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Letter to a Stalker, Abuser, Illegitimately Legalized Resident, Unregistered Sex Offender, Textbook Sociopath…and My Ex

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(Photo Credit: Jeremy Thomas)

 

This was not a part of my life that I wanted to share so openly or soon. However, my ex, as accurately characterized in the title, recently came into my radar by interacting w/one of my posts on FB. Before I get to the letter to him, a little background:

I met Adalberto Jose H. (aka “Alex”- the name he stole from his brother who was stuck in El Salvador when Adalberto snuck into the States) when I was 17 – just short a year of my brother’s death anniversary. The death catalyzed the journey of hell each person in my family would embark upon for the following 20 years, so at that point, it was still a raw wound, a perfect portal for infection.

I was sheltered, religious, and had to make sense of why our loving, happy family “deserved” such a thing. When Adalberto showed his first signs of stalking, which I didn’t understand at the time, I thought that his persistence meant that I should give him a chance. Maybe we were too close as a family – we never needed anyone else. Maybe we were stuck-up and didn’t even know it. Maybe this guy wouldn’t take no for an answer because he was my test to allow someone outside of my family in. That was the fatally flawed reasoning of a broken, confused, grieving, adolescent girl.

This then-illegal immigrant found out that I was an American citizen from our first conversation, and did not only start digging his claws into me to gain “papers” into this country, but he tried to “destroy my life” (his words, once he got legalized permanent residency through me) and threatened harm to my children whom he used as “anchor babies.”

I would not be his only victim
. He started having an affair with a Filipino high schooler, “Dee,” who had a pregnancy scare because of him at one point. She was 16; he was around 30 by that time. When I found out, I asked her sister to set up a meeting for me with Dee.

Dee was a small, young girl who was in love with this man who’d told her he was separated, and was married to a horrible, abusive person. When she found out I was nothing like what he’d said, she was confused. She told me he had instructed her to let me, essentially, unleash my fury on her when we met, to let me beat her, do whatever I wanted to her because I’d be mad. He was a coward who shielded himself with the innocent.  Because she was in love with him, she’d unhesitatingly agreed.

Of course, I never had any intention of harming her. She was a victim like I was, and I wanted her to think of her life and future, to not fall into the trap that I had.

Now, nearly 20 years after having left him, he shows up w/a week-old FB profile using a pic of himself and my kids when they were little as his profile picture, which he posted just a day before reaching out to me.

As much as I hate to admit something that I know would give him great pleasure, I freaked out. Part of it was trauma-memory, part was an understanding that this guy has not changed, in the worst ways.

When I’d escaped that relationship nearly 20 years ago—and it was an escape effort, carefully coordinated very much in the way Katie Holmes “escaped” Tom Cruise (whom, coincidentally, Adalberto had a man-crush on and wanted to be just like)—I’d discover that I’d entered a new chapter of fear. He could now hit-and-run. Worse, he’d use his legal paternal rights to harm me “in ways no one can see,” as he’d promised after the first time he got arrested for domestic violence towards me. (He’d kicked me because I wanted to leave. Before that, he’d given me a black eye – just in time for my final exam, for which I had to wear dark sunglasses, indoors, on a cloudy day. But he got a freebie with that one.)

The man had zero relationship with nor interest in the kids – he didn’t know their birthdays, nor favorite colors, nor anything anyone resembling a parent would care about. He never shopped for gifts for them, didn’t show up for holidays, never spent time with them unless his family/friends invited him to do something w/their kids. Even the small things were telling, such as how he’d use their displayed artwork as scrap paper, or how he’d give them the worst parts of food he was eating (i.e. inedible fat of meat that he was going to throw away). And these were while we were together.

Even still, after I’d escaped him, I tried to encourage a relationship with him and the kids—initially. He never wanted visitation, nor to pay child support. He would only call a week or two before each court date (which was months apart) to ask for them, for show. Everything he did that looked decent was for show – he was even capable of making real tears come out to persuade people of something he would be completely lying about.

