At some point during this hot mess, he announced one day that he’d invited his brother over for dinner. After changing clothes in the bedroom I came out to meet the infamous Steve and… nearly had a heart attack. Brother?!?!? This was becoming more bizarre by the minute, there had to be an explanation.
This was not his brother, dude was an old white man. Maybe grandfather, adopted, but in no way a brother. I soon found out why they didn’t resemble each other in the slightest…
At age 18, my boyfriend was kicked out of home by his mom because of his “lifestyle.” Initially the way in which he worded this suggested it was for being gay; I’ve since come to believe it was actually the way he lived his life: irresponsible, rude, unappreciative, abusive, disrespectful, etc… that drove her mad. He was then left to fend for himself alone on the streets, thrown to the “gay wolves” who used him for his ginormous penis. I began to know all the stories about his traumatic life by heart because I heard them repeated so many goddamn times, along with… how horrible his mom and grandmother were, all his exes were, everyone in the world was horrific… except him. They all brought drama – yet, he hated drama so much and never contributed to any of it. Yet… I’d occasionally hear him on the phone chatting with his mom or his grandma asking for money…
ANYWAY, BACK TO HIS STORY…
While defending his schlong from the elder gays at age 18, he met Steve, who was close to 40 at the time. The two ended up “falling in love” and living together for 8 years in Steve’s downtown condo until the relationship ended in a restraining order over a dog.
Years late my ex was beaten and left to die in Enrique’s bathroom; the neighbors heard his cries for help, calling 911, and he also asked them to call Steve, who came to his rescue and ensured he got the best medical care. Ever since, they’ve been best friends. Steve and his sister helped him with rent and other things when needed, and Steve’s family saw my ex as their adopted child.
BACK TO THAT DINNER…
He left the two of us alone to (not) talk while he finished cooking, and then we ate in near silence. The extent of the conversation was about where Steve lived, which was 10 minutes north of where I worked, and my boyfriend pointed out how we both went to the same doctor. Other than that, we said very little. It was a bit awkward. Little did I know he’d been telling Steve all along lies about me; I was abusive, I was a “typical fag” that cheated, I did drugs. Then I’d hear the stories from him about how Steve hated me, and how worried he was having his ex / son / whatever the hell you wanna call him living under my roof. I digress…
Before dessert, my boyfriend took me aside and out came those infamous words from nowhere: “I’m not stupid. You know what you did. I can see it. You and Steve have fucked before.” Only this was one of the first times I truly flipped out, I lost it, I screamed out for Steve to come, this was too much and I needed someone else that was a witness to this insanity to concur with me.
“Steve, have you and I ever fucked before? Have we ever seen each other before?” Steve confirmed that we had not. “Then do you have any idea why you’re best friend is accusing us of being fuck buddies in the past? Or why he continues accusing me of sleeping with everything with a penis and a pulse that comes within a mile radius? Because this is driving me mad, and I don’t get it at all! I’ve had enough of this mental abuse, these accusations; he’s obsessed with cheating. And I cannot deal with having to defend myself from his baseless accusations 24-7!”
Steve stood there, totally not shocked, as if it was something he had seen a thousand times before: “It’s all because of his childhood; his dad cheated on mom, died from AIDS, then his ex-boyfriends cheated, too…”
Oh wow – he had the same exact theories as I did.
I turned to my boyfriend: “Why do you think I’ve slept with Steve?” His initial response: “Because you guys didn’t look each other in the eyes, and you didn’t talk at all.”
OK… “Not talking or making eye contact equal sex? Since when? Steve and I don’t know each other, and you’ve forced your current boyfriend and your ex of 8 years to eat dinner together – it may have felt slightly AWKWARD for one of us, who knows, but not talking does not equal a history of fucking. That’s bogus.
“Why are you saying this?” I demanded an explanation and I wouldn’t stop until I got something that carried some logic; this was not turning into a pretty scene at all.
“Well, you work in X, and Steve lives in north X.” WTF?? “You know I drive to work – and Steve just said he takes the metro downtown every day for work. That gives us absolutely a 0% chance of our paths crossing because I work 10+ with traffic minutes from where he lives. Zilch. This is retarded. What other reason makes you think we’ve fucked?”
His final reason: “Well, you guys go to the same doctor.”
“Who the hell hits on someone when they’re at the doctor? Most people go to the doctor when they’re sick not horny. And there are four fucking gay-owned-and-operated internal medicine practices in the District – so you have a 25% chance of going to the same doctor as any gay in this city! You are obsessed and this is going to ruin us, it’s your favorite fucking topic in the world. YOU LOVE CHEATING. YOU LOVE CHEATING. IT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING IN THE WORLD, IT’S ALL YOU EVER THINK ABOUT, IT’S ALL YOU DREAM ABOUT, WITHOUT CHEATING YOU’D HAVE NO LIFE.” I stopped and there was silence; I turned and there was Steve, shaking his head as he looked down. My boyfriend at the time was glaring at Steve in the eyes, nodding with a crooked smile as if to say, “See, I told you he was fucking crazy!”
