This story being posted, with permission, is by Shelly Marshall - a friend of EOPC and the site owner of YOU ARE A TARGET. (please visit her site when you have a chance!)
Her site is full of healing and validating words for those who have suffered all kinds of abuse.We thank her for her continued friendship and allowing us use of this story - EOPC.
"Would you give him the man back his keys," the deputy said into the phone.
My sleepy voice came back, "Officer, I don't have his keys," He had awoken me at 2am and I could hear my husband in the background slamming doors and throwing things about. I was in the RV beside the house, having moved because of his all-pervasive anger and our impending divorce.
"Well, if you just happen to find them, would you throw them in the door? Or I will have to do a full investigation on you." The officer's insinuations pissed me off because I had done nothing but go to bed in the RV once my ex came home displaying his usual hostile demeanor. I remained polite.
Bob found his keys about 20 minutes later but didn't bother to call the deputy back to say he was mistaken about me taking them. He moved out in a rage that very night and, except for a moment here or there, I never saw him again. I needed closure.
On the phone when he called about his belongings I asked, "Aren't you going to apologize for again accusing me of something you did yourself?" Accusations were one of the constant forms of abuse I took from my husband for so long. What he said was, "I found them in a place I would never have put them." No matter what, this man would probably never take responsibility for his own actions.
Ideally, I wanted him to say, "I understand it wasn't right to be so angry at you all the time. I'm sorry I was depressed and took it out on you. I'm sorry I couldn't share things with you and make you my partner. You never deserved the hostile and intimidating treatment I dished out. It wasn't your fault that I mistreated you." Fat chance that is going to happen.
There are two types of closure (well three but the third is insanity and so we won't go there):
"This most common variant involves a frank dissection of the abusive relationship. The parties meet to analyze what went wrong, to allocate blame and guilt, to derive lessons, and to part ways cathartically cleansed."Ideally Bob would let me know that it wasn't my fault, that I could have done nothing to deserve it, that nothing I did would have made him better. And in return, I could share with him that he only abused me to the extent that I allowed him to. Maybe then I could let go of the self-incrimination.
Failing the perfect scenario, comes
"When the abuse has been "gratuitous" (sadistic), repeated, and protracted, conceptual closure is not enough. Retribution is called for, an element of vengeance, of restorative justice and a restored balance. Recuperation hinges on punishing the delinquent and merciless party."Well the good news is, I received BOTH types of closure during the same month. November of 2004. The Conceptual Closure came from my first husband, albeit 25 years later! And the Retributive came via an anonymous email telling me that Bob was posting his naked picture on AdultFriendFinder.com and looking for a "tolerant" soul mate who would go to nudist camps with him. The stories intertwined, as luck would have it.
My First husband made a 25 year due Amends
My first husband "S" contacted me via email and wrote, "I want to make amends, can I fly out and see you?" I was perplexed - I wanted amends from the current abuser, not the first one, but… well maybe this was God's way of taking care of what could be taken care. Of course, I would accept this.
"S" called on the phone (I didn't want to see him) and said, "Shelly I am so sorry for the way I treated you and any pain I caused. I am quite sure you were ready for a long-term commitment but I was too sick. No one deserves to be treated the way I treated you. You are a lovely person, the love of my life. I was just too sick and immature to do the right thing. You never did anything to cause me to act so terribly to you and you could have done nothing to change it."
What a wonderful and inspiring thing to do. He is in a good marriage now and in fact married "his best friend." I am envious that she got my husband! He was the man I was going to grow old with and he got better for someone other than me. However, as I told "S," he only abused me to the extent that I allowed it. And with him, it wasn't long because fortunately, he kept hitting me. After the third big beating, I simply left him. End of abuse. We were married only 18 months.
So "S" did for me what Bob could not and I thought that was all the closure on this abuse thing I was going to get. Yet, during that same month, quite unexpectedly, I received an email from a source I will not name. I don't want Bob to know that someone is watching him. But this was an unexpected gift from God that dovetailed "S's" eloquent amends. And this was where I was able to get the second kind of closure "Retributive" and I have to say it's about as sweet as "S's"!
