I escaped a psychopath. So why am I still afraid?

I have been away from my abuser for over three years now yet I still have major anxiety triggers. I don’t know if anyone can understand this, but the weirdest things throw me into a panic. If I see thousand island salad dressing I get nauseous. If I actually see someone eating I start to sweat and my throat feels tight. Is I smell it I can actually vomit and feel like i’m having a panic attack. If my  loving, very gentle husband brings his hand up to my face too quickly  I cringe and get goosebumps, I feel dizzy. The sight of comic books make me break out in hives. I get hot and my adrenalin starts pumping. I can’t even watch the movies BASED on comic books. I can have nightmares of my ex husband for weeks after seeing any of those things. There are other things too. If I see someone in a blue PT Cruiser drive by I become paranoid for weeks. Certain my ex has tracked me down and is ready to finish things. I sometimes don’t leave the house for a few days If I see someone who looks like the ex, especially if I don’t get a clear enough look at the person to be able to prove to myself it isn’t HIM.

Now, these things don’t happen frequently, but they do happen. Always very suddenly.  I can be feeling on top of things, very at peace and happy and then BAM I glance at the table next to us in a restaurant and someone is taking a bite of salad. With THAT dressing. I’m instantly locked onto the view. I can’t take my eyes off them as the happily take a bite, oblivious to me becoming terrified. I can be happily browsing a flea market and uncover a box of comic books. I will have to leave right away.

Sometimes it makes me feel like I’m crazy. That he got to my psyche so badly that the little things he liked makes me have an anxiety attack. I’ll have a week of nightmares and night sweats and moodiness.

I wish I could make it all go away.

My ex husband was a very evil man. A real wolf-in-sheeps clothing. He puts on the gentle country nerd type to a T. He is very smart, very dark and an Emmy worthy actor. He can lie, manipulate and charm just about anyone. I quickly learned to live in fear of the man and had to go to great lengths to get away from the man. He learned to bruise all the secret places, pinch under tables and behind backs, choke until my legs cave out and spots are seen. He controlled the finances, owned the cars. Moved me to a secluded town with his crazy inbred family. Cross country from any familiar faces and having no one to turn to quickly became a nightmare. He was the prodigal son, the one who could do no wrong. The son who still got hundreds of dollars a month out of his mama for comic books regardless of needing diapers or not. He had sick sexual fantasies that he started forcing me to hear about. He would write these crazy comic stories about women who would grow muscles and breasts and rape people, stories about men growing penises. I became disgusted and afraid the longer we were together. After one very violent argument I got the courage to say I was leaving. That was the day he told me he’d gotten away with murder before, and he could make me disappear if I left.

Over a period of a year he would use this to scare me, intimidate me, force me to have sex with him and stay under control. I wore what he told me to, cooked what he said he wanted and was only allowed to go grocery shopping with his mother. Every time I stepped out of line he would tell me something new and even more frightening about his path.

He was engaged before he met me and she committed suicide. When we first met he told me she got upset and hung herself in a closet. His family backed it up as a horrible tragedy and there was never an investigation. According to his family HE was HER victim. She broke his heart by doing that.

But as the evil HIM began to surface the story became that they were fighting about a picture he had drawn. Of her. HE had made her have muscles and a penis like his fetish and she got upset. ‘She couldn’t understand that he was showing her the real him’ and they began to fight. He chased her up the stairs with a knife to ‘make a point’ and saw her picking up the phone and he threw the knife at her. It stuck in the wall as she panicked and backed into the wall. He says he grabbed her head and squeezed ‘he was ‘just THAT angry’ and all of a sudden he felt a crack. He said he felt her bowels release and he freaked out. He ran to his car and got a bungee cord that he had from his parts job and went back inside. He said he dragged her into the closet and hung her up. He then called 911 and the rest was ‘history’.

‘Do you want to end up like that DEAR?’ He would whisper as hed be pinching the skin on the back of my arm. ‘We could do something a little more creative with you if you don’t shut the FUCK up.’

I can’t hear the word ‘Dear’ without my skin prickling.

I did leave once. I flew to my mothers. The baby was a few months old and I was terrified. I didn’t talk to him for weeks and then he started sending Im sorry cards. Long phone calls. ‘It wasn’t true baby,’ he’d say ‘I was just pissed off and trying to get your attention. I didn’t kill her baby, you know I could NEVER do something like that’. He’d tell me how much he loved me and how we would go to counseling and he would never use his dead fiancé to scare me again. ‘I’ll never hurt you again baby. Ever.’

