It is day 5 of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Today’s In His Own Words is an example of what can happen when you ignore warning signs, red flags and, most importantly, the Crazy.
“Disconnected” thought he was was reuniting with his middle school crush. He did not get the moonlight, roses and happily ever after he hoped for, but rather stalking, harassment, suicide threats, 911 calls and a restraining order.
Dangerous Crazy Bitch Ahead
Q and I met in middle school, back in the 80s. Zoning districts sent us to separate high schools, but we stayed in constant contact. In college we talked about dating, but various commitments conspired to keep us as friends. We lost touch in the early 90s, but in my mind Q was still a very dear friend.
Years later, I was facing the end of a 10 year marriage to a wonderful woman. As this story is not about her, I will only say we had a very amicable divorce and remain close friends (and yes, she has said “I told you so.”) Over the years, I had moved across the country, but would research Q, hoping to reestablish contact.
One night, while poking around on line, I found a profile belonging to Q. I was so excited at the possibility of catching up; and catch up we did. We shared stories about the intervening years; we talked about our current relationships. We were both at the end of long-term situations. Having someone with whom to talk was a great comfort.
RED Flag #1
As we were catching up, she told me of a tragedy that had happened to her and her child. In the interest of anonymity, I will only say this event made national news, though the names were changed to protect the innocent. When she talked about the situation, she made a point to tell me that she had never really let it upset her. Any emotionally healthy human being would have been devastated. I felt so terrible knowing anyone had to suffer that way. I rationalized it as she was simply dealing with denial, even 10+ years later.
RED Flag #2
Q was “engaged” to an abusive man (they had been engaged for about a decade, if you can call that an “engagement.”) Late one night, Q called me during a heated domestic dispute. She had been drinking and had allowed her teenaged child to be pulled into the middle of a drunken fight. At the time, I told myself she was a victim and drinking was a way of coping. I found myself thinking, “She is a victim, and I need to be there for her.”
RED Flag #3
I separated from my wife and moved closer to home. Q and I continued talking, still as friends. Late one night, while I was working, she sent an instant message, asking why I was still up. As I was busy, I did not immediately respond. She repeated the message. Then she started sending more and more desperate messages:
“Where are you”
“What are you doing”
“Who are you with”
“Why won’t you answer me”
all within the space of a few minutes. Then my phone started ringing. She called several times in rapid succession. Putting my professional responsibilities aside, I answered, assuming there must be some emergency. She started by accusing me of being involved with someone else. She accused me of lying and trying to hurt her.
We had yet to see each other since being back in touch and no talk of “a relationship” had occurred. She admitted that she had been drinking, and I told myself it was an isolated incident. This event repeated several times before we met again “face-to-face,” (and several times after.) Somehow, I convinced myself that she was upset; that given her situation, “Who wouldn’t be?”
RED Flag #4
After filing for divorce, Q started talking about a future relationship. She was still “engaged,” but swore she would end it before we got involved. As time passed, I let her push further and further into my life. When I asked her about her “engagement,” she told me I was using her as a “safety net.” She accused me of lying to her about my life. She accused me of lying to her about everything. She even suggested that my divorce was a lie.
At this point I tried to break it off. Her response? She told me that she had ended things with the abusive ex and had returned the ring. A few days later I ran into her in public, the engagement ring was still on her finger. When I asked her about it, she became irate with me, accusing me of lying and using her.
[Obviously, by now I was aware that many of the examples above were clearly “red flags.” Yet, I told myself “my friend needs me.” “She needs someone to show her…” well, you get the idea. It was the search to understand why I allow myself to think that way that brought me to Shrink4Men.]
RED Flag #5
Despite recognizing the issues, once she moved out I decided to start seeing her. Immediately she saw everyone in my life as a threat. She accused me of sleeping with my friends, her friends, strangers. If tried to talk to her about it, she accused me of twisting the facts to “blame her.” If I told her that it upset me, she said I was acting like a child.
Late one night, she showed up at my house drunk accusing me of sleeping with her friend. She pushed her way inside. I politely asked her to leave. She accused me of all types of crazy things. I stopped being polite and told her to leave.
When she refused, I tried to call 911, as I know better than to try and forcibly remove someone like that. My phone died as I was dialing. She was very animated and screaming by this time. She screams, “That’s right, call the cops, you pu$$y, you’re not even man enough throw me out of your house!”
