My Ex-Husband Brainwashed Me

My ex stalked me right up to his last day on Earth.

woman being love bombed to be tossed in the flames of abuse Karolina Grabowska | Canva

The first time I met Micah was outside of his trailer in the dark. There was an eviction notice in the window. When he invited me inside, I saw wires all around on the floor that he was using to steal electricity and cable TV.

In the middle of the trailer sat a toilet with no walls around it, right in the middle of the bedroom. Every wall in the trailer was knocked down, although it didn’t seem like he was fixing anything.


I should have run away right there and then. Everything about him screamed "red flags." I wish I had just driven away and never got involved with him. However, my heart had scars on it due to a recent divorce.

I was lonely and desperate, and the fact that Micah was paying attention to me was all I thought I needed. My self-confidence was nonexistent that night, but he told me I was pretty. I hung on to every word he said.

I met Micah on a dating site. His profile picture showed him wearing full makeup or at least eyeliner. When we wrote back and forth, it wasn’t on my mind that we would ever date. He was just a cool-looking guy, but over time he love-bombed me.


He called me at least twenty times a day. I wish that was an exaggeration, but my phone rang all day and night. I found out later that he stalked his ex-wife and got in trouble for all the phone calls. She had a restraining order against him (hello, red flag). When he told me his sad story about his marriage, he said his ex-wife was crazy. It’s the same word he eventually used when he talked about me.

After about two weeks of having Micah’s full attention, he suddenly didn’t call me for days. When he finally called, I asked if anything was wrong. He said he thought we were moving too fast, which was strange because he had been moving at breakneck speed.

He said he didn’t want to get attached to me. This was ironic because he seemed to want to attach me to him.


He still called me multiple times a day after that. I thought there was something wrong with me. What had I done to turn Micah off? I blamed myself for not being enough for this man who obviously had difficulty managing his life. I felt ugly and washed up. Meanwhile, Micah played the victim, and I was so attached to him by then that I believed every word.

I felt so sorry for him that I let him move into my gorgeous townhouse. Right after that, I found out I was pregnant with his child. When he asked me to marry him, likely because he had no money and I was getting alimony from my ex-husband, I said yes. Our daughter was born three months early, and I stayed in the hospital under bed rest for two weeks.

When I got home with the baby, I saw that Micah had trashed the townhouse that I’d been so proud to own. There were fruit flies in the kitchen dirt and several unknown smears all over the white carpet. From that moment on, the house didn’t feel like mine anymore.

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I asked Micah to leave and get out of our lives, but he refused to go. Instead, the kids and I moved into a duplex. I swore I’d never go back to him, but he found out where I lived and stalked and begged me every day until I let him live at the duplex. He promptly stole my medication several times, but I was afraid of confronting him.

The same thing would happen in all the various places I tried to hide from him. He’d show up and worm his way in, putting his greedy paws on everything I owned. He played the victim like nobody else, and I kept taking him in because I felt sorry for him.

I was no longer in love with him — if I ever had been — but he sent me hundreds of texts a day for eight years. These were messages saying he had nowhere to go and didn’t want to end up homeless. In the end, even though I’d given him everything he had, he still wanted more. He was such a manipulator.

My friends didn’t understand why I couldn’t get away from him. They didn’t realize until later that I’d been brainwashed.


Micah used every story he could come up with to lure me back. I forgave him over and over. Every time I went back to him, things were worse. I shouldn’t have been so forgiving and gullible. Although I didn’t love Micah anymore, the guilt and shame he used to get me back every time were more than I could handle. It was exhausting to fight with him, and a lot of times I just gave up.

Right before I left Micah for the last time, I remember going to the bank to cash my check, and Micah was right there with me with his hand out. I gave him some of my money, but anger flowed through me, and suddenly I shouted out the most hurtful thing I could think of.


I’d never spoken to him like that before. Micah got upset and started crying, but I was sick of his tears and guilt. What I said to him was the absolute truth, and I think he knew it, too. I didn’t say anything else, but a few days later I made my final attempt to escape. When he was at work, I packed up my stuff (what was left of it) when he was at work and left him for good.


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I finally realized that I had to leave Micah in order to save myself.

I had an empty bank account because he sucked all the money out of me over the years. I didn’t know who I was anymore because of his brainwashing, but part of me wanted to find out. I’d spent the last eight years with him attached to me like a leech.

Ironically, after all was said and done, I was the one who ended up homeless for a few days. I thought about his previous eviction notice and how Micah depended on me for everything he had, but made me feel guilty for caring about myself and not just him.


Micah stalked me right up to his last day on Earth.

He’d find out I was seeing someone, and then he’d send the guy a barrage of messages telling them that I was crazy and he should stay away from me. He did this with every man I was interested in. He sent me messages sounding more and more desperate. Micah couldn’t believe how serious I was about letting him go.

I found out about Micah’s death when his mother called me the day after it happened. He walked in front of a train after drinking a six-pack of beer. His parents thought it was an accident, but I couldn’t be sure. Micah had depression, and he’d threatened to kill himself several times trying to get me back. I didn’t contradict his parents, but I knew better. 

Even after Micah died, I still had PTSD over our whole relationship, and I spent a few years in a therapist’s office working on detachment. Micah saw our daughter as a pawn, pretending to be a good father, but he used her to get to me. He also had no interest in my kids and was jealous of them for having my love.


Micah was dead, but the memories were not.

I worked hard to stop hating him. I decided that he was a monster, but the truth is more complex than that. I cried over how it all could have been avoided if I’d just been strong enough the first time. Today, I would have driven away on the spot, and I felt bad for not doing it then. He was the biggest mistake of my life.

It took a long time to stop being angry at Micah after his death. Now, I forgive him because I don’t want him to impact my life for one more second. I stopped feeling bad and thinking it was my fault that he was dead. He had depression and died by suicide, and there was nothing about it that I could have done.

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Micah became part of my past and that’s it. Our daughter never brings him up, although she was traumatized as well. I told her to ask me if she had any questions about him, but she couldn’t think of one.

With both of us leaving Micah in the past where he belonged, we began to heal from the damage.

I beat myself up for years for even getting involved with Micah. It was hard to explain to my loved ones how I could have ever gone back to somebody like him. They just didn’t understand the level at which he’d manipulated and lied to me. Fortunately, my friends came back around when they saw me doing better without him.


My life is happy today, and I never thought it would get there considering how far I’d fallen. I pride myself that I would never let anyone else with red flags manipulate me. I’ve been worked over by an expert, and I swear I’d never get into that situation again where I ignored them. My voice is back now, and I’m getting stronger every day.

I always thought my relationship with Micah would end with one of us dying, but I thought it was going to be me because of the way he abused and tortured me. I still feel bad that he died, but I am free. I have a better life today without him.

Also, I have learned how to love myself more, the part that was missing all along.

If you’re experiencing domestic abuse, you’re not alone.


The National Domestic Violence Hotline reports that approximately 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the U.S. More than 12 million women and men over the course of the year suffer from instances of domestic violence and abuse.

If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse or violence, there are resources to get help.

There are ways to go about asking for help as safely as possible. For more information, resources, legal advice, and relevant links visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline. For anyone struggling with domestic abuse, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). If you’re unable to speak safely, text LOVEIS to 1-866-331-9474 or log onto

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Glenna Gill is a writer and blogger from Charlotte, North Carolina. Her articles have been featured in Scary Mommy and P.S. I Love You. When I Was Lost is her first full-length book, a memoir of love, loss and hope.