The first part is my memory and perspective and opinions to give a bit of back story, because I think it highlights the kind of people who are involved and how they were manipulated. The following parts belong to a girl called Georgina and her friends. It is a massive story (still dragging on too, unfortunately) so it will still have to be put on here in parts. It is a story about survival, sociopaths/narcissists, freedom, cowardice, bravery and finding love and friendship in the most unexpected places.
EDIT **I just have to also point out that this first part is not from Georgina’s perspective. This part is the perspective of her family, looking back over the years and as you can see, it is tainted with a TEENSY bit of anger. What was quite difficult in writing this, was fighting the urge to relentlessly mock ‘Barry’ and his ridiculous thought processes, but also to balance that absurdity with the reality of life in a committed long term relationship. That was the reality that Georgina was in. I’ve tried to focus on the more serious nature of what was happening to Georgina, than mocking Barry. As far as she and anyone else were concerned, these ups and downs were horrible, but just a normal part of the ebb and flow of relationships and something that you work on, rather than walk away from. It was not in anyway clear that she was caught in a spiral of psychological abuse. Especially after 12 years.
Almost everyone has come into contact with a sociopath. As an antisocial personality disorder, it’s an odd title for such a defective mind, because at first they can be quite endearing; social chameleons. It’s not even that they are aware of what they are doing, yet they all seem to instinctively operate in the same way. The smart ones are known to work it out early and use it to their advantage, becoming highly successful business people and leaders. However, not all of them are ‘self-aware’. These are the ones who destroy most of their relationships through their lying, inability to learn from experiences, their lack of shame, remorse and empathy, and their ill-equipped approach to life goals. Sociopaths are incredibly convincing, persuasive and cunning. There is very little that they won’t say or do to keep their fantasy version of reality alive, and those around them within their control.
Not all of them are intelligent. In fact, when you don’t have the ability to feel remorse, empathy or shame it’s practically impossible to learn from mistakes.
Approximately 12 years ago Georgina fell in love with a boy. We’ll call him Barry. While most other people were growing up, finding jobs, and throwing themselves into their 20s with unrestrained glee and spirit, BARRY was having trouble with the fact that his $50,000 a year private school education didn’t automatically provide him with an easy million dollar start to life. Georgina knew, however, that he had redeeming qualities. He loved animals* and children and he made her laugh. Sure, they had their usual ups and downs, but nothing out of the ordinary and together they worked through everything that cropped up.
*At his 21st his brother’s speech included a *hilarious* story about how Barry had once cut the fins off his goldfish to see if it could still swim. At the time it was considered a particularly awkward and uncomfortable moment and nothing more, however looking back now it seems to be a far greater indicator for his lack of empathy and all the more disturbing.
Those years for Georgina were punctuated with Barry receiving debt collector bills, never-ending new credit card debts, losing his drivers license and a definitive lack of jobs to support his ‘champagne on a tap water budget’ lifestyle choices. Barry was a rich man in his mind, but without the wealth to back him. Georgina’s parents also spent a lot of time supporting him, trying to ease the stressful moments for her, by showing Barry how to be a grown up. You know, like paying bills on time, giving him loans to prevent the debt collectors turning up, then setting up payment plans for him to pay them back. Oh, and not to mention the numerous jobs that her mother spent her evening finding for him and sending his resume off to.
Barry was far too busy being important and useless. But as with most 17 year old boys, irresponsibility is pretty normal.
Here’s where things start to get a bit murky.