Monster-in-Disguise (trigger warning: sexual assault)

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WarmMuddle

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Monster-in-Disguise (trigger warning: sexual assault)
« on: September 09, 2018, 09:53:40 PM »
"She cheated on her boyfriend with me and must have told him I raped her to excuse her infidelity."

That's what my ex told me when a man confronted him at a bar. The man said he'd hired someone to kill my ex. It all seemed so outlandish and unrealistic. "Hiring hits on a person's head" is only something that happens in movies, right?

Soon later I discovered he'd cheated. Everything is a blur after that. He said he still wanted to be with me. I tried to forgive him. Somewhere after that a second person accused him of rape and I thought it must have been about the same woman. I think there may have been a third accuser, but maybe they were all about the same person? I couldn't imagine it being true - rapists don't date, right? He would have raped me, right? I would have found evidence, right? A rapist couldn't possibly be so "normal," right? I couldn't imagine the accusers were telling the truth.

I was struggling to trust him when he became distant like he had just before I'd discovered he'd cheated. I told him my mistrust was unfair to him (the old "it's not you - it's me") and that it would be best if we were just friends. Then I realized I couldn't handle having him in my life at all. That's when his behavior changed dramatically.

I caught him sitting outside my house in his car at all hours of the day and night. He showed up on two of my dates. He snuck into my house at the end of a party and listened to my conversations from the next room. He'd call me 40 times in one day. He wrote me emails chronicling our sexual experiences and threatening to share those details with anyone who I talked to about him. He carved my name into the hilt of one of his many guns. He must have gone to my favorite bar every night because on the rare occasion I went he was always there. He would stand in the shadows and watch me. If a friend was alone he'd approach him/her to say how good a person I was, how he/she should take care of me, and if he/she asked who he was he'd merely say, "Just ask WarmMuddle".

I started to realize: I'd never really known this man.  We'd dated for a year, but I'd had NO idea who he really was. I knew he didn't have enough integrity to be "marriage material," but I hadn't expected any of this creepy behavior at this level. I was so embarrassed that I'd ever dated him.

I gradually began to realize...maybe those accusers hadn't been talking about the same woman? Maybe she/they had been speaking the truth?

Then a friend broke down to me. She said she'd run into him at a party, he gave her a drink, then she woke up naked in his bed. She's a lesbian and couldn't understand how she possibly could have slept with any man.

I contacted the stalker unit at my local police station. I printed all the emails he'd sent me - I was embarrassed by the details of our sex life, but none of it was against the law. I urged my friend to contact them, too. She never brought herself to do it. I couldn't understand how she felt so ashamed when nothing SHE did was wrong. I only now realize how ashamed I feel as a result of his emotional abuse.

I'm still haunted by the idea that someone I knew...someone I dated...someone I felt love for was a rapist!

I struggle to trust anyone and everyone. I question everyone's "true self." When my husband became distant due to work stress I started wondering, "is he a monster-in-disguise, too?" I'm afraid to make new friends. I've cut contact with anyone who's purposefully caused me emotional pain. I feel ashamed and guilty that I didn't realize sooner, that I didn't believe his accusers implicitly, that I didn't somehow prevent his assault of my friend, and even that I couldn't convince my friend to report it to the police.

Has anyone else struggled with trust in this way? What helped you learn to trust your intuition after something like this?

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LittleBirdy

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Re: Monster-in-Disguise (trigger warning: sexual assault)
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2018, 06:57:56 PM »
Oh my, first and foremost good for you for speaking up for yourself and going to the police! That must not have been easy to do. As for trusting myself and others, it has NOT been easy. One thing Iíve been doing is learning to listen to my emotions and be ok with them. Trusting others will become easier after you learn to trust yourself. Iíve noticed in my past that Iíve gotten myself into trouble when my intuition told me not to associate myself with someone and I convinced myself that my feelings werenít valid when they infact were. Cutting people off who seem toxic from day one seemed to have help so much and now the people in my life are so amazing as compared to the people I surrounded myself with a few years ago.

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LilyITV

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Re: Monster-in-Disguise (trigger warning: sexual assault)
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2018, 02:14:37 PM »
WarmMuddle, I can't express how much I admire you for going to the police about this creep!  That took a lot of courage and you will have helped so many people. 

You have nothing to be ashamed of.  Creeps like your ex are usually very charming and they have everyone fooled.  They are experts at covering their tracks and making people afraid to expose them, but he was no match for you.  What matters to me is that once you saw him for what he was, you had the strength to do the right thing.  Just think about how many women go into denial when confronted with the information you received about your ex.

I have major struggles with trust so I don't have a lot of good advice.  I think LittleBirdy's advice about trusting yourself was very good and something my therapist has been trying to help me with.  Also, try not to be so hard on yourself.  Just because this one person was able to conceal his true self doesn't mean that your intuition is off.  He fooled a lot of other people too.  You got hit with a lot of shocking information and needed time to process it all.