Claiming My Voice Back

I haven’t shared this journey on this blog, mostly because until now I didn’t think it was my story to tell.  I posted Grieving For My Red Balloon about a year ago, but that is as far as I went.  It was a very carefully constructed attempt to say “help, I’m hurting” while strangely enough trying to avoid stepping on anyone’s toes.  Was I kidding?  Avoiding trampled toes?  It was far too late for that. But then I was still being manipulated… into silence.  That was all part of the game.

I’m healing now and part of that includes claiming this as my story.  It doesn’t belong to anyone else because I’m the one who lived it.  I’m the one who was played with like a toy.  I was a game. Manipulated, abused, lied to and cheated on.  It’s my story and I’m choosing finally to share it with you because I can.

“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”

 ― Anne Lamott,Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

I’ve been kissed by a…



Person With A Mental Illness

Take your pick.  You could say that I have been kissed by all three. I could go with the words of the song.  If a man can be a rose (and why not?), then that is exactly how he seemed.  He was a beautiful person with a very loving heart.  Caring, understanding of me and my world, he promised he would never play games with my heart.  He challenged my thinking and he supported my growth as a person.  He wasn’t perfect, like any of us but he was a person right for me.

But later I’d know that I’d met a ‘monster‘.  His term, not mine.  Personally I don’t like calling human beings monsters, regardless of what they might or might not have done. But I’m using the term here simply because he used the term of himself.  I regularly told him that to me he was no monster.  Actually he still isn’t (in my mind).

Eventually, what I only knew is that I had kissed a person with a mental illness.  For that matter, so had he.  No harm in that.  Is there?

Here’s the story,

Back in 2012 Blogger (boy) meets Blogger (girl) in comments section of a Third Blogger’s Post.

(BTW Third Blogger has no responsibility for anything here, except for yet another very thought-provoking post or two.)

Each blogger liked the other’s comments and so a friendship developed, followed quickly by a romance.  I should add here that we were many miles apart, me in New Zealand and him on the other side of the world.  Neither of us were looking for any kind of relationship, let alone one on the internet.  Surprise!

We lived happily ever after…

Hang on a minute.  That’s how it seemed.  We were both very happy and eventually we spent some time together ( I went to visit him) and after that we were planning on a life together.  And this wasn’t an impulsive thing, it was all carefully considered.

It was what we both wanted. I was his ‘soulmate‘.  That’s what he said, regularly.  I’ve never been too sure on the whole ‘soulmate‘ terminology but if there was such a thing, then this was him.  He was the ‘one‘ for me.  I was never more sure of anything.  My gut instinct told me that this was right.

Then one day he announced to me via the internet waves that we treasured so greatly, that he was “too sick to be in a relationship“.  Time out was what he wanted.  My compassionate heart sprung into action and understood completely.  I thought it was a break (that’s what he said) and that we still had a very bright future ahead of us (together!).  Yes, it would hurt but it seemed like the best thing for a apparently very depressed man.

Just days later though, he announced to his Facebook friends (including me at that point) that he had a new ‘soulmate‘.  He was in love with another woman (any mention of me was completely gone).  And they were very happy together.  To add to it, she was married.  That didn’t seem to be an issue though.  Two relationships gone with one hit.

The short version of the rest of the  nightmare is that as well as cheating on me, he had lied.  Actually he had lied the whole way through the year long relationship.  Everything was a lie. He had manipulated me for his own deceitful purposes.  He had abused me in more ways than I care to count.

I discovered that his diagnosed mental illness was not Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) as he had always said, but was Antisocial Personality Disorder (that’s right… sociopath/psychopath).

It all hurt like hell.  I felt deranged and paranoid.  I no longer knew what the truth was.  I didn’t know what to believe.  Just how he wanted it.  Perhaps worst at that time was that I couldn’t go bang on his door to find out what the heck was happening. I eventually learnt many things.  Others I simply pieced together.  And yet others, I will simply never know.  One of those big revelations was the reason why he would never have visited me in New Zealand.  It boiled down simply to the fact that he is a convicted criminal and wouldn’t have been allowed into my country. He had never admitted that.

