I believed my father was a successful “investor” when I was growing up. At least that’s what I told myself. He made a great deal of money, we lived in expensive homes and he always had plenty of cash. He spent money like water.
But in my early twenties, suddenly things didn’t look so good. We had started to have money problems. I came home from college because of money “to wait until his next deal came through”. That is when FBI agents began showing up at the house looking for Dad.
My father was in trouble, but he kept telling us kids it would be alright. “The Feds were after him”, he said, but he would beat them, “they had the wrong guy.” That was his standard response when something went wrong, only this time, something was terribly wrong.
These guys were after my dad and they didn’t think he was so charming. One night we were coming home from Mt Dora and I was driving. My father had a house in the exclusive neighborhood of Sweetwater Club in Sweetwater, Fl. Once we pulled in the gated community a car started to follow us and my Dad asked me to turn left (instead of right) to see if they were indeed after us. I don’t know what I knew at the time…only that my Dad had some trouble, but I was not expecting this.
My Dad changed his behavior and he was angry. They tried to pull us over and my Dad told me to keep driving and he wasn’t kidding around. This scared the crap out of me. Here was an undercover agent pulling me over and my father telling me to keep going. The agent pulled in front of the car and my Dad said to keep going forward and around his car. The cop was directly in front of me yelling to stop, hand on his gun. It’s hard to describe how intense this was for me. I was panicked and I chose to stop. I was scared and knew it was the right thing to do. My father was disappointed and he let me know it. I felt like it was my fault he was going to jail that night. Once again I proved to him (and myself) that I wasn’t man enough to be like him, or at least that’s what I thought. He was pissed and gave me a look. The look he gave me was very chilling, one that was usually reserved for the “bad guys” as he liked to call them.
The cops had a warrant for my father’s arrest from Alabama or South Carolina (I don’t remember) and they handcuffed him and put him in the car. This was another one of those moments that I didn’t know how to react. I felt like they were doing the right thing, but he was my Dad, my provider and I didn’t understand what this all meant to me. I felt safer with him in custody, but I wanted my Dad back. These emotions didn’t make sense together. I was scared and confused.
Later, my father attempted to have me shoot him in the buttocks with a shotgun to avoid a court appearance on these same fraud charges in 1984. According to a friend, he took me out in the woods and told me to shoot him with bird shot. He was going to say it was a hunting accident. I was unable to pull the trigger and was treated as a failure by my dad. At that time I still believed my father to be the greatest person that I knew and was crushed by not being able to meet his expectations. My friend said I called crying to tell him of this story. He remembered me as being “devastated”. He and I never spoke of this again and I did not remember the event at all until he told me of it (20 years later in 2004) after hearing the story of my recovered memories about the double murders my father committed. I still do not remember it in detail, but seem to remember my father leaning on a fence post telling me to shoot him over and over again. He was disgusted that I wasn’t “strong” enough to do this. I felt like a complete failure.
These are stories that I never shared with anyone else. It was just too surreal and didn’t make sense so I kept them to myself. Some memories are still vague and others are now crystal clear.
I think this is where the loneliness comes in when entangled with a sociopath. It’s just too exhausting to try to tell someone the story, especially after the experience. Will they believe me was always the first question followed by intense fear of the sociopath’s reaction if he of she ever found out I told someone. I was also afraid what it would lead to. In the case of my father I never really considered this an option for me, but these were my feelings and thoughts.
It’s the feeling of being trapped in something that you know is bad, real bad. The fear of being caught in this is terrifying enough, but somehow the fear of the sociopath’s reaction to you trying to get out is even worse…if that’s possible.
In the case of my father I continued to love him and hope that these things would stop happening, like it was a bad dream that would eventually go away. No such luck.
Now I understand the truth, thank God. If you are involved with a sociopath there is only one change possible in the relationship and that is from bad to worse.