It’s Me, Sara Louise

Hi! You might know me as C’est Moi, Sara Louise. Before that I was Sara in Le Petit Village. Now, It’s Me, Sara Louise. Hello again.

  • The Gaslighter’s Agenda

    I don’t even know if I’m going to hit publish on this or not, but I’m feeling my feels, and I need to let them out, and this space is my therapy, my meditation, my moment of zen.

    Today, I went to my storage unit and pulled out two large suitcases of G’s clothes. I don’t want his bad juju around my things anymore.

    Sorting through them to see what could be donated, I thought, “OMFG, this mofo left an entire wardrobe here.”

    (My inner thoughts swear a lot.)

    He left a whole a** wardrobe!

    (Apparently, my outer thoughts do as well.)

    Like, who the f**k does that? I mean, I guess it’s part of his double-life agenda because all the gaslighting probably wouldn’t work as well if his side of the closet had been empty, but WTF?

    There is some good stuff in those suitcases too. Imagine being so committed to your fraudulent lifestyle that you leave a whole other wardrobe of Zara Men and Ralph Lauren on the other side of the world.

    (Btw, That’s how you know I’d never lead a double life, I could never leave my Zara behind.)

    If I were less environmentally friendly, I’d invite all of you over for a bonfire, but alas, Mother Nature doesn’t deserve to get effed over by G either (we girls have to stick together).

    Turning lemons into lemonade… I popped into my neighborhood thrift store and asked if they took donated men’s clothes. The lovely owner said they did and then asked why I had my ex’s clothes. I gave her a quick recap as I watched her eyes grow bigger.

    “Oh, I can’t wait to hear more.” She replied. “It sounds like an episode of Dateline.”

    (Oh, girl, you have no idea.)

    “Well, I have a blog,” I said, smiling as I watched her scrambling to grab a pen.

    P.S. If you’re in the Hudson Valley area and see a bunch of men dressed in French rugby merch, you know why.

    P.P.S. Big shoutout to my newest reader, Tina!

  • You Can Run, but You Can’t Hide

    Here’s a fun fact about Sweden, everyone’s personal information is available online. Like you want to get someone’s address or phone number, find out their birthday, or even whether they own or rent, Google their name, and BAM.

    Because of this, a handful of friends and family have kept me abreast of G’s life and whereabouts (sometimes whether I want to know or not). 

    Sidebar: I never ever Google him or her; I don’t need the internet to traumatize me any more than it already has, thank you very much. 

    As you can imagine, not everyone living in Sweden is in love with their information being so public, so there are ways that you can go about hiding it online. And surprise, surprise, ever since the detective made the first contact, a certain someone has been trying to do just that.

    I wish I could say that finding out he’s trying to hide didn’t bother me, but I can’t. It’s a reminder that this whole thing still isn’t over and that it never had to be this complicated.

    All he had to do was come clean and tell me where he lived so I could file for divorce, but whatever insane mental illness he has wouldn’t let him. (I mean, I’m no doctor, but if I had to guess, I’d say narcissistic sociopath.) As recently as August, he told me that he lived in California, had no contact with her or the baby, and couldn’t give me an address because he was staying in an Airbnb. Meanwhile, my mother was able to find out that both he and his “wife” had moved into a new house in Sweden. His name was on the lease FFS.

    So yeah, still lying, still hiding, when this could have been the most straightforward and inexpensive divorce ever. (If I was texting this to you, this is where I would insert the eye roll emoji, followed by all the frustrated ones, and then the red sweary face one.) Instead, I had to go to the police because sometimes, when you eff around, you find out.  

    The thing is though, just because you can make yourself private online, it doesn’t mean you can make yourself private from the law. 

    You can run, but you can’t hide. 

  • Mojo

    You know the thing is, like 90% of the time, I’m fine, good even, but when I have to deal with anything that puts me back in Gregory world, where I have to think about him or the ordeal he’s left me in, it messes with my mojo big time. And these past two weeks, through a combination of good and bad news, my mojo has been rocked.

    First, the bad news. It’s tax season! Another yearly reminder of how still being married is destroying me financially.

    Accountant: Sorry Sara, you owe $XXXX.

    Me: Seriously? Even taking X, Y, and Z into account?

    Accountant: Unfortunately yes, you’re Married Filing Separately, you have to get a divorce.

    Me: I’M TRYING.

    On the bright side, this shouldn’t still be a problem next year (fingers mother effing crossed).

