Friday, May 20, 2016

My Story ( The Beginning )

                                                        Matija Turkalj , Emotional Rape                                                                                                                                      
                                                                   & Sociopathic Traits
                                       Chapter One ( Who I was)

In order to tell this story it’s important to address who I was before Matija Turkalj came into my life.

2015 I decided was to be the best year of my life. It was my first full year out of college. With a B.A. under my belt I started working my first full time job. It was a humble cashier position in a small Pleasanton California convenient store. The job afforded me nothing more than 10 dollars an hour and the spare time to dream about all the future held for me. A smile was my natural reaction to any situation. I loved myself, almost to the point of having a crush on myself. Ego was not apart of my character but getting to know myself was the most thrilling adventure I could think of. I was a blessed enough person to have a wonderful home life and was lucky enough to count on both hands and feet the number of true friends I had. As extraverted and outgoing as they come, what I loved most about my new job at the store as well as my part time job working at a local Pleasanton restaurant was all my customers. I saw the joy in everything (even waking up at 6am for work every morning). It was the beginning of the year and already I had taken multiple road trips with longtime friends. I was ready to take flight in the world and there was nothing and no one who could stop me.

Commercial Glazing Concepts
Then Came Matija- I first came to know Mat as a customer at my store. He would pop up at random every once in a while. Every time he came by we’d make small talk and bit-by-bit we learned a little more about one another. He was 35 at the time, a Libra from an Eastern European country called Croatia. He proudly told me he owned his own construction company called Commercial Glazing Concepts which operates out of Livermore California.  I didn’t have an inkling as to what he thought of me at the time and although I found him handsome I never gave it much thought. Working in a busy convenient store one finds that handsome customers come a dime a dozen. Matija continued to frequent my store and on one Friday afternoon in early April he came by but this time with his best friend Greg. I was somewhat frantic; as my boss had upset me earlier that day and I told Matija that I had a good mind to quit. He charmingly asked for my number. In his words “ in case you quit I can still talk to you “. I gave him my number not thinking he’d ever really call and even if he did, any woman with a little experience under her belt knows that just because a man calls you, there is no reason to expect much to come of it. If I had known then what I know now, I would have run for my life…literally.

The Beginning of the End - The weekend passed and by the start of the new week Matija began texting me.  Once we started talking it never stopped. The texting and phone calls went on day after day, night after night. He seemed amazing, honest, real, down to earth, classy, exciting and intriguing, a good conversationalists. I’m very social and know a lot of people, yet he was unlike anyone I had ever known. For some reason it felt like we had known each other for lifetimes. We both had to admit that most of the time it felt like we were the same person. We had so many of the same ideas/ opinions and completed each other’s thoughts. It was as if we had made a profession out of being each other’s mind readers. He told me of all the hopes and dreams he had for himself, his hopes and dreams for his child and for the world. He told me about his fears, worries and insecurities. More than anything he told me about his “stubborn” Russian- American ex wife who “left” him out of nowhere a couple of year’s prior. He told me all about how he took his vow of ‘till death do us part’ seriously but “ she tore their family apart “. I took on the role of understanding confidant and sympathized with his situation of being a loving father who tried everything to make it work with this callous, heart breaker of a woman. After days and nights of him always making sure we communicated with one another he finally told me that he hated the store that I worked at because we sold nothing he liked but continued to come back because I caught his eye. I was flattered and shyly he suggested that we go on a date. He really stressed the point to me that it was a real date and not just a hangout. I told him that I liked him too but that I had given up on dating for a while because it was too stressful and I was just kind of focusing on myself since I’d just graduated. I also confessed that I had a hard time letting my guard down with men. That fact alone caused me to turn down a lot of guys when being asked out. He convinced me that he was a “ drama free” caring guy and because he was a father he had a rare sense of respect for women that many men didn’t have. Mat told me he had never been the kind of guy that would make a successful player because he had always struggled with spending time with girls that he had no emotions for. If this had been anyone else I would have accused them of being a good actor but Matija really made what felt like a sincere argument. I told him that I should say no but I felt like he was special, so I’d be willing to go out with him. We agreed to dinner at a magical little restaurant in downtown Danville.  I’m cynical about dating so didn’t expect much but the evening went better than either of us could have imagined. I did however notice traces of what I deemed as “buzzy behavior “ throughout the evening. He was noticeably hyper and seemed to be ashamed of the fact that he wanted to order an alcoholic drink in front of me. I didn’t see what the issue was with him ordering a drink to go with his meal. He was somewhat shaky and seemed to be dealing with random hot flashes. Due to his alarming body temperature we ended up eating outside on what was one of the coldest days of the month. He felt bad that I was cold and offered to go back inside but I could tell the heat was too much for him at that time so we ate outside in the gusting wind. There was also his eagerness to suddenly snap at a very busy yet kind waitress who didn’t give him spoons quickly enough for our ice cream. I immediately let him know that I disapproved of his attitude toward the waitress. He apologized, I passed it off as stress and all was forgiven.   During some alone time in his truck he took time to tell me more about his horrid ex wife. He told me how awful she was and how they only married because he was facing deportation and needed a green card to stay in the U.S. He continued on about how she was a control freak, how she controlled everything he did and would not give him the freedom to go anywhere or do anything. He got emotional telling me how she always made it so he had to do what she wanted. Apparently a friend of his had a wedding and she was so controlling she would not even let him attend, as all he wanted to do was go and wish his friend well. He told me it was a bad relationship from the start and it was something that never should have happened. She, he insisted was the cause of a lot of problems that he had and he never would have had those problems if she had not been stressing him out all the time. “Once she went away I got better and stopped doing stupid stuff “ he claimed. All of the pressure she put on him caused him to be a “strange husband “ was the description he gave of himself. I told him not to let her issues get him down. At least now he was free of her and could move on. I assured him that whatever negative stuff she had to say about him was just her stupidity and that I thought he was wonderful. We held hands and listened to music. It’s safe to say after that evening we were never apart. That night was the start of the wildest and most upsetting roller coaster ride I would probably ever go on.
                                          Chapter Two ( Secrets and Substances )

 Over night Matija and I grew closer and closer. I often times sat and wondered what his ex- wife’s problem was? How could she let such a wonderful, beautiful man slip through her hands? Why would she try and control him so much? I concluded that although there are two sides to every story, Matija had to be right, this woman must have been terrible to just bail on him the way she did. He was so caring and amazing to be around. She must have been a fool.
Matija and I spent most of our time together. It seemed as though we began to develop a strong trust for one another. We could talk about anything. I told him I hated showing emotions toward anyone in a romantic way but he continued to make our time together feel safe. He made it clear that he wanted me to care for him and did his best to show he cared for me. He frequently complimented me on who I was as a person and would tell me how happy he was that I was now apart of his life. He’d make it known how happy he was that I was “ so different from” ex-wife and “ so nurturing” compared to her as well.
Eventually one night he told me he needed to confess something to me. He needed to be upfront about the fact that he was a drug user and that he’s been “doing drugs since 1996”. He told me that there was no drug he hadn’t tried and that cocaine was his favorite. He sadly said that his drug use is probably one of the reasons why his ex-wife ran out on him. He complained that she “ used to think it was cute” before they married, “then all of a sudden she didn’t think it was cute anymore”. He asked me why wasn’t I leaving too?  Why was I still there with him now that I knew about his “second life”, as he would often call it? I told him because I liked him and I was too involved just to walk away now. I told him drugs were bad and it would behoove him to stop using. Mat knew I had never even smoked a joint before and that had him convinced I could, as he put it “ inspire him to stop using ”. I told him I could not change a grown man, that I was happy to support him if he ever decided to give up his habit but trying to change someone against their will would never work. Despite my disclaimer he remained convinced that I was the key to his sobriety. Mat knew drugs were not part of my world in any way and never had been. The closes I had come to being around drugs was watching the Johnny Depp Movie “Blow”.  Drugs were bad news, but we had gotten so close and I liked him more than any man I had ever met. The drugs didn’t seem to be much of a problem for him as one would think. He even told me himself, drugs didn’t affect him the way they did most people. He appeared very functional, he wasn’t violent or mean, he never asked for money or strange favors, he seemed to take good care of himself and was running a company. He wasn’t trying to force me to do the drugs with him and even used my sobriety as means of inspiration.  Sure, I could see how his ex- wife would get a little fed up with the drug use, but he was still a good man and I couldn’t see how she’d just willingly leave such a sweet person behind after 10 years of marriage. Drug use or not he still couldn’t be that bad.                                                 Eventually he became comfortable with the idea of me being around him while he was high. He never really took the drugs in front of me (other than on that one occasion when his downstairs neighbor Conor came over at night and they took what he thought might have been oxi, but wasn’t sure) but I did spend many nights and days nursing him back to sobriety while he came down from extreme highs. Out of every drug, cocaine, he’d often remind me was his “favorite”.

                                                Chapter Three ( Dr. Jekel and Mr. Hyde)

