Dangerous Men, Red Flags, Victim Mentality

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This post is continued from the last post ~ Prince Charming was a Murder Suspect.

I remember the first time I met him. His name was Chris. I recall noticing that he was extremely good looking. I don’t remember exactly what we talked about, but I am sure it was a professional exchange. He had to sign in with me before he made his outside rounds for hospital security. I noticed he told me something that conflicted with something he had said in a prior conversation. (first RED FLAG covered with my own victim mentality) He said that he had never been married and then in a later conversation he said he was involved in a divorce. Instead of asking for clarification, I ignored it, telling myself that the misunderstanding was mine.  That conflicting piece of information was delivered exactly at the same time that he started flirting with me. I was far more interested in him flirting with me than I was in recognizing the red flag. But he was a dangerous man.  

We started dating and because he was in the middle of a divorce, he said the car was actually his ex wife’s car but they were sharing it. Long story short, he started to borrow my car.  I suspected something was a bit odd because I had found the name tag part of my key chain (the part with MY name on it), on the floor under the seat of my car. (Next RED FLAG protected by my own victim mentality)I didn’t say anything to see what he would do. The next time he borrowed my car, the name tag was back on my key ring. I let it go. Why was he pretending it wasn’t my car? Perhaps my question should have been “why am I in a relationship with someone that I don’t trust?”

He told me that his fiancé had been killed in a car accident and he was grieving over her still. The problem was that he also told me that the police suspected foul play in the case of her death. I got a kind of cold shiver down my back when he told me that. (Another RED FLAG disguised by the grooming that I could not trust my intuition) I ignored it, just like I had always learned to do. I wondered how she really died and if HE had anything to do with it. Perhaps my question should have been “why am I in a relationship with someone I don’t trust and even consider might have had something to do with her death?”

He was only 23 years old. He had been engaged to someone who had died, and he had been married and was getting divorced. He told me a lot of other stories that made me question how much living this guy had possibly had time to do at such a young age.  But I didn’t question him.  The foundation my emotional maturity was built on victim mentality so I didn’t think of making sure or asking clarifying questions.  And once again, I didn’t question myself about why I was in a relationship with a dangerous man that I didn’t trust.

As with other men that I had been in devaluing relationships with, I wanted proof that he really was playing me. I needed proof before I rejected someone because I had a lot of respect for rejection; I felt that I had been wrongfully rejected and I needed to make sure that I was not doing that to someone else. Victim mentality, (which had been taught to me by abusers, oppressors and controllers) taught me not to validate any warning signs. It taught me to always question myself first. It taught me that I must be the one that is wrong. And I also grew up with the completely wrong definition of love. I believed that HE needed me. I could not possible hurt his feelings with questions. I was confident that if I made him feel loved, he would change and I would no longer need to be suspicious of him.

I memorized a phone number I saw on his worksheet. It was listed as his home phone number. (He told me that he didn’t have a phone and finding out that he did should have been a red flag too.) That night, about 3:30 in the morning, my girlfriend at the hospital helped me stage a “person to person phone call” to that number. A woman answered and my girlfriend, playing the part of “the long distance operator” informed the woman that she had a person to person call for Chris. It was obvious that he was sleeping in the same bed with the woman who answered the phone. (Another RED FLAG)  I was on a third line with the television on a snowy sounding station, and when he answered the phone; my girlfriend (the operator) confirmed that it was him and then apologized for the bad connection, explaining that she had “lost the caller”.  (we hung up) I decided that I could not confront him because I had done something sneaky in order to catch him.  (I didn’t consider that I had just caught him in bed with another woman; rather I was willing to see my own fault for faking a long distance phone call. My rational was that I could not accuse him of lying to me if I was also lying to him.)

I never told him that I knew about the other woman. He got suspicious and told me a story about how he was involved with an emotionally distraught stalker woman he was having trouble getting away from, but he assured me that it was over now. (More Red Flags) And I ignored it. (gag)

This crap went on and I ignored MANY more red flags, until he faked the death of his mother on the other side of the country, insisted that I go to the funeral with him, then explained that he couldn’t get flights to the province she was in but that we would have to drive about 12 hours from the airport that we could get to.  Did I mention that he had tried to talk me into making him the beneficiary of my life insurance (he said If I really loved him I would) (RED FLAG) and that I had lied to him and told him that I did it? And still I didn’t say “I don’t believe you” but I found the number to his parents house and faked another operator assisted long distance phone call. She wasn’t dead.

I called the police. They ran his name and sent a squad car over. He was the prime murder suspect in the death of his fiancé. The case had never been solved. He certainly was in fact a dangerous man. The police were very concerned about me and I was placed into 24 hour protection. (I should have been concerned about me, but I wasn’t.  I thought the whole thing was exciting. A real rush and a great story. All I could think about was the other boyfriend ~ the one that I loved so much except that he cheated on me ~ he didn’t seem so bad anymore and so I phoned him. Groan….)

Chris was a compulsive liar who had never been married nor had he ever been a cop and although he worked outside rounds for a major Security Company, he also didn’t have a driver’s license. Even they hadn’t checked him out.  In order to bring him in for questioning the police arrested him for unpaid parking tickets. (that was the best they could do) They slapped a restraining order on him. While they were trying to catch him (he had to go to the fake funeral first) I got protected. (at least until one of the married police officers wanted to get cozy with me….. but that is another story)

Have you ever ignored a blatant red flag? Please feel free to share.

Knowing the real truth is what set me free;

Darlene Ouimet

A book I found that is very helpful and assisted me in believing in my intuition again as well as regaining the memories of many red flags I ignored over the years, is “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin de Becker.

Related post : Dating after Sexual Abuse; Is this Love?

41 response to "Dangerous Men, Red Flags, Victim Mentality"

  1. By: Lauren Posted: 27th September

    For me, the red flags were mostly verbal at first. I feel like that’s how most abusers start. They begin with little things, things they can pass off as “jokes” or as my “overreacting.” They test the waters, as they get away with more and more, they begin to escalate the abuse. Until it can result in physical attacks, etc.

    I had several red flags about my ex-boyfriend. First, the gut feeling in my stomach. But he seemed to really like me, he seemed to treat me really well. He’d liked me for a long time, and bla bla and other justifications. Once he got me to date him, the situation changed. He started subtly cutting me down; constantly calling me “ridiculous” or “clumsy,” laughing at me when I’d trip, embarrassing me in front of my friends when I’d say something silly. All under the cover of “joking.” I blamed myself. Why was I such a clumsy, awkward person? I thought. It got to the point where I could hardly cook or do anything with him around, because I’d start shaking so much from nerves.

    Eventually, the problem escalated, to the point where he assaulted me one night. Way later than I should have, I broke up with him. But even then, I never knew what the relationship really was until afterwards, when I was looking up domestic violence online. The truth is, we blame ourselves when we shouldn’t.

    These people who abuse us are master manipulators. We just have to have faith in ourselves and love for ourselves, not critique, and that will guide us the way we need to go.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 27th September

      Hi Lauren
      Welcome to Emerging from Broken
      Yes, it is almost always verbal at the beginning. And for me I was already conditioned from childhood to accept verbal manipulation. I can relate to EVERYTHING you wrote here about the progression of your relationship. I have been in several just like that. This progression is seen exactly the same way with passive abusers and many other types of abusers. Thank you so much for adding your voice to this post. Please share often.
      Hugs, Darlene

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