Yesterday I told you about my experiences with a sociopathic ex boyfriend, ‘A’. I had met him at university through a mutual friend. There had been a few things that we had bonded over during our first few weeks together. I had been brought up with a violent father, and he told me he had been sexually abused by his step-father, who his mum was still married to, and that his real father was his mum’s gay best friend who lived down the road from us and who we saw regularly. He had issues, but I wanted to help him. I trusted him. Over time he started to become more and more emotionally and verbally abusive. I found myself living with him in a house that his parents had bought for him, and my self confidence was at rock bottom. I believed I loved him, that our relationship was worth the time, and so I ignored the warning signs that were telling me that he was damaged.
It took an weekend for things to change.
He was working as a manager in a store around the corner from our house. He had complained that morning that it was going to be a long day and that he would have to work a double shift as one of the other managers had been sacked for stealing, so he wouldn’t be home until about 11.00pm. I felt sorry for him as it was a Saturday and he had worked really long hours that week already, and was worried about his health as he had told me that he had been diagnosed with skin cancer. At about 5.00pm I made him some sandwiches and decided to take them to him to cheer him up. When I arrived he wasn’t there, and his place was a young female that I had never seen before. At that moment I knew. I knew something wasn’t right. Without telling her who I was, I asked if she had seen him, and she told me that he was ‘in the pub with B.’ I knew B – she was an absolutely stunningly beautiful girl who had started working there a few months before. A had mentioned her a few times, often joking about her lack of intelligence and her strong accent.
I went to the only pub that I knew he would be in and looked in through the window. There he was, sitting in a T-Shirt and jeans instead of his uniform, with his arm around B. They were cuddled up in one of the booths, kissing.
I was dumbstruck. I had been told that he had cheated, but had never seen the proof for myself. I toyed with the idea of running into the pub and confronting him, but instead decided to walk away and calm down.
There is no better detective than an angry woman who has been lied to. I got home and summoned my inner Columbo, and I started to go through his stuff. I found a wage slip, and discovered that he didn’t have the job role that he claimed to. Instead, he was working for minimum wage, and had only been working for fifteen hours a week, instead of the full-time hours I thought he had been doing. In one of his drawers by the side of the bed were debt collection letters as he hadn’t been paying the bills, despite the fact that I had been giving him half from my student loan every month. Lying underneath them was set of gold female jewellery that wasn’t mine, and a pile of notes that added up to about £400.
I heard a beeping sound, and I checked the drawer below. He had left his phone behind, I’m assuming so I wouldn’t be able to contact him during the day. I couldn’t believe it – this was the holy grail. It was the days before the development of social media and smart phones, so he didn’t have a password. Shaking, I opened his messages. Even after everything I knew about him deep down, even I was shocked by what I saw.
Message after message from women. Declarations of love, filthy and highly descriptive messages about what these people wanted to do to him and how they had enjoyed seeing him the day before and couldn’t wait to see him again. One message struck me in particular, and I’ll never forget it.
“Take care of yourself today. I always worry about you when you have to work. It’s such a dangerous job.” This was followed by crude messages about truncheons and the like. He had obviously told her he was working for the police.
I looked at his sent messages. The last one he sent was to B. It said “I’ll see you at 1. The stupid cow is at home. Love you.” She had responded with “ok hunny, love you too.”
His response? He shrugged his shoulders, telling me I should have kept my nose out of his stuff and that I should have trusted him. He denied everything, despite the proof, and our argument went around in circles for about an hour. The wage slip was an older one, and he was a manager now. The texts were sent by his friend as a joke. The money was from the money I had given him, which he was going to use to pay the bills. He didn’t know anything about the jewellery, it must have been mine (it wasn’t). I confronted him further about everything else he had told me, including what he had revealed about the abuse that he had suffered at the hands of his stepfather. He laughed at me and then denied ever saying that and that I must have been some sort of sick, deluded individual to make that up.
Being 23 years old, and with nobody to back me up, I used the only weapon I had in my armour. I told him that I was going to ring his mother and tell her what he had told me, about the abuse, ask her who his real father was, everything. He responded with “go on then” but when I picked up my phone he tried to take it off me, only stopping when I threatened to call the police if he laid a finger on me.
He broke down in tears and started to talk. He lied. He lied about everything. His mother’s husband was his real father. He hadn’t sexually abused him. He hadn’t been in the band. He didn’t have cancer. He had cheated on me, many times. He wasn’t earning the wages that claimed to have. He had even lied about silly things, like the fact that he had passed his driving test years before, which I discovered that he hadn’t. The jewellery was his mother’s, that he had stolen from her house, along with the money. He even admitted that on a daily basis he had given me little lies that made his day sound more ‘interesting’ and ‘exciting.’
And the best thing I had ever heard in my entire life – he went out with lots of other women so that he could figure out what women like and therefore he could be a better boyfriend to me.
I listened, but by this point my brain had started to wander. I’ve always considered myself to be a reasonably intelligent person, so how could I have been so stupid?
I told him it was over. He stopped crying, shrugged and said,
“Whatever. You’ll never find anyone as good as me anyway. Fat bitch.”
I moved into the spare room. I had nowhere to go, I was emotionally exhausted, and I remember lying on the bed and staring at the ceiling. Everything had become clear – all the little lies and inconsistencies finally fell into place. The next day, I got up and he greeted me with a friendly ‘morning gorgeous’ and tried to give me a kiss, as if nothing had happened. I told him I was going to move out, and then went to my room. He went ballistic and followed me, ranting and threatening me outside my door. Unbelievably, during one of these rants he screamed that I had used him and that he was planning on asking me to marry him. He started calling me a ‘stupid fat bitch’ and ‘a waste of oxygen’ and that I ‘deserved to be alone’ because I was an ‘irritating lazy cow.’ I then realised just how delusional he actually was – he clearly had no perspective on reality. That evening, I found the lyrics to James Blunt’s ‘Goodbye My Lover’ handwritten on a piece of paper outside my door.
Within two days I borrowed money and had moved into my own house with my cat. I was in such a rush that I left half of my belongings behind. I didn’t tell him where I was moving to, although he tried to find out on a few occasions.
Best decision I ever made.