As time rolled on my affection for him grew stronger and stronger just as the marijuana plants on his back patio grew taller and taller. Mat seemed pleased with the progression of both situations. I did start to notice what some might describe as glitches in his personality. At the most random of moments he would say things like “ I’m really crazy you know” or “ I think I need a straight jacket”. One night while watching a movie, out of the clear blue Mat blurted out “ did you know that Las Vegas is the only place where you can legally fake your death”? I was always taken a back by these comments but never knew quit how to interpret them. I made up in my mind that they were just silly random comments and it wasn’t worth giving a second thought to. The oddness however would continue. He seemed to have this over the top paranoia toward anything he perceived as homosexual (even if there was nothing remotely homosexual about it). Anything could set off this alarm. For example, one of his employee’s (who happened to be male) texted to wish him a happy Fathers day. Mat seemed appalled by the gesture. “Men don’t do shit like that, we don’t do shit like wishing each other happy Fathers day, it’s gay” he exclaimed. As time went on Matija began to ask about and show signs of wanting to discuss strange sexual topics. He consistently wanted to know if I had ever experienced 3-way sex. At first the question was not alarming as I am not shy when it comes to discussing topics of this nature and also found it natural for him to wonder about my past. But the question had an odd way of popping up more than what I felt was normal and so I started to question why was it something he was so curious about…especially after he told me it was something he had never or ever would engage in. Eventually he would tell me how he and a friend bought 2 prostitutes one night and paid them  $60 dollars a piece for oral sex while inside of someone’s car. He frequently spoke about prostitutes and would often times hint about using a site called Red Book. At one point he admitted to having used Red Book, telling me he “ordered a prostitute from there one night” and that he “waited for her to arrive at his condo but she never showed up”. He would tell me about the prostitutes he would meet at different drug houses and other questionable places. He always seemed to want to talk about going to different  massage parlors and receiving “ Happy Endings” (a slang term for hand job). Strip clubs also seemed to be a main focus for him but he always claimed he had no interest in the women there and was “ only going to purchase cocaine”. He would tell me all about some sex club he knew of in San Francisco. I asked him if it was a place he had been to but he swore the only reason he knew about it was because a friend told him that it existed.  There were times when he would tell me all these things in a teasing manner and other times he’d say it in a very matter of fact way. It was becoming impossible for me to tell whether it was all a joke or not.  At one point I asked if he had ever been tested for STD’s. The question angered him and he accused me of “being juvenile and of asking juvenile questions.  More and more the list of secrets that I kept for him grew. Apart from keeping his drug use a secret, I also kept secret the locations (in Oakland and Hayward) of where and whom he got his drugs from and with. I became accustom to making excuses for him to people if and when they wondered why he seemed distant or a little bent out of sorts.  Once his neighbor asked me why they hadn’t seen him in a while. I simply told them he had been a little sick and continued on my walk. Other strange things would come up such as the access Mat had to stolen computer programs that a mischievous friend of his possesses. Then there was the consistent illegal activity of one of his employees (who was out on parole) that continued to crop up. In one stand out incident, it was a case of this employee robbing someone, then in another shocking case, I was with Mat one night when he received a phone call from this employee panicked because he had just murdered someone in a parking lot over a small amount of money. Mat barely seemed fazed by what happened and his only concern was that the employee had called him right after committing the crime.  A few days later we found out the man we thought had been killed by Mat’s employee had actually only been beaten unconscious. I brought it to Matija’s attention that I found it odd that his employee’s would feel comfortable telling him such things. “Most people would want to hide wrong doings from their employer not brag about them,” I warned. Matija almost seemed amused by these types of events and seemed to purposefully surround himself with these kinds of characters.  One minute he would swear it was because he wanted to help better people that had been on the wrong path in life, the next it seemed that it was because he enjoyed being in the middle of all the mayhem, then he’d swear he needed to get away from these kinds of people if he was going to correct his life. 
                      Matija would tell me about his life when he was younger, how he had always had a habit of stealing even as a child, how when he was older he went AWOL from the military. He later told me about how he used to smoke a lot of crack, shrooms and practiced speed balling . He once told me he was smoking so much that during his time as a dog trainer he believed he was actually talking to the dogs.  I'd get what seemed to be paranoid phone calls from him late at night telling me that he no longer wanted to run his company "Commercial Glazing Concepts", that he was sick of the business and just wanted to go back to training dogs. I also became alarmed by all the legal and financial trouble he seemed to be having with different clients as he was always looking for a way out of paying people he owed.
            I began to notice how unapologetic he was when it came to his reckless driving. He once told me “ everyone get’s scared when I drive”. Driving intoxicated on any substance whether it be drugs or often times alcohol, he never seemed to turn down an opportunity to get behind the wheel while under the influence. Later he would tell me that he didn’t even have a driver’s license and had been driving around all this time while his license had been revoked . When asking him why, he would not tell me exactly for what but “that he lost them over something stupid “. I couldn’t figure out why someone who was supposedly so serious about running a company and making a better life for him self would continue to tempt fait the way that did. He would often times brag of being so aware of his surroundings to ever be caught by police. Then later on would tell me how aggravated he was by past experiences when he had been pulled over. He told me he “ can’t stand how arrogant cops are. Just because I’m driving home in the middle of the night a little bit faded they think they have the right to pull me over”. I tried reminding him it was they’re job to do so. But he just didn’t seem to see it that way. He always boasted of not being afraid of cops but then always had a fear that they were on to him.
Matija couldn’t seem to make up his mind about anything.  He would often speak of how he didn’t want his company anymore and how he felt stuck. He’d go on about moving away to an island away from all the “ idiots” (idiots was his favorite term for the general public and sometimes to describe everyone but him) but then would tell me he wanted to move to somewhere like Oakland so that he could be in the middle of the “chaos”.    He, more than anyone else I had met was constantly screaming about how he didn’t want drama in his life and yet he seemed to be the one creating all the drama and if there was none then he was looking for it. Once after resolving a legal situation he told me he was sad. I asked him why and he said, “ now that it’s all over there’s no more drama”. I was surprised by this answer. “ “I thought you didn’t want any drama,” I asked? But he insisted the drama kept things interesting. I was growing more and more confused.  Without realizing, it started to seem as if he was looking for trouble just so he could scream about wanting out of it.
Matija also became noticeably hypocritical and judgmental toward everything and everyone. No one seemed to be safe or spared from his judgments. If something went wrong at work he would typically find a way to blame it on anyone but himself. At one point his younger sister who works for him texted him a blunt message telling him “ not to tell her to show up for work early in the morning if he wasn’t going to show up at all”. Mat almost seemed amused by her frustration saying, “ It’s good that she’s mad, it builds character”. He then called his best friend Greg (who also works for him) on the phone and instructed Greg to apologize to his sister because she was mad at him. Somehow he found away to place all the blame on Greg. Matija, did later apologize to his sister but only after he realized he would need her to do him a favor. There were many other incidences where Mat would blame everything gone wrong on Greg when Greg didn’t seem to have much if any association to the issue at all. Greg wasn’t the only person Matija would frequently place blame on. He would relentlessly accuse his mother of being crazy. Whenever he did something that some could describe as crazy it was always his mothers fault. He “ would not be so rude and crazy if it weren’t for her being the rude and crazy person that she is. If it weren’t for my father I would have no sense at all“. He would continue to blame his ex-wife for everything going wrong in his life and often time made claims that should could “barley even handle raising their child” and that his ex always “used him to pay her car insurance and to take care of their child when she didn’t want to”.
He disapproved of everything everyone did, even if they were all the same things he did. It was as if he had special permission to do or say certain things but no one else was to cross that line. If someone drank, he disapproved, if someone did drugs he disapproved, if someone drove crazily he disapproved, if someone else made excuses he disapproved, if someone else was rude or insulting he disapproved, if someone else were to talk about picking up prostitutes or engage in any type of promiscuous behavior he would belittle them. He would frequently say “ only losers pay for pussy”.    It’s as if he disapproved of everything that he was and everything that he did but only when it came to other people.
Everything someone did in Matija’s opinion was “ stupid” or “ idiotic” as he would describe it. To him it was stupid that Greg considered himself a photographer. When our relationship first started, one of Matija’s friends was in the process of coming out of the closet. Matija ridiculed him saying he “didn’t feel they could be friends anymore “ because he “didn’t want to be friends with a gay person” and he criticized anyone who supported his friend coming out, this included Greg. His younger brother was “stupid for working at Starbucks”. His brother and his brother’s girlfriend were stupid for planning to move to Turkey. Mat would complain, “she was one of those stupid American girls that actually believed she could make a difference”.  Matija would frequently ridicule his sister (who was around 14 years his junior) saying she was stupid for loving the former boy band The Jonas Brothers and that her excitement for them was a perfect example of how pathetic American youth actually is. I was not even safe from this harsh ridicule. I would witness him be little almost everyone who was or had ever been in his life. Even strangers on the street had to stand before his judgment.  I once told him I had great admiration for my superiors at work as I felt my manager and district manager were very good at their jobs and were great roll models for anyone who was entering the work force. But to Matija because they were part of a management team that was associated with a convenient store there could not be anything special about them. They were just idiots and he bragged that he could do their job better than they could.  I always passed his critical thoughts and words off as someone who was just serious minded and a little overly judgmental. In his mind, everyone should be like him. He would always boast that his plan was to “take over the world”. That seemed to be his greatest ambition. Everyone else’s dreams, goals, opinions, interest, ambitions or even accomplishment’s were not worth his respect or acknowledgement.
His dedication to healing from drugs also became questionable. Matija would have moments of declaring that the most important thing he could do was to stop using drugs. Just when you’d believe that he sincerely had plans to stop he’d snap and say that it was nobody’s business if he was a drug user and that it didn’t affect him anyways. His mind seemed to always be on drugs and everything was a drug reference to him. Every place we went reminded him of drugs. He would always say that so long as nobody knew he was doing it and nobody saw him doing it then it was not a problem. I once scolded him over the phone for him having used crystal meth the night before. I told him that he should stop before he gets a hold of something deadly. He told me if he died it was just the circumstances. I tried telling him he should stop for the sake of his child.  His only reply was “yeah, but the kid doesn’t know that I do this shit”. Somehow in his mind that made it okay. There would be other times when he would tell me he often thought about what would happen if police ever caught him in a drug house, but for some reason he could not help going to these places. “I’m drawn to the dark side he would say,” I’m half angel half devil”. Mat once told me that an odd looking birthmark on his side was his “ mark of the devil”. I began to notice that he would often times compare himself to the devil. When a large bump appeared on his forehead he would tell people it was “ his horn from Satan”.  Everything was back and forth with him. When the Golden State Warriors had their big parade to celebrate their winning of the NBA championship, Matija  invited me to  join him at the celebration. For the next couple of days he would continuously change his mind about if we were going or not. The day before the parade I had decided to just forget the idea of going and go to work as planned. Then I get an urgent text from him saying that “ WE HAD TO GO TO THE PARADE”. I asked my boss for the day off from work only to find Matija had changed his mind again. Saying he only sent me the text because he saw a TV promotion for the event and got caught up in the moment. Even on the day of the celebration he still couldn’t make up his mind , saying he needed to take his dog to the groomer. Finally we made it to the Parade at the last minute. But when we got there Matija decided he wanted to stay instead of going home. He wanted to call one of his drug friends and as he put it “ do something stupid” that night. I reminded him he had to get the dog from the groomers, to which he replied (with what seemed to be his favorite answer) “ I don’t care”. After much persuading and bargaining with him he agreed that maybe I was right and he should just go home and stay out of trouble. If only I had known he was drunk after consuming two Buzz Balls in less than one hour (drinks which contain about 20 percent alcohol per bottle) I would not have allowed him to drive us (still on a revoked license) back home. Thankfully we survived the very frightful event.                                                                                                                         The Warriors celebration was hardly the most shocking of his antics. There was another time when he and I were driving on the freeway together. We’d hit traffic coming around by the big IKEA in Emeryville. I was driving and Matija became frantic. For some reason all the traffic seemed to be making him paranoid. He asked me if he were to get out of the car would I come find him? Seeing as how we were stuck in traffic on the freeway I was very confused by the question.  He flung the door open, jumped out of my truck, hopped over the railing, ran down the side of the hill from the freeway, climbed over the fence to the main road and took off down the street. I was so speechless (as was everyone else on the freeway) I didn’t know how to react. 20 minutes later he called me from a liquor store asking me if I wanted candy? I was still speechless. He hung up and called me back 15 minutes later from a random KFC asking if I wanted raspberry tea or regular? Still confused I asked for raspberry. He told me he wasn’t sure where he was but that I needed to come and find him. So I spent another 20 minutes driving aimlessly around Emeryville looking for this one KFC. Eventually I found it and he had absolutely no reaction at all. It was if nothing had happened and it was just a normal afternoon.
The list of erratic reactions and paranoia’s of things went on and on. He was also afraid drones were watching him and often would suggest that his phone was bugged.  As out of control as things seemed sometimes, his devotion to me never seemed to waiver. Matija was even paranoid about me taking my asthma medications. He told me it was idiotic to take medications that doctors prescribed and that I needed to look into natural medications for my condition. I told him I had no choice, that I have always had a severe form of asthma and that the medications my doctor gave me are very helpful. According to him I only thought this way because I was naive, brainwashed and too lazy to look for other options. But regardless of whatever differences we had Mat always seemed to want me with him no mater what and continued to promote the idea that I was a good thing in his life.
                                              Chapter Four -  
                     He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (Mind Games)