The kids were never stupid – they knew who he was, and didn’t think of him as a father. They knew what love looked like, because they had me to see the extreme contrast.

At some point, a mother cannot continue to tell her children that what they see with their own eyes was unreliable, that their intuition on good or bad people cannot be trusted, that their mother is unable or unwilling to see the truth, as well. They knew Adalberto never cared about them. They were simply used as pawns to stay in America, and then to trap me through the system, abusing his legal paternity rights.

So I acknowledged their concerns, and we lived in fear. I knew that it brought him joy to see me afraid and suffering, so I appeased him with it more, to protect my children best I could.

20 years later, he’d seek out the woman he’d used, abused, and terrorized, flourishing pics of these innocent kids in his usual preposterously false narrative.

I could ignore him, sure. But he has not had enough, apparently, and I will not become small again, nor run away to allow him full rein in a country and world I helped open up for him.

I also hate bullies. It’s time.

I’M WRITING THIS for anyone who has been or is still in an abusive—physical, emotional, and/or psychological—relationship, and for their loved ones who understand—or don’t understand—and suffer and fear for them.

I’m writing this for my beautiful children, who are so good, courageous, and stronger than many—including themselves—may know.

I’m writing this for my friends, that they may get to know me better, and that I may get to know who they are better.

I’m writing this for those who have been hateful to me out of jealously from their own issues – not to feel sorry for me, but to hopefully give them insight into what has made them struggle with having an open, gracious heart.

I’m writing this for “Dee,” in hopes that she may finally see the value of women being there for one another, bearing witness, standing up and speaking up for each other.

I’m writing this for the Good in the world
, to help set it free and unbind it from shame, to place the spotlight onto the darkness and force it to be known, not only to bring awareness to others, but for its own sake.

Now, where were we, “’Berto”?

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

DEAR ADALBERTO/JOSE/”ALEX,”

STOP RIGHT THERE.

First, the girl you are looking for, the teenager who was lost and confused by her brother’s death,

– the one to whom you told you were 18 when you were 22 after she told  you she was 17,

– the one to whom you showed pictures of your ex and her mom and said were of your sister and your own mom,

– the one to whom you did not reveal that you were already married for “papers” in exchange for money with another woman, until you got this naïve girl pregnant and told her she needed to help you stay in this country through legalized marriage,

– the one whom you said caused her own brother’s death because she “was a bad person,”

– the one to whom you started openly being abusive and cheating on once she answered, “yes,” to your repeat question, “So no matter what, now, they can’t deport me?”

– the one to whom you said you could freely kill if she were in your country,

– the one to whom you admitted years later you kept trying to get her pregnant to “ruin” her body and make her life “very difficult” if she tried to escape,

– the one to whom you promised to harm without leaving marks anymore, because you were “smarter now,” and so started threatening to harm her through her children instead,

– the one whom you enjoyed scaring by jumping out from behind bushes after she’d left you,

– the one whose family and friends you’d try to move in on to slander her, when you never had a relationship with any of them prior,

– the one whose 14-year old brother you’d gotten to start smoking, and whose little high school girl friends you’d start proposing to give rides home,

– the one whose mother gave you a bird as a gift, which you later killed by snapping its neck with your bare hands and telling her later, laughing,

– the one who was so scared of you because she knew you were sick and evil, and knew you would hurt her in any way you felt you could get away with,

THAT girl is no longer here.

I am speaking on her behalf; let me introduce myself.

I AM THE ONE

who survived a family tragedy, a family’s destruction, betrayals of all kinds, and over a decade of physical and emotional abuse and threats to my children’s safety by a jackal of a man (that would be you);

who learned to recognize women who are going through abuse, men who are sociopaths and abusers,

who learned to distinguish between anger and grumpiness from beautiful hearts, and fake smiles and crocodile tears from ugly ones;

who learned to trust her instincts, speak up for others, fight for light in darkness, to beat darkness;

who has been guided, by a higher power, out of your clutches, and been protected by guardians of humanity on earth,

who walks in the company of many intelligent and strong individuals who would see through you as easily as she did and does, and who have no fear of you like she once did but doesn’t anymore,

who believes in the power of love, but will go to war for justice;

who will lead every unwitting victim, that dark souls like you seek to trick and trap, devour and devastate, to become a force of strength for good that will bring you your greatest fear: Justice & your day of reckoning.

