On The Rocks


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Continuing with this series of Handpicked Stories, I received the following letter today. I want to state that I have a very special empathy for this story, for deeply personal reasons. I can't thank her enough for writing it and sending it, and I hope it does exactly what it's intended to do - enlighten, educate, warn and shock you into caution.

August 04, 1998 - It all started a year ago when I got a response to a personal ad I had on American Singles. This man sounded wonderful and what any woman would be looking for. The only problem was that he was in CA and I was in WA, so at first I didn't think much of it as I was interested in someone locally. But when that fell through, I again picked up with "LP" in CA. He didn't say too much in ensuing emails, just gave me his pager number so I could reach him. Red Flag Number One: No home phone number!!

Our first phone call was truly amazing as he was the most charming man I had ever spoken to! He said the same about me and I think that was when I was hooked. He told me all sorts of things, about how he used to do work for the CIA and FBI doing undercover work and had had a band of criminals beat him up about 10 years ago so he was no longer doing that. He now had his own business helping people with foreclosure. He was reluctant to give me his real name, instead using LP all the time. Red Flag Number Two: Full real name needed! He was also vague about where he lived, but said he had property and had dual residency in NV and CA. Now wouldn't you take that to mean he had two homes, one in NV and one in CA? That's what I thought, oh how gullible I was. Red Flag Number Three: Home Address Required!

He got a motorhome and was going to drive it up to WA to meet me, but was having problems getting the cash and time to do that. So, nice me, suggested I fly down to meet him. So I flew down and my first gut instinct when I met him was "SLIMY". Why I didn't turn right around and get back on the plane I'll never know, but I think it was mostly because I had invested so much time in this relationship, I wanted to see where it went. Plus I think I was ready to get married again. We hit it off pretty well and I met his daughter and grandkids.

He wanted me to fly home, quit my job (which I was really tired of) and come back to CA to be with him. I just couldn't do that, not all alone with no support, and told him so. That was when we decided he would come back to WA to help me. Stupid me thought that I can't just bring this man home with me, not being married, so we made a side step to Reno and got married.

That was the beginning of my financial ruin. I never told him I had inherited some money from my father's estate, but he must have figured out I had something as I had a brand new car. Once we were married I didn't hide anything from him, and he could see what was in my bank accounts.

We were in WA together a total of 17 days and then we left after the police came to our door. They were worried about me and the police chief asked me "Did you know he's been in prison?" I said yes and it didn't bother me as LP had said he had been in prison doing undercover work. I thought that's what the chief meant. No that wasn't what he meant, but we were long gone by then, headed to CA. We finally ended up in KY because I think he was tried to show off for me and do something nice for his daughter by taking her and her kids back to KY to her husband. (guess who bankrolled the entire trip?) We were there a couple of months when my brain cleared and I started to pay attention to all the lies and deception. He would tell people he was Dr Smith and he would just as soon lie as tell the truth, it was truly amazing. I have never heard of anyone who could seem so normal, but lie like that. I later came to find out he was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and my counselor described him as being a borderline sociopath, which is right on the money.

When he started denying things he had said, stating that I must have heard him wrong, I knew I was in trouble. Luckily he started acting out more then and I became more aware of behavior I would never tolerate, like yelling at clerks in stores and being beligerant to other people.

This was when I made plane reservations to fly home to see my kids, whom I missed intensely. I should also add here that he was using my credit cards free and easy, like there was no tomorrow. Whenever we talked about it though, he said he would pay me back when he got his business going again. He repeatedly told me he could work anywhere and could make $10,000 a month. Yeah, in his dreams he could! I started getting really concerned when my bank accounts were dwindling and my credit card bills were increasing, it was amazing how this man could shop. KY was rather boring in the winter, so our main entertainment was shopping at WalMart. Wow.

After I flew back to WA, all my friends and family sat on me and told me I had been brainwashed and he was a big lier and only out to use me. It was very very hard to swallow, as that would mean he never loved me or cared anything about me, just wanted to use me. But ya know, the truth is always the best. I tried to tell him I would be back soon, and at the same time was trying to get the police in KY to help me get my '98 4wheel drive car back and other personal belongings, but they screwed up, royal, and tipped him off and he took off in the motor home and went into hiding. That was the beginning of the end. I tried to keep him complacent, but in the end I said I just wanted my stuff back. He said I will give you your stuff back and pay you back, but I never heard from him again. The police say that since I bought the car while we were married, that I couldn't report it stolen. I have no idea where my car is and he's probably thrown away all my personal belongings by now.

I found out later he had been in prison, two times, for car theft, and other things like that. His daughter told me later on that she would never leave her children around him because he might molest them, and she told me about the truly horrible and terrifying childhood she had with him as her father. Luckily he was gone most of the time, but then she had to deal with her drug addict mother. She basically raised her brothers and sister by herself. This is truly a perfect example of a Dysfunctional Family! More than we could ever fathom or understand.

My divorce is almost final, thank God...and I am trying to pick up the pieces of my life. I am horrified I had such bad judgment and picked this man to be my mate. I used to be a trusting, naive, innocent woman, but never again. I will have to file bankruptcy as I could never pay back all the credit card and cell phone debt. It is way beyond my means. I have found a new job and am trying to get my life back together, but I feel so devastated. I doubt whether I will ever be able to trust a man again after what has happened to me, it will probably take years and years.

Wild's Comment - First of all, thank you for sending this. I know how hard it is to tell other people about something you did, especially when it resulted in such substantial financial loss. Personally, I can relate to the loss of the vehicle, though I did ultimately get mine back.

I do believe that in time, hopefully a mercifully short time, you will trust enough again to want to meet someone. I know from my own experience, that even after suffering a devastating financial blow, or even making a mistake in marriage like this, there is life beyond the misery. Don't hate yourself too much, please know that what happened to you has happened before, almost exactly. And if it's any consolation, the one story I'm aware of, had a very happy ending.

For those of you who think that incidents like this are extremely isolated, and rarely ever happen - think again. I don't pretend to understand the phenomenon of people meeting and marrying after just one meeting, but I know that it happens. I hope that anyone who is about to meet someone for the first time, or is wondering about what "could" happen, and so on, really reads these stories. You can learn a lot from the experiences of others. I am so very deeply appreciative and grateful to each and every contributor to this site. Wild.

This story has prompted me to put up a facts page - just some basic information that many people should be aware of - as it pertains to property rights, etc., for people who end up in situations like this. If you want to read it, Go Here.

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