Friday 13 June 2008

Wrestling with a Monster


This is a kind of 'black' post from me today, which is pretty unusual, so be warned.

Black Friday. It's a meaningful day for me.

It's two years to the day that my world turned inside out and I finally had to admit I was living with a psychopath. Surprised? I sure was.

When I say the word psychopath I guess you, like I used to, think of Ted Bundy or Charles Manson, right? The truth is they aren't all serial killers. They don't always come with tags describing who they are. They don't look like you think they do. They don't even act like you think they should. They are business people, politicians, friends, neighbours. They can be the most charming people in the world, male and female. Their lives are anything but what they seem. And before you know it, you can be tangled in a web so evil that it can cost you everything you have including your life.

No-one can safely say, "a psychopath could never fool me". Because they can and do. They are masters at the game.

It's a story I don't really tell people because it's a small part of my life which although has markedly shaped me, never will define me. I have wrestled with the memory of this monster in my dreams for a long time. I have wrestled with the shame although it shouldn't be mine to feel. I thought he was the love of my life. Once. Until .......

Time heals all wounds and is replaced with a level of indifference. My hatred and sense of injustice is replaced with pity. I don't think I will ever forgive and I know I must at some point between now and death. Neither do I want to forget. I want to remember what evil looks like up close and personal. I want this experience to remind me every day of the joy and beauty in leading an authentic, positive and moral life. I grew up trusting and forgiving people. However, the truth is, there will always be those who take advantage of others. I learnt my lesson well. And it's been hard, as lessons are meant to be.

Here is a story I wrote about my time in the Black Magic Kingdom. Maybe I will tell you the real story one day but this is what it was like, a fairytale of sorts. Except, there was never going to be a happy ending, ever. But I have made my own.

Mr Black used to always tell me he would take me to Disneyland…. one day. He was obsessed with the idyllic fantasy kingdom in a way I found a little unusual for a grown man. I was just not that into fairy tales or make believe. Trust me, I love the movies, and the Magic Kingdom is a nice place to visit, I simply don't wish to live there, if you catch my drift.

I now know that an enchanted land of role playing and magic was the ultimate grandiose fantasy world in which he desperately sought to live. He fought hard to stay in that childlike and euphoric state, where anything is possible and everything is yours for the taking. Anyone who entered his own magical kingdom and joined the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party had to abide by his rules or they were banished, silenced, threatened or branded crazy. Surprisingly, there was no shortage of takers. He made laws on the spot, coldly pronouncing, in fits and starts just like the Queen of Hearts, and for no logically intelligible reason, “off with their heads.”

For many years I inhabited the land of promises. I stepped into this magical thinking without a glimpse of its sinister undertones. A real Alice in Wonderland some may say. I was to be fresh and eager supply for another of his illusions, perhaps his greatest act to date. I was to star in a fairy tale so macabre that it nearly destroyed my life. He tried. I resisted. I almost lost. Each day was full of unexpected surprises, a turbulent roller coaster full of highs and lows and an endless maze in which I became frustrated, overwhelmed and seemingly stuck. Each new day brought increasingly menacing and distorted images. My life became a tortuous ride which went round and round, up and down, inside and out, at his command. The show stopper was the five storey drop in the end. It was no Splash Mountain. The huge splash was more like a big splatter - on hard, cold, unforgiving cement.

If only someone had given me the script. I would have rewritten it. Our thoughts on my role were markedly different. My involvement with him, my belief in his lies would leave me lifeless. His actions and abuse sucked me dry and trampled my soul. I became a dysfunctional bystander walking a tight rope, trying hard not to fall, looking for answers and the truth. I tried to steer the leaking vessel back to reality. To safety. I tried. So very hard.

Mistakes can be wiped away with magic fairy dust he said, masks can be ripped off only to be replaced by someone entirely different and people and problems can be made to disappear with one swoosh of the magician’s wand. It can be anything you want it to be. You just have to close your eyes and pretend. Easy. No responsibility, no accountability. No conscience.

Could something embedded in childlike innocence and make believe be grounded in something more evil and heart wrenching………I guess that’s the stuff of real fairy tales not the sanitised happy ever after kind. For some reason all of those wolves, giants, trolls and evil villains encountered by Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Jack seem a little more real to me now. I met a twisted monster who tried to destroy me. Just because he could. I will continue to be branded as a peddler of fairy tales in the eyes of those who choose to live within the four walls of the Black Magic Kingdom.

I do not care, because I am free- the truth set me free.

It is estimated that 4% of the population are psychopaths, so for more information check these two sites out Lovefraud and the Psychopath and Narcissist Survivors Support Group .