YOU WERE A MAN WHO MANIPULATED A TEENAGE GIRL lost in mourning, statutorily raped her, and groomed her into being your baby-making, English-speaking scuttle-mouse slave.

IT DOESN’T MATTER that you grew up in a culture where beating and raping underaged girls was acceptable. You’ve told me the stories with pride. My ESL Salvadoran students have told me the stories with disgust. I’ve read blogs by Salvadoran women who have escaped, sharing the same stories, with anger and determination to bring awareness.

IT DOESN’T MATTER that you were always hungry to take from innocent, beautiful things, because you were an empty black hole which could not create its own light.

YOU WERE NOT INNOCENT. YOU KNEW IT WAS WRONG. You knew that here, in America, it is unacceptable, and quite illegal. In fact, much of what you’ve done while in this country, to me and others, have been illegal. You knew very well what you were doing, so you’ve always been careful about hiding it, lying frequently and effortlessly to everyone, including me (until you got your papers finalized).

You’ve only gotten arrested for 1 thing (while with me). And apparently, you’re still not locked up. You’ve been lucky, far, far beyond your worth.

But by reaching out to put “feelers” on me recently, you were basically STALKING a person who has had a protective order against you, whom you knew, under no uncertain terms, would have every reason to repel any form of contact by you, dangerously PUSHING YOUR LUCK.

You see, all those years I was imprisoned by you, I was weak and confused, not stupid. Back then, I thought if I showed you great kindness and love as I grew up knowing, you would become like me.

And you understood my efforts. You exploited them, because you had a different agenda.

Instead of appreciating me, you used my naïve goodness against me, trapping me with it, draining me of it. THAT’S WHAT SOCIOPATHS, PSYCHOPATHS, NARCISSISTS, PIMPS AND PEDOPHILES DO.

People have seen you around and reported to me in the past years. At almost 50, you are still creeping through the malls, hunting down young girls. You have a few kids with another woman now.

Yet, a week and a half ago, you tagged me on FB using a nearly 2 decade-old pic with my kids as your profile picture, which you posted THE DAY BEFORE reaching out to me, in an account you created just a week prior. No pics of you with your new kids.

This is very easy math, kiddo.

YOU ARE LIKE A PEDOPHILE who’s tracked down the little lost girl he’s molested before, and is trying to offer a lollipop on a string to entice her again. Except, she is a strong, grown woman now, she will never forget you molested her, and she knows you are still a pedophile.

WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN in such a situation, do you think? I can tell you: It will likely end badly for the pedophile. That naïve girl is gone. The woman in her stead has zero patience for bullshit and zero tolerance for bullies.

So, trying to pick up where you left off is a very, very bad idea.

You don’t deserve the opportunities and sanctuary of this country. You deserve to be put away in prison for a long time. DO NOT KEEP PUSHING YOUR LUCK.  Your days are numbered.

You need serious, long-term, professional psychological help and painful soul-searching (yes, you need to feel pain for the pain you’ve caused many, for any chance to heal and grow).

Finally, a bit of advice to heed forever, to help change the course of your life and who you are for the better:

CAUSE NO HARM:

DON’T IMPOSE,
DON’T DECEIVE,
DON’T VIOLATE.

Simply: Don’t do to others what they don’t want you to do to them.

(Hint:  If you want to hide it from your victims, the court, the law, or the public, it’s probably wrong to do. DON’T DO IT.)

You can begin practicing this with me:

RULE: ANYTHING PERSONALLY CONNECTED WITH ME IS OFF LIMITS TO YOU.

