Writing about everything that's been happening has been a very strange experience. Sometimes bad things can happen to you, but you don't realise the severity of it until much later. For example, until someone tells you over and over again in your face, they just heard someone threaten you (while you were still making up excuses for this person's behaviour).
Speaking out has been shit but when my abuser tried to silence me I felt shittier (read: suicidal). I was ashamed at first, but when I started to open this box to protect myself (finally), I realised I couldn't go back. Unfortunately the box I've been opening doesn't contain anything magical or wonderful and it has taken me quite some time before I was able to let it all out completely, in detail. It's a true story that's not pretty or fun at all to tell. I'm not proud of it. If anything, I personally think it makes me look like an incredibly naive and dumb person; but I've been told I shouldn't feel that way, and I'm trying not to. I had to let go of all my shame and fear to be able to open the box completely. Or at least, stuff that shame and fear somewhere very, very deep (and secretly try to kill it with fire).
Shame and fear either protects you, or makes you weak, I thought. It didn't protect me at all and made me weak before, and I wasn't going to allow that to happen again. So I decided to do the exact opposite of what I did before: speak out, instead of allowing someone to silence me. The anti-anxiety medication and anti-depressives I've been prescribed and taking for almost 6 months now have helped me with this: it desaturates my emotions. It allows me to think clear again, not have panic attacks multiple times a day anymore, and the nightmares are disappearing slowly too. Or at least, they are not as worse as they were before. Speaking out has helped me, and I've met some incredible people due to speaking out, from all over the world.
The more I started to write about what happened, the more I actually started to realize what had been happening. Because I've been translating my own experience in words, by explaining and describing emotion, location, scene and dynamics between people involved, it has helped me to look at myself from a 'stranger's point of view'. A character. A character who experienced x and x. When looking at it from above, when reading back what you wrote (along with people pointing out over and over again what was actually happening), reality might finally hit after some time. Suddenly you see you've been dragged inside a train speeding through shit-valley while creating a gigantic shitfest, and you're not the one driving it.
And behind the glass, outside, you can see people standing by, doing nothing. They just wave as your train decides on the spot to drive into a shit pool. The people watching have no idea what's going on either.
Worse is when they, the people watching, don't acknowledge the shit ride you've been forced to take due to someone they know, and turn a blind eye to it.
The last few months people have reached out to me to support me or talk to me. Sometimes, those conversations haven't been extremely nice and have been quite upsetting.
For example, when one of Exurb1a's friends publicly commented on a video of mine and started to accuse me of being a liar (after which she soon deleted all her comments). Exurb1a had told me he had been quite horrible with this woman (Simona) before, and I reached out to her in November 2016 to ask if he had hurt her too, even though I had never met her (but we knew about each other).
She was not very willing to talk much. Two months later, we had a conversation again. I tried to bring it to her attention what Exurb1a had been doing to me. Why? Well I think I had a brain fart. I thought maybe she could help me and talk to him in person and tell him to stop harassing me. Don't expect any help or support from your abuser's friends. She didn't seem to believe me, and the conversation never got to the point of where I could ask for help.
Before it ended, I told her about what my nurses and doctors had been telling me about the situations I had experienced with Exurb1a. They told me his behaviour seemed in line with borderline/narcissistic/sociopathic tendencies (or such a personality disorder) once I fully told them everything (which took me 3 months pretty much, because some of the things that happened, happened while I was hospitalised).
Even though Simona didn't comment on most of the things I told her Exurb1a had done to me, she did reply to the comment about the nurses (as you can see in the above picture) with "And what the nurses helped you see is probably partially true. He ain't no perfect man."
A friend of Exurb1a that says that maybe the personality disorders my carers guessed at were partially true, was at least something to go by. I was not insane. She has experienced very shitty situations with him too.
I then brought up the disease Exurb1a claimed was getting worse, which he said after he blackmailed me (in order to gain sympathy?). Exurb1a told me only his ex-girlfriend (not Simona), his ex-girlfriend's mother, and I, were the only people who knew about it. Simona seemed to know about it too, and implied that if anything, it meant Exurb1a needed attention (for telling it to many people while pretending he only told 3 people).
Regarding Exurb1a's disease: I have no evidence of it being real, since I was never able to verify it with anyone except with Simona (but only her word). Exurb1a didn't even tell his parents or best friends about the disease, and told me I was one of three people who knew about it (and with two of them he wasn't in touch anymore), which I found out to be a lie. If it's real, the disease, it's not deadly, I can say that much. However, what I do know, is that Exurb1a played the disease-card after he abused me, and blackmailed me. At any rate: having a disease, does not give you the right to try and destroy people. You don't deserve a pity card if you abuse and rape someone and then blackmail them to keep quiet.