Matija and I seemed to have gotten closer than ever. It was a closeness he fought for. It was like he would stop at nothing to ensure I was his and only his at all cost. He was happy I was apart of his life he would tell me and that he needed me to be apart of his life. He would always tell me he loved that I was around because he could tell me things that he couldn’t tell anyone else and do things with me that no one else in his life appreciated.  He was always fascinated by me and even began to suggest that I should leave my job and come work for him. From time to time he’d ask if I ever wanted to be married. My answer was always I wasn’t sure if I wanted to marry or not. Every now and then the topic of children would come up. Because we were an interracial couple he’d sweetly ask me if I ever wondered about how our children might look. The joke always was if we had a son he had to be a soccer player. He wanted my opinion on just about everything he did and wanted me with him just about everywhere he went. He would text me 100 times a day and call me 50 times day. He’d call me so much that I started getting in trouble at work for always being on the phone. My guard was up high but day-by-day he found ways to lower it. I always cared about him and eventually despite everything I knew about him my heart opened up to him completely. From day one he treated me as if I was a priority in his life and one of the few things he intended on keeping around. I allowed male friends of mine to read some of his more romantic text to me. I felt in doing this they could tell me if he was sincere or not and if it was safe to trust him or not. They all assured me that his words and actions could only be from a man that was truly serious about a girl. A relationship is something I did not want and had avoided for a while. But at this point I was starting to have a hard time imagining my life without Matija in it. One night while out walking the dogs a speeding car raced past us. Out of fear I jumped behind him. He reached back and held me as close as he could and told me not to be scared and promised he wouldn’t let anything happen to me. Something in the way he said it made me believe him. He wanted my heart and he’d won it. He made it clear that he didn’t want to see anyone else nor did he want me seeing anyone else. He didn’t like knowing that other men had flirted with me and once told a man (that my friend was trying to set me up with) through text that I was already married to him so don’t bother trying to talk to me anymore. When I took a 24 hour trip to L.A. with a friend he relentlessly texted me telling me I was too far away and that I should come back early. On one day in particular he had a panic attack when he couldn’t reach me for 30 minutes. He took it as a sign that I was mad at him when in reality I was in the grocery store. He wanted to know he could reach me at all times (sometimes even at 2 o’clock in the morning) and I did my best to make myself available so he would never have to worry about if I was really there for him or not. I did my best to prove that I was nothing like his ex-wife who “ turned her back on him “. But like with everything else in Matija’s life, things started to feel unstable and the lines between what was real and what was insincere started to blur.
At first he loved everything that I did but out of nowhere it seemed as if everything about me became a problem. My giddiness and my ability to not let the serious things in life bother me; all things he loved about me became things he was now annoyed by. One minute he was 100 percent for me and the next he was agitated by my presence. Where he used to say we were just a like, now it became a problem that I was not even more so like him. He began to reprimand me for the job I had. I admitted to him it was not the most glamorous job but it was perfect for me because for the time being I wasn’t looking for a career, all I wanted to do was save money so that I could travel. He belittled the amount of money I made saying “ I had to do better “. Where I was once happy with my small job and was pleased with my progress in saving up for my first over seas vacation, I became paranoid and frantic about finding another job, one that would impress him more. I had never been the type of girl to worry about impressing a boy and yet, here I was doing everything I could to keep Matija happy with me and my life choices. I kept asking what he deemed as a better job? But it was like everything I thought of wasn’t good enough. I even mentioned high-powered jobs like becoming a judge or even the president. “ No” he would scold, “ those are stupid jobs, you have to think smarter than that”. “ Like me, I have my own company”. “I like to be around motivated people “ he proclaimed. I thought to myself “ and I like to be around sober people but here I am with you”. I tried to take the higher road and not say anything. “ You’re a project for me” he said. “I get sent projects every once in a while. People I need to fix are sent into my life”. I began to wonder if that’s why he really wanted to spend so much time with me, so that he could “fix me”. “You need a company like me, that’s the smart thing to do “ he’d say.  I’d try to explain that not everyone was meant to be a company owner but it was no use. There were other times during our relationship when I’d receive phone calls from him in the middle of the night when he was clearly intoxicated (usually on, alcohol, cocaine or meth) insulting the university I went to. Telling me I was brainwashed at the school and telling me my bachelors degree was a “piece of crap nothing degree”. He’d go on about how I wasted my time at that school and how I’m still doing nothing with my life. How I was no better than his “stupid little sister who would never grow up because she was too childish and infatuated with The Jonas Brothers”. Mat would tell me he was angry with me for not doing better, that I should be more mature and try to grow up faster before I “ end up like the rest of the idiots in the world”. I started to feel like in everything I had to be like him and any other way was the wrong way. I used to leave his house in the morning and change into my work uniform in the back room when I got to my job.  Eventually this came under judgment as well. The fact that I waited until the last minute to change into my uniform meant that I was disorganized and of course he disapproved of that. The fact that I still lived at home begin to bother him too (keep in mind I was only a few months out of college). To Mat, it meant that I was not focused enough on my future. All my plans to travel the world and experience life were suddenly talked about like silly childish dreams.  The fact that I didn’t want to have a child was a negative thing in his eyes. He accused me of being “selfish” saying I think life is “all about me”. At one point during a pro choice commercial he told me he felt abortion was sad and couldn’t believe anyone would actually go through with something like that. He would initiate unprotected sex, telling me positive thinking would prevent pregnancy, that if I did become pregnant it was meant to happen, that us having a child would be nice. Then on any given whim he would become suspicious of me, saying girls get pregnant on purpose. Mat would say I wanted to be pregnant with his child because I love Europe and he was European, so in his mind “ I was trying to have his child”. Angrily he would snap at me telling me he “ never wanted another child” and that if I did at any point become pregnant “having an abortion would be the best thing for me to do”.   
Matija would throw hints toward me indicating that he had other girlfriends, then turn right around and say he never had many women in his life and couldn’t figure out why. He’d also ramble on about not wanting sex. Saying he’s never been the type of person to need sex often and that he could go two or more years without it and that didn’t bother him…yet he continued to frequently visit strip clubs and speak of prostitutes. Sexually he seemed to be punishing me. All of a sudden I became a bad person if I wanted any sexual contact with him. He’d even accuse me of kissing too much. He’d withdraw at any touch and would tell me he had other things to think about. Everything that went wrong or had been wrong in his life for long periods of time was slowly becoming my fault. If something didn’t go right at work it was my fault because “ I needed too much physical attention “. I internalized that and started to feel as if something was wrong with me for wanting to share my emotions by saying sweet things to him or wanting to show my affection in any kind of physical way. He’d tell me it was better if we didn’t have physical relations too often because it would make him need to seek it from other people. I also tried expressing my emotions in other ways but I was to be punished for that as well.
While at first he was eager to show me as much emotion as possible and made me feel that it was safe to show those same emotions in return, it was becoming a case of he only showed those emotions on his own terms. When he chose to show them I had to receive them…otherwise he’d be offended. If I tried to show emotion back and for whatever reason he did not want to receive them I was demonized and made to feel like I was pushing him too hard. This could even be over something as simple as saying I miss you. It was never okay when I said it and he’d make me feel like I was a bad person for saying it. But when he would choose to say it, it’s like I better show enthusiasm otherwise he’d find other ways to punish me emotionally.
All too often Matija would suggest that I leave him. Other times he would ask what happens “ when I get tired of his shit the way his ex did and I leave him too “? Sometimes it almost seemed as if he wanted me to go. Then for any given reason if he thought that I might leave he would panic. He’d panic if he suspected I was upset with him. If I was quiet in the car for too long in his mind it was a sign that I was angry, when really I might be debating in my head if I wanted Mexican or Japanese food for dinner. Whenever I would question Mat, asking why did he always have a guilty conscious, he would never answer the question but instead turn it around and say that it was my fault for being there and putting up with him.
Not being a mind reader was also a problem. If Matija felt that I did not interpret his thoughts the right way I was subject to harsh ridicule and childish forms of resentment. On one occasion Mat texted saying he was going to take a break from work and go walk his dog.  I decided to take the time to go visit a friend. A few hours later and I got a bitter phone call from him asking why I wasn’t with him?  I tried to explain that all he said was he was going to take a break and go for a walk, he never once asked me to be there. But it was no use. He, for some reason felt that I should have understood that he wanted me there and since I didn’t, he punished me by giving me the cold shoulder.  Another time he told me he was going to spend time with his child and that they would be at the pool until about 5oclock that day. By time 5:30 came I once again received a harsh phone call from him telling me that his child had been picked up by his ex-wife and he was upset with me for not being there as he was planning for us to have dinner around that time. I was cities away at my friends graduation party. I tried explaining to him that he never told me he was planning on having me join him for dinner that night. All he did was say that he was going to be with his child at the pool until 5 pm. I told him I’d come see him later that night after the party but that I would need him to come down and open the gate to his apartment complex when I got there. He was so angry with me he told me that he would not come open the gate for me and that I should find my own way in. He then acted as if he was too agitated to talk to me and hung up the phone. I tried calling him back and texting but for hours he wouldn’t respond. Later that night when I saw him I tried talking to him about his behavior. He just laughed and said, “ well sometimes I get a little crazy”.
One of the worst situations had to be when Mat’s condo was foreclosed on. He begged me to use my day off to go apartment shopping with him. I told him I would go along but that I had to leave by 4oclock for a medical related appointment I had made months prior. The whole time he was displeased with everything I did. While in leasing offices with him I would sit quietly and listen to whatever was being said by the brokers. He blamed me for making him upset, saying that I was being too serious and that must have meant I was angry with him. I assured him everything was fine and that I was only being quiet so that I could pay attention to everything. He kept insisting it was because I didn’t really want to be with him. Then he told me he felt uncomfortable that I was there with him because he was worried that people might think that we were looking for an apartment to share. I told him it didn’t matter what people thought and that I was only there to help him. Later on he forgot I had to go at 4 and when I reminded him he became very bitter and distant saying “I was making excuses not to be there” with him and that I must have been trying to leave because I was angry with him for smoking THC (marijuana extract) which he had in his rolled cigarettes. I tried telling him I didn’t know he had put THC in his cigarettes so I couldn’t possibly be mad about something that I didn’t even know about. Mat pouted like a small child, treated me with a cold distance and acted as if he didn’t want to see me anymore that day even after I told him I’d come see him later on. That same night I received a call from him asking me to come be with him.  
All too often Matija would blow anything I said out of proportion. Sometimes I’d playfully tease him about something and he would take it as if I was accusing him of something or trying to make him feel bad about something. If I would joke with him about something funny he did, Mat would become extremely sensitive and guarded saying I was “ making him sound crazy”. Once we were driving home from the grocery store and Mat told me his best friend Greg was coming over for a visit. I told him I would go for a while and give him some time to hangout with Greg. This was alarming to him and he demanded to know why I would leave just because Greg was coming over. I told him to calm down and that I was only going to leave for a little while because I felt like he and I were together all the time and that it might be nice for he and Greg to have some “guy time”. “ Guy time” he exclaimed! “ What do you mean by guy time”? “What do you think we’re gonna do, hold each others dicks or something”? I was so startled and confused by his outburst and accusations. Somehow my attempt to make what I viewed as a considerate gesture was perceived by Mat as a gay slur against him and an attempt to abandon him. I begin to wonder if Mat was projecting his deepest fears and or insecurities about himself onto me and onto others around him. Maybe that’s why he always feels people are accusing him of things he hasn’t done and he worries so much that people are thinking negative things about him, because deep down he may have been thinking them himself.
I couldn’t say or do anything right. If I was there it bothered him, if I wasn’t there it bothered him, if I showed emotions it bothered him and if I didn’t show enough emotion it bothered him. In Mat’s mind if I sneezed it meant I was planning on leaving him. To top off all the madness I was still receiving late night phone calls from him enthusiastically telling me that he felt “I was an angel sent to save him”.

For some reason Matija insisted more and more that I would be like his ex-wife and leave him, so I became more and more determined prove to him that I wouldn’t.

                                        Chapter Five - 
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner ( The cousin he never wanted to come)  

About a month before his arrival Matija told me he had invited his cousin (named Milan) from Croatia to come and live with him for 6 months. He said that the move would help his cousin and would also be helpful to him, as it would keep him off of drugs and Milan could help him run the company  ( Commercial Glazing Concepts) and get things organized . There was even talk of finding someone for his cousin to marry so that he could legally stay in the country. At first he seemed eager for his cousin to come but as time went on, once again, he seemed like he was unsure about it all. He seemed to become upset with the idea of his cousins arrival. He’d frequently say to me “ shit, why did I invite him here? He's lazy and I don't even know what his work ethic is like”, “ I can’t believe he’s really coming, this is a mess, what was I thinking? ”, “ I hope he gets a girlfriend so he’s not bothering me all the time”. I asked him why did he even invite his cousin to come if he was dreading his arrival that much? He basically implied that he didn’t know but that he never thought his cousin would actually be able to get all the papers he needed to come over and now that he was coming he didn’t know how to handle it. Matija told me his cousin didn't do drugs but did however love to drink. I was confused as to how a party animal cousin who loves to drink and had little (if any) experience in the glazing industry was going to help Matija sober up or run his company, but I trusted that Matija knew what he was doing ( I would later find out that during Milan's 6 month stay,  Matija and his cousin flooded the property of a man they were doing business with because apparently the man didn't pay Matija when he wanted to be paid).  Mat would however, promise me on multiple occasions that his cousin moving in would not change anything between us.

         Chapter Six-The Argument and Strange Behavior

The day before Matija’s cousin came to America Mat and I worked together to prepare the apartment for Milan’s arrival. While sitting on the couch I tried to share what I thought would be a sweet moment with Matija by telling him I broke a rule that I wasn’t supposed to. Mat worried that I had given my phone number to someone else but I assured him that wasn’t the case. I told him I broke a personal promise that I had made to myself. I explained that I really liked and cared for him and I promised myself before he came along that I would never allow myself to be in that position but I didn’t mind breaking that promise for him because I felt he was special. To my surprise this sparked what is to date the most hostile conversation I have ever had with anyone.  He lashed out at me, yelling, telling me that I need to start putting up my emotional wall because he didn’t want to hear that, telling me he was going to hurt me and that he had a child to feed and didn’t care about how I felt. He told me he didn’t have a shelf for anyone to be in his life and that the only reason I cared for him was because I was young and that when I got older I would see that it’s not important to care for anyone. He told me it was only okay for me to tell people we were together so long as he wasn’t around to hear me say it.  Matija went on to tell me he didn’t know how he was going to withstand having me and his cousin around. “ I don’t know what I’m going to do with him he yelled. I don’t know what I’m going to do with him and I don’t know what I’m going to do with you. No, I can handle him…It’s you, you’re the problem”! I asked him why did he feel that we were a problem and why did he feel the need to choose between us. Mat never answered the question just went on a rant about moving an island away from everybody.  He then asked me if I could change anything about him what would I change? But then didn’t even let me answer the question, he just screamed at me telling he wasn’t going to change for me or for anybody else. I had no clue what he was even talking about. He told me he felt obligated to have me with him. I asked him why he felt that way when he was the one who would call, begging me to be with him all the time? I asked him if he felt like having me around was a mistake, to which he replied “maybe”. I asked him why did he even ask for my number that day and why would he keep me with him for months if he didn’t want to know me? He looked at me angrily and scowled “ Because I get what I want”! I wanted to be angry, I wanted to yell back but wasn’t sure how to, I wasn’t even sure what he was angry about. He went on yelling, telling me he’s had this problem his whole life where people get too attached to him. “You’re just as bad as Greg” he would yell, “Greg is always around”! “You don’t want Greg around” I asked? “No”, he yelled back, “never mind, I shouldn’t be talking out loud”. I then became quiet and unsure of what to say. He got even angrier with me, telling me I was causing drama like his ex-wife and that he wanted me to act more like myself. “ Great, now you’re shutting me out” he yelled. I didn’t know what to do. He continued on his rant. “ I should just tell you to go” he screamed, “I can’t talk to you when you’re not responding to me”.Then to my surprise he pulled his penis out of his pants, told me he was tired of talking about the subject and I should just give him a blow job. I ignored his disturbing attempt to change the subject. “You won’t even look at me and it’s making me feel like everything we had is gone” he continued.  Then he started telling me “I was negative because I didn't want to be pregnant and he needed to be around more positive people”. I was so hurt and confused. All this was coming from a man who just told me he felt obligated to have me in his life, then 2 seconds later told me he feared all we had was gone.  The next day he called me at work, he sounded a little paranoid and told me he wanted me to still come with him to pick up his cousin that night from the airport. He told me he wanted everything to be the same between us and that he “ wanted me to want to be with him”. I promised that I truly did want to be with him. I told myself that the argument that happened the night before was a result of him feeling stressed and that I should let it go.

