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.
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Chapter 54: Just Plain Mean
I flew back East to be with my family. My mother survived her heart attack but was altered permanently by the event—physically, emotionally, and cognitively. Due to my overwhelming guilt, profound sadness, and a complete loss of faith in people and in any belief in the triumph of good over evil or in justice and fairness, I was numb.
A few weeks later, back in Utah, I came in from an hour of cross-country skiing and made hot chocolate for Daniel and me. I still skied as often as I could, even though I neither experienced any joy nor appreciated the beauty of the mountains when I skied. I only did it because, intellectually, I knew it was better to ski than not to ski. Exercise and sunshine help ward off depression. Skiing was exercise. It was done outside. It was sunny today. Case closed. I needed to do anything I could to make each day less dark. It was that simple. As with all other facets of my life, I forced myself to go through the motions, to exist—doing what I needed to do, what I should do, but all of it was empty, artificial, joyless.
While sitting at the kitchen table and sipping hot chocolate, I checked my email. Daniel was next to me. An email from my lawyer read, The judge signed the papers yesterday afternoon. You are now officially divorced. Congratulations! I sighed. It was good to have it over. Paul’s abusive behavior had been brutal. I hoped I had hit bottom and that I could start healing and rebuilding. Maybe Paul would be more reasonable now, and together we could co-parent our two children. (The fact I had this thought demonstrates that I still did not fully comprehend the consequences of Paul being a sociopath, because there was, and is, no possibility of constructive co-parenting with him.)
An email from Paul followed. With trepidation, I opened it. My eyes refocused several times to confirm that I was really seeing what was before me on the screen. My abdomen heaved. In front of me was a scanned copy of my journal from the first months following my separation from Paul. My most private thoughts, fears, and insecurities, my revelations about who and what Paul really was, my clarity about the sham of my marriage and about my wasted life with Paul were in those pages, those intensely personal pages. Even matters and strategies discussed with my lawyer were there. Paul must have gained access to my journal during one of his break-ins.
The pure, undiluted meanness of not only breaking into my home but also reading my journal, copying my journal, and—on the date our actual divorce—making sure I knew he had done so, drove a dagger through me. In just a few words, Paul’s note reflected who this man was—who he is—evil, dark, and soulless.
Look what I have!
Strength left my body, and I crumpled to the floor, gasping for air. Primal sounds emanated from my body, though I was not aware of making them.
“Mom! Mom! What’s wrong?” Daniel shouted, his face tight with concern. Daniel looked at my computer and then dropped to the floor and hugged me.
I drew him close, drinking in the love I felt for him, as if the inherent goodness of this child and my infinite affection for him could exorcise the demon to which we had both been exposed.
“I’m so sorry, Mom!” he said. “Dad’s an ass. No, he’s not an ass, he’s evil.”
Daniel was right. Sociopaths are the working definition of the devil—devoid of human compassion and willing to do anything no matter how heinous to experience pleasure, power, and the thrill of prevailing.
My cell phone buzzed, signaling an incoming text message.
“Do you want me to see if it’s something important?” Daniel asked.
He looked at my phone. His eyes widened, and his face whitened.
“Daniel, what’s wrong?”
“It’s from Dad,” he said. “I don’t think you should see it right now.”
“Please give me the phone,” I said.
Daniel did not move.
“Daniel, give me the phone!”
Daniel handed me the phone. The text message from his father, my husband of almost twenty years, the father of my two children read, FUCK you! You BITCH!
Days later when Daniel told his father he had seen the text, Paul accused me of being an irresponsible parent because I clearly did not have needed security features activated on my phone that would have prevented Daniel from seeing a private communication that was clearly intended just for me. Sociopath math!
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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.