My twin is a porn star- Robert and I met in the fall of 2006 through MySpace. He became a fan of my blogs and wrote many comments, started philosophical religious discussions with me, left photo comments that made me feel beautiful and then started sending poetry. We began talking on Thanksgiving Day after he had tried to call several times before. He finally wrote a poem on Thanksgiving Day asking that I call him and make his holiday dreams come true by sharing a conversation with him. I thought he was charming, funny and a great person. He put on a very strong spiritual front too. And I so very badly wanted to date a Christian man. My friends even adored his comments. Before we had even met, people were asking me why we were not dating, because his posted comments so very much matched my life philosophy.
I had a lot on my mind and I was not afraid to express it. I wrote about spiritual things, life, and even my own struggles growing up in an abusive family. For many people, my writings would help them. But for this guy, he used these writings to manipulate and later abuse me.
After that Thanksgiving Day call, we had a group date set up the very next day. My friends were all going to a concert and meeting for dinner before. When he arrived, I was not that impressed with his looks and I thought he was too quiet. He seemed to be taking everything in a little too strongly. I felt like he was analyzing everyone. When we got to the dancehall and concert, he danced with me most of the night. He held me close. When we sat, he moved in closer. Too close, I thought and so did my friends. I was not sure how I felt about him yet but I was a bit uncomfortable. But, there were the poems, the letters, the affirmations. I thought I might should just relax and enjoy this one. My mother pushed for it too. “Greeks make beautiful babies, Heather. It is in their genes. And they know how to treat women.” I listened to mom and saw him again for several months, despite the many uncomfortable thoughts and inconsistencies.
He wrote sweet emails to me, sent me kind text messages, talked to me long into the night. He sent me flowers on my birthday with a balloon and another poem, and took me out for dinner. Then he began to ask me many personal questions. He wanted to know everything about me. He always said we’d do so much better if we were honest and open with one another and he’d even give me the silent treatment until I told him another something about my life to show me that openness was the greatest way to true intimacy. I grew up in a broken home and he used that against me often. He told me I had no idea how to be in a relationship, but he would teach me.
While he was Christmas shopping, I sent him a text message. And he responded “wrong Robert.” He was very mad at me! He really truly believed I had sent a text message to the wrong Robert. He believed I was seeing another Robert, that I was cheating on him! He was furious and gave me the silent treatment for a long time. Later, we talked in circles for hours until I was exhausted and cried, then he poured out apologies to me about how sad he was for making me feel that way and how much he cared for me and never wanted to be the cause of my distress again. He felt terrible, he said.
We moved on, with dates during the week, every other weekend (He had joint custody with his daughter), a plethora of emails during each day and long conversations into the night. He got mad at me if I did not respond to his emails right away so I tried, but even then-sometimes they were ‘too short.’ The late-night conversations bothered me as I had to wake up at 5 am and he often wanted to talk until midnight. I remember some nights just praying he’d shut up and let me sleep! He did most of the talking without even breaths for me to respond or say ‘uhhuh.’ I once told him about this and instead of having respect for my needs or even trying to understand, he punished me by giving me the silent treatment for a few days. He said, ‘most girls I’ve dated in the past said I did not talk enough and you complain I talk too much. You are the lucky one. You make me talk.’
But we had romantic sweet moments. He was so good with words. He always knew just what to write to me. He introduced me to his daughter and convinced me that was a big step for him and he was very serious about me. He said he told his friends I was the most beautiful girl he ever met in his entire life and without a doubt he would marry me when the time is right. He wined and dined me on my birthday, for New Years Eve, then again on Valentines Day.
Spurts of his jealousy came out, but he told me his ex girlfriend had cheated, so I tolerated it. When we went dancing, he held me close and even closer if someone looked at me. Sometimes his grip almost seemed too tight, but I told myself it was just my imagination. When we sat dances out, he’d often point to women on the floor and tell me he just knew they were cheating. In fact, many times when we were out-even at Subway-he’d look at someone and say-that woman is cheating. I can feel it. I asked him why he thought so and his reasons seemed so strange. ‘The way she looks at her phone, the look in her eyes, the way she touches him, etc.’ Nothing really significant to me but I just agreed. After all, I was the one that grew up in the dysfunctional family and he was ‘educating’ me.
