(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”?
* * * * * * * * * *
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:
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.