To the Last Breath

I used to read a lot of true crime stories.  When I was married to Ed my interest decreased over time, and I always thought that it was because I was growing up and maybe growing out of those kinds of books.  This summer I read “To the Last Breath”, http://www.truecrime.net/carltonstowers/lastbreath.htm.  A story about a man in Texas who killed his 2-year-old daughter for insurance money.  The comparisons between Ed’s personality and the killer are FRIGHTENING.  After the third chapter I wasn’t sure if I wanted to finish the book.

The man would leave his wife and family and come back, he would pretend to be remorseful but then manipulate his ex-wife to feel guilty about his bad behavior.  He would make promises with no intent of keeping them.  He would stalk his ex-wife and watch her home, coincidently calling her nearly every time that she walked in the door, and even showing up at a new house when she hadn’t told him she was moving.  A year after their divorce, she re-married, and her fear of his reaction was so intense that she and her husband had no public ceremony or celebration.  I know exactly how that felt.  I did have a big wedding and party, mostly because Ed was already involved with Nancy and had backed off quite a bit on his pressure on me.  As I have said before I spent a lot of hours hiding my engagement ring and wedding band. 

When I left I was terrified, during the divorce process I was bullied and tortured, after it was over I still lived in fear of what Ed would do to me if he found out that I was improving my life.  I think that maybe I stopped reading true crime because the personalities of the sociopath’s in the books were too close to what I was living at home.  At times it is hard to believe how psychologically damaged I was coming out of my first marriage.  I feel more like myself now.  Sometimes I still apologize for things that are beyond my control.  Sometimes I over function for no good reason.  Sometimes I wonder how much further it would have gone if we hadn’t gotten out when we did.

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