I went back.

Ironic right? Absolutely cliché. They always go back right?

I wish to GOD I hadn’t. Maybe my children wouldn’t have been hurt. But they were. And it WAS my fault.

We did go to counseling at first. He did stop hurting me and arguing with me and forcing me to read his porn stories. I convinced him that we needed to move back to where my family was. That the only way to fix things was to get away from his family and try to go to church and focus on family.

Within six months he started up again. The hitting, the lying, the manipulation. Never helping with the house or children and not allowing me to see the finances. He started getting upset that I was loosing weight. He didn’t want me to wear any clothes that weren’t baggy or I was being a ‘whore’. I got a job and he refused to babysit the children. He wouldn’t allow me to use the vehicle so I would have to walk the kids to day care and then myself to work.

Finally things got so bad that a very serious police officer told me to get a restraining order and never go back. He fought the restraining order and lost, and the judge included the children on it. We moved into a smaller apartment and my dad helped me get a little car. Things were good for a few weeks, then he violated the restraining order and pushed me down some stairs. My little boy tried to fight him off and got a neighbor who witnessed everything. He was FINALLY arrested. My son saw him arrested and we made an emergency appointment with his therapist. My sweet boy told the therapist that all along this monster had been sexually abusing him. He was terrified to tell and now that the officers took him away, he felt safe enough to tell.  We called the police and they came out and talked to Owen. I was a mess. I had vowed that my children would never suffer, and there I was, BLIND to his evil.

We thought for sure that the man would be judge by a jury. CPS came out and substantiated the claims of my daughter and son being abused. They said the man was not to be around the children. Still we waited for justice. It never came. ‘No DNA evidence’ they said ‘only his word against the childs’. They didn’t care that my son was in therapy for sexual abuse. They didn’t have to sit with him through the nightmares, through the crying. The angry part of his healing where he ditched school and started damaging things and acting outs. They didn’t see their child contemplate suicide because he was afraid that HE would come back.

Once he was arrested the terrorizing began. The slashed tires and the spray painted cars. The hoses being turned on the yards overnight. The hundreds of phone calls to my work. The drive by of the work and schools. Once I started dating my (now) husband HE even started harassing him. Hed follow my love to work, rev up behind him like he was going to rear end him, calling his job, etc.

My hair started falling out. I was having daily migraines, heart palpitations and panic attacks. Id have to leave work because Id start to break out in hives and the world would become pin sized. We were all stressed. The police wouldn’t do anything. We didn’t have proof of any of these things. Even though a neighbor witnessed a blue pt cruiser parked AT our house at 2am the day our vehicle was destroyed we couldn’t PROVE it was him.

I just knew we’d end up dead.

Finally my new husband had enough and said we needed to get out of there. So we sold everything we owned and took off to a place hed never think to look. My mothers town. We changed our media profiles to request a completely new place and gave our lawyers our forwarding address. Its been a year now.

It is here that I am finding myself. I feel safe and loved. My only issues center on my mother and even those are nothing compared to the ex husband.

So, I feel safe, I feel happy, and then BAM, suddenly I’m flipping thru the t.v channels and there is iron man. Within five minutes I’m throwing up.

Part of me knows that nothing lasts forever. Even safety. He may bide his time but someday he will figure a way to hurt me. That’s all he does. Finish people. Bring them down to lift himself up.

That must be why any glimpse of HIM, regardless how mundane they are, is like a slap- in- the-face reminder of my vulnerability and weakness. Of my inability to see that my children were being victimized far worse than I was. I was blind.

And now I see.

And it’s not always the beautiful things that comes into focus.

I want so badly to heal. Have I come this far only to still have him restraining me and controlling my life?

I know, logically, that I must have PTSD. But, what do I do with that knowledge? How to I really heal?

I just want the nightmares to stop.

 

 

 

nightmares

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Dear mama. A letter I’ll never be brave enough to send.

So, I sat down to blog and ended up pouring my heart and soul out in a letter to my mother and step father. I allowed myself to be brutally honest and raw and candid. I went thru it with my hubby, he thinks it’s perfect, and he even added some things to it.

I’m terrified to send it. In fact, I don’t think I have the guts. As much pain and heartache and feelings of loss and belittlement… and even though I spend almost four hours writing it… I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to send it.

So for now I’ll post it here, where I’m free to be me and free to express my pain and heartache without judgment.

