Part I

Response addressing report’s claims.
/ Restraining Order / 21STRO06858 /

It is my belief that the petitioner, Pedro Eduardo Uribe Lan, suffers from a combination of cluster A & B disorder. The allegations supporting this restraining order are an utter and complete misrepresentation of the marriage and the abuse I’ve endured over the course of nearly 4 years - not a little under 3 years as he mentioned. His timeline is incorrect, and so are the information provided in order to justify this order. I am forced to go into great details in order to present an accurate picture of the chain of events that had led us to this point. Please bear with me, as I am certain this written account will be very lengthy. I have no other choice but to come forward with the truth for my life is currently in great danger. He has caused me immeasurable distress over the course of our relationship and my entire body bears the marks of the violence that has permeated our marriage. I have legitimate concerns for the safety and well being of our pets, Maya & Rio, currently in his custody. I also worry about the safety and well being of our present roommate - Bruce Hood - who has only lived with us since mid November. During that time frame, less than a month, there has been two incidents of both verbal and physical assault perpetrated against me. We never discussed these incidents but it was loud enough that it is safe to assume Bruce must have heard parts of the commotion.

Pedro is a criminally minded individual who exhibits blatant signs of malignant narcissism. He is prone to paranoia and acts of extreme violence. He has entrapped me into an impossible situation, using deceitful and manipulative strategies. A situation which was doomed to fail. He has entered my life under false pretenses. Our marriage, as I’ve come to realize, was nothing but a cover. He is involved in a wide array of drug related criminal activities, involving the sale of illicit substances, money laundering, and other fraudulent schemes. He has a sophisticated system in place, a vast network of connections, and multiple avenues for applying pressure on people who cross him. He has progressively taken control of all our finances and assets, thanks to my blind faith and passivity. The fact that my physical health has been greatly and consistently affected by our marital issues did not help in allowing me to see through the many lies I was being fed since day one. He has crippled me physically, financially, and socially by initiating a smear campaign against me. That is a strategy he had been working on for years, but I am only realizing the extent of his perversion and the seriousness of his deviancy.

He has exploited me energetically, financially, and sexually. He has alienated me from my siblings, separated me from my beloved pets, and forced me out of our home under the guise of false pretenses. He has also exploited my family financially and conned them into believing that I was suffering from mental issues which allegedly demand immediate intervention. For some time, he has conditioned me to believe that as well, through relentless blame shifting, devaluating, lying, gaslighting, stonewalling, and passive aggressive behaviors a normal mind would struggle to comprehend. He has leveraged my past traumas and insecurities for many years in order to generate self doubt and keep me questioning the troubling nature of our married life. He has used fear based conditioning to control and predict my behaviors, and would constantly move the goalposts on his expectations of me, none of which could ever be met. Taking full advantage of the fact that I was oscillating between sharing few details with my family, or none at all, he worked his way up to forging ties with family members by creating an obfuscated narrative which have depicted our dysfunction in a very different light than what had actually been taking place.
I would generally avoid opening to anyone because I was riddled with shame and simply couldn’t make sense of what was going on. That is something he was well aware of has he would constantly inquire about what was being said to who. Over time, it became very difficult for me to pretend things were going alright. In fact, over the past few months, I had been vocal about the fact that I no longer wanted to pretend with anyone. I stopped socializing, interacting with his friends, and also distanced myself from the people closest to me.

I was kept in the dark about many aspects of his personal life. He is a very shrewd and well practiced con artist. I married him lacking the awareness that I was marrying empty promises. It has nearly cost me my life. Today, I stand, having to fight for my life, my name, my integrity, and my safety, hoping that I can move forward and focus on healing. I want no association with this man. Here is my truth. I must tell it. I have nothing to hide. Him, on the other hand, has legions of motives to keep me disempowered and stuck in a position where I constantly have to play defense. Pedro has vested interests in making sure that the truth never comes out. Not only him, but also his criminal acolyte - Dan Norton - who has threatened to cause me harm [See appendix?]. Pedro’s fears are driving his actions as I have hard evidence that corroborates the allegations that I’m about to reveal. He is quite literally holding a grudge against me for the things he has done to me. I will begin by walking you through our most recent events, which have precipitated us towards parting ways once and for all. This is not a situation which could be repaired. As more and more pieces of information came to my attention, I knew I had to get far away from him and his criminal enterprise. I will begin with what has transpired lately before I proceed with a detailed description of the main troubling events or our marriages. As previously stated, a substantial history of abuse lies at the epicenter of our marriage. Sadly, it is something we’ve had to go through way too many times. More than I should have put up with. That said, I am fully aware that I am at fault for playing into this dynamics for so long.