And so Steve left that day, our first meeting, thinking I was a horrible person. According to my boyfriend, Steve later told him, “Stay as long as you can tolerate it, it’s free money, use him as much as you can and get out before he goes crazy and kills you.”
Lie or not, he created a chaotic hot mess that he could now relish in. And he also managed to turn his two biggest advocates into adversaries.
When the three beggars arrive, someone must die.
He also started accusing me of 3 things that didn’t make any sense at the time; I now know it was all pure psychological projection.
He kept stating, as fact, that:
1. I find pleasure in watching him suffer.
2. I get revenge “an eye for an eye.”
3. I have been “plotting and planning” to do bad things to him.
What kind of fire and brimstone shit was he spewing? It sounded like something out of a Satanic cult, especially the damn alliteration, “Plotting and Planning, Plotting and Planning.” I felt like a stroke had actually taken place in my skull.
Not to mention it being bizarre and twisted, it was about as big a lie as I could have invented. I actually hate seeing another suffer, I hate it. The first time I saw “Pan’s Labyrinth” I cried uncontrollably for 45 minutes; I sometimes even cried during fucking Kleenex commercials in my younger years. I stayed with my boyfriend as long as I did for one reason: his suffering made me suffer. I didn’t enjoy it; I wanted it to end, and I was dedicated to making sure it ended because not only was he suffering for no reason (or so it appeared) but it was all… FUCKING FALSE. I eventually arrived to the point where one more mention of me cheating was going to involve my head exploding. I felt like I was being confused on purpose, royally mind-fucked, and insulted all at once. He couldn’t be serious, right? Why was he doing this? He couldn’t possibly believe I’d be going for old men, right? Steve was twice my age, he was HIV+, he was white, he wasn’t like any guy I’d gone for before, and he wasn’t my type period. He became so obsessed with this relationship turned domestic partnership turned eventual delusional marriage between Steve and I that things became violent. I had my cell phone bitten out of my hand at some point towards the end; my cell phone came to represent Grindr or other gay apps that weren’t even installed (we’d both agreed to delete them one week after meeting for Christ’s sake!), his teeth clenched down on my fingers as they tried to hold onto my phone, nearly biting off my digits and destroying my phone.
Yet somehow afterwards… he apologized, he poured on the sex and charm and my dumb ass actually bought the replacement phone – which he was supposed to be covering although he had no money to do so. How stupid was I? But I’m not the only stupid one…
I had given him everything I had; I had loved him more than I thought was possible. He couldn’t acknowledge any of it, all he could say was how horribly I abused him, how I mistreated him, how I cheated on him and how I never loved him. Those words actually hurt because it meant I’d wasted a year of my life, a ton of money and time, energy, everything I had I wasted in vain. I knew he was sick in the head; but I still had no idea what I was dealing with, and that he was a psychopath, and that he’d stop at nothing to destroy me… And his insistence on my fake cheating turned into white noise, it was always there in the background to the point where I was surprised when I didn’t hear about it for a few minutes.
Our final night together he went off on me in private – but my friends were visiting from out of town. He stormed out after claiming I was hitting on one of them, only he forgot his keys. He called and called and called and when I finally picked up, he stated he didn’t want to come back inside; he didn’t want to see me; he only wanted his dog and it’s glass food container. So I carried them down to the front door, and as soon as I opened the it, he busted in and pushed me down half a flight of steps. The glass shattered everywhere, the dog ran out the front door, and he jumped on top of me, pressing his elbow so deep into my rib cage that I couldn’t take a deep breath for a month after. He looked me square in the eyes with this glare, half smiling, half snarling, and I kept begging for him to stop, I couldn’t breathe, I thought he was going to die. My friends became concerned after I didn’t return after a few minutes, they said they heard the scuffle as they walked down the stairs and as they came from behind, they threw a beer on him. He turned and started screaming that I’d attacked him, except my friends had seen enough to know he was lying; and they actually lied, I’ll admit it, but I’m glad they did: one put his phone out in the air, saying he’d filmed it on his cell. He acted like he was deaf and ignored the situation, he started screaming about his beloved dog, the thing had ran away a good 10 minutes ago at this point, he’d been so concerned about it he thought he needed to choke me to death in order to find it I guess. He called Steve, who came and got him, they found the stupid dog somewhere, and off he went to live with Gramps. Good riddance! Only… it didn’t stop. He started accusing Steve of being with me secretly, as well; he started blowing up my phone at all hours, leaving these insane voicemail messages. It was as if he knew this was an impossible affair – yet he insisted it be real for God knows what reason. I pondered that forever it seemed, it made no sense at all. Why was his putting me and this old man together? He knew what I liked and it was the polar opposite of that. Plus I’d never been anywhere near the guy except for a few times with him. What purpose did this madness serve? I thought he might be having a late presentation of schizophrenia or something. I didn’t know, but I was intent on figuring it out, God knows why I couldn’t just move on.
