I became an Atheist almost 2 years ago now. When I realized that my faith held no answers for me, I started to re-find the answers to ALL of life's questions. I started to look at myself, and my past totally differently. I have had to re-learn everything it seems....everything. How to think, how to solve problems, how to reason, and who I am as an atheist...

I do believe that emotionally, I stopped maturing around the age of 15. Maybe younger. You see, when I was 15, I fell in love with a man, and I thought he loved me too...but he only used me. Some people would consider what he did to me statutory rape...whatever he did to me, he fucked me up - bad. Although I graduated from high school, was sent away for college, had many boyfriends/lovers in between, this one man, was THE ONE who's arms I always ran to. I believed for so many years that we were "destined" for one another. It made sense. We grew up in the same neighborhood, went to the same high school, had so many social and cultural similarities, it seemed almost like an arranged marriage type situation. I was the girl around the block that was made for him, and he was made for me.....

But he is a sociopath. I know this about him. He has been messed up on drugs since I met him (when he was 20). He has been in trouble with the law, and in and out of prison.

He was recently released from prison, and court ordered to attend a treatment program to help him integrate back into society. One day, I felt the urge coming on...I called. I left my name and mailing address with the officer. She passed along the message......

A few weeks have gone by. Then, today, a letter from him came in the mail. My heart jumped...I opened it. He talked about being excited that he will soon be able to go to church, and play in the band. He is a musician. He talked about him having a real problem with authority, and that if he gets an asshole parole officer then he will likely get sent back to prison. Then he says, "pray for me." See, last time he had any long conversation with me, I was a devout Christian.... He told me that it has been good for him to not have a "woman to worry about." He got locked up for assault and vandalism related charges on an ex-girlfriend. He has a long history of severe violence against women when he's drinking...

My memory seems to be fragmented. It's as if I only remember the good things about him. And I can easily brush aside the fact that he has brutalized women on multiple occasions and left them for dead. He even eluded to participating in murders up on the mesa, (of women) but never told me the details.

Why do I still "feel" something for this man? You know the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.

I really really really want to understand WHY I feel the need, after 17 years, to connect with this man again?

Why do I keep doing this? It is an illness. I want to know how to stop being this way...

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RE: You said you have been trying to get some kind of understanding for a long time.  Is it that it's that difficult to understand, or is it possibly maybe that the conclusions you reach are difficult to accept?

You might be right. Hmmmmm.

RE: If you say it will be helpful to allow this man back into your life to get some closure, ok. I hope you're right....

Based on a lot of the comments here I'm not so sure I'm right. I think I just did something incredibly stupid. You're right Erock. I need professional help to sort this out.

Damn Belle, if this asshole is that bad I think of one thing and one only; do I really want to have this sick demented man around my son?

Come on, seriously, you love that little boy more than life itself. Your years in sobriety have told you about people, places, and things. Hang out with doctors and most people will assume you're also a doctor. Hang out with psychopaths and, well you get the rest.

After my divorce, from my first wife, (done this dance twice) I dated a few woman. I still had visitation and custody rights for my five year old boy. Working a night shift I would pick him up in the morning and bring him back to his mothers apartment and my ex-mother in law in the early afternoon. Everyday. He would spend weekends, summer vacation, and winter vacation with me. All this while trying to maintain some sense of sobriety. Which I did, thanks to him.

The woman that I dated had to pass through a very restrictive gauntlet when they associated with my boy. Quite a few did not make it. But one did. Left for work one day and when I returned my, then girlfriend now my wife, had painted my sons bedroom. It was blue now it was green with teenage mutant ninja borders, bed sheets, pajama's, and a real turtle in a glass aquarium. She genuinely cares about my son and he loves her to death.

Think about what's best for him. Feelings are not facts but damn don't they hurt and get in the way. Rafiqui said it best when he bashed Simba on his noggin and retorted to Simba's "Ow, that hurts." Rafiqui said, "What do you care, it's in the past" Simba: "It still hurts".

Take care of yourself kiddo. This too shall pass.