Around this time, I discovered that she was again living with the “former fiancé.” When I approached her about it, again she blamed me. She accused me of trying to twist the facts to make it sound like her fault. I tried to cut off communication.
The final straw was when she entered my home (using a keypad) against my direct objection; I was not at home at the time. She refused to leave until I spoke to her “face-to-face.” I called the police and met them at my house. They removed her without the “face-to-face” conversation; I chose not to press charges. Later, I discovered that during her time in my house she went through everything I own, personal correspondence, bills, journals, etc. She stole several items that belonged to me, to my family, and to my former wife.
Over the next two days I received literally hundreds of phone calls, texts and email messages. I blocked as many phone numbers as my provider allowed, I blocked her email addresses, and she found new ones. Again I called the police, and again I tried to be the “nice guy” and did not press charges. I received one final message, a suicide threat.
At the police officer’s suggestion, I filed for a “Domestic Injunction” (i.e. restraining order), as that seemed the most appropriate course of action. In court, she told the judge the sad story of being a single mother targeted by an abusive man who promised her and her child the world, only to yank it out from under them. She explained that she was worried about me after I stopped talking to her, and that the “visit,” calls and emails were only to ensure my safety.
I had everything well documented, including the police reports, texts, emails and call logs. Had the judge bothered to even scan the available information, it contradicted everything Q told the court. The judge did not allow me to speak. He said my petition was all I was allowed to present. I was not allowed to question her or even ask the judge to please read her emails or texts. The judge treated me like a monster and her like the victim.
In the end, the judge said to me, “You are a despicable human being and as much as it pains me to do this, as Q has not denied the stalking behavior that you have alleged, I am forced to grant this petition. However, I will only allow the minimal time possible, which is 6 months.” Then to Q, he said, “I do not know why an attractive woman like yourself would even be seen with such a horrible person. Surely you are smart enough to stay way from people like him in the future.”
As I looked at the judge with complete and utter dismay, I said, “Thank you, your honor.” He said everything she needed to hear to validate her behavior. In her mind, it was everyone but her.
I have not heard from Q since that day in court. Looking back, this is what I would like to tell myself:
- Do not ignore “red flags.”
- A bad situation, does not excuse bad behavior.
- Press Charges.
- If you go to court, expect to be treated as a monster.
Ironically, Q was the first one to tell me about BPD. Her mother had been diagnosed with the condition. I guess it is true what they say “The sh!t don’t fall far from the bat.”
In His Own Words is an effort to help raise awareness about the invisible victims of domestic violence, men. If you would like to submit your story, please follow the guidelines at the end of this article.
Counseling with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD
Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. Coaching individuals through high-conflict divorce and custody cases is also an area of expertise. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for more information.
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Excellent read. Reminds me a lot of my ex wife and some of my current crazy wife. Hope this stops men to stop giving in to crazy.
Wow good piece. ‘Q’ is a combination of some of the Crazies that I’ve dated/was married to. The constant accusations of cheating, while she was the one who cheated, the weird stuff, stalking, etc.
As I’ve said to others here, be very, very, very grateful you didn’t live together/marry/procreate. That would have been a humdinger. You may not have lived through it.
Thank you for the comments. 2000 words really is not enough to “share” the “fun” that was Q. The lies, the projecting, the self victimization. You’re absolute right, I did dodge a bullet there. I like to say that “Q puts the F-U in FUN”
What shocked me was the way the court system treated the situation. The judge would not even read a single email or text message. Especially when her own emails were contradicting her claims in court. There were threats and accusations all in her own words… and still, I was the monster.
Honestly, I treated her with far more kindness than she deserved… The reason she was so desperate to speak with me after her “visit” was to get me to apologize. She wanted me to take responsibility BEFORE I discovered all she had done. I watched her do this to friends as well, she derived great pleasure from making other people feel sorry for her before they realized how much damage she had really caused. A real sweet heart….
The courts still lean in favor of women. We can only hope it gets better over time with this type of exposure (regarding PDs in women).
As far as red flags:
A “deal breaker” (for me) is if I find out that a woman has been abused (I’m out). These women have been treated badly and it’s their “comfort zone”. Any other type of treatment (i.e. kindness, respect, etc…) will seem foreign to them. They will look down on you, treat you badly, and see you as a “weak” man.
Get out before a relationship starts!
Truer words were never said! Those who were truly abused do NOT go around wearing it on their sleeves, as some sort of demented badge of honor. They/we make every attempt to ‘not show’ our abusive pasts to others. Uff Da!!