So that’s the very brief story of the last two years of my life.  I fell in love with a man who simply didn’t exist.  Oh sure, there was a man, complete with body, but aside from the body, everything was fake.  Everything he said to me was simply a story, all part of the game he was playing.  The extent his lies would go to was simply limited by his acting abilities. And even before anything went wrong, I knew he would make an excellent actor.

Of course all this hurt.  I cried and screamed and yelled and felt so empty, used and abused.  Now days I’m moving on, but it hasn’t been easy.  It was far from easy and very traumatic.  I’m still working on recovering, but I refuse to be held back by this anymore. When I think about all that I have been through the fact of loving someone who really didn’t exist is perhaps the hardest.  I had no desire for the true person revealed.  That person I felt angry towards and then sad for.  Incapable of a real relationship. But I still loved the person I thought I knew.  How do you grieve for someone who wasn’t ever there?

Yeah, I guess I was kissed by a monster (his words, not mine).

Does it seem a little strange that I’m sharing this now, particularly when I’ve said so little in the last year?  I have realised that by staying silent, I am allowing myself to be manipulated further. I need to speak up to claim back control on my life. I have only shared the barest detail. There has been so much more, but that detail is not important.  I am simply saying this is my story to tell to whom I chose. It’s not done in malice but rather in claiming back my voice and with it some peace for myself.

“Just like there’s always time for pain, there’s always time for healing.” 

― Jennifer Brown, Hate List


30 thoughts on “Claiming My Voice Back

  1. Good for you, dear Cate! It IS your story, and always has been your story. To get it out can only do good things for you and your psyche, right?

    As one with a story similar to yours until that point when they became vastly divergent, I can imagine very well what the heartbreak and sadness and anger must feel like. To find our soulmate doesn’t really exist except in the mind of a fraud of a person sounds unbearable, and I hopehopehope you continue to march ever onward. In the meantime, I’m so sorry this had to happen to you. You deserve better!

    1. Thank you so much Sid. It is good to get it out. It feels for a number of reason like I have been silenced for actually two years, rather than just the past year. It has been a long hard road.

      I’m so glad that your story is vastly divergent from mine now. That gives me hope. So thank you to you and to SSG. You remind me that good people exist out there. 🙂

  2. Yes, you own your story. I’m so sorry for this part. What a betrayal. You shared your soul with someone who has no capacity to honor you – and that is very painful. I’ve been wounded and manipulated, too. It’s an awful feeling. Please take care. One day you will meet someone who will protect and love you the way you deserve.

      1. That’s a normal reaction to the shock of your situation. In my own recovery, I went back and processed a few painful betrayals. It was a necessary part of letting it go so the hurt wouldn’t taint my future. I discovered some invaluable insights about myself, mostly about my habit of denying my intuition. I learned that I wasn’t responsible for the betrayal, but I was responsible to look at the clues that I purposely dismissed.

        I wish you all the best. You deserve it.

  3. Good Helper Woman

    Good for you having the courage to share your truth! It takes a great amount of courage to open your heart and share the love you have inside of you, and though it didn’t work out…you are more courageous than I.
    I send you hugs and love!

  4. johnrichardson2014

    Thanks for sharing Cate. I had wondered what had happened. There is always risk in love and i can’t think of a better anything to gamble on the roll of the dice. It’s hard to tell sometimes what’s real and what isn’t. Especially when we so desperately want to believe. I hope you don’t feel foolish. I don’t think you are at all and am proud of your willingness to risk so much for what was so important to you. God Bless and keep loving!

  5. Pingback: “That’s Nice, Dear” | Infinite Sadness... or hope?

  6. I had a relationship with someone like you describe. He was so similar to the man you describe that it’s eerie. Nothing about the man was real, and as I began to figure this out, his true self emerged. Fortunately for me, it didn’t take a year to discover he is a monster and a sociopath. He is no longer in my life by my choice. In fact, I had him arrested for harassing me. Now he is in prison on a different charge, stalking another woman. Anyway, the damage to my psyche is tremendous. I find it hard to trust anyone.
    I’m glad you got your voice back. It is your story, no one should silence you. Perhaps that is one of the causes of my mental illness, that I was never allowed to tell my story.

