Like my creepy stalker eyes?
Alrighty, well, I've had some time to let the shock of my ex husband's new life settle in, and I have to say that I'm feeling much better. I mean it wasn't as if I hadn't suspected it in the past (I knew he was still with the woman that he had been cheating on me with and often commented to my friends that it would be really strange if my kids had siblings), but it was just the confirmation of it all, the announcement that my kids do in fact have siblings (GASP), and the realization of depth of his manipulation that knocked the wind out of my lungs.
But I'm good now.
About as good as I can be knowing that my violent, child abusing, potential child sex predator is living with a woman and two young girls, and that he has been using them to manipulate my life since he abandoned us.
So basically I'm not really feeling very good about that at all. I mean as far as the ex goes, well fuck him, but the part about his two young daughters, that's scary.
And after some really long talks with my friends and Mr. Attorney Man about what my options are to warn this poor woman of who she is really married too, the lies that he is probably feeding her, and the danger that he poses to her children... I still don't know what to do.
A picture from the post "The Post Where I Show You My Ex."
If only I'd known what was coming; both when the picture was originally taken, and when I posted it on the blog two years ago.
I wouldn't wish what my children went through on anyone; especially not on her children, because as much as it makes me cringe to say this, they are my kid's sisters.
The first and only time I ever left my ex alone with The Boy Child, I came home to find him with the start of a black eye. Up until then he had only hit me and as far as I knew at the time, had never hit our daughter. He was firm that the baby had hit himself in the eye with an exersaucer toy, and the exersaucer did have a spring loaded toy at eye level. I took him to the doctor and because of the black eye and mandatory reporting, child services got involved. We were cleared of any wrong doing, but I never left him alone with the kids again. A few weeks later The Girl Child started talking about "the night mommy left and daddy hit my baby brother." When the whole story came out, my ex split, and now here he is, with another woman, and new kids to hurt.
But unfortunately, after going through all of my options in ways that I could warn his new wife, I've realized that I don't really have any. Mr. Attorney Man doesn't think there is anything that I can do right now without jeopardizing my safety (and my kid's), or my court case, or putting me in a position where I might come off as the crazy stalker, and I can't say that I disagree with him. So for now, I'll just wait. I'm not at all happy and it won't end here, but I don't know what else to do.
Wait, and pray, and then pray some more.
God help her, because she is going to need it.
She is going to need it, because my ex's abuses and his lies did not start with me, and they won't end with me. This is a pattern for him, and I know it, because I spoke to his first "wife."
Oh yes, I did.
The day after court and the big reveal of his new life, I did something that I haven't done since he first disappeared. I spent some time doing a little research on my ex and I found records of this first wife that I knew nothing about. From the stories he used to tell me, I had known her as the woman of his past who had broken his heart, cleaned out his apartment, stolen their dog, and run off with his best friend, but I had not been aware that they were married. So when I began to find her first name with his last name on different things that they shared — over and over again online — I was shocked (well, about as shocked as you can be a day after finding out about another one of your husband's wife and his other kids).
In light of this online discovery, I did what any normal woman would do in my situation, and
while I was restraining myself from storming over to his new wife's place of employment and giving her a piece of my mind, I busied myself reaching out to his first wife on Facebook.
Oh come on, you totally would have done the same thing. Short of donning some kind of disguise and sneaking over to the current wife's workplace like a stalker, this was the least crazy outlet that I could come up with.
So anyway, I found the woman that I believed might be his first wife, and I messaged her. I wasn't sure what you even say to someone that you have tracked down on Facebook for a reason as strange as this, and so the only thing that I could think to say was "I know this is strange, but by change do you know, or have you ever known, a [ex husband's name]?"
When she responded back a couple days later, I was floored.
But not as floored as I was when her story began to pour out and we could see where it intermingled with mine. The similarities were both hysterical and heart-breaking, but before I get there, I need to set the record straight because it's not fair to this poor woman to be linked to my monster of an ex in a way that she shouldn't be.
She was never his wife.
From what I can tell in regards to that matter, after she broke up with him, he went on to use her name with his last name for things that I'd assume were to his benefit. But bless her heart, that lucky woman never married him.
