Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following email from a reader who posts as Whirlwind71.
I have just finished reading Love Fraud just mere moments ago, and up until now, I really hadn’t been interested in books at all. Previous to this, I read Mary Jo Buttafuoco, Getting It Through My Thick Skull as well as Snakes in Suits and Pathology of a Psychopath (a hard read) … all in an attempt to understand what the heck happened to me and my family when a guy (whom I described as the most amazing man I have ever met) came into my life … I now realize that the word “amazing” has many different levels!
Once married to my kids’ father, I was now a divorced … or shall I say a HAPPILY divorced, self-made career woman. I hold one insurance brokers designation and am halfway to another. These are university course levels, so for someone who only had a high school diploma and being a single mom raising two little kids, studying, was … well … a feat in itself.
Somehow — with the strength of my family and more so God, I plugged away. I actually liked being on my own, but really craved having someone to share special moments with, and when my kids were with their father, have a male companion … not necessarily for marriage but for companionship. Strong willed and financially capable, I grew my little kingdom to building a new house, having a rental home, van, truck, camper — all paid off except for the two houses. But the mortgage payments were decent. I am smart with my money and let it work for me.
Then one day I met this “amazing man.” He was strong willed, energetic, wonderful with my kids, attentive and provided us with this fast paced, fly off the seat of our pants life. A wonderful musician — all self-taught, he could learn to play anything within a short period of time. He lived “outside the bubble,” something I (as a strict planner) looked up to. I wished I could just throw caution to the wind and be more like him. He liked the things I liked — camping, spending time at home, hiking and socializing with friends. We spent the first few months doing crazy things; spur of the moment camping in the middle of nowhere on some mountainside away from everyone.
He called himself the skunk catcher, as no one in our town would do it (not even by law, so he advertised his services and people would pay him to catch these things). After caught, he would play with them, show them around the neighborhood and even drive him around to show others. At first it was neat to see, but when he actually put a caught skunk in the back of my jeep, that’s when I was no longer impressed. He seemed to think that there was no smell, but it was rank. I spent hours cleaning and fumigating it and even burnt candles in it overnight to help…he said that his mom would come and clean it for $75. I told him I WOULD clean it and he could pay me … I never got a dime.
He pulled away
Then there was a period of time in the very beginning of our relationship that he pulled away from me and I actively pursued him, as I really did like him. Looking back, I think that he was pulling away as perhaps he was causing some sort of grief for his last ex … The one he called nasty names to anyone who asked about her.
Soon, he became mine and I could not have been more thrilled. He is in my opinion, VERY good looking with his blue collar/hard-working look (which I like). By far, one of the best looking guys I have ever been with. Sex was passionate and exciting. When my kids went to their father’s house, we had so much fun. Soon, we were inseparable, but that’s when things started to go wrong.
Temper like blasting oil
Granted, there were Red Flags prior, as I knew he had a temper like dynamite … no no — like blasting oil. I remember one day he screamed at me in his back yard because I didn’t come fast enough to help him fix a wind-blown gazebo that was laying in a pile for nearly four months … apparently because I didn’t come when he wanted me to, it was all my fault that it was completely wrecked and he was out $200. He told me to get the (eff) off his property and never come back. Within an hour he called and apologized profusely that he had a horrible day because his co-worker is a dink. At first I resisted his apology however he got mad at me for not forgiving him so I just gave in and forgave him.
Another day he was SO angry because I wasn’t answering his phone calls, as every time I answered he would scream in my ear about how horrible his day at work was. I was tired of listening to the screaming so I ignored my phone, but after at least 13 back-to-back calls, I finally answered. He told me to get my (effn) travel trailer off his property and get the (eff) out of his life. I simply said, “Okay, I’ll be there in 15 minutes with my truck.” Within five minutes he called back and apologized. … the same song and dance when I refused to accept, he yelled at me and told me that it was my entire fault that he got so mad and if I would just not provoke him, he wouldn’t yell and scream. I ended up dropping the whole thing but my heart was hurt.
I watched when he would fight with his roommate and throw HUGE temper tantrums when the roommate would ask him to tidy up his mess. I have never seen anything like this before. He might as well laid on the floor and kicked and screamed like a 2-year-old … to this day that old roommate won’t have anything to do with him and he cannot figure out why. And that’s not all he did to him.
He advertised his services on the Internet, so that if you had an abusive boyfriend or husband that you wanted out of the house but wouldn’t leave, he would go and evict them. I heard stories of how he would bust into the door, push and shove some drunk or stoned or deadbeat guy around and throw them out. When I questioned him about how dangerous this was … I mean what if this guy had a gun or worse … he simply said, no one can hurt me first, they would never even get their hand on the gun let alone the trigger. So then I asked him, this is illegal, you can’t do this, your going to get thrown in jail … he said, “I’m above the law.” He would recite some chapter of the legal system because he has read the entire Canadian criminal code, how it was his right as a civilian to arrest someone. He thought that he was the be-all mister knowledge about the law, and would spout of some code at random. I never double-checked his words.
