Escaping Harpocrates: Breaking My Silence

It’s August.

August was the month this whole thing begun, August was the month I received the letter. August is the month I end this, now – for good.

On August 11th 2018, I received a letter in my mailbox. I was stunned as I read the words

“You’re not a victim”

in the letter.

We had been broken up for half a year at this point, and what is weird is I hadn’t once even considered I was a victim until I read those words in his letter, telling me I wasn’t.

I’m going to take you through this letter… word by word.

I’m going to walk you through the incidents of this relationship.

and then I’m going to lay it all to rest – because I am sick of carrying this bullshit around with me.  I am going to leave this all here…and then move on with my life and write about things that interest me. maxresdefault (1)

THE LETTER

I received this letter on August 11th 2018 – Six months after we had broken up. And four months after the first time, I expressed just how much pain he had caused me.

Dear A, 

I hope this finds you well! Our last exchange has left me pensive and a little restless. I appreciate that you shared your pain with me and I am very sad that you had to go through it.  I’m writing this because I feel there’s been a great deal of focus on your end of this tumultuous journey and I’ve done my utmost to be as helpful as possible, but in doing so, I feel my own needs have been neglected, or at the very least, diminished in importance. As you have gotten something off your mind (and a mighty volley of punches it was!) I would now like to get something off mine. I don’t want to roil the waters or burst any sutures, so I’ve been hesitant to do this, but after our discussion, I feel compelled to reach out to you.  

In my opinion, he should have stuck to the idea of not sending this, as you will see as the letter goes on, his intentions are very much to burst sutures, and in fact, this letter betrays him.

Here’s my concern: Do you remember what happened with {insert his ex girlfriends name here} How she wrote an article maligning me, having invented offenses that never took place? How she re-wrote history? I’m concerned that, in your grief, you’re going to re-write history. And I don’t believe you’ll ever stoop to her level, but I’m already seeing signs of redacting…

This ex-girlfriend, as described by him, was an insane feminist out to get him. She had made up all these horrible things about him that never happened. I actually ended up reaching out to her, and we spoke. Suprise Suprise… my how coincidental it was that all our stories of abuse lined up. She was in fact the strong woman who aired out his wrongdoings, and as such, was a threat. His maneuver was to paint her as crazy and paint himself as the patient man who put up with her.

I can assure you, I will not be re-writing history. No need to. All the evidence lies in this letter.

I was astonished by your confession of anger in April during my {show}. I’m glad you came to me with it, but I was utterly baffled about why you could be angry, even despite your explanation, because it just didn’t seem to be consonant with the reality we shared together. It was as though you hadn’t heard anything I’d ever said to you about how much I love you, especially around the time of the breakup. But, intense emotions, life upheaval, and grief can do much to paint how we see the world, and I didn’t follow up about my shock because you said you felt better.

He was glad I went to him with it, because he knew I hadn’t gone to anyone else, which meant he could nip this in this bud. Begin the accusations that I was crazy. I had heard him say how much he loved me. His words however didn’t match his actions. But I don’t have to tell you that – you will read it.

But then you told me what you told me the other night how “you lost it” after we broke up because you believed that I told you “the novelty had worn off” I denied every using this words with you, but I didn’t push too hard because you needed to tell me something, and I know that must have been hard for you. I also know you needed to tell me to continue on your journey.

However, I’ve let that conversation sit for a few days, and it isn’t sitting well. I still vehemently deny ever using the words “novelty has worn off” about you because I didn’t. and wouldn’t. 

At this point it’s hearsay, isn’t it? I say he said it, he said he didn’t. The argument that he wouldn’t say that isn’t exactly a strong one. This is the same man who yelled at me: “You are second-hand trash”  who told me “do you know how emasculating it will be to be dating a scarlet?” the same one who angrily scolded me for three hours for guessing his number wrong. If you can say all that… saying the novelty wore off isn’t such a jump.

Did I not mention he would begin to paint me as crazy: i.e. I lost it.

Not only do I hate the phrase itself, because it’s in the same camp of detested cliches as “quality time” “living my best life” and “you do you”, but I would also never say that about you, nor would I say it to you, unless I was out of my mind drunk, which I wasn’t in the associated context. 

I am exceptionally careful about the words I use all the time. My entire life is a matter of reigning myself in for the comfort of others – and you know this more than anyone else. 

I do. This is why he is writing this letter to me in the first place. He felt he could let himself go with me and not reign himself in. This is why he could go on drunk tirades against me, scare me until I had to run to the bathroom, and still feel like that was excusable because he was “out of his mind drunk”.

He had me believing that he was the only man in the world who “Vino Veritas” didn’t pertain to him… I was a fool.

While I was very open with you – more open than I’ve been with anyone – I still always curated and expressed my thoughts carefully, especially when it came to matters of your self-esteem. This was true from the first day to the very last (and persists today). I may have uttered a phrase similar to the one in question with regards to how I feel about women generally but I always made it clear that it wasn’t what I felt with regards to you.  Because it wasn’t. 