Over the past few months, I grew more and more concerned about my safety, as well as our abilities to change the trajectory of our marriage for I noted that he was only satisfied when there was conflict. He’d find a problem to every solution and would constantly poke me to trigger a reaction. I had spent the past two years being fully dedicated to working through the parts of myself that had been repressed and disowned. I was determined to uncover subconscious blockages and self-sabotaging patterns that were preventing me from trusting and loving myself unconditionally. Those underlying patterns are the reason why I spent the whole of my twenties hopping from one abusive partner to another. I’ve made a promise to myself that it will end with Pedro. I’ve made significant strides in increasing my awareness and understanding of those patterns, and how they have manifested in my life. I turned to spirituality for strength. I incorporated yoga and meditation into my daily routine, devoured every book, video, lecture, ted talk, on self development, behavioral psychology, shadow work, and trauma healing. I’ve made changes to my diet, focusing on organic and whole foods. Unless there was a celebration, the casual consumption of alcoholic beverages was cut off. I would wake up every morning between 6 and 8 am, rain or shine, study, read, journal, take care of the dogs, handle chores, while also selling furniture and home decor furniture items. I was blossoming and reaching higher levels of consciousness which opened up my heart to a state of gratitude and acceptance. The kinder I became with myself, the more patience I cultivate towards everything else. I was seeking to evolve my thoughts, language, behaviors, and plans for the future. I was becoming more assertive and better equipped at communicating my feelings easily, openly, honestly, and respectfully. I was determined to be impeccable with my words and only speak from the heart, rather than ego. I showed Pedro grace and forgave countless exactions but felt he was angry at me no matter what.

We had been blessed all summer with wonderful temporary guests who had been subletting our second bedroom. I was generating money on the side selling high end furniture and was looking to expand my business. Sadly, the uncertainty of the pandemic shutdown has prevented me from reaching certain benchmarks, but things started to pick up again around summertime. Pedro would constantly pick fights and would use crude terms in order to trigger an emotional response. Earlier this year, he planted the seed in my brain that I was an emotionally unstable narcissist. Back then, I was always willing to confront and investigate any of his proposed theories on what he thought was so wrong with me. There has been many over the year as it relates to why I was labeled defective. He had previously claimed for some time that I was likely bipolar and eventually gave that up as my conduct didn’t match the profile. Still, I would continuously review my actions and acknowledge my faults in all conflicts, willing to entertain his most grotesque ideas of me and going as far as to absorb them at times. I therefore started educating myself on the topic of NPD and that’s when all the dots started to connect. Narcissists feed off of toxicity and deplete your energy, meaning that they gather fuel from watching their partner lose their sense of self and wither away. The weapon of choice in NPD is narcissistic projection; that which they reject in themselves, they heavily project onto others. It can be very confusing to experience as a narcissist is notorious for accusing his / her target of doing exactly that which the narc is in fact doing to said target. Confabulation and false mirroring are inherent expressions of the narcissistic personality disorder for it is the backbone of Pedro’s maneuvering. It had been effective for long, except this year it finally stopped working. A narc must control every single aspect of his/her partner’s lives with the aim to submit said partner to the will of the narcissist. Covert narcs often only abuse their family, while their public image is pristine. Putting on appearances is what they do best. Much like Pedro, who has been abusive towards the dogs and has violated me in every way imaginable, but is shockingly nice to them or me in the presence of others. The more I dove into it and the more I realized he was projecting his toxicity onto me. It took quite a lot out of me to master self restraint in the face of vicious attacks, lies and inconsistencies, but I learned to accept that it had nothing to do with me and stopped reacting the way he wanted me to react. Instead, I’d composedly debunk his lies and would check him whenever he expressed disrespectful opinions or gratuitous criticism towards me and others by simply pointing out the negativity or invalidity in those statements. I learn strategies on how to cope with him and minimize the damage. I eventually stopped feeling responsible for regulating his emotions through constant validation, and would walk away whenever he started ro raise his voice.

