Going beyond the pale

About two years ago, my husband and came home to police cars sitting in front of our house, cops in and around our yard and an extremely large group of people seeming to grow around the place.  It was a parents worst nightmare!  The house, I didn't care about, but the problem you see, is that we had left our youngest two children at home alone.  My heart hit the floor and panic set in!  I ran to the door and pushed past a bunch of teenagers to try and get into my house,my husband just behind me.  It seemed like hours before I made it in (I know it was only seconds, but still to this day it 'feels' like hours), I looked around my home frantically and didn't see my kids.  An officer stepped over to me.  Literally, he took just one step - again it seemed to take so long and seem to be so far to just walk the couple of steps from my door into my kitchen.  I only saw his face in a blur, I was still searching for my kids!  As he moved towards me, I saw my youngest son (then only 9) just behind the officer.  Thank God!!  Where is ... and then my daughter came out from the other room! I have never been so happy!

We had been gone only for maybe an hour and half at most.  My oldest was at school, while the other two (9 and 11 years old) were at home.  They were just starting to stay home alone once in a while, and felt so happy and grown up to be without parents! 
Cell phone? Nope!  We didn't believe in them.  Cell phones mean taking your work and other things with you when you go out and we believed in living in the moment.  So... as you can imagine, when the shit hit the fan my kids couldn't get a hold of us, of me!  We all have cell phones now, I cant believe how stupid that was!  A simple modern convenience that makes life safer for the kids, and we only thought of the inconveniences it could cause.

Anyway, while we were gone someone had come to the door and knocked several times.  The kids had been told to never open the door when we were not home, and certainly never to strangers.  The stranger at the door didn't give up, knocking and banging louder and louder.  The kids got scared and ran upstairs to my bedroom - thank god they were smart enough to grab the phone on the way!
They looked out a window from the top floor and saw a man.  They hid.  They heard glass breaking on the main floor and called 911.
They heard the man walking around the main floor and then begin up the stairs.  They tried to hide, but only found hiding space under my bed, and only room for one.  The youngest was pushed under the bed by his sister, who stood guard - phone in hand.  She told us later that if the man came into the room she thought that he would see her and not think to look under the bed where her brother was hiding, she thought this would help protect him.  Meantime her brother was so scared that he couldn't stop shaking.  He wet his pants and begged his body to stop moving, because it was making the bed shake, and this could give away his hiding place.  He was so frightened and wanted his sister to be safe too, but couldnt manage to do anything about it.  (To this day, he is still working this out and finding a way to make peace with himself and find the courage he believes he should have had.)
The man never made it up the stairs, as the police came and he ran out.  The police chased him for several blocks but he got away.
They eased my kids out of that room and downstairs, where eventually we arrived.   They explained to us what had happened, and we exhaled with such relief!  The kids were okay!  7

The police took bootprints and fingerprints and caught the guy a couple of days later.  We all felt so relieved!  That is until it happened again. And again. and again...

Over the next 12 weeks the attempts continued, sometimes several times a day - and sometimes days in between attempts.  One man, other times two or three men - from the front of the house, through the windows, often during the day and sometimes at night.

Those three months we lived in terror.  The police couldn't figure out what they wanted.  Were we involved in drugs?  Did we have firearms in the house?  Did we often have large amounts of cash in the house?  The answer was always the same 'NO'.  All the police could think of, was that there was something in our home that these guys wanted.  And not the original creep that broke in, because he was in jail.  What the hell was going on here?

We put locks on all our gates, cut away all bushes that could become hiding places for intruders, put new locks on doors, boarded up ground level windows, put in a fairly sophisticated alarm system and got a purebred watchdog.  We also got cell phones for everyone.  There were bats in every room, at night we strategically placed mats with nails sticking up, on the floors, we armed everyone with whistles and did many other 'little' things to try and keep our family safe.  What we just could not understand was why?  Why did they keep coming?  What could be so valuable or important in our home that they would want?

Most often, the people who broke in - when they made it into the house, went upstairs to the bedroom. Not 'bedrooms', but 'bedroom' the one that my youngest two children shared. We eventually caught on that they were after the kids. Why? Which one? We just couldn't figure it out. Nothing made sense.  Most of the time they broke in, or tried to break in when my husband was out.

