By Nicole Marie Hilton, November 17, 2019
Becoming subject to programming from the dark side—whether by our own choice or through trauma or abuse—inevitably leads us into a spiral of self-destructive beliefs, attitudes, and decisions. For those of us finding ourselves neck deep in dark programming, it takes a miracle to escape with our lives. I feel for my poor, worn-out guardian angels who have gotten me safely onto the path of healing in spite of myself.
In 2012, I had gone through Mental Health Court because I had broken the law. Being naïve and overly-trusting—and also having “rescuer-syndrome” (as I like to call it)—I made friends with anyone who approached me—including some extremely shady people who were caught up in the legal system.
There always seemed to be a part of me that would pull me into situations that were life-threatening, or at least would harm me and invite more trauma into my life. This part would whisper, This is what you want. This is all you are good for. You are an object—this is the measure of your creation. And those thoughts would subconsciously drive some of my actions. Consciously, though, I wouldn’t be thinking those things at this stage in my life. In grade school and the beginning of college, yes. In 2012 right after my first divorce? No. My actions came from seemingly virtuous thoughts, such as, being trusting is good—never judge a book by its cover! Being friends with everyone is what charity is all about! Rescuing people is commendable!
Thus, I got into situations like the one I’m going to tell you about now, where I had a tendency to wrap the sinister motivations of others with a pretty bow.
There was a schizophrenic man— age 25-30—at Mental Health Court. Let’s call him Matt. Matt approached me after a session where he had been sitting behind me. During court, he walked up to the small podium—his brown hair unkempt—and reported his progress, then sat down. After court was over, he leaned over the back of the bench I was sitting on and commented on how cool my hair was. He smelled like he hadn’t taken a shower in a week, yet he smiled at me—and that was enough. We exchanged phone numbers, and I got that little thrill of excitement I always got in these situations. Thoughts like I am needed, I am desirable, I’m being a good person would flit through my head—guiding my actions much like a car’s steering wheel can be used to guide it off a cliff.
We texted a bit, and made a lunch date. During lunch, I listened to all of his woes, and he listened to mine. We commiserated on how awful the whole “system” is. How cops were nearly “always” dirty. And how there wasn’t “anybody” who could halfway understand us! Afterwards, I dropped him off and left feeling really good about myself.
Now that I’m looking back on the whole experience, there were a lot—I mean a lot—of red flags that I would be able to see easily today…yet they were in my blind spot back then because of my programming.
A couple of weeks later, we made another lunch date. I went to pick him up at his apartment out in Washington.
I climbed the stairs to the nondescript brown apartment building he was living in and knocked at his door—which was scratched and dented in some places.
Matt opened the door.
“Hello, hello Nicole I’m just—I’m…why don’t you come in?”
I felt uneasy right away. I brushed the uneasiness aside. How dare you feel uneasy about another human being! What’s wrong with you! The programming seemed to say. So, I smiled and stepped through the door.
He closed it behind me…and locked it.
I clutched my purse instinctively.
The whole place smelled like marijuana. There were dirty dishes all over the front room and kitchen, and the walls were oppressively bare.
He was behind me. He put his hand on my lower back.
“Won’t you come in and sit down?”
I looked around. There were no couches. “Where?” I asked, still clutching my purse. My heart started beating a bit faster.
“Oh—in here, in here…”
He guided me—his hand firmly on the small of my back—to his bedroom. I did nothing to resist. He sat me down on his bed.
“Um, Matt? I think we should go eat somewhere…” I stammered. Was my voice squeaky? How embarrassing for me.
“Nicole, you are so right. But first, well…”
My arms were tensed up at my sides. I looked around the room. There was hair everywhere. I looked for a cat, but couldn’t find one. I tried to take up as little space as I possibly could on his ratty blanket, which covered the bed. Matt sat at a desk chair, before an enormous computer screen and speakers. I noticed there was a bong on the table, and a spoon with a substance in it which looked to have been melted. I thought I’d seen the same thing in movies, but I couldn’t remember what it was.
I gazed over at the bathroom. It was even dirtier than his room, and the shower curtain was stained.
We started talking, and in spite of my boundless naiveté, five minutes into the conversation even I realized that something wasn’t right. He was repeating himself often, and bobbing his head in a weird way. I kept putting off my growing feeling of dread, and the rescuer in me listened to him and responded as politely as I could.