    Now for some good news. You may have seen my post a couple of weeks back where I was toasting to the papers finally being served. WHEW. I mean that’s a load off. But of course that didn’t come without a special side of drama.

    Having U.S. divorce papers served in Sweden costs $1910. Can you believe it? For that price, I should have just flown over there and served him myself but I digress. Anyhoo, I paid the money and waited for the magic to happen.

    Three weeks went by without any update. Not wanting to eat into my retainer, I contacted the process serving company directly for news. Emails went unreplied to and calls unreturned.

    After reading some not great reviews of the company, I was getting nervous and thought maybe I should cancel the charge on my credit card and go with someone else. So I did what I was trying to avoid, I emailed the law office. (You know what happens when they open an email, don’t you? They bill you.)

    I explained my worries and was told to hold tight, they’d reach out and get back to me. Within an hour I had an email from the paralegal.

    He was served Saturday. I’ll forward more details when I have them.

    Sheeeeeeeeeesh! Why did it have to be so dramatic?! But my lord, what a relief.

    And then I got the details.

    He was served on a Saturday at 8:47 a.m. This news was accompanied by two photos, one of the paper he had to sign acknowledging acceptance which showed one shaky, shaky signature, and a photo of their house. Their sweet, cheery, yellow house with a sporty green fiat in the driveway and a stroller parked outside the front door. Oopsies, it sure looks like the whole family was home.

    (I’d be lying if I said I didn’t take some perverse pleasure in this. No ill wishes to her at all, I strongly believe that she is a victim too. But knowing that I was able to reach into his personal space with the beginnings of retribution feels damn good. I finally understand the meaning of “revenge is a dish best served cold.”)

    And then four days later, more good news arrived via a phone call from the detective in Dublin. I don’t know how much I can say about an ongoing investigation so I’ll just say this, I’m not the only one whose mojo has been rocked.

  • Lucky

    This is a story about a girl named, Lucky.

    This is a story about me. 

    I know, I know, it’s hard to believe, right? It’s hard to imagine that through all of the drama, and the gaslighting of the last few years, I would consider myself lucky, but I do. 

    The past few weeks, months, hell, even years have tested me. But, lately, I’ve had to drudge up feelings that to protect myself and my daily life, I had buried deep, far back into the recesses of my mind. Confronting them has been challenging; I hadn’t been prepared for the mental anguish of it all. I honestly thought I was over it because I’ve been living a relatively happy life. But going through everything and acknowledging and accepting what happened is rough, and it’s been taking its toll. 

    When I returned from Dublin last month, I felt an emptiness I wasn’t prepared for. Even though the trip was for a disturbing purpose, I had been “home” surrounded by my family and old friends. I was back in the city that made me, and it had felt wonderful. Stepping back into reality in my sad studio in New York, not so much.

    After chatting it over with my family and work, we all agreed that I needed a couple of weeks back there again because processing what I had been through should not be tackled alone. So thanks to my lucky life, off I went.

    I dropped Fifty off in the Berkshires for two weeks at my sister’s, where he would be lovingly looked after. (Let it be said that free room and board for your pet in a loving home should never be taken for granted. Never ever.) Then I headed to Newark.

    My retired flight attendant Godmother had listed me on a flight to Dublin, and once again, my free-flying self was upgraded. I binged 1883, took all the champagne on offer, and giddily constructed my ice cream sundae when the cart rolled by. (Say it with me… LUCKY.)

    A short taxi ride after landing, and only a couple of weeks after leaving, I was back in front of the fire at my Auntie’s, cup of Barry’s tea in hand while breakfast was set out on the table. A full belly later and I was tucked up under the heated blanket in a bed I have slept in since I was a wee one. I sunk into the sheets with sighs of contentment; it was good to be home.

    After a few days of family and friend catch-ups, and I was on a plane headed towards Spain to stay at my mother’s in Malaga. My Scottish cousin Dee lives there as well, and the two of them were waiting at the airport ready to greet me and stuff me full of Iberian ham and wine.

    A week of walks along the Mediterranean, strolling the streets of old town Malaga, and after many episodes of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire en español, I felt refreshed, recharged, and ready to return to dealing with the demons and damage left behind by my husband. 

    (What does one say about Malaga? I know what I’ll say; I’d like to live there… Watch this space.)

