Of Mice and Monsters X

IMG_1201

Several years after I was out of the relationship with my ex, my mother received a phone call from a detective in Boston wanting to know if I was alive.

My mom told him that I was alive.  He asked when the last time we had spoken.  She had told him it was about a week prior.  He explained that he needed confirmation from me that I was indeed alive and to contact him at the phone number he provided.  He explained that my ex had tried to developed a photograph at a local pharmacy which depicted a naked woman hanging from a tree, bound, blind-folded, gagged, and severely beaten.   He claimed that the woman in the photo was me.

My mother was of course shocked but told me to call the detective.  I did not believe it was the cops, I thought it may have been him posing as a police officer.  Instead I called the police department’s main number myself and asked for said detective.  The story checked out.   I was asked to come down to the police station to verify I was, and that I was alive.

I took the ride and met the detective.  He showed me the photo and I verified my identity.  He asked me if what happened in the photo was consensual.  I said that it was.   The detective seemed taken aback.    I did tell him at that time I wanted the photo destroyed and that was confused to me as to why my ex had been developing it in the first place since it had been years since we had split up.

The officer assured me that he would make sure he had put the fear of God in my ex about distributing a photo like this and the implications it would have for him if he didn’t destroy it.

As to why my ex had kept it all those years?  Like many Sociopaths, particularly those who are sexual sadists, most acquire trophies from their victims.  This photo of me may be a trophy of his handiwork.  He can re-live that day over and over again by looking at it.

That was the last I heard of him until two months ago when I received a Facebook friends request, which I promptly deleted.

I often read other blogs here on WordPress of both victims of Narcissism as well as a few Narcissists themselves.  I have been watching Sam Vatkin’s videos on YouTube for years. I also have been watching Richard Grannon on YouTube for near as long as well.

It would seem that I am doing a good job of staying no contact, despite the two hoovers he sent my way.   One came 1.5 years after he discarded me, the other five years later.   I am left with a morbid curiosity as to why he ever hoovered me so far out after discarding me.   I may well never know.

What I do know is that there is life after a Narcissistic Sociopath.   I eventually did go on to meet a new guy.   It’s only when one door closes they say that another can open.

Of Mice and Monsters VIIII

IMG_1196

The last thing I asked him as I carried my belongings to my car from his house was,

” So you would rather choose a life of paying for prostitutes, going to gangbangs, having NSA sex with people from craigslist, and swinging,  than being with me?

To which he answered,

” well I’m not sure I’d phrase it that way but yes .”

I’m not sure how many weeks it was after I pulled out of his driveway that I just couldn’t get him off my mind.  Good, bad, or worse you don’t spend five years with someone and then have it end just in a blink without being in a crap ton of pain.  It’s a loss.  Even if it was fake on his end, all the feelings had been real on mine.

He hadn’t called me, hadn’t emailed me, hadn’t texted me.  It was like I had never even existed. It was like all the ‘I love you’s he had told me was a lie. My mind could understand but my heart wouldn’t accept the truth.

I wanted answers as to why….closure, I desperately needed closure so I sent him an email. I asked him if he missed me and if he ever thought about me.

He did respond and said he would always love me but that I just didn’t fit into his life at this time.

I wrote back again asking if we could just be friends. If I would be able to just clean his house? Mow his lawn? I couldn’t imagine not having some small piece of him . The gaping hole in my heart that he occupied was just too deep. I didn’t feel strong enough to survive the loss.

He answered without hesitation, no.

When I wrote back insisting that I must mean something to him? He wrote back that I was becoming a nuisance and that if I ever contacted him again that he would call the police.

I was horrified.  Felt betrayed.  Five years of caring for him.  What happened to him hanging on my every word so early on? What happened to him teaching me every sexual move I knew?

At first I went numb.  Then after weeks of just lying round in my pajamas like a uniform, I did a google search for support groups for women who had been victims of abuse. I put in keywords silence, crazy, mood swings, abuse, sex addiction and found Narcissism.

Then I dig further and found online support groups through Facebook and joined. They don’t show up in your public groups list so your friends and family don’t know your in them.  There forums you can read others stories or situations anonymously or also comment and give feedback.  You can also write your own story and/ or situation and receive feedback.  I felt so much less isolated.

