Sociopath Series Part III

I get confused. I remember everything. I remember too much, and… some of its made up, and… some of it can’t be quantified, and… there’s secrets.

This is probably going to be my last sociopath post, but I think it might be the most helpful to future generations of Dar Dars and even normal people.

I have learned from my shrink that there are not just Red Flags, which I listed in my first post on this topic, but there are also Yellow Flags.  Yellow Flags are the ones that, in retrospect, you can tell were not quite right, but in the moment seemed charming and normal.  I have a lot of those.

First ask yourself – is the relationship equal?  This can apply to preferences of what to do or where to eat, privacy rules and a few other things.

When I first met AJ, I still do not understand why, but he was, or seemed to be, enamored with me.  It was adorable.  But that lead to some things like…

He would drive me to and from work every day, which meant he had to drive in the opposite direction of his house to come pick me up, then towards his house and past it to take me to work.  Then he would pick me up at the end of my shift.  I loved seeing him.  I would get very excited to see him at the end of the day.  It seemed like he just really wanted to spend as much time with me as possible.  But being picked up and dropped off every day meant I stopped doing things with other people after work.  I did not have my car, so I just went wherever AJ went.  I did not mind at all, I was happy to be with him, but this was the start of me alienating all my friends that I had previously spent quite a bit of time with.  He controlled what I did after work by appearing to just really want to spend as much time with me as possible.  And maybe he really did want to spend all the time with me.  In the beginning, we couldn’t get enough of each other.  As a result of this, though, it set the standard for me being so attached to AJ that I stopped interacting with anyone else.

At first, when I did interact with other people still, AJ would make it go wrong in some way that seemed very innocent and sometimes even charming.  I was at lunch with a couple friends and I did not realize it was near his house, so he texted and said he would come meet me there.  I told him no, it is a “girls lunch” and I would see him another time.  He insisted on coming, and I ended up leaving abruptly before he showed up.  My friends consoled him.  Another time, still very early in our relationship, we attended our first “big event” together, my friend’s wedding.  After the wedding we were socializing in the hotel hospitality room and one of my friend’s asked AJ where he lived.  He said “Solon” (a city).  My friend said “Where in Solon”.  This is a totally normal question – we are all from the same very small area and it is likely he could have said “My friend lives on that street” or something.  He wasn’t asking like “Give me your address so I can come over”.  AJ did not respond, he literally got up and stormed out of the room in a huff of anger.  This is where I made the wrong choice – I chose him over my friends.  Instead of letting him have his tantrum and staying with my friends, I followed after him and left the wedding at his insistence.  He did not want to be there anymore, he felt violated and invaded, and he wanted to leave.  So I left.  MY FRIEND’S WEDDING!!!  I left my friend’s wedding.  Bad decision on my part, but just one of the many times AJ pulled me away from my group of friends and refused to become part of it with me.  These are two small incidents, but they add up quickly to the point where it was routine to leave not just my friend’s functions, but family functions, early because AJ became depressed and wanted to spend time alone with me, or was annoyed by my nieces (they were little at the time), or didn’t want to be there anymore.  No matter how many times I gave him chances, he never allowed himself to become a part of my group of friends, he always found a way to take us both away from it.  My niece, who is now 8, has known AJ basically all of her life.  She was 1 when AJ and I first started dating and I had him at a lot of family functions.  In those 7-8 years that she knew and he was such an integral part of my life, he saw her so rarely that she did not know what he looked like when we met him for coffee one day.  I told her “Watch for AJ” and she had no idea who to watch for.  That is how much I was pulled away from family events and how short lived it was when we went to them.

Another way the relationship was unequal was in terms of privacy.  I did not know where AJ lived for at least 6 months.  He was a regular at my house, knew how to get in if no one was home, stayed overnight regularly (on the couch), etc.  When I was at the restaurant with my friends and he said I was near his house, I had no idea.  My phone/computer/iPad were always open territory – he knew the codes, he could pick them up and use them without fuss, I had nothing to hide.  I have never been able to touch any of his computer items, especially his phone.  He would go so far as to show me a picture, but refuse to let me hold his phone to look closer at it.  Yet he created his own thumbprint log in on my phone, just a few months ago.  If I would so much as glance towards his phone, he would turn his back on me.  As it turns out, this was because he was hiding about 5 different lives from me, so I suppose he had good reason.  But the point is, everything of mine was public domain to him.  I was/am an open book, I have nothing to hide, so I am open and honest about everything.  I only learned things about AJ when he “slipped”.  He is actually a really bad liar, so I always knew when something was up and I (almost) always found out what it was – those are the big red flags.  But the “yellow flags” were there from the beginning with his obsession with his own privacy and disregard for mine.