    So with two weeks of a much needed working R&R behind me, I can tell you I’m very lucky indeed. I have a boss who lets me work from anywhere, a sister willing to take care of Fifty, a godmother that gives me non-rev flying privileges, an aunt and uncle who make their home mine, a cousin in Spain that is always game for taxi duty, and a very supportive mother that happens to live on the Med. 

    So yeah, I’ve got stuff — A LOT. But damn, I’ve got a whole other lot, you know? But that’s the thing. That’s the trick. You look for the light. You look for the bright. And as Mr. Rogers said, you look for the helpers. 

    Thank you, helpers. (I’m looking at you too.)

  • Enough is Enough

    You know, nothing really prepares you for seeing a blown-up photocopy of one of your wedding photos in a police file. But there it was, sitting on the table in front of a detective at a Garda station in Dublin.

    Back in November, I decided that enough was enough. My husband has gotten away with his cruelty and deceit for far too long. He was living his life with his “wife” and child and was quite content to pretend like our previous life together simply didn’t exist. (For the record, I’d love to do that too, but continuing to be married to the bigamist is having quite a negative impact on various aspects of my life and wallet.)

    You see, whenever I would contact him about divorce, he’d lie about his whereabouts and generally be evasive and uncooperative. And I couldn’t understand why until I finally realized he didn’t want to get divorced because doing that would blow up his happy little life because she would find out about me.

    Well, EFF THAT. Enough is enough. I needed to get serious about taking back my life. He has stolen enough of it.

    So, I contacted a detective friend of mine in Ireland, the country where the crime of the bigamy occurred, and he gave me some advice, and I took it. And that’s how I ended up sitting in a police station in Dublin for more than three hours giving a statement.

    And it was weird. And distressing. And sad. But it was needed.

    Because the thing is, I don’t want revenge. I want justice.

    P.S. Thank you to everyone who helped me get the ball rolling so I can take my life back. It’s going to be a long and slow road, but as long as you guys have my back, I’m good.

    P.P.S. I’d like to share more but it’s probably best for the investigation if I hold off on that for awhile. And, I’m pretty sure he still lurks in my social media spaces… hiiiiiiiiii 👋🏽

  • Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re My Only Hope

    Hi, it’s me, Sara Louise.

    You know me and you know my story. And after years of being stuck in this nightmare, I’m doing something I never thought I’d do; I’m asking for help.

    Being married to my ex is costing me in many different ways, some emotional, some financial.

    Besides the pain of the whole ‘bigamy’ thing, I now have to file my taxes in a status that costs a higher rate and because of that status, I’m not able to get insurance assistance from the Affordable Care Act.

    SIDEBAR: So this was fun. The kind people at the healthcare dot gov told me to ask a tax professional if I could get an exemption and be considered ‘head of household’ to get assistance. But the tax professional told me that I couldn’t qualify as head of household because I didn’t have any dependents and was childless. OUCH.

    On top of this, there are loads of other little fun-filled ways I’m being s to the crewed over financially by him (you don’t even want to see Fifty’s medical bills).

    Bottom line, I’m stuck in this expensive loop of hell all because my ex did what he did and is still doing it. I have to get a divorce.

    But, it turns out getting divorced is crazy expensive, especially when you have to track down the other party in another country. This is where you and this blog post come in.

    After asking loads of people for their advice and opinions, and having them promise this wasn’t too tacky, they all agreed that I should set up a GoFundMe here on the blog. I’m cringing that I’m doing this, but I simply cannot do this on my own. I have to cut the ties for both my mental and emotional well-being as well as my financial.

    I understand that things are tight for everyone at the moment. And if you can’t give it, that is OK. You’ve always supported me, and I appreciate you more than you’ll ever know.

    But if you can give, then please do. Please help me get a divorce.

    Help Me Get Divorced

  • Maybe the Cruelty Was the Point

    Since we’re approaching Christmas, I’m going to tell you about the horrific emotional journey my husband took me on in December 2018.

    As always, take a deep breath, light a relaxing candle, pour yourself a drink, or do whatever you need to do to center yourself. Prepare to be flummoxed and possibly infuriated.

    In September 2018, we hit another impasse. It had been fifteen months since the Green Card had been approved, and yet, my husband was still not living with me in Texas. There had been one excuse after another…

    1. He was waiting for a job transfer to Chicago.
    2. He was waiting for a bonus.
    3. He got a new job and was sent to Brittany for training for three months.
    4. His grandmother had a heart attack and was in a coma, and he couldn’t possibly leave her.