Fun or ruckus
But it wasn’t bad every day, we did a lot of fun things, but it was always one degree away from causing some sort of damage or ruckus or borderline illegal. He likes air soft guns (shoots little plastic beebees) and my son LOVED that his passion was guns and war things. They would run around the neighborhood shooting each other, however, he would get carried away and usually ended up with someone getting hurt at his hands. Parents of my son’s friends were skeptical about letting them come play.
For every good memory I have 13 bad memories, camping trips ruined, extreme road rage explosions, near disaster trips, screaming at the kids and calling names, turn on the dime mood swings, bone chilling stares … when he is a really bad mood, his eyebrows go really pointy and his eyes have an icy blue stare. He yells like a drill sergeant and doesn’t care what language he uses … I have been called names I have never heard before and then 10 minutes later he wants to go have sex because he is done with his tantrum. Sex was HUGE with him, and he couldn’t understand why on the weekend, when the kids were gone, that I didn’t want to have sex 14 times or at least every hour and a half, as this gave him enough time to re-supply his energy for another “round.”
He abused all of my vehicles and I am convinced that this is the reason that I had to put TWO transmissions in my truck. He slammed the house doors so hard even the second floor windows shook. He kicked my solid mahogany seven-drawer dresser so that it lifted off the ground, kicked the railings of my deck, puked over the railings after a night out of drinking and anytime I condemned him for any of these things, I got yelled and screamed at. I wasn’t silent, I always was on him but that’s why we fought ALL THE TIME! He would tell me that if I would just shut up and be good, everything would be fine.
Somehow he sunk into our life. I never asked him to move in, he just invited himself and I just let him. That’s when the ugly came out (the things you have just read). For the first seven months after he moved in he was unemployed as we suffered a recession and the oilfield halted. He sat on my couch everyday and did NOTHING … he smoked, ate and pooped and that’s all he ever did. Slept in until I would call him at 1 p.m. and then he was up all night.
He was on this laptop the entire day. One day, I wanted to see what he was looking at on the Internet that could keep him so occupied, so when he was sleeping I tried to get into his computer, but he had a password on it. He found out that I tried to get in because the next time he logged in it said “one log in attempt failed.” He was angry and screamed at me. He had NO problem going through my computer and even my cell phone, which I caught him doing several times, but if I yelled at him, he yelled at me louder.
We made plans to move from the city and build a house closer in the mountains. This would help us, he said. He wanted to open a welding shop, a wood working shop, and some other kinds of shops, I was going to open an insurance brokerage, but it would be my money being set down, as he had no credit. He hasn’t filed income tax for at least five years, he owes for a student loan over 10 years ago, and who knows what else.
He officially moved in, in July and it wasn’t until December when he started paying me rent. When he did pay rent, he would throw it at me, or tell me “here’s your rent, now shut the (eff) up,”or make me scavenger hunt for it. He was always late and had to be reminded … even though what I asked was SO little. He drove my jeep under my insurance (as he held an out of province driver license), yet never wanted to buy the jeep off of me when I asked him to. I was going through a rough financial period and said that I had to sell the jeep and he lost his marbles, so I said, well then you buy it, you’re the only one who drives it. He said, “If we would just get married, then it would be mine anyways so why should I pay for something that would end up being mine?”
Also, he also had no provincial health care which when I found out, I could not understand WHY wouldn’t he fill out the paperwork. In our province, we don’t pay for the health care… I mean what would happen if he was in a car accident? Who’s going to pay? His deadbeat family who has NOTHING to their name? NO…I would be stuck with it, as we would be considered common law.
From the moment he moved his boxes in I could no longer get even a bicycle in my garage, my basement was so cluttered with all his things that you could barely walk in there. When I asked him to clean up and box some things to organize it he would go into a complete FIT! Soon, I didn’t even bother.
Prior to him moving in he proposed to me. He put the ring under the hood of the jeep and said to me to come out and look at the jeep because the engine was making a weird noise. When I lifted the hood, there was a ring, however, it was the wrong ring. He gave me the wedding ring, not the engagement ring. He thought that I got the smaller ring first and if I actually show up for the wedding, I get the bigger one. I wore the ring for a few months but I ended up giving it back to him as I told him that this isn’t working out and I won’t wear something that I don’t believe in. He told me, and I QUOTE, “If you would shut the fuck up, wear the fucking ring and be GOOD, then everything would be fine.” I never did wear it again.
