- TRIGGER WARNING -
This article contains a memoir about sexual assault and/or violence, blackmail and harassment, which may be triggering to read for survivors.
- DISCLAIMER -
I'm sharing these stories and files because these stories involve a public person. I'm pleading fair comment on a public person also in this. If you would like to see evidence that these Skype conversations are from Exurb1a, you can see video evidence soon on my hidden but free Subscribers Only blog. A full statement is in the making also, which will appear on there first. This specific blog if a follow up to It's Called Rape.
"So you finally did it."
I hear the snide voice of Exurb1a through the phone. I've never before heard such a cold voice directly aimed at me. Sure, I've had arguments with people before, but hearing this tone come out of someone's mouth, is definitely new to me.
I don't know what to say. I've told him multiple times last few days I didn't want to speak to him anymore over the phone, especially not after what happened last time:
"So you finally did it," Exurb1a sneers.
"Yes. I did it," I reply.
I'm not near a computer. I don't have my microphone. I have witnesses in the room though, so I put my phone on speaker, while my ex-boyfriend keeps sneering.
Michael and Greg watch me in silence. I'm at the hospital's hostel with them; a living environment in the city patients sometimes go to after they've been discharged from the hospital. The hostel is the step before living independently again, where people have their own room, and try to get their lives back on track. Technically they're still committed to the hospital in a way, since they have to sleep inside the hostel every night, but there's much more freedom. I just filed a police rapport against Exurb1a, and came back with Greg to the hostel, since him and Michael both live there now. I just sent a note from the police that I filed a police rapport, with the case number in it, to Exurb1a on Whatsapp. It's January 16, 2017, and the Christmas Spirit has been long gone. Not that it was a merry season for me anyway. I spent Christmas and New Years inside the hospital. I'm almost 3 months inside the system now. But still, I can't escape my demons.
"Well, congratulations," my ex sneers at me.
He makes me feel little. This is what he asked me to do, what I wanted to do myself, and he's still horrible to me. Why did I even pick up the phone?
"Well, congratulations. Congratulations Pieke! You finally did it," Exurb1a says. "Of course I did the same thing. I've filed a report about you too."
Michael waves vigorously at me. I try to catch what he whispers, while also listening to Exurb1a, and my own mind. I catch some words:
"..lying! ..Trying to make you angry... Anything you say... Be careful! Just hang up!"
"It's not done yet," I reply to my ex. "I couldn't press charges. They could only file a police-report and I wasn't allowed to have a copy. Only mine and your lawyer are able to request the rapport with the file-number I just sent, which it written in the note about the rapport that's filed. I asked them to use your youtube name in the note about the rapport, to protect your privacy, and so I have proof I tried pressing charges against you. But I still have to go to Bulgaria."
Greg and I meet eyes and I just stand there. Exurb1a doesn't listen. He just rants and asks questions he doesn't want answered. I listen to the accusations coming from him. About how I'm a liar, how I've been blackmailing him while he blackmailed me. About how I wanted to get back in a relationship, and because we didn't, I'm now causing a drama. I'm struggling to not explode. The comment is so humiliating considering everything he's done to me, how dare he even suggest this? Greg walks closer to me, and whispers: "Pieke, hang up. He's not letting you finish. He's talking over you and he's trying to piss you off. Stay calm. Hang up. He might be recording this to make you look bad."
Exurb1a goes on to rant about how I co-opted our Twitter account and changed the G-mail password. He keeps repeating it's his account (which is a lie), and that I have to provide him with the password. I changed all my passwords recently, because someone has been trying to access my private account. I didn't send him the new password yet, and I don't have it on me. Why does he want it now? To delete the websites, everything? To hide every trail that we were working together?
"If you don't give me the password tonight I will immediately go to the authorities," Exurb1a barks at me.
Hang up, Greg mimics.
I walk across the room. I haven't felt so angry in a while. I tried to protect the man that's been screaming at me in so many ways, and gave him so many chances to prove to me he wasn't this horrible person. All he's been doing is hurting me, denying me the truth, while treating me worse than an animal. How does he dare to accuse me of all this? He's trying to make himself look like the victim, while he abused me, and then left me to rot after I had a miscarriage. Does he even know the word empathy? He still doesn't get it. He doesn't want to get it. He wants to believe he's something he's not, and that everybody is against him, and is out to get him. He wants to make it out I am the horrible person, who just wants to get him, out of revenge. How dare he?