Dear Mom and ***

*** and I are sitting here together writing you this letter in the hopes that you will read it completely. We have made an attempt to talk to you about the way that we are feeling in the hopes that maybe it will help you understand our side of the situation. You may think that we are out of line, you may roll your eyes and crumple this letter up and never read it. You could blow it off and say we are once again over reacting and not thinking things thru however this letter is our final attempt to get on even ground with you both. Not one of us deserves the tension or the stress of the constant bickering and arguing. I know that here on our end we have a lot going on that you don’t know about, and I absolutely know without doubt that the same goes for you both.

This letter has to happen. I’m going to be blunt and honest. You will think I’m trying to hurt you, but please, stick with the letter. Read it. It is the only way we can ever move forward. The only way I can ever heal. Maybe you will heal too.

Mom our relationship has always been very turbulent. You say that I cannot let go of the past and maybe you are right. Even though I like to think that I’ve grown and matured and have let go of my childhood /teenage anger and hurt-you are probably a hundred percent right that it still affects me during all of our interactions. It is probably one of the reasons I become instantly emotional and over dramatic when we argue. Do you understand that this is not something I can easily control? I have PTSD mom. It’s a very real, very scary, very unchangeable disorder.

The facts are cold but true I was raped, repeatedly by your boyfriend and his dad. When I told you about it you turned your back on me and told me that you’d ‘tell them to lay off of me’. And you stayed. That moment- right there- was worse than *** and his dad . I still remember it clearly as if it happened earlier this morning. Mom, do you know why I dealt with the abuse for so long? It wasn’t because I was scared for me I learned how to zone out and leave the situations when they were happening early on… It was because I was scared for YOU. You were the one threat that kept me quiet. They would kill you.
And so I kept quiet. I watched them strangle my baby bunnies, had a shotgun put inside of me, had my air supply cut off. How old was I mom? 7,8,9? Little. I had no doubt in my mind that the things they threatened me with would happen. You would be killed, and I would be left alone with THEM. That was the worst thing my little mind could imagine. Me. Alone and without YOU.

You. You were my best friend. I wanted to BE you. You were the most fun, easy-going, interesting and smart mom, and I loved (LOVE!!) you with all my heart. Hanging out with you and browsing thrift stores and fighting over the last scoops of ice cream- those are my favorite childhood memories.

Those are the things I choose to think about. Not *** and his dad or my anger that you didn’t call the police and get my abusers off the street. It’s true that For a long time I did hold on to that anger. Whenever you made me mad or I didn’t get my way I would throw those awful things in your face and slur hurtful things at you and hold on to my anger. But then I had a child.

I had a child and started to make my own bad decisions. I caused pain to my own son and I realized I was becoming the parent I didn’t want to be. I realized that as a parent I was HUMAN and my mistakes didn’t just affect me, they affected my children. I realized how much GUILT I had over the things I had done and my selfishness and I realized, actually I KNEW that you have to feel the same way. I can’t begin to imagine how awful you have felt all these years and how badly you wish you could go back to the moment I told you. When you told me that you were addicted to meth and that you were actually in rehab when you left me alone with Dave for that stretch- DO you know how GREATFUL I was that you told me this? Having dealt with addiction myself I understood then how you missed the signs and why you didn’t have normal reactions. Drugs like meth and heroin change people. You opening up to me helped HEAL me mom.

Mom, I let your role in my sexual assaults go when you told me the truth. I will always, always have PTSD and anxiety- but I honestly have FORGIVEN you.

I think that you constantly assuming that I hate you and I have a grudge against you and that I blame you isn’t about ME anymore, but about you. I’m not sure that YOU forgive YOU.

It is important for you to understand that my anger and stress over the current situation with you two isn’t about the past at all. It’s about now and the future.

We chose to move cross-country to live here not just due to safety. Yes, we needed a safe place to get away from *** abuse. That situation was escalating and you offered us a safe solution. The help that you gave us by moving us and getting us into housing and a job- a vehicle- all of those things that you did were beyond helpful. We will forever be grateful and humbled and thankful for everything that you did.
But the safety thing was not the deciding factor. Mom, YOU were.

I felt that I’d come to a stage in my life that I needed you. I have always ached for the kind of mother/daughter relationship that my friends and family members seemed to have. I needed to be able to say that I gave 100 percent my all in forming a solid and healthy relationship with you. It’s all I’ve ever wanted mom.

When we got out here we really tried to welcome you into our lives. We invited you over for meals, invited you to the parks, tried to get you guys to spend TIME with us. There were always excuses. Yes you guys would come sometimes, but for the most part you guys have been busy with the move and the shop etc. Yes sometimes your turn downs hurt. I would get offended and emotional. I think a lot of that was the isolation factor.

I’m not sure you realize just how lonely it has been. We know absolutely NO ONE. Just you two. But you two were never around. We felt lost in a new place and very alone in cases of emergencies.

You’ve told *** three times that you are going to pick her up for breakfast. Promised to take *** out fishing on the boat. A year later…The children remember these things and ask us repeatedly. What can we say? I’ve invited you over for coffee before work millions of times, you’ve come twice. *** has invited *** fishing and I have reached out to offer us to come help you guys with yard work. We have tried in so many little ways to try to be a family with you. Eventually we just kind of slowed things down and stopped asking. Wed throw out an invite now and then but not expect anything.

You guys tell us we need to give you a heads up when we want to make plans. Tell you in advance. But then when we do you guys say ‘idk, we don’t make plans’ and ‘that’s too far in the future’. It’s confusing.

The babysitting situation has been the biggest source of tension for us. We know no one. Absolutely no one out here. You two are the only ones we’d trust to watch our children- but every single time we ask you it turns into a fight. It has begun to feel like us asking you is a burden. You guys have babysat three times. In a year. Only one time have you called and ASKED to have them.
You started to dictate our time together. You said to make our Dr. Appointments separate so you don’t have to watch them during those times. Honestly the fact that you wouldn’t help us by watching *** during ***’s colonoscopy was VERY hurtful. You have no idea how hard it was to be there for my husband, not being able to go back to talk to the dr or be there when my husband woke up. We have only asked you guys to watch them for medical reasons and once for a date. We aren’t partying or going out to bars or being stupid. We aren’t asking you to watch them weekly or even monthly. Then there comes the times that you DO say yes. It always ALWAYS comes with a list of exceptions- yes, but no if it rains. Yes but no if we get sick. Yes but no if something comes up. Yes but no if you plan on spending money.

We have always respected you both. We don’t question you guys about your decisions; we’ve never questioned how you spend money or what you guys do with your time. Because those things are none of our business. We have no right to be a part of those things.
It bothers us that you feel that you have the right to do those things to us. Yes you’ve helped us extensively, but we have worked our butts off to repay those debts and we have finally gotten there. We have asked you for money ONE TIME. That was when Tyger got hit by a car. We have never asked for a loan, even in the winter when we spent two straight weeks eating bologna sandwiches. We have pushed through the struggle and been ok. I just said thank you when you thought it was ok to write out a budget for OUR house. I know you were being helpful, but the offer of helping us to set up a budget may have been easier to swallow… at no point is it ok for you to tell us that we shouldn’t spend money on going to the movies on our one year anniversary. You have no idea how hard we scrimp and save for us to do things every so often- nor should it matter to you. We don’t ask you for money, and we work our butts off and have always put paying off our debt to you first. We are adults, not children. If we were wasting our money and drowning it would be one thing- but although things are tight- we haven’t sunk yet.

We don’t go out to eat often or see shows. We don’t do anything other than fish, watch movies at home or take hikes. We have spent months at a time eating only one big meal a day, making our own toothpaste and laundry soap and talking to management about ways to reduce our rent. We don’t leave lights on or waste gas. We home school our children and we believe in God. We pray and we are kind and we LOVE YOU.

We’ve tried to keep communications open and try to talk to you and include you guys in our lives. Our children love and adore and have learned so, so much from each one of you. We respect you. xxx we admire how you’ve built your business from the ground up and keep it successful. We admire the way you are able to explain things to our children and how smart you are. xxx has come to look up to you. You have become his role model. He has learned so much from this year of working by your side… I envy that because Honestly, I have struggled to try to find my place in your life xxx, as your step-daughter. I have tried to find ways to get to know you, but I feel a barrier a lot because of all of the issues I’ve just discussed. I’ve tried getting your advice and really opened up to you a few times and it always ends up with mom getting upset at me and telling me not text. I’ve tried to invite you to do things with us and the idea of us building a table together came right from my heart. Because xxx, although I feel a barrier, I’ve come to love you. I’ve accepted you 100 percent. You have no idea how much I respect you. And I want to get to know YOU. What do you know about me?

And there it is. What do you know about us at all? Neither of you truly has made an attempt. You have no idea who we are as people. As adults. It stings that we have been here a year and you haven’t even tried.