I had tried for at least nine months to convince him that this is no longer working and that he needs to move out. The very first time I told him to move out, he told me “no. ”I just looked at him in astonishment and said, “Can you say that?” I tried to reason, yell, beg, plead, threaten but nothing worked.
He began to steal from stores, nothing big, little things like spices, hair products, makeup, batteries, groceries, dollar store things but soon my basement was filled with thousands of dollars of stolen items. He said to me that if I left him that I would lose everything, as all this stuff was in MY house and I would lose my house, my job, and my kids and have nothing. Even though I DIDN’T steal this, I had it in my possession … so for many months, I felt like I couldn’t do a thing. One day, I broke down and told a friend and she said to me that I had NO choice but to move him out and that I wouldn’t be held responsible.
Moved him out
On VERY cold February day when he was out of town I packed up all his belongings and moved them into a storage unit. I put all his instruments in the basement of our church as they are temperature sensitive. I didn’t do this to be mean; I just couldn’t do this anymore. I turned into someone I no longer recognized. I was angry all the time, would snap at small things, I gained SO much weight, every day was tense and my world was crumbling right before my eyes and there was nothing I could do. It was like trying to catch the rain… My kids and I could no longer take it.
My daughter had moved with her father as she couldn’t take the pressure of living in such a tense house, and I could feel that my son was going to leave me too. If I lost my kids, I would curl up and die … I chose THEM, so I moved him out. But it didn’t end there, when he got back into town stuff really hit the fan. He scheduled a meeting with our pastor at the church and basically said that if I didn’t allow him to come home that he would kill himself — something he threatened quite often in the last few months. Being that I didn’t want him to self-destruct, I allowed him to come back BUT on the promise that in his five days off, he/we would look for a place for him to move to. He PROMISED me, in front of our Pastor, so I let him come back to my house.
The next day I had to work, I called home to talk to him and asked him what he was planning to do today (thinking he would say, checking out the rentals) but instead he told me that he was going to call his buddies to come and finish the garage interior and I was supposed to order all the wood to frame the basement. When I said WHAT? He said, well, call your lawyer and get them to draw up a prenup agreement, we will get married and I promise everything will be good.
Went to the police
I panicked. On my lunch break I went to the police station to see if I could get some help to get him out of the house. The officer asked a millions questions and finally got out of me (not the reason I went there), but I ended up confessing that our relationship had been physical. He has thrown me around, pulled me across the floor by my hair, flipped me over his leg, held his fist over me, football tackled me and said he was going to (effn) kill me.
In a whirlwind, the police came to my house, but he had a suspicion that something was going on, because I didn’t come home for lunch and he couldn’t get a hold of me all afternoon (and I’m not like that) … he had left the house. The next day he called me at work and I told him that the police were looking for him; he couldn’t believe what I had done. He did turn himself in.
He broke the no contact order we had when he contacted my daughter (who was back half time with me) and said it was a matter of life and death. I talked to him (because of course I was worried) and somehow he convinced me that he had changed and that we can work on things. He also convinced me to write a letter to the crown prosecutor explaining that I didn’t mean for all this to happen—which was the truth—I was only wanting some help to get him out of my house, but then the truth came out. But, it didn’t convince anyone and he ended up pleading guilty.
After the court date, we still were somewhat together. He promised me that things would be better and he was getting help and that he needed me by his side to do all this as if I wasn’t then he had nothing to work towards…so I did. We dated, went out for nice suppers, went on small weekend trips and things were nice. This is what it was supposed to be like all this time, but I never did get. I liked the space from him, however, over the next month he started to become anxious again. At one point he said that if he wasn’t moved back in by April that it was over. I said, well then it’s over cause you’re not moving back in.
From that point on, it was a quick down slide … I wasn’t wanting to be around him anymore but didn’t know how to get rid of him. If I didn’t answer his millions of texts, then he would call, if I ignored his calls, he would show up…at my work, my house … wherever … and he would make a scene.
Easter was coming up and he asked what I was cooking, and I said it was just me and the kids, so just a chicken. He said he would buy a turkey. I asked why? He said, because I want a turkey and I said, please, just let me and the kids have a quiet holiday. Then he said, “I’m going to buy a fucking turkey, you’re going to cook the fucking turkey, we are going to sit and have a family fucking meal!” I ended up cooking the turkey and we sat together.
Shot a horse
After supper we went out to shoot this new paintball gun that he and my son bought. (This is where I did something wrong.) We were driving and I saw this horse up on a hill – quite far off the road. I took the paintball gun and out of curiosity wondering if it could reach it, I shot the horse in the BUM. The horse barely moved but I got it on the hindquarter. I know it was a stupid move, but I knew where I was aiming and I didn’t hurt it, it just sat there looking at me … well little did I know, he actually was videotaping me.