An email said Bob was naked on the Internet
The "anonymous" email informed me that Bob was posting naked pictures of himself on the Internet at AdultFriendFinder.com under sunbuff10! I was incredulous - the guy with the conservative facade? The one who did not like me wearing tank tops to AA meetings or short shorts to work in the yard? The one who's public image took priority over everything? I had to see this. (typical cyberpath behavior too! acting ethical & moral when they are ANYTHING but - EOPC)
I went in as 'NakedNikita' in honor of my first husband's dog
Well the way it works is you have to join this "dating" service (its really a porn service) to see any pictures - so I signed up for a free membership. "S's" dog is named Nikita so I borrowed the dog's name and signed up as "NakedNikita." I found Bob's site and profile right away but still couldn't see any pictures - apparently you had to be invited to see them. I was shocked that there were 300,000 members signed up in Virginia alone. It seemed people in Virginia were sex starved or something. I left the site.
Debating whether I was going to pay any money to see my ex's naked pictures on the net to PROVE he was a bastard - I went into my NakedNikita mail box and there was Bob's picture wanting to get to know Naked Nikita!!!!! Shock of all shocks. How could this have happened? Out of 300,000 he was the first person in my box?
This was too good. So I wrote back. He invited me to his private gallery. There were nudes of him in the private album, one was of him sitting in his back yard with a big ***** and the caption "Want to sit on my lap?" Oh, isn't he clever, I thought. My ex also had this same picture published on the public album that went with his profile. In his profile he advertised for a "lover and a friend" who "likes nudity, and wants a good time" -- he also stated in the cupid section that he is interested in threesomes and, although straight, he is "bi-curious." He invites ladies to look at his naked body and ****** and if they are interested, to "drop him a line." (another TYPICAL sex-addict cyberpath move - many of them LOVE to expose themselves or their genitals to their targets under the guise of "love" or "sharing" - but if you note - they are interested in the genitals only - they see you as OBJECTS not people!! and they show you their 'goodies' because they ASSUME you are only interested in objects too - EOPC) He had a picture of our dog, Cayce, and a picture of a wolf he had drawn for me on our first Christmas together.
As Nikita, I fudged on my age but pretty much told him the truth about my thoughts and likes and dislikes. He wanted a picture of me so I went into my bathroom and snapped a few shots, cropped the head and sent it to him. I thought surely he would recognize me. Apparently not. (typical again, to these abusers/ predators - women are just PARTS!)
I wrote him that I used his picture in my fantasy and how sexy he looked. Men are easy. He responded with vigor. (paraphrased):
Good morning Nikita!
What a pleasant surprise to find your pic in my box this morning! Nice tight body! Hope you can send me your face too. I am very interested in you also.
I find it exciting to think you would use my picture in your fantasy! Use as you wish, I do have a web cam if you are interested in a real time fantasy! I can do whatever you wish on cam. You have a great body! Looking forward to meeting you, Bob
I want to point out that this is the same man who told me how flabby my body was, seldom complemented me on my looks, suggested numerous times that I work out, and generally made me feel bad about the way I looked.
My Ex was as crazy about Nikita as he had been about me during courting .
I answered and our cyber relationship blossomed in a short time. He responded (paraphrased):
You are truly a rare find for me.There are a number of things that excite me, I listed them (never done this before) (YEAH SURE!!! They ALL say NEVER done it before!) 1.) we are both the same sign, don't know how much to believe this but our match sounds exciting! 2.) you love to do things nude, you mentioned nudist colony. I would love to take you to a nude campground in North Carolina, its a great place! 3.) Your body looks fit, you care about it as I care about mine. WE ARE A GREAT MATCH. (Ok Readers - is your cyberpath telling you HE/SHE is YOUR perfect match? A massive RED Flag here! Shelly really reeled him in good!)
Bob mentioned a few more highlights. He wanted more pics - so I took a picture of my butt and sent it to him. He still didn't recognize his wife and wrote back "Sweet!" I wondered how he could get so excited over pictures and emails! I began to cry. He was courting a virtual lady. I closed my account on the site and told him it was too raw for me. I also wrote that I couldn't send him my face until I knew he wouldn't plaster it all over the net. His denial must run very deep because he told Nikita that HE RESPECTED "her for being discreet!" He wrote,
"I would not want to get involved with a woman who spreads every part of her body out for all to see. It would be difficult to ever trust her! Your position, to be discrete and private is getting a lot of respect from me, I admire you for it."