I raise my voice.
"You know what the police actually called it when I told them the story?" I say to Exurb1a. "They called it rape. RAPE! I don't want to talk to you anymore!"
I hang up and walk around. Don't cry. Don't cry. This man doesn't deserve my tears.
I told him I didn't want to talk to him on audio anymore, because he's been threatening me he would use audio conversations against me, to make me look like the crazy person, in case I spoke out against him. Still, he's calling me. Everybody's been trying to convince me for months now, that he actually is the insane one of both of us, and is treating me horribly, still. I hear the echoes of my friends, repeating all the inhumane things he's done to me and said to me, who were trying to plead with me to see it too, and stop protecting him, and stop giving him the power to scare me. The echoes become loud. They're screaming in between my ears, where Exurb1a is screaming too. That nothing means anything. That I don't mean anything. The noise in my brain is so loud, I try to find my bag, to find the magical bean to stop it. To silence the fear. I grab my anti-anxiety medication, and take a pill. I'm finally starting to believe the echoes. The memories containing the voices of the the nurses, the doctors, my family, my fellow patients, my friends. They've been right, all along. Why have I been so blind? He just threatened me again. He's threatening me after I ended up in the hospital after what happened between us. Hasn't he done enough? I reply to him on Whatsapp.
I see that Exurb1a is calling me back again.
I pick up, and shout I don't want to speak to him over the phone ever again, and that he needs to stop harassing me. I then hang up, throw my phone in the corner of the couch, and sit down with my friends. I even told him I messaged his parents days before, and begged them to talk to him, to tell him he should stop. He just doesn't.
"What if he filed a rapport full of lies?" I ask Greg and Michael.
"He was bluffing. You've done nothing wrong. He has nothing on you," Greg says. "You are the one who has proof against him."
"But," I say, "he threatened to say I was blackmailing him, while he's the one that has been blackmailing me. What if he suddenly throws that on youtube or Twitter? What if he just cuts out one thing I said that out of context can sound shady? I told him I couldn't be his friend and co-worker if I couldn't trust him, and that he didn't give me any proof I could trust him. He's now saying that because I said that, I've been blackmailing him with revealing his identity, address, and whatnot! I never said I would do any of those things. Just that I was not allowing him to manipulate me anymore, and that I wouldn't stay silent."
"He's lying about the rapport. He was trying to scare you. He has nothing," Michael says, trying to calm me. I'm anything but calm.
"It doesn't matter!" I say. "If he did file a rapport about me too, he may have lied in it. He can reach 250.000 people in a few days! If he throws these accusations against me online, before I share everything that happened, everybody will believe him. I was a fool for deleting those tweets before where I called him out. I was stupid I allowed him to blackmail me into deleting them. He later even said about his own audio messages, that he didn't delete them because that would look shady. Instead, he made me delete my tweets though. So I would be the one looking shady! I know what he will do. He will play the crazy-ex card, he said it himself before he would."
I've been stimming for some time now, and just realised I've been doing it. Moving up and down makes me feel calm. I must look very frightened and autistic right now. Or both. Well, I know I am at least one of those things, since they're still working on my diagnosis.
"If 250.000 people believe I'm some crazy ex girlfriend.. He can ruin my name just like that!" I say. "My name is actually out there. My address, my phone number! He's enjoying his anonymity, and I've protected his anonymity throughout this. But I can't protect mine anymore. If he will tell these lies about me, it will be so easy for people to believe him! I need to share as much evidence as soon as possible. But I don't know if I can share the videos. If I would show his face he could sue me possibly. I don't want to get sued by my rapist. For fucks sake, what can I do? I don't know what to do. If I give him the password of the account, he might use that platform. Maybe he'll delete everything to hide we've been working together. Maybe he'll destroy all the hard work I've put in the podcast."
"Don't be scared of him," my friends urge again. "He has nothing."
"I can't just stand here and wait for him to do these things to me, and destroy me even further," I reply. "I need to do something. I need to protect myself."
Written with permission of Greg and Michael (not their real names).
Inside the System: A blog series about mental health, being hospitalised, and pretty much everything I've experienced these last 6 months. From naked patients crawling through the hallway, to having your medication dose raised 4 times in 6 weeks due to your ex boyfriend threatening you. From being publicly shamed online for speaking out and being called a liar, to what actually happened, and how and when I will press charges against my ex. So, a lot of mental vomit will be thrown on my blog upcoming weeks.