He threw tantrums over absurd matters and would spin stories that were fictional, as if they were facts. Lies were frequent. At first, I wasn’t sure what was what. Assuming that his intentions were genuine, I had blind faith in all that was presented to me because. Over time, it became easier to pick up on those lies instead of brushing them off. I’d just point them out and let him argue with himself. He was always right and I was always off, no matter what. Things were either “dope” as he used to say, or plain terrible, “stupid”. There was no middle ground, only categorical imperatives. A narcissist’s emotional growth is stunted which renders him / her unable to engage in healthy conflict resolution. No such thing can happen with NPD due to the specific wiring of the NPD’s brain. Narcissists lack morals, as well as the ability to self-reflect. NPD simply doesn’t allow a narcissist to tolerate criticism or not have things their way. Some are highly functional but Pedro isn’t. It is the reason why we are here today and only God knows how far this could go. Pedro routinely engages in self destructive behaviors by breaking the law, neglecting his health, sticking to poor habits despite their observable negative impact. He categorically refuses to structure his life in a way that would benefit him most. Here’s the deal: Pedro wakes up in the morning, typically after 10 or 11 am. Every single day, he spends at least 2 to 3 hours, without exaggeration, sitting on the toilet checking his cryptocurrency bets, scrolling endlessly on social media, texting folks, making calls, setting up possible meetings with friends and / or business partners, and arguing with people in his life or any stranger who’d dare contradict him online. The toilet / phone ritual is the very first thing he does in the morning. When he does let the dogs out for their bathroom runs, he doesn’t monitor them. He often yells for me to come up to the room and check on their movement while he sits on the toilet, scrolling and texting. He practically never steps outside, despite having a decked out patio and a succulent garden where our dogs love to roam. He then gets dressed for the day and migrate to his music studio where he carries on with the same exact activities, often while listening to music or watching youtube videos. Early in the afternoon he comes back up for a protein shake, still scrolling and texting. His phone never ever leaves his sight. It is his most prized possession. Whenever his business partner - Dan Norton - shows up, they lock themselves in to conduct business and later go around town mailing suspicious packages in different spots with fake shipping label that they create using encrypted softwares. I couldn’t tell you what they are. I just know that I’ve spotted burner phones and laptops and other gadgets I wouldn’t be able to name. He also keeps multiple scales, acetone, gloves, hydrosol, lie, and some other forms of liquid I couldn’t identify. I never really knew where they where going or when they’d return. His number one priority is scheming to generate money. His family and friends came second. Myself and the dogs were seemingly at the very bottom of his list of priorities. For example, when we’d run out of dog food, he’d task himself to go get it but would have the dogs wait until late in the afternoon, or whenever he feels like it, so I’d supplement with human grade food that I would cook for them. I question his ability to do these things. I’m concerned they’ll suffer from neglect while under his care. It is with the same nonchalance that he looks after me whenever I’m sick or need assistance with something; he’s not to be found. Pedro’s main preoccupation is to control the way he’s perceived. For that reason, he had to be the one who took the trash out. Whenever he caught me coming down the stairs with trash bags, he’d systematically stop me and insisted on the fact that he was to do it. I used to ascribe that to chivalry. As years went by, and his core behavioral tendencies started to emerge on full display, I realized that all of the things he so adamantly took responsibility for had to do with all tasks that were carried outside. For years I’d sweep the leaves all around the house, but it would only stop me and offer to take over when it came down to sweeping the front of the house. Similarly, he had to be the one who picked up food from the pet store and once forbid me to clean the gutter or outside windows, saying he was terrified I’d get hurt. He once reprimanded me for having the audacity to do that without consulting him. Eventually, I realized it didn’t matter to him that I climbed up industrial ladders, or tried lifting heavy pieces of furniture, while being physically impaired. I labored through multiples injuries but so long as I pushed forward with renovations to earn us more money, that was perfectly fine. There were double standards to everything.

All of the behaviors I’m describing in this section have now been consistent for at least a couple years. Whenever he goes to the grocery store, he would shop for a couple of items at a time so as to create opportunities to take multiple trips for eggs, milk, etc. He found reasons to take daily trips to the grocery store. There would often be multiple trips to get things he claimed to have forgotten. He would always have people dropping by to pick things up, and would go out at anytime of the day or night, coming and going whenever he wanted. We often ate separately. After two years of waiting around all the time, looking at cold food, while being hungry, I eventually stopped trying to align with his erratic schedule. When I cooked, I’d leave him food and he’d come up to the kitchen if interested. If we did have lunch or dinner together, he simply couldn’t be present. He had to turn on the TV before he touched his plate, to make sure something was on for him to look at, but his attention would quickly returns to his phone. His device is an extension of his hand as for he is perpetually restless and bored. He required constant stimulation and distraction. At night, I’d often go to sleep alone and he’d come up whenever he was ready to snooze. Knowing that I’m light sleeper, he’d never miss an occasion to disrupt by turning on the light, slamming a glass of water onto the nightstand, searching for stuff, watching social media content on full blast, talking loudly on the phone, or making noise in the bathroom. I stopped complaining to him about that for I noticed that he would specifically re-engage in behaviors that I found bothersome or inconsiderate towards others, despite my bringing it up. Instead, I stopped acting like the antics bothered me. If one riddle didn’t seem to yield a desire result, he would seek out other means to undermine me or make me feel insignificant, while feigning to be a dedicated husband by making sure to smile and be courteous in the presence of others. After 3 ish years of catering to his every need, I started focusing on my wellness and even began to avoid his presence as much as possible. He’d come down to the studio when he had finally risen out of bed and undergone his morning bathroom ritual, so I’d move to the living area, bedroom, or backyard. I spent a lot of my mornings in the studio over the past year, just so I wouldn’t make too much noise and wake him up. When he slept I had peace. I was chasing alone time and stopped concerning myself with his whereabouts.

