I suffered so much in my six-year plight to gain prosecution of my criminal offender. Then I suffered during the multi-week trial, fearing his retaliation, potential acquittal and potential conviction. Every direction I turned in my life, I only saw continued potential for my own long-term suffering. I thought my future destroyed by this sociopathic individual who chose to take what he wanted from me without conscience.
At the same time, I suffered the fears of what will happen to him – on a very human level – from this point forward. Being that he is a fallen federal law enforcement officer, I know well enough of what faces him in prison. He faces the same criminal torment I suffered at his hands. I wondered if I had the strength to push for someone else to suffer such after the level of ongoing adversity I know such torment brings.
The Victim of a Sociopath Suffers Alone
Only after conviction did I realize that I was the only one suffering. The criminal did not even carry enough remorse to adequately testify on his own behalf. He believed himself above the charges, still.
The jury did not see things his way. I was likely as shocked as he was, in that this group of 12 peers convicted him of the crime he committed against me six years prior.
The conviction brought an abrupt end to six years of my own nightmares. My rampant anxiety disappeared. The constant stress I felt for all of these months upon months dissipated. My emotions stabilized. I stopped feeling a need for isolation and quiet. I started feeling ready for socialization and having people around me.
Now, about three weeks into all of these changes, I can reflect clearly on the events, pathway to justice and even the criminal offender, himself. No longer is every waking moment focused on what I need to do to get this criminal off the streets. I do not, for the moment, need to worry myself with who is “out there” suffering because of him and his serial ways. For now he is being held accountable.
Lessons Learned after Criminal Conviction
In this judicial validation of my suffering and in the offender’s aftermath, I have learned some lessons. I want to share these to hopefully help bring renewed faith or hope to anyone suffering as I have. I know now, above all else, that everything happens for a reason and even pain has its purpose.
The lessons I learned from a criminal without conscience include:
1. The amount of trauma I suffered has made me more open to helping others.
2. Feeling trauma – merely having the conscience to feel hurt – is one of the most beautiful aspects of being a human. It makes you more human.
3. Your mind siphons trauma in a slow, long drip. The slow road is the safest way to healing.
4. You will remember things you need to remember when the time is right to carry those memories. Each new memory is indicative of an old memory’s healing.
5. When in trauma, your other senses are more attuned. Use those acute connections to find ways to heal. They counterbalance your pain.
6. The most beautiful moments in life come from real, conscious connections with others. Did I really connect with anyone before the crime?
7. Sociopathy and empowerment go hand-in-hand. In many ways, this is the proverbial “selling of the soul to the devil” one hears about in childhood. Sociopaths reach such heights in the business and financial worlds as they can commit more readily to an entirely selfish pursuit.
8. There should be no guilt in prosecuting or gaining conviction of a sociopathic or psychopathic criminal. They do not feel the weight of it like their victims do.
9. Conviction is closure, proof that your “land” has a degree of conscience, too. Acquittal of an offender you know is guilty clarifies the work left to be done to improve the land’s conscience.
10. The ultimate healing comes from owning your path out of the ashes.
Post-conviction and while awaiting sentencing, everything in the world feels new to me. The jury’s verdict has instilled enough renewed faith and hope in my mind, that I can go forward in life. I feel free enough to find new ways to enjoy the future I am blessed to receive. However long or short that future may be – as I still put nothing past my criminal offender – it is a future of peace, indeed.