Once he was just out  in the front of the house working on the car, when they tried breaking into the back, coming over the back fence - our dog went nuts, so I let her out of the house and she ran towards the back fence where two men were climbing over and into our yard.  The dog stood between the men and me, and barked and growled.  I saw this and ran towards them, bat in hand, yelling and screaming for them to get lost.  The men ran away, only to come back another day.
Another time, my husband had gone out to get some groceries.  He was not gone half an hour, and I looked out my bedroom window only to see a man looking in the house from the side of our garage - inside the gated area!  I got all the girls to the 'safe spot' in the house, and went back to see him sneaking across the yard towards the house.  I picked up my paintball gun and aimed.  I had to wait for him to come into range, which seemed like forever.  Finally, he walked across my view and I shot, and shot and shot and shot.  I think I must have gotten off five or six shots.  One of them hit him right in the chest. Yahoo!!! Now the police will find him easily I thought!  He fell down, and I kept shooting.  I don't know if I hit him again, my vision had become blurry and it was difficult to focus.  He ran away, and I called the police.
After that I was investigated for shooting at this man, and told that I could be brought up on charges for assault- even if he didn't press charges because the police could!
  I was shocked beyond belief.  Not only was my family being terrorized and the police seemed to be unable to help, but they were threatening to charge me for protecting my family! 

Things went on like this for about three months.  My kids became increasingly frightened, the youngest took to hiding in small things like boxes or cupboards - especially when his dad went out.
We began to sleep together in one room, the youngest two kids and I.  My oldest daughter stayed in her room.  She seemed somewhat unaffected by what was going on - and a little confused at how long the rest of us continued to feel afraid.

My husband slept in the living room.  Why?  Well, one night the kids begged him to sleep in their room with him, and so he did.  He slept on the floor, in the only available space  - a short distance from the door.  The next morning he woke up to our 11 year old crying 'Dad, there's a man in my room!" It seems that a man made it past our locked gates, through the locked door - without setting the alarm, past the motions sensors, and into the kids room.  My daughter says he stood there for a long time (probably not so long, if time moved like molasses for her the same way it had for me when I felt frightened), he just looked at her, then smiled and began to walk into the room.  She called out and my husband jumped up - the man ran out as soon as he spotted my husband.  Tom chased him out of the house and down the road, but he got away. 
It seems that our oldest daughter turned off the alarm and sensors and 'forgot' to lock the back door where he got in.  She was 17, how could she forget something like that, at at a time like this?
So, my husband began sleeping in the living room to gaurd the stairway that led to where the kids and I were sleeping.

She seemed to forget about the locks and alarms often.  I began to suspect brain damage...I am not kidding.  This is not a joke.  I began to believe that she has some sort of brain damage, or malfunction causing her to be so.. so dumb!  I was determined to get her some help, get her checked out when this was all over.  None of it seemed to be affecting her, she was the same as always except that she didn't seem to realize the importance of our families safety.  The rest of us were loosing our cool - to put it mildly.  We had been under so much stress and constant trauma that we were in shock, and living in a way that I expect many people do in third world countries where life is very difficult and very cheap.

This all came to a head one night when my husband was out walking the dog.  The kids were in bed and I was on the phone with my friend, when we both heard a couple of funny sounding 'clicks'... sounded like someone was on the phone with us.  We dismissed it as paranoia and continued talking. A few minutes later the phone line went dead. I freaked out and grabbed the closest thing I could use to defend myself - the paintball gun - and positioned myself in front of the stairs.  No One was getting up there!  No one was getting to my kids!  The alarm system was right there, and I checked it - no doors had been opened, no person had entered our house.  Now I was totally freaked.  I just stood their, defending the stairway that lead to the kids.  If I am totally honest, I think it was more fear that rooted me to that spot, than choice.  Someone banged at the door, making me jump so that the paintball gun went off!  I heard my girlfriend calling to me, and so I let her into the house.  We quickly made a plan.  She went upstairs to get the kids, and took them into her car, while I defended the stair case until they got out of the house.  It sounds stupid now, but at the time all I could think of was that the stairways was the place that i had to make sure the intruders didn't cross if I wanted to be sure to keep my kids safe.