I knew that he was engaging in inappropriate behaviors online. I also suspected regular consumption of pornographic content. By year 3 I was well trained not to ask certain questions because he would always flip the script on me, regardless of his misdeeds. Rather than investigating his lies and strange behaviors, I simply observed and took note of what didn’t add up. I refocused my energy in caring for the dogs, the house, and myself. I would regularly brush off the leaves in front of our house, climb on the ledge to clean the  windows, degrease the appliances, pick up debris around the property, bag the pine needles that would cover the ground daily so that the garden could thrive, bleach the steps, sanitize, vacuum out dog hair and unknown substances so that Maya & Rio wouldn’t accidentally get intoxicated. I would handle minor repairs around the house, do laundry and folding, take the dogs out for bathroom runs, bathe them, feed them, cook for us… I would dust his studio, replenish his fridge that I had set up in there for him. I’d clean the inside of his car, organize his documents, and empty out his trash. I took on as many roles as possible to save us money. For one, I simply can not operate in cluttered and filthy environments. Secondly, cleanliness was a requirement for us to be able to charge what we have been charging for our guest bedroom. Therefore I was a slave to him, his needs, and the needs of our household. I was perceived as a trophy / asset in public company, and a devoted housekeeper / assistant within the confines of our home. That’s how I started to feel after we got married; things were steadily changing. He had completely lost interest in me and grew seemingly more and more annoyed with my being. Everything about me triggered him and I had become invisible to him, unless he needed me to help him sort something out or carry on with specific tasks. Either way, I eventually reckoned that I had always been treated as a commodity. My feelings and opinions were of no importance to him, still aren’t, unless I was offering creative or business related advice. He didn’t appreciate my output, and found plenty of opportunities in a single day to say that he was doing “everything” and could “never” rely on me. He’d use categorical imperative for everything.

He was the most cruel when I was at a my lowest point. Also, our home was never ours but “his” house, where I just happened to be living because he had supposedly been kind enough to allow my being there. It was a recurring theme I had been used to hearing at least once a week, for years I would debate that and yet find ways to do more so I could prove my worth to him. I had to earn every bit of affection and acknowledgment. The more I took on, the the more my efforts were diminished. Once I stopped internalizing his negative feedback, he would wait for times where I ordered meals instead of cooking, to claim that I was lazy and selfish. He complained that he couldn’t even get descent food at home. That he was out there bending backward for me in exchange for nothing. Everything I said was problematic to Pedro. In public, he would praise me. In private, he would tear me apart. The contrast became more apparent as we moved into quarantine. After a very difficult year with him in 2019 I had effectively become a hermit. I avoided interactions at all cost and started to experience severe social anxiety due to the unpredictable nature of our relationship. We were struggling to hide the gaping cracks in our marriage and couldn’t be in the presence of other for very long before things got tense. He became more dismissive of me, and would throw jabs at me while smiling. It was very subtle. He would do it in a way that I could pick up on it, but others often wouldn’t because of the way it was dispensed. I’d shut down out of sheer discomfort, while he gained control of the conversation. He’d put me in my place in ways that are quite hard to explain. I eventually caught on to the fact that he’d go as far as contradicting himself, and previous statements he had made, for the sake of being disagreeable. It used to drive me wild but it taught me to develop tougher skin. It became a mental challenge of mastering the art of non reaction and self control. Journaling became a powerful tool for my healing; I started to keep record of daily occurrence or things I found disturbing. It helped me to break through severe cognitive dissonance for I could no longer trick myself into trading my memories for peace of mind or bottling up my indignation. I would simply write my feelings down and release them, for I felt he was neither willing nor capable of working through the smallest of issues. I started making art on a regular basis and picked up on new skills. Meditation taught me to seek peace and safety within myself. I shared my favorite restorative tools with Pedro, describing my process and how helpful it was to have integrated these practices into my life.

Aside from the frictions with Pedro, everything life felt wonderful all over again. I was infinitely grateful for newly improved physical health and was no longer holding on to negative emotions. I stopped beating myself down and recognized opportunities for growth in every situation. Mistakes were no longer mistakes but rather paths towards betterment. I told Pedro I felt I had finally, definitely, pulled myself out of the dark place I felt I was drowning in the year prior. All of 2020, I pressed him to try and implement a routine that would increase his productivity and regulate his sleep patterns. I repeatedly encouraged him to switch up his habits. The excessive phone usage is an issue I had been bringing to his attention far longer, practically 2 years straight, but we never got anywhere with that. In fact, the more I complained about it and the more he would cling onto it just so it’d be clear that he wasn’t answering to me. He would always complain of headaches, poor sleep, and was tired no matter how long he napped during the day. That is also a glaring characteristic of NPD. Individuals with such kind of personality disorder are constantly strategizing about ways to assert dominion, exploit other people’s resources, as well as identify that which they perceive as threat so such perceived threat are kept in check, if not neutralized. The more I called him out on his patterns of thoughts and behaviors, the more threatening I became to him. That’s my honest feeling. Additionally, in this situation, I had became aware of too much. I now knew too much about his fraudulent business. I suspected he was lying about his whereabouts and I knew he was not being transparent about our finances. The better we seemed to be doing and the more he complained about money issues just so I’d keep finding ways to lower our expenses, sell more furniture, or tax my parents. He had been collecting federal unemployment aid throughout the pandemic while running his under- the- radar business. I have good reasons to believe that Dan & Pedro where running an online store on what they used to refer to as “the dark web” and for which they were mailing packages all over the country. During the summer he had taken a gig at a cannabis processing facility which paid him well and all in cash. I was not told how much but he was content with work, and work kept him away from the house all day. He worked long hours and it was the very first time I got to witness him in the context of being employed. Although he came home feeling drained, he thought the pay was excellent, and his new position seemed to generate many side deals. There were lots of meetings and people coming by for things. He brought home pounds and pounds of cannabis. I was worried sick every time he drove places because I never knew when the car was loaded with substances. I kept on telling him that I was concerned for his safety, that he was playing with fire, and was risking a lot. I warned him that he was being reckless and that he should really consider a way out. He said he was working on that. I can say now that I don’t believe it. I don’t think he intended to get out; he loved the game he played and felt he was in control. I later asked if he was still collecting unemployment, he said yes, and I advised him to put an end to that as well. He did so a few weeks later, I believe.

His choices were very problematic to me for they didn’t align with mines. I was struggling to reconcile our realities. It was as if we led completely separate lives under the same roof. He had been selling drugs in order to sustain his lifestyle for quite a while. At the very beginning he presented himself as a creative director / music producer / sound engineer / stage builder. When we began dating, he was always holding a vape and shared that he had launched a THC vape cartridges brand called 710ghost. The cannabis industry was booming so I thought it was brilliant. I liked the branding and he was the brain behind the name and design. I bought into his creative entrepreneurial persona as he seemed to have the credentials and the skills to back it up. I always encouraged his creative endeavors and pushed him to pursue a career where he could put them to use and earn a living from his gift. He loved the praises and would acquiesce but that was not the plan. I’ll get more into that shortly. Over time, the buffet of drugs he was offering his clientele stretched from vapes, to cannabis and mushrooms. Then it came to my knowledge that he was possibly involved with other substances. It unfolded progressively; more and more was revealed over the length of our relationship. I began to feel trapped. I was also madly in love and had high hopes that he would eventually switch path. He said he wanted to. Until very recently, I believed it. The truth is that he didn’t. It only got worse with time. Everything got worse. When the pandemic hit, I attributed that to a lack of opportunities, which worked well for him. It was the perfect excuse and rationalize his choices. Still, I kept on pushing the music aspect, asking why he seemed to have kicked all of those early days projects to the side. I told him he was boxing himself in and denying himself other prospects. He just seemed to be going in deeper, prideful of his uncanny ability to hide in plain sight. In recent months, I started to sense that he was lying about future endeavors and what he was pursuing in life. I started to ask very specific questions to uncover his true motives. I asked about that online store and he claimed it was shut down. Even so, he would regularly lock himself in the studio and emerge with packages. I could never count on him to be transparent but I kept pulling him into the arts, broaching the prospect of a fulfilling career, one in which he wouldn’t be putting his life at risk, but it didn’t resonate. I was speaking to a rock. I was very concerned for the future and didn’t know what to do about any of that, other than reminding him constantly that he could achieve so much life - anything he set his mind to - desperately trying to make him see that there where other options. He would say something but his actions would attest of something else. I had even tried to convince him, on many occasions, to contemplate a relocation overseas. Perhaps we could move to Africa or central America in the future, to give our future children a different experience and build a life on solid foundations. At first, he entertained it, but he eventually made it clear that LA was his home base and he had worked too hard to establish connections in this town. He didn’t want to give all of that up. I had deluded myself. Shortly before things fell apart, I once asked him if he would consider looking for a job in production. I suggested he tapped into his vast network of connections to get a high paying job he would have liked. His response solidified my thoughts on where things were going, and it was simply not where I intended to go. That was just a few weeks ago. I had finally reached full acceptance of the notion that we had diametrically opposed values and ambitions. Not much was left of the man I had married; that man had never existed. It was all an act and I was now trapped. He didn’t want to take on another path; he had tunnel vision. He didn’t want children, it was obvious. He didn’t even want to be pestered with pets. He had no patience for such kind of emotional responsibilities.

About a month ago he got physical with me. Although he had previously fractured my jaw, he smacked me on the side of the head, in the exact same area. I had gotten very close to his face and looked him dead in the eye as he showered me with insults I cannot even write here. I can’t remember the exact cause for this specific fight but most of those altercation had trivial roots. When he did that, I thought of hitting him back but realized that’s just what he wanted. I walked away from him and told him I’d leave him if he ever did that again and I would never look back. He said he’d divorce me, that we could do it in a day, and that I could have the dogs. I told him he was sick and needed help. I left the scene and he locked himself in the studio for a bit, then he put the dogs in the car and left for many hours. He returned to tell me not to ever get in his face like that because I had overstepped his physical boundaries. It was again my fault although he had hit me. I told him this couldn’t go on. He resorted to blame shifting, per usual, but I just wouldn’t allow him to get away with that. In a subsequent conversation, when things were more calm, I admitted to him that I believed he forcefully wanted me to play a part I didn’t want to play. As if he had casted me for a role that I had to embody in order for him to justify his narcissistic rage and abusive tendencies. That seemed to hit him harder than any insult. I had promised myself to consciously stay away from foul words as much possible. Of course, sometimes really nasty words would come out of my mouth, but I didn’t feel good about matching his energy. He was baiting me with his disparaging comments and I knew it. I told him I was simply not going to go there with him anymore. If chaos and madness is what he wanted from me, chaos, then perhaps we should truly consider setting each other free. I was very clear about that and mentioned it many times. When he used to say that I was trash and that no one would want to put up with my crap, I used to fire at him with insults too. This time, I simply told him that the reason he was so insecure and spiteful was obviously because he was well aware that I deserved better since he has schemed his way into my life. He had been hiding behind a false self, a mask. I brought up divorce on many occasions, not as a threat like he would during fights, but during calm conversations where I was offering my perspective on our recurring issues. It just wasn’t working. He said a couple of times that he was looking for a therapist, but whenever I followed up on that he’d tell me that it was dependent upon me going to therapy because, after all, I was the one who really needed help. What I find interesting here is that back when I was quite literally begging for a life jacket, during year 2, telling him that I wanted to find someone to talk to and help me process trapped emotions, he would explain how we couldn’t really spare the money. I delayed it for a while and eventually signed up for an app called BetterHelp which offers low cost options. I was matched with a therapist, went through a couple of sessions with her but felt I was getting very little insights from those interactions. I told him it wasn’t particularly helpful and was considering canceling my subscription. He validated that statement. On the one hand, we weren’t going to have to spend that extra money, and on the other hand, it looked like he had made efforts to support my mental health. Plus there would be a record of it so that played nicely into the current story that I’m in. In reality, I was struggling with a weakened and overactive immune system, caused by chronic stress and heightened anxiety. I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Just like Maya, I felt I was always on high alert, expecting jabs, while aiming to do the right thing. It used to anger me. The constant shaming, neglect, and blatant disrespect took a tool on me mentally. I feel it’s safe to assume it would have affected most people in such kind of situation. I certainly didn’t get married to get a divorce. I got married because I loved Pedro and intended to work through whatever life threw at us. Both my physical and mental health were in decay. The environment he had created for ourselves was the cause for it - year 2 was absolutely hellish. That’s to say that Pedro never cared about my mental health. On the contrary, he was actively involved in chipping away at my sense of self and invalidating my reality.

