Aubrie Mindock

Professional skier, author of "When I Saw Heaven" and "Back Up On Skis," Olympic hopeful

Gunman at my door

This is the photo of the man who tried to shoot me dead. His name was Eric and he was an evil, violent, alcoholic who wanted full control over my life and the lives of those around me. His obsession was not love. It was deadly. 

September 14th 2016

It was around 9:30 at night when Eric came to my home with a gun with the intention to shoot me then shoot himself in what the law calls a murder/suicide. Eric had the mentality that if he could not have me then no one could. His obsession with me almost cost me my life and it cost him everything. Eric took his life by gun outside my door. 

Love and Obsession

Love does not hurt. Love does not control. Love is not cruel, abusive, threatening or evil. When someone loves you they respect you, your freedom, your friends and family and they want to protect you from harm. A man who loves a woman wants her to dream and succeed. He wants her to be comfortable and safe.

Obsession is the complete opposite. Eric never loved me. I knew that from the start. He was obsessed with me. Eric immediately controlled me and became so powerful that no one could stop him, not even the police. Eric's obsession was so dangerous that in the end he even tried to kill me. The man brought a gun to my home and if it had not been for my current boyfriend, Jay, I would have been dead. 

Love does not hurt others. When you are loved by a man that man accepts your family like his. Eric never accepted my family. Actually, he tried to isolate me from my family. He even had plans to take me out of the country to keep me away from those who love me and care for me. This man wanted me to be his and only his until the very end. Love is accepting, not selfish. 

Eric and my Mother

Eric was nasty. He was pure evil and had every intention of not only killing me but also killing my family. It was November 8th 2014, the day after my fathers memorial. I was with my family at my parents home and Eric happened to come by. I do not remember if he was invited over or not. Eric often showed up uninvited. 

Anyway, my mother and family was not exactly thrilled that Eric had showed up. Nor was I. I was so tired of Eric but I did not know how to get him out of my life. No one knew how to get Eric to just leave us alone. All my family and I wanted was for Eric to go find some other girl to date. We were all so sick of him but he refused to just leave us alone.

Well, my mother told Eric to leave and Eric refused. The day after my dad's memorial Eric got right up into my mothers face and screamed at her at the top of his lungs. He called her names and said that she is a "horrible person." He tried to put some of the blame of my father's death on her but she was not about to have it. 

I do not know how my mother found the strength to stick up for herself against Eric literally hours after putting my dad to rest. I have no idea where her courage came from. Here is my mother putting her second husband to rest with a mad man cussing her out and she was somehow able to stand up and tell him that his actions are not okay. She was so brave to do what she did that day.

It wasn't much longer before Eric was at it again, harassing my mother once more. Not even a week after my fathers death he wrote my mother a threatening hate letter. This letter came only days after he verbally abused my mother in her own home. Once again, my mom found the strength and courage to forgive and move on. She never responded to Eric.

Eric wanted a response from my mother so within a week after that first letter he sent her a second hate letter. My mother once again forgave and did her best to move on and focus on her family. The last thing my mother needed was Eric harassing her after she lost her second husband but he just would not stop.

I urged my mom to report the harassment to the police but my mom refused, hoping that by not responding that he would move on. My mom's actions were the right actions. By not reporting Eric she might have not only saved herself but her family too. Eric was psychotic. He came to my home with a gun after I reported him to the police so if my mom had run to the police she could have been a victim. 

Breckenridge

Eric followed me to Breckenridge. Well, he followed me everywhere. There was no getting rid of him. One day he found me at my work in Breckenridge and refused to leave, even after my bosses kicked him out multiple times. My bosses were so annoyed with him that they almost called the police on him. The only reason they did not call the police was because it was during the middle of winter break and we did not want to scare customers away. 

The Threats

Eric was constantly threatening me and my family. There were many reasons why I stayed with him and literally did everything he wanted me to do, even saying that I loved him and wanted to marry him and getting engaged to him. I was terrified of him. I knew that he was dangerous and knew that he would make good on every single threat so I played along.

I was going to marry Eric. I did not love Eric or want to marry Eric but I was going to do whatever it took to keep him happy so I could keep my family safe. Eric was extremely dangerous when he was not happy. His anger was unreal and if he was upset he was violent.