Tom came home.  He checked the whole house, and no one was in it.  Not a soul.  The only problem seemed to be that the phone cord had been cut, in the kitchen.  Someone had cut the phone cord! Someone had been in our house! They got past the alarm!  It was the most frightening moment of all!  Slowly it began to dawn on us that no one had entered our house.  No one had been hiding in our house.  It had to be someone already there.  It had to be one of us.
My legs gave out, my stomach churned, my head hurt.  I thought I might throw up.  Who knows, maybe I did ... I don't remember.  In one swooping moment my world came crashing down.  There was only one person who could have possibly done this.  Only one person who could have gotten past me to cut the Cord and get back upstairs without me seeing.I wouldn't let myself believe it or even   think about it.  "I cannot think about this!  I cant talk about!  We made a mistake, the cord must have torn". 

We didn't discuss what we knew, but somehow found a way to stuff it way down.  That was a mistake.

Illusions are life's greatest luxuries

It has been a while since I have written here, and allot has changed.  Most  of which, is on the inside.  What I mean is that my husband and I have chosen a course of action, we have a plan and a path that we have decided to follow.  It feels great, to have some kind of a foundation again.  Maybe the plan will change, it is going to have to be flexible - but having a direction and moving towards a common goal together is a fantastic feeling.
I have never finished telling you the whole story about how we came to know about our daughter being a psychopath, and I will tell you all the details - just not today.  It is going to take some time, for me to sit down and write about that time and those events and today is just not that day.  Soon though.

So, although I have only a few moments i wanted to check in, say hi and let you know that we are all healthy and sometimes we are even happy.

Tomorrow I will write about how we came to be on this new path, and how our daughter tried to have her siblings killed.  Perhaps I will write to you about last year when she began asking about where our life insurance would go if we died and who would have to take care of the other kids.  Or maybe I will tell you about the time she cut the phone lines so that we could not call out for help.  I am starting to realize that there are just so many 'times' to write about.  This whole thing has taken over our lives, consumed them like a gluttonous vampire!  But no more!  We have found a way to stand up again and take our lives back, to really live and let go of the fear.  We have found a way to embrace the love we have for each other and get up off of our knees.

I have waited for what seems like forever, for someone to come and save us from this living nightmare.  I thought that the universe, God or even a friend might fix it all and just save us... help us run away so that we could live in another country and forget all this. But after allot of crying and wishing and praying, nothing has happened.  It has been a year since our daughter was diagnosed as a psychopath and just a select few (4) individuals know about it (besides our psychologist and psychiatrists).  At first we talked with them allot, but after a while they began to disappear.  It has now been three months since our last visit with a 'friend'.  There is a very occasional quick call, but mostly we are on our own. 

I don't blame anyone, it must be a bit scary for them and perhaps they run out of things to say after a while, and they have the luxury of getting on with their lives and not having to think or deal with this if they don't want to.  I would jump at the chance to run away from this if I could!  So, I understand - I don't like it, sometimes it makes me angry or feel very hurt and sad - but I understand.
 On the upside we have learned how to be our own hero's, how to save ourselves and each other.  I have learned how to be a stronger person and be my own hero, to save myself - of course if there was an option, I would choose for someone else to take over! haha  Amazing how even now, that is soo true!  I wish it were my truth that I was this really strong woman who would not even think about letting another person ,or even god, save her - but...well I'm not.  I would run away from this situation in a blink of an eye!  I would get my two youngest children to a place of much greater safety and if at all possible, forget every moment of it!  But there is no on wearing a cape, no one saving us, saving me.  And now even our support system has faded away to almost nothing.  We are truly on our own.

So, we have decided to save ourselves, in our own way and on our own.  That is not to say that I wouldn't welcome or enjoy connecting with one or two of those friends, but I no longer feel or think that I 'need' to.

The key to our little plan of action is time.  We need a bit of time to pull this all together, and with a little luck we will get it.