The covert narcissist’s agenda as it relates to their spouses is to sweep them off their feet by projecting whatever it is that the target desires and values, to quickly seal the deal and to ensure the partner binds to them before the narcissist’s innate characteristics start to surface. Ideally, a covert narc wants you trapped and / or indebted to him / her. The goal is to make sure a voluntary escape will be met with massive challenges, thus making it very difficult for a target to leave once he / she eventually resolved to no longer tolerate the abuse. So long as a narc can exploit and abuse the target, such target will be kept around, no matter how much and how often the narcissist complains about the target’s behavior or threatens to discard said target. I learned so much about the MO and patterns of NPD that it became impossible for me not to seriously question the viability of our marriage. I could sense the discard coming from miles away. It was impending. Every single day, I had to dodge these attacks. He was constantly trying to set me off and I just got better at enforcing boundaries and deflecting unnecessary attacks. Narcs hate nothing more than boundaries and make it their mission to challenge them until they wear you out. Still, a narci would do anything to garner pity and play the victim; whether that means twisting truth or inflicting self harm. The reason I’m mentioning all of this is because, without such understanding, what I’m going to claim next may sound very disturbing to most. The photograph submitted by Pedro on the restraining order is one that he texted me after the last and most recent physical altercation that we had. It was just a few weeks ago. Bruce had been living with us for just a week or so. I woke up early that day, as always, and went down to the studio for my morning meditation and study time. It was late in the morning and Pedro came down to the studio where I was posted. He found me watching a panel discussion hosted by 3 spiritual teachers. One was a monk, another was a rabbi, and there was also a Sufi mystic. I had been quite interested with all that had to with theology and was spending lots of time exploring different spiritual branches and their teachings. I was almost finished watching the video when he walked in. He was in a great mood and so was I. I greeted him and he asked if I wanted to go on a walk with the dogs.  I replied “Sure, just let me finish with this, there’s only a few minutes left.” I told him they were discussing truly fascinating personal experiences and he should hear it too. I got up to turn up the volume and rewinded it just a bit although he immediately said that it wasn’t necessary to rewind. I insisted that they were offering gems that were worth listening to, and I wanted him to hear some of these things. We watched for a bit, but he started talking over it, quickly crossing into into the waters of black magic and obscure practices. I asked what that sort of stuff had to do with the discussion and returned my attention to what they were saying, echoing the most important parts so he would actually hear them. They were talking about transcendental meditation and the realms which could be accessed from simply cultivating stillness. They spoke of their mystical experiences. I proceeded to share some of my experiences with him. To find refuge within myself had led me to enjoy blissful states despite our constant drama. Meditation was restorative. I had a bright smile on my face, reacting positively to what the speakers were talking about. He started getting irritated, reminding me that he too had experienced bliss during DMT trips, as if I was questioning that. It didn’t happen as often without a booster but he declared that he had gotten there without DMT as well. I replied that such states of consciousness didn’t require any drugs. They simply had to be discovered by regularly tuning in, inwardly. He then said, in contradiction to his previous statements, that he actually was up there all the time. I couldn’t help but chuckle. I found his constant need to compete very immature. He just couldn’t hide his angered envy so I pointed out to him that what was just declared made no sense… Which one was it? Was it that he had difficulties reaching those states, or that he was going there all the time, in the blink of an eye? He got really annoyed with me and said: “you realize that you’re not the only one who’s spiritual, right? I’ve had an spiritual awakening too! I know what I’m talking about.” In my head, spirituality was a personal journey not a contest, and I wasn’t assuming anything about him, simply noticing the contradiction. I made sure to let him know that. He then asked me if I had heard of spiritual “narcissism”. I smiled and carried on. It wasn’t the first time he had mention that concept to try and get a reaction out of me but I knew it was an expression of his own malaise and ill feelings towards me. He couldn’t stand the fact that I was in great spirit, and was detaching myself from his nonsense. I remarked that it was beautiful that these three teachers, from different spiritual practices, could talk for over an hour without once having a disagreement or invalidating each other’s perspective. He started rambling. I stopped paying attention and moved on to another video of interest, totally unbothered. Then I sat down in the chair next to Maya looking at the television. The irony of it all is that he was looking right at a logo I had designed for a beverage business venture he was looking to get off the ground, partnering with our previous roommate - Edwin Rivera. I just looked at him, and he could tell what I was thinking. He turned to the TV and said “Anyway, I don’t wanna watch this sh*t no more. I’ve got my own sh*t to do”. I calmly asked why he was being so disrespectful only because he couldn’t stand to be questioned… He turned the TV off. Just like that. “Are you serious?” I asked. I calmly rose out of my seat, walked up to the TV and said “you do realize that this is my TV right, and that this here is my fridge, that these are my furniture, armchairs, stool, lamps, and mirror, and it is also me who cleans this space and organize your documents…Have some respect.” He replied; “Well, it’s MY studio, it’s MY space, it’s MY house and I don’t want to hear that sh*t right now. How about your respect my boundaries? Remember what those are; boundaries?” I reminded him that I was there waiting for us to take the dogs on a walk, like we said, and was watching this other lecture while he was still looking at his screen, frantically going from one tab to another, checking his crypto accounts, etc.  He started yelling “get the F out of my studio, this is my studio, I need to do work, you are in my way, wasting my time… and I don’t have time for this sh*t” he slammed the door open, and screamed for me to get out. I got worried that Bruce would hear the commotion and so I closed the door. He pushed me out of the way and slammed it open again. I walked up to him and grabbed his face with my hand. Looking right at him I whispered “calm the F down, don’t start this again please, we are not alone and you are going to ruin this new situation too. What’s wrong with you?” He pushed me violently against the door that I had just shut. Maya immediately jumped in between us to stop the fight. I was only wearing a bodysuit and most of my skin was exposed. She didn’t mean to but scratched me on my left breast and legs trying to shield me from him. He backed up with a smile on his face. I knew then that we were done. There was no blood on his face nor in my fingernails. I didn’t even break skin. Pedro is the one who used to regularly smash my mouth and rub forcefully against my gum with his hand to create sores that would hurt for days when I ate or drank, but of course, were not visible to the outside world. I held Maya who was in panic mode and wouldn’t stop jumping between us. I then looked at Ri who was in the corner, by the bookcase. He looked so frightened. He was frozen in place. At that particular moment I had a prompt vision of two imaginary children who were staring back at us in fear. I froze too and thought to myself “my goodness, this is a vision of my future with him and I want no part of this.” I walked towards him and told him I was so glad, in that very moment, to have had an abortion, because he would have ruined that child’s life. He grabbed me violently and pushed me out of the studio. I nearly fell down on the brick floor but caught myself. Rio followed me out but Maya was stuck in there with him. He had locked the studio from the inside but the key was still hanging in the keyhole on the outside. I unlocked it and banged the door opened with my feet. It hit the fridge.  