Nope, she never let things get as far as I did, because she saw all the warning signs that I had missed in him before I said "I do." Or maybe he just learned to hide them better after she saw him for who he really was.
All I know was that the two of us chatted over the course of several hours, and although it's not my business to share her stories with the world, I will say that dating and living with him did have an impact on the rest of her life.
I took screenshots of the conversation, edited them like I always do to protect privacy, and then when I came to upload them here... I couldn't do it. I realized that the words she shared with me were shared in confidence, and even if none of you ever know who she is, I will know, and I will know that I broke that confidence.
So unfortunately, as supporting as everything she said would be to my story (although admittedly her relationship with him did not turn physically abusive as mine did), and as much as I want to post her story in vindication and yell "AH HA! I TOLD YOU! HE REALLY IS CRAZY," I can't do that, because if there is one thing that I have always held firm on, it's that I promised myself that I would handle this process in dignity and grace, and I refuse to let my ex steal my personal standards from me too.
But it doesn't matter that I can't share her story and her "supporting evidence" with you, because I know it's there. I know that what happened and the things that he did to me, our pets, and eventually our children, that they didn't begin with me, and they weren't instigated by me.
They were all him, as they had always been; right down to the beginning when he met both of us; when we were both the same age, we had both been kicked out of the house by our parents, and we were easy targets to try and control.
And as much as I've convinced myself over the years that this was not in fact my fault, I will be honest and say that it took a lot of just that — convincing (and therapy) — to get myself to really start believing it.
It's one thing to hear a counselor tell you it's not your fault, and it's another thing to hear the woman before you tell you that you were not the first one, because you were not the first time he laid the exact same trap built upon a fabricated sob story of manipulations; "he tried to control me, he fed me the sob story, this is what his mother did when I kicked him out, he lied, yes he was on drugs, and I took our dog."
Yep, she actually did take the dog, but that was the only part of the sob story he told me that was true; everything else was a lie. And she didn't take the dog in some sort of vengeful act during the ending of their relationship, she took the dog in an effort to save it's life (which he conveniently left out of his story). And she probably did just that since he went on to kill the next two dogs in his care.
She though, was incredibly lucky that her family circled back around and rallied to help her leave him, and thankfully time has done her well. I am so happy that she got out before things got really bad, and went on to live a happy life! I wish that I myself had left him just as she found the strength and family support to do, but I guess, if we are talking what-ifs here, if that had happened I would not have my children, and so in that sense — in some twisted way — I'm glad I did marry him.
But I'm also happy that he is gone.
Yet I can't help but feel worried for the wife and kids that are now living with the man that two other woman have been so lucky to escape from. I can't help but care about the woman who slept with my husband, and the kids who have replaced the ones he left behind.
I can't help but worry that maybe they two are in for the nightmare he rained down upon us, and fear that she just doesn't know it yet because after two failed attempts, he has finally learned to hide the devil just a little bit better this time, for a little bit longer.
I know he has had a lot of practice, and so I pray.
Lord, how I pray.
But in the meantime, I'm thankful that through all of the heartache this latest experience has brought me, that it has brought me some much needed answers that if anything, are soothing my heart in a way that I don't think I realized I needed.
It really is amazing that after ten years with him I finally learned the true story of his life up until he met me, and after four years away from him, I have finally learned the whole story of his life after me.
So here I sit, overwhelmed by the amount of information that has suddenly taken up residency in all the gaping holes of my life story, and I'm left feeling strangely peaceful, and at the same time, worried.
I can't stop worrying about his new wife and kids. I know what I went through, and I know that it won't end with me. And as much as she might hate me right now for all the things I'm sure he has told her, I know that eventually she won't hate me as much, because she too will see who the real monster is.
So if I should get the same fateful message on Facebook one day, well... I guess I'll be thankful that maybe she too is going to have the chance to escape.
Until that day, I'll just keep praying.
But don't think for a minute that it means I'm letting either of them off the legal hook after what they've done to me and my kids, because I'm sure as hell still praying for us too.