Updated: Mar 26, 2020
One of the most important pillars of Sophrosyne Health is mental health – it’s the figurative part of “connecting the heart, mind and gut”. Ultimately, your mental health is half the battle when it comes to your own personal wellness. Not having that figured out can send you down the vicious cycle of not caring for your physical wellness, which further affects your thoughts and sends you into a negative downward spiral.
With that being said, I recently went through one of the most traumatizing breakups of my entire life; honestly, I’m still healing and I will be for a long time. But I needed to write this open letter to heal, and more importantly, to protect any other women out there who might fall prey to the same scheme that I fell for.
As I write this open letter to you, I drink a 2014 unfiltered Syrah from La Serenissima Winery in Warner Springs, CA. The first sip is like a smooth velvety chocolate. My back palate is then bombarded with the taste of death to my soul followed by a slight hint of euphoria. Synchronously. It is paralyzing. But I have to drink it to write this and feel all the excruciating pain one final time.
I bought this bottle of wine during our weekend away together in Julian, CA. A weekend trip that I now know was an identical trip you took with your ex-girlfriend. A trip that you tried to recreate with me: your newest victim. We made so many memories together in such a short time. Our relationship was almost flawless. I should have known it was too good to be true. Because as it turns out, it was.
In November 2019, you decided to take me engagement ring shopping. Not once, but twice. I saw our future together and had it all planned out. I was in no rush with our relationship but you were dead set on marrying me (so I thought).So much so that I decided to see how your last name would look next to my first name on a napkin during our trip to Seattle together. It was that very napkin that your other girlfriend ended up finding in your bag on December 24, 2019.. Thank God for that napkin. Because she found it, your house of lies, along with my entire world, came crashing down that day.
My actual journal entry on Christmas eve:
This hurts so bad. Tomorrow will be worse. The feelings, the emotions, the pain. They are so familiar. Old scars ripped open and bleeding along with freshly cut wounds that my soul is weeping from. These wounds will fight me in my sleep when I am rendered helpless and leave scars in hidden places that I will find unexpectedly over time. These scars will find me when I'm strolling through the aisles of the grocery store, or in the humming silence as I place my stethoscope to a child's' chest. When I'm walking my dog. Or in the most predictable times. At the end of a long day of work when I'm at home with nothing else to do but focus on my flaws and my pain. To probe and dissect every dark shadowed area of my mind. The scars bring me to my knees. Too painful to fight I just let my body go. I let the tears flow. Too powerful to fight. I lay on the floor in a puddle of my own bleeding heart. I can’t breath. I've hit rock bottom. Again.
Christmas Eve, the day before the holiday that means the most to me, my heart was shattered to pieces because of your lies and manipulation. It’s been two months since I found out about this deception. As I sit here and write this letter, in my special chair where I do my daily 4 am devotionals and spend time with God, there is small shard of glass that still sits on the ground beside my foot. A shard from the wine glass I threw to the ground the night you showed up at my house to "explain yourself." How exactly does one explain that after taking you ring shopping and vowing to marry you that you’re homeless and have been living with your GIRLFRIEND for almost a year. That you've been driving me around in your GIRLFRIEND's car? You pushed me to the brink of losing my sanity as I grappled with how our entire time together was a complete lie.
Is it really possible for someone to live such a lie to so many people? Still to this very moment I struggle with the fact that I fell into the trap of a narcissistic sociopath. How did you never get our names confused? How did you sleep at night knowing what you were doing? How could you even bring yourself to stand beside me in church and hold my hand knowing God saw everything you were doing? How could you send me pictures of wedding dresses that you thought I would look beautiful in? How could you take all the food I baked for you home to your girlfriend and share it with her, saying it was from your brother (the brother that wont even talk to you because of your evil ways) And how was it that your ENTIRE gym community knew about it and failed to tell me? Even worse, had been gossiping about this all around me? No one was ever there to protect me. The betrayal is haunting.
I was the 5 am girlfriend. You lived with your noon class girlfriend, and let’s not forget your on again off again 430 pm ex-girlfriend. You were all of our coaches at the gym. That’s where you found your prey. You never went far… because you’re homeless and have no means for transportation.
