We Believe What we Want to Believe
It’s not hard to see, if you’re paying attention to others that is, that human beings are becoming much more detached from the world around them. It largely goes unnoticed because no one is paying attention to anyone else unless it’s on social media. People are clearly more self-involved and less empathetic than ever before, but how much, exactly?
Having met a bonafide sociopath recently and falling in love with him has been one of the most traumatic experiences I’ve endured, and I have led a VERY difficult life. I consider myself a very intelligent woman and this man convinced me that he loved me, that he wanted to grow old with me and loved my three year old daughter like his own.
I’ve always surrounded myself with giant walls; and never let anyone get to know the real me. Maybe because I thought I was a fraud or afraid of getting hurt; but for some reason I felt safe letting this person into my walls and showing him my vulnerable side. Some people dream of winning the lottery or becoming rich and famous. My wildest dream was just to have a “normal” happy, family with a partner that I could love and trust with anything. Someone to share the burden, all my life I’ve had to fend for myself. Maybe it’s archaic , but I wanted a man to protect me, to take care me and to take care of in return. I felt safe telling him my dream and he confessed to sharing the same dream.
We started dating right before the holiday season. Previously, I dreaded the holidays every year. They brought about extreme depression loneliness; feelings of not fitting in. When the holidays came around this time, I felt happiness for the first time in I don’t know how long and I felt completed for the first time ever. There were little signs of trouble on the horizon but I chose to ignore them.
When we went to his family’s house for Christmas he was already referring to me as his fiancé and my daughter as his own child. I was over the moon. Yes, he was drinking excessively more days than not, but I bought a breathalyzer and told him that if he blew over a .08 he couldn’t come home. So, when that happened did I stick to my guns? No, I agreed with him that there is probably something wrong with the breathalyzer. Same thing when my neighbors told me they heard him outside at night talking to a girl on the phone, I convinced myself they were jealous and trying to break us up. Then I found evidence of him communicating with his ex on his phone and he snatched the phone out of my hands and shattered it. That is not the action of an innocent man, but I would be damned if my dream was getting taken from me, so I made yet some other new rule he would be sure to break.
All the while, he was unemployed, I was completely supporting him. I was going to school full-time, taking care of a three-year-old, then in my free time helping him to find a job. When I would find him a viable prospect he would either not show up or find another excuse to not take the job. Things deteriorated more and more every day: we were fighting nonstop and I suspected he was drinking and using drugs. So I gave him another ultimatum: he checks into detox or he is gone. Surprisingly, he agreed. I took him there, stayed with him until he was admitted, which took hours. I drove to visit him every day after school to bring him food and presents and tell him how proud I was. He spent a week there, the day he was released he got drunk.
I should mention that he was younger, only five years, but he never let me forget it. After my daughter, I was done having children. I changed my mind after we had been together several months. I was afraid that down the road I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant because of my age, and he would leave me for a younger woman. We began using an ovulation kit to help us conceive.
He started staying out; I wouldn’t be able to get a hold of him for hours at a time. He engaged in all kinds of suspicious behavior for which anyone else would have given him the boot. At the same time, unforeseen circumstances completely out of my control caused me to lose 80% of my income literally overnight. I just felt like I had put in so much of my time, energy, and money into this relationship and I was not going to let go of my dream. Not to mention I was now at a point where I desperately needed him to keep his promise of helping support the household financially. I willfully ignored the glaring fact that the more my bank account was depleted, the less respect and kindness I received from this man. One night he didn’t come home at all until the next morning. I could tell that he was on drugs and I wouldn’t let him in the house. I told him to come back to talk after my daughter left to visit her dad because he was scaring her. Unfortunately, he was insistent on getting in the house. Eventually, he punched a hole through the living room window with his bare hands but when he saw what he had done, he ran off.
Of course the police came; and of course, I didn’t press charges. The night before, when he didn’t come home, I took a home pregnancy test which came back positive. As far as I was concerned we were together for better or for worse and this was just the worse. I couldn’t get ahold of him for days and wound up miscarrying, having to go to the hospital for a D & C. Several days passed and finally he called me back. That’s when I learned that at the exact same time I was having my womb scraped out, he was having sex with his ex-girlfriend. This is the same girl that prompted him to break his iphone rather than allow me to read their communication. The same girl that has caused problems sporadically throughout the whole relationship.