That night on the way to the San Francisco airport to pick up his cousin, Matija whimpered the whole way there. He seemed more depressed than ever that he had invited his cousin to come and was wishing he had away out of dealing with Milan. I promised him all would be fine once his cousin got settled in. The minute we got to the airport and united with his cousin Matija’s behavior became even stranger. In less than one second he went from being extremely depressed to putting on what appeared to be a happy front. He was smitten with his cousin and giggled like a schoolgirl at everything his cousin did. I found it to be very odd behavior seeing as how Matija more times than not had a sterner disposition and giggling is something he never did. Nonetheless his cousin seemed sweet enough and Matija treated me no different so I didn’t allow it to alarm me too much.
The next day I barely heard from Mat but paid it no mind. I knew he was trying to get his cousin settled so figured I should just be patient. That evening when I was on my way to my second job he called to tell me he and his cousin were going out clubbing that night in San Francisco at a place called Ruby Skye and might not be home till late. I told him that was fine just go and have a good time. I took the rare occurrence of free time to go out with my friends that night (something I hadn’t done as much since Mat came along). The next day, morning came and went and I hadn’t heard a peep from Matija. This surprised me, he had never missed texting me good morning since the day he started texting me (not even if he was high). By time afternoon rolled around I texted him just to say “Hi”. After he responded I told him I needed to come over and get a few things from his house such as my asthma medication. He told me that was fine.  Once I got there everything seemed fine at first. I gave his cousin a hug and went to the bedroom to collect some of my stuff. Mat came into the room a few minutes later to see what I was up to. He starred at me collecting my things. “ So you’re moving out, “ he said. “ No no , I’m not moving out” I responded (not that I was ever living there). I just need to get some of my stuff I told him. “Well just leave the stuff you don’t need right away and take the stuff that you do need right now”. I agreed that was a good idea. He continued to stare at me for a while, then out of nowhere his temper and emotions flared.  “ You’re mad” he cried out, “you’re mad that I went out with my cousin last night”. “No I’m not” I responded. “Just because I’m getting some of my things doesn’t mean that I’m mad”. “I just don’t know if you’re going to be out late again and so I need to make sure I have some of the important stuff I need like my asthma meds and night retainer”. “ Whatever” Matija screamed back, “I don’t care what you do, I don’t care if you’re here or not, “if you’re gone I won’t even miss you”. I couldn’t believe what he just said and I told him to stop saying mean things to me. “Yeah well, maybe I’d miss you for 3 days but after that I won’t miss you at all, I don’t care”! " Look, last night I was out without you and I felt bad, I felt bad that I was out without you. “I don’t even care if my cousin is here” he screamed! Then he went on some tangent about how he was tired of having to go places with his cousin. He then started running into his cousins room histerically laughing about how the hookers out side of the club were charging $1000  dollars per person. I told him to calm down. I promised him I wasn’t mad and that I just needed to get some stuff from his house that’s all. But he continued to yell, frantically telling me about how he felt bad that he went out without me the night before and that he didn’t want to feel bad. I couldn’t understand why he felt bad. I told him there was nothing wrong with him going out to spend time with his cousin and friends. I also reminded him that the last time I offered him space to be with his friends he got angry and thought I was trying to leave him. Now that he had gone out he was angry and still thought I was trying to leave him. I told him this was not rational and to calm down because he was thinking too much. “I don’t want to have to think” he screamed back!  This was worse than the fight before, I couldn’t even get him to listen. He started speed walking around the room and then started singing a song. “I wanna be a baller, I wanna be a shot caller”, (A song by Rap artist Lil Troy) he sang out loudly over me as I tried to talk. I begged him to sit down so we could talk, I begged him to stop acting like he was 5 years old so we could be adult about this and find out what was really bothering him. He yelled at me telling me “he didn’t want a girlfriend” and that “I needed to go think about if I could handle him the way that he is”. His energy was very farral and much more agitated than usual. I told him regardless of what happens we at least need to talk this over. But then he started speed walking around the room again. It was horrible; it was like trying to control a 6foot tall hyper active 3 year old. I couldn’t even reason with him like an adult. Every time I tried to say something he just kept saying, “I need to go, I need to go my cousin is hungry”. There was plenty of food in the refrigerator, so why he was treating it as if it was more important than our situation I don’t know. I was so outdone by the all that was happening I stood with my back up against a wall. I guess my face appeared to be sad but in reality it was the look of shock. Matija came over to where I was standing with my back against the wall. He placed his hands on my shoulders and leaned down so that his face was directly in front mine. He creased up his bottom lip and made in quiver. “ Aw, what are u gonna cry now” he taunted in a high pitched voice?“ Why are you gonna cry, why are u sad because you love me, huh is that it, you’re sad because you love me”? His eyes were filled with nothing but pure meanness. It’s like we were kids on a playground and he was the big bully that went around trying to terrorize all the smaller kids just because he felt like it.  Then he began making sniffing and whining noises imitating someone who was crying.  “I never said anything about loving you” I tried to argue back. “Don’t cry” he snapped; “don’t cry”! The look on his face went from that of a person falsely crying to look of a harsh abusive man. “I should tell you to go” he continued to yell, “you’re too attached me”. “Why does everyone have to be so attached to me” he whined as the laid down on the bed and buried his face in a pillow? “Never mind, you can stay but I’m going to draw up contracts” he said cockily. “Contracts” I asked? “Yeah there will be contracts between us” he barked but he never specified what the contracts would entail. “ Why are you being such a jerk” I cried out? “ “Because I am a jerk” he answered. “I’m an asshole; I’m crazy like my mother. Maybe if I were more like my father things would be different”. “You should just go” he started yelling again, “I don’t care if you’re here”.  He stood back up and held me close, he began giving me kisses after every other word he said to me. "Why does everyone fall in love with me" he whined? “If you want me to go then why are you kissing me” I asked? He jumped back from me as if he didn’t even realize what he was doing. “I’m leaving now my cousin needs food”. I sat down at the edge of his bed. I felt too catatonic to move. “If you’re going to stay” he snapped “make sure u only lock the bottom lock to the door and not the top lock when you leave, other wise you will lock me out of the house”. “I don’t care if you go, and take what you want, just make sure to leave your hair moose, I’m out of moose so I’m going to need it”. He headed for the door bedroom door, looked back at me one last time and said “ you see what I’m like don’t you, you see what I’m like but it’s not my fault cause I told you I’m crazy”. Then together he and his cousin walked out of the front door laughing and talking as if nothing had ever happened.
I sat there a while longer at the edge of the bed. I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to feel and what I was supposed to think. I wanted to cry but I was too stunned for any tears to come out.  I wanted to trash his house but didn’t have the energy. I wanted to get him back but couldn’t think of anything to do. All I could do was sit there trembling and reflect on what just happened. The scariest thing was, at that moment and even to this day I don’t know what triggered that fight. All I know is, I was there getting my asthma medications and night retainer, he took it as a sign of me abandoning him and went ballistic. It wasn’t just the argument that stunned me, it was how ignorant and childish his behavior was. This man who was many years older than me couldn’t even argue like an adult. I was trying to reason out how going to get his cousin food and hair moose had suddenly become more important in his head than working things out with a girl (that up until the day his cousin got here) he usually would panic without. I wondered how could he say such hurtful things. I started to think of his ex- wife and wondered if she left him because he acted crazy toward her the same way he had just done toward me. 
I collected just enough strength to stand up from the bed. I deleted all of his pictures and his phone number from my phone. I packed all of my belongings making sure to leave no trace of me having been there. I did however leave my hair moose. I figured if the moose was more important to him than me then he should keep it. I said goodbye to his dog and left.
About an hour later I start receiving text messages from him. But the odd thing was he never once bothered to call or even text me using words. All of his text had emoticons on them, happy faces, sad faces and the like. A little later he texted me a picture of Oreos (my favorite cookie) sitting on the bed in the exact same spot that he last saw me when he left.  I was too hurt to reply. I ignored his text for the next few days and still none of his messages contained any words. Eventually that Monday I made up in my mind that I should go try and work things out with him. I convinced myself that maybe he acted that way because of all the stress that came as a result of his cousin coming and maybe he just needed some time to relax.
I asked him to meet me somewhere so that we could talk but he claimed he’d had too much to drink and couldn’t drive to meet me. So once again I would have to go to him. When I went to see him I decided in my mind to let by gone’s be by gone’s. I wasn’t going to show anger toward him or tell him off. I felt that maybe if I went with the intent to listen and understand, that he wouldn’t feel so stressed out and we could finally discuss things rationally. Although calmer, the conversation really was not a break through at all. Matija started the conversation by telling me he and his cousin had plans to go to Danville soon (so basically he was not willing to give me the time I deserved), then brashly asked me what I wanted from him. He told me he didn’t know what his cousin was going to do while he was here and so he didn’t know what he was going to do. I couldn’t figure out why his decisions about us had to be based on what his cousin was going to do but for some reason that seemed to be the case. He was still combating every question I asked with “I don’t know” or “I don’t care”. He told me that I wasn’t listening to him and that I was with him too much. When I asked why, if he felt that way did he call me every single day asking me to be with him? He didn’t answer. I asked him why did he text me a picture of Oreo's instead of just talking to me like a normal person. He starred at me and said…" the Oreo's were for you. I thought you were gonna be there when I got back". I couldn't even begin to figure out how or why this would make sense seeing as how he told me to go.  He then told me “part of the problem was because I was there so much it started to remind him of when his ex wife was there all the time and how she kept him in a cage”. I explained to him that I never tried to keep him in a cage and that every time I would suggest he go out and do something he’d tell me it was just better if he stayed in with me so that he didn’t go use drugs or get into any other kinds of legal trouble. He went on about how my being in his life kept him from getting work done and how he couldn’t get enough sleep with me in his life. It was my fault that he couldn’t get his child to school on time. I tried to remind him that he was not getting her to school on time long before he met me and that I had been the one for the last few months calling to wake him up to make sure he did get her there on time. But according to him I was causing him to be even later. It didn’t seem as if he truly wanted to work things out or give them closure. He went on to say that I was too invested in our relationship and that I would get hurt in all of this. However, he would consistently remind me that he couldn’t get hurt, so I would be suffering alone.  He reminded me that he was incapable of missing me and so all the feelings in our situation were one sided. Matija then blamed the entire existence of our relationship on me, denying he had ever asked me out on a date in the first place. When I showed him a text from months prior when he first asked me he tried turning the situation against again and said “ well you were still the first person to make up nic -names, so it’s still your fault”.  Somehow in his mind I had become the bad guy. I had gone from the person he needed most, to the person that was most in his way. What inspired this change, I will never know? For some reason after telling me all of this he went on another one of his mindless rants. This time it was about a guy at some bar that was “trying to fight him” the night before and how it seemed “that everybody wants to fight him”.  In Matija’s mind, it was he against the world.                                                                                                 After our talk, it seemed as if we had worked things out at least a little bit. But then he asked me not to stay late telling me he and his cousin needed to go to bed early so they could be rested for work the next day. By time the next day rolled around I made up in my mind that things just weren’t meant to work out between us. But then Matija started texting me out of the clear blue, just making small talk. I responded thinking maybe he was trying to work things out in his own way. At one point after a sweet conversation I texted him a picture of a heart. He texted me back telling me it was a trap. Confused by his reaction the next day I tried the same thing just to see what his response would be. He texted me back saying, “ I’m sorry but there is no love in my heart, I’m heartless”. We tried talking about it on the phone but he still wasn’t making any sense.  He then asked me"even if we don't talk anymore can I still get laid"? I was baffled by how rude and selfish the question was. I told him " no, from now on he'd have to pay someone for the service". "Oh, I see how it is" he responded nonchalantly" . I really had, had enough of his antics at this point and decided to leave it be.
Matija still continued to text me day after day. He and I had made plans for the 4th of July long before his cousin came. But since things were now so awkward between us I decided not to mention it. I didn’t hear from him at all that day so a few friends and myself went to Reno. At 1:25 in the morning I get a text from him saying "Happy 5th of July". I couldn’t tell if he was trying to be rude or funny. He asked me did I go to Berkeley to see the fireworks from the marina (which is what we had planned to do together). I told him no and that I went to Reno instead. He pouted and asked why was he not invited a long? A day later he would text me a love song.  I made fun of the song (out of frustration) but this seemed to upset him. He texted me for a couple more days and then all communication stopped completely. But the strange thing is I never stopped seeing him.

                    Chapter Seven  - The Odd Drive By’s 
Matija continued to drive past my work in Pleasanton every single day. He didn’t text, didn’t call, didn’t wave as he drove past, nothing, but it seemed as if he was determined to make himself seen on a daily basis. I tried to make excuses for these appearances. I would tell myself he was only driving by because his parents just lived a little ways up the road from where I worked. But knowing this didn’t make the experience of him driving by any less odd. Just because his parents lived close by did not mean that he needed to pass my store on daily basis. He never used to drive past the store than frequently…and when he did he would at least acknowledge me.  There were many other ways to get to his parents house where he could avoid passing by. For the life of me I could not figure out how you go from talking to a person every single day to driving past their work pretending that you don’t know they exist and for seemingly no reason. From time to time I'd also see him drive past my house. This made the situation even more stressful.
                                 Chapter Eight
Who Needs a Girlfriend when You’ve Got Your Cousin

One of the oddest things about this whole situation was the way Matija seemed to so easily replace me when his cousin arrived. It didn’t even take a full 24 hours after his cousin’s arrival for him to disown me and latch onto his cousin. I couldn’t explain it. He and his cousin began doing many of the same things we did together and going many of the same places. It made no sense and I had never heard of a man replacing a girl he had gotten close to with a male cousin. Some of my friends and people that knew of my situation started to suggest that maybe Matija was secretly gay. They explained to me that this theory would help to make sense of his high level of homophobia and his willingness to push me out of his life once his cousin came. "It would also explain why he used so many drugs while married" another friend of mine pointed out to me. “There is something about himself that he can’t deal with and he can’t really handle being with women". "It would also explain why he avoided sexual contact so often". I wasn’t sure if this was true or not but so many of my friends and people who knew about he and I were coming up with this same theory. I was starting to believe it myself. I would however try to explain to people that Matija has dealt with prostitutes before and regularly goes to strip clubs and goes to massage parlors to receive genital stimulation (Happy Endings). But people…including gay men warned me that those were all the signs of a man trying to figure out his true sexual identity.