Another unequal thing was where we would eat/movies we would see, etc.  I thought the reason we went to the restaurants he wanted to were so he could impress me (he used his dad’s credit card and took me to really fancy places), but it occurred to me that he never even considered the option of going where I wanted to go.  He also always found ways to get me agree to his preferences without me even realizing it was happening.  He was in complete control of our dating life and I did not see it, I just thought he wanted to introduce me to new things – but it turned out he was forcing me to try new things whether I wanted to or not.

The last unequal thing I can think of was appearance.  I have always worn jeans and tee shirts and hoodies.  It is what I do.  I do not dress up, I do not wear colors and patterns, I do not wear shoes other than tennis shoes.  AJ started pushing me to wear things I was not comfortable in, but I did it because he liked it.  I wore pink and purple shirts, I “dressed up” sometimes for nights out, sometimes I tried to not wear a hoodie, or if I did, I bought “fancy hoodies”.  My entire wardrobe changed significantly.  He would never listen to a thing I would say if he asked my opinion about his clothes.  I was always honest, I would say if something looked goofy or I did not like it, but it never mattered, he did what he wanted.  He had this awful hat he wore for quite awhile and just completely ignored me when I said it did not look good, but he would dictate what I would wear.  When we broke up, I got rid of everything that I hated wearing and replaced it all with my black tee shirts and jeans.  It was freeing.  I did not realize how much I had bought in an effort to make him like what I was wearing.

So in retrospect I can see that AJ put himself in control of who I saw, where I went, what I ate, what I wore and what I was allowed to know.  At the time, it was NOT obvious.  After he cheated on me the first time, it became obvious to all of my friends, but it was never obvious to me.

And a word about friends – if you are a friend who is watching someone go through this sort of thing, I can tell you that you should do exactly what my friends did.  After they realized that AJ was not a great person, and I was still forgiving and making excuses, they let me know how they feel in a very gentle and nice way, and basically said “I will never be Team AJ but I am Team Darcy and I will support whatever you do and continue to accept AJ if you keep dating him, but I have noticed things that are not right and I want you to know that he is not good for you”.  It must have killed them to watch me continue, but if they had pushed it, it would have caused resentment.  They supported me, told me the truth in a nice way, and never judged ME.  Karyn and Mary in particular, you guys could write a book on how to support someone in this kind of situation.  HPB friends, you were a little more “upfront” with it, but I appreciated your approach as well ;-)

I cannot believe I left this part out.  I do not know which category this fits into, but another huge thing AJ did to alienate me from what I love was convince me to stop doing theater so we could spend more time together.  At first, in what seemed like a really impressive and supportive way, he would do theater WITH me.  I would stage manage, he would work backstage.  But almost every night when we would come out of a rehearsal or performance, he would be so angry.  One time it got so bad with him raging about how much he hated theater that I tried to fire him.  I told him it was hurting our relationship to have us working together, and that I could find someone else to work backstage, and that he should not work on the show anymore.  He refused.  It was not a question on my part, I was TELLING him that he was not going to work on the show anymore, and he shut me down and did what he wanted.  He kept tabs on me by working in theater with me, and then wore me down until I agreed that he was more important than theater, and I was too tired and old to keep doing it while still doing a full time job, anyway.  I thought it was my decision, and in retrospect, it was not.

Once AJ became my entire life – no more friends or family get togethers, no more theater – that was when he started the cheating and the lying.  He had me where he needed me – completely dedicated to him and willing to accept whatever he did because he had become my life.  I thought I was his, but I was not, by any stretch of the imagination.  I was his back up for when all the other things he did didn’t work out.  I was the fall back, the stable one, the one who would always be there for him unquestioningly.  That gave him absolute freedom to go from normal cheating to outright telling me “I will be dating other girls, but you will remain my main girlfriend and you will not date anyone but me”.  I had to sit at home and wait while my boyfriend went on dates with other girls.  AND I DID.  That was a Red Flag.  I was essentially brainwashed into thinking that was normal and ok.  He was not happy with me – I wasn’t sexy enough was the complaint most often, or I was boring – so it somehow made sense to me that he should go find that elsewhere while I stayed and waited for him to come back.

