Tuesday, March 4, 2008


I met a guy at a friend’s party. We’ll call him “Brad.” He was very good looking and reminded me of Brad Pitt. He came from an extremely religious family who were very well off. His father was a church bishop and a prominent businessman who owned car lots, a hotel and a restaurant. Looking back, I over-looked a lot of red flags because he was so good looking and seemed to have such a solid family. Not only did he fool me with his charm and good looks, he even fooled my family and friends. Unbeknownst to me, he was a drug addict who took dozens of pain pills daily, in addition to snorting cocaine. We dated for about 6 months during which time he never had a steady job and stayed either with his parents or at friends. He worked sporadically on various contracting projects and always had reasons for his lack of consistent employment. After six months of dating, I offered to let him move in because I had a successful career working in an international airport equipment family business I started with my father, owned my own home and had a nice car. I figured, why shouldn’t I help him out? Brad had an innocent, boyish quality and I never saw his aggressive nature until after he moved in with me.

I worked long hours and traveled internationally bidding airport projects throughout the Pacific Basin and Asia. My career kept me extremely busy so I didn’t have time to track Brad’s daily schedule. Later I discovered that while I was working, he was partying and started using even harder drugs. His cocaine use led to Meth use, which then led to him shooting Heroin. This all happened in a few months. Brad’s behavior became increasingly aggressive and unpredictable. He started losing weight, sleeping less and even started showing sores on his body. Arguments turned into fights and fights turned into physical abuse. It got so bad I literally feared for my life. He destroyed my belongings and punched holes in the walls multiple times, one time breaking his hand. During one of our arguments, he knocked me down and pinned me to the floor, choking me with both hands until I couldn’t breathe. I remember thinking, “this is it, I am going to die” and I briefly blacked out. Thankfully he let go long enough to pick up my bed mattress and throw it on top of me to smoother me, which allowed my esophagus to become unstuck as I gasped for air. Shortly after, he cried and begged for forgiveness. Stupidly, I forgave him and let him back into my life because I cared for him and I thought he could change if he entered rehab. I believed his empty promises of turning around his life but things only got worse and he bailed on rehab. I still can’t believe I ignored one of the most serious red flags – physical abuse.

One morning on Easter Sunday, we were late meeting my parents for brunch. I had on a beautiful Easter dress and Brad wouldn’t get out of bed. I tugged on him, asking him to hurry and get in the shower because we were already late. Brad then stood up and out of nowhere, hit me so hard across the head that I blacked out and fell to the ground. Brad was 6 foot 3 inches, about 200 pounds. I’m 5 feet tall, 103 pounds. When I regained consciousness, the right side of my face was black and blue and I raced to my parent’s house. This time, I finally realized the relationship had to end. In tears, I stumbled into my parent’s house. When my father saw the bruises on my face, he called one of his buddies to help throw Brad out of my house and told him never to come back. From thereon, Brad’s abuse turned into stalking and I lived in terror for the next year.

Once Brad broke into my house while I wasn’t home. He waited in the dark for me to return with a .45 caliber loaded gun. I trembled in fear, having no idea what would happen next. He waved the gun around in the air repeatedly screaming and ranting incoherently. Brad then took the gun and pointed it at his own head and said he was going to kill himself. At any moment, I realized this could be the end of my life, his life or both. The only thing I could do was try to calm him by talking to him. I tried to distract him long enough to make my way to a phone. However, he wouldn’t let me out of his sight. We were locked in a stalemate for over an hour-and-a-half as I continued to try to calm him down. His moods swung from threats of violence to uncontrollable tears. To my relief and surprise, he suddenly ran from my house and I immediately called the police.

The next day I secured my home and filed a restraining order. For months Brad continued to stalk me in spite of the restraining order. I found used syringes thrown into my yard. He would show up at my work, hide outside my home and even stole my dog. The police never got there in time to catch him. When I tried to stop him from stealing my dog, I jumped on his back punching his face but he slammed me into a wall backwards but I wouldn’t let go. Nobody was going to take my dog. Finally he loosened my monkey-like grip around his neck and threw me on the front lawn of my home and started choking me. Luckily a body builder from next door came outside just in time and Brad ran away with my dog. I tried multiple times to get my dog back but was unsuccessful and was so scared of Brad. The stalking didn’t end until he went to jail for theft and warrants for not showing up for court dates for violating the restraining order. I never heard from him again.

Brad was one of the catalysts for me creating WomanSavers.com, the World’s Largest Database Rating Men. After I learned how to screen my dates properly and do background checks, I met the most wonderful man in the world who I screened heavily and who passed all the background checks with flying colors. Learning how to screen my dates made all the difference in the world and I now have my own "happily ever after" story with the man of my dreams.