What the hell was he talking about???? He just had his pecker plastered out there for the whole world to see. Bob wrote several more times to Nikita, calling her 'Sweetheart' now, and describing how spiritual he was, how he wanted a lady he could trust. (this from a flasher who just destroyed his marriage with lies, abuse, and greed). My ex even began writing a song for me--well Nikita. I sobbed. Bob never loved or knew me - any more than he could know anything about his Nikita. (A horrible revelation but one that is definitively true of many online predators!! It's all words - there's no reality -- they move too fast -- and they tell you whatever they think you want to hear!)
He sent me the perfect symbol of our marriage
I wanted to keep the rouse going to see when it would dawn on him that I was me but he sent another picture that did me in. He took the picture of my torso, enlarged it, and printed it out, taping it to the back of his patio chair. He then sat in an adjacent chair, naked, looking longingly at the picture of a vacant headless torso. My ex sent me this picture as a gift about how "good" we would be together. I saw this picture and knew it was the perfect symbol of our marriage. Bob didn't care about my thoughts, who I was and what made me tick. The only relationship he ever had with me was with my torso. When my pesky head got in the way he was so threatened that he had to humiliate it, put it down, criticize it. Bob wasn't falling in love with Nikita - he had relationships with objects not people,
and when his "objects" turned out to be real women and got in the way, he punished them.
(Readers - Shelly's revelation here is so VITAL AND LASER ACCURATE - online you can ONLY be an object!! despite what they 'say.' Re-read this insightful above paragraph, please!)
I had loved Bob and committed for life. I believed his facade when he courted me like he was courting Nikita. But Bob can't love real people, I can see that now. I have the symbol of our marriage framed and displayed prominently in my office. This was a perfect closure gift from my ex-husband to me, even if he didn't know he was giving me such a prized possession. I treasure it.
I sent the confession email after a little over a week. I simply told him the man I fell in love with is the one writing to Nikita and that his sex addiction hijacked our marriage -- I explored some of the things I thought went wrong. Bob had to read how his ex wife, Nikita, really loved him once but HATED the disease that tore us apart. I told him what my brother, Michael Marshall Ph.D., told me, "Bob's addiction told him that I was the source of his misery," and that an exhibitionist looking for another "sexually tolerant" woman to make his "problem" seem ok was like an alcoholic marrying another alcoholic and thinking that will take care of the sickness. I pointed out that, in the end, of all the women in his sexual circle, he didn't want one of the porno sluts, he wanted the one who would NOT display herself all over the net and would not talk dirty and wanted to get to know HIM not just his ****. It was gratifying because in his own superficial way, HE WAS SERIOUS about Nikita, she got to tell him what I wanted to ever since I discovered his sex addiction. When we were together, Bob usually tore up anything I wrote him. He didn't want to hear from me. But I know he read Nikita's confession.
He wrote two additional smitten-type emails to me before I could get the confession off to him--and they were even sweeter and more intimate (for him) than the others. He wrote:
"First off, I am curious about everything about you, let's start with the spiritual you. For myself, I am not religious but do have a very strong spiritual side which has brought me through some tough times.”
For some reason he doesn't connect the dots on the spirituality thing or "respecting" someone he meets on a porno site. Well, who am I to judge? Me, Nikita!
Along with the confession, I sent him another racy picture of myself with my head on so that I wasn't the only one with naked pictures. It was a sort of an apology, letting him know that I didn't do this to have power over him, that he had a picture of me too. It was probably stupid on my part - he wouldn't get the sincerity of the gesture.
After the first enraged response, Bob sent a post script and explained that it was not a "God Thing" that he was in my mail box but that I had highlighted him on a list in my account and the system notified him. So he pursued it. I didn't know how the site system worked. So I guess it wasn't so unusual for his picture to be in my box like that, but for me it was a God thing.
And there was another caveat to all this. During our separation he was frantic to get me to sign a document saying I wouldn't show any of his private pictures to anyone - remember I had some doozies. Yet in his email to Nikita - he told her that she could do anything she wanted with his pictures!!! I had to laugh, he legally undid his contract with me. In addition, I don't think he read the agreement for being a member on AdultFriendFinder.com but it says any member can use the pictures posted on the site in any manner they want, commercial or private! That's how I have legal permission to use his naked pictures, if I so choose.
The closure was fantastic. I felt and feel great about it. At first I was worried that it wasn't in Bob's best interests for me to have decieved him, however briefly. But finally it occurred to me, I spent years protecting him and his image, doing what I always thought was best for him. Now it was time to do what was best for me. Being Nikita and getting to tell my ex-husband the things he wouldn't let me during our marriage and divorce was the right thing to do for me!
from YOU ARE A TARGET