I’ll never forget the day I heard those words. “His diagnosis is psychopathy with borderline tendencies…I’d say he had a psychopathic break…”. My hand was gripping the phone, palms cold, palms sweaty, at the same time. I listened calmly to the prison psychiatrist. His words seemed meaningless to my brain. Psychopath with borderline tendencies. Of course. That explains him. After all, I’ve been told all this before. In one way or another. Other psychiatrists have warned me about him. This wasn’t the first time I had heard words similar to this.
No one had ever actually used those words before. They had warned me. They had told me to leave him. They suggested I get a PFA (Protection From Abuse Order)against him. I couldn’t understand why. After all, I couldn’t see the abuse. I couldn’t feel the abuse. Why did I need to leave him? Why oh why did I need a Protection From Abuse Order?
One time before, Daniel had been in the mental ward of a local hospital. He was committed for attempting suicide again. I don’t remember what number attempt this was. His main psychiatrist had tried to warn me about him. He wanted me to leave him. He told me about what could happen in the best way he felt possible. I wasn’t listening.
Not one of the warnings were making sense to me. By this time I was deep into Stockholm Syndrome. * For references and more information on Stockholm Syndrome, see this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_syndrome.
This psychiatrist had a plan. He told me he wanted to see if Daniel was going to react violently to something I told him. He promised me that I would be under surveillance in the unit. I had nothing to worry about as long as I followed his plan. He assured me that this was all for Daniel’s mental health and treatment. I agreed.’
The doctor wanted me to visit Daniel, as I usually did, on a timely visit. He was going to have Daniel, one of the social workers and I seated together in a small office room. The room was really no larger than a closet. It had a small desk, three seats, cluttered with books and one door. One door. One exit. I should sit next to that door.
The social worker would begin talking about our situation together at home. Our life. Our living together. My role was to sit quiet for a bit, letting Daniel talk. Or at least hoping he would begin to talk. She would encourage him, allowing him to express his feelings. This scenario would only go on for a few minutes. Outside of the closed-door a burly male nurse had been stationed. This nurse was ready to aid at any time.
Hopefully, Daniel was to become anticipatory about coming home. I, myself, admittedly, had been exhausted. I had been frightened. I was traumatized beyond words. I didn’t know what I wanted. In talking to my youngest son, age 17, about my situation, I was weary. Encouraging to me about being on my own, he was admirable about his concern for his mother. About dealing with my feelings, he was young. About leaving, not leaving, he was in-between. After all, he was only 17. He was only trying to deal with this situation himself. I give my son much credit for dealing with what he did at the time. He didn’t live with me full-time. I had joint custody and was home-schooling him. He was of utmost importance to me.
The idea was that as soon as Daniel felt comfortable, the social worker would leave the room, leaving the two of us alone. She would mumble some lame excuse and actually be right outside, out of vision. The male nurse was also hidden from view, although ready to intercede in the event Daniel became violent. All I was to tell Daniel was that I was exploring the possibility of leaving him because I needed time to think of our situation with his suicides.
As soon as I mentioned my leaving him, Daniel jumped up from his chair. We were no more than three feet apart. Odd that I wasn’t afraid. He slammed his fist violently into the wall, damaging it, creating a hole. The door swung open quickly within seconds and the male nurse grabbed me, literally picking me up. Before I realized what was happening, I was carried out of the unit, between the solid, locking, double doors, and deposited behind two columns where Daniel couldn’t see me through the double-paned windows. I was in a safe place now. Safe from Daniel’s violence.
There sat the psychiatrist calmly. He had expected this to happen. I could hear Daniel screaming behind those doors. “Where is she?” Where did you take her? She’s not leaving me!” On and on I could hear him until they could grab hold of him and quiet him down. His screaming was resounding in my ears. The doctor waited. I supposed I looked like a ghost. I imagine I was attempting to act composed. Day after day of trauma with this man. My life in pieces and I had no one to turn to I thought. I thought. Daniel and his mother had done a very good job of alienating my friends and my three children from me. I felt so alone sitting there.
Now it was the doctor’s turn to speak. He wanted me to get a Protection From Abuse against Daniel. With his affidavit, I would have absolutely no problem at all. I was in danger for my life. There was no question about this. This was the Spring of 2002. Little did I know what was ahead of me. I should have listened to that doctor then.
Murder was just around the corner. Attempted murder. Along with the call from the prison psychiatrist.
- The Characteristics of Cluster B Personality Disorders (brighthub.com)
- Economic status, genetics together influence psychopathic traits (sciencedaily.com)
- Economic status, genetics together influence psychopathic traits (eurekalert.org)
- What is The Pure Definition of a Psychopath? (socyberty.com)
- The Mystery of Borderline Personality Disorder (time.com)
- What are the symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder in Adolescents? (brighthub.com)
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