Simona asked me to tell the full story of what happened. I was willing to do so on audio. The audio conversation never happened though, because Simona didn't show up for it and we didn't talk anymore after this. Not long after however, she publicly harassed me on youtube in the random video I had put up after I left the police station (in which I was quite emotional because I was told I had to go to Bulgaria to press charges, and could only file a police report here).
She previously in the Facebook conversation referred to Exurb1a as an 'ass'. On my comment on him maybe having borderline/narcissistic/sociopathic tendencies (or such a personality disorder) according to my nurses and doctors, she replied with: "And what the nurses helped you see is probably partially true. He ain't no perfect man," in the same conversation. Now, however, Exurb1a was a "lovely turtle," and I was a liar. She even tried to scare me and said Exurb1a could sue me.
Why did she suddenly completely turn around and pretended publicly Exurb1a was the sweetest being alive and I was sick and a liar? No idea. She said it was based on my videos and her 'experience'. If we base someone's identity on their videos, well. Exurb1a is someone who murders ex-girlfriends as a joke in his videos. Does that make him a murderer too now? Of course not. Me being emotional and telling something personal while having a break-down, doesn't equal me being a liar. It equals me being a confused idiot who should have disconnected from the internet during that time maybe, yeah, I'll admit that much. Looking back I could have handled many thing differetly (but now, there's no going back). Regarding Simona, all I know is that Simona once had feelings for Exurb1a and that he didn't want to make her his girlfriend (he just used her for sex), and that Exurb1a once told me she seemed to resent him for the fact that he made me his girlfriend though (a year later). I'll leave it up to you to make up your mind about why she's shown me two faces during this whole drama. The fact stays, that not just Exurb1a's fans harassed me, but also his friends.
After I left my large comment, she soon after suddenly deleted all her previous comments. Because I've been documenting everything that happened thoroughly since January (my friends joke about it now, because I'm so scared I need evidence of things constantly I pretty much am documenting throughout the day), I Simona's comments on print screen. Since she publicly harassed me on my own youtube channel, I feel no shame in sharing her name. In a way I think this also shows how Exurb1a can influence people. This woman was extremely hurt by him, but tried to fight his battles for him still. In a way this is also incredibly sad, and I hope through confronting her with her own actions (I know she's reading this), she will realise that what she's done is appalling and shameful, especially considering she is studying to be a lawyer and I tried to reach out to her before for help, after which she then harassed me, a victim of sexual and physical assault and backmail, publicly; without having any evidence I was lying.
One way for people to make the hurt and shame a victim of sexual assault is experiencing less, is by acknowledging it happened (in rare cases publicly), or at least hear the victim out. If you know someone who's been abused, assaulted, threatened, raped, you can help them by acknowledging it happened, or at least trying to reach out to them. It means the world. Even if you are family or friends with the abuser. Especially if you are family or friends with the abuser.
A way to completely turn a blind eye to the victim and humiliate him or her even further, is not only by just denying it (or in Simona's case, calling me a liar). You can do this passively in many other ways.
Second example, by supporting or joking about the abuser's addiction or habit, that influenced or caused the abuse or sexual assault to happen.
Exurb1a abused me while drunk. He regularly abused alcohol (I would call him an alcoholic; on his youtube channel he doesn't even hide he's one. He also 'jokes' on it he likes to abuse drugs).
Exurb1a's own family, publicly joked about his alcohol abuse on his own Facebook profile, after he assaulted me.
This was brought to my attention by someone from his own social circle even, which made the situation even stranger to me. This person didn't want to speak out against him, but did point me to the comment and some other things. I talked to someone who'd been supporting me on Twitter about it.
Somewhere in March 2017 (a few months after the abuse and blackmail), Exurb1a decided it was a great idea to change his profile picture to a picture I took of him on a -then- special night. In it he's drinking. He abused me while he was drunk. It was a professional photographer who took the picture, and also his ex-girlfriend and ex-coworker whom he abused who took the picture. I have no idea how in his right mind he thinks he's still allowed to use my copyrighted work after he raped me and blackmailed me. I barely ever take portrait pictures anymore (fashion and portrait photography used to be my full-time job) of people with my professional camera, for which I have my own reasons. Only on very, very special occasions I do it. When I do take someone's picture, the people I take pictures of know it's a special thing for me to do.