I don’t think I would have done it any differently, in retrospect, so I don’t know that this would actually help anyone who is going through this, or a friend of someone who is going through it.  But it helps to share it now that I have that 20/20 hindsight, and maybe someone will see it and be stronger than I was and get out sooner.

And I am still so brainwashed that I miss AJ.  He was a constant in my life for nearly 8 years.  No matter how messed up it was, I miss him.  Bleh.

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If You Are My Facebook Friend You Must Read This.

I have a new idea.  I always have ideas and then they kind of fizzle out.  Like that time I wanted to send letters to everyone and I only sent a few letters to a few people.

This time I have decided that throughout the next five years I am going to meet each of my FB friends at a Starbucks and have coffee.  I do not care how much we do not know each other, or do not remember each other, we are sitting down for at least 15 minutes and enjoying a beverage.  I will meet you where you live, except for you, Mo, because I will not go to Israel.  We can meet somewhere neutral like Switzerland.  Everyone else, I will come to you.  My only requirement is that you write a brief description of how we meet/how you know me.  And that you take a selfie with me.  Maybe I will write a book.  I might make you sign a release form.  Probably not, though.  I will probably just start a new section on my blog called Starbucks Selfies.  EVERY LAST ONE OF YOU WILL BE SUBJECT TO THIS.  We can meet and stare at each other if we actually do not know each other well enough to have anything to talk about, we can play a game of Scrabble, we can chat, we can color pictures for each other.  I am open to anything.

This also applies to people I see everyday and know well.  Oh, and if you do not remember how we met, either make something up or just say you do not remember, because I cannot remember how I met some of you.

So there is my project.  Sometime within the next five years, expect a message from me with a link to this blog and an invitation.

Also, tonight my mom suddenly appeared and said we had to go to Malley’s to get chocolate so I put my shoes on and got in the car and sat there for a good four minutes.  I honked my horn which I never do because I was getting very anxious waiting and kind of spazzing out and it turns out she was making coffee.  In an actual mug, not a travel mug.  For our 5 minute trip to Malley’s.  It was funny.

Prepare for coffee.

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I Am Drinking Butterbeer At Starbucks.

Seriously, have you ever had it?  It’s on the “secret menu”.  Sometimes it is so secret that you have to tell the barista how to make it, but it is so very delicious.  Two pumps caramel, two pumps toffee nut, and then you can get it as a latte or as one of those warm milk be beverages.

i went to my new therapist and I really like her.

She has a very soft orange blanket that I can pet and she promised to start bringing in her puppy.

I am still sad about AJ and I miss him which is stupid because he lied a lot and wasn’t very nice to me, but my Thundercat friend brought up a good point.  I said “why did he choose me when there were so many others”.  The answer is that I have something the others don’t.  I call him out on things, I force him to (eventually) tell the truth, I see through every lie and I hold him accountable.  It is very parental.  But I really don’t think he has anyone in his life who does that.  He has girlfriends who don’t know the true AJ but serve their needs, he has family who know the selective truth, and a therapist who knows the selective truth.  So I guess instead of feeling sad that I was picked, I should be proud.  My real ness and honesty was what made him stay with me as a friend for 8 years when no one else made that cut.  It hurt me a lot, but in some small ways, it bettered him.  A little.  In some ways.

My point is, there’s a bright side to everything and this bright side is that I was a strong, positive force in his life and even though I was used for him to learn every life lesson, I was the only one strong enough to do that.

It is very hard to do this on an iPad and I just made the keyboard part disappear.

I am going to drink my Butterbeer and read now.

 

Sociopath Series Part II

I have gone through every emotion in the book since posting my sociopath blog.

First, I was sad because I betrayed AJ.  I always told him that if he pushed me far enough, I would do it.  He had plenty of warning.  He did not have to lie to me.  He knew how sensitive he made me to any untruth, and the only way we could be friends was if he did not lie, and he lied a lot about really stupid things.  So he knew it was coming, and the reason it came was because he was horrible to me, and yet, I still feel sad for him.

Mixed with that was absolute rage.  Why did he pick me?  He’s gone through many, many other women and friends and he never did this to any of them.  What is it about me?  Up until the very last argument, he said “I want to be your friend, please, we can still be friends”.  We had been through that same conversation so many times, and I always said “Ok, but just don’t lie to me anymore”.  He did every time.  His last words were “Please let’s talk and be friends” and mine were “I’m posting it, goodbye AJ”.  The nonlogical part of me wishes I just talked and forgot it as usual, and went back to him lying and me pretending not to know.