We were the only two people in his life, too, and it drove me insane and it drove Steve insane, too. When he’d call me, my dumb ass would entertain the conversation, trying to rationally prove that I’d never been with Steve. As angry as I was, I still had this sense that he actually believed it – and that it was causing him a great deal of emotional pain – and I wanted him to stop hurting. I wanted him to stop hurting me. I wanted it all to end, but… I still wanted to be with the man I’d fallen in love with a year before; I still believed that man was hidden somewhere inside. I didn’t realize that that man never existed. I don’t know how to explain it: he was my dream come true, and I fell in love; he became this evil monster, and I hated being around him but for some reason still thought I loved him, and believed I could fix him. I didn’t think about the best thing to do: leave him. If only I had…
While living with Steve, he began harass me to no end by phone; I’d block him, he’d get a new phone app number and call. I knew better than to entertain this – but it’s like I was addicted to him and I wanted to make sure he knew what was true.
Then he’d call and speak to me normally, occasionally he’d admit he got it all wrong with Steve. I believed him, after all, I knew it was only a matter of time before he realized none of this was possible. Only within days he’d be back to accusing me of infidelities with Steve.
He and Steve ended up getting into an altercation, I’ll never know why exactly, although if my ex is still alive today he’d insist I know the whole story – he claims I helped orchestrate it. But for whatever reason, he ended up in jail for ASSAULT, FIRST DEGREE. I got the call from jail and refused to bail him out. And despite the fact that Steve was awarded a protective order wherein my ex couldn’t communicate with him via any method or come within a certain radius of him, guess who ended up falling for the pity play and bailing him out? You guessed it… my future husband, daddy Warbucks, none other than good old, brother Steve.
Was Steve thanked? Was my ex-boyfriend grateful? Do I even need to ask that question? The very day his restraining order ended, he went on to sue Steve along with… me?!?!?!? I hadn’t done a damn thing illegal or wrong to my ex, if anyone should be getting sued it was him!!! The anxiety in my brain got to it’s highest point I think so far in this ordeal when I found that damn paper left on my door asking me to call the officer. My ex knew just was he was doing in orchestrating this ridiculous lawsuit. I had never been to court, I had no clue what was even going on, and this did one thing to my life: upped the chaos, confusion and anxiety to sky high levels.
Steve and I didn’t know we both were involved until down the road. But we’ll get to that later, as something far more vile and devastating was yet to be discovered. And before I get there I’ll share what else I discovered months down the road about my ex.
I eventually discovered the truth about him, and included, among many other things, that:
He was extremely promiscuous, he hated using condoms, and he had an affinity for guys that were HIV-positive; he didn’t use protection with them either. He didn’t appear to have fear of contracting HIV based on stories I later heard. He was reckless sexually towards himself and others. He’d been using drugs for probably years, maybe even a decade, dating back at least 3 exes before. I believe his mind became fried after getting out of jail; he began to binge on drugs, which is when he was blowing up my phone, leaving voicemail messages in which he didn’t even know my age and often made contradictory, rapid statements. He was stealing money from me and buying drugs and doing them while I was at work. He was inviting people into my home when I was at work and doing things that were either illegal or cheating. But at the time I had no clue what was about to come at me, nor did I even think someone would do this to another.
This was the end to a very long, torturous, drawn-out end, whose finale will last for all eternity. So clearly this was not the end, I’m just delirious at this point from typing out this shit that I can see it again in my mind. My boyfriend was a piece of ungrateful, abusive, manipulative, pathologically lying, hypocritical, slutty-ass shit. Pardon my French, but I can’t find any other words that are as befitting as those.
Or so I desperately wanted to believe, because there was no case being closed by my ex who played the role of judge, jury and law enforcement I’d come to find out.
Did you feel like you were going crazy? Gaslighters, people who try to control others through manipulation, will often accuse you of behaviors that they are engaged in themselves. This is a classic manipulation tactic.
Gaslighters will accuse others of actions — even when there is direct evidence that they are engaging in those same behaviors. So why do gaslighters do this? They are doing pre-emptive strikes and/or are projecting.
Some gaslighters unconsciously project out of guilt or shame. In the case of narcissistic personality disorder, narcissists feel they are totally okay, and think that everyone else has a problem. This is called ego-syntonic behavior. It is very difficult to get a narcissistic gaslighter to get help through counseling — because they think you have the problem, not them. Projecting behavior can get to the point where a gaslighter delusionally believes that they are being persecuted by the victim — when in fact the opposite is true.
I could go on forever about what a mind-fuck being with him was like. The tales I’ve shared are just a handful of hundreds if not thousands, in fact, every second of our relationship was a mind-fuck as he was manipulating my entire sense of reality, what was real was all his creation. So this may have been a long read, but it’s literally 1/1000th of the shit I endured. I thought it was complete chaos at the time only one year going forward I learned these were all manipulation techniques with names. And these same techniques have been employed by all the psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists in the universe since the dawn of time: gas-lighting, projection, triangulation, baiting and basing, provoking, sexual manipulation (or as he openly called it, “using sex for leverage), brain-washing, reaction formation, and the list goes on and on…
But I won’t waste more time, I’ll cut to the chase. What now followed was far more sick than anything, it’s like the end of Antichrist only nobody cuts off my genitals. Literally, that is, but figuratively… I plead the fifth.