I Believe in Engagement in Traumatic Experiences to do the hard work of Becoming Yourself

I don’t know where to begin to tell my story because I don’t know when it began with him. I know where I am right now. I know he’s not here, but I don’t know where he is. He could be anywhere in the world-five blocks away or across an ocean in a small town in India sitting on a beach staring at aqua waves lapping the shoreline. I know he’s a criminal. I know I loved him. I know our three kids loved him. But, I know that was all slowly changing before he went on the run from the FBI. And then after, when he became a ghost member of our family, I know that we are still continuing to stop loving him.

On a Friday afternoon September 25, 2020, I was expecting my husband home from a quick visit with his parents. Instead, that evening I was filling out a missing person’s report. In the days and weeks after, I would soon discover that most everything in my life wasn’t real. My husband had been running a Ponzi scheme, having affairs, financially ruining us, forging my name for large investments, and manipulating me and my children’s reality–our entire life was built on lies…daily….pathologically. I had never really worked much outside of the home, and in a moment I became a single mother of three–selling our dream home within a month and now engaged in helping the federal government uncover his criminal activity.

But honestly, it was the last great trauma of my marriage. Over this past year, in the months following his decision to run from the FBI, I would realize that I was in a marriage built on domestic abuse that affected both my children and me–financial, emotional, mental, and towards the end, physical.

Within a week of my husband’s absence, I finally had a glimpse of feeling something I had not experienced in years–freedom to consider my own thoughts. I was free to finally begin the hard work of healing, to create a new life with my children, to let go of the false expectation of unending loyalty that I had held myself to in my marriage for so many years.

What I write here are the experiences and thoughts I continue to explore as I attempt to put one foot in front of the other in this healing journey which brings a lot of painful growth.

I don’t claim to be an expert on any of this. I simply offer my experiences, as I have now met so many other women who have lived in similar patterns. And that is one of the driving factors for me–the life I lived has been lived by so many men and women in abusive relationships. The details might be different, but the patterns are practically identical. In a world where we continue to give voice and raise awareness against abuse, manipulation, control, and narcissistic behaviors, I believe we need more voices expressing the nuance and difficulty of knowing that we are even in abusive relationships–and the shame associated that keeps a loved one locked into this toxic relationship that slowly erodes their personhood, their dreams, their vibrancy for life.

I offer my voice as one of so many voices who made it out. I can’t say that I chose to get out. I wish I had been strong enough to do that. But God removed me so that I could begin to see clearly the warped reality I believed was real–because I was told it was real for so many years. I slowly tuned out my intuition, justified why I was wrong in my thinking and learned to mistrust myself. Hopefully, we can re-live these experiences together.

To protect the privacy of some of those close to the situation, I have changed names and some specifics to protect myself and those I love. At the time of writing this, he is now my ex-husband, still on the run, wanted by the FBI, charged with multiple counts of fraud by the SEC, and has multiple victims missing over ten million dollars. I pray that someday on this blog, I will share the news that he is brought to justice.