I hope that you can enjoy and even revel in the illusions you wrap yourself in - cause it could be the last day you get that luxury and illusions are the greatest luxuries life has to offer!

A Wonderful Day

Today was an absolutely wonderful day.  The last couple of weeks have been particularly difficult.  I have been trying to get my feet back on the ground and begin to create a new life for myself and with my family, but the last couple of weeks have felt more like standing in the middle of the ocean on a log!  Well, it was my birthday today and it was fantastic!  I just couldn't have asked for anything better! 

Birthdays are pretty lo key here.  We usually have a relaxing day ending with the birthday person choosing some favourite food for supper, and of course cake!  Presents are most often home-made.  This year my kids gave me a handmade purse and a new pillow.  I loved the purse, although I am not too sure that i will be able to carry anything too heavy inside it!  And the pillow is just what I have been wanting - I keep stealing my husbands because he has a great feather pillow that is just so comfy!  And now I have one too!

To top off this lovely birthday fest was a special present from my husband. A private concert with Cher and Tina Turner in my own basement!  Yup, he is pretty great!  He fixed up the basement to suit a concert... you know, surround sound with a big screen t.v. and all that.  Then he gave me a concert CD from two of my favourite performers!  We got dressed up and went off to the concert.  It was so much fun, almost like being at the real thing.  We clapped and whistled and yelled and sang!  It was wonderful.  Probably the best evening I have had in a couple of years.

As I sit here writing this, I think that maybe there is a chance we can salvage the rest of our lives.  Maybe we can find that solid foundation in our love for each other and build a new life.  It's true that it isn't going to look the way I thought it would, but so what.  We have what matters, we love each other and we are all willing to try.

That would be really nice.  I will sleep on that thought tonight.  Good night, and thank you for reading my blog.  I hope you too have a great evening!   And if you are going through some troubled times, perhaps you too will find some sure footing in the love you have created around  you, and within you.

Getting Fatter and Sleepier

Today is Wednesday and it is just after noon, everyone is still sleeping.  It seems that we have all switched our sleep patterns around and have begun to sleep during the day and stay up half the night.  Last night we ate supper at 11pm.     Its a good thing that we home-school our children or it wouldn't be working so well.  Last night I finally got to sleep around 5am, I have been awake since around 10am.
My body seems to want to shut out... everything right now.  I have gained about forty pounds in the last year, which is unusual for me.  It has been my habit to exercise for about two hours a day, sometimes more. I love to swim and the walk to the pool is about 7 miles.  So I walk, swim for an hour or two and walk again.  It also used to be my habit to practice martial arts and boxing (with a non-living sparing partner) a couple of times a week.  Food is one of my favourite past times and I used to cook special meals for the family at least a couple of times a week.  Now all i want is junk food.

I realize that we are all medicating ourselves with junk food and movies, doping up our bodies with a lack of exercise and lack of sleep so that we don't feel or know as clearly as we could.  Knowing this, and changing it are 2 very different things.  The problem of course, is that it effects every part of my life, not just the part I want it to.

And yet that seems to be a price worth paying, because no matter what I say, my actions have not changed.

Our True Nature

Its a funny thing, the things you learn about yourself when life doesn't turn out the way you thought it would.  You get the chance to see your true self, a small piece of who you really are - without all the fluff and junk - without the illusions that we build up around us.  We get a glimpse of our true nature, whatever that might be.  For some the prospect is frightening, for others it is a godsend.  For me, it has been a bit of both. 

When all the illusions are stripped away, we only have our truth: our experiences and how we chose to use those experiences - maybe to act as evidence about something we want to believe or to support a choice we want to make.  It has been my experience that all to often we choose the belief or emotional outcome of an experience long before we even had the experience.  We decide -maybe even subconsciously - what we want to feel or do, not feel or not do and then we fit that outcome to the experience we are having.  The very odd thing is, that we then proceed to believe it!  As I look around, I see that our world is built on this fundamental flaw of self created reality 'reality'.

