To an outsider it must be confusing that I have apparently survived two men very important to me and that both of these men held me enthralled to them. I understand the confusion and why the two situations are not in the least bit confusing to me.
One relationship was based on lies not love.
The other relationship was based on honesty and love.
In both cases, however, I consented to the relationship. The first consent was based on lies. The second consent was based on honesty. Nobody likes to be tricked. It is unfortunate that it is difficult to prove when one has been tricked when one walks headlong into a relationship, particularly with a negotiated power-exchange dynamic.
In my view—although of course I cannot read his mind, but after 13 years together, in retrospect, I think I have a pretty good idea—my husband used me as a proxy upon whom to extract his revenge on a culture—the United States and California in particular—who he had felt had wronged him. Specifically, he had a thing against middle-aged blonde women. He even had a name for it: “The Crossing Guard Syndrome.” I can actually empathize with this view.
His means of revenge was to remove from me all of my savings and investments and to leave me a highly damaged, misfiring, barely-functioning human being. His accomplishment was all the sweeter given that I was an accomplished, self-made career woman, with some notion that I was intelligent, based on feedback and test scores.
Although I think it is possible he actually had some affection for me, as an alcoholic narcissist, “true” affection, empathy, and personal connection is impossible, except in a parasitic manner. Part of his method however for drawing me into his web and influence was to appear to be highly successful and accomplished. That wasn’t all smoke and mirrors because he had in fact once been those things. The illusion was that he actually planned to share any of that largess with me, except as sort of a loan or investment toward a future payoff from my own wealth.
In the case of my second relationship, however, love and trust reigned. Axel was by no means a man of means. He had lost everything in the great real estate crash. However, he still had his impressive abilities as a master carpenter and general contractor, to include the good will of customers, subcontractors, suppliers, etc., along with the good will of numerous other individuals in his social life. He was a kind, generous, loving, and trusting man. Simply being around him was healing, comforting, and wonderful. Having the opportunity to be his submissive and to serve him was a great honor. The fact that what little I had left after my husband was finished with me helped Axel to get back on his feet and otherwise get a new lease on life prior to being diagnosed with Stage Four Plus terminal cancer, allowed me to have the best, most personally fulfilling four years of my life.
To an outsider however, being married to a doctor, living in the Berkeley Hills, working a high-paying job, hobnobbing with the various celebrities of the Democratic Party, and being bedecked with jewels, might have put me in the “lucky” and “privileged” category. Being deprived of love, sex, and pretty much everything that gave me joy except for food, clothing and housing, while being malevolently hypnotized, sleep-deprived, interrogated, and robbed gave lie to the mere image however.
To an outsider, the cover of my book represents an “abused” and “oppressed” woman. There isn’t any way I can fully convince an outsider that this wasn’t the case at all. Living at first with Axel in his modest apartment in North Philadelphia, followed by a fifth wheel in Long Beach, California; and then my current home in Southwest Florida was the height of luxury for me. Not because of the “image” and frills, but because every day was an exercise in smiling, loving, togetherness, humor, and positivism, This last occurred even up until the very worst of the cancer consumed him. Axel had a wonderful attitude and sense of humor about it all.
As for whatever “horrible” or “abusive” activities the two of us may have done together as an exercise in intimacy and transcendence, appearances can be highly deceiving there as well. Witnesses to our love and interaction exist however and I am so proud to know these persons as friends today. It is unfortunate that so many of them are far away from me now that I live in Florida.
However, I do not know what the future brings. I do not know if another man would be interested in someone like me on mutually-beneficial terms. I do not know if I am even still of this time, world, era, and disaster of dissolving cultures. The only thing that I do know is, that unlike the first man, my missing international con artist husband, I am indeed still capable of deep love and connection. All I have to do is to somehow find yet another extraordinarily rare human being with the confidence to stake a new claim on my heart.
I provide letters of reference, in person, in response to serious inquiries.