I also joined phone line support groups. This proved invaluable. I phoned into meetings a few times a week.  Talking with other women who experienced the same thing.  Different keypads on the phone muted and un-muted the phone and the meetings were highly structured so that one person spoke at a time.  At the end everyone got a chance to speak.

Every woman that I grew to know on those phone lines told me that he would come back for me one day. They said, “they all do.” They all used their term “Hoover.”

 Hoovering is a technique that is named after the Hoover vacuum cleaner, and is used by Narcissists (and other manipulative people) in order to “suck” their victims back into a relationship with them. Hoovering is often done after the silent treatment is given or the victim has left them.

I protested,” not this one he threatened the police on me and apparently made good on it, my local police notified me that although I wasn’t in any trouble, I was asked not to contact him again. That it wasn’t a restraining order but that it would be considered harassment if I did.

The women all insisted, “he’ll be back.”

And they were right.

_______________________________

A year and a half later,  it was Valentines Day evening.  I wasn’t doing much.  Watching TV,  when I heard a knock at the door.  I pulled the door open and there he stood.

My heart dropped.

I never ever expected to see him again.  He had a box of chocolates and a card in hand.  I had done a ton of recovery work but nothing had prepared me for this.

Well aren’t you going to invite me in?”

As if reflexively, by some unseen force  I opened the door.  It felt that way, because I felt afraid and yet I also felt hypnotized by him, unable to stop myself from opening the door.   There’s something powerful that is created in these trauma bonds they work so hard that form with you in the beginning.

Trauma bond was a term first created by Patrick Carnes used to describe “the misuse of fear, excitement, sexual feelings, and sexual physiology to entangle another person.”

A simpler and more encompassing definition is that traumatic bonding is: 

“a strong emotional attachment between an abused person and his or her abuser, formed as a result of the cycle of violence.”

I’m pretty sure that  Dracula was a supernatural Narcissist who used trauma bonds on his bitches too.

After I let him in, he initially hugged me but quickly his hands fell and tried to put the moves on me and I realized what he had come for.  All the recovery work was not lost.  I quickly led him to the door, thanked him for the chocolate, and shut and locked it after he left.  He looked quite surprised.  I even surprised myself.  I threw the chocolate out later.   My body did respond to him that night but I never said a thing and I never have.

Body Betrayal

When people survive repeated sexual assault or abuse, their body often betrays them by responding to their abuser by getting aroused and/or with an orgasm.  Researchers David Finkelhor and Kersti Yllo found that some women in their study reported that they had experienced pleasure during the rapes, particularly in cases of repeated rape. They write that this appears to be an “adaptive response” that makes repeated rape more survivable (1985 photo pg  125).

Asking him to leave, rather than falling for the trap of thinking that because my body was responding that it meant somehow we were “meant to be.” This was a huge moment of success for me.  I had ushered out the monster and ushered in, the infancy of self-care.

Donning the mask

IMG_1125

I struggle for authenticity.   There is a yearning for wholeness, for acceptance of self, for cohesion within myself.  Despite this, shame has always driven me to compartmentalize areas of my life; to stay fractured, splintered.

Only 3 friends know about this blog.  Still fewer know my dad signed his parental rights away when I was one and a half.  Few people who know me are aware that I swear like a sailor despite me having a good command of lexicon at my disposal.   My eating disorder is only known by my immediate family and 2 close friends.   I can count on one hand who knows this abbreviated story I recount here,  the abuse I suffered at the hands of my ex.  No one knows I am a survivor of incest as a child, but my shrink, my dying mother, and my fiancé.

It is still hard to say that out loud,” Isurvivedincest,” even in a therapy session behind closed doors where no one can hear.

But how to synthesize these areas of my life?  Would people be accepting of the “real me” after years of putting on a veneer and hiding the ugly things that I am ashamed which happened to me?

Me trading authenticity for acceptance began in early childhood.  Often doing what other kids wanted to do even if I didn’t want to, afraid I might lose them and/or their friendship.  I became a people pleaser at a very young age. In a desperate attempt for love and affection which were denied all around me.  Instead of getting love, I received the abuse, exploitation, and humiliation.