While I was really weirded out by the fact that Exurb1a used the picture I took of him, to make it worse, his own mother, who knew about the physical assault and by now most likely knows much more, publicly joked about her son's alcoholism in the comment section of it.
I met Exurb1a's parents while we were on vacation in England in September 2016: he wanted to introduce me to his family and friends during this week (yes, we were that serious). I drove us there all the way from the Netherlands to England and back again.
Back in England for a few days. We seem to be an interesting mix of politeness, organisation, and a profound hatred of being alive.— Exurb1a (@Exurb1a) 14 september 2016
His parents and I seemed to get along great. They even invited me for Christmas right before we left and I drove us back to the Netherlands (8 hour drive). Just four and a half weeks after we visited England in September, Exurb1a assaulted me in October while we were in Bulgaria, and not long after I was hospitalised.
I might as well mention that at no point did any of his family members contact me at all since October 2016, to ask me if I was okay. Not even while I had stayed over at their place and drove their son there (and also to their other family members). Not even while his father gave me driving lessons in an English car, and I spent hours talking to his mother (while being offered alcohol pretty much every time I sat down on a chair). The first few months when I was hospitalised I didn't really think about all this obviously; only when other people started pointing out how surprised they were none of his family members or close friends I met contacted me. Not until they told me how anti-social it actually was, I considered it as what it was. Writing about events helped me with this.
It didn't struck me completely though until I saw Exurb1a's own mother and friends were publicly joking about Exurb1a's alcoholism. For someone who's been abused by an, in my opinion, real alcoholic, the fact that they and Exurb1a made it seem like it (drinking) was something innocent he was doing that never caused any harm, was revolting and humiliating to me.
Luckily, while people who actually met me seemed to not care and/or have no empathy for what Exurb1a had done to me (possibly because he told them a bunch of lies), many strangers have supported me in all this. Most silently, by sending me private messages on FB, Twitter, e-mail, and Reddit. Strangers encouraged me to speak out. If you've been one of those strangers: thank you. You helped me gain my confidence back, find the good in people, and believe in myself again.
While strangers have supported me and told me how disgusting his behaviour has been, Exurb1a doesn't seem to be very bothered.
Next to his own mother, Exurb1a too seems to find his alcoholism a joke still, while he did something horrible to me while drunk, including the weeks after (I'm pretty sure he was drunk during most of the blackmail and threats he sent my way also). As of today, May 4 2017, Exurb1a still uses the profile picture I took of him, as you can see below in the corner right.
If your addiction caused you to do horrible things, in my opinion, you're quite sick if you celebrate it Exurb1a. Your behaviour, both online and offline, shows you have absolutely no regret when it comes to everything you've done to me.
I'm at the point where I finally, truly, found my voice again, and realise I didn't deserve any of this. Not the death-threats from your fans, not the attacks from your friends. Not the strangers calling me a bad mother, not the people literally calling my family and friends and me. Not the violence, not the sexual assault. Not the shaming, gaslighting, lies and threats.
All I ever did was support you, even before you were 'famous'. I supported you until you raped me, mentally and physically, and then threw me on this shit-train of abuse.
I am completely going to speak out against you, and will release everything I have on you, in order to show people who you truly are, so others can protect themselves from you doing something similar to them.
I am leaving the train now.
You're talented Exurb1a, but being talented and famous doesn't mean you have the right to live like a disgusting asshole who leeches on people, uses people, and abuses them. The worst part? You're getting away with it. I hope you just got away with because for months I was afraid to share all the evidence and because I was all over the place and mentally unwell.
I'm better though. I'm soon leaving the hospital's hostel, and am going to live a life you will never be a part of again. After I've shared everything, your name will only be mentioned when someone wants to know my worst nightmare. My worst nightmare was meeting you.
The hurt you cause and have caused I did not deserve, and the hurt you caused others they did not deserve either. I've heard quite a few stories by now of how you've been with people; your track-record is horrible. And this is me saying, no more. Others are afraid to call you out- I am not. Not anymore.
I will do everything in my power to prevent you from being able to do horrible things to other people too. I feel no shame anymore for the things you've done to me, because I did not deserve what you did to me. I should have never felt ashamed in the first place.
Shame on you Exurb1a.
Inside the System is a blog series about mental health, being hospitalised, and pretty much everything I've experienced these last few 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. The Inside The System series is part of Project Blue is a Wave.