    I had had enough.

    I told him I was moving on with my life and wouldn’t wait for him to come and be with me anymore. I found an apartment downtown and moved out of my mother’s house.

    And then, lo and behold, he showed up.

    But, of course, he only showed up for a few days. Off he went again with promises to be back in a couple of weeks for good.

    A couple of weeks turned into more than a month. Again. So, I told him not to bother coming back. And I meant it. I was moving on with my life.

    I planned a trip to London to go to my friend John’s fabulous Peaky Blinders-themed work Christmas party as his plus one, and off I went. (Trust me, he’s just a friend. More like an annoying little brother, actually.)

    Then the messages began – Please, I’m coming back, I promise. I bought a plane ticket. I’m coming. Please…


    Stupidly, I cut my trip to London short, so I could be back in Texas on the same day that he would be arriving. When he walked into the house, he rolled in one small carry-on bag. That was it.

    Where’s the rest of your stuff?!”  

    The answer was an excuse about having to return for some important things or something or other at his mother’s house. (I honestly cannot remember what it was – too many excuses to keep track of) but he promised he would be back on Christmas Eve.

    And then, we relaxed into each other again. We spent a really lovely week together, and I was happy. Things felt normal, and I felt hopeful. And off he went back to France, with a kiss goodbye and a promise to be back the following week.

    On the night before Christmas Eve, my intuition kicked on. Something wasn’t right. I could feel it.

    I messaged my friend John frantically, saying that I didn’t think that my husband was coming back. He wasn’t going to be on the plane. I knew it.

    John assured me I was being crazy; of course, he would be on the plane!

    I went to bed and, in the morning, woke up to an email from my husband saying he was all checked in for his flight from Paris to London. He even included a photo of a suitcase on a check-in scale. (How weird is that?)

    I breathed a sigh of relief. But I could feel the doubt creep back in.

    More messages back and forth to John when a Facetime came in. It was from my husband.

    How could he be Facetiming me if he was on the plane?!

    What’s going on? Where are you?

    I was greeted with sobs (he deserves an Oscar, really) followed by some BS story about how when he went to board his flight to Austin from London, he discovered that he didn’t have his passport with him; someone must have stolen it, or he had put it down somewhere and lost it. They wouldn’t let him get on the plane.

    And that’s when he did what he always did. He made it about him. Poor him couldn’t get on the plane. Poor him was alone sobbing in an airport. Poor him wouldn’t be able to come to the U.S. for Christmas. Poor him.

    Lies. All lies.

    I spent Christmas in Texas with my mother. And I’m assuming since this was three years after he had met his girlfriend and eighteen months before he “got married,” my husband spent the holiday somewhere with her.

    P.S. An important note for my American friends. My husband has a passport card as well as a passport. An EU passport card lets you travel within the EU. Hence that’s why I found it plausible that he was able to fly to London from Paris without an actual passport.

  • It Never Stops

    OK… First off, I’m sorry that this has become my personal vent space, but I haven’t found a therapist that I vibe with yet, and writing about this has been so very cathartic. Also, some recent events in my life have occurred that have forced me to finally do the much-needed emotional unpacking of years of infidelity and gaslighting. It’s painful but necessary. I pinky promise that one day this will return to the sparkling space it once was. In the meantime, let’s unpack some sh*t.

    He’s still lying.

    Yes, the man with a wife (two, actually) and a baby is still lying to me. And I’m sure he’s definitely lying to her.

    So, back in May, I went to see a divorce lawyer and was sadly told I couldn’t get divorced.

    Sidebar: It was quite funny, actually, because she couldn’t wrap her head around the bigamy part. She kept saying, “but he couldn’t have married her,” as if there was some International Bigamy Police to intervene. It turns out anybody can marry anybody if they’re willing to commit fraud by lying on an official document like a marriage license.

    I can’t get divorced because I need to be a New York state resident for two years, and at that time, I was only an official resident for about nine months. She asked where he was living, and I said that, according to him, he was in California (it’s one of the HQs of the company he works for) living on his own, without the wife or the baby because they supposedly weren’t together anymore and he had zero contact with them. (His wife’s social media posts would beg to differ.) She said that was great because California only requires six months in the state with three months in one county.

    With this knowledge and a couple of martinis in me, I messaged my husband, asking if he met those requirements and if he could please make this process as easy as possible for me because he at least owed me that. He replied that he didn’t but would in three months. I stuck a three-month reminder in my diary and went about my business.