I will say he did take care of my self-esteem. He made sure I had none, though would mask it with compliments. But my self-esteem was on a fast deterioration while we were together, and I think that speaks louder than compliments. He also would make comments about how women over 30 were old and undesirable. This wasn’t about me either, but you can imagine how much I dreaded my thirtieth birthday.  If I had spoken about men how he spoke about women in front of me, I surely would have been scolded and yelled at.

And to reiterate with us, nothing “wore – off. I wore out.  At the time I didn’t know why and I didn’t have a solid answer aside from “its the hardware” or “it’s genetics”. I can see how these responses can leave a maelstrom of doubt in which one’s worst nightmares are born, but “worn out” in no way equates what you’ve expressed – the “novelty wearing off” I was explicit about this, repeatedly, because I wanted to avoid precisely what has happened. I’m also terrified of “gaslighting” you on the matter: I don’t want to cause further doubt or invalidate your feelings, but I believe you’re inadvertently projecting my thoughts I never had, and are hurting yourself with them. 

I actually believe that this letter was to try and invalidate my feelings and gaslight me. In fact, if he truly feared that he would be gaslighting me I don’t believe he would have written it. I also don’t feel he would have put quotations around the word if he truly was worried about it… His use of quotes around gaslighting seems to be used somewhat like air-quotes. in other words ironically. The bizarre part is the focus on this one thing of the novelty wearing off but, not the other terrible things he said to me during our relationship.

Maybe I should just let myself be demonized to assure your recovery and comfort, but, as with {ex girlfriend name} I see where this can lead unchecked, and I also don’t feel its fair to me. And again, I’m not saying you’ll ever do what she did, but… who the hell knows what a few years will bring is this isn’t corrected? I won’t lean to hard on this either, because i don’t want to activate any guilt!

Corrected? You mean to shut me up? Well, this letter actually pushed me to publish this. He should have let me demonize him as I was healing because had I not received this letter, I probably would have healed up just fine, but never would have been given the gift of seeing clearly, and just how terribly treated I was. So in many ways, I am thankful.

As for guilt, I carry it every day on how he allowed me to treat the women he chased after. More of his grooming and manipulation can be seen here.

This next bit is actually redundant, it reads of somewhat of a university essay of him trying to prove his point further, but I will let you read it as it is a part of the letter.

I want to share another example of how easily this sort of “projection” and “reading between the lines”  can happen. In February, as {colleague name} and I were ramping up for the show, she sent out an email to the ensemble essentially asking them to go out and get local sponsors for the program. Now, the program sponsor slots were for {company name} only and not for {other company name}: the ensemble technically worked for {other company} She went ahead and sent this email – containing not only a clear conflict of interest, but also a dubious exploitation of my cast – without consulting me. I sent her a kind, albeit firm email outlining these issues ad saying that, in the future, I’d prefer it if she consult with me first. At no point did I ever mention the words “you crossed the line” or even scold her. It was written as a soft correction. She then called me up, heaving, weeping and hysterical, and repeatedly saying that I told her she’d “crossed the line” Which I had not. She replied “Yes you did! Yes you did!” I encouraged her to pull up the email: after doing this she reluctantly admitted that I hadn’t. She had “read between the lines and chosen her own interpretation. In the email I made it clear that it indeed had been a mistake – but one that was my fault for not being explicit. In reality, it wasn’t my fault because it’s an obvious error, but as always, I accept the blame for the behaviour of others because I didn’t properly manage it. This is what I’ve always done. I’m not so sure this tendency is helping me in the belong run with personal relationships. My indulgence seems to be returning to injure me. In {colleagues} case she allowed her fears – making a mistake- to completely colour her view of my reaction to the even, and projected on to it a level of anxiety that it didn’t merit. Not only that, but she ignored everything else I expressed and fixated only on crossing the line. I feel that this is at risk of happening with you and our history. 

My therapist says if you have to reiterate over and over again, you don’t trust in your argument. Or as one would say “the lady doth protest too much, me thinks”.  It occurred to me when I read this the first time that as an actor he should be much more aware of what subtext is. Subtext is the emotion that is put on the words. One can say “Have a nice day!” with different subtexts and it can mean different things. Knowing the colleague, and her hard work ethic, I can only bet that the subtext in the email he sent her WAS in fact ” you crossed a line”

But, most of us know subtext, as we are careful to put emojis, when conversing in text nowadays, so feel free to read the subtext in the essay example above… (or even in this sentence)

When I look back, and when I remember our time together, I recall that I did and said everything I could to be honest and more importantly, kind with you. I know this to be true because it was part of my mission to do so. There were errors on my part definitely! And you handled them with a grace that always impressed me, and for which I’ll always be grateful. We can safely say that the majority of our time was shared in harmony. 