The only way to keep Eric from doing something really bad was to keep him happy. I was controlled for years because I was under the threat of violence and death. I got engaged to Eric and made wedding plans because it made him happy. It made Eric happy knowing that he was going to have me all to himself and a happy Eric was a nice Eric. When Eric was happy he was not a threat to anyone. Eric was very nice and kind and respectful and protective when I kept him happy. 

My Misery

Meanwhile, I was miserable. I was forced to keep Eric happy by doing everything he wanted. I could not say no to the guy. If he wanted to go to the Broncos game and get drunk I had to go too. If he wanted to go to the bars and get trashed, well I was there with him watching his bad behavior. If Eric wanted me to pay for him I paid. I did it all just so my family would not be hurt by him.

I was so miserable and constantly looking for a way out. I would be out and about with Eric and see nice single men and wishing that I was talking to them instead of being locked in Eric's arms. I remember staring at a guy once and I tried to strike up a conversation with him. Eric noticed and immediately put his arm around me and pulled me close to him as to say,"She's mine." I cringed and tried to pull away. 

I soon came to realize that my life was going to be spent with Eric forever and ever. There would be no one to help me, no escape and my screams would be silent. I ended up numbing myself to the fact that I would never love and I would be trapped in his prison for the rest of my life. I became depressed and lonely and silent. 

When Eric was around I would put on my happy face just to keep him happy but I could not stand the sight of him or the smell of him. Eric reeked of alcohol. It seeped through his pores and sweat. It was the most disgusting smell and to this day I can still remember it. 

Every time Eric hugged me his stench would get onto my clothing and I was forced to smell it through the workday. I knew my coworkers could smell it too. Needless to say, I could never take enough showers.

Even the sight of him repulsed me. He always looked around the room, at others and at me with an angry look on his face. I would later learn that the sight of him gave those who saw him the chills. People who barely knew me were terrified of Eric because he always had this evil look about him. 

My Vision While Trapped

While I was with Eric I had a vision for my life. My life with Eric was meaningless and hopeless. I had no dreams because I was not allowed to dream. Had Eric been able to get away with all he wanted and control me for the rest of my life I would have been his slave. 

I would often dream of being free. Sleep was my only comfort. I was able to dream of a nice man and a nice family and being with someone I loved. Often, I dreamt about a man who loved me and who loved my family. I never knew the man in my dreams but it was the vision of what I truly wanted.

Upon waking I would be forced to realize that I was not with a man I loved. I was not with a man who loved me. I was with a monster. The man I was with wanted me dead and my family dead too. He was evil and there was no escaping him. I had to do whatever it took to keep him happy so no harm would be brought to those I loved. 

My Life Today

I met Jay while I was trying to run from Eric, about a year ago. At first I did not tell Jay about Eric. I just wanted the drama of Eric to be over. For once it was nice to have a good man in my life and it was fun to be around Jay. 

First, I was very attracted to Jay and I felt a connection to him. Jay is the complete opposite of Eric. When I first started seeing Jay it was a relief. I could relax and I was safe. I knew that Jay was respectful, fun, caring and giving. This was the man that I wanted to be with.

Soon, my dreams started to come back. I started dreaming about a good life again and a family with a man that I loved. Jay gave me hope in a hopeless situation. He made me laugh and the most important thing about Jay was I could not wait to see him. 

I did not know it when we first met but it would be Jay who would save my life. That September night it was Jay who stepped in front of Eric's gun. Realizing that he would not be able to shoot me, Eric turned his gun on himself. It would be Jay that fearlessly took full control of a deadly situation and would get us both out alive. 

Because of Jay I am alive. Because of Jay's actions that night I am able to once again dream and live. I was trapped in evil's grip for so long that my new freedom is overwhelming. Jay is patient while I work out my life again. He is patient while I put the broken pieces back together. 

Because of Jay my family is alive and my mother did not have to get that news from the police that her daughter was murdered. I survived and my mom will never have to worry about whether or not Eric will harm me. 

Because of Jay I was not alone when the police informed me of Eric's suicide. The police were great and because of law enforcement Jay and I were able to move past this horrific event for the most part. Because of how the police treated both me and Jay, our trauma was lessoned. The police protected us from having to see more than we had to and Jay sheltered me from Eric's body and as much as he could. 

Because of Jay and how the police responded to us I can live a happy life, dream and have a career. One day I'll be able to be a mother and have a family of my own. 

I have so much to be thankful for and today I am looking at all the blessings God has given me and Jay and my family. Life is not perfect but I am alive.