  One of the things that happens when you learn that someone you love is a psychopath, is the slow stripping away of that self created reality.  I have found that the lies/illusions and truths are most often mixed together, and not always so easy to decipher at first.  I don't mean that it is difficult to understand logically, but that it is difficult to 'get it'  - the pieces all fit together but it still doesn't make sense.  And then the 'self created' truths begin to erode, some slowly and some so quickly that the rest of you doesn't quite know what happened.  In a blink of an eye, you have lost something you believed was true and real - a treasured moment is illuminated and stolen away. 

Yesterday my son found a picture of himself when he was just a baby, which began the inevitable discussion of what he was like as a baby.  My kids love those stories!  The onslaught of baby stories eventually brought up questions about what their sister was like when she was a baby.  Its amazing, how in just a blink of an eye everything changes, and it takes the best part of a few days for the rest of you to catch up to that change.  That's what happened yesterday.  I was telling them how, when Kathy was born, the doctor put her on my stomach to hold.  The cord was still attached, and she was all slimy (this drew a fair amount of 'yuck' and 'ew's). I was so excited to have a girl!  I was going to be a single mom and was scared to death of parenting a boy - I had no experience with boys, but I knew how to be a girl... so I was thrilled I had a girl and she looked so healthy, all her fingers and toes in all the right places.  My life to that point had been difficult, and I was so happy to have someone in my life who I could love and would love me back.  That had been the reason I kept this baby, and didn't give her up for adoption.  Ultimately I was selfish.  I wanted to be loved.  I thought that I could love this little miracle and she would love back and that would make the world alright.  So when I looked down at this brand new life and she looked up at me, I smiled at her. And the first thing she did was smile back at me!  I couldn't believe it!  "Look, she's smiling at me" I called out.  "It's just gas" my mother said.  To which the doctor came over and took the baby, to clean her up and told us that since she was just born and had nothing in her stomach, she could not possibly have gas.  She did indeed smile!
It was one of those defining moments.  You know, one of those moments that changes you, that wraps itself around your soul and changes you.  I loved that moment.  I loved that baby and the little girl she grew into and I still love her now, even after everything that has happened.

"But Mom, psychopaths don't have emotions do they?" my son asked me.  He was right.  Psychopaths do not have the physical capacity to for love.   That was a defining moment.  A black truth that wraped itself around my soul and changed everything!

And as I sit here, I am thinking about how quickly she responded to my smile, and smiled back - how the rest of my relationship with her was built upon that moment.  I wanted to be loved, more than anything and in that moment and each that followed I chose to believe that she loved me too.  The reality of that moment is much more sinister once the illusion is stripped away.   Now as I recount the birth of Kathy, I realize just how quickly nature takes over. Since a psychopath cannot love, this was not love she showed me.  Instead it was instinct. 

I feel awed and frightened by that nature!  She was a brand new born infant, that had no capacity to love or be happy, and she smiled at me.  Of course she was mimicking what she saw me doing.  Mimicking is a part of the psychopaths nature as it allows them to 'fit in' and get what they want - even as an infant. 

I don't know if you can understand how bone chilling that thought is.  How right from birth a psychopath is a predator, and how easy it is for them to fit in.  Who doesn't want to hold precious those memories of our children being born?  Or of a childs first steps towards you, first words, or any of those moments that made you laugh or cry?  I realize now that right from birth my daughter was a predator, and how easy it was for me to wrap lies in truths and call them 'reality'.

I have learned a great deal about psychopaths lately, and just as much about myself.  Life has certainly not turned out the way I thought it would.  That little new born baby so delicate and fragile, now grown into a young woman, was not what I expected.  As I glimpse the real me, why I chose to believe the things I have believed, I find that I am not what I expected either.

How many psychopaths there are

It's surprising just how many psychopaths are out there.  From what I understand one percent of people are psychopaths - that's one in a hundred.  In a city of one million people that is 10,000 psychopaths.  This means that there is a good chance that you have bumped into one or two sometime during your lifetime, maybe you even know a couple, work with one or have dated some, married one or had one teach your children math.  Who knows?  They often blend into society quite well and seem just 'a little quirky'.  Not all psychopaths are like Jeffrey Dahmer, some are very successfull blue collar workers, and many of them don't even know who they are!