The grace I handled most things with was simply ignoring everything and not holding him accountable. The harmony was because I would take anything, mean words, glasses were thrown over my head, drunken berating and forgive it as if it never happened, or affected me.  THIS IS MY FAULT. This is where the healing has been hardest, trying to forgive myself for allowing this behaviour.

I spent our years together trying to build you up; from your feelings about your appearance to your career to your mental health, and even to helping you assert yourself with your family and friends.

I tried set up my suicide twice while being with him. One time I even called him because I was in a dire mental spiral and he refused to come over because he was tired. My mental health was not good.

The friend and family assertion meant ditching most of my friends, losing them or leaving them because they were too stupid, or not good enough for me (in his opinion). I almost lost two of the most important people in my life because of him and lost several others.

Even though he tried to put a wedge between my family and me, he thankfully did not succeed. But he did manage to meet with my father after we broke up to explain to him why he was still a good guy, and why my father should still fund his show.

And you were there for me too through my professional woes, and my relationship entanglements. I haven’t forgotten that. But it seems like my  contributions have been forgotten and supplanted instead by the portrait of some remorseless brigand. I don’t want to elicit any guilt but I don’t think I can allow myself to be villainized here. It’s not accurate and its not fair. 

I drove him to different cities for work because he didn’t like to drive. I did his social media for his shows, I LOOKED FOR WOMEN FOR HIM WHILE I WAS DATING HIM.

Yes, the sex was incredible. He made me feel wanted, and sexy, at first, but I fought tooth and nail to be perfect… and though I could not succeed, my biggest flaw was I didn’t hold him accountable. So yes, my memories of this relationship are mostly bad – I know there were great moments, like playing video games together or making silly voices, but those get wiped out when you hurl insults at me, or glasses, no less.

I’ve been thinking over what “went wrong” and a new feeling has been occurring to me over time. I was worn out, but I think I might have been partially worn out with “caring about you” because I felt like i was often hurting you because of the other women. When we starting dating it was with this promise that they wouldn’t matter, that they wouldn’t bother you. I was skeptical of this. And it turns out, in the end, that my skepticism was well founded: they did bother you, and of course they did! Why wouldn’t they! You’d finally found something you cared enough about (and that cared enough about you) to get invested, which was a great honour for me. 

This part of the letter is fascinating to me because he believes himself to be right that I was jealous and that is why I couldn’t keep the promise. We had agreed that we would be open to having other women join our relationship. (one can read into the steps here) But as the relationship went on, he kept changing the rules to that.

  1. We would have girlfriends together
  2. He would have girlfriends as long as I met them
  3.  He would have girlfriends as long as they knew about me
  4. He would have girlfriends and not tell them about me.

And all the while, I couldn’t have anyone else, or else we had to rethink the relationship. So yes, the women did end up bothering me – but it wasn’t because I didn’t keep my promise. It’s because in the end I became invisible, and he could have it all while I stayed home alone awaiting his call. Not only that, but I couldn’t decline the changes of the  rules because otherwise, I’d lose the relationship.

And I saw you trying to valiantly trying to uphold your end of the bargain, tolerating the others as you did. But I could see what it was doing to you, and my two needs – making you happy and women just weren’t compatible. I think the conflict between these in conjunction with my growing professional concerns, finally wore me down. I’m still not comfortable telling you this because I’m afraid you’re going to internalize it and hurt yourself with it, but perhaps this will offer an alternative narrative to the novelty argument. 

And to this I say: Don’t put yourself through this arrangement again. You don’t have to share if you don’t want to, and nor should you. You deserve someone’s complete focus. 

I don’t think I need to underline the fact of his needs… it’s just laughable. But, I would never put myself in a never-ending-altering arrangement again. My other gut reaction is: Don’t tell me what to do.  However, it always interested me how he said I deserve someone’s complete focus, and yet can’t see later on how I tell him I deserve better.

One of the reasons I suggested you go to therapy was to come to terms with this reality: that you deserve exactly what you want now that you know what it is.

Here, he lies. He never told me to go to therapy. I started going to therapy in 2016 because I was having horrendous migraines and it was included in the headache treatment. He never once suggested I go, because he didn’t believe in it. In fact, he thought he was too smart for therapists, which is why he refused to go.

When I saw that the arrangement wasn’t working for you, that’s when the wearing down began.

Am I reading between the lines by saying : So he’s saying it is my fault? I wore him down?

I was hoping you would acclimatize to it, or at the very least that we could find someone suitable to date us together… but a catalog of difficulties attended to these efforts. I don’t want to give you up: you were everything I’d ever wanted! But as I mentioned: your view of yourself was changing and was no longer compatible with what I wanted – this was my observation at least. I couldn’t continue doing that to you, but I also couldn’t sublimate my needs. 