As a victim of incest, the first lessons I learned was that my home was not a safe place, and that my body was not my own, and that I didn’t get to have a  “no”.

As early as kindergarten I recall feeling shame, it manifested in feeling ‘less then’ the other kids.   Anxious and unsettled and wanting to sit near the teacher hoping she might like me or show me some approval.

As I grew older and the sexual abuse intensified and more violence in my home occurred, an irrational belief sprouted that the ugliness inside me may be transparent. I began creating a false persona to hide my shame.  Hide my tears.  Hide my emotions. Hide my authentic self.   I had observed first-hand that the girls who were quiet and sullen or melancholy got made fun of, got devoured like shark meat ny the mean kids.  So I immediately suppressed my feelings under a fake happy,  sunny,  disposition.   I realized that with my persona operating, that  I could “pass” for normal.   I could have friends, connection, some sort of meaning in an otherwise desolate life.

Because my older siblings were all poly-substance users, I too began smoking marijuana at age 12.  Took my first drink of vodka by 13 years old and never looked back.   By high school I could drink most guys under the table and had alcohol poisoning once.  I was not deterred by this.  At this point I believed that I couldn’t let the “real me” come through, the fake me had been operating for so long.  I’d lose everything, I feared. Friends were the only positive thing I had in my life at that time and I was petrified to lose them.  Even if their friendship was built upon knowing me, a girl who was hiding the pathetic, sad, depressed, nothing-to-offer loser who hated herself underneath this joke-telling, witty, charismatic confident false girl they came to love.

Using booze and pot helped me turn down the volume of the authentic me deep inside me, screaming for relief and accelerate the fake persona that I was creating externally, that was happy and confident.  As I was fast approaching my high school years substance use was just I needed to survive all the sharks who would eat me up.

I don’t remember much of high school due to all the alcohol and marijuana use.  My parents divorced and our house was sold.  I found myself looking for a place to stay as neither parent was financially capable of absorbing me after I graduated.

I had never told either of my parents  about the incest.   As I entered my freshman year of college, my eating disorder was so severe that I had starved myself down to an emaciated state.  I couldn’t think or read very well as my mental functioning had declined from being malnourished.  For many months I was harming myself, also called self-mulilation.   I used self-injury to push back any feelings of intense emotion with which I couldn’t cope.   Then things changed and my feelings simply left.  My depression intensified and I just felt numb all the time.  Empty, cold, void of any emotion had become the new norm.  I had persistent and intrusive thoughts of suicide.   This dragged on for 6 months or more.  I figured I may as well be physically dead too.  Seemed logical to me.  Finally one night I decided to end my life.

First, I asked God to forgive me, and then I went ahead with it.   I guess God had other plans.  After getting discharged from the regular hospital,  I was sectioned involuntarily into a psychiatric hospital.   This was the first time in a long time any of what happened to me as a child would surface again in my consciousness.

I find it interesting that had I not attempted suicide at 19, I may have well have kept that mask on.   My authentic self may never have had the chance to be re-born.  My then therapist told me, “sometimes we have to have a complete and total breakdown, so we can put ourselves back together in a more healthy way.”

It has taken many years in therapy and I am still only able to let down my guard and become vulnerable to a few.  Happiness? Real long-standing  happiness? Still elusive I’m afraid.  I do find moments of real joy though.  I’m told I can learn to expand those and they can grow.  Self-love is the one thing I have yet to be able to achieve.  I have been working on learning to set boundaries and learning what it looks like to truly care about myself.  Imagine, having to be taught that.  Most of my life has been spent caring for others and I do that really well.   Historically, I give and give until I am emotionally drained or financially bankrupt.   The goal for me  is to learn to put myself first and not feel guilty for doing so.

Though I have always had the ability to love others and deeply empathize, I find it strange that both myself and my pathological narcissist both employed “masks” to hide our authentic selves.  Perhaps we have something in common after all.

