"This, I thought, is crazy. If true, it is evil. But surely it is too crazy; it implies too gross a violation of ordinary human behavior, to be true. If it was true, there was something totalitarian there, something like the atmosphere of a Stalinist show-trial, the demand that privacy and dignity be ripped away to appease,...apparent emotional derangement,.."
- Hal G.P. Colebatch, in The Spectator, commenting on the public displays of emotional blackmail during Princess Diana's death.
(I'm only using the quote, above, as a launching-off point because it captures, perfectly, what I thought about the occult - and the behavior of it's practitioners - as I slowly discovered the metaphysical underpinnings of my wife, Karine Brunck, being taken advantage of by Robert Wohlfahrt, Wissimbourg, France's homeopathic village quack who had just euthanized her mother, less than a month before:)
[Segments I, II, and III, can be found here, here, and here.]
Well, it's Halloween, a day that will never be the same for me, because it means it was three years ago, today, that I first heard the name "Robert Wohlfahrt" and - for the rest of my life - this man's "beliefs" and actions will haunt me daily.
I found the "homeopath's" name on my mother-in-law's death certificate, only knowing my ex-wife, Karine Anne Brunck, had been sleeping with a man named "Robert". She had come back to America, after burying her mother, and then claimed she to had run back to Wissembourg, France after informing me she and "Robert" had "mystical powers" and they were, both, "students of the occult". (Spooky, huh?) I didn't know what to make of any of it.
Wohlfahrt means "Welfare" in German, but "Wolf Heart" in English, so when I first saw the name I just stood there - stunned - taking it in, holding my mother-in-law's death certificate in one hand and a huge new cell phone bill in the other, madly putting two-and-two together after a frantic period of in-house detective work; trying to sort out what had happened to my wife. "She's sleeping with the doctor - who euthanized her mother?" It was just too much - and too morbidly creepy - for my mind to comprehend: some self-proclaimed Mr. Amazing, with a wolf heart, did not have our welfare in mind at all.
From the moment Karine had returned from France, after she had been away for six months caring for her mother, she had been behaving strangely. Our greeting at the airport was stiff and overly-formal. She told me it was "culture shock", which I understood, having stayed in Wissembourg and returned to America to see a grimy, and sometimes threatening, San Francisco with new eyes.
Karine was nervous, and fidgety, and demanded not to greet any of our friends who were excited to see her after so much time. I chased them all away with half-hearted apologies. We then made small talk, with Karine telling me about the funeral and the doctor, who she described merely as "nice".
Sex that night was awful. Since I didn't know she had just had sex with Robert hours before, I also didn't know how to interpret Karine's awkward responses, and blamed myself for what was a less-than-stellar performance. This set the tone for the next four months we were together: Karine, acting in a cold and distant manner, and me wondering how long her "culture shock" would last and what I could do to bring us back together.
Karine's bizarre behavior started affecting everything, turning our home life very dark, like the atmosphere in the movie, The Exorcist. She'd stay away from the house for almost entire days, only to return and glower at me. I found her masturbating constantly - in the bathtub, the bed, and even the kitchen.
At the time, I had been working as music director for a wonderful internet music start-up, Better Propaganda.com, and trading stocks (successfully) online, but with such a weirdly gloom-and-doom scenario at home, I couldn't seriously focus on either and my music work suffered - and I started losing money on trades at a rapid pace.
As I mentioned (in The Big Bang, Part I) Karine took to wearing headphones at home, intently listening to a silly NewAge radio program about angels, while wearing me down with a hate stare. I became seriously concerned for the state of her mind. Wasn't her head-strong belief in NewAge supposed to be so peace, love, and happiness could be brought into the world? If so, it certainly wasn't working for us. My wife had become an evil bitch.
After months of this, I was happy when her best friend, Nadia Eisen, had arrived from Luxembourg. Nadia and I had always gotten along, and though she suffered from Crohn's disease (which would leave farts floating around the house that could peel paint off the walls, and forced me to shoo some visitors away with lame excuses) I always looked forward to Nadia's visits, because they always featured the three of us together, laughing, eating, and drinking around our table like family.
