My parents have been together since high school and are still going strong. My grandparents were together until the day my Grandaddy passed away. Sociopaths don’t run in my family. I just assumed that my love life would be relatively uneventful. I’d meet my guy, we’d fall in love, have babies and live happily ever after.
Well, of course that didn’t happen. I’ve never done anything in my life the easy way and the whole relationship/marriage/babies thing was no exception. It all started out innocently enough. I graduated high school having only had one “real” boyfriend. Then college came and went with a host of flings, boyfriend-ish guys and a couple of actual long term relationships. I didn’t feel the need to get married. I figured I’d have a kid one day, but it wasn’t this crazy burning desire that some women talk about having.
And then I moved away from my happy little college town and realized that I was behind on life! Oh no! Bloody hell! I started dating a guy pretty much immediately upon my move and stayed with him for almost a year before admitting to myself that this absolutely was NOT going to work. Good enough guy, we just didn’t have much in common, didn’t have the same goals, didn’t have the same values, etc . So yeah, not the stuff dream marriages are made of.
The Marriage: Sociopath #1
Speaking of dream marriages, check out this timeline.
January: broke up with boyfriend of almost 1 year
January: met random guy at Buffalo Wild Wings
January – February: realized that this was it, this was my shot at happiness, marriage, kids (all while ignoring the MANY alarm bells ringing in my head)
March: started a business with said random guy
April: got married to aforementioned guy
June: got pregnant (on purpose) and started to finally recognize and acknowledge those warning bells that had escalated to warning sirens and flashing lights
July – September: lived with the realization that my husband was a pathological liar, drug addict, sociopathic, worthless excuse for a human being and oh what the double fudge have I gotten myself into and ohmygod now I’m having a baby and shit shit shit here comes an arrest for…yeah, ok I’ll stop now with the euphemism of ‘irreconcilable differences”
October: kicked the asshat out
So that was fun. I had my beautiful baby girl the next February. I wasn’t able to get legally divorced until he got out of jail (yeah, the jail bit was a huge part in the whole unraveling) because, as it turns out, you are responsible for paying for your spouse’s legal representation if they contest divorce while incarcerated. Who knows, maybe that little bit of trivia will get you a big win on Jeopardy one day. So, I waited. It wasn’t like I was planning to EVER get married again. Nope. Saying “I do” in the courthouse was the single most damaging thing I had ever done in my entire life (28 years at that point) and I was never going through that dance again.
I stayed single for over almost 2 years after that. Not even a date. Nada. There’s a difference between being burned in a relationship and having your entire world shot to shit in under a year. Worlds apart. I was well prepared to be a single mother and then slowly evolve into a crazy cat lady after Lex moved out. It was my destiny.
My baby was closing in on 2 before I so much as went to the movies with a male. So ok, I figured I could be a single mom and date occasionally and that would be fine. Totally doable.
The Sequel: Sociopath #2
Except THEN I met up with a guy I had known in college who lived nearby. It was a guy I had absolutely detested in college, so I reeeeally should have went with that first impression but noooooo. He was cute, he was sweet, he was funny, he liked the same music and movies as me, and he made me feel like an actual person again for the first time in years. He was also a sociopath. For real. He idolized Patrick Bateman. He TOLD me he was a sociopath. I thought that was just part of his persona, a little quirky thing that made him different and interesting. I thought I could fix him. Poor little broken puppy that he was.
You’ve heard of gaslighting, yeah? The quick and dirty meaning is that it’s a manipulation where you’re told bullshit enough times to where you start to question your own perceptions of reality. I had married and procreated with a loser of the highest caliber so what did I know? Maybe this really was the best I could do. Maybe it was true that ALL guys had multiple girls. Maybe the reason it had never worked with anyone before was because I was just unlovable. Maybe I was being overly dramatic. Maybe I did overreact to him answering his phone at 2am with “Hey, baby.” Maybe it really wasn’t the norm but it didn’t matter because I wasn’t good enough for anyone anyway so I should just go ahead and accept my fate. We fought. We made up. We fought. I was accidentally befriended on Facebook by one of his sluts. She and I put 2 and 2 together. I still went back to him. So did she. Instead of hating him and moving on, we hated each other. I doubled my efforts to be “good enough” so he wouldn’t want her anymore. Or any of the other God only knows how many hookups he had on the sidelines. Because that was the thing, I was his MAIN girl. And that somehow made me feel superior. Just FYI, I realize how completely insane all this sounds now.
Freddy VS Jason: The Final Cut
So anyway, long story short (LULZ), I finally FINALLY got it together enough to walk away for good. Not gonna lie, it was hard. In spite of everything, it was incredibly hard. I had been with him off and on for about 3 years. That had become my state of normalcy: a crazily vicious cycle – extreme happiness followed by crippling despair followed by eager forgiveness, rinse, repeat.
I don’t quite know why I felt compelled to share all this today. It most certainly doesn’t paint me in a very flattering light. I guess maybe I want other women (and men) who have been or are currently in similar situations to know they’re not alone. And that you CAN get out, break the cycle, maybe even have a relatively normal relationship with someone who isn’t batshit insane.
And here’s a big one. It’s not your fault. Really. It’s not a complete cop-out because yeah, you got into that situation but the thing about sociopaths is that they’re goooood at what they do while they’re doing it. Scarily so.
Anyway, I got out. The end.