 

That “aha” moment

There is a significant correlation between our kind and the use of pornographic material. Once upon a time, one might imagine that the size of a person’s porn stash might have been a rough and ready indicator of their reliance on porn and their potential for being one of our kind. Nowadays the…

via The Porn Supremacy — Knowing the Narcissist

HG Tudor has done a superb job at explaining the “why” of so many reasons my ex did what he did.   So a big Thank you to HG.   Makes me realize that perhaps all these therapists over the years haven’t been lying; I always was “good enough.”  Strange that I end up feeling validated by one of their kind, this, I need to explore with the shrink….

Of Mice and Monsters VII

Not long after he shared his fantasy of his torture chamber with me. I was in my home and received a call from him. He told me, “you should really check the unsolved homicides from 1995-1997 in Boston. 

So indeed I logged onto the Massachusetts State police website and told him, “I see X amt. of victims here. They are both male and female. They have a wide range in age and ethnicity. The manner of death varies as does both the manner and means in which their bodies were disposed.”

I continued, “I’m not seeing any identifiable pattern of behavior that would tie any of these victims together.

He replied, ” No, that’s right you don’t.”

So I questioned, “why did you have me go check on these specific unsolved homicides from these 2 years?

Nothing

Did you have anything to do with these?”

Silence

Then…..quiet laughter.

Then, “goodnight Lexi.”

Then the phone hung up.


The following day I phoned the Massachusetts State Police and asked to speak to a detective.   I ended up talking to one and told my entire story. Highlighting his sexual sadism and impulsive violence, the photographs I saw of the pummeled, black and blue woman, on through to the animal killing story, to the sexual fantasy of wanting to abduct a teen.

Sadly, the detective thought that my claim was outrageous, my credibility nill , and he consequently dismissed me as a crackpot.  He told me he would “ keep a report on file.”  This I knew to be a lie.  I felt like this sexual sadist was above the law.  I was pretty sure he believed he was above the law too.

I felt hopeless that day, but things were about to change and a Higher law would set things right.

Of Mice and Monsters VI

At some point I thought I would try and get into his mind to see what sort of pathology (or not) may exist. I held a college degree in Psychology and had worked in the field for several years.  Beyond the obvious of his sexual sadism, and catching in numerous lies, his words and actions weren’t shoring up. Ever. I felt crazy all the time but my gut told me something deeper was wrong.   I needed proof that I wasn’t crazy, that there was something there underneath his mostly charming personality.

I knew I would be unable to be objective. However, I believed I would be able to keep a good “veneer” on not showing my shock if he divulged something that upset me. I also knew that if he got the first hint that I was off put by his disclosures, he would not only shut down but that he would also retaliate against me.

Risky for me indeed, yet things were not adding up and I wanted answers. I felt this sort of going “under cover” with him was the only way I would get my answers. Unless you a person with a burning sense of inquisitiveness, where you are almost “driven” to be analytical? None of the reasons I needed to know, will ever make sense to you. Don’t try to understand. Because by this point dear reader if you can’t understand why I needed answers, you have probably already written me off in the “crazy she should have just left” bin long ago.

I began probing his sexual fantasies fully expecting to hear more tales of sadism. I lied to gain his trust that I too, had a few sadistic fantasies but had repressed mine. Mine however were not sexual. They centered around retaliatory themes about bullying done to me in high school and by the abuse I had endured as a small child.

It worked.

He began trusting me and opening up. I never imagined what he was to say.

He envisioned enticing a young 17-18 year old female student into his van. My first question, “how would you get her in?

He answered, “well that’s where you would come in. Teen girls are much more likely to come near a van when you are asking for directions if a woman is present and asking.”

I let out a sigh…..

“So, I would need you to help me lure her near the van.” He quipped.

Okay” I listened.

Then I would run around and grab her and put the chloroform napkin over her mouth and you would help me shove her into my van, then we drive off.”

I’m quite certain I had to take great effort to mask the absolute horror as it was coursing through me as I was listening to him say the word chloroform. My heart was racing. I felt sweat pooling everywhere. I knew if I bailed now I would never know who was in front of me, nor how much danger I was in. I pressed on.

Okay, so what would we do with her once we have her in the van?”

“Well the van would be soundproof and she’d be chained to the floor by bolts on her legs and I’d bind her arms making her easier to control later. I wouldn’t take any chances.” he explained

“Right, not after all that trouble.” I said.

