The trigger has been pulled. Not the kind of trigger that goes flash-bang! and it’s all over. No, dear ones, this is the kind of trigger that gets pulled in slow motion but sends shockwaves just the same.
I filed for divorce today–almost two hours ago now, to be exact. Even if you’re the one doing the filing, there’s something that makes you stop cold when you see the confirmation email from your attorneys, simply titled “Petition filed”.
Then the bottom drops out. The surrealism is palpable, the emotions torrential, in both happy and not-happy ways.
Having vowed (to myself and to them) to keep my Inner Circle apprised of the process and other details (little things, like my physical safety) every step of the way, I sent out the appropriate announcement. Within minutes, waves of “congratulations!” and other genuine, jubilant replies came pinging back, that didn’t match the mix of bittersweetness that I felt (and still feel). But, I know they will in the end. And I’m extremely grateful for them just the same.
But I’m grappling, attempting to grasp anything concrete, only for it to turn to sand. My current reality as I’ve known it for a decade or two (depending on the metric) will soon be a memory – in two months from today, to be exact.
Yes, I mentioned my physical safety shortly ago. I’ll explain…
My brain, like many brains, works in mysterious ways. And my intuition works even mysterious-er. Having found the vile taboo material I’d found, I knew that sadism (taking pleasure in someone else’s pain) was at work. Compound that with narcissism (already established), and then add some Machiavellianism (exploitation, manipulation, deception) to the mix…
…And then, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, you have the definition of psychopathy. Yes, it’s a valid term, and yes, professional/expert clinicians use it.
And yes, dear ones, I’m currently married to one.
People might wonder how I could not know that my soon-to-be-ex is a psychopath. I can explain that, too. They don’t necessarily follow the psychology textbooks. They do indeed possess common traits, but these traits will manifest quite differently from person to person.
In my husband, the psychopathic traits were quite subtle. I had nothing but intuition to nag me to go digging, and go digging I had to, in order to realize the full reality. In reviewing journal entries for the synopsis I needed to write in order to initiate the divorce, I was actually impressed with myself that I’d gotten the repeated, nagging feeling over the years that he was hiding thoughts, fantasies, behaviors, etc, from me. I just had absolutely no idea what they might be. I never imagined anything like this.
Truth and reality really are stranger than fiction.
Which means that even though my husband has no history of violence, it’s worth remembering that there’s no history of anything until it happens. Given how little I actually knew about him, even after 21 years, I’ve come to realize that I can’t make any assumptions at all.
My Inner Circle knows this, and the awesomesauce heroes that they are, they check up on me, asking me if I’m okay, every couple hours to couple days. ❤
The emotional torrent I mentioned above does include gratitude and relief, for the fact that I have them!
The explanation for my silence on this blog over the past couple weeks is simply that whenever a revelation like that (“by the way, your partner of two decades is a psychopath. Have a nice day!”) hits, my usual M.O. is to launch into an semi-obsessive trance and arm myself with as much information as possible. From there, my brain assimilates, categorizes, generally tries to make sense of, and makes every attempt to make peace with, the information gleaned.
But it takes information first. Lots of information. It’s like Hoarders: The Data Edition.
I probably should have blogged about this earlier when it was fresher, but then again, that was a development that only mushroomed over the past 2-10 days, so maybe that can be forgiven.
I will probably blog more about the actual psychopathy aspect a little later? For now, I feel like my head has been leveled, my brain scrambled, my emotions tossed around, and perhaps flatlining for the evening. That’s okay.
I’m going to make it. ❤