  Just one percent of psychopaths are female.  That means of the 10,000 psychopaths in a small city, only 100 are female. I don't know why that is, its a bit of a stereotype though haahah. Yah, I know, bad humour!

From what I understand, the intelligence level of most psychopaths is just above or below average.  A small percent of them have a high IQ and an even smaller percent have a very high IQ.  I don't know why that is either, perhaps there is some link between learning and emotions that we have not fully discovered yet. I would like to talk about that in more detail later, but for now suffice to say that my daughter is 'unusual', even for a psychopath.  She would be one percent of one percent.  So, of the 100 psychopathic females out of one million persons, there is only 1 that has higher than average intelligence.  That's Kathy - one in a million.

Kathy doesn't yet know that she is a 'psychopath' and that is a great thing.  Once she has a label to put to those things that make her 'different', she can research what that means.  It would not take long for her to accept and embrace these differences and have the excuse she is looking for, to leave behind the last bonds of civilized society.  In other words, she is looking for an excuse to embrace her unique, preditorial self and that would be it.

Kathy is young, and has lived in a somewhat controlled environment where she mimicked those around her - who have been pretty descent human beings.  She is only starting to 'come into being', as one of our psychiatrists put it.  He wanted us to pay him $160 per hour so that he could watch the process.  "Its rare to have such an opportunity and I would love to see the development of a 'young' psychopath".  Ya, that's a story for another day too. 

But the point of all this is that she is still trying a little bit, to fit into society - the edges of society, but she has not yet left the bonds of all societal rules. She lies, cheats, steals, will have sex with anyone as long as she gets what she wants out of it, manipulates, lies some more, makes up stories, and did I mention she lies? But, she has not yet killed.  Maybe we will be lucky and she wont.  Who knows.  When she tried to have our other children killed, she got other people to do it for her.  I told you she was smart, smart enough to not want to get caught.  She terrorized our family right from the center of it, without our even knowing. 

Of course all the signs were there, but we just did not want to know.  I just could not fathom that my child, that little person born from my body, who I loved so dearly, who put her arms around my neck and hugged me, and took her first steps towards me and said her first words to me, could want to hurt our family, could PLAN to hurt our family, to kill her brother and sister.  Yes, all the signs were there, but my brain and my heart just could not make sense of it, could not accept that truth. And so I pushed the truth to a dark corner wayyy at the back of my mind.

 It was a feast of fear for her.  She, like all psychopaths feed off of other peoples fear.  It makes her feel 'smart' and more powerful than them.  She certainly got to feel allot smarter than all of us during that terrible time, and still is.

So, Kathy doesn't know she is a psychopath and we cannot tell her. As long as she doesn't know, it buys us time.  Once she realizes her place in society, she can be a predator without the confines of trying to fit in.

Are you out there? Talk to me!

There must be other people who are going through a similar experience.. there must be at least one other family who can understand! 
I have never been a person who believed in support groups, I thought that support groups were for people without friends.  I was wrong.  There are only a hand full of people in my life that know about what is going on.  Some of them have spent hours talking and caring for us, some avoid us for a variety of 'reasons'.   I don't blame them. What gets me, what really stings is that look in their eyes - some days its enough to knock my legs out from under me .  You know the look, its as if someone I loved has died but wont stay in the grave- sadness, fear and pity all tied up into one little look. Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!

So, every day I fear that someone will try to kill my husband and/or children.  Every day I hope and pray that today is not the day.  I know without any doubt that the day will come again, but please God, DO NOT LET IT BE TODAY!  Each day I try to support my family in feeling safe and finding a healthy state of mind, body and emotions.   Each day I play the 'pretend' game with a predator who cannot know that I know who she is, each day I love her and hate her and wonder which day I will hate her more than I love her. Each day I wonder, why?

Each day I try to be 'normal' - whatever that means.

So, are you out there?  Have you had to live with a psychopath?  I would love to hear from you, to know that we are not alone.  Maybe we can help each other, give each other suggestions and pointers?  Who knows, right?