But it wasn't like that this time. This time, Karine and Nadia were always whispering in French, conspirators with a secret they would not divulge. They watched me closely, like I was an animal in the zoo, and arranged weekend trips away without inviting me along.
Nadia's presence, accompanied as it was by her nuclear bomb excretions, just made a an already unsteady situation much, much worse. And when it was time for her to leave - as I happily drove her to the airport - she did what struck me as the most crazy thing: she started confessing how lonely she was since she broke up with her last boyfriend, and looking at me expectantly.
I wanted nothing to do with Nadia sexually. I had met her former boyfriend, and (even though we didn't agree politically) I thought he was a really nice guy she had ridiculed for nothing - because she didn't think he was "exciting" enough; not enough of a go-getter or a risk-taker, when the man was nice, smart, extremely kind to her, had a really good job, an apartment, and a wonderful house he loaned to Karine, Nadia, and I when we visited. He was even able to travel through his work. I thought, since he didn't find Nadia's "master blasters" overly-offensive, she should have felt lucky to have him but no - she decided he was a "loser" for not being willing to jump through her hoops of selfishness. Anyway, when Nadia made her sly overtures - which I now regard as her testing my fidelity in light of what Karine had done - I was repulsed, wanted her out of my car, and back on a plane to Europe.
After Karine's lies stacked up to the breaking point and The Big Bang occured, we had such a terrible fight that our friend and neighbor, Lloyd, came over and, concerned, told Karine to go to his wife while he stayed with me. Shaking his head, he listened to Karine's panting confession of an affair on that horrible Doti Boon "psychic" tape with me, watched me cry, scream, and make terrible animal-like sounds until, basically, I became so exhausted I passed out.
I woke up screaming, my throat raw, from doing so even in my sleep. That first horrible night, three years ago, started a pattern that continues to this day: I start to gain conscienceness, reach over to pull my wife to me, and once I realize she's not there, I wake up not knowing where I am. Then reality hits me with a palpable force, and in order to go on, I respond to it like I'm in the jungle with a machete: I've just got to keep hacking away - keep moving forward - tear apart all her bullshit until I reach a clearing. Until I understand the madness loving her had me trapped in.
On the day after our fight, I jumped out of bed and immediately called Lloyd's, asking if Karine was still at his house. He said yes and put her on the phone, but our conversation kept quickly descending into open warfare. It was like she only had three settings now: lie, deny, or defiance, and I wasn't having any of it.
Knowing Karine had been lying to me already, I asked Lloyd to mediate for us, and listened as Karine threw out one lame excuse after another - lame excuses for a wife, in a 20 year marriage, trying to explain how she could take off her clothes and have sex with another man. She was saying things like it was my job. But she had pushed me to take the job at Better Propaganda.com, saying she thought it would be good for me. "You told me to take it!" I yelled incredulously.
We went on like that for about half an hour: Karine, studiously avoiding (in front of Lloyd) any mention of the delusional mental framework she had told me she and Robert shared, throwing out one diversionary issue after another that I batted down with the facts and evidence of our lives. With Lloyd mediating, it soon became clear that Karine wasn't trying to divulge the whole truth, so, rather than admit anything more, she bolted for the door, and to our car, and disappeared.
For me, the confusion and horror - and the terrifying screams from the night before - returned with a frightening power. I grew up as a foster child, so, as an adult, she alone was the only real family that I loved, and though it happened many times when I was a child, I wasn't prepared to unexpectantly face my world coming apart again. My wife may have been loony, but damn it she was my loon, and I hadn't ever considered how I'd go through life without her. Wasn't that what our marriage was all about?
But now I had no idea where my wife was. I also didn't know if her mind was right. All I knew was she was planning on returning to France (because she had told me a series of lies about why she had bought a ticket) but I had no idea if she was leaving immediately.
I started frantically calling her girlfriends, each one by turn feigning ignorance or giving me the cold shoulder. I started getting paranoid: what was going on? And who all knew? Then I thought to call Nadia, because if anyone knew what was going on, it had to be her,....
O.K. - enough - this is hard stuff to write about, but it will be continued, because doing what's hard is the essence of: