TW: SEXUAL, EMOTIONAL, MENTAL ABUSE
This is about my experience with abuse.
I was sexually, mentally, and emotionally abused by someone I thought was my friend. I’m coming out with this for many reasons.
First, I’d like to thank the women that had come out about their sexual abusers in the past year or so. It has made me realize I am not alone.
Second, I’m back in the city where it happened to me and I recently saw him after years of not seeing him. It’s forced me to relive the past, and as much as it has hurt I’ve now been able to start the healing process of what happened to me.
Third, to hold him accountable. To have him know I’m not going to stay quiet about this anymore. To not let him attempt to write our story with what he’s told people. I’m no longer going to sit back and cringe as he tells people “We should of ended up together. She meant so much to me. It hurt me that she got away.”. Our story was never one about romance.
Lastly, to make sure he doesn’t do this to anyone else.
It started in 2012/2013.
I had just broken up with my long term boyfriend. We had issues that we couldn’t work out and decided to break up. I moved in with my family, which at the time they lived with my grandma in a smaller place and took care of her because she had Alzheimers, my sister became pregnant, and I had to start my life over.
The owner of the comic shop I was working at decided he wanted to grow the marketing department and gave the Marketing Manager an assistant, I became that assistant. I was so excited about this. It was at that time right after my break up and I had the fuel to do something more with myself and felt like I had something to prove, I was eager to do something more to prove I didn’t need my ex-boyfriend. I was also very vulnerable at this time.
My new manager, we’ll call him “X”. X acted like my friend, he was there for me during my break up, listened. Then one day while we were having a conversation about my break up the topic of our intimacy came up, he got closer, put his hand on my hip, and lower. He kissed me, and invited me to his place during our lunch break, I said yes (He lived right next to our work behind a fast food place).
Immediately, he starts to take off my clothes. I can’t stop shaking, I couldn’t say anything but “I’m nervous, I’m nervous, I’m nervous.” I couldn’t look at him. Then he slaps my face. I couldn’t do anything after that. I let it all happen and went straight to work after. I wanted to forget, without giving details, there wasn’t an ounce of love in what just happened to me.
Later that night, He brought his girlfriend over to our work. They were in a polyamorous relationship, she knew about us. Me and X worked late, as I went into the backroom he followed me. Pushed me up against the wall and started taking off my clothes, I said “No, please, your girlfriend is right there I’m not comfortable with it.” He said “I want to show you to her.” I said no, over and over again. He grabbed both my wrists and pulled me into the other room where she was at. She saw me and said “You’re beautiful, but no.”
I ran out of the room, grabbed my clothes, I was so humiliated. X stayed behind to talk to his gf and I was left alone crying. He eventually came to find me and apologized.
I never recovered from that day.
For months, this kind of behavior continued. I would tell him I didn’t want to anymore, and he would make comments like “Okay, I’ll just go after your friends then, how about the minions?” (Minions is what we called the students we’d hire that were part of a highschool program.)
He actually did go after my friends. I spoke to a couple about it recently.
He would pressure me into having sex with him when we were working. If I didn’t want to, he’d be a completely nightmare to work with. He’d be incredibly judgmental about what comics I decided to read, what food I was eating, or who I was friends with. It got to the point where I’d eat somewhere else or only bring vegan food, I’d only read the books he’d like, or only talk to him about my girl friends, he did not like my male friends.
I was losing myself around him without realizing it. I just didn’t want to deal with him being angry at me.
I always felt angry at him. But he was my friend, we had our jokes, we had days were got along great, this is what made the bad days so difficult and confusing.
I started to try to distance myself from him and started dating. I planned on going on a date after work and brought a change of clothing with me. My shift was over so I went to the bathroom to get changed. I came out all dressed up and ready to go. X stopped me and asked me where I was going looking like that. I told him a date and they were waiting for me outside. He didn’t let me go…he had to mark his territory. This is one of the deepest memories I have of saying no, and it not meaning anything. I got into my date’s car feeling disgusted with myself.
These type of incidents happened for months.
