Today please help me welcome memoirist, academic editor, dog lover and frequent flier Jamie Patterson of Minneapolis. Today Jamie is sharing an excerpt from her story about what happens when you marry a sociopath.
Lost Edens describes Jamie’s life during a brief interlude in California when she was trying to save her marriage. It is a disturbing but triumphant story that will render you both frustrated and relieved.
“Husband,” the caller ID reads, flashing a picture of Ben from the very first day we bought our phones back in Kansas. We had taken pictures of each other sitting in the Sonic parking lot, waiting for our food. I love this picture of his smiling face, the Sonic Menu a halo around his head. I smile at the picture. I knew he would call.
“What’s up? How’s it going?” he asks.
“Good. Just getting all moved in.”
“Is there room in the driveway for my Jeep?”
My heart skips a beat.
“Yes, there’s plenty of room.”
“Did you check to see if storage is open?”
“Yes, it’s open all day until five. I can meet you there.”
“Are you sure about this?” he asks.
“You’re more than welcome at the cottage, Ben.”
“I know, but are you sure you don’t want to just date for a while, you in your house, me in mine?”
“I want to be with you, Ben. It’s that simple.”
“Yeah, until you kick me out.”
“I’m not going to kick you out,” I say gently.
“You said yesterday you wanted me to move slowly.”
Suddenly he is accusatory. Sarcastic.
“I do. You said you have a terrible living situation, and I want you to be sure you aren’t just making a move to get away from something.”
“Well, it is a bad living situation. It’s not good.” He is quiet. “But I want to be with you.”
“Okay,” I say. This is enough for me.
“Well, I’ll call when I’m at storage if you can meet me with the keys.”
“Sure, do you need help moving out?”
“No. Thanks, though. Is there anything we need at the cottage? Bookshelves?”
“Nope, it’s all there.”
“Well, good, because that’s all I’ve got. You sold all our stuff,” he says, and I can feel the giant finger of the universe pointing to me in fault.
“You said you didn’t want any of it!”
“I know, but I still can’t believe you sold all our stuff.”
“You were there, Ben, you could have stopped it.”
“Are you sure about this?” he asks again.
“Yes,” I reply. “My home will always be open to you.”
“Okay, well. I’ll call in a bit.”
“Okay. Talk to you soon.”