          Chapter Nine - A Twisted Game Called Mind Fuck
                     ( 6 months of Matija's Madness )   

Matija and sometimes his cousin together would continue to drive past my store on a regular basis. 25 days went by without hearing a word from him. Then at random he turned up at my store. He didn’t bother to apologize for anything he had done, didn’t bother to explain any of his strange behavior or why he hadn’t spoken to me in days. He just stood their starring at me with a twinkle in his eye as if he still cared. He told me he would come back soon to visit me but had to go as he was in a rush.

The days went past and Mat continued his daily drive by’s. A week since his visit to me had passed and I still heard nothing from him. At one point he and I came to a four way stop together in down town Pleasanton. I am certain he saw me but continued to drive right past without so much as a wave. A couple days later I saw his work truck sitting at a stop light by my store while I was outside cleaning. The light turned green and he drove right past as if he knew nothing of my existence. This type of behavior continued on for 5 weeks.
Finally I decided to text him. I figured maybe it was safe to try and reach out to him again. This time it wasn’t about being together and fixing our relationship. I just wanted to understand why he would drive past me everyday ignoring me, come by to visit me one day and then continue driving past me like we were strangers. When I texted him he responded right away and seemed thrilled to hear from me telling me “to come out side and wave he was driving past my store”. Then the conversation took a strange turn. He told me his cousin said hello and ended the conversation by saying have a nice day…keep in touch. Later, I texted him to find out what “ keep in touch” means. His response was as obscure as they come. He texted me back something that sounded like he got it from a self help book. It read, “ People come into each others lives for a reason. It may or may not necessarily be that the relationship is going to end up the way that it began but in time we will come to realize why we know each other”. “I know I ended up being somewhat cold to you and I possibly took advantage of your feelings but I always tried to be honest”. Now, more confused than ever I asked him to call me to try and figure things out. He called and the oddest part was once he did it’s like nothing ever happened. We were laughing and talking just as we always had. I asked him why he was driving by everyday and why he didn’t come back when he said he would. Everything he said was very calm and convincing. “It’s just the way it happened” he said. “The day I came by my cousin wasn’t with me and all the other times my cousin is with me so I can’t stop by”. He went on to explain that he drives past everyday because he has to drop off or pick up his kid from his parents house. “I’m not an asshole” he protested (even though I hadn’t called him one) and continued to insist that I stay in touch with him. Matija then went on bragging about he and his cousin had flooded a customers home property and stole watermelon from the man's backyard when he felt he didn't receive payment fast enough. 
After hanging up at the end of the phone call, it dawned on me just what little sense any of the conversation made. So for some odd reason he couldn’t come by because of his cousin and he drove past everyday because of his child “, which when I thought about it made no sense because his kid had been in Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe all that time”. Nothing was adding up and I don’t think Matija wanted it to. The day after our talk I no longer saw Matija drive by. I decided to no longer contact him as I didn’t want to put  effort into being friends with someone who wasn’t willing to try at all.
A month went by before I heard anything from Mat. One day out of nowhere I got a text from him telling me he had seen my manager. I guess that was his way of telling me he came by my work. I decided for the first time not to respond to him. After 2 days of not hearing from me, all of a sudden he began driving past my store again. I replied to his text and it seemed as if he was egging the conversation on for a few days. I chose to ignore him and changed my number, yet he continued to drive by. I couldn’t figure out why he would come by my job on a day when I clearly wasn’t there because my vehicle was not parked out front. But then drive past my store everyday, see that I’m there but not come in.
A few days later he did stop in without warning. Now 36 years old, he made small talk and gave me a hug before he left. He continued to drive by everyday and then stopped in again on Thanksgiving. I tried to treat him as nothing more than a customer. He told me he’d be spending the day at his parent’s house. Before he left he arrogantly told me to cheer up (in regards to the sad look on my face) and then left.  Although he told me he was spending the day at his parents house he and his cousin continued to drive past my store every hour or so. It was like they were out just driving in circles. When my shift at the store ended, he and his cousin ‘just so happened’ to drive right past as I was leaving. As I was driving home I saw he and his cousin waiting right at the Hopyard freeway exit, an exit I drive past to get home everyday. Their truck turned behind me and followed me down the street. They pulled over into a turning lane, which was to the right side of me. I didn’t look over and pretended not to see them.  I’m certain I was being followed, as I couldn’t believe that was just a random coincidence.
I hated the whole situation. It was running and ruining my life. I decided to call Matija and see if he and I could sit down together and talk about all that had gone on. At this point I just wanted answers. I had never encountered such strange behavior and people were starting to worry about my safety. I finally did muster up the courage to call him. He seemed suspicious of my phone call and asked why did I want to talk to him? He asked is if there was “anything he needed to prep for”? To my surprise he did agree to meet me when he returned for his trip to Los Angeles with his cousin…(a trip I had once asked him to take with me). He and I agreed to meet at a pizza place in down town Pleasanton after my work ended at 2pm.

                                           Chapter Ten 
                                   A Discussion with Judas
                {I don’t care about anyone…not even my family} 

Once again Matija proved that he was unwilling to give me the time I deserved when instead of meeting me at the pizza place like we planned he pulled up to my work an hour early telling me he had plans in San Jose and couldn’t stick around to deal with me that day. In a rush he asked me very brisk and coldly so what did you want to talk about? Without much time to ease into the conversation as I had planned, I blurted out, “I just wanted to know why you did what you did to me”? “I want to know why you went crazy on me when your cousin came and why you’ve been acting weird because this whole thing has been pretty upsetting and strange for me”. With no hesitation he said, “you want the truth”? “Of course” I answered.

Matija- Ok, I screwed you over.
Me (Jay)- What do you mean?
Matija- Yeah, I was just using you.
Me(Jay)- What do you mean you were just using me?
Matija- I was just using you.
Me(Jay)- For what ?
Matija- I don’t know, to feel better.

(I just stood there starring, unsure of how to react.)

Matija- It was a fucked up thing to do and I wouldn’t have liked it if someone did it to me but I did it to you because that’s just how I am.
Me (Jay)- Why me? I mean I wasn’t bothering you; I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend. You pushed your way into my life.
Matija- Yeah I know that. And I don’t know. Maybe it was your personality, I saw something in you. Look, I used you, just get that through your head. Let me guess, I fucked you up psychologically right?  Fuck …but that’s just how I am.
Me (Jay)- And you don’t care?
Matija- No, I don’t care.
Me (Jay)- Do you care about anybody?
Matija –Nope. It’s how I am. I hurt everybody. It’s always been that way, ever since I was a kid.
Me (Jay) – Don’t you want to fix that? I mean do you really want to go through life hurting people like that?
Matija- My ex-wife already tried to fix it. She took me to a shrink and they were going to put me on pills.
Me (Jay)- What did they diagnose you with?
Matija- I don’t know, I didn’t stick around long enough to find out. We went twice and by the end I confused the shrink. And I’m not gonna take those pills and all that shit doctors give people. I can just self medicate. It’s why I use the drugs; they are the only thing that help.
Me (Jay)- I have a theory. Are you gay? Cause the way you ran from me and the way you could never seem to settle down with you ex-wife made me think that you might have a hard time being with women. Or maybe you’re bisexual?
Matija- No, I’m not gay…I don’t think so. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll take those pills my ex-wife wanted me to take and then I’ll fuck a guy. But whatever, tell yourself whatever make you feel better.
Me (Jay)- This is not about telling myself something to make myself feel better. I just want some truth from all of this.
Matija- Well the truth is that I used you. You’re going to be devastated but I used you until I didn’t need you anymore and then I got rid of you. But you should feel better knowing that you made me feel better. I can't believe you think I'm bisexual (nervous chuckle).
Me (Jay)- I really should have hurt you back for what you did to me.
Matija- Yeah, okay, do whatever you want to me but just keep in mind I have a kid and if you do something to me it will hurt her. Anyways, I have to go, I’m supposed to be in San Jose.
Me (Jay)- I don’t care, you owe this to me. I want to solve this before the New Year comes in. I mean do you care about anybody?
Matija- No, I told you I don’t care about anybody.
Me (Jay)- How can you be like that? I mean what the heck?
Matija- I don’t know. I’ve always been like that, ever since I was a kid. I get a pet, I get bored with it, I get another pet, I get bored with it and so on.
Me (Jay)- Um, that’s really sick and sad.
Matija- Yeah well it’s how I am. I think it’s because of everything that my ex-wife did to me. I can’t believe she cut up my green card and then she turned her back on me. I went numb after that. Plus everything else I’ve been through. I never wanted to come to this country. My family made me come here in 8th grade and they knew I didn’t want to be here. I can’t fit in with Americans. You know my father almost moved us to New Zealand instead. Maybe I would have turned out better if we had moved there. Then I wouldn’t have been stuck in America.
Me (Jay)- That’s it? Because you were forced to move here when you were a child and because of a divorce you think you have the right to go around and hurt people when you feel like it?
Matija- I guess. Everyone else who moved here when they were young turned out normal and I didn’t. I know one day I will pay for all the bad things I do. But I don’t care. I file it away in the back of my head and don’t think about it. I’m self-destructive, you have to understand that.
Me (Jay)- Do you at least care about your friends?
Matija- I don’t have any friends.
Me (Jay)- Yeah you do, you talk about them all the time. What about Greg? He’s like your best bud.
Matija- I don’t even talk to Greg anymore. Something personal got in the way of work and now we don’t talk.
Me (Jay)- But he’s been your best friend since like high school and he always comes to your house to play video games.
Matija- Yeah I know.
Me(Jay) – And you don’t care if you fix things with him?
Matija- No, I don’t care about Greg.
Me (Jay)- Don’t memories mean anything to you?
Matija- They would to a normal person, but I’m not normal so no they don’t.
Me (Jay)- I thought what you did to me was bad. But treating Greg like this is even worse. I mean you guys have known each other for so long. So nobody at all matters to you then?
Matija- Well, I have a mother, a father, a brother, and a sister, I care about them…because that’s the way it works.
Me (Jay)- That’s the way it works? It sounds like you feel obligated to care about your family.
Matija- Yeah well, maybe I do. I’m fucked up like that.
Me (Jay)- Why did you get mad at me like that all of a sudden? I mean if you didn’t want me there you could have just told me you needed a little space. You didn’t have to act like that.
Matija- I was never mad at you, I just sick of people. And maybe I act like that because that’s how my mother is. She hurts people and doesn’t care. But whatever, I was using you remember. And whatever happened between us just get over it. I feel like you want something from me.
Me (Jay) – What do you think I want?
Matija- I don’t know, a romantic relationship or something.
Me (Jay)- That’s not what I’m after here. I just wanted to make peace with this and try to figure out what to do with you. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care about you still. I just can’t figure out what we are. Are we friends, are we not talking anymore? How does this work? I just think it’s sad that two people could be so close and for no reason at all just stop talking.
Matija- I don’t care what we are or what happens to us. It’s up to you. You know how I feel, I don’t care.
Me (Jay)- I am sick of you saying you don’t care. How can you be so heartless like that? Everybody needs friends. I mean when people hug you don’t you feel anything at all?
Matija- Feel what? (blank stare)
Me (Jay)- I didn’t want to believe this because I always thought you had some good in you, but now I’m not sure.
Matija- I am good but I’m drawn to the dark side too. I’m like half evil or something. It’s duel, I have split personalities or something.
Me (Jay)- Are you at least sober now?
Matija- Yeah, I have to be. I’m 100 percent sober.
Me (Jay)-That’s good.
Matija- Wait, I lied to you. I did do some cocaine not long ago.
Me (Jay)- So then you’re not really sober. Does your cousin know now?
Matija- Nope, he doesn’t know. I’m that good at hiding it.
Me (Jay)- Are you bipolar or something?
Matija- Maybe, who knows? I don’t know. I’m just trying to take care of my kid so I can go self-destruct later.
Me (Jay)- Do you even care about yourself?
Matija- No, I don’t care about myself. I would have died by now but I’m stuck with people counting on me. 
Me (Jay)- Why didn’t you at least apologize to me about everything when you would come by the store?
Matija- Yeah, I never told you I’m sorry. I’ll say it now even though it’s too late. But here’s the thing. I should have been a lesson to you and it should make you stronger. And like I said, at least you made me feel better. If nothing else, that should make you feel good about this.
Me (Jay)- Yeah well, people aren’t drugs you know. They aren’t there just to make you feel better and then when you’re done with them you throw them away. That’s not how life works. It sounds like you just use everybody.
Matija- Yeah I do.
Me (Jay)- That’s horrible. You have no concern for others; you have no sense of personal responsibility!
(At this point Matija’ s face broke into a sly smile.)
Matija- Go on, insult me. There’s no insult you can give me that I haven’t already heard.
Me (Jay)- Look whatever. Just tell me one thing. Why did you start texting me again a while back?
Matija- When did I text you?
Me (Jay) Um…you started texting me a while ago before I changed my number.
Matija- Who knows why I do what I do. Just forget about it and don’t try and make sense of anything. But I’m in a hurry so I have to go. I hope this talk made you feel better.
Me (Jay)- You do realize your behavior is strange even for somebody on drugs right?
Matija-Yeah well, I’m one for the books.

It was safe to say that this was the strangest conversation I’d ever had. It was going nowhere and Matija truly didn’t seem to care. Even though he offered me an apology, it was the most empty hearted sorry I had ever received. There was not a speck of remorse in his demeanor anywhere. Speechless and outdone there was nothing more for me to say. I tried everything that I could and still I could not make one human connection with this man regardless of any efforts that I made. Oddly enough we hugged and he drove off. Stupid as it sounds I sent him a text shortly after thanking him for coming by. Nothing made sense and it seemed the more I talked to him the more confusing things got.
I walked around for days after replaying everything in my head. Trying to figure out how someone could so randomly go from hot to cold the way Mat did without warning. How could someone cut off their best friend and not care, how could someone feel obligated to care about their own family, how could a person deliberately hurt someone the way that he did and then feel that hiding behind a small child for cover was a respectable way to save himself from the consequences of all that he’s done, and how could someone just look another person in the face that they seemed to care about and just blatantly say “ I used you until I didn’t need you anymore and then I got rid of you”? 
What's worse is the way he seemed to blame his strange behavior on everything and everyone else. It was his ex- wife's fault for leaving him, It was his sisters fault for loving the Jonas Brothers, it was his mother's fault for being crazy, it was his father's fault for not moving him to New Zealand, It was America's fault for being filled with idiots. It was everyone's fault except his own. It lead me to wonder who raised this person? What kind of family could produce such a heartless being? I thought more about his ex-wife, I thought about how he had labeled her as cold hearted and controlling. Since I had known him he'd blamed her for all of his problems. I regretted  judging this woman. He blamed her for all of his issues and painted me as a hero there to save the day, only to later turn around and blame me the same way he had done her.
Although I didn’t allow Matija to see my true feelings, I was indeed devastated. What kind of person had I been dealing with? The only thing I knew for sure was that Matija Turkalj was the closest thing to a wolf in sheeps clothing that I had ever met. 


                                                                          PART TWO  
                                                   ( THE DAMAGE OF A SOCIOPATH)

                                   Unraveling of a Happy Person

       Sadly there are no words that can fully help me describe the amount of mental and emotional pain that Matija Turkalj put me through. The worst part is I wasn’t even sure what happened. There were no real issues in our relationship, there was no reason as to why we couldn’t get along, there was no issue that we disagreed on to a point of no reconciliation and apparently there was no loss of attraction on either side of the relationship. None of the usual things that would traditionally tear a standard couple apart actually occurred, Matija just seemed to look for strange excuses to sabotage the relationship. As far as I knew he just went mad one day and that was all there was to it. This mans cold behavior and inexplicable rapid personality changes left me in a catatonic state and inflicted more mental trauma upon me than law will allow. The pain was so overcoming that I started to physically feel the damage. It felt like we were two boxers in a ring and he brutally beat me unconscious. It felt like he took a bucket of acid and threw it all over my body. I felt like someone had peeled all the skin off my body and then poured salt all over my open flesh. I carried the pain with me everywhere. When I went to bed I couldn’t sleep because I kept reliving everything I had been through and the pain was very alive. On the rare occasion that I did sleep I dreamt of all the horrible things he put me through. When I would wake up I could barely move and I was angry with myself for still being alive. I was not suicidal but the idea of dying was extremely appealing to me. Everything hurt. Brushing my teeth hurt, my mind hurt, talking on the phone hurt, drinking water hurt, being awake was torture. I had never dealt with depression before and even the people around me who had experience with depression admittedly told me that my case of it was pretty bad and unstable. It got so bad I quit my beloved part time job at the restaurant without warning or explanation. I was once one of their most responsible and reliable workers and I quit without even so much as a good bye to a group of co-workers that loved me like family. It was a friend/ customer from the restaurant that went out of his way to find me just to make sure I was okay. He told me to at least contact everyone at the restaurant and let them know I was all right as they were all worried sick. I wanted to but couldn’t face anybody. The worst part is I never intended to quit, but I just couldn’t make myself call or show up.

            My job at the convenient store began to suffer too. Where I once loved being there I could not longer handle working there. I thought about quitting many times. Everything that I once loved about that job I now hated (I partly blamed the low status of the job for the reason Matija wouldn’t talk to me). Where dealing with so many customers on a day-to-day basis once fed my extroverted appetite for socializing, it was now an angering burden to bare. Having to deal with so many people made me feel Closter phobic. His cruel daily drive by’s past my station made the situation even worse and raised my anxiety levels. So many mornings I decided I would not go into work anymore to avoid the torture. The only thing that kept me there was the fact that it was the only job I had left and I needed the money. But even money was loosing its value to me.

                                                I’ll be Okay…I Think 
I made up in my mind that I would be strong. I had been heart broken before and survived it so surly I could make it through this…right? I tried to fake my way through the pain, as the old saying goes “fake it till you make it”. I faked being happy in front of customers, laughing and giggling acting as if I was happy to assist them, all while on the inside I was bleeding to death. My customers would compliment me on my wonderful customer service skills. They had no idea that I wanted to stab them for having the audacity to aggravate me at this unraveling point in my life. I would not show my friends I was suffering either. I refused to slow down in my social activities. I went to every get together, every luncheon, every party, every concert and every fundraiser that I was invited to. The way to get through this I told myself was not to go under but to keep striving. I boasted to my one friend who knew what I was going through that I would not stop living my life because of Mat, that I would not let him defeat me. “ Good, good” my friend would cheer in support of my determination. But as the Baby Face song goes “I pretend that I’m glad you went away, these four walls close in more everyday and I’m dying inside but nobody knows it but me”. I even went on a road trip with my friend that had been planned months in advance. You’d think that going cross-country and a change of scenery would be all the remedy I needed to bounce back from this ordeal. But if anything I was healing in reverse and the pain got worse. I had no clue what to do.

                                               No, I am NOT Okay 

My emotional demise was becoming more apparent when one day at work a slightly grouchy customer was attacked by me with great verbal hostility. Astonished by my own level of aggression and even more astonished at how much I enjoyed being that ruthless toward another human being I knew I wasn’t getting better and I was not by any means okay. I begin to shut down. I was so confused and broken over what was happening. I realized that the whole situation was exhausting me and I no longer had the strength or emotional resources to even pretend I was all right. I couldn’t fake a smile anymore; I couldn’t pretend I wanted to hangout with friends anymore, I didn’t even want to force myself to eat. To avoid sunlight and seeing Matija and his cousin drive by everyday I started sitting in the stores cold dark storage room away from everything and everyone where I could hurt alone. While in the darkness all day I tried to use the time to meditate on my feelings.  

                          I Can’t Talk About it, I Have to Protect Him 
I wanted to talk to someone, anyone, surly someone must have had answers, a helpful thought or opinion. But I couldn’t talk to anyone, not while I still had his best interest at heart. The Tri valley is a small place and I didn’t want to make the mistake of talking to someone who knew him, his family, or of his company. I still cared about him and couldn’t stand the thought of making him look bad. He had so trusted me with things about himself that he didn’t want to tell anyone else. Although I was the one suffering, maintaining his trust remained very important to me. I was certain there had to be a reason for why he treated me the way he did, for some reason I still believed he was a good person. Talking about it with others was also difficult because I was worried about how it would reflect on me. How would people see me as a person if they knew I had been involved with a drug user? I feared of distorting anyone’s image of me.

                                        Even Faith was Failing Me 
I had always believed in God and was raised to believe that through talking to him all problems could be solved. I begin praying every night and everyday. I prayed that God would take the hurt out of my heart and out of my mind, I prayed that this situation would not break my confidence or take away my joy, I prayed for Matija to heal as a person so that maybe one day he would come and talk to me and at least explain things so I could have some understanding of it all. I gave up swearing and promised God that I’d be a better person if he would just help me through this. A frequent customer who happened to be a Jehovah’s Witness gave me a bible one day at random as a gift. I was never one to sit around and read the bible but at this point I would try anything. I thought that maybe if I searched the bible long enough I’d come across some magical scripture that would help me to forgive, forget, become whole and move on again. But even the Lord seemed to be out of ideas on how to help with this situation.

                               Murder was the Case (Death by Matija) 
My quest to find understanding of what happened to me and how to heal had become a wild goose chase that was getting me nowhere. In trying to find peace I had become fiercely angry. In trying to understand I had become hopelessly confused, in trying to become whole I had shattered into a million little glass pieces. I had no more patience to try and be Holy about this or to try and be loving and forgiving. My digression was not just on the inside but was becoming noticeable on the outside as well. My skin lost its glow and my body dropped much needed weight. I wasn’t just dying on the inside anymore, I was dead and Matija Turkalj was my killer. He killed my higher emotions, he killed myself respect, he killed my ability to love or even receive love. I could no longer even feel love toward my own family members anymore. He killed my joy for life, he killed my trust, he killed my ability to believe that Jesus loves me, he killed what little faith I had in men, he killed my faith in people, he killed my peace at mind, he killed the year that was supposed to be my best. All of my joy for waking up in the morning, the excitement I had for the future, my spirit and my belief that it pays to be a good person in life, those were all things that were killed off by him as well. Not only did he kill who I was but he killed who I was becoming and everything that I could have been. He took my ability to be anything to myself and anything that I could have been to someone else. As for my smile, my voice and my self worth, Matija had stolen them all and vanished like a dope fiend thief in the night.

                                            Human Meth 
Matija once told me when we were together that crystal meth is the worst drug that he does. “It’s the worst drug he said because when he takes it the drug leaves no soul and all that’s left is the shell of a person”. I have never done meth in my life, but that is exactly how I felt. Matija Turkalj was my emotional meth and just like all other drugs do, he infiltrated my life, made me high, made everything seem wonderful, confused me, destroyed everything I ever had and then left me for dead.

                                   Why Does Nobody have Answers ?   
I became desperate and decided I had to talk to someone, anyone who would listen. Most women I talked to all had horrible stories about men that they were evolved with and they would all say the same thing at first “jerks are always going to be out there, so buck up and be strong”. But when I would go further into details about Matija’s erratic, hurtful behavior and unstable emotions; even the most abused of women that I spoke to became confused and alarmed. They all arrived at the same conclusion that something was less than normal about Matija’s behavior or something was (for a lack of better words) “strange about him”. I talked to old women, young women, women of different races and cultures, still nobody could understand this man.
Women had no answers so this led me to asking men what they thought. I talked to old men, young men, gay men and men of different cultures and even they were confused. The men that I spoke to all warned me that although men don’t always treat women well, Matija’s behavior was unhealthy and abnormal even for a jerk.  Everyone was arriving at the same conclusions. Matija was strange, messed up on drugs and possibly gay. And everyone seemed to agree that Matija was battling some type of mental problem. Bipolar and Schizophrenia were the number one guesses, but no one could say for sure. I, having had experience with people who were Bipolar and Schizophrenic couldn’t help but feel like something else was going on with Mat. But everyone continued to agree that they had never heard of anything like my situation or of anyone behaving like Mat. Even my listeners with severe Bipolar disorder found him strange. My friend Johnny who is a self proclaimed “player” with the ladies was even confused by everything, he told me this didn’t sound like the work of a normal playboy and it was strange for any man to respond to a woman or another human being this way. Another friend of mine, Leigh was beyond baffled and told me that I had obviously been dealing with someone who was immature, mentally disturbed and not normal. This was a serious red flag as this comment was coming from a girl who’s boyfriend of 5 years had just been released from prison and even she couldn’t seem to handle the idea of Matija’s madness. A friend of mine who is a reformed gangster and former drug dealer also warned me that something was very off with Mat’s character, telling me “he knew drugged up punks in the hood that didn’t act like that and that Mat sounded like a sick individual”. Everyone warned me that there was nothing good about him although at the time I didn’t see it that way.

                             Am I the Only One Who’s Delt with This ? 
The more I talked to people the more I wasn’t sure if I should feel better or worse about what happened. I felt satisfied in a way that I wasn’t the only one confused or disturbed by Matija’s behavior but it was discouraging to find that nobody seemed to have any answers or solid clues as to what was going on. What’s worse is I felt like people saw Mat in the wrong light. I was still convinced he was a good caring soul. I still felt that all the good times he and I shared were real and had at least some meaning. I just couldn’t see Mat as the monster everyone else pictured him as. I tried explaining to people that there was goodness to Mat but people warned me that Matija was a “skilled manipulator and had brain washed me into believing he was good when he so clearly isn’t ”.