X ended up moving from Tucson to LA, and I got back to with my Ex-boyfriend.
I still kept communication with him. Somewhere in this I found a logic that if I could be his friend, I could see the good in him and wouldn’t feel so bad about what has happened. Maybe it’ll even go away.
But it always got twisted. He would say things like “we should of ended up together, I would stop being poly for you, you love me” I wouldn’t ever believe any of it. I thought of it as a joke, why would we treat someone he loved like this? Is this a friend?
I fell into the same habits again.
He’s so nice to me, I’ll ignore his dick pics this time.
He’s helped me with job references, okay, I guess I’ll let him masturbate on the phone when it was supposed to be our catch up talk.
He made me feel out of control and guilty.
But, he was my friend, he’s nice to me, sometimes.
It wasn’t till over a year ago after he bragged about meeting the parents of his underage student he was planning on sleeping with. (He was teaching writing classes at a comic shop/showroom in LA, it’s now closed down)
I decided to cut him out of my life.
That’s when I realized how much I was being manipulated and abused. I still have trouble saying rape.
I feel like I never had the chance to have control. Which was one of the things I had the most trouble understanding. I was in a spot in my life where it felt I had absolutely no control over anything, I was just trying to survive.
Why couldn’t I just say “No” more.
Years of not saying “No”, loud enough.
Years of not understanding why “No” didn’t work, maybe it didn’t sound like I meant it.
Maybe it didn’t matter, and this was “just X”, this is how he is and I have to deal with it?
He got angry at me when I got engaged, said he was hurt that he had to find out online and that I should of emotionally prepared him.
Cut to summer 2018:
Moved back to Tucson
He calls me twice, both obviously a butt dial.
So I text him, let him know he keeps calling.
He says sorry and asks how I’m doing and tells me that he’s going to be a guest at Tucson Comic-con.
I haven’t seen him in years. I’m a guest this year too, my anxiety and memories start coming back.
Privately, I begin the process of confronting with this for the first time.
Tucson Comic-con, I see him and his new girlfriend, we hug and say hi. He refuses to shake Logan’s hand(my husband).
I was very busy and stayed away from his area. People know us as friends and from when we worked at the comic shop, they keep talking about us and memories, I’m in hell. He also came out with a new book from Vertigo, so that was something that I was surrounded by.
Last day of the con, his girlfriend comes up to me and tells me “Hey, I just wanted to say again it was really nice to meet you and X has always said that you’re someone that’s very important to him and has meant a lot, he’s had nothing but nice things to say about you. So it was really nice to finally meet you.” It was incredibly sincere and nice.
But this got me angry, I was livid. Of course he’s not going to say anything bad about me. He’s tried to manipulate the situation. That what he went through with me was…nice? WHAT ABOUT ME. Where’s my say?
Here is it.
You’re an awful person, you were never my friend.
You’re not going to paint this story into “the one that got away”
You never had me, you hurt me, manipulated me, you took advantage of me, you’re an abuser and I feel sorry for you.
You’re not going to do this again.
I’ve spoken to other girls recently that have experienced abuse and/manipulation from X.
When they were vulnerable, susceptible, and some were even underage.
I’m so grateful for them, it’s helped me tremendously getting through this.
He works in the comic book industry and I want this to be a warning for those he works with and around.
3 days ago, I sent him a very long email about what he did to me. It was basically this post.
He responded in less than 5mins. He apologized, said he remembers things differently, and he’ll never see me at any of the same conventions, and he’ll remove me from all social media’s, and he’s there if I need to talk.
It took him less than 5 mins to read, process, and respond to a very long detailed letter. It took me months, and many rewrites to figure out how to say what I wanted to. Reliving it all, having to go to therapy, having to tell my family and friends about this, talking to the other women he’s hurt, and he barely skimmed through it.
Later that day he removed himself from all his social media’s except Twitter.
I feel lucky that I’ve had an incredible support system. My husband, my family, and friends.
I know I put on this happy demeanor, this has been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever gone through. I’m getting the help that I need.
I hope with this, like many other women that have come out about their abusers we could make a change and hold more and more men accountable.