My view of myself changed, in that I wasn’t going to be treated as an invisible wallflower he could walk all over, yes.

I remember you saying in April that you were angry at me because you realized you deserved so much more; at the time I elected to ignore this essential insult because you were hurting. But now I’ll remind you that I gave you more than practically anyone is even capable of giving.

I find this is where his letter loses even more credibility, as one does not need a resume to prove why you are a good partner. I also have found someone who gives me all these things, doesn’t hurl insults at me and more… I think his capability to give is more what is in question here.

I offered guidance, security, love, passion, pleasure, intellect, professionalism, understanding, patience, and a whole litany of other benefits that are very obviously hard to find. And you had a similar litany of boons that you offered that I’ll never forget and never take for granted. I know it seems vain to focus on this, but I won’t have my legacy with you defamed as if I was some generic chump taking advantage of you. 

This is his thesis. It’s about his legacy. But unfortunately, he was a chump who was taking advantage of me. My mother read this part of the letter and told me he gave himself away in that paragraph. And I would agree.  And this is where those 4 words come in.

You’re not a victim.  You chose the animal. You dared more than anyone else: that makes you brave. 

If I had entered a tigers cage, that would not be seen as brave. It would be seen as idiotic. It would have been my fault that the tiger tore me to shreds. In this case, however, I am told I was brave for choosing to love someone who tore me to shreds, who put the fear in god in me. I still think it’s idiotic, and in many ways, I still believe it to be my fault. Maybe he’s right though, maybe I’m not a victim… maybe I am merely a survivor? I got out didn’t I?

You were hurt. As was I. Anything good comes with the risk of great pain. We have something incredible. Maybe you don’t need to remember it that way now, but one day you’ll have to because forgetting is a profound disrespect to the care we share for each other. We owe it to ourselves to remember it as it was. 

We never had something incredible. He had it all, and it was really great for him. He is right, though, I was hurt, I hurt a lot during that relationship. It was such a surprise to me that within 7 days of being out of the relationship I was ready to get back to my life. I wanted to see people, and I didn’t have any ounce of love for him. To me that was the most telling sign – it couldn’t have been love if it dissipated so quickly if I let go of all the good so quickly. How is it possible in a week, to not miss a person at all.

Now, with real love in my life, I realize it truly wasn’t love at all, but addiction, co-dependency and survival. So in order to show respect to myself now, I care to remember this relationship exactly what it was WITHOUT the rose-colored glasses… exactly as it was.

So I suppose the brief of it is that I’d like to ask you to stop blaming for things I didn’t say, think or do. I know you’re navigating depression and health issues (me too! Woot!) and i wish I could help! I liked being a support for you, and I loathe the idea of you feeling so lost! But please don’t re-write history. The history we had was beautiful and pure. That I don’t have you my life is already such a heavy cost: to have you forget about why ti’s such a heavy cost negates everything that went into it. 

I am not blaming him for things he didn’t do. I am blaming him for things he did. His ending about me having depression is a nice little touch to make me sound crazy. If you are still reading, I will be putting some details below of some of our “history” so you can see how beautiful and pure it really was.

Thank you for reading through all this

Likewise, if you are still reading… thank you.

I hope you don’t feel that I’ve negated anything you’ve shared with me, or sought to invalidate your feelings. I take it all very seriously. We made a promise to always treat each other well, to always look out for one another. Part of that is being honest and fair and in this, I could use your help. 

And if there is anything else you want to say, I’m open to hearing it. I want us to continue to trust each other. It’s treacheroous out there, solid allies are very hard to come by.

Sincerely, 

Perhaps I am sensitive, but when the man who spent our entire relationship tellin me  “he knew what he was doing” sends me a letter… am I not to take him for his word? I believe this was to invalidate my feelings, I believe he thought in sending this letter he was covering his ass for everything he put me through. To scare me into silence.

But I think he shot himself in the foot, I think this letter sheds light to who this man really was, it also shows how scared he is of me speaking the truth.

I have not once stretched the truth. If you have read the Grooming article you know I have done some bad things – things I wish to forgive myself for but also hold myself accountable for. I have no reason to lie – this is why I share this letter.

The last thing text he ever sent me before I blocked him was … 

I’ll be ever vigilant…

Screenshot_20190202-134229_WhatsApp

One does not have to be vigilant if they have done nothing wrong. 

but also, he says it himself – “you have anything else you want to say I am open to hearing it.” 

Well, this is what I have to say.

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THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY

Now for the sake of being honest, he isn’t wrong when he says there were some good moments in our relationship. I want to believe that if it was all bad, then I couldn’t have possibly stayed as long as I did.

So in mentioning the incidents that took place during this relationship, I will also tell you the good. I think it fulfills a fuller picture.  Instead of compiling everything together into categories of Good, Bad or Ugly. I am going to put them in chronological order, to the best of my ability, and since I have a journal with most of these dates that shouldn’t be too hard.

