It took me a long time to clearly define that what the Bad Man was doing to me was… bad. Plain and simple, it was bad for me. Never mind if he was working through pain, never mind if he had suffered many losses or had an unfortunate childhood. Never mind. He’s a grown man. He was treating me in a way that I can only define as very bad for me no matter what his issues were. Really, it was unacceptable but at the time, I did not have clear boundaries as to what kind of treatment I would accept for myself before I would draw a line in the sand and say, “No more!”
There were lots of excuses he made up and to be honest, there were lots of excuses I made up to try to explain his erratic behavior and his consistent emotional battering of me. Early on, I told myself, “He lost his ministry. He lost his marriage and his five children. He lost his boat. Who am I to judge him? I don’t know what that would be like.” I thought he was a person in a lot of pain. I had a lot of pain too and so I thought that our meeting was designed by God. I am embarrassed to admit that but I really did think this was some kind of divine meeting. We were the same astrological sign (yes, another excuse!) and we had had our hearts broken and had many losses in the years leading up to our divine meeting. So, I was very gentle with him while he emotionally battered and tortured me. I tried to understand where he was coming from. I looked for the “1 percent truth” in the terrible things he was saying about me because I was so open and willing to work on myself. I accepted that maybe I didn’t really see myself as I was, and so his “coaching,” no matter how cruelly it was administered, I took in.
But this is all beside the point. I wanted to explain why I say “Bad Man.” I am not trying to be cutesy here. I started saying “The Bad Man” before I found LoveFraud. I didn’t know exactly what was wrong with him but more than that, I didn’t want to hear his name pass through my lips ever again. His name was once something that stirred me and I said it lovingly, but I didn’t want to hear it anymore. One of my friends started calling him “Captain Whack-a-doo” and “Emotional Black Hole. ” “Captain” won’t fit for most of you but feel free to use the EBH if you like. Hehe.
Bad Man sticks for me because I don’t know for sure what he is. But I do know for sure that he was so bad to me and bad for me. I like this term now because so many of us want to solve the mystery. We want to know the exact diagnosis, but why? What difference will it make? If your Bad Man was like mine, you were being abused. Who wants to be abused for any reason? Not me. I don’t know for sure if Bad Man qualifies as a sociopath but I know for sure he is pathologically disordered and that’s enough for me. I understand this fully now.
Many LoveFraud readers have struggled with this question. There are also the readers who look for loop holes. What I would encourage you all to do is ask yourself this question, “Is this man/woman good for me?” I think we know the answer to that. Over the years, I have dated men that were not a good match for me. I have dated men that were not that good to me because, well, they just weren’t that into me! (Get the book by the way, it’s a great one.)
But only the Bad Man was truly bad for my spirit and my emotional well being. Whatever his problem is, he clearly was not good for me. When I was with him, I was hurting all the time. Or I was stressing, anxious, angry, emotionally battered, sleepless, etc. I argued with him in my head all the time, because I never won any arguments in person. I was exhausted from constantly defending my choice of words, my past, my present, my future, myself. ALL THE TIME! I was just so tired. That doesn’t sound very good, does it?
If you are struggling to find the right answer, I understand how powerful that drive is but what if you let it go by simply admitting this person was not good for me.
I am pretty satisfied with my diagnosis. The Bad Man was bad for me. I am not a psychiatrist. I will never get to administer the PCL-R (though I would love to hear the results). Even if I don’t know the final answer, I do know that he was not good for me and my life is so much better having let him go and moved on. It can be such a long climb out of that emotional black hole. I learned a lot from hitting that bottom but I never want to go there again.
It’s been over three and half years since I left the Bad Man. I feel peaceful knowing that nothing like that will ever happen to me again. Now, I can spot a disaster like him from a mile away. If I see one coming, I could fight him off with my eyes closed and one hand behind my back. Better yet, I would just turn my back and let him walk on by.