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I loved R. From the moment I met him in person after a few weeks of communicating on an internet dating site, I loved him. For our first date he came to my house and we took my dog for a walk in the first snow of that year. It was magical almost, this guy who I couldn't stop checking out was obviously having a good time with me and we were both enjoying each other's company.
After our walk we talked on my couch for a few hours before he tore himself away so he could get up for work in the morning and so could I. The next day we both got off work early so I invited him back to have a fire with me. It was great, and the follow up was another long session of sitting on the couch and talking, then having a laugh after discovering I had actually gone to school with his step brother. The following night he took me out for a Birthday supper and surprised me with cake. We went to his place after that. Our dates continued like this for a few weeks and soon we started taking turns spending the night at each other's places.
One night while chatting in bed he said he needed to tell me something and it was going to be a lot to take in but he needed me to listen. I did. My heart was fluttering and my brain got hot as I heard his words and tried to connect them to this sweet guy I had grown so fond of. R told me that when he was 17 he started hearing voices, and the recreational drugs he was taking made him hallucinate, mashing reality with dream and the result was death; The death of a mother at the hands of her first son. I was sad for her. I was also sad for him, as he talked he choked on his words but spoke as though he knew he owed it to me to know what he was capable of. He seemed to genuinely regret his actions. I wanted to take this red flag seriously as mental illness is nothing to take lightly, but at the same time I had no reason to personally be afraid of him. Being held in his arms made me feel invincible and that smile could melt an arctic ice-burg. This was the closest thing I had experienced to a real relationship; Someone who cared about me and took me on adventures.
He also once told me what it was like to be schizophrenic: that there were at least 20 different versions of himself in his head, talking to him all at once and sometimes he couldn't tell if it was his true self or another copy whom he was listening to. It scared me a bit, yet fascinated me greatly as I was always interested in psychology and I appreciated him letting me in. I wanted to know how he perceived the world, wanted to try to understand him. My Mom asked all about this new guy in my life and I eagerly answered her questions until it came to the subject of his Mother: where was she? Oh, she has passed away, from what? I couldn't tell the truth because it scared me a bit and I knew my Mom would not be able to sleep at night knowing who I was sleeping with 200 km away. R had been deemed Not Criminally Responsible for strangling his Mother. I struggled with that term; If he wasn't responsible, then who was? At the same time if the charge had been first degree murder I probably wouldn't be here with him, as he could still be in jail instead of getting a second chance after staying in various youth Institutes for the mentally ill and attending counseling to save himself from himself.
He was now on medication that I saw him take each day and assumed was for the schizophrenia but he insisted was for back pain. This was possibly his first lie, but I will never truly know. He lived with my roommate and I for a short time but sometimes emotions ran high between us. Knowing what this guy was capable of, I worried sometimes about him having another psychotic break but he seemed to know how to control his anger and I considered myself lucky that nothing ever happened. We would talk things through because he took everything very personal and I had to be careful what I said, never knowing when I would hit one of his triggers.
He soon moved out and into a room at an older lady's house. This was hard for me because now I didn't know what he was doing without me around. I didn't find out until much later that he was drowning his emotions in alcohol at the local bars while I was home alone, after being told he didn't feel like being out that night. I was hurt. I also had my suspicions about him cheating but when confronted, he denied it saying the girl whose questionable text I had read was simply a friend. We started to drift apart. He was being distant and I hated not knowing what to believe. I don't like to use the word psychopath when referring to R but I don't want to kid myself either. Lying was in his nature, and manipulation wasn't far behind as I came to realize. Sometimes during an argument he would say I should get my anger in check (anyone who knows me knows anger is not really a part of my personality, unless provoked) and suggested calling a help line or getting counseling. I did both, once each and ironically, I was basically told this guy was being manipulative and to be careful. W
hen I really think about it I realize I am lucky to be here, after reading so many articles about people snapping under the psychopathic pressure and hurting those closest to them; It easily could have been me. I still believe the love was real, even if just at the beginning. I have (mostly) come to terms with the fact that he had skeletons in his closet (literally) and we were both very emotional people. I wasn't what he needed at that time. I'm not saying it is good to date someone with a known criminal past but I am saying everyone deserves a second chance. What they do with it is up to them and I admired R for the person he had become, whether or not it was a lie, I had a lot of fun with him, whether it was talking for hours in his arms or doing donuts in his Jeep when he picked me up from work. We shared a connection and if I could, I would sit down with R and talk for hours just one more time.