He then confesses to me that he has a dilemma: he doesn’t know who to choose, any woman with half a brain with tell him to go to hell and take his young bimbo with him. Not me, I begged him to choose me and our family. In doing so, breaking another one of the rules I established at the beginning of the relationship: telling him that I would be understanding when it comes to just about anything except for cheating. Cheating was a zero tolerance offense. Until it happened. Then I adjusted the rules, if he did choose us he could have no communication with this girl again, whatsoever. Plus, he had to call her with me on speaker phone so I could hear him tell her that he loved me and he chose us. Although reluctant to do so (hello!!), he finally did. “Whatever” was her reply.
Looking back, I have no idea why I stayed on his roller coaster ride. As we got closer to the end, my grip was so tight my knuckles were white. Still, I refused to get off. I had sacrificed way too much and I refused to accept that I had lost not only all the financial and material things I invested. Most of all I would not acknowledge that my dreams weren’t going to come true, after all. Even worse, they never were in the first place. It was all a lie. This man, who was now a stranger to me, exploited my dream for his own selfish needs then threw me and my child away when he no longer had any use for us.
The first man I truly loved, that I allowed myself to be vulnerable with, was a lie. This man who looked deep into my eyes and promised me forever; I was nothing more than a place to stay, an ATM machine. I have to shoulder most of the blame, people treat you however you allow them to. How could he take me seriously when every single time I told him that repeating a behavior would be a deal-breaker, but then allowed the behavior to continue?
He was a master of the Machiavellian technique. He knew exactly how to manipulate me based on my insecurities and what I desperately wanted out of life.
The ex (we’ll call her “the bimbo”) told me that he had said I was nothing more than a convenience. I convinced myself that she said this out of jealousy because he chose me. Deep down, however, I knew it was true. He had said so many horrible things about this girl to me, yet put her above his so-called “family”. I can’t even begin to imagine the things he must have been saying about me. I treated him like a king, was loyal and faithful to a fault, contrary to the stories he told me of the bimbo cheating repeatedly.
Another thing I will never understand: how some people (like me) have to struggle and fight tooth and nail for everything in life; and others (like him) seem to get life handed to them on a silver platter? No matter what kind of trouble he got into his mommy bailed him out. Even after he left my life in ruins, his mother condoned the behavior and enabled him by letting him back under her roof to live like a thirty year old teenage King. She bought him cigarettes and gave him gas money every day. Paid his car insurance and phone bill, He would always have a place to go, and as I was losing my main source of income, not one, but two jobs just fell into his lap. I was hopeful because during a lot of our fights, he would claim that he just needed to be working and he would be a lot happier. Not to mention, he had been promising for months to reciprocate all the ways I had supported him financially.
Reading this, you probably are thinking that I am gullible, or at least so desperate I would believe anything, but you’ve never heard this man talk. As the cliché goes: he could sell ice to an Eskimo. I’m starting to get really worried because he still is acting sneaky in my opinion, but he spun this fantastic tale about how his new bosses wanted to fly him and his “family” out to South Carolina and we were going to have a little vacation. I was guardedly excited; he had made a lot of fantastic promises in the past that amounted to nothing.
I didn’t know it at the time, but finally he no longer had use for me. Actually, he needed me one last time: to pick him up from work and take him to the airport to pick up the company car he was now entitled to. Then he was supposed to follow me home, right before that we went shopping and he picked out lingerie for me. I went home, but he never arrived. He didn’t answer my calls, texts, nothing. To this day, I haven’t got an explanation. He never even bothered to break up with me. The bimbo texted me a picture of them in bed together flipping me off. Oddly enough, the worst part, the part that nearly sent me over the edge, was that he just vanished. We never existed to him. If he had broken up with me, explained why, I could have made sense of it all. The fact that he referred to us as his family, was intentionally trying to impregnate me, making all these plans for our future…then just walks away. It blew my mind. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t make sense of it and it almost drove me insane.
I’m in the process of getting evicted, my daughter asks for him still, I’ve lost everything. Even though he has the capability to keep me and my child from losing our home, he’s too selfish to help. He went back to his 22 year old bimbo, and left us, his “family” to suffer. I’ve had revenge fantasies that have come very close to being made reality. Instead, I just pray to forgive and move on and hope that karma will get the job done. I get the satisfaction of knowing all the pain, all the struggling, makes me stronger. It makes me wiser; and it makes me way more of a man than he can ever hope to be.