I wanted to change things up a bit today as we reflect on the recent tragedy in Las Vegas. First, our hearts and prayers go out to the families of those killed or injured during the mass shooting. Things like this often leave us all looking for answers. I know it left me wondering WHY? Why would someone do something like this?
There are so many unanswered questions some of which are, “how did his girlfriend not know?” I’m sure many of us wonder how she could not have known about his arsenal and his mental disorder that would allow him to do something so horrific but I can attest that it is entirely possible that she didn’t know. That there was nothing she could have done to prevent it either.
Why would I say this? Because I lived with a man for 18 years who lived his own secret life and I never knew either. Fortunately for me, my husband did go out and mass murder innocent people. However, he did eventually take his own life leaving us all in the same kind of shock asking WHY? That one question alone could have driven me nuts if I hadn’t been surrounding by wonderful christians who prayed with me and for me and my faith in God that got me through all those unanswered questions.
I don’t know if we will every know why Stephen Paddock chose the path he chose. What I do know is that stricter gun control won’t stop bad people from doing bad things. If he hadn’t had access to the guns he had, he would have probably used a bomb. We’ve seen this many times with people using different methods of killing others, whether it’s pressure cooker bombs with screws and nails or fertilizer bombs or jet planes. The fact is, anyone can kill many people without using a gun. Yes, we should not allow mentally deranged people to own guns and we shouldn’t allow criminals to own guns, but beyond that, we do have a right to bear arms and the reason for that is to prevent our country from being controlled by the wrong people. (Think Nazi Germany!)
But I want to get back to the deranged people issue. You see, my husband took his own life. He was depressed off and on for years. He sought treatment at times even took medications that seemed to help for a while but he refused to ever deal with his underlying reasons for his depression and that was his life of lies. I think many times mental disorders are caused by people living lives doing things they know are wrong and trying to convince themselves that they aren’t wrong and so they are all knotted up inside constantly fighting themselves until they either convince themselves completely that they are right or they choose to stop doing the behavior that they know is wrong.
Let me explain a little more. My husband committed adultery for years. I didn’t know about this until about year 13 when I found evidence but I suspect he had been committing adultery much longer than what I knew about. That caused him a lot of mental anguish because he considered himself a christian and he knew that was wrong yet he continued in that behavior and lied about it.
But that wasn’t his only lie. We will never really know the depth of his lies. All I know is many times he would call saying he was leaving work on his way home and hours later he would finally arrive with some bogus story/excuse for where he had been. He even rented airplanes and boats and went out on trips while he was supposedly at work. He got his private pilots license while he was supposedly “working” and money continued to disappear with no explanations.
And that private pilots license…yeah, he was taking antidepressants which automatically excludes you from being able to get a private pilots license. But all you have to do is go and get your medical exam from a doctor who had no idea you were ever on antidepressants and then lie to the doctor when they ask you. My husband never should have been allowed to own a gun nor have a private pilots license but the problem is, he lied. He always lied.
He didn’t just lie to me. No, he lied to his employers too. After his death I found a copy of a college report card with his name on it but the courses were the courses I took and I was curious as I didn’t know he went to that college. When I looked further in the folder I found my original college report card that he had whited out my information and made a photo copy then typed his information over where mine was supposed to be. He turned my grades into his employer to say he went to college. It went far beyond that. He opened checking accounts at banks and hid money from me. The only reason I found out was one time the bank sent a statement to our house instead of to his secret post office box.
That wasn’t the extent of his lies, at least not the ones I found out about. No, he even lied to one employer telling them he had a PHD! Yep. After he died I found mail addressed to Dr. my husband’s name! Yep. Wow. I had no idea.
You may ask how I or how Stephen Paddock’s girlfriend didn’t know these things were going on it is easy. These men who lie like this are masters of their game. They know what they are doing and they play the game like a chess game always one step ahead of anyone and everyone and almost always have some type of personality that allows them to get people on their side. I know in my case, my husband isolated me from anyone and everyone he knew by describing me as the shrew of a wife. The controlling, manipulative, vindictive one that made his life a living hell. So they all avoided me until he died. He was friendly, jovial and always picking up the tab for everyone so they considered him the wonderful good hearted guy but no one really knew what he was like.
One weekend when he was supposed to be working in New York City doing a major cutover for a computer system for a large company, I needed to speak to him about something with the kids. After hours of calling him with no answers, he finally answered and there was a lot of noise in the background. It sounded like a huge party. He insisted he was at work. Finally, I could hear loudspeakers in the background and he finally admitted that he was in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. It seems that the cutover that had been planned for months was canceled at the very last minute and someone he knew had tickets to the Oshkosh air show and invited him along. So, why not hop in a private plane and fly all the way to Wisconsin and never tell your wife where you are for the weekend? Yeah, that was just one time I caught him. I have no idea how many other places he visited that I never knew about.
But are all those lies enough for him to live in mental anguish and to take his own life? No, I do not believe that they were. I believe he had much deeper darker secrets that he was hiding and it was his lies upon lies upon lies that his entire life was built upon that caused him to eventually take his own life. I say this because eight years after his took his own life, a male friend of his called to share with me that my husband and he had been lovers throughout our entire marriage. It seems my husband was gay or at least bisexual and I never knew. He kept that hidden from me for 18 years. He kept it hidden from our church, from the marriage ministry we were involved in, from our children. I’m sure him living his dual life was what caused him so much misery.
I’m still left with lots of whys. Why didn’t he just tell me he was gay and divorce me? Why did he marry me in the first place? Why did he want to have kids if he really didn’t care to raise them? Yes, there are lots of whys we are still left with as there will be whys that Stephen Paddock’s family and friends will be left with.
The only answers I have to the whys are this. God made humans and he made them good without sin but gave them the choice to rule their own lives and sadly Adam and Eve chose to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Since that time, evil entered the world. Cain killed Able with nothing but a rock! He didn’t need semi-automatic weapons to do evil. There weren’t a lot of people in the world and there was plenty of room for them all to live yet Cain chose evil. I am truly convinced that there are demons in this world that affect us, how we think and ultimately what we do and it all boils down to who is in control of your life. Are you allowing yourself to be controlled by evil? Do you make choices based on what feels good or what IS good? Do you life a life seeking to honor God in all that you do? I am convinced after watching my husband make his choices and hearing more and more about his secret life that many who call themselves christians are no more saved than satan himself. So many are deceived in this world. Many deceive others as my husband did, but many also deceive themselves saying that they have a “right” to be “happy”. All I know is…I cannot live with lies. I cannot live with deceit. I cannot live with doing things that i know are wrong. The only way I can live my life free from mental anguish is to live my life according to God’s ways and chose to do right even when it’s a difficult choice. And I fear that until the entire world chooses this path we will continue to have evil in this world. No legislation will change an evil person’s ability to do evil.