Thanks Noel :) Yah no way in hell is he coming around my son. He's in a completely different state (I'm not sure if I had explained that, oops! Important detail huh?).....and I am not at all of the frame of mind as if I'm going to "get back with him." that's not my thought process. I think I'm seeking some sort of closure that never happened. I question why I even needed to go there. You know?

It sounds like you have a wonderful wife :-) I'm very glad you found happiness Noel. Take care my friend.

Notice that much of what we 'do' generates no valuable results...

In my opinion the subject should really be, "how do you get (stay) emotionally and physically away from the person while keeping yourself SAFE on every level. I am VERY worried that he might not be totally loving and accepting of your decision to eschew your relationship. Please be VERY careful how you handle this decision (which I believe you've already made but have yet to action). Make a plan. Consider the worst case scenario. 

Be Careful!!!!

Thanks Mike :) I will, I promise

Many of us feel we are disloyal when we drop a disastrous relationship.  I had a surrogate daughter who helped me through the first year after my husband's suicide, but there was a strong element of "I should have known better" in eventually breaking contact with her.  She counted on my sense of obligation to her and took outrageous advantage, especially financially.  I could not afford this, and eventually moved halfway across the country, in part to be free from her. 

Loyalty is not a good thing all the time.  Accepting the fact that the relationship is bad for you, and probably bad for him as well, is the first step.  Follow that up with a rational attempt to make new friends who will not be users, as I did when I joined the Ethical Society of St. Louis.  (The disastrous relationship had been in central California, which tells you how far I ran.)  There are secular organizations all over the country, although perhaps not as large as ES.  Try the Meetup web site and get to know people in a safe neutral place, reserving knowledge of your home address and phone number for those you find you really can trust.

Good luck to you!

Your words are so wise Barbara :) I'm glad that you too have learned to get away from abusers. That is hard considering that we (women) are generally taught at a young age to care for people, and not ruffle any feathers...welcome to TA!!!!

I cant offer any advice to why...all i can do is tell a story of friend of min. She was constantly drawn to this one guy who beat her Even stabbed her in the arm once with a small knife. I was constantly getting her out out there had a few fights doing it too. Be live em the sicko didn't look perfect when i got done and i can't honestly say i regret it I DON'T However after enough fights constantly getting her out of this situation or that one I finally had enough. I cant stand it when a guy raises his hands to a woman let alone beat or stab her. Although I will admit the time he was trying to flush her jeans down the toilet was funny in a sick way i guess. He eventually drove her to the point of being in a mental hospital. All the advice i can offer is stay away he's not worth it and obviously you are better then that. Also that only when drinking thing..it's just a cop out   

One of the major parts of the constellation of causes that contributed to my own clinical depression was a sick relationship with a woman. A relationship I was deluded into thinking I could make better. I wanted to marry her and, as kind of a gender twist, she was the one who was stringing me along. When I finally got some counseling (which was through Lutheran Family Service and was not at all faith based at my request), I got this great advice: "A good and healthy relationship generally starts out by just happening, not because someone is trying to make it happen. The period after you get married is harder as you become more familiar with her quirks and flaws. If it's not working before marriage, the best thing is to walk away and keep looking."

Yes, I agree with that. The thing is I'm not trying to get back with him like that. I'm trying to come to terms with MYSELF, and why did I let him take so much of me. It's more that I am trying to understand my own psyche better. I didn't realize this until after I wrote the original post, through self-reflection. It's really about gaining a different perspective, now that I am an Atheist and I think about everything differently, I thought maybe by writing him and seeing how he talks to me, I'll better understand what drew me to him in the first place and be more "self-aware...".....I know it probably doesn't make sense, but to me it does, lol....

BTW I'm glad you got out of that relationship. No one can "fix" another person. They have to "fix" themselves.

I think contacting an abusive party in order to better understand oneself is like trying cocaine again in order to better understand your addiction. Reopening contact with an abusive person (unless it's, for example, to expose their abuse to the world) is very ill-advised, because these relationships are quasi-addictive in nature.

What would have been the downside of not doing it?

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