Yes, that includes MY children. They have a wonderful father—the only man they consider their father – the one who, since the beginning, loved them and treated them like a loving father would. And IT IS NOT YOU, for overwhelming reasons YOU caused.

So whatever you think you want from us, the answer is, “NO.”

NO. You cannot win them back.
NO. You cannot impose into their lives.
NO. You cannot trick or try or pretend you’re “just saying hi.”
NO. We owe you nothing.
NO. We do not want an apology, or any other excuse for contact.

YES. Any efforts to seek us out, get info about us, connect with us, are UNWANTED and will be considered stalking and harassment.
YES. I will fight back.
YES. My kids will fight back.
YES. I will have an army of capable people who will help us fight back.
YES. You will pay, with interest, this time.

Be very clear: The part of your life involving any part of me is OVER.

TURN AROUND, WALK AWAY.

This is not a negotiation.

YOU WERE MY TEST to help me become a stronger, more aware, more compassionate, more justice-driven human being.

If I’d failed my test, if I’d stayed with you, I would have probably died. I would not have been able to save my children, nor help many other people. Failing was not an option for me.

But also, if I’d failed, you would not have the chance to take YOUR test now:

I AM YOUR TEST to give you a chance to try to become a human being.

If you fail, YOUR LUCK WILL RUN OUT. I will not be shy, or soft, or scared, or alone: I will unzip the skies to unleash the countless bolts of karma tagged with your name. (You don’t want to fail this one.)

I PASSED MY TEST by WALKING AWAY.

YOU PASS YOUR TEST by DOING THE EXACT SAME THING: WALK AWAY.

THERE IS NO OTHER WAY.

The key to make this successful: Once you start walking, don’t look back.

GOOD LUCK. God help you, because if He doesn’t, He’ll be helping me.

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20

Effective Positivity: Inspire All, Empower Only Good

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Photo Credit: S. Braswell

People are not all equal.

That is, all deserve to be approached with openness, kindness, compassion, and the basics of humanity, but not all deserve much more beyond that. This is because there is such a thing as a bad person.

I was like many of you, once upon a time. I believed that everyone was inherently good, that many were just confused, lost, and that there were really no truly bad people. I therefore wasted my  energy in a lot of potential good, not actual good.

This is a tricky line to draw. People should be given the benefit of the doubt, and even those who make mistakes should be given a chance to show that they can be better than how they have been.

At least, in theory, it sounds reasonable. But, as with most credit-based systems in an open market, the potential for abuse is fairly high. (Check out our economy’s ledger if you need proof.)

I understand that “hurt people hurt people,” and I still believe in the majority of people being not-bad, even if they do things that harm others. But there is a small percentage (which equates to a large number, nonetheless) of people who truly are bad. Until this fact is acknowledged, these individuals will continue to cause serious damage to innocent, well-meaning, unassuming people, because bad guys understand and take tremendous advantage of the status quo ignorance.

Q: “How do you tell the difference between Good and Evil?”

A: “You give it power.” ~Marilyn Vos Savant

That answer stuck with me since I first read it in Marilyn Vos Savant’s column, one of my favorite go-to sections of The Washington Post when I was a kid. Its simple brilliant truth manifested itself through people I would meet and try to help throughout my life. The only caveat of this test is that by the time “evil” has been identified, power has been put into the wrong hands, and serious damage has often been done.

I was in a harmful relationship where I was once a Zen Ignorant – I was insistent that goodness was to be found in everyone. My perpetrator ex was simply confused because he did not grow up with the kind of love that I did. If I showed him kindness, compassion, patience, and encouragement, he would be inspired into becoming the same. Right?

What took me quite a while to figure out was that my ex understood, from very early on, my need to be fair and kind to others. So, he tailored his words and actions accordingly, and very effectively, to my detriment. This alone did not make him a bad person, though.