    1. Oh I hate that you suffered with one too. It’s not something I would wish on anyone. I’m glad you were able to get out quicker than I did and it sounds likeprison is a good place for them. Perhaps all of them. I’m wondering whether it is too late to get that voice back? Would you be able to do it now? If at all possible it would be worth finding some way to get it out. I guess you’ve considered all that all ready. It’s such a shame if you can’t. Even niw, a year on, I realise how much this has impacted me. Just when I thought I was getting it together again too.

  7. I just discovered your blog – thank you for sharing. I think it is hard enough to have any sort of long-distance relationship, let alone one where you were so deceived. I have had two in my past and even though in comparison to yours they were healthy, it took me a long time to reconcile the end of them, so huge kudos to you for taking ownership of your healing.

    1. Hi Chromegurl, thanks for finding my blog and for your comments. You know, I think everything takes an extra long time when it comes to long distance relationships, I’m not sure I want to go down that road ever again. Thanks for your encouragement.

  8. Wow. I’m so, so sorry to read of this. I understand. My soulmate ..the true love of my life since I met him when I was 20…33 YEARS AGO NOW…turned out to have a whole DOUBLE life with some other woman he had worked with and had met only two years after he met me in the 80s. I gave him a second chance…after not seeing or speaking to him in 14 years. It is inconceivable to me the deceit some are capable of pulling off with seemingly no conscience or inner conflict. Maybe he does have some now…I’ll never know…he won’t speak to me or write to me. Me being me, though, I have had SEVERAL conversations with this other woman…since he accidentally OR maybe even intentionally, cced me on an e-mail to her when he was confirming he was meeting her somewhere after her work. She agreed it’s really chickenshit of him not to speak to me or write to me, given that she has TOLD him she had spoken with me, so he knows we both know. Whatever. Piece of shit. I’ve given up completely on men and I’m just not gay, so, I’ll be alone. Thank goodness for Miss Velvet and other sweet animals in my life. Chin up, my friend. You’re doing good work while you’re hurting. I love you.

      1. Well… to that, I have to say I -too, am very glad it didn’t happen to us 😉

        But seriously, I saddens greatly me that it did happen to you. A broken heart, whatever it is the reason of the breakage, is one of the most painful things we humans have to experience.

        I hope your healing journey continues is the smoothest way possible.

  9. I do recall ‘the red balloon’ post….was that seriously a year ago?!! I remember having a sense of you holding back and much of that was about protecting “another”. I don’t think it’s odd that you quietly processed a very difficult (soul destroying) situation before eventually sharing a more “revealing” side. Often there are times when we need to be silent, however, somehow it does seem to protect – maybe even nourish – the monster. Coming out about it will hopefully feel cathartic and allow you to move on a little further.

    He is what we call in the UK, “a love-rat” of the first degree. I admire your awareness and understanding of his MH, despite your own inner-pain. I’ve been in a similar situation when the other had little respect and abused our relationship beyond what was reasonably acceptable. It can take a long time to fully get over someone’s deceit. In many ways, we need the ability to trust to function and when that’s impaired, it only makes life even more difficult.

    I’m aware this is a reasonably dated post, so will leave it for now and hope you continue to move forward

    1. Much as I don’t fancy myself with rats anywhere near me, my initial reaction is that “love-rat” is far too kinder term. Whatever we call them though, you’re right that it takes a long while to get over the hurt and deception. Learning to trust is something I haven’t mastered just yet. I used to be a pretty trusting person, and to an extent I still don’t think that is a bad thing. give me time though, and I’ll get there.

      1. I used to hate myself for still not getting over “him”, after all, he was a B’, so why should there be a second thought, or a question, for such a soul destroying time. I’m not entirely sure if time is a healer, but I’m certain we do eventually come to terms with our love and the loss and all the nasty things they did to us and will probably do to every partner they ever know. I have every confidence you will move forward from this

  10. That’s terrible. But good on you, Cate, for letting it out! I think it’s always good to get something like this out, especially when not revealing the other person’s identity, as you don’t reveal his, here.

    Part of what an abusive person does is try to control you, including isolating you from your support system. What could be more controlling or isolating than isolating you from the truth (and reality…)? We all have to decide how and when and where (and if) we speak about these things, but if we feel we CANNOT…the pain and the poison stay bottled up inside.

    And, as Shrek would say, “Better out than in.” 8^)

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