The Conman…..

This is going to be a difficult post to write, but I need to, for myself and for anyone else out there who I can possibly save from going through the same thing.

So….Mr Mean left, I was somewhat isolated for the next 6 months or so, and then Mr Meaner moved in. I was advertising a room for rent, he responded to the advert, came to see the room and stayed. He told me his name was Andrew Karlsson – and yes, I am using his name because that is not his real name anyway and if anyone Googles him, I want them to read this! It has taken me months, but I am no longer afraid to identify him, or who he said he was, anyway. In fact, if anyone wants his photo, email me on rozzieoz@tpg.com.au

He was everything I wanted in a man, intelligent, good looking, well mannered, hilariously funny and very successful in business- or so I thought. He burst into my life, totally swept me off my feet and I believed that I had finally met someone who I could be happy with for a long, long time. I wanted to believe it, so I did.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and looking back, so much did not make sense but he seemed to have a reasonable explanation for everything. I never saw ID- his passport and wallet had gone missing, he did not have any money- his tax attorney was having problems getting his money out of the USA, he never got calls from friends or family, it was as if his life had not existed before me. And it hadn’t, because it was made up as he went along. He was paranoid about having his photo taken (he said he had been the victim of a stalker in the past which was why there was no reference to him on the internet) and he blamed some odd behaviours on Post Traumatic Stress. I am a kind, caring, loving, honest person, and did not dream that anyone would be so full of lies. My only mistake through the whole thing was to be too trusting- believe me when I say- If someone sounds too good to be true, they are too good to be true. As Judge Judy says, if something does not make sense, there is a reason it does not make sense and the reason is- that it is NOT TRUE!

I left my job to work on a project with him. We were going to be producing a Papercrafts TV series- he told me he had sold the concept to Channel 10, I heard him on the phone to all sorts of people, his accountant included. Turns out- every single one of those phone calls were faked, he even faked a conference call to Disney Pixar! When I asked him how come there were no calls to overseas listed on the phone bill, he said he used a phone card. He was VERY defensive and protective of his privacy, I was never allowed to see what he was doing on MY laptop. And he would sit on my laptop for hours and hours, most nights until 3 or 4am at least.

So we ran the event, and the next day I asked him for the money from the door (about $7000). He told me he had deposited it in his trust account to save me having to pay tax on the income, took all the bills from me and said they would be paid from that account. I did not get any reminder notices for any of the bills, so assumed things were paid. I knew something was wrong though, I just knew it, but I wanted to believe him and I was so emotionally and financially vested by that stage, I did not want to face the truth. I had a constant knot in my stomach but he hated it when I got emotional, so I learnt to hide the tears very well.

A month or so later, the phone got disconnected. We lost the internet and my mobile phone as well, and there was absolutely NO money coming in, except what I was generating through my small business. I started asking some very serious questions, he told me he would never hurt me, he would never leave me in the shit and within a few weeks he did a runner. He told me he was going overseas to sort out his finances once and for all, that his tax attorney had organised a ticket for him and would send me some money the next day. There had been so many promises of large amounts of money from various sources, but of course, they never materialised.

The morning that he left he hugged me and kissed me and told me he loved me and would be back soon. He took my last $10 for the bus and said he would ring me from the airport (from a phone box) before he flew out. That call never came. I went looking around the house, realised he had taken all of his clothes (and some of my other housemate’s clothes as well!) and that was when I found the incredibly large stack of bills. I rang his accountant in Adelaide, who had never heard of him. I rang the place he said he had been working, they had never heard of him either. (He told me he got a job 2 weeks before and had been going into work- God knows where he had actually been going!)

I went into shock which lasted at least 3 or 4 days.

I realised that not only was everything he had said a lie, but that he had walked out of my house, knowing the mess that he was leaving me with, and he did not care. It was not just a financial con, it was a mental and emotional one too…everything that I had lived for the past 6 months with him had been a lie. Everything. And plus, he had managed to completely isolate me from my life, from my family overseas, from my friends, from everything. He told me we did not need anyone else, we had each other and that was all that mattered. If someone you love is being isolated from you, take that as a BIG RED FLAG

I am extremely grateful for one friend in particular, who became my strength when I had no strength left. I was not sure I could go on after that, I had been slammed so many time and to be honest, I thought about ending it for those first couple of days. The only thing that stopped me was the thought of my son receiving a phone call saying that his mother was gone. I am so grateful now that I did not do something seriously seriously damaging to myself.

I had registered with Centrelink a couple of weeks before, the plan was, I would claim unemployment benefits, just to tide us over until he got his first few pay checks from his job, and I would find a part-time job as well as continuing to run my craft business. My amazing friend took me under her wing and got me back on track- she got me re-connected to the internet and to my life, and I applied for some jobs and started working about 10 days later. The events side of my business was over, he had destroyed any hope of me ever running a papercraft event again, but somehow, the other parts of my business managed to survive.

The job did not last long, I was not meeting targets and I had to leave about 2 months later. In the meantime I declared bancrupcy, and continued councelling every week. I will write a seperate post about the sessions and what I have learnt and how much they have helped me.

I will also write a post about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the associated anxiety and depression.

It is now 4 months since he left, and this is the first time that I have talked about it publicly. I feel empowered for doing so. And now that I have started writing again, I don’t want to stop!

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. noromyxo
    Aug 29, 2010 @ 14:47:14

    But he is the long term loser for he lost you…and you are a very lovely lady as well as a very good friend….

    Reply

  2. Val
    Aug 30, 2010 @ 06:40:20

    Roz, thank you so much for this post. You are an amazing woman with a strength of character to be admired….. You have walked a long and lonely path and you have emerged a better and a stronger person…..
    I took your advice and have re-read all your blog posts and my comments… although things are not perfect here I am in a place that I am comfortable to stay… I realised that I have invested more than half my life with this man and this marriage and I have too much to lose… I have got a hobby that I love and surprisingly, he is very supportive of it. I have formed an amazing group of friends who are there to support me and I know that it is going to be a long and slow journey for me to get to a place of peace….
    The therapy has helped so much, she is a buddist, and has helped me to see the bigger picture and also how to deal with his outbursts and I have to say that it is helping…. that is not to say that we have relapses but I am able to sit back and see where we went wrong and I am able to get it back on track… I also realised that our childhoods influence us far more than we know….
    So…. I am glad that you are at peace with yourself…. do not be too hard on yourself and be very proud of how far you have come…. you are an amazing woman and you will find the right person….. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Reply

  3. married2mrmean
    Aug 30, 2010 @ 07:12:44

    Thank you Val.
    My next post will actually be about my childhood and how it affected me, and how it set me up to be a victim. I appreciate you so much Val, you are amazing.
    *hugs*

    Reply

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