Not even did the fact that he knew to hide the things he did to me from the public and the law – any common criminal would do this, and not all criminals are actually bad people. (I know this because following our brother’s death, my surviving brother became a gangster. He did things that gangsters did, and felt the anger and lack of connection to his conscience during those years in order to survive in the streets. I get it.)

But my ex was not an adolescent/young adult who didn’t know better. He was not living in the streets, looking over his shoulder every second. He was not living in nor reacting from fear or violence. He was not mentally ill and needing medication, nor was he on drugs. Along with the lack of someday-pardonable reasons for his behaviors, what truly set him apart from a “lost/confused” person was the fact that my ex enjoyed causing me pain and seeing me suffer.

And this was made possible because I gave him power: the power to disconnect me from my own sense of worth and abilities; the power to flex his “paternal rights” through the court system as a means to continue to terrorize me for nearly a decade after I’d escaped him; the power to stay in this country and continue the cycle with other naive young girls.

Today, I am very mindful of whom I empower. I am openly kind to all that cross my path because I want to fill the world with whatever goodness that I can. But I do not empower everyone. The lesson on the dangers of empowering the wrong person is one of my greatest gifts from that dastardly period. My hard head about having a soft heart had to be split wide open to understand this. But yours doesn’t.

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” ~Maya Angelou

In retrospect, there were a lot of clues that my ex was one to be left slithering on the side of the road. If my mind were more open—seeing people as they were, not as I insisted they were (which was “good” and “nice”)—I would have recognized what I was dealing with. But it was fixated on ideals, and no fixation in our mind allows truth to clearly materialize.

Most people who do bad things are truly simply hurt, lost, and confused, some, terribly so. Help if you can, or walk away if you cannot. But keep this in mind:

Some people are just bad to the marrow of their bones.  It is not your responsibility to fix or help them, nor to even try to understand them. In fact, that you cannot comprehend, on any common level, their reasoning, is a good thing. Chances are, there is nothing to rationalize, for there’s nothing humane in the rationalization of seeking and finding pleasure in an innocent person’s pain. You just need to learn to recognize such individuals, and deal with them accordingly, as you would with any deadly serpent in your path.

8

The Deception of Facts

Although meant to be comical, my last post showed how our past experiences, the “evidences” from which we place a value for making future decisions, can affect the quality of our lives, because it affects how we respond to the world.

I grew up in a very Catholic, somewhat Americanized, Asian household = belief in the fair gamut of the unscientific.  My best friend grew up in a non-religious, very traditional Asian household = maybe some superstitions but nothing with conviction.  She went into the very scientific world of medicine; I went into the possibilities gateway of education (before I meandered onto the threshold of Where Dreams Come True, where I presently stand).

Throughout the years, we’ve each experienced traumatic events that have affected some of our beliefs today, whether on a conscious or unconscious level, and thus, have affected some of our actions and decisions accordingly.

I will share more of my story as we go along, but I want you to consider what life events happened to you that may be the source of why you do the things you do, or the source of your fears in life: what things were you told, did you witness, were you taught to “never forget” in order to be safe/loved/worthy?

Know that those messages of guilt-guided obligations, those lessons of yesteryear’s fear factors, are FALSE.

This is not to say that there is no truth in the past, but that the past has no weight-bearing truth in the present; it only bears the amount of weight today that you allow it to.  Worse, the further you carry it, the more the weight fuses into you: you shape your arm muscles around this giant rock, and they stiffen, fossilize so you can keep hanging on to it as seamlessly as possible.  And you agonize and blame the journey for being so difficult, slow, uneventful, unfortunate, all while voluntarily carrying this load.

Well, LET IT GO.

Let it go, and take a stretch.  Things might hurt a little, feel a little funky, but what do you expect—you’ve been carrying this tremendous burden, hunchbacked and gnarl-knuckled, for all this time!   Feeling strange – it’s good, particularly if the familiar was not good.  Stretch your arms wide and high towards the sky.   Lift up your chin to the light.  Take a slow, deep, delicious breath.

That is you,
coming back to life,
disbelieving facts,
having faith.

Welcome home.

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