Itza Sekret says
Focused, effective writing, lessons to live by, and all too familiar. My (BP?) ex was/is a young litigator… and was just learning to play the courtroom like a hand of cards. So happy to be free of all that risk!
Driver’s “deal breaker” is real valuable re: their “comfort zone”. Surely rings true. Our instinct is often to find the good in someone, and try to “rehab” the injury they suffered as a relationship develops. In that regard, our instinct can make real trouble for us.
My wife is a better actor then this woman. She had the same sob stories about the drunk abusive husband she chose to marry. She had gone on her honeymoon alone because he beat her on their wedding night. This fellow was her high school sweetheart and broke her finger back then. I was angry at her X not even knowing him because there is NO EXCUSE for hitting a woman though I found out later there are plenty of reasons. It was hard to accept that anyone would want to be physically attacked. Until someone tries everything on you to get a physical response and finially just starts begging to get whacked. When you respond by telling them that nothing could ever make you hit a woman and they tell you that there is not a man on earth that she can not provoke in to hitting her and that if I WAS a man I would hit her…that’s when I stopped being angry about her Xs “reported” behavior and began to feel sorry for him. He was found dead in 2010 on his son’s birthday of an apparent accidental overdose! She was executor of his estate and surprised that he had just changed beneficiaries from her name to his brother a month before he died. Six months later she told me she killed him! I Iaughed! We lived an hour away and she reminded me of the day she was on his block at ber dads picking up the boys birthday gift and he lived a few blocks away so she stopped by for her Xs birthday check her son always got from him. She reminded me of how she worked as a hospital nurse and they “snowed” the minutes from death patients. I stopped laughing by then. Her well thought out story was backed by means, method, and motive. And she followed with “this could happen to you!” Nothing could be proven. I began to record everything. .informed her shrink and local police and my family is scared to death for me. I don’t have a natural fear of death or I wouldn’t have stayed. Since then she has been comitted twice for 3 day evals and found sane. She poisoned my medication once and set traps that if not found would have hurt me badly. But she has everyone on her social side that she loves me. My sister send me s book called “boundries” but BPDs don’t recognize any. I must spend my productive time studying why I love someone this crazy. Reading the BPD symtoms and stories from the real victims makes me feel like her life story was written out in advance. She would make a great study for some emenent psychology professor having psychotic episodes and the other mix of textbook disorders and the skill and intelligence to fool so many people including professionals.
Christopher Jackson says
I might be married to an emotionally disturbed woman. I heard from another website to steer clear of women who’s father mistreated her mother, “After” the fact we got married. I’ve been married to her for nearly 16 years and am wondering if I should simply “pull the plug” on this marriage.
She suffers most of the traits of a BPD.
one example that happened today is, my wife was down the hall in my daughters room. Out of nowhere, she asked me a question about something in an accusatory manner. I replied I said when she’s old enough.. my daughter charges down the hall and said I said, X,Y and Z.
I stated, “thanks for putting me in the middle of this.” Then my wife tried to 180 the argument in such a way she tried to play the victim. I’ve been more assertive and I don’t stray from the main point of an argument. She tried to push herself as a victim in this incident but i hammered the point home.. Why? Why did you put me in the middle of this? she tried to deflect and I hit the same question numerous times. the discussion ended. She cried and I went about my business.
Sometimes to regroup ones sanity, when one sees a situation for what it really is, a ruse to make a villian out of someone. she spent her whole young life with parents who were terrible people. criticizing each other, the blame game war, my wife has been an aggressive victim who always tries to put the fault of any given situation on someone.
She even tries to victimize herself by using her back problems as a crutch to legitimize her outlandish behavior. She has shitloads of mental issues, anxiety, depression.
Christopher Jackson says
something else that came to mind: one particular argument had her playing a duck, duck, goose like scenario. the argument started on topic A. But when I defended myself on A, she’d try to use a B, then a C, I ended up asking her, “what is this really about?”
you started this argument off about THIS but somehow, we are on topic H,I,J or K. is this matter really a problem? or are YOU fishing for attention? A was the start o fthis all but now we are on topic … ??? What is really the issue. She literally walks around the proverbial bush trying to hammer me on topic A, then tries to hit me on my softest armor, like looking for a soft exposed point. then she’ll totally abandon topic A, which was the start of the argument to begin with. I think she has serious mental issues in that she has to be right about everything.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
I removed your last comment due to religious references. No religion, no politics here. Not even posting to links to other sites pertaining to these subjects.