I was the perfect set up. I had just moved to LA, didn’t have any friends in or out of the gym, and always went to the 5 am class so you knew you would be able to keep all of us separated. I confided in you my deepest hurts and insecurities, and you capitalized on them. You listened to everything I told you; watched me closely and molded yourself into the man of my dreams. You quickly became by best friend, favorite coach, workout partner, hiking partner, dancing partner, you name it. You became my everything.
The moment I knew I wanted to marry you: You left a gift on my doorstep one day. It was a s’mores donut (because s’mores are life, duh) and a children’s book titled Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney. In the back you wrote a note :
To the love of my life,
I want to share this book with you because it means a lot to me. Just like the book says, I love you to the moon and back. This book with forever stay in our family. We will read this to our kids one day
As I was reading that note, crying out to God, thanking Him for finally sending me a man who really GETS me, you were getting ready for bed with your girlfriend. I later found out that you gave this exact book to your 430 pm ex girlfriend and her son when you all were dating. After sitting down with the other 2 girls, we lined up dates and found out that around the time you gave me this book is when you went your ex's house one morning (after coaching me at 5 am) to "show " her how much you loved her.
You were literally recreating this relationship that you had with her, but fixing your mistakes so that I wouldn’t start catching on to your lies like she had. While simultaneously and secretly still trying to work it out with her (the 430pm ex).
The healthiest and happiest relationship I've ever had turned out to be a living nightmare. A real life episode of PUNK’d. Except it isn't a show. It is my life . Along with the other two women who were also completely clueless. I used to question how people didn’t know they were getting cheated on. But I get it now. The lies are so carefully orchestrated, it’s almost impossible to know coming from a man with no conscience and no sense of guilt or empathy.
I never would have guessed because you were such an emotionally intact man. You weren’t afraid to cry. Not afraid to talk about your feelings. But it was all part of your game. That’s all we were to you. A game. The game of a sociopath. At face value, you are a “gym owner”, head coach, and athletic man. But in reality, you are a homeless man who wears Nike and Lululemon and pawns off women to survive by any means necessary.
The length of the relationship says nothing to the volume of trauma that one can cause when they are that disturbed. One will never truly understand the devastation that a narcissistic sociopath creates unless you have been through it. My reality was turned inside out. The depth of your lies has left a path of destruction in all three of our hearts (along with all the other women before us and who are to proceed us).
The other two women are incredible, beautiful, strong, independent women whom I now call my friends. We are all so similar (which is how you got away with many of your lies) and have bonded over going through this trauma that most people hopefully will never have to understand or go through. We have been able to laugh at certain things that are so ridiculously obvious in hindsight now. Some things we couldn’t believe we overlooked. Other things were so sick and twisted there would have been no way for us to know.
Some of the obvious signs: how you didn’t like women who wore a lot of make up or perfume (would have made it easier for us to sniff the others on you) . How none of us had ever been to your house or met your family (I eventually did on Christmas day ,though it was after the truth came out). Why you didn’t like posting on social media (red flag much?). How you gave the jeweler a fake name when we went ring shopping (as a joke but obviously it was part of your scheme). But there were other not so obvious signs: fake phone calls to your parents so that the girl you were living with thought your parents knew about her. Getting us to pay for the uber when we went places because your "app wasn't working right" (but really you just didn't want to pay. And yes, he pulled that trick on all 3 of us). Always taking excessive pictures when we went on trips (so you could send the pictures to your girlfriend and ex, leading them to think you were on a "solo" trip). The excessive amounts of selfies ( classic attention seeking behavior of a narcissist).
We are all stronger coming from this, and we will not let a weak, insecure man hold us down.
After all was said and done, I did a 21 day fast with my church. I cut you off completely and gave up everything that was distracting me for 21 days. In those 21 days I had zero contact with you except for an email you sent me of you getting baptized. Could this be a crazy ploy to feed off my faith in order to lure me back in? Probably. But I know you have lost everything. And I hope that you have nowhere else to turn to but to God. Don't get me wrong, I don't feel sorry for you in the least bit. But you are still a child of God. A very sick child of God who deserves love and forgiveness. And for that I will continue to pray that you seek God’s heart and learn His true purpose through faith. I will forever love the version of the man I thought I knew, to the moon and back. But he was a fantasy that never existed.