    Fast forward to August.

    Will you hit the CA residency requirements for divorce this month – six months in the state and three months in the same county?” I messaged.

    Two days later and no reply.

    I asked you if you would do your part to make the divorce as easy as possible for me, and you said you would, so I’d appreciate it if you didn’t ignore me.

    Another two days later and finally a reply:

    I will check.

    There’s nothing to check. Have you been living in California for six months? Have you been living in the same county there for three months? These are not difficult questions.

    He came back with some fluff about traveling a lot for work, so he had been staying in AirBnBs and whatnot.

    Will you have a more permanent address soon or not?

    I hopefully will.

    Oh, woe is him.

    And then my mother did some digging.

    After some superior Google searching, she found an address listed under his and his wife’s name in Sweden. (She’s Swedish. The wife, not my mother.)

    Back to iMessage:

    Since you’re living in Sweden, you will not be establishing residence in California. Make sure I have an accurate address for you so I can file for divorce next year. And stop lying. It’s not necessary.

    ‘”OK, whatever. I don’t know where I’ll be next year, but I will give you an address.

    So then I sent the Swedish address.

    OK, whatever you found if you think it is true. I have one in Ireland too.

    How charming. They have a residence in Sweden and one in Ireland. Good for them as I applaud from my studio apartment in Poughkeepsie.

    He’s still lying and I can’t get a divorce.

  • Did You Ever Know That You’re My Hero?

    I’m going to bare my soul a bit here.

    As much as the last eight years have been rough, there have been moments in the past couple of years that have nearly broken me. I couldn’t eat, could hardly move, and would lay on the couch feeling half-dead, barely conscious, floating on a wave of depression and self-induced malnutrition.

    But, I would force myself up, reminding myself of all the incredibly fortunate things I have in my life. I’d sip on a smoothie, shove a spoonful of peanut butter in my mouth and push through because I knew if I could make it over the hump, focus on work, focus on the good things, I would be OK. And I am.

    Then, with encouragement from my oldest and dearest friend, I decided to cut myself open over these keys and let it all bleed out. And you showed up for me.

    You read. You commented. You messaged. You sent care packages and gifts. You checked in, and you showed me that I was not alone. And that I was loved.

    So whether you have been with me since those early gleeful Le Petit Village days or have only recently stumbled upon this space somehow, I want to say thank you. Thank you for your kindness. Thank you for your support, and your words of encouragement because they mean more to me than you can possibly imagine. From the bottom of my broken, healing heart, thank you for being part of my tribe. 

    You give me strength. 

  • Burn It to the Ground

    You know, when I first found out about ‘her,’ I was so humiliated. I was embarrassed. Ashamed. I didn’t want anyone to know. But why should I be ashamed and embarrassed and humiliated? I’m not the one that did anything wrong. All I did was be patient and loyal for years while I was being mugged off. How mugged off? Majorly mugged off. Well, no more. Buckle up.

    A little over a year ago, I was here in New York, trying to rebuild my life and adjust to the fact that my marriage was well and truly over, all those years wasted, with nothing to show for them. After all, he had a baby with another woman; that’s a hard one to come back from.

    But the thing is, he was still lying. He was telling me that it was all an accident; he wasn’t with her; he had no contact with her or the baby, BLAH BLAH BLAH LIES. And then a cousin of mine made a shocking discovery…

    A cousin in Ireland was getting married. He and his wife were looking for a chauffeur and came across one’s Facebook page. And while they were scrolling through photos of happy newlyweds posing outside of a Rolls or in the backseat of a limo, one couple stood out. Because there he was, my husband, with his bride, who was not me.

    My husband is a bigamist.

    That sweet and funny Frenchman you all grew to love back when I was Sara in Le Petit Village, married another woman while still married to me.

    He got married in 2019 and carried on as if nothing had changed.

    Less than a month after his “wedding,” we took a family vacation with my mother, godmother, best friend, and her kids and frolicked on the Jersey Shore. We even signed another lease and began marriage counseling, all the while, he had a soon-to-be pregnant bride in another country.

    So for all those years, while I was waiting for my new life back in the U.S. to begin finally, he was building a life with another woman. They met, dated, moved in together, got engaged, got married, and a little over a year later, had a baby.

    And there it is. I won’t be ashamed, embarrassed, or humiliated anymore. He will be.