A CHRONOLOGY

September 9th 2014  – The day we met on set, he was playing a cult leader and I, his follower (trust me I can see the irony)  This was the same day I told him his “voice was music to my ears” in the car ride to the subway, which I had intended as an innocent compliment, but he would always tell me he knew that’s when I wanted to sleep with him.  A few days later I set him up with my best friend.

October 2015 –He invited me to his place to video games with the guys, I went, even though I shouldn’t have and the guys were just leaving. He made a move, but I told him no as he was dating my best friend. I left, incredibly ashamed.

January 2015 –  He came to my birthday party, as my best friends plus one and we didn’t really talk all that much because he spent most of the night debating about feminism with another friend of mine.

March 2015 –  He called me on the phone to tell me he was trying to ween my friend off him, because she was clearly losing her mind and couldn’t handle his needs. Three days later she was at my house crying, uncontrollably saying she didn’t want to leave him but she had to. They broke up.

August 20th 2015 – My friends went on their camping trip without me, and this was the day he invited me over. I went, this was when our relationship started. This was our anniversary date.

September 9th 2015 – I didn’t want to believe that this relationship was going to last, as I was keeping it a secret from everybody, including my parents. So i went on a date with a guy to try and diminish the relationship he and I had started. Though the date was alright, this other guy and I didn’t have much to talk about.

October 18th 2015 –  I remember being in an acting class, my best friend was there, but I was so enamored with D that I couldn’t think straight or focus on class. One of the exercises was to come to a door with a reason to knock. I picked “I’m in love” and I entered the scene and watched it play out. After class, instead of hanging out with my best friend, I went and knocked on his door and told him that I did in fact love him. Up until this point, we had both agreed not to say anything in case it killed the magic. He told me he loved me too and that night, even though he had said he didn’t want a girlfriend, he told me I could be his because of our “having girlfriends together” arrangement.

October 25th 2015 – He met my parents, and was able to talk to my mother about classical studies, which not many people are able to do. It impressed me. My father, after dropping him off at home that night told me, “A, he’s quite a bit older than you, please be careful”

November 9th 2015 –  The guilt grew about having this secret relationship, especially because I was dating my best friends ex and I knew it would destroy her. Finally, he told me I had to hatch a plan on how to have people take my side. He told me to contact another friend, and tell her about how my best friend didn’t accept my bisexuality … it really had nothing to do with telling her about my current relationship, so I didn’t listen. Instead, I met with my friend and told her I had planned to tell my best friend and that she would need support. The least I could do.

I met my best friend at a Starbucks and told her. She was so upset, I will never forget her face. It broke my heart, and yet somehow when she said: It’s either me or him… I picked him. The fact she didn’t throw scalding coffee in my face still surprises me. She ended up calling him a few minutes later and D laughed in her face, telling her he could do whatever he wanted. Even typing this out, I guess that’s a pretty big red flag…. no remorse, at all.

November 18th 2015 – We went to the symphony. It was our first outing together as a couple. I remember this being a big deal because I had kept it secret for so long.

December 2015 – He slept with his first woman out of the relationship. She knew about me, and I remember thinking, that happened rather quickly, but it didn’t bother me, since I had met her.

Christmas 2015 –  He wrote me a poem. He writes poems for every woman he is lovers with. So there are over 150 women out there with poetry written about them. I know this because he told me, but I also saw the poem he wrote to my best friend. It kind of loses meaning when everyone has one.

January 2016 –  I had a huge bash for my 25th birthday and though I had invited 200 people, only 15 showed up. I felt pretty sad about it, but he was there, full costume trying to make sure I had a good time. He even invited his friends, to make it more full. I will say, I did appreciate that – ignoring the fact many didn’t come because of him.

February 2016 – He snuck me into an awards ceremony that in my eyes was a big deal. I had to arrive when the ceremony was over, for the party part, because it would have cost him 100 bucks to get me an actual ticket, but this was a big deal to me since I got to be seen as the woman on his arm.

April 2016 – He told me I was very easy to have a relationship with, and that I was a dream girlfriend… why on earth I saw this as so important that I took a screenshot is beyond me. But there you have it.

***Not sure of the date: Unfortunately I don’t have the exact date to this, but I know it was before May.

He had found some girl for a threesome. I wasn’t at all attracted to her, but he said it had to happen as it was slim pickings. So I did my best to get along with her, and in fact, despite my not being physically attracted to her she was wonderfully nice.  We ended up doing the deed, and I was enjoying myself quite a bit. When she got up to go to the bathroom, he turned to me angrily and said I was being “too masculine” and it was “killing his boner.” I was shocked, I had no idea, in my mind, it was all going so well, and I thought he would be so happy. I broke down into tears, and he told me to pull myself together and not to ruin the night. So I collected myself when she came back and pretended nothing had gone wrong.