I have tried to talk to you about what I’m going on health wise. Mom you brush everything off and make me feel like it’s all in my head. You have no idea even half of what’s going on or how scared I actually am.

Saturday just really brought things to a head. You would not allow me to say ANYTHING and I listened to you lay out all these things that are upsetting you. I would have told you that we had taken care of these things but you said that you refused to talk about it anymore, and that we all four needed to sit down and talk. So, we waited.

And you cancelled. You want to brush everything under the rug and just forget about everything. How can you not see that this argument isn’t about a misplaced bill payment- but everything about you two not giving us any of the respect that we give you? You don’t respect that we wanted to sit down to talk, or that we felt it was important. You told me that my husband was lying to me and that there were things he wasn’t telling me.

xxx and I tell each other everything. Even when you think we don’t talk, we do. Our relationship has always been one of respect and brutal honesty. When you say ‘don’t tell xxx, or ‘don’t tell xxx’, guess who’s at home that night spilling the beans? Us. We are best friends and we are open. There is a huge difference between forgetting about a bill that is due and dishonesty. Dishonesty is when you deliberately manipulate a fact. We have never done that to one another and we never will. So when you started talking about my husband and he wasn’t there to defend himself, I was going to participate. I had a valid reason to stop the conversation. I respect my husband and I will never, ever listen to someone belittle him or bad mouth him. I at the same time respected you enough to tell you that if my husband WAS being distrustful or hiding something, the four of us talking would be the time to bring that issue up and settle the situation.

Even in a court of law you can’t make a statement about what someone told you someone said. It doesn’t work in the legal system and it doesn’t work in a relationship either. Not one based on respect and love. When you love someone you talk. You discuss the little things as they happen and you listen to each other. You care about one another’s feelings and you respect one another’s decisions in life. You don’t try to dictate how someone else lives their lives- you just offer advice, guidance and a shoulder to cry on if you fail.
This is the relationship we thought we could have with you two.

We have reached a point where xxx can’t even go to work without tension. There are times when he feels completely belittled by you mom. There have been times when you’ve yelled at him in front of customers and times that you brought me up. Asking my husband if I hate him at work isn’t acceptable. There has been times where xxx has left work feeling really upset by the way you’ve treated him at work, and still enjoyed you guys coming over for dinner that night. He has been able to leave work and home as a separate thing, but it has gotten to the point where things were going to blow. This time xxx and I made the decision that he couldn’t go back in to work until we all talked. xxx does not have to listen to these things while he is working, and he won’t.

xxx loves working at xxx. He has learned so much, and enjoys learning how to run the business. He had dreams of one day running the business and making sure it lasts long after you’re gone. The idea of Giving up his dream job saddens us both. But xxx and I have both reached the point where we need peace in our lives. We are finally safe. We are finally in a home we love and a city we enjoy. We have a lot going on health wise that is taking a toll on us, and very frightening. We are just trying to HEAL. Mentally, physically and emotionally. We can’t take on anything more than what is going on just within our household right now. Things that only the lord can change. We can’t continue with the hurt feelings, the turmoil, the he said she said or the constant scrutiny over everything that we do.

So we are at a crossroads at this point. I completely recognize that all of this is only our point of view. This is only our side of things and I have no idea what’s going on over there on your end. But we want to. Wave made every attempt we can.

Our door is open. We’d love to hear your side of things and we are open to the fact that maybe we ARE the wrong ones here. If we are we want you to explain how. Talk to us. But with respect. We have never done anything not to deserve your respect and we’ve never once stopped giving it to you. We hope you’ve read all of this, and we hope that it makes sense and maybe helps. The rest is up to you. Be it now or ten years from now, we are willing to sit down and listen, and come to some sort of mutual ground. Either way this is our last attempt that we will make to finally bury the hatchet, put hurt feelings and misgivings at bay and to start treating each other the way family should.

We love you.

XXX and XXX

Please STFU about Kimye. Im over it.

I am so sick and tired of hearing about the ‘Kimye’ wedding. There is a serious issue with society if this wedding is as big a deal as they want it to be. Every single news feed and Facebook page and television show is still talking about this ‘huge affair’.

Maya Angelou, famous poet/activist/beautiful person passes away and Kimye is still talked about first. The government shoots down a bill that would make companies tell us if they use GMO in the foods we feed our children, there are mass shootings, government conspiracies, WARS… and yet what’s on the cover of people magazine? Kimye.

Disgusting America.

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