The Taking of Life

The first week I was roommates with “him” I knew that it wasn’t going to work out. This great guy who wanted to take care of me, gradually was showing contempt for me. Everything I had shared was now weapons to use against me. I have learned since then; that psychopaths become crazed when someone shows weakness. That information, and the fact that he was indeed a sociopath, would have served me well.

The first week we were at the property, an eight foot snake just showed up stretched out along the wall, inside the house. He dealt with it by going to his computer and programming. I was nearly hyperventilating. The snake, his reaction to it and his irritation at me were all disconcerting. He ignored me and said to just leave it alone and it will leave of its own accord. It did disappear, after a while, and I thought that was the end of it. Until I opened the door to my small private bathroom and it was hovering in a strike position on the vanity. Great! He took it as a sign that I was evil. At that point, I still had some autonomy and called the landlord remove it.

An interesting note: after I was stripped of all privilege, realized that I was not free to leave, and was made to work outside all day; we met the neighbor along the fence. The first thing the neighbor said to “him” was; “have you seen any snakes lately?”. “He” took this as validation for his treatment of me. He then looked to this neighbor for cues as to how to treat me. That is when my daily existence got worse.

It was over a hundred degrees. There was an advisory not be outside. I was given the task of digging out big roots from a dead tree for no reason. He stood over me watching me fail. My life now, was all about failing. He mocked me for being weak and disgusting. He showed me how to step on the shovel and push it into the ground. But I could not do it right. The fact that I was starving and still grappling with my new reality did not play into it. He finally got tired of deriding me and let me go back to digging out an actual stump. At least I was left alone doing that and there was a definite end to the job.

But then he came over to where I was working. He was laughing to himself, very pleased. He just said, “come with me and bring the shovel”. I wilted even more inside. I hated shoveling. It was literal torture at this point. The thought of digging a hole in the heat sickened me inside. This was indeed a private hell.

But instead of taking me to dig a hole, he took me to the lower level of the house. We went into the back room and he said laughing, “get rid of it”. He stood with glee, waiting for me to see the six-foot long snake that was in there.

But I was so grateful that it wasn’t a hole to dig. I was so elated inside, that I walked up and struck it in the head, pinned it in the neck and took its life. I carried it out without a thought of concern for it. No prayer, no reverence, no remorse. There was just gratitude that I was spared an arduous task. It was done. I was now a different person. I had taken a life with no regard for what I had done. I was a little surprised by how relatively easy it was to push me to this point. There was no room for compassion in me then.

For a short time, things got easier. They got easier before they got harder.

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