January Summary – One Month Into My Divorce
Amicable? Peaceful? Let our attorneys work it out? Scott had been anything but amicable one month into our divorce ‘process’ as he professed so often to anyone who would listen. (They say hindsight is 20/20 – the following year would be ugly, malicious and devastating. I still can’t believe I survived it all, despite everything. Then there’s that age old saying “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” … Call me Hercules!)
Over the course of the past month, Scott had sabotaged my client / attorney relationship, which compromised my subsequent filing for divorce. He then filed as the plaintiff and had me served at the same time as my father’s open heart surgery. He also tried to set me up and incriminate me by staging three separate events.
He continued to spin an evil web of lies and deceit that put me on a crazy wheel. He maliciously used manipulative tactics like Gaslighting, Words of Affirmation, and Verbal Abuse. Scott accused me of hiding funds and having an affair, things he was doing himself!
Scott started alienating me from our finances and stopped paying the credit card bills. He refused to give me any money, which forced me to stay in the marital home for the sake of our children, and thus began my nightmare incarceration in his House of Horrors. Scott blatantly began to violate the very orders that he put in place by cashing out stocks, forging my signature, and hiding funds.
Scott invaded my privacy repeatedly. He started breaking into my files, my emails, my bedroom, and my car. On two separate occasions I called the police, fearful for my safety.
Scott’s behavior started metastasizing like a cancer that, throughout our marriage, had been eating into the relationship, damaging it beyond repair. Now, however, I was seeing how deadly and malignant Scott could really be. He set out to ruin my life and my relationship with our children, my very sanity. To him, it was a game, one he had to win at all costs. He gave me no choice but to play by his rules.
And just like a cancer, he didn’t care what he destroyed in his lust to win; eating my life away, piece by piece.
Here’s a Brief Recap of January’s Events:
EMOTIONAL MANIPULATIVE TACTICS (the first 3 of 17)
Emotional Manipulation #1 – Gaslighting
Gaslighting is a form of persistent manipulation and brainwashing that causes the victim to doubt oneself, and to ultimately lose their own sense of perception, identity, and self-worth. Gaslighting statements and accusations are usually based on blatant lies or an extreme exaggeration of the truth. The term is derived from the 1944 film, “Gaslight”, in which a husband tries to convince his wife that she’s insane by forcing her to question herself and her sense of reality. When someone is gaslighted, the narcissist will tell you, “That didn’t happen. You imagined it. You’re crazy. You’re delusional.” In a nutshell, the narcissist will lie and that instills doubt. Scott now proclaiming that he never agreed to reside in the guest bedroom during the divorce was a perfect example. It’s easy to see how powerful this can be, as it allows the abuser to deflect all focus from their own actions and shift it to something completely irrelevant. Or, Scott would twist it so I would doubt my perceptions of what really happened time and time again.
Emotional Manipulation Tactic #2 – Words of Affirmation
“Words of Affirmation” are just what you want to hear from your significant other – that they love you, how important you are to them, they are sorry, and how they will never hurt you again. The only thing is – you never hear these things from them unless you are extremely upset and threatening to walk away. Or when they feel the need to exert their power over you in some way. It could be when you’ve reached your boiling point, like a frog about to jump out of the pot, but these words of affirmation are what your abuser knows will get you to stop being angry and stay. Unfortunately, this probably isn’t a true feeling of love or respect for you. It’s just giving you what you want to hear (or gifts) to calm you down – that’s appeasement, not love.
Emotional Manipulation #3 – Verbal Abuse
Verbal abuse is when a person forcefully criticizes, insults, or devalues someone else. Characterized by underlying anger and hostility, it is a destructive form of communication intended to harm the self-concept of the other person and produce negative emotions in attempt to control another through non-physical means. Verbal abuse, and most other types of abuse, is caused by an underlying disorder. Most often, the disorders are borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, or sociopathy. Healthy people might occasionally lose their temper, leading to an outburst, but a consistent pattern of hurtful verbal abuse can only be the result of a deeper problem.
Staging #1 – Scott lied and sabotaged my attorney and filed as the plaintiff
Staging #2 – Amicable recording
Staging #3 – Scott planted a BB gun in my bedroom, claiming to be afraid for his safety
Police Report #1 – Missing tax files/chasing me into my bedroom
Police Report #2 – Locksmith, gaining key, and entry to my bedroom
– Scott excluded me from finances
– Scott depleted our local bank account
– Scott refused to pay visa bill
– Scott demanded my ring to sell for attorney fees
– Scott changed statement mailing address to his office
– Scott Sold E*Trade Stocks and changed statement mailing address
– Scott had E*Trade stock check overnighted
– Scott cashed $71,000 check at Chicago bank
– Scott removed/hid Puerto Rican Bank Statements
INVASIONS OF MY PRIVACY
– Scott refused to move to guest bedroom as previously agreed
– Scott broke into my bedroom repeatedly
– Scott hired a locksmith to break into my room and get a key
– Scott broke into my home computer files
– Scott hacked my personal emails
– Scott broke into my locked car and stole files
MY FIRST MONTH
– My father had heart failure, heart surgery
– I hired my 2nd attorney
– I hired a (CDFA) Certified Divorce Financial Advisor
– I met with Chicago Bank and got an ATM card working
– I began working on interrogatory questions
– I hired a locksmith
– I moved Scott’s items to the basement
– I called Police twice
– I began to research, read and understand
Our divorce wasn’t going to be amicable or peaceful as Scott professed over and over. He had declared war; trumpets blaring, sword drawn, and riding high on his horse. He had always threatened he would do whatever it took to destroy me, to leave me with nothing and ruin my relationship with our kids. True to his words, January was just a small taste of things to come. In the months to follow it would get worse. Much, much worse.
War of the Roses? Nah, I wish. That was peanuts. It was just the beginning of my Year of Thorns.