that one bad decision I made as bad as all the things he has done: the emotional and physical abuse, the con, the isolation, the crazymaking, the fact that I had to give up a great career, my life savings, my car, the fact that I am being run into court on an almost monthly basis, the fact that my good reputation is now sullied with the lies he tells.
No I didn’t choose this. I was smart, successful, maybe a little vulnerable, but not stupid. And I was nice. That’s why he chose me. That’s what people don’t get. I am not this psycho-bitch he keeps telling people I am. If I was, he would have moved on to an easier mark. The reality is that I was a semi-Pollyanna, who believed in helping people, giving the benefit of the doubt, being NICE.
So, no this is not my fault. This incredible nightmare that has become my life since I met this man, is not entirely my fault. It is a little bit my fault. I am more cautious now. But his behavior is not my responsibility, as awful as it is. And nothing I did was so bad that I deserve what has happened and is happening.
No, I didn’t choose this. Even though my mother said it today. Even though the cop that was supposedly on my side (after I received a death threat) said this after they brought him in for questioning, and then reduced the whole thing to a “domestic matter.”
I didn’t choose the nightmare. It chose me. I was just a little too naive to tell. I am not anymore.