When we’re young, most of us just want to have fun. We aren’t thinking most things are so serious. We don’t usually think of how this person we’re hanging out with could ruin our life.
Think I’m Kidding? Try Me…
Let me tell you a story that is 100% true and there are millions just like it. This can happen to ANYONE and guess what? Often times it happens to the really smart ones. Why? Because smart, strong, independent, confident people often are targeted. Why? Because sick people love the challenge of trying to break someone and what is the challenge of breaking someone who is already so obviously broken? Get me?
We’ll call her Maci. When Maci was young she was Miss Fun Girl. Don’t get me wrong, she was driven and very goal orientated, but she wanted to have a lot of fun along the way. She was super confident, extremely independent and capable and always ready for a new adventure.
One night, when she was about 20-years-old, she was out with some friends and asked some guy for a ride on his motorcycle. We’ll call him Derek. Not super smart, but nonetheless, she went for a ride with this guy. He brought her back to her friends and they went on to hang out.
After that, she didn’t think anything of it…until he showed up at her house. She thought it was super weird he knew where she lived and even though she was uncomfortable she wanted to be polite. Then he showed up where she worked. She hadn’t told him where she worked. Turned out he was a police officer and was using the databases he had access to find out too much information.
She was young and thought she was pretty special that he was going to all this effort to find her. They ended up dating pretty much because he flooded her with attention she didn’t know what to do with. She allowed this train to keep rolling until they got married when she was 21. When she was 23 she had their first daughter. Shortly before her daughter’s birth, she began to see some changes, but she couldn’t put her finger on it.
Around the time she found out she was pregnant with her second daughter she discovered he was doing things that could put him in federal prison and if that wasn’t bad enough two months after she discovered she was pregnant she found out he had a completely different life filled with other women he brazenly paraded around mutual acquaintances. She was devastated.
Everyone has a line and disloyalty was hers. The day she found out her whole life with him was a lie she walked in the house, asked for his ring and said, “Take a good look around because you’re never coming back.” And…that was just the beginning of the nightmare.
He put her in the hospital when she was 7-months-pregnant while holding their oldest daughter. She was told she couldn’t protect herself in her own house. Instead of him being taken to jail for domestic violence, she was threatened by the good ‘ol boy police department with them taking her kids away from her. She was told he could come in her house anytime, day or night, and take the kids whenever he wanted and it was her job to get out of his way…and if she didn’t she would be arrested and the kids would be taken away. The restraining order she filed sat in a drawer for days and days before he was served and then she had to drop it. A police officer can’t have a restraining order and possess a firearm…which is necessary for his job…and she needed the child support…so she had to drop it.
Harassment by the police department. Multiple, multiple, multiple instances of child criminal endangerment with zero help for her and the kids…only protection for their ‘fellow brother officer.’ The court system in bed with the police department. The department of family services in bed with the police department. Blackmail going on within these systems is what keeps this going. Regardless of what keeps it going this was a living nightmare for DECADES.
Later when the girls were teenagers they finally mustered up enough bravery to tell Maci that Derek, their dad, had swung from outright abuse to neglect when they had been with him…the 2 days a week for the last 13 years and he had been diagnosed as bipolar. He had sent the message very clearly if they told their mom he would kill them all. They knew he was capable and crazy enough…and they knew their mom would never let it go if she knew. They knew she wasn’t afraid of him and that worried them. They knew she would do anything and everything it took to keep them not only safe but healthy in all ways…and that worried them.
He tortured them with torturing with their pets before he killed them, feeding them rotten food, letting pets pee on their beds but wouldn’t allow them to wash their bedding. Screaming, threatening, leaving loaded guns and knives everywhere just to remind them what they were up against.
When Maci found out all bets were off. She did what the girls thought she’d do, but Derek surprised them. He had wrongfully shot and killed someone at work and was on trial during this time so he had a choice: sign over full custody quietly or have all the abuse allegations come out in public during the trial. He quietly signed away custody with a clause keeping him away from them.
Then the stalking started and more and more stories the girls were remembering told Maci this was more serious than she realized. And then…she was warned by one of his coworkers of something the girls had already told her. You see, he had a plan, a very sick plan.
Derek couldn’t handle the fact he could not intimidate Maci. All the times he tried all he got was a furious woman, a finger in his face and no fear. The bizarre hatred he had for her grew and grew and grew over the years. She didn’t know that. He only showed that behind closed doors in front of the girls.
So when this coworker of his called her and confirmed a plan he had made clear to the girls she knew they were in trouble. His plan: To kill the girls and then himself just to make her suffer.
Maci ended up leaving with the girls at 4am one morning knowing they would live on the run until he died. They left everything and everyone they knew in secret. People they thought would protect them turned their back on them. People on a need to know basis they didn’t realize cared stepped up and helped get them out of town. Do you know why she had to leave? Because in town with a vicious corrupt police she would be the one going to prison had she tried to protect her girls and she knew it. There was no other way.
To this day, Maci is not afraid of Derek. Maci is more afraid of what she will do to Derek if he shows up to hurt her girls. They are now adults and still hidden. She was smart. She knew how to hide them so they would never be found. If the girls do what she taught them, they will never be found. They don’t exist.
The stress was unbelievable. The cost was unbelievable…financially, relationally, emotionally, mentally and physically as stress eroded all of their health in various ways. No one got out of this unscathed.
But do you know what? The girls went through so much unnecessary trauma. Not only was Maci’s good life derailed by a bad relationship, but so were the girls’ lives. Their childhood could never be gotten back. They had never had a normal life and even though they had a great, loving relationship their mom and knew they were all in this together to the bitter end no matter what it took…it is not normal to be hunted by your father…to live on the run…always hiding…looking over your shoulder. It’s not normal to have to accept what they have had to accept…to accept they may die soon. This is when knowing where you’re going when you die is the only peace.
A bad relationship can derail a good life and in this case….3 good lives.
What can we learn from this? I’ll talk about that in the next video…