                            My Transformation (Becoming My Attacker) 
Throughout my journey to find answers it’s safe to say this situation did in fact damage me permanently, especially in terms of my relationships with men. One of the things that changed the most is how I interacted with men. I tried dating again but I’d become as cruel to men as Matija was to me. I found myself belittling their feelings and mocking them when they tried to express kindness toward me.  I’d become in capable of receiving any form of love. It got to a point where I had to forewarn men that I was not good for them and that they should stay away from me. I would say all the same things to them that Matija said to me. Men would plead with me to understand that not all men are the same and not to let Matija’s behavior reflect on an entire gender, but it was no use. Now I even find myself deliberately staying away from men out of fear that I most likely will hurt them and change them for the worse the same way Matija did to me. The kind of men I am now willing to keep company with are the ones that I already know are no good. It’s became easier for me to deal with men like that because I don’t have to trust them, I already know that they are about bad news. Empty hearted, emotionless, interactions with men have become all I can handle. I can no longer handle meaningful relationships. I feel like I don’t want to be anything to anybody and I don’t want anybody to be anything to me. All I see when I look at men is Matija’s callous ways and empty hearted behavior.
I found myself thinking more like Matija. Never one to take a drink I begin spending more time in bars, my mind was always on taking a drink and I picked up a new smoking habit. I was looking for anything to end or ease the pain he had caused. My routine became a case of going to work (crying all day in front of customers), going to a bar after work and having a drink, then going home, taking sleeping pills so that I didn’t have to feel the emotional torment, sleeping longer than the average hours , then waking up just to do the same thing all over again. Life was no longer something to experience and a day just became something to get through. I became jealous of Matija’s ability to shut off all emotion. It’s something even the worst people I have known couldn’t do and I sickly admired him for it. A life of feeling nothing and experiencing no emotional pain seemed amazing.  My depression and change in behavior got to a place where everyone in my life started to notice and worry. Friends started coming to check on me everyday, others went out of their way to find psychological help for me, some had me sleep over at their house because they were afraid to leave me alone. One of my dearest friends informed me that she was even starting to have nightmares about me going off into the deep end.  My customers and complete strangers even felt the need to comfort me. My behavior became more aggressive and reclusive. I begin having violent fantasy’s and feeling as if I was capable of anything dangerous and harmful toward another person. I had little or no compation toward anyone.
I needed to find answers before I became the one that was self-destructive. But I couldn’t find any answers as to what happened and what I was going through. Most people could relate to the heartbreak but very few could relate to the mental damage that was occurring. I realized that finding the words to express myself might help but I didn’t know where to start.
The transformation I was going through was all too real and I couldn’t explain the process. Then one day I remembered of a story. The story was from a girl I went to college with named Noelle Roldan. She shared this story to our senior thesis class over a year ago. She discussed being the victim of rape and her stepfather was her rapist. In one part of her story I remember her discussing how she began to peel away the parts of herself that she felt attracted her stepfather to her. She talked about how slowly but surly she began to change the way she dressed and carried herself. She told us she felt by starting to dress like a boy and carry herself like a boy it would keep her stepfather from wanting to sexually assault her. I realized that my process was very similar to hers. Although I wasn’t dressing like a boy, I did feel the need to change how I felt Matija saw me. I remember wishing I could just get in the shower and wash everything about me that he liked away; maybe then he would not have come into my life in the first place. He used to always tell me “ I was a sweet person”, so I didn’t want to be sweet anymore. He used to always think of me as “a good person”, I didn’t want to be seen as good anymore. All those things in my mind became the reason why he wanted to hurt me. He thought I was an easy victim or simple prey. I didn’t want to have that image anymore. It would have kept him and will keep others like him away if I didn’t seem to be those things anymore. If it was my personality he liked, then I should be colder. I had to realize that Matija never saw in me as a happy person that deserved to be cared for, all he saw a happy sucker, someone he thought he could treat as horribly as he wanted and I wouldn’t fight back. Whatever it was he liked I could no longer be that. I even started looking into getting full body tattoos as a way to change my image. I didn’t want to be whatever it is he saw in me, he had made me dislike the image of myself. The more I thought about it the more I realized that I felt like a rape victim. But rape was physical and Matija had committed internal assault. Rape, at the time was the only word I had to help describe the crime that was committed against me.

                                            Identifying the Problem  
The term rape did help me, but I still wasn’t sure if it was applicable to me. Finding words to identify my problem was only one half of the problem. The other half was trying to understand and identify Matija’s behavior. One night at a friend’s house I ended up talking to my friends father, Leon. A strong, kindhearted man, with a shady past, Leon also knew of my situation and frequently would ask me how I was doing whenever he saw me. I told him I felt like I was getting worse and whished there was some drug to cure me. Drugs aren’t the answer Leon scolded; “trust me I’ve been there and they don’t help”. I took a long hard look at Leon and thought about the person he is. He was a man who had spent time in jail, had a past history with drugs and other criminal activity and still he was a loving kind person who found room in his heart to care for people and express himself with sensible logic. I couldn’t figure out what made Leon and Matija so different. “I just don’t want to feel anymore” I told Leon. “I don’t want to feel anything and if drugs can take away my ability to feel then that’s what I want”. “Don’t let this guy change you” Leon warned, “and let me tell you something else, drugs don’t really stop you from feeling”. “The only kind of person who doesn’t feel, is a sociopath”. It was in that moment that I realized Leon might be on to something. I began researching everything that I could on sociopaths. Learning about this behavioral disorder was starting to make my experience with Matija make sense. Most of the sociopathic traits he showed strong signs of. My research on Sociopaths led me to research other personality-disorders such as Narcissist and Psychopaths. Other than Sociopath, the other disorder Matija showed strong signs of having is one called Borderline Personality Disorder (a disorder that seems closes to Sociopath). I was finally finding what seemed to be clues and answers to my situation. I was also able to understand why most people couldn’t relate to my situation. While most women have the unfortunate luck of dealing with jerks, those men still were not exhibiting sociopathic traits.

             The Difference Between a Garden Variety Jerk and a Sociopath 

Jerks can be rude, self centered people but they still have the mind and heart of everyone else around them. With Sociopaths and other personality-disordered people, you can't place the reasoning of what a normal person thinks, does and feels onto them because they are not normal. They do not think the way we do. Sociopaths hate the world in general. They hate what they cannot be--relaxed, social, happy, loving, compassionate, human beings. They mimic the people around them to try and be ‘normal’ but it exhausts them and their masks slip which allows for the cold, heartless, assholes they truly to appear.
Try looking at it like this: Imagine - if you can - not having a conscience, none at all, no feelings of guilt or remorse no matter what you do, no limiting sense of concern of the well-being of strangers, friends, or even family members.  Imagine no struggles with shame, not a single one in your whole life, no matter what kind of selfish, lazy, harmful, or immoral action you had taken.  And pretend that the concept of responsibility is unknown to you, except as a burden others seem to accept without question, like gullible fools.  Now add to this strange fantasy the ability to conceal from other people that your psychological makeup is radically different from theirs.  Since everyone simply assumes that conscience is universal among human beings, hiding the fact that you are conscience-free is nearly effortless.  You are not held back from any of your desires by guilt or shame, and you are never confronted by others for your cold-bloodedness.  The ice water in your veins is so bizarre, so completely outside of their personal experience that they seldom even guess at your condition. The panicked feeling of a guilty conscience never squeezes at your heart or wakes you in the night.  Despite your lifestyle, you never feel irresponsible, neglectful or so much as embarrassed, although for the sake of appearances, sometimes you pretend that you do.  For example, if you are a decent observer of people and what they react to, you may adopt a lifeless facial expression, say how ashamed of your life you are, and talk about how rotten you feel.  This you do only because it is more convenient to have people think you are depressed than it is to have them shouting at you all the time, "The Sociopath Next Door”: The Ruthless vs. the Rest of Us" by Martha Stout Ph.D. (Broadway Books, New York, 2005, ISBN 0-7679-1581-X).

Finding My Voice- In learning more about sociopaths and other behavioral and personality disorders it was helping me to find the words to describe the chaotic behavior that I experienced with Matija. Through the process of possibly identifying what was going on with him it was bringing me closer to finding the words to explain what was going on with me. It allowed me to talk about my feelings and to no longer feel like I was crazy or had to be silenced.
As much as I was learning about sociopaths and other personality disorders, I still couldn’t let go of the feeling that I had been raped. But I knew I had never been physically raped. It was more of a rape of my emotions. I decided to Google the term rape of emotions and to my surprise Emotional Rape is in fact a real term and a real form of abuse which can be just as traumatic if not more so that physical rape.
Sociopaths, Borderline Personality Disorder, Emotional Rape…having the right words to identify what I had been through was more important than I ever could have realized. Not only so that I could explain what I had been through but also so that I could understand the trauma that I was experiencing.  What I was experiencing was Post Traumatic Stress from having been emotionally raped by Matija, a man who displayed strong sociopathic and behavioral disordered traits. I researched testimonials from victims who had been through similar situations with people who were sociopaths and for once there seemed to be a group of people who related to me and what I was going through. These people understood that the  damage done to us victims is not about the heartbreak. It’s about the death of one’s soul and higher emotions that occurs when a sociopath (or other personality disordered people) enter into your life. To this day I sit alone and look a pictures of myself that were taken before Matija entered my life. Some of those pictures were taken just days before meeting him and every time it’s like looking at my own obituary. I can’t even remember what it feels like to glow the way I did or for happiness to be that second nature.
Post Traumatic Stress/ After the Sociopath Leaves – When a Sociopathic or personality- disordered person begins doing damage to your life it almost always beings happening long before we realize it. My situation with Matija was no different. I didn’t realize the psychological damage Matija has caused me started long before his behavior turned in a hostile manner toward me without warning or reason. Matija had been relentlessly and shamelessly playing head games with me from the start of our relationship. Had I been more educated on Sociopathic behavior, hopefully I would have been more likely to see that I had been expressing early stages of anxiety long before I realized it. But it wasn’t until Matija whimsically threw me out of his life that the mental trauma was completely visible. It’s usually at that point when victims of Sociopaths (and personality-disordered people) becomes fully noticeable.
         Throughout my research I learned that Sociopaths typically do exactly what Matija Turkalj did to me. They force their way into your life, make it seem that they truly care and that the two of you found something special together. Once they earn your trust by “wrapping you up and dragging you through a world of deceit, lies, deception, betrayal, illusion and delusion they abandon you without offering you any sense of closure”. “This truly is the hardest part to rationalize and understand, but you will never have a feel good, amicable, honest conversation as you part ways no matter how hard you try. You won’t have the closure that you likely desire. Do you deserve it? Absolutely. But the man or person that you fell in love with was nothing more than a manufactured being. He mirrored what he learned about you to win your heart, but the love you felt was a mirage. You’re left with a lifetime supply of trauma and no explanation”.
Victims are then left to try and recover what is left of their lives after they realize a person with a criminal mind who has no concern for others whatsoever just took advantage of them in every way possible and there was never a relationship. The Post Traumatic Stress that comes from being in a situation like this is very real and can be extremely deadly.

   Can include bad dreams and nightmares.
   Hypersensitivity – trouble sleeping, being frightened easily, difficulty with concentrating, and outbursts of anger.
   Anxiety – being in constant fight-or-flight mode.  This in turn leads to physical and emotional fatigue, which later manifest as illness and disease in the body.
   Being triggered by stimuli in the environment which recalls traumatic memories.
   Repetition Compulsion – Reenacting traumatic events in an attempt to gain closure – this is why we often re-abuse ourselves after our abuser has left.  This might include negative self-talk, or entering into another abusive relationship.  In other words, trying to complete what wasn’t previously completed.  However, this only enhances PTSD symptoms because it doesn’t heal the trauma.
Impact of PTSD
Left untreated, PTSD and C-PTSD lead to other symptoms and conditions which affect all areas of life.  These include:
   Inability to handle stress
   Eating disorders
   Drug and alcohol addictions
   Damaged relationships with others
   A negative outlook on life
   Specific anxiety disorders such as panic attacks and phobias.  For example, victims who were stalked often develop agoraphobia.
   Crippled Self-Esteem
   Loss of career and loss of desire to be productive
   Diseases such as cancer.  Victims of abuse have higher incidents of certain types of cancer.

Many who read this will think, “Everyone experiences these types of feelings at some point in their lives.”
That is true, but we aren’t talking about fleeting feelings. We’re talking about constant, chronic, never-ending feelings that just won’t go away, regardless of our efforts to make them vanish. We’re talking about feelings and emotions that lead to self-destruction. Like me, many people start to believe they are going crazy but in actuality all the above symptoms result from losing the ability to cope with long-term abuse.  You aren’t going crazy but have endured traumatic events that became overwhelming.
         Misconceptions about the Victims of Sociopaths – One thing I have sadly found to be true throughout this horrific journey is how easily people judge and make the wrong assumptions about people that were evolved with Sociopaths and other personality-disordered people. People are quick to make the following comments…
-You must have already had low self-esteem to get evolved with such a horrid person.

