Personal Responsibility

One thing I’ve noticed between the good guys and the bad guys is how they accept personal responsibility. The bad guys don’t. I’ve spoken with a few perpetrators in my life and classic responses were, “it was their fault not mine” (they were four and five and he was 45), I can’t believe she would make up a story like that,”(my ex husband’s response to his sister divulging that he had sexually abused her from the age of five to fifteen and he had been sexually abusing his daughter for years – she spent her teens in and out of Psych Wards.) I remember listening to a radio show a few years ago. The moderator was talking about the impact watching porn continuously does to your knowledge of right and wrong. Several men called in and said that after prolonged exposure to porn they found themselves having sexual thoughts about some of the children they knew. It had scared them so bad they immediately stopped watching porn and in some cases immediately sought help to make sure it didn’t happen again. I’ve been with abusive males who theoretically when their hand was in the cookie jar said in all earnestness, “what cookies?”

One of my ex-perpetrators was late coming home night and called to say he had witnessed a terrible accident on the freeway and the police wanted to take a report as he was the only witness. He went on to describe graphically how horrible it was, bodies were strewn everywhere, police, ambulances and State Patrol officers were on the grizzly scene. He said he’d be home as soon as he could. Two hours went by and he called again to say it was taking longer and he was so sorry. I felt sick inside. Somehow I knew he had to be lying. I called the Sheriff’s Dept. in that area and inquired about an accident where my husband was and was told there hadn’t been any accidents anywhere that night. I hung up and called another law enforcement agency only to be told the same thing. Frantically, I begged and pleaded with them to look again at their records. Finally, after more than an hour of these pitiful calls, an officer said, “Ma’am I hate to say this to you but your husband is lying. There has been no accidents anywhere in the LA area tonight.” I hung up, feeling sick. Where was he? Surely he couldn’t have made up such a dreadful scenario unless it was true. He had sounded so earnest, so truthful. When he finally walked in the house about five hours late I immediately started telling him all I had heard. With a look of shock on his face, he said, “Oh my gosh! I had a friend one time whose wife had the same thing happen. Those law enforcement agencies lie all the time. This happens so often. I’m so sorry you had to go through that etc., etc. etc. I’d like to say that I kicked his ass out and told him I’d heard the last of his lies. But I didn’t. I was confused and my anxiety level caused me to pace the floor and chain smoke.

Another time he badgered me about a male who was in my life trying to get me to admit I was cheating on him. I argued back and it escalated into a fully blown screaming match. He brought up names of other males, my insurance rep, a co-worker, a friend of many years, the man who worked on my car and so on. I defiantly tried to argue that there was no truth even as I wondered where he got those names. My phone number book had disappeared a few days earlier and I was still trying to locate it. While my husband was in the shower I looked through his pockets and found a list in his handwriting of all the males I had business with. When I confronted him he said in shock, “My God! How did that get in there? I never wrote those.” He went on and on in apparent shock at how someone could do such a terrible thing to me. Eventually, I got weary listening to his ducking personal responsibility and not telling me the truth. It was something he was not capable of. Lack of personal responsibility was someone else’s problem not his.

The good news is that after five years of marriage I had worked a strong recovery program and was able to get rid of him and become the happiest person I know. The last I heard of him he was in Alaska living on the streets, eating and living in homeless shelters. How did I find out? On the Internet I saw an article taken from an Alaskan newspaper. It was an interview with my ex -husband, complete with photo. I had been tracking him to make sure he was nowhere near me.

While I concede that sexual perpetrators need to be convicted, in this case, the law of Karma and his failure to accept personal responsibility got him in the end.


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