I dated this guy for close to two years and I thought that I knew all there was to know about him, so imagine my surprise when my brother called to tell me that my ex been arrested for multiple homicides. Turns out he was an accomplished hitman and he had been a member of a very deadly cult the entire time we were dating. Now, I can’t walk past any of the places we hung out together without breaking into sweats and being overwhelmed by anxiety.
- I don’t know how to begin processing this information. Nothing in life prepares you for dealing with terrible truths about someone you knew intimately. For weeks after the news broke, I couldn’t break out of the state of shock it left me in. I kept having horrible nightmares filled with blood and mutilated bodies. It was a lot to take in and I’m not sure I can ever understand how someone who was so tender and kind with me could be evil enough to kill anyone. It doesn’t add up in my head and on some level, I’m still in denial.
- It makes me pessimistic about people’s characters. Nowadays, I can’t help being cynical about who people are. I wonder what they’re hiding beneath that exterior. I don’t want to fool myself into thinking I know someone only to discover I have no idea who they really are deep down. I think as long as I expect people to turn out bad, I don’t have to be surprised when their true self is revealed. If I fell in love with a man who turned out to hitman, who’s to say something isn’t wrong with everyone I meet?
- My ability to trust is at an all-time low. This ex was a huge part of my life. I genuinely cared about him but it turns out our entire relationship was built on a lie. It has made me really distrust everyone, whether it’s a romantic relationship or a casual friendship. I don’t want to put myself out there or share intimate versions of myself with someone who’s going to turn out to be truly despicable.
- I feel like a terrible person for loving him. What kind of a person loves a murderer? What does it say about me that I dated this man for two years and I never figured out that something wasn’t right with him? Did he like me because he thought we were alike in some way? Did he ever come straight to me after a kill and hold me with the same hands that had claimed someone’s life? I don’t know how to answer these questions without hurting and losing track of what’s real.
- I’m afraid he’s going to find a way to harm me for leaving him. I know he loved me and our relationship ended amicably, but I can’t shake the feeling that he is going to come after me and hurt me like he has hurt other people. It makes no sense because he’s currently in jail, but trauma has no logic to it. I wish I wasn’t so terrified by the sound of his name, but I am and I can’t seem to get past it.
- I keep wondering if I’m a bad judge of character or just stupid. It’s impossible to look at a person and just magically figure out what kind of a human being they are, but I keep thinking that I should have known. What obvious signs did I miss because I was too in love to pay attention or ask the right questions? What if he was baiting me? I’d have walked blindly into his trap. I risked my life for two years and I didn’t have the faintest idea. How can I not second guess every decision I have ever made?
- The tiniest suggestion of violence repulses me now. I absolutely cannot stand any show of violence, to the point that even raised voices have me seeing red flags. If a person so much as makes a joke about hitting another person, I’d take myself out of the conversation and eventually, their life. I can’t live with myself knowing that I might have unwittingly entertained some of my ex’s terrible whims and I don’t want that to ever happen again.
- Deep down, I knew he was trouble. On some level, I knew that my ex was bad news. He always seemed power hungry, like he wanted the entire world to bow down at his feet but I didn’t know how deep the problems ran. Maybe if I’d tried to get to the bottom of some of his actions and reactions, I could have figured things out sooner. I don’t know that I could have changed him, but it would have meant something to at least have an open conversation about his demons. Maybe the truth wouldn’t make me as afraid as I am now.