I know logically that the thing I have to understand is that he incapable of actually being sorry and incapable of actually being a friend.  But the stubborn part of me thinks “He owes me an apology, surely he sees what he forced me into”.  But he doesn’t.  I know he doesn’t, but I still wish he did.

Then I’m mad because HE had the gall to block ME on all social media/texting, etc.  WAIT-don’t get mad.  I wasn’t texting for social purposes.  He set up all of my computer stuff and he can remotely access all of my family’s computer things.  I did not realize that he can’t do this without me sitting on the computer approving his request.  I opened my computer and it flashed his name and then something else that I didn’t catch, and I panicked.  I thought for sure I’d end up on a revenge porn site or something (there are no naked pictures of me anywhere, don’t worry – but those things can be photoshopped).  I texted him and asked why his name showed up on my computer.  I didn’t realize “blocking” was a thing on iPhones, so when he didn’t answer, I sent multiple messages saying I know he was on my computer and he better tell me what he did.  Well, he wasn’t on my computer.  I THINK what he did was delete our shared Dropbox folder where we would put mostly cat pictures so that we each had sufficient copies.  So that is how I found out he blocked me on everything.  And that makes me mad.  *I* should be doing the blocking, here.  *I* am the victim.  I am NOT the blockee.  But.  I am.  And that left me feeling even more impotent than before.  I have never won, I have always been the one who was hurt, damaged, lied to, accused, and now blocked.  I always defended AJ no matter what he did (RED FLAG), and he never defended me, not that I needed it.  I mean, I just needed it with his dad.  I never did anything that needed defending, so I guess him not sticking up for me is a moot point.

I digress. Or maybe not, maybe I made some really good points in there.  I am just very angry, I have no closure, somehow-and this is accompanied by much shame-I still think I want to be his friend (don’t worry, it’s not going to happen), and I somehow still expect a sincere apology, admitting all that he’s done and admitting how much he changed me/ruined part of me, and accepting responsibility for it.  Not gonna happen, I know.  BUT I CAN’T STOP WANTING IT TO HAPPEN.

I do have a therapy appointment with a therapist who specializes in abusive relationships/people – to which AJ’s friend Sean said “You have no fucking clue what abuse is.  You should be ashamed.  You are a piece of work”.  But, out of the literal hundreds of people who said anything to me, he is the only one who said anything along those lines, so I am thinking he is wrong on this one.  My appointment is not until the 11th, so until then, my blog is my therapy, I guess.

I have not shown any of this to my parents because you see, I live with them.  And my dad will feel bad and not know what to do, and my mom will feel as angry and incapable of doing anything as me, and they don’t need that.  Plus I still don’t like to talk out loud about any of it because my default is to defend AJ.

Here is the last thing.  I do not understand the need to lie.  AJ has said, over all 8 years, he wanted me to be in his life.  I believe that, because no one else has lasted that long in his life.  He also hasn’t treated anyone else like this.  So I understand lying if you are cheating on your girlfriend.  But once we established that we were just friends back in November of 2012, why continue lying?  I made it clear that what he does is his business as long as he doesn’t treat me differently (and by differently, I mean the few times when he wasn’t cheating/didn’t have a girlfriend and we were actually friends).  So why lie that for the past few months he has a friend he’s been hanging out with?  I hang out with my friends.  I don’t care that his friend is much older and female and most likely sleeping with him, and that they have matching wine glasses with their names etched into them even though she has a boyfriend and kids.  I mean, I know that SOUNDS like I care, but I actually don’t.  I think it is immoral and I would have told him so, but it’s not like there is anything I can do about it.  If he had just said “here’s what I’m doing”, I’d shake my head, say “Don’t do anything weird in front of the kids and don’t let the boyfriend kill you”, and then we could hang out just like we did.  Why lie about it?  Why let something that stupid end everything?  I suppose something had to end it, and again, LOGICALLY I know it’s good that it ended, but it does not feel that way right now.  It just feels like I really, really miss my friend.

And here is the other thing.  I have AMAZING friends, and a very large number of them.  I have my close circle and then I have pretty much all the people I have ever met in my life, because I tend to keep people that I like.  And everyone has been so supportive, so kind, so caring and they have said some of the nicest things.  So saying AJ was my best friend makes me feel like an ass.  I don’t know how to explain it, but I want it known, that doesn’t mean any less for my true friends.  I don’t honestly know what I’m trying to say, but given that those of you in my life know me so well, I think you know what I’m trying to say, even though I only have a vague idea.

