For every tragic story there is a beginning. The roadmap that got you to that point. For me, it was a wonderful fairytale turned nightmare.
In July of 2016 I joined a dating site called Plenty of Fish. I was sick of being alone. I had been left by my husband and was in the middle of a divorce. I had not really been okay for a while, but I was in the stage of taking back my power, but in every wrong way possible.
One day I came across a profile that caught my interest. So we started to talk. We did sarcastic banter back and forth for a few weeks and talked about our favorite horror movies and comic book characters. Then one day we decided to meet. It was the weekend of August 8th, 2016. I remember because it's my ex-husbands birthday weekend.
I had him meet me at a place called Plan B. It was karaoke night, and I love karaoke. When he got there I thought he was pretty goofy looking, not really attractive. He was tall, and muscular but proportionate because of his height with a small head, glasses and brown stains on his teeth. Well obviously, I'm not really one to judge anyone too harshly when meeting them, because I believe in giving them a chance. So that's what I did. I have him a chance. We had a really great night with a lot of laughs and he even tried karaoke for the first time. It was a fun first date.
A few days later, after a long night of drinking I messaged him to see what he was up to, but he was at work. He was a student nurse at Eisenhower medical and he got off around 5 AM. The sun was coming up and I asked him over. I just didnt wanna be alone. So we made out for a bit and then fell asleep.
After that, we had a proper date. We went to Starbucks and then went to the movies. He paid, which I wasn't used to. It was nice. Then after the movie he drove me home. He came over a lot after that. I would even go to his house sometimes but mostly he came to see me. I was living with a friend in her little one bedroom apartment at the time, so he would bring his laptop and we would sit in the courtyard and watch movies sometimes, or go out to eat. He was always really sweet, and seemed to care a whole lot.
One day my roommate got really sick, and she ended up in the hospital. He would check on her and bring her food, or just go say hi and make sure she was alright. I was amazed by his kindness, and that he would even think about taking care of my friend like that.
At one point I ended up being at his house almost every night. We would hang out and laugh together, and watch movies and other stuff. He would take me on road trips to LA for different events, or even just to get out of town for the day. We had a lot of fun and I started to care for him a lot. By then he had met my son who was three years old at the time, and they got along really well. My son really liked him too which was nice.
In October of 2016, I took him to go see The Adicts play, which is a really awesome punk band I love, and we had a really good time. I drank a lot and he didn't drink at all, because he just didn't drink. The next day he was ready to break up with me because he said I made a scene and didn't wanna leave when it was time to go, but I pleaded with him and told him I would quit drinking. So we remained together. That was the turning point of our relationship.
It started subtle and was masked as just the jealous boyfriend. Like i would say hi to someone I knew and he would tell me i dont need to flirt with everyone, then say things like "Well, since you said hi to them I'm gonna go flirt with all the girls that walk by," and blow things out of proportion. He did have problems with girls in the past, so I figured that's where the jealousy came from.
Eventually, I wasn't even allowed to have male facebook friends. After complaining about it for a few weeks, I went through and deleted them all. Then I asked him to do the same because it was only fair, but he wouldn't.
One day I caught him hiding in the bathroom going through my phone, reading my messages to other people. I didn't really care at the time, because I understood where the urge to do that came from, and I'd be lying if I said I hadn't done that in previous relationships. He didn't stop after that though. He grabbed my phone whenever he wanted, and would continue to go through it. It got so bad that eventually I started deleting my conversations, or at least editing them in a way that would make sense when he read them.
At one point, one of my best friends came to visit. He bought a big blow up bed for her to sleep on in the living room when she got into town. We weren't living together yet at that point, but he agreed to let her stay at his house. One of the nights I did her hair and makeup for her to do a small acting job at a local murder mystery restaurant, because her friend owned it and asked her to be a part of it while she was in town. I didn't go with her, even though I would have liked to, because i didn't wanna create any arguments between me and Erick. She told me to be careful because she could see that I wasn't acting like myself.
Not long after that, Erick and I were on one of our trips, which honestly weren't even all that fun anymore, because we would end up in some sort of argument every time we went anywhere. I had gotten into an argument on the phone with my roommate and she told me I should just go live with him. So I asked, and he said yes, and I moved when we got back into town.
It was nice for the first few days, but it very quickly got bad. He started blaming my son for our arguments, and even one day said that he "doesn't come second to anybody." He even went as far as threatening to throw my son out of bed one night because his head tapped the floor when he had fallen asleep while I was talking with his head in my lap and I stood up. I pleaded with him as he stood between me and the door to my son's room and calmed him down and had to apologize for his head tapping the ground. It was extremely scary and I had never felt so helpless as a mother. I had already started making plans to get out, because I knew my son was no longer safe. The next day is when I put my plan into action.
A good friend of mine agreed to let me stay with her a few days prior. I spoke with her in secret planning to get out. I didn't dare call, and if I did I would delete the call from my phone memory. That day of March 3rd, 2017, the day before the attack, I waited. Deklend was with me, so I did everything I could to keep Erick happy. We had a very good last day together, and I made sure of that. I didn't want him suspicious, and I didn't wanna make him upset while my son was still there.
After he went to work and my son was picked up by his dad I started packing. My son was safe and out of harm's way, and I was going to make sure it stayed that way. I threw my things in my suitcase and boxes as quickly as I could. I went into my son's room and put all of his things in his sheet and wrapped it up. I put everything in the living room by the front door while speaking with Erick through Facebook Messenger the whole time. We always talked when he was at work, and I didn't want him coming home to find me in the middle of packing. Whenever I wouldn't respond right away, I would tell him I was cleaning.
My friend came to pick me up around 10 PM, and we fit as much of my stuff in her car as we could. When we got to her place we unpacked the car and took everything inside. By that time I had stopped responding to Erick. We hung out in her living room for a few minutes before leaving to go get the rest of my belongings.
On the way back, Erick sped around us in a way that it cause her to swerve off the road a bit. I recognized his car and told her it was him so we turned around and went back to her place. Erick messaged me and asked why I was leaving. I told him it's because I didn't feel like my son was safe anymore. I told him I couldn't subject him to a hostile environment. He pleaded with me, telling me that we are safe and asking me to please come back. He said he didn't feel right. Eventually, after i told him that he needs to get help and then we could try again, he gave up.
A few hours later he asked me when i was gonna be there to get the rest of my things. I told him sometime in the morning.
The next morning a different friend had agreed to take me to get the rest of my things. We had no idea what was coming. I didn't think he would ever try to hurt me, but he did.
Erick Maciel had 12 hours to plan out his attempt to take my life. We were not supposed to be leaving that day alive but we did.Thank you all for reading! I appreciate all of you and please reach out for help if you ever need it.