He was right behind the door and shoved it in my face, I banged it open screaming that he would “never again put his filthy hands on me” and it accidentally hit Maya who was trying to come out. He shouted “Oh my God, you are crazy, you just hit Maya” knowing darn well that I was in fact trying to let her out of there. His wrath knows no bound, nor does it care about decency or truth. I had taken the key out of the keyhole and threw it outside on the asphalt. He locked the door again. I walked into the laundry room and sat on the chair. I was in total shock, attempting to wrap my head aroun how things could possibly escalate over a conversation about spiritual teachings. I stayed in there for a while, trying to get myself together. I was sure the roommate had heard us and I was just so disappointed with Pedro. I was staring into nothingness thinking of how to get out of this. Rio came toward me and I just hugged him. I could see just how confused he was. He was petrified. After a while I got up, grabbed pants from the dryer and put them on. I walked up the stairs with Ri, only to realize my phone was still in the studio. I had journal entries and texts messages discussing the abuse, as well as photographs I needed to preserve. I did not want him to see any of that. He was notorious for snooping so I ran back down and banged the door, asking for my phone. He opened up the door and walked to the chair which was against the wall, next to the bookcase. The chair where Rio had been lounging before the sudden eruption. He was on his phone texting. He looked away from the screen and looked at me with disdain. He seemed utterly pleased with the outcome and had already settled down. I walked up towards the TV and repeated with a lower and calmer voice “I am so done with you” Pedro barely looked up and coldly said “bitch you grabbed my face. YOU got in my face first.” I told him that he was a sick man and he replied that he had only done what my brother asked him to do to me. I couldn’t take that jab and told him that my brother thought he was trash and that he didn’t get it at all; my brother only wanted us to be good. I walked back up. The dogs followed me into the living room. Maya kept on licking me. I was cuddled up on the couch with them and apologized to both. I promised myself to take the necessary action to get us out of this mess, and this time I meant it. It was my brother’s birthday - November 19th - so I called him. We had a good laugh and I didn’t mention any of it. He stayed locked in the studio all day. Didn’t come out until nighttime. Later on I was watching a movie and heard him get into his truck. He got the dogs to go with him somewhere but didn’t say a word to me. Just like the last time. Shortly after he left my brother FaceTimed me. I instinctively knew what he had been doing. I answered with “let me guess, Pedro called you?“ As predicted, he had. My brother told me that he had been blasted with messages asking to speak with him urgently because I was dangerous, violent, crazy and had made his face bleed… That he didn’t feel safe around me. He claimed he could no longer manage and needed help to put an end to this. My brother said he was reticent at first, given that the same exact scenario had unfolded the weekend prior to this one. It had become an ongoing thing. After putting his hands on me, he had locked himself in the studio, only to emerge hours later. I was sitting in the living room and he put his phone next to my ear. My brother was on the other line asking what the heck was happening in our household. He had visibly been told a mountain a lie and came at me in what I thought was a confrontational manner. I exploded and asked Pedro what kind of game he was playing and tossed his phone onto the floor. He picked it up and ran down. I could still hear him speak, he had stayed at the bottom of the stairs and now my brother was on speakerphone. It was clearly a set up. He wanted me to hear because he had successfully accomplished his mission of distorting facts into fictions. I came down the stairs and heard my brother say “I don’t know what to tell you man, I don’t recognize my sister. Why is she so angry?” He was jubilant and I was floored. I looked at him with an air of disgust. I returned to the living area because I knew that staying there would lead to no good. In between those two events, I got a chance to catch up with my brother. I cleared things up without getting into too much details, but when that last incident happened the following weekend, my brother did not freak out. He told pedro that he was on a trip with his girlfriend celebrating his birthday. That was November 19th. Pedro insisted that they speak and that he called me as well. I was so upset that he would have the audacity to ruin my brother’s special day with his lies simply because he was following a strategy to frame me as crazy and was running out of time. He had no regard for my family. No respect whatsoever. The flood gate opened up and I started pouring out examples of his tyrannical behaviors. By the way, he used to labeled me as an “emotional tyrant” too. I told my brother a whole lot that night and mentioned the fact that after he had last put his hands on me, he had made sure to claim that it was on my brother’s recommendation that he so brutally handled me. I became really agitated and was speaking loudly, revealing that I was seriously considering divorcing him and had reached out to a couple of attorneys to seek legal advice. We spoke for a long time and I confided in him about a lot of things I had never ever shared before. I apologized on Pedro’s behalf for having ruined his birthday. He comforted me but seemed very confused, as if he was struggling to make it all make sense. I didn’t ask what Pedro had said because I didn’t care. I knew the drill and it’d only make me mad, which is what he wanted. We kept on talking until I head Pedro’s truck park in front of the house. That’s what happened that day. All of that over nothing. It was never about spirituality or conflict of opinion. The problem is that Pedro is likely to have a combination of cluster A & B personality disorders and there is nothing I could do to mitigate that. It is neurological. No matter what I tried, suggested, or or how dreamy our surrounding was, we always ended up in the same place - Hell - without fail. He thrives off of conflict. After years of witnessing just how easily he tears apart his friends when they are not around, only to meet up with them the next day to smoke weed and laugh, I realized there was no reason to assume it would be any different with me. All of the names listed in this document have been criticized time and time again, including his very best friends. The same goes for relatives, and ex conquests, or just about anyone for that matter… people TV, etc. That’s who Pedro is behind closed doors. He reserves his best efforts for the outside world, and unleashes the beast whenever he’s in the castle. The house was his kingdom. I now laugh at the number of times he called me a tyrant for just reminding him to do something. He’s tried to make me wear his mask so he could hide his wrongdoings and deflect all responsibility.

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