So I feel a bit better now.  I hope everyone is doing ok, I have been wrapped in my selfish bubble for the past few days and probably will remain there for a bit.

How To Spot A Sociopath.

You all know the story, AJ and I dated, then were friends, and now he has done something horrible and I have cut off all ties with him.  I am using this blog to detail the things that should have been a red flag since the day we met, and hopefully someone else will read it and get out sooner than I did.  I think one of the most important things to point out is that if AJ said to me “I’ll never lie again”, I would go back to him (as a friend) in a minute.  I want him to be my friend, I want him to be in my life, I miss him terribly and I know all of that is wrong.  He was never MY friend, but I was a great friend to him.  But my heart hurts and I miss him.  But I also know every time he says “I’ll never lie again”, he is lying.

First and foremost, AJ’s parents read my blog to keep tabs on me.  They think everything that has happened is my fault and that I am “weird” and basically a really bad influence.  I hope they read this one, because in AJ’s 27 years of life, I am the only one who has noticed that he isn’t quite right.  If this opens their eyes and helps them get him an intervention and proper psychological help, that would be great.  But, as you’ll see below, his dad contributed to his crimes more than anyone else, so I really doubt anything good will come of this.

I never dated.  I was 29 and had no interest in dating at all.  For some reason, AJ took a liking to me.  He was 19.  His way to approach me was “Wanna make out?”, which no, I did not, because I didn’t like that sort of thing.  But he was funny and he was charming and he sort of grew on me.  I explained to him that I don’t date, that if this is what we are going to do there have to be very specific limits and he has to go very slowly.

The first limit I set was a curfew.  He could com over, but he had to leave by 9pm because I still needed “me time”.  He never once left at that time.  He would spend up to two hours arguing and telling me why he should stay, wearing me down.  One time a family friend died very unexpectedly, and I asked him to leave.  He did not even address the fact that someone had died, he asked why he should be punished when it wasn’t his fault, why he had to leave, he wanted to stay.  Again, two hours – all while I had just learned that someone had died.  Never once did he ask if I was ok, what he could do for me, nothing.

That was the first sign – the obsession and not taking no for an answer.  If someone does not agree to do what is in your best interest, or if they insist that you are wrong about your best interest, RUN.

In order to do the “dating activities” that I won’t go into detail about, I had to drink a lot.  I was still that uncomfortable doing anything.  He was ok with that.  A caring person might have said “if it’s that bad, let’s just be friends until you are ok with it”, but AJ was completely fine with the fact that I had to be inebriated in order to do anything.

Sign number two – compromising your health/judgement is ok, as long as they get what they want.  They do not experience actual love, only steps to get what they want.  If they have to manipulate or fake actions of love, they will.

I loved AJ.  I still do, and probably always will.  I feel very protective of him, and he is the only source of comfort that I have in my life.  NOT because I don’t have plenty of friends and family, I have a huge circle of support.  But he is the only person who provides the comfort I want.

Sign number three – no matter what bad they do, a sociopath is charming, convincing, able to lie about anything, and will be able to convince anyone of anything.  AJ has me convinced that he is my only comfort and the only person who can take care of me properly.

The first time AJ cheated on me it was with a 15 year old.  This girl was the niece of a friend of mine.  Here is an example of how I can’t help but defend AJ – the girl was a slut, she really was.  She lost her virginity at age 13 and at the time she took up with AJ, she was dating an 18 year old as well.  The family is completely white trash, saw their opportunity (AJ’s family has money), and went for it.  BUT – that does not dismiss the fact that AJ was 22 and knew exactly what he was doing.  HIs mom had just died.  The odd thing was, he never cried.  I was there with him when she actually passed away, and I cried.  AJ did not – he went through the sounds and motions of crying, but there were no tears and he was able to turn it on and off.  That was sign number 3.5.  NO EMOTIONS.

I knew the INSTANT he started cheating on me.  He may be a liar, but he is not a GOOD liar.  He went out on a date with the 15 year old, but had plans with me at 1pm.  I was at his house at 1pm.  He texted me and said he was running a little late, and I should wait for him.  At 7pm, his dad came home and found me asleep.  I told him I was waiting for AJ and that he was out on a date with a 15 year old and I didn’t know how to stop him from going down that very, very wrong path.  His dad said that it’s AJ’s business, not mine, and I should leave now.

Sign number four – a close family member KNOWS and does not do anything to prevent what is going to happen.  In this case, it’s because AJ was so spoiled, his dad thought he could do no wrong.  AJ dropped out of school in 5th grade and his parents let him.  He was “home schooled”.  That meant his parents did all the work for him and AJ had a very regular schedule of porn and masturbation.  I suppose this could be sign number five as well, obsession and “collections”.  AJ collected porn from the age of 12.  His parents had no idea.  What they thought he was doing in his bedroom so much instead of actually reading books or learning math, I don’t know.  AJ went through high school without ever having read a typical reading list book, or learning anything beyond addition and subtraction.

The entire summer that AJ was cheating on me, I was very vocal about it.  He lied, and made up the most insane stories, thinking I would believe them.  He went to the 15 year old’s house every single day to have sex, and told me “I was just driving around”.  He mysteriously disappeared off the “find friends” app, saying “I was in a location with no service”.  I told him what he was doing was illegal, he told me he wasn’t doing anything.  He was cruel.  He’d invite me out to a movie with the 15 year old and her aunt (my “alleged” friend who was in on the whole thing), telling me we’d be seeing “Up”, my favorite movie ever.  We’d get to the theater and he’d say “We’re actually seeing this other movie, your choice is to see Up by yourself or wait in the car”.  I saw Up by myself.  This whole time AJ was ANGRY at me.  This began the cycle of abuse.  He would not just do things like tricking me or leaving me out of things, he would yell at me for being “parental” (someone had to, as his parent wasn’t doing it himself), or yell at me for not being “sexy” enough, or criticizing the way I dress, etc.  One time he came home from his time with the 15 year old, and I once again said “I know what you’re doing”.  He forcibly threw me on the bed, my head hanging off the side of the bed and banging against the wall, me crying the whole time – did his thing, and then got up and left me there, and went downstairs to text the 15 year old.  I had bruises.

I don’t know what sign we are on, but that was a really big one.

He broke up with me in August, saying he just didn’t love me anymore and wanted me to go away.  A week later he called me and asked me to come over.  He said that he DID love me, he was out of his mind, he is so sorry, it wasn’t him, he misses me, he needs me, he loves me.  I screamed.  A lot.  I screamed and I threw his things and I screamed for his dad to come upstairs and help me.  When his dad came up, AJ had me in a headlock and I was hysterical.  I told his dad that AJ had been sleeping with a 15 year old, and in my hysteria, I yelled at his dad, too.  I yelled that I told him and he didn’t do anything about it, and then I left.  But I loved AJ.  I couldn’t get the hurt look on his face out of my head.  I couldn’t get the sound of him saying he really did love me and he missed me – it was all stuck in my head.  Within an hour, I was back at his house.  His dad told me this was all my fault, that I was “playing games” and didn’t take life seriously.  Mind you, I had a full time management job, and AJ had never had a job in his life.  I was the one who was cheated on, but somehow, it was my fault.  I was a fully functioning, responsible, innocent, and very, extremely, over the top moral adult. And then he told me that I will never tell anyone about any of this.

I didn’t need to tell anyone.  Because the White Trash Family knew EXACTLY what they were doing, the aunt, who had been helping the 15 year old get together with AJ the whole time, told the father who called the police.  The father, who was stupid, believed he could just say to the police “Hey, I don’t want anything to happen, but I felt I should tell you about this”.  You can’t do that.  If you tell the police something, it’s not your choice whether or not they act on it.  So AJ was arrested.  The White Trash Family agreed to write letters to the judge saying “Hey, we know our daughter is a whore, this is just one of many guy’s she’s done this with”….and here is where it is not clear what happened.  They did write those letters.  But they had several meetings with AJ’s dad and it is assumed that they basically blackmailed him and made him pay.  AJ was SUCH a believable con artist, my own parents wrote letters to the judge saying what a wonderful person AJ was and how he was clearly taken advantage of, etc.  My dad is not big on that sort of thing, so *I* wrote his letter and had him sign it.  I was back in AJ’s thralls, full force.

During the trial, AJ’s dad asked to meet with me.  He told me I was never allowed to see AJ again and I was banned from ever going in his house, because of my part in all of this.  My part?  Not sure what that meant.  AJ’s “punishment” was a several thousand dollar professional camera.  This fed right into AJ’s obsession and “collecting”.  WHILE HE WAS ON TRIAL, he had a “photoshoot” with a high school girl.  Collecting photos became his new thing.  The girl was wearing short shorts, he gave her a cigar to smoke and photographed her on a swing set.  He claims the girl was 18 – but when you are on trial for inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor, you do not have a photoshoot with a high school girl.

I drove AJ to his sex offender meetings, I listened while he raged about how awful it was, and I agreed how awful it was when his sentence was “Don’t drink for four years” – no jail time, nothing.  Don’t drink for four years.  I agreed that was horrible, and how could they do that to him?

The next time AJ cheated on me, I knew it immediately as well.  He was forced to get a part time job as part of his “sentence”, so he worked a few hours a week at a clothes store.  From day one, he couldn’t stop talking about his boss.  I knew it was coming, and it did.  He said he’d be at my house when his shift was over at 8pm, he’d show up at 10:30pm and yell at and berate me for questioning why it took 2.5 hours to get to my house when the store was 1 mile away.  One day he told me to come over, and I did.  I found him on the phone, though he didn’t know I was there yet.  The voice on the other end was clearly a female, and he was giggling and flirting.  I said something to him about it, and he said it was his friend “Mike”.  He didn’t have any friends.  I knew he didn’t have a friend named Mike.  And I knew that Mike would not sound like a woman.  His boss was married with three children.  I considered this yet another very slippery slope, and so I told his dad, thinking “This time he’ll believe me and intervene, he wouldn’t let AJ do something this stupid again”.  His dad told me to mind my own business, and he doesn’t share his phone calls with his employees, so why should AJ share his phone calls with me?  After I left, AJ told his dad, yeah, I’m totally doing my boss and she has three kids and a husband.  His dad still let him, and blamed me.

AJ’s photo collection grew.  He had hidden files on his computer of one of my friends – she didn’t know it, and he didn’t take them, he just collected them from online.  He had photo collections of each of his “subjects”.

The third time AJ cheated on me was the worst, because he said to me “I want to be with you forever, you are my person. But I want to have sex with other people.  You will wait for me while I do this, you will not date anyone else, and eventually I’ll come back”.  And stupidly, I waited.  He dated a girl and had sex with her, he took her picture, he bought her things.  He told me in detail how sexy she was compared to me, and how laughable I was compared to her.

But I waited for him, and the girl dumped him, and he came back to find me waiting like nothing ever happened.  He was very mean after that.  Even though he did horrible things, he SEEMED loving and nice, but now he was just mean.  He took me out for my “birthday dinner” and mid dinner he got a call from a girl he was hoping to sleep with, and he left.  He left me with a half eaten dinner and the bill.  Another time we were in the ER waiting room, I was extremely sick with pneumonia, bronchitis and all sorts of other awful things, and he turned to me and said “You know, I just really want to have sex with other people again, you understand, right?” and he left me alone in the waiting room.

When he was with the “You wait while I date this girl, and then I’ll come back” girl, I became depressed.  It wasn’t actually depressed – I felt worthless.  I felt stupid for being pulled into all this, I felt ashamed for always believing him, I felt ugly and “unsexy”, and I felt like something must have happened to me.  I had always been VERY confident – possibly overly confident – in every aspect of life.  I loved who I was, I loved my quirks.  But I suddenly did not feel any of that.  He had made me feel worthless.  Now we all know my brain is a little different, so hear me out – I planned to kill myself.  My logic was that my personality had in some way expired, and I changed, and I did not like the person I had become.  It did not occur to me that this change could be reversed or that it wasn’t my fault.  But I loved who I was before, and I did not love who I was at this time.  To me, it was very logical.  I was done being me, so it was time to go.  It wasn’t emotional at all, there was no “I can’t take this” or “I’m so depressed”, it was just the logical next step to me.  So I planned it.  I had a week long trip to NYC planned, and I would just take a bunch of Tylenol PM, and right when I started feeling sleepy, I’d inject myself with a ton of insulin.  Diabetics ALWAYS have a fool proof way to die.  There is nothing anyone could do if I injected myself with 200 units of insulin.  And the Tylenol PM would make it so I didn’t feel anything relating to the lack of blood sugar.

I told AJ about my plan, and asked if he’d take care of Sabrina, because she was my biggest concern (Sabrina my cat).  I could not leave her without knowing she had a loving home.  He told me that I was really bringing him down, and could I please not involve him in that kind of talk because he was really happy with his new girlfriend and didn’t want to be brought down by me.  So I thought, ok, then.  My parents will take care of Sabrina.  Then AJ told his dad I was threatening to kill myself, and he posted online to his “knife collecting community” that I was planning on killing myself, and rather than any single person saying “Hmmm”, they all said I was crazy and he should get away from me.  He didn’t tell them what HE did to make me feel  like that.  And he never defended me from their judgement.  And yet, while he exposed my secrets, I never told his.