May 2016 –  We were having a conversation about how many people we had slept with, and I knew his number was high, I had imagined it was somewhere in the 400s, but he told me had stopped counting a few years back. When he told me it was 150, my response was: Oh! That’s lower than I imagined”

For the next 3 hours, he had me frozen in my chair yelling at me about how he should prove his worth to me by sleeping with many more women in front of me. How clearly that wasn’t enough to please me. He was drunk, and he would explain to me that he gets ugly when he is drunk, but he doesn’t mean it. I held onto that excuse very hard, and for too long.

May 13th 2016 –  He had already had me searching for other women on Tinder for us, at this point. I spoke to one we had matched with and she was wonderful. I really liked her, she was open and willing.

He got mad at me for talking to her, threatened our relationship, for reasons I can’t quite remember and then proceeded to text with her. We never ended up meeting her.

But what always sticks with me is how he called me that night after scolding me and made all the bad disappear with just his words, and just like that I was telling him I could see my life with him.

June – August 2016 – He dated a fresh 18 year old girl from a show he was in. He sent me her first nudes, told me how he was going to “get her” and proceeded to share with me everything about her. How she would lose her mind every time I was mentioned. And how he would drive her crazy and how he couldn’t wait for her to break up with him. He kept trying to get her to do it, but she wouldn’t let go. He didn’t like going in public with her because he felt she looked too young – that should have been a red flag I acknowledged. But I didn’t, but it was the start of feeling like a predator, and the start to me feeling unworthy. I think that feeling of unworthy allowed me to put up with this abuse as much as I did.

November 28th 2016 –  We went to a wedding, I was the plus one. We had an incredible time at that wedding. We even took a really fun group of pictures together, where we were laughing. On the car ride home, we were having a conversation about sex and he mentioned how he was the one to introduce me to threesomes, and I told him I had experimented in university. All of a sudden, the smart car we were in felt suffocating. He began telling me I was second-hand trash, used up, disgusting. It went on for about 45 minutes, and my stomach was so tied up in knots I thought I was going to lose control of my bowels. When it was done, I told him I had to go home because my stomach was so upset… I drove in silence to my house and let myself in, leaving him in the car. It occurred to me at that moment that I should end things there. But instead, I changed, and went out to the car. He apologized profusely and eventually made it all better, and we even took another picture to commemorate that.

January 2017 –  He was never into getting me things, so when he got me flowers for my opening night show I was shocked! I honestly believed that it was a secret admirer before it was him. But he did get me flowers and he came to see the show twice even though he said he didn’t enjoy it. So to me, that was a big win.

February 2017 –  Despite his hate for travel, he agreed to go on a week-long resort vacation with me. He spent most of the time there drunk. It cracked my rose coloured glasses a fair amount.

During our stay there, he would speak to the locals in a condescending manner and spew out Latin at them, even though they spoke Spanish. It was deeply embarrassing but I wouldn’t dare mention it. Two of the locals actually asked me for my WhatsApp number, and at the time I thought it odd, but I am wondering in hindsight if they were keeping an eye on me.

One night in particular, D had gotten very drunk, that he started to talk to the security guards. He was talking to them about their guns, and at one point he even reached out to get it. I was scared. I didn’t want there to be some sort of miscommunication and have us get shot, especially because he was not in his right mind. I told him ” Let’s go back to the room”

So we did.

And as soon as we were behind closed doors, he yelled at me about humiliating him in front of the locals. How emasculating it was to be treated like a child. He could tell what my tone was, and how embarrassed I must be. He picked up one of the glasses from the mini-bar and through it over my head.

I yelled his name! He said he didn’t care, and he was lucky because the glass hit the curtain and didn’t break. I tried desperately not to cry, but when the tears started to flow he told me that he didn’t respect a woman who cried. That I was weak.

The next day, I was numb. I could barely speak, or move and he said to me: I feared I had actually broken you this time.

What was interesting about this incident, is by pure coincidence, his aunt and uncle happened to be staying at the same resort, and somehow, were put in the room beside ours the day before. He found this out and started making excuses as to why he had been so loud the night before, he had too much to drink, and sorry if he had bothered them.

His aunt, asked me to join her at the pool that afternoon, she asked me how he treated me. And even though, this would have been a perfect out, I feared it would get back to him. So I spoke his praises… but that trip had changed something in me.

When we got back from that trip, I didn’t want to see him. I was invited to this party by an old work colleague and was going to go and not mention it to him. He found out, and instead I went to his house to iron things out. He told me ” If you had gone to that party, it would have been over between us.” Why didn’t I take that option?

After this, he suggested I write down all the good things that happen every day to remind myself of all the good we have. So I have a calendar of all the good things that happened from 2017 onward. How convenient. The part that makes me laugh a little with this list, is it was good stuff… for the relationship but somewhat banal things otherwise.