A couple weekends later after constant bickering back and forth, he used the video against me. He came to my work and stood on this hill by the parking lot and held the phone up and yelled, “You should see this video of this mom shooting this horse; maybe someone should show social services.” He ended up calling the police on me, however, once I spoke to the officer, he just gave me a warning and let it go!
That was the very officer that called him a “sociopath,” a word I never heard before, but that night I sat at my computer and Googled it. Dr. Hare’s list came up, and it was BANG ON!
Called my bosses
Earlier to this, he called all of my bosses and left messages with them, one ended up calling him back and he ranted and raved about things that my boss said wasn’t valid except one thing. He said that I broke client/broker confidentiality; however, when I explained to my boss what I said, he dismissed it. But then I found out from another boss that he told that other boss that we had sex in the office. The entire day he drove around my office to see if my van was gone, as he thought I would be fired (his whole plan).
Even after that, he weaseled his way back to me. I asked him how he could say that he loves me so much yet try to get me fired. What would you have done if right now, I am standing in front of you and I DID get fired…what would you do then? You know what he said? “I would take care of you.” I was mortified.
This isn’t all of it either…there’s SO much more…
To date, we go to trial soon on yet another three charges recently laid on him. He plead not guilty to this one though. I found out just the other day that he is ENGAGED… after telling me over and over that I was his last relationship and if I ended it, then I have ended him, but apparently he has found love again and in just a short few months (no more than four). I wonder if she got my old engagement ring the ring from the girl prior to me. LOL
Healing is taking a long, long, long time. He never stole the kind of money from me that yours did to you; I simply didn’t have it. But he lived off of me for free, drove and abused my vehicles, treated my kids good one day horrible the next, while I paid for camping trips, holidays, food, bills, entertainment, etc., and that’s devastating enough.
He grabbed nearly all the gifts he ever gave to me, every birthday, Christmas gift or whatever gifts, and even a potato bin that he made me. I voluntarily gave back a wooden garbage bin and computer desk he made for me, in an attempt to avoid him showing up again and screaming for the things he calls HIS. He said they were only mine if he was around. I never received nor asked for one thing back that I had given to him. A while back, when he was winterizing my trailer, I asked if he would do this for me come spring, and he said, “If I’m not fucking you, I do nothing for free.”
Some of his favorite sayings were: “God always gives me what I want.” At prayer time at supper, he would end his prayer with, “Thank you for not giving us what we deserve,” and my favorite, “If you would just shut up and be good, every thing would be fine.” Ironic that he prays at supper every night yet, steals from others that day.
I have gone through the Dr. Hare’s list for sociopath and I could give you many, many examples of each and every “sign” he lists. There is NO DOUBT in my mind that my ex is a sociopath, just as that officer said.
I am trying to educate myself to understand what happened…how to avoid another relationship like this one, and how to make sure that IF he ever reappears, that I have the strength to walk away. This is a deep-seated fear. He has taken my self-confidence, and for the first time in my life, I suffer from panic attacks and anxiety. I have calmed down A LOT, but I still feel it inside, and it’s going to take a while before I move on.
Weirdly enough, I grieved this relationship ending more than I did when my marriage ended. That I don’t quite understand. I believe, though, it is because this was an emotional abuse relationship, whereas my marriage simply ended. The worst part of all of this is, it really has grown my children and I apart.
My ex-husband uses the tension and horrid memories against me in an attempt to have both kids go and live with him (at least a week and a week), as he is not too proud to take child support from me. He is manipulative and at the drop of a dime would take everything away from me, too. He is just jealous of how successful I became without him, and would love to see me fail.
So I have been trying to rebuild this crumbled relationship with my kids. My daughter and I are good, she missed a lot of the tension at home when she moved out, but is back with me a week on and a week off, but she is 17 now and won’t be home for much longer. My son (age 12) is another story; it’s a bridge I have to cross soon.
Thank you for your book
Thank you for your book; it was one of many steps I have to take on my road to recovery. Only those who have personally been preyed upon can understand the depths of our words. To others, it is just a story … a devastating one, but still a story. To us, every word cuts like a knife, every story reeks of familiarity.
At times, while reading your story I thought to myself…HOW can our stories be SO alike … did she look into my windows? How can sociopaths read from the very same book and act exactly alike — BANG ON!!! It was creepy to read and one day I’m going to reopen your book and highlight everything that was MY life that you lived.
I have often thought of writing my own book. Perhaps one day and maybe as a healing method. Thank you for taking your time to read this, I know it is long winded but to be honest, this is still only a glimpse of all that happened. Looking back, I wonder how I walk upright. Perhaps it will help someone else as your book helped me.