Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Why I Feel like an Asshole

I need to get this out there. I can't bottle it in anymore.

I feel like an asshole. I really do.

My life has been destroyed. Financially, mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually. My children's lives have been forever affected. They have their own struggles/issues now, which will likely impact their adulthoods as a direct result of this. My family is traumatized. There is steaming wreckage all around me.

I'm not sure that I fully forgive myself--or how I ever can. I'm not looking for pity or reassurance. I'm just being real.

I re-read my blog entries. On what planet was I living that these things were happening and I didn't run?

I've read about abuse. I've read about sociopaths. I've talked with therapists. I've talked with fellow survivors. I understand how I got pulled in and tricked by a very cunning and "talented" abusive sociopath.

But what was going on with me internally at that time that made me so lethally vulnerable to a predator like him? How incredibly low must my self-worth and self-esteem have been? How did I allow a man to so easily and swiftly gain control over my life?!

I want to say that I wasn't a stupid or weak person but...maybe I was. Because it was incredibly naïve of me to believe that no one would ever intentionally bring harm to me. But I think on some level I actually thought I was exempt from that somehow. Because I'm a good person who wouldn't want to intentionally and systematically destroy someone else's life, that also couldn't happen to me.

Besides, I know a "bad guy" when I meet him. Right? Bad guys are very obvious. They wear their assholeishness on their sleeves and I don't put up with bullshit anyway...

I guess what it comes down to is this: I was vulnerable because I had succeeded in everything else in my life except romantic relationships. I had an established editorial career at that point, good mommy, lots of friends, close with my family. But I had two failed marriages. I'd married and divorced my college sweetheart in my 20s, married and divorced my older son's father in my early- to mid-30s. I never took a breath to say maybe I needed to be on my own for awhile and not define myself by a man/relationship/marriage. Those divorces were tough, for different reasons. But I wasn't taking time to figure out why they didn't work, or to fully heal from them.

I was focused on the fact that I'd failed--and on not failing again.

And not failing again meant finding the perfect guy and having a successful relationship.

So maybe--secretly--I went on Match to find a husband. Maybe--secretly--I didn't like being alone.

Maybe, actually definitely, those reasons combined made me vulnerable to him. It's like wearing blinders. I saw what I wanted to see. Deep down, very deep, I do believe I recognized all those early behaviors as odd. But it wasn't enough to make me run. No. Because the package was so perfect. He was exactly what I was looking for.

What could go wrong?

Yes. I feel like an asshole.

Love and Support for Kate Ranta and Family


  1. You are a good person, that's why you didn't see it. You were brought up to see the good in others and to believe that people are intrinsically good, as well. Despite failed relationships (in which there are not two, but THREE sides to every story, as my very wise grandmother used to tell me - the third side is the truth) you still believed - correctly - that you deserve to be in a loving and trustful relationship. You and your good, believing soul were taken advantage of. You are not alone. Karma can be a real bitch and the best revenge for you and the boys will be to continue your path to healing and success. Leave the bastard in the dust as he rots forever. Love you.

  2. Regret is easy to succumb to, but ultimately is an exercise in futility - You can't change the past. What's done is done and that's ok - Well, rather "ok" since someone tried to murder you, so it's not really ok. But for your reflection(s), you can only make a better future for yourself and you are doing that so quickly and so impressively that it is wonderful to see the Phoenix rise.................xo

  3. I can't speak for the how or when or even if you and your family can ever truly recover (whatever that means) from the events that have taken place in the last few years. I can say, that because of your experiences and your gracious tenacity, because of the courage you are displaying in sharing your story in such a public and open way .... that if just one person (or family) is spared similar trauma (or worse) because you have been brave and caring enough to speak up, to speak out, to make a difference, well...of course, that doesn't make it worth it, but it does give your experience meaning and purpose. I hope someday, you'll be able to forgive yourself, especially, since you are the victim. No victim blaming, not even from you, okay? From the Ashes, you ARE rising, even if it doesn't always feel that way. xo