Then suddenly he burst out: “Nicole don’t you ever just want to get away from it all? So I’m telling you—I’m telling you—I’ve got tickets for us, two tickets, two tickets, and we are going to run away from this place. Run far away from this place—up to Canada—where we are going to be married—it’s going to, got to, work—“
I stared at him. I realized that, despite looking like he hadn’t spent a day at the gym, his torso was broad. And his hairy arms were big. And his trembling hands were strong and erratic enough that they could break anything—or anyone—who didn’t agree with him.
I tried to disagree with him gently. We went back and forth for five minutes. It was enough for him to know that I wasn’t completely in on his fantastic idea to elope to Canada. He started to shift in his chair, extending and flexing his fingers rhythmically.
It dawned on me that even though this guy was schizophrenic and on drugs, he was still smart enough to pick up on my unwillingness to go along with his plan, and he was getting antsy.
Then a voice said urgently in my ear, Lie, Nicole. You have to lie.
I set aside my awareness of my heart pumping like a rabbit’s. Remembering that I always wanted to be an actress, I said, “Matt, before we discuss any more of that, can’t we go to lunch and talk about it? I…had so much fun last time.” This was a lie.
If I could just get him to a place where there were people…I was sure I could escape him.
“Oh no, we can’t do that…we can’t do that…” He said, bowing his head. Then his eyes looked up at me from under the fringe of hair which had fallen across his face. They were bloodshot.
He drew in a breath. “First…we need to seal our union together. Right here, right now—in this bed.”
He started to get up from the chair. I braced myself, and stammered,
But he sat down beside me on the bed, his arm around my back, and I moved over a couple of inches. I tried not to lean away from him too much, but he smelled badly.
His shirt was slightly damp from sweat. I looked at him. His eyes were hungry and crazed.
“Nicole, I love you. I’m in love with you. Let me show you how much I love you…just don’t fight it anymore.” He started to force me down onto the bed. My stomach flexed as I tried to fight him.
Oh God, help me! I thought.
An idea sprang into my mind. I yelped, “Wait! Wait Matt…Oh Matt…wow I…haven’t felt this way before. I’m so confused…” I ducked from under his arm and turned and faced him on the bed. I grabbed his hands.
“Confused?” he asked.
I thought about his penchant for talking about metaphysical things. I started to act increasingly excited. “Yes…I don’t believe in sex before marriage…but what if you’re right? What if…okay, I just had this idea—what if all of time is compressed, and we are in an eternal now? Does that mean…?” I paused, gazing off into space, as if I were pondering.
He looked up and down my body as my attention snapped back to him, and I said slowly, “…that means we are already married in Canada.”
His eyes lit up, but then they went dark. He leaned forward and brought his face to mine.
“Do you really believe that?”
I leaned away—“Matt…I don’t know what to believe anymore. It’s just a silly idea.”
“Nicole, it isn’t—isn’t. The space time continuum is all a façade. Everything’s already happened.”
Then I put my hand on his bicep, and looked down at his body as if I wanted him all the more. I looked up at him through my eyelashes, and said, “But…but Matt…are you sure we are going to Canada? You have the tickets?”
“Yes! Yes I have them right here…” he pointed to the desk. I saw some white printed paper on it, but couldn’t tell what it said.
“Okay. I’ll do it. I’ll do it!” I looked at him bright-eyed, and then hugged him. Inside of me, though, there seemed to be all parts of me awake and alert—one part of me was cringing at pressing his sweaty and hairy body to mine. Another was using all her genius in the art of flirtation, and yet another part was using all her genius in how to actually get out of the apartment with my virtue and life intact. Another part of me—the one who was “fronting” and transforming all direction from the other parts into a flawless performance—was acting so well that I actually almost believed what I was saying to him. That is, I’m guessing, what finally sold him on the idea that I truly wanted to copulate with him right then and there.
He took off his shirt and grabbed the bottom of mine, and was starting to pull it up when I said—as an afterthought—“Matt…sorry, um…can you take a quick shower? It’s just that…I really like things clean before I…before…”
He stood up with a burst of energy, “Oh—Oh I’m sorry, of course! Okay it’ll just take me five minutes, okay?” he backed into the bathroom as he was saying this, his hand out in the “stop” gesture. “Just wait right there, okay?”
I sighed, and leaned back onto the bed and said, “Matt…you know I’m not going anywhere.” I smiled slightly.
“Okay—right! I’ll be right out!” He slammed the door. I waited a couple seconds, then I heard the shower head turn on.
Immediately, I grabbed my purse—which had fallen to the floor—and I ran into the kitchen. It’s scarcely believable to me now, but I actually grabbed a pen, and wrote on a scrap of paper,
Matt, you are off your meds. Get back on them. And do the dishes.
Then I ran to the door, unlocked it, and got the hell out of there.