There will be no self-gaslighting after all…ever.
Oh yes, I know I had become a little optimistic in my last post. Self-doubt had crept in and set up a futon, putting its feet on the coffee table and cracking a beer. It proceeded to chide me a little, with a snide: “you sure you want to go through all this stress and expense, ditch the only life you’ve ever known and your long-time partner of roughly half your life, for…what? To be able to hang plants in a different apartment?”
Stubbornly I fought back, saying “yes I do, because this long-time partner of roughly half my life has dismissed me, ignored me, refused to even acknowledge my presence in recent years, and shut me out, little by little, almost since the beginning. He’s a deep, dark, black wall in my space. I’m trying to heal now. It’s time.”
Self-doubt didn’t have a comeback for that, but he lingered there, cracking a second beer and grabbing a magazine from my coffee table, sitting there and thumbing through the pages in sullen silence.
The past couple weeks (on the dot) took whatever doubt or weakness there might have been, about whether or not I’m too immature (just wanting my freedom, spoiled on a utopian Solo Casa vision) or being too unreasonable (expecting some kind of perfection in partners and relationships), and stamped it to smithereens.
The moments of doubt, weakness, or self-second-guessing are over, for good.
It started with the date that my husband lined up, complete with the flirty texts and an emoji usage level slightly excessive for his usual baseline. It continued with The Discoveries, which came in rapid succession – one on YouTube, and another social media platform in which he’s actually speaking rather affectionately to one female (complete with flower bouquet emoji) and following young girls we don’t even know and bantering with them, uttering more words to them in one comment than he does to me in a month, complimenting them several times in one comment without having complimented me in years.
And it culminated in The Revelations, more serious discoveries in which my ultimate suspicions were confirmed…and more. More, that is, than I ever bargained for or even imagined. Much more.
I’ll issue a rare Content Advisory at this point, for the duration of this post.
The Revelations hit me in two parts, both of which were revealed in browser history. One was that he was watching p0rn videos (misspelled on purpose). Not run-of-the-mill, either. Which brings me to the second Revelation: that these videos feature extremely disturbing and frightening subject matter, such as family members, highly abusive assaults, and some claim to be not of legal age (although I have no solid proof of that right now).
When we first met, there had been a red-flag-now-dealbreaker early on: he had a banker’s box full of explicit magazines. When we moved in together, I instructed him to get rid of it, stating that I would not share a roof with that kind of thing. He didn’t get defensive, didn’t seem miffed in any way, and agreed to do so without incident or resistance.
I thought the issue was gone, case closed. That banker’s box went away about 21 years ago, after all, and there had been no evidence of him engaging in that activity at all ever since.
Obviously, either I was wrong all these years, or I was right but the game has drastically changed.
What I saw next horrified me. I found instances in which he had deliberately searched for (all misspelling intentional) “b@rely legal”, “nud!st ch!ld”, “n@ked tweens”, “n@ked little girls”, and so forth.
As in, he was intentionally, deliberately. Seeking out. This. Kind of material. Involving This. Specific. Age group.
And I have photo evidence.
I knew the “man” was devious, dark, twisted, and covert. I had no idea that I’ve been living with a completely deranged, disturbed, sick, black-hearted, perverted psychopath. No idea at all. I’m intelligent and intuitive. But, he’s just that good. And, I ignored red flags.
This is why you DO NOT ignore red flags, gorgeous ones!!
Do not let them explain it away. Do not let yourself dismiss it. Listen to that gut instinct. It doesn’t let you down, ever.
It was actually by listening to my intensifying intuition that I even made any of these discoveries in the first place.
Because when you first meet someone, you’re both on your best behavior. You’re both putting your best foot forward. You’re showcasing the Best Of, like a Greatest Hits album. We all have flaws, but it’s absolutely crucial to make mental notes of which ones they have. Those that get revealed in the beginning are the strongest; they’re the ones that leak through the gilded facade. You have to assume that any red flag that peeks out is simply the tip of a potentially mammoth iceberg.
Flaws have a tendency to germinate under the surface, and red-flag (read: dealbreaker!) flaws do so, too. Over time, they come out, poking near the surface, one way or another. What starts out as a pebble in a shoe can swell to a lava bomb that melts them (or you!) down.
I’m full of analogies today, aren’t I? Maybe it’s a coping mechanism.
Narcissists are more attracted to p0rn than the general population. It is indeed a thing with them. So much so, that if you discover someone is into p0rn, you almost have to assume they’re a narcissist, and if you sense they’re a narcissist, you have to suspect p0rn usage too. It’s a Thing with them, dear ones. Not all, but most. Never forget that.
When you stumble into a discovery like this, it feels like you just found out they murdered someone. You’re not the same. You can’t be. You don’t look at them the same way ever again, because you can’t do that, either.
I’m simply stunned. In shock. As I mentioned before, I knew he was devious. I knew he was negative, and he had an air of darkness. I knew he was secretive, that he held many thoughts in his head that he simply refused to share with me (although not in so many words). But I did not know he was the absolutely demented menace that he is. I had no idea his dark depths plunged that far.
Trying to keep my head, I contacted a few close peeps. All responded the same way. Each had their questions and much-appreciated advice tidbits.
Meanwhile, I’ve had to do my best to act completely normal. Behind closed doors, I’ve clung to friends and unleashed tears, but around him I’ve had to be my usual casual, detached, nonchalant self, trying like hell not to tip him off or send alarm bells sounding in his head.
Between workloads, I took steps. I made phone calls, including one to my legal team about what I’d found, and obtained their advice. I logged into shared financial sites and checked for any questionable activity there, too. I changed my passwords on my email and blogging accounts, and declined to store them in my browsers. My phone account’s password is next in line. I will be logging out and off of every account, every time I sit down at a shared (or potentially shared) computer. I’ll go through and clear cookies from browsers.
I also talked with a couple friends, behind closed doors (which I’ve done plenty of times before), and this time, my husband displayed even stranger behavior. Claiming (by text) to be leaving for an appointment soon, he then proceeded to hover, linger, pointlessly pace the hallway, and even stand outside my closed office door twice, leaning close toward it, I was told. He finally left a full 50 minutes later.
I was told that his behavior seemed exceptionally creepy. He’s so entrenched into taboos so serious and severe, that his awareness antennae are ultra-heightened to the point of paranoia, and likely for sound reason. I’m onto him. He might have an inkling that I am.
Shit’s gettin’ real, gorgeous ones. Surreal, yet too real.
Please, if you can, pray for me and my kitties. ❤