For example:

What a great surprise! You came and stayed over because you uprooted your room for the flooring and it was so nice to lay beside you while you read!  i just realized – 2 years ago you asked me to be your girlfriend – the same day we told each other we loved each other.

He didn’t have a place to stay because he was redoing his floors, so he came and stayed with me. This was a highlight, and among the list, this was one of the better ones.

Most were:

you complimented my hair which was so sweet, and so out of the blue it’s really stuck with me

April 2017 –  I decided that I was worthless. I was at the end of my rope. I called him, telling him I needed him to come over. He said he was too tired, but that it was all temporary and it would pass, but that he had an audition early and he couldn’t. I told him I’d pay for an uber, I was struggling… he apologized and said no. After we hung up, I put on this really pretty summer dress, and was going to walk into the lake. I made it out the door and I stood staring at the water and a woman walked by with her dog. We made eye contact and she smiled. I felt seen. So I walked back into my house, and got into bed instead.

September 2017 –  He met my friend who he is dating now. He couldn’t stop talking about how hot she was, and how much he’d like to sleep with her. What’s crazy is about 5 minutes after that conversation, we took a picture together… and though I don’t still have it… I remember as the day he set his eyes on a prize he would soon have.

October 2017 –  He told me that he had to go on Tinder himself and find women outside of me. I remember sitting in my friends hottub, telling her, the first time I had ever told anyone what was going on, and she looked at me and said: Are you happy? And I told her I was, and she took my hand and said: really? It was the first time I had to ask the question without faking the answer. I wasn’t…. but I didn’t know how to live without him. I felt I couldn’t.

November 2017 – I had a huge audition. It was the biggest one I had ever had in my career, and it was for a DC movie. I had agreed to drive him to a different city for work, which was 5 hours away. He read the whole time, and I had to drive 5 hours there, and 5 hours back to do my audition. When I came back (a total of 15 hours) to pick him up to take him home (now adding up to 20 hours) he told me it would be humiliating to be dating a successful scarlet. As a man, having a successful woman on your arm is seen as weak and embarrassing.

November 12th –  He had gone to a conference and met this woman. He slept with her, he sent me pictures of her, and told me all about it – because I had asked, since I needed to know every detail. It was the first woman who didn’t know about my existence and still doesn’t to this day. But it made him happy, and I thought maybe this would fix everything.

November 19th 2017 – He was producing and directing a show. And we did auditions for it. We auditioned several women. Most of them were incredibly talented. He made comments on their breasts almost every time, and there was one girl who wasn’t all that good, she hadn’t come prepared and she was off-key for most of it. I told him, that I wouldn’t consider hiring her – he told me she was “hireable” did I see the way she was looking at him, and he could probably convince her to sleep with him.  He made mention how I auditioned as if I “enjoyed the power” … the irony.

December 15th 2017 –  I was leaving for Christmas to see my family, abroad. The day before I was leaving he told me he felt trapped in our relationship. (I’m not sure how he was the one feeling trapped when he had all the freedom of a single man in a relationship.) That entire trip abroad I couldn’t focus on anything but how I was going to try and fix my relationship, even though I wanted out, I also felt like I would drown.

Dec 31
Happy New Year baby! There is no one I would rather spend New Years with. We had such a fun time! Plus watching you cry laughing because of my garbage just made all of my 2017. I can’t wait to see what your/our 2018 will look like. 

Looking back it baffles me how easily everything, all the bad could be erased by one day of laughter.

January 2018 –  He told me that he wanted to spend less time with me, as he was exhausted. We had to text less, even though early on in our relationship he wanted me to be texting him constantly. I was a mess. I knew what he was doing. He was pushing me away, just as he had done with the others so I would break up with him. And even though I knew that is what I wanted, my fear of being alone in such a state of worthlessness didn’t allow me to let go of this relationship.

I had been seeing a therapist for a little under 2  years at this point and I asked her what she thought I should do. She said it was up to me, but for my mental health and safety, it was probably safer to leave. So I finally told him January 13th, that this was over.

He told me he had an incredible birthday planned and that we should wait until then. I had to wait 2 weeks to break up because he had made these plans. So I did.

When my birthday weekend arrived, he told me to meet him at a hotel. I went to the hotel room, and there he was, with one of our previous girlfriends. I adored her, so it was a lovely surprise. Had it just been a birthday surprise I would have been elated, but seeing it was our last days together, it felt as if he was trying to get one last threesome out of me.

I held my tears back the entire night, but it was a good night. The best part was after however. She and I went back to my place and he went back to his. I got to spend the night talking with her and having her hold me like I felt I deserved. I didn’t have the heart to tell her what was going on, but she told me in passing “if you guys break up, you will be just fine” – and that stuck with me.