I went to NYC and realized immediately that AJ was an asshole and I immediately was in my element and went back to the strong, amazing person that I was.  I thought it was crazy that I even considered ending my life, because my personality was not going to stay like that once I was away from AJ.  So that was a very short lived, but very true, desire to kill myself.  I think deep down I still knew I was way too awesome to do that.  My view of suicide in general is that if people feel like they are done on this earth, they should be allowed to do what they want – they just should have the courtesy to let people say goodbye.  So I guess I had sort of a casual attitude about it, anyway.

AJ and I made one last attempt at dating, believe it or not.  Then in November of 2012, he said “I feel weird”.  I said “I know what that means, you want to sleep with other people.  We’re breaking up, and this is the last time.  We can be friends, but you have to be nice to me and you can’t date any of my friends.  You also can’t lie to me anymore”.  He agreed.

Within 24 hours he was obsessed with one of my friends.  He found excuses to go to her house (where she lived with her husband), he had secret pictures of her.  He and I had tickets to go see Muse in concert, and also The Blue Man Group.  He told my friend “No one will take these tickets, do you want to go?”  I only found out I was uninvited when my friend, not knowing anything about the fact that I was supposed to be there, posted from the concerts.  I was supposed to go with them to see our mutual photographer friend to get new headshots for them.  The night before they were going to go, my friend and I were going to go to karaoke.  I felt bad for AJ because he had no friends and was sitting at home alone on a Saturday night. I invited him.  He came.  He spent the whole night attached to my friend with his back to me, and told me “Oh yeah, I don’t really want you to come tomorrow”.  I cried. I sat there crying, and he got angry with me and turned his back to me.  My friend had no idea what to do.  She had told me how uncomfortable AJ made her, and I told him.  He didn’t stop.  They had an acting project they were working on and she just wanted to finish it and never see him again.

We had both known this friend for the same amount of time.  AJ never showed any interested in her….until I said “Please don’t date any of my friends”.  Then it was instant.

There were other situations throughout all these years.  He invited me to a baseball game with some friends (i.e. a girl he wanted to sleep with and her boyfriend), put me in the seat on the end and literally turned his back on me so it appeared as if I was there by myself.  If I tried to talk to anyone, he glared at me, and later yelled at me.

He would invite me out to dinner and spend the entire time texting other people, and get angry at me if I said anything.

I told his dad, in one last effort, that AJ was going after my married friend and it was making her really creeped out and I couldn’t get him to stop, and he then told AJ that I was weird and he didn’t want me to contact him in anyway.

AJ and I managed to be friends until he found another girl to date.  Then he went back to the usual cruelty to me.  Recently, he has been acting secretive and drinking a lot.  I asked him straight out several times, “Do you have a secret life” and “What are you hiding”? and he lied and said nothing was going on, he was just really tired from work and he slept a lot.  He borrowed nearly $500 from me in the span of one month.  It turns out he was using it to pay for a ton of alcohol for him and his “friend” that I found a photo album of (his collection).  It’s a woman from work who he apparently has been drinking and sleeping with for the past few months.  They have wine glasses with their names etched in them.  I don’t care about any of that, what I care about is that I made him promise not to lie to me several times, and he agreed.  He’s allowed to date or sleep with whomever he wants, I really don’t care.  I just don’t want him to lie to me.  He borrowed money from me to buy alcohol for him and this lady from work.  He lied to me about having a secret life.  He has alcohol bottles stashed around his house.

So that is how it ended.  And I hope to God his dad reads this and says “Wow, my son needs help” instead of “Wow, I’m going to find a way to sue Darcy because she exposed all of these secrets”.  I hope he FINALLY sees that AJ is damaging his own life and many others, most pointedly mine.  I have no doubt that AJ is a Sociopath to the letter.  He also lies to his own therapist and to his dad.  I am literally the only one who knows the true extent of what he is and what he has done.  For a long time, I kept those secrets to protect him, but I think I have only done more damage by keeping the secrets than I did good for AJ, because he has only gotten worse, not better.

If you think you recognize any of this in someone in your life, this might help:

http://www.wikihow.com/Determine-if-Someone-Is-a-Sociopath