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During all of this I was in contact with an old friend from high school. I had absolutely adored him from the time I was fourteen years old. He was one of the best friends I’ve ever had. My husband had always been insanely jealous of our relationship and the “way we acted with each other.” I’d been engaged to this guy’s older brother twice and had been very close to his family. We were tight.

My oldest son went on a business trip with “Uncle Shawn” and, upon his return, said to me, “Mom, I can’t believe you never married either one of those guys. You’re a complicated woman, but they both really get you. And, they both really care about you.”

Shortly thereafter a woman I admire spoke at our church. She and I just clicked during the special Ladies’ Night Out, and I enjoyed our time together immensely. She prayed over me, but I didn’t like the way she prayed. She asked that the Lord would soften my husband’s heart and restore the marriage when I was wanting her to pray that he would move on and leave me alone!

On Sunday, my high school friend, five of my children, and I walked into church like any other Sunday. Marilyn beamed and acted excited about something.

After the service she pulled me aside to share with me that she’d had a vision when she was praying over me. It was of me and a black man. She’d almost stopped praying to ask if my husband was black, but she hadn’t. The Lord had told her, “It’s okay. It’s okay. I have put them together.” That was why she prayed for restoration of the marriage. However, she knew she’d misunderstood the vision and the voice when she saw me walk in to church with a black man and a bunch of white kids.

I’ll admit it. I shared in her excitement. She claimed the Lord Himself told her that He had put me together with a black man, and here stands probably the only man I could possibly trust–my friend of 28 years, and he’s black. How convenient was that?!

I didn’t say a word to him about it though. My husband hadn’t been gone long; I was still very ill; my mom had just died, and my dad was gravely ill. I was shell shocked and not ready, so I kept Marilyn’s vision to myself.

It wasn’t but a few weeks, and he asked me to go to the store with him to get dog food after church. And, he wanted to talk. We were never ever alone. Between my five kids that were living with me, his son, his son’s live in girlfriend, and all of our mutual friends, we were never alone. So, this talk had to be important.

He wanted to know if I could ever see myself with him. I told him that I didn’t want anything the Lord didn’t want for me. If the Lord wanted it, then I wanted it. If not, I didn’t. That didn’t satisfy him though. He pressed me. And, pressed me some more.  It was long after dark, and we were still sitting in the parking lot, freezing cold.  I felt like he wasn’t going to let up until I gave him the answer he wanted.  I felt terribly pressured. Just like the day in the gun shop. Just like the day my husband pressured me to marry him.

I know I’m screwed up. I realize I’m a relational nightmare, so I didn’t hold it against him, not really. Perhaps I was just too scared; it was too soon for me to think about that kind of thing. But, I started keeping a “Shawn Con” list nonetheless. It was a record of my Operational Risk Assessment, just in case this pressure and his moving too fast were some sort of indicator.

Shawn Cons:

1.  He refused to help me over the trailer hitch because he said I “have long legs,” so I could do it myself.  I could, but I still expected a courtesy hand to help me over.

2.  He left my teenage son at a job site, unsupervised and without asking me, with no intention of coming back for him.  One of his employees saw what happened and gave my son his phone and told him to call me to come get him.

3.  He mocked my cooking and cleanliness in front of the kids.  He tried to play it off that he was just teasing me, but I was offended because it seemed inappropriate and untimely.  Perhaps I’m just overly sensitive to being insulted in front of the children because of R.

4.  He made derogatory, generalized statements about women.  He said, “You’re all needy.”  When I didn’t respond to his provocation he repeated himself as though he was waiting for me to be offended.

5.  He condemned me by saying my belief system is wrong and proceeding to tell me his take without asking me for clarification and without showing respect for differences.

6.  He walked into my house when my daughter and son-in-law were here visiting and interrupted the conversation, looking at me, and with a disgusted tone asked, “Aren’t you going to ask how my day was?!”  He then took over the entire conversation, not allowing anyone else to talk, until my daughter and her husband finally just left.

7.  He babies C (his adult son) yet nags him constantly for never keeping the kitchen clean enough, even though Shawn himself is a complete slob.  He seems to have one set of standards for himself and another set for C and H (C’s girlfriend).

8.  He baits my oldest two sons into conversations and then when they respond or begin to participate he cuts them off by saying, “Well, then there’s the care factor.  You have to care about it, which I don’t.”

9.  He took S on that business trip and refused to let him sleep for three days.  He drug his feet until they were late and then refused to stop overnight.  S did all the driving and then they went straight to work and pulled a 12 hour shift on no sleep. They took a short nap and then drove straight back.  When he called me I suggested that he give S a break and let him get some sleep.  Shawn snapped at me that S is a grown man and he absolutely was not going to let him sleep.

10.  He showed no regard for my health and showed absolutely no interest when I had a growth removed for biopsy.  In fact, he seemed to do things where I might be injured or my stitches might be compromised.

11.  He signed to be the “caretaker” for my troubled son, so he could get a medical marijuana card eight months after he got clean from meth.  (This is the son R beat, starved, grounded to his bed for days, and choked; the one R’s son raped)  Shawn knows how I feel about our state’s medical marijuana laws.  He knows that I hate drugs of all forms, legal or not.  He signed it behind my back and had no intention of telling me.  My son told me.

12.  He was playing with D, swinging her back and forth between his knees, and purposefully pulled one knee back, allowing her to fall.  She cried.  She looked so wounded.  Not physically but emotionally.  Uncle Shawn had broken her trust.  He showed no compassion but mockingly asked, “Oh, did you hurt me?  Did you hurt me?” and laughed.

That was it.  He was out of here and out of our lives.  For good.  I refuse to speak to him or allow him around my minor children.  He tries to pass messages to me through my adult children, and I’ve told them to feel free to let him know what I think of him and his messages.

The boy and the young man that I knew and loved died.  A narcissistic demon now resides in that body.

As for Marilyn’s vision?  I don’t know.  Maybe she’s deceived.  Or, maybe the Lord has a black man out there somewhere for me.  But, if He does, it sure as heck isn’t Shawn!  My Operational Risk Assessment showed him as being a Level 1 Critical Hazard.

And, believe it or not, to be continued……….