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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Personally, I found the "why did I do that?" question only useful if it helps convince myself not to do it again.  Self-analysis has its limits.  First question is how do I avoid the self-destructive behavior.  If you need to know why you did it (I had a long, long list), get an objective person, whether professional or not, to talk it out with you.  Otherwise, just say "OK, I did something stupid there" and move on.  Even geniuses do stupid things occasionally; why should you and I expect to be perfect?

@Alan, yah, been there done that, got the t-shirt. Thankfully (and happily) I am now OUT of all abusive relationships. A lot has changed even since I posted this discussion...

The sad thing truly is that there are SOOOOOOOO many women who don't speak up, and don't know how to tell someone how they feel. And if they do speak up, and they aren't respected for it, they don't know how to walk away. I blame Christianity for teaching women to be submissive. I also blame society for perpetuating this throughout our culture that women are taught to be doormats. You see it even in the Disney movies!!!!! It starts young. And unless you have a strong female role model in your life, you don't learn, unless you are taught.


What has been SO hard for me to come to terms with is how this one man never did treat me poorly, at least as I perceived it at the time. That's partially why I think I need to understand what he did and how he did it. He got inside my head, and I need to know if it's because of something HE intentionally did, or something I created in my own mind. Or both? I don't know. But when I receive his response letter, I feel certain that it will hold the answers I'm looking for :)
they don't know how to walk away. I blame Christianity for teaching women to be submissive.

Christianity teaches forgiveness. Which is good sometimes. But Christianity teaches that forgiveness is ALWAYS right and that ANYONE can be saved, and radically transformed by the blood of Christ. All Mr. Liar has to do is say the right magic Christian words, and the woman just has to accept that he's changed, even when nothing's different at all.

And Disney? They're always doing that thing where the woman stays with the man even though she doesn't like him or he's a jerk, and she's able to change him in the end. Beauty and the Beast is notorious for this.

It sounds like you're being smart about this, and keeping him at arm's length. One thing to remember is, if you don't know how he got inside your head, if you don't know what it was that gave him such power over you, are you sure he won't do it again?

That's just it...I KNOW he's going to try to do it again. I'm counting on it. And when he does what he's always done best, this time I'll have the ability to see it all with a different perspective. It will also reveal my own weakness (to myself) and it will (hopefully) let me better understand how to truly move on.....

Maybe he was legit with you all along.  It sounds like you fell in love with him.  Maybe on this occasion he wasn't abusing a woman, but he has (as you say) famous powers of charm and magnetism. 

@Unseen: RE because these relationships are quasi-addictive in nature.
What would have been the downside of not doing it?

I suppose yes you're right. I don't really know except that it "felt" like something I needed to do. I want to know if all my counseling and effort has been worth it. This is like an "ultimate test" in a way. If I can read his response, and see through it and understand what he's doing (and more importantly, what he did) then I'll be able to better safeguard against people like him in the future...or something like that. There is so much confusion surrounding the many years that he was in my life.

I have no more to add at this point other than to say you seem to be very self-aware and seeing things more clearly than you might realise. You said so yourself:

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.

Walking through it yourself in as a free thinker while taking the honest and direct advice from others in this post to benchmark your own progress is the way to do it.

I found the answers I needed....

Thank you everyone :)

Glad to hear it Belle!

:)

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