-You must have already come from a broken family background.

- You must be doing something to attract these types of people too you.

-Why couldn’t you just see the person was strange and gotten away sooner?

- You’re too nice and naïve.

- You’re the kind of person who’s too trusting.

- You are the kind of person who gives yourself too quickly and that’s why this happened.

-       You are the one that allowed all these bad things to happen to you. You could have just left sooner.

Sadly, the list of judgments and misconceptions from others (usually who have never had a Sociopath consistently in their own lives) goes on and on. The worst part is I too would have had the same judgments about people in these types of situations had I not been placed smack dab in the middle of it myself.
For people who make comments such as these you are entitled to your opinions, but I forewarn you not to judge before you have walked a miles in another’s shoes.
While from time to time these assumptions can be true, I have found this is not usually the case. When it comes to a Sociopath, ABSOLUTLY NO ONE IS SAFE from the personality-disordered persons head schemes and emotional trickery.  For those who accuse victims of being too nice or naïve, consider this. Sociopathic people have been known to out smart their own therapist.
You may have the highest self-esteem in the world; you may have come from the world’s most loving family and still these emotional vampires can find a way to weasel into your life , no one is safe from their charm and treachery  And just because a Sociopath found a way into your life does not mean that the victim did anything to bring these monsters into our lives. When a Sociopath comes into ones life it’s important to remember that it’s much like being in a horrible car accident. Just because you were evolved in a car wreck and you were the one who got hurt doesn’t mean the crash was your fault. It’s simply a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
When it comes to being able to see what a personality disordered person is doing to you and your life, giving yourself too quickly to these people and having the strength to leave sooner…all should remember that these people are master tricksters and the most skilled of actors. They entangle themselves in your life and in your emotions in ways that cannot be described. While in the situation (and even for those that manage to get out of the situation) you’ve been brainwashed to a point of almost no return. Everything is distorted including your sense of reality. “Sociopaths and personality-disordered people say whatever they want to get what they want. You've got to remember that part. They are opportunistic. They are going to win until they get caught”.

The Stress of Being with a Sociopath and Why They Leave
                                  (The Victims Struggle)

   “ Sociopaths (as unpredictable as they may seem) are very predictable creatures . It might seem a shock to you, the sudden ending of the sociopath departure. But this is just an illusion, just like everything else in the sociopath box of tricks. Unlike other relationships where there is warning, or fights and arguments, this part will be missing. Or when there are arguments leading up to the exit, you will be at a loss, what the arguments are about. After all the sociopath will pick a fight with you, over nothing at all. The week before the sociopath exit you will notice
   Edgy behaviour
   Picking fights over nothing at all
   An attempt to sleep with you one last time night before
   After a huge fight – that is about nothing you have done – the sociopath leaves
   You will be surprised that when the sociopath does leave – despite there might be tears (or might not) on their part – that they are remarkably calm. The ‘love’ that could have been shown to you the previous day is gone. It is evident that the sociopath had already planned their exit strategy. Even if, just the day or the week before they were talking of marriage, children or life long commitments. It seems sudden to you – but it isn’t to the sociopath. Behind your back they were already planning their exit. Without your knowledge they had already sourced a new place to live – and in some cases a new partner (victim) too.
Of course the sociopath has already sourced their new source of supply before leaving you. Sociopaths need someone else to lean on. They are unable to be on their own. They wouldn’t let you know that they have already sourced supply behind your back. Of course not, because the sociopath would like you to believe that it is YOUR fault – something that you have done – this is why they have left.
This isn’t the case. It simply means that for the sociopath they were either:
   Had found a new source of supply – that fitted their needs better
   Wanted to escape from responsibility
Duality of the sociopath
If you have dated a sociopath you will already know that the sociopath is a master of mind games, tricks and illusion and that nothing is ever as it seems.
Whilst smiling to your face, behind your back they have likely been giving others the sob story, and others wanting to help the poor sociopath victim in their plight of need, offers a place to stay.
What the new target or accomplice does not realize is that they are the next future victim. And whilst there will be tales of you, and how you are a crazy psycho – in the future – they will be labeled as that person too. Sociopaths are not particularly loyal and when moving into mode of discard will tell others just how awful you are. To gain both sympathy and to obtain support to leave – with their halo shining looking like the great guy or gal. The sociopath loves to make a clear exit, and will tarnish your name without a thought, if it makes him look better.
Sociopaths have a dual personality. Life to them is a game, and everyone else are actors in the game. It can be hurtful to realize that the only person who was in a relationship – was you. The sociopath was merely playing a game. Perhaps they grew bored or tired of the game with you, or they felt that there was easier source of supply elsewhere. Whatever their reasoning, in their mind you have served their needs. Now they are justified in moving on.
Why create a fight deliberately beforehand?
Sociopaths always pick a fight. This could be over anything. Usually it is over nothing. There is absolutely no sense to the fight either. Often you will be accused of something that you haven’t done. The sociopath will play victim at how their feelings are hurt, and  just how  awful you are to do what you have done. You protest your innocence. You witness the narcissistic rage. Yet you have no idea what this is about? It makes no sense at all.
Well at least it makes no sense at all at the time – until the next day when the sociopath with a big drama packs their things (They often leave a few items so that they can return at a later date should they wish) – they almost always keep their options open. So they pack their things and off they go….. you are amazed – how did they find somewhere to live so  fast? You wonder as perhaps the day before or a few days before you were (you thought) happy and in love? You haven’t even came to terms that you have split up, yesterday, perhaps even this morning, you were happy and in love? How can he/she be so cold? How can this be happening?
The truth is – that the sociopath has a duality of personality. Whilst smiling to your face and faking love – behind your back they were already moving on. The fake row that they created, the drama and accusations that made no sense and caused so much pain, was a deliberate calculated event engineered by the sociopath to get them out of the relationship and to move onto whatever else they had planned behind your back.
Sociopaths do not end relationships like normal people do. Sitting down and having heart to heart conversations trying to work out where the relationship is going wrong, and what you can do to fix it. This is not the sociopath way. The sociopath has their own exit strategy. This of course achieves
   Retaining control
If you had done anything to the sociopath that they had smiled through in the relationship, now will be the time that they tell you exactly what they think of you. It is now that you see the real person behind the mask. The anger that you witness is the simmering anger that lies behind the mask of deception all of the time. It is just that normally it was hidden by a charismatic smile and twinkling eyes….
Coping after discard
Discard can be really painful. Especially when it was sudden and unexpected. The sense of betrayal and confusion cause intense pain. You might have a longing to find out the truth. It might be difficult to come to terms with the truth. It is hard to understand that the sociopath would have designed this and planned their exit strategy behind your back, whilst smiling to your face and playing the perfect partner” (Source: Dating a Sociopath the Truth Will Set You Free).

                                   Harry Potter and The Chamber of Sociopaths
The more I researched Sociopaths and Personality Disordered people the more I realized they are almost identical to the dark characters known as Dementors introduced in book/movie series Harry Potter "Dementors are among the foulest creatures that walk this earth. They infest the darkest, filthiest places, they glory in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them... Get too near a Dementor and every good feeling, every happy memory will be sucked out of you. If it can, the Dementor will feed on you long enough to reduce you to something like itself... soulless and evil. You will be left with nothing but the worst experiences of your life."

This is a photo from the 3rd Harry Potter film in which a Dementor attempts to suck the soul from a young Harry Potter, leaving him faint and disoriented. In this moment the world goes cold and it is felt that all happiness has left the world. This is the exact effect that a sociopath has on his/her victim's.

                                         Signs That You Are Dating A Sociopath
                                                         (Knowing When to Run!!)

The chances are unlikely, but if you ever find yourself wondering if you are in a relationship with a Sociopath or personality disordered person its important to know the red flags and indicators that you are indeed in such a situation. May I point out that if you find yourself researching whether out not you are involved with a sociopath is reason enough to be alarmed in and of it’s self.

First of all it’s important to give a textbook definition of what a Sociopath actually is…
Definition- “A sociopath can be more than just the rapists and serial killers you see on the news. They can be your family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors, or even your soul mate. Sociopaths are manipulative and charming. When you first meet them, you think they are well groomed, but in reality, they will bury lies and secrets beneath the mask they show to society of a well-mannered person just like everyone else. The answer is complicated as this is actually an incredibly complex personality disorder. The condition is hard to diagnose due to the wide range of manipulative behavior sociopaths display. Instead of being a single trait, sociopathy is a syndrome, a whole cluster of symptoms related to each other. A certain number of these symptoms must be present for a person to be diagnosed as a sociopath. As an essential step to understand sociopaths, getting to know the definition is necessary. Sociopaths are people who have antisocial personality disorder and demonstrate a pattern of disregard that is pervasive, particularly in terms of the feelings and rights of others. Most people consider sociopaths to be criminals, but while it is possible, this is not a requirement for a diagnosis. Sociopaths are typically very intelligent, however, instead of letting their knowledge empower themselves, they use it for deception and advancement. This means that the high IQs of sociopaths can be dangerous, with examples being found among serial killers who evaded the law. Sociopaths can't feel remorse, guilt or shame because their brains don't have the proper wiring. This means that they can threaten or harm people or betray them without worrying about the consequences. Sociopaths are people who pursue their self-interest, even if it harms others. These people will hate to lose any fight or argument, leading them to defending their lies at all costs, even if it becomes absurd based on logic. They simply want to win or dominate others no matter the cost. People with this condition are completely self-serving and cannot love. They might pretend to have compassion or feel love to get their way, but they don't actually feel the emotion in the same way that others do”(Source: enki Sociopaths suffer from antisocial personality disorders such as (ASPD); in addition to ASPD, psychopaths also lack conscience or empathy and are delusional in nature. Sociopaths are also unable to conform to what society defines as a normal personality. Antisocial tendencies are a big part of the sociopath’s personality. This pattern usually comes into evidence around the age of 15. If it is not treated, it can develop into adulthood.
Visible symptoms may include physical aggression and the inability to hold down a steady job. The sociopath also finds it hard to sustain relationships and shows a lack of regret in his or her actions. A major personality behavior trait is the violation of the rights of others. This can appear as a disregard for the physical or sexual wellbeing of another.
Although these symptoms are all present, they may not always be evident. Research has shown that the sociopath is usually a person with an abundance of charm and wit. He or she may appear friendly and considerate, but these attributes are usually superficial. They are used as a way of blinding the other person to the personal agenda behind the sociopath’s behavior” (Source: wiseGEEK the clear answers for common questions).

With the definition of ‘Sociopath’ learned let’s now identify the Red Flags that you are in a relationship with one:

#1. The person talks way too much and listens way too little. Dominating the conversation often signals insecurity, self-centeredness or narcissism.

#2.  He/she always needs to be right. No matter how big or small the topic, the toxic individual doesn’t allow room for differing opinions and turns a discussion into a debate that must be won.

#4. Truth-telling is not a high priority. Even slight variations on what you know to be the truth, or careful omission of facts, is enough to put the person on your watch list.

#5. There are signs of addiction or dependency. If left unaddressed, compulsive behavior involving alcohol, drugs, gambling, pornography, and other issues is sure to damage many aspects of the individual’s life — including your relationship.

#6. Desperation is in the air. Emotionally healthy people will be eager to get know you as an individual — not overeager to get into a relationship (any relationship) because of loneliness or neediness.

#7. Conversation is salted with sarcasm. Derogatory comments and cutting humor, even if you aren’t the target, signal a lack of empathy or a need to prove superiority.

#8. Straight answers are in short supply. To your direct questions, you get evasive responses, mixed messages or contradictions. The person is cagey about where he was last night and how things are at work. If it seems like he’s hiding something, he probably is.

#9. The person has a victim mentality. All of his/her problems are someone else’s fault — unreasonable boss, unloving parents, lousy roommate, the government. Constant blame-shifting usually demonstrates a lack of personal responsibility.

#10. “Common folk” are treated poorly. Rude, insensitive behavior toward restaurant servers, dry-cleaners, and store clerks reveals an arrogant attitude.

#11. The person likes to gossip. Rumor-mongering serves no purpose except to harm others’ reputations and an attempt to burnish one’s own.

#12. He/she bashes the ex. Justified or not, no one wants to hear endless complaints about a former partner. There’s nothing healthy about staying stuck in the past. Move on already.

#13. His/her stories seem grandiose. Exaggerations about accomplishments, acquaintances and adventures demonstrates a need to brag, which demonstrates a shaky self-esteem.

#14. The person tries to control you. If you feel pressure to act and think according to someone else’s wishes rather than your own, head for the nearest exit.

#15. Your gut instinct screams, “Look out!” Trust your intuition — it’s usually a reliable guide.


Apart from Sociopaths, a list of other personality-disordered personalities to look out for are:

     1.    Narcissist
     2.    Psychopaths
     3.    Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

As someone who lived through this firsthand, I plead with anyone who suspects that they are in a relationship with a Sociopath or personality disordered person to take the signs seriously and RUN!!!!! The situation will only get worse. You may have faith in your situation or feel at the moment that you have reason enough to hope for the best but on the behalf of other victims let me say these situations never have a cheerful ending.
Wounded Blue Jay