  1. Lilly, I wish I could give you a hug right now. That part of your life was so sad and horrible, it seems like, with the way you described it. I hope your family was supportive of you during that time. It's good that you're talking about it. I've read that talking out bad experiences is paramount to healing. It's also good that you were able to free yourself from the monster's grips. Let's celebrate your freedom. I'm raising a toast for you right now. I wish you the best. There truly are real good men out there. Not all of them is evil or monster. Have a great weekend.

  2. Tashabud - thanks for your comments but you know its behind me now for the most part. Thats why I think I can come out and say it. I just wanted to say it and be done with it and not carry it with me another year. Going through this also made me realise that everyone has things go wrong in their lives and the truth is its taught me a lot. Maybe I can help someone else who is going through something similar. I think I have learnt a lot about myself, and I have lots to be thankful for. Heaps, in fact. Thats why that JK Rowling speech really hit home to me. I have a great, great family - its just unfortunate I was living in another cuntry at the time and isolated. Anyway, everything happens for a reason I really beleive that. By the way, loved your new chapter. Cant wait for the next one!!! Thanks for stopping by, always appreciate your comments.

  3. Lilly,
    Only victims who have experienced the madness that you live while in the clutches of these evil creeps can fully understand how an intelligent woman could let this happen.

    It’s not as simple as them being BIG time control freaks, liars and bully’s … It’s by far more sinister!
    I was honestly ready to book myself into a mental institution, nothing made sense anymore and my ‘self’ was shattering into pieces.
    Emotional abuse leaves you unbalanced and you think you're going crazy. It’s a slow, insidious, breaking down of the self-esteem of their victim until there's next to nothing left. And what’s more you don’t even suspect that it’s happening to you until it’s too late and you’re trapped.
    It’s very scary and difficult to explain it to yourself let alone others.

    After nearly 16 months (but who’s counting) of freedom I'm still dealing both emotionally and legally with a psychopath, a consequence of caring deeply for another human being who turned out to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. If you don’t know people like this exist …you don’t know to look out for them.

    My biggest mistake was to dismiss my gut instinct that was trying to tell me that things aren’t right.

    Fantastic post Lilly …well done and congratulations on making it to 2 years!! Go Girl!

    Tulip XXX (Horticultural sign writer of the West)

  4. I too believe it is behind you Lilly. I also see you as someone who takes hardship or pain and grows from it. All that you've been through makes you fiercely strong, courageously open and honest and full of dignity and integrity. I've seen that in you since our first meeting. I am so proud of you for this and for the way you take back your life everyday. I see it in your warmth, your humor, your willingness to be kind and helpful, your cooking, your writing, your amazing strength of character. You face the world as a vibrant life force. One willing to feel pain, grief, joy, sorrow, wonder, love, etc. You are a fully alive human being.

    This story is wonderfully told. We don't need the specifics to see/hear the tale. It is a global story for many women and children and some men. You have told it from a heartfelt and yet strong place. The events and the person may be dark but your spirit is shining. You have been faced with darkness and yet you are still an astoundingly bright light in the world. I applauded you for this line:

    "...because it's a small part of my life which although has markedly shaped me, never will define me."

    That is so true!!! You are MUCH larger than that and will only become more so because you have used all you've been through to grow and help others. I don't know why but in my life it has often been the most horrendous things that have totally changed my life....made me REALLY grow. I've become wiser and more ompassionate.

    You are brave and good Lilly. Love, Rob.

  5. Robin - truly thank you for your inspiration - your last post on your blog really made me think about lots of things. You have a wonderful habit of doing that for people you know. I guess I am just not so afraid of what happened and have nothing to hide anymore. Its a tad self indulgent to put it on a blog but then again the blog is about my life and it was a red letter day for me yesterday. I appreciate your views, they truly mean a lot to me. Sometimes I think we all keep the bad stuff too private and sharing often lessens the pain and normalises the struggles we all endure form time to time. Its also important the people are made aware that this pesonality disorder is growing and can never be cured. We all have horrendous stuff happen in our lives but it makes the great stuff all the more sweeter! Thanks for being part of the positive, honest, great stuff!!!

    Tulip - you know what I know and you have pulled me through many a bad day. But hey, what doesnt kill us makes us stronger right? Our stories have many, many chapters left. Some day we will look upon it as a blessing. Some day. Have a fantastic weekend!!!

  6. Dear Lilly, your response to me and to Tulip is so astounding. It moved me to tears. You are deeply wise and have SO much to offer other women just in being yourself. I am highly impressed by your character. You just keep listening to that wonderful heart of yours and you will do as you are ALREADY doing....change lives. Love, Rob

    PS And Tulip...Thank you as well!!! Hugs, R


Thanks for your comments.