“Then we’d take her back to my torture chamber. I haven’t built it yet. But I can tell you it would be awesome, state of the art. All stainless steel. Drainage grate in the floors that bodily fluids could be washed down. . All kinds of hooks overhead to hang implements. Large stainless steel hospital bed. You get the idea. This way you can bleach and clean everything so there’s no trace of anything. Soundproof. “

He was so excited talking about it all. It was chilling.

“So what would you do with her first?” I asked.

“Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!! Other that the obvious of taking her several different ways?”

“Yeah right.”

“I’d pull her nipples off with a pair of needle nose pliers.”

Once again I struggled to maintain composure and made sure not to wait too long without commenting I didn’t want him to think I was faking being into his sick fantasy. The best I could muster was to reality check him.

“If you did that, she would likely go into shock and wouldn’t be alive much longer after that.”

He chuckled, “Smart. I knew there was a reason I keep you around.”

He spoke about various torture methods too gruesome to speak of here. I can say that it involved torturing the girl til she passed out, waking her up with ammonia and other means and then repeating this until she died.  Then disposing of her body in plastic bags in a river.  This was a turning point for me.

This was far beyond the scope of anything I had ever personally encountered. Only the sort of thing one reads in text books or watches on shows like Forensic Files, where the girlfriend/wife/victim ends up dead.

Of Mice and Monsters IV

maskofasociopath

Lots of people share things about each other with their partner as they go along in their relationship.  Once I had learned that he was a sexual sadist, I began asking him about it, particularly the origins of how this came to be.  I am inquisitive by nature, and he knew this.   “It”  came out of the closet along with a barrage of my questions.   Was he abused as a child?  Was he bullied?  Did he ever hurt animals?  Had he ever been arrested? Had he ever set fires?  and so on.

He told me three stories.

In 6th grade a girl at his new school was bothering him.  She was a girl who stood with him at his bus stop and was repeatedly calling him names and making fun of him.  It is important to note that this man is 6′ 2″ tall when I was with him, so that by sixth grade it is likely he was fairly tall as well.  He said that he told her to stop a few times and when she didn’t he punched her square in the mouth.  This gave her a fat and bloody lip,  that she began crying and then ran away back home.  As he was telling the story he was smiling.  He was forced to apologize to her but he said he felt no remorse, he said she got what she deserved.  It’s pretty unusual for a boy to hit a girl at all, less so to punch, even less to target the face.

There was a kid in high school that was bullying him after school.   Waiting for him. Pushing him down, tripping him and hitting him whenever he got the chance.  This was and older kid.   He lived in a rural area with lots of fields and dirt roads.  After school one day he heard a crash and he ran out about a half mile behind his house to a massive field where kids used to race field cars.   There he came upon this boy who had bullied him.  He was in his field car he had been racing which had crashed into a tree head on and had burst into flames.   He said that he approached the car and realized that the kid was pinned behind the wheel.   The boy was screaming “help!”  “please help!!!”   But his pleas for help went unanswered.   My sadist boyfriend stood there motionless and watched as he burned to death.  He said” I have never heard screams like that before, he screamed for a long time.”  he told me.  He said his flesh first bubbled up and then melted off.

Now an adult and living in an apartment building, one night a cat was meowing and wouldn’t stop.   He told me it was bothering him, he couldn’t sleep.  So he got up and fashioned a garrote.  He dressed all in black and went outside and grabbed the cat.  He pulled the garrote around its neck and pulled as hard as he could.  He said that it began kicking and clawing in the air.  Then the cat lost control of its bladder and bowels, then it was lifeless.  The whole process was less than 3 minutes.   He took a plastic garbage bag and put its body in the trunk of his car and placed it the next day at his work in their dumpster.  He worked at a major law firm.

At the conclusion of these stories it left me numb.  Who was sitting in front of me? Then I grew terrified.   After that passed,  I returned to logic.  There was no doubt in my mind I was not only involved with a sexual sadist but a man who had definite signs of sociopathy. Two thoughts converged, one, I am with a very dangerous and violent man and second, I desperately wanted to believe none of his stories were true.