The next day he told me he had slept with her before I got to the hotel. Why did he tell me that? Was it to take away from the fact that I had the time to spend alone with her? Regardless, once she left, he and I parted ways. That was the day before my official birthday.

As I walked away from his house, he messaged me:  I am always watching you. 

Which would have been cute…in some other story.

On my official 27th birthday I was free of him…. physically.

5 days later I met with my good friend, told her how wonderful he was, despite us having split and that she should go out with him. (I found out later that he had reached out to my friends (ones he found attractive) and told them I was going through something and needed companionship, which is why she had reached out. Clever little plan Mr.)

7 days later – I didn’t miss him, or love him. Though still entirely brainwashed, I felt like I could tackle the world again.

April 2018 – My father had sponsored one of his shows. He had met with him after the break up to tell him how it all happened. I had okayed it, because at the time I was still in the brainwash that he loved me and was doing what he could to make it easier.  I realize now that he wanted to make sure the funding wasn’t going anywhere.

So the show went up in April, and I had tickets, as did my entire family.  By this point, I had already met a real man, who respected me and understood me, listened to me and did nice things all the time without ever raising his voice, threatened or called me mean names. The brainwashing had started to fizzle out, and I was angry. I left the show at intermission and told my brother to drive me home. It wasn’t a good show, I remember seeing it for the first time and being so amazed at D’s “talent”. But with clarity I remember watching it laughing at how blinded by love I was to see this shit for what it was – amateur.

I texted him after the show, told him how I really felt… and thus brings us back to the beginning of this blog… The letter. But our conversation about how I really felt ended as all our conversation with him did, amicable, and me feeling “better”…so much better that I arranged my friend and him to start dating. Passed her off…just.like.he.wanted.

I was even too scared to tell him that I was seeing someone and he had no pull in my life anymore.

June 2018 –  My friend and him started dating, and I got a message telling me so. Apparently “someone had been snooping around” – that sounded rather convenient.

August 1st 2018 –  He sends me a text telling me he is still my man, despite dating my friend and knowing full well I had a boyfriend.

August 11th 2018 – I get the letter, and send him a text message telling him so… he tells me that he will stay vigilant.

From that day I blocked him on every single platform.

August 9th, 2019 –  I told his girlfriend, my old friend, that we could no longer be friends. I told her everything he had put me through and I apologized profusely for setting them up and I am sorry if he has hurt her in any way. I could not be friends with her, because I spent most of my night worrying about her safety, and the fact I know he cheats on her.

September 2019 –  He sent me an email reaching out as if nothing happened. Wanting to pay me, pennies, for the costume I had made him.

I didn’t respond.

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IN CONCLUSION

I have gone through years of therapy dealing with this evil shadow. I have had nightmares of him killing me, I have heard his thoughts of me and other women in my mind. I have had conversations with past girlfriends, past lovers of his and realized… he had been telling me the truth the whole time

” I am very good at what I do” and ” I know exactly what I am doing”.

He is just a salesman, a manipulative and toxic salesman, but a salesman with the same pitch. The women he is pitching to are broken, (and there is no judgment in that comment, its where I was too)  they are in a part of their lives where they are susceptible, and there will always be some young woman in this place in her life. I cannot stop that.

But I have the passage of time on my side. As he ages, they won’t find him so appealing. Word on the street is he has dyed his hair, no doubt, it will give him a couple more years before his face shows his true age.

People are slowly realizing who he really is. I have had messages from people who have worked with him, some of his old friends realize he is not a good person. Allies are actually not hard to find, not when you live your life treating people well. Allies are not allies when they are blackmailed into silence, or feared into respecting you.

Harpocrates is the God of Silence – he has let me go. I am no longer silent – I do not need to yell from the rooftops, but I will tell my story  – AND THE TRUTH – for my well being but also for the well being of women who have struggled with monsters like him.

This has been a long read, and I thank you for reading it. It is really the tip of the iceberg, there are other incidents here I haven’t mentioned, other good things I am sure I have left out. It is embarrassing for me to admit that I was brainwashed, to the utmost, I was willing to lay down my entire life, and dignity for him. In my clarity, I see that I must forgive myself for my naivety, for my passiveness, and for all the pain I have caused others. I do not forgive him, however. But I promise to no longer harbor any hate. It is not worth my time… He is not worth my time, or my energy.

He will no longer live rent-free in my mind.

When I first started dating him I said: I’m not afraid of you. and he used to tease me, probably because I was actually very scared.

But now…

I AM NOT AFRAID

I used to be afraid of you releasing my nude photos, as you had threatened with your ex-girlfriend. You said you saved receipts to expose her in her lies. My receipt is the letter above, and you wrote it. It’s time the world see it.

We had what we had. It was not pure, but it happened. It taught me lessons on what I am worth, on what a normal relationship looks like. I do not walk away from writing this as empowered but instead calm and free.

You were a layer of skin I can now finally shed.

 

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