In the Spring, I moved into a new place alone. I loved my new place, my job and my friends but I felt like my life was falling apart and I just could not understand why. I felt so out of control. I felt like I was going crazy. I became very depressed, began to have nightmares of things that happened years ago, nightmares of him-my boyfriend-touching me when I did not want him to, and him being mad at me because I did not want to. I thought my worries might just be some debt that I had incurred. So I got a part-time extra job at a radio station, doing something I’ve always wanted to do. I figured I’d work every other weekend, the weekends he had his daughter. But he was still very mad at me for this. He did not share my excitement at all. He felt like it was infringing on his time with me. He did not like that I had to work late nights with men. We went in circles about this for days as he tried to get me to quit.
Then when I told him I really needed the money from this extra job, he insisted on seeing all my financial obligations, bills, income, etc. He wanted to know everything. I did not want to share that personal information, but he persisted. Then when I told him I had received a ticket I could not afford to pay. He insisted on paying it for me so I did not get in trouble and so I would quit that job. The last thing in the world I wanted was for a man to pay one of my bills, especially a ticket. My mother was co-dependent and I refused to be that type of woman. We fought for hours about this one. I felt so much shame and guilt. He talked me into letting him take care of the ticket. He was an attorney so I knew he could do it. He took all my personal details however for this ticket and that scared me. He paid the ticket and I paid him back right away.
For some reason, that only made my depression skyrocket. I felt so worthless, so hopeless, so useless. I felt totally out of control. Yet I felt like he was the only stable, good and pure, real thing in my life. He told me he believed Christ brought us together and that we were soul-mates and had a spiritual connection that was real, that it was our destiny to be together. That we were very compatible, made for each other, and would indeed get through the rough spots so long as we stayed open with each other.
He agreed with my Christian beliefs that sex does not come before marriage. Yet he always pushed to go a little farther each time we made out. He wanted to make out constantly and I did not as I did not want to cross that line. Kissing him always led to more. He said it did not and he’d pitch a fit and tell me there was something mentally wrong with me that I did not have that kind of desire. I did have the desire. I just believe that sex is for marriage, not a new relationship that really should be more a friendship at that stage anyway. And he even agreed with me –in words. He made me feel like I was so messed up and I did question myself. He sent me emails at work of all the sexual things he wanted to do me. They were long, intense, detailed and very descriptive. They seemed like they were taken straight from a porn magazine. He used tasteless words too. I felt uncomfortable but did not want to be a prude so I went with him sometimes and wrote back.
The cheating accusations continued. If I did not answer my phone right away, even if I was in the shower or bathroom, then I was cheating. When I moved into my new place, I had friends help and then took them to dinner. He called 6 times during that night and I told him I could not talk as I was entertaining my friends. He accused me of cheating on him with one of the guys. They were men from church and I had asked him to help me but he said he was too busy. He was invited to be a part of the evening.
For Easter, we planned on spending the day together, yet he never would make a firm plan with me. I was sad and felt rejected and did not want to spend a holiday alone so I had dinner with my mom and her boyfriend. He accused me of cheating in a long email and talked of all the things he did for me that I took for granted and what a horrible girlfriend I was for not acknowledging these things and treating him better.
He left me at a restaurant in the middle of Houston one night after yelling at me that I had so much anger and bitterness and sadness and abuse in my life that I could never make it with anyone, that he loved me more than anyone ever would, but that I was too messed up to accept his love for me.
I finally put myself in counseling when he had me convinced that I was worthless, hopeless and my upbringing made it impossible for me to have a healthy relationship.
I had a surgery at the end of April. I asked him to be there for me that weekend but he said he had his daughter that weekend and would not change plans. The day before my surgery he yelled at me that he never said that and that there were still lots of problems in my heart because I could not accept his love and devotion for me. It was all me. I told him I had already arranged to stay at my mom’s that weekend.
He came to mom’s that weekend. He was so strange. Very arrogant, never looked in my eyes. Sat in silence and did not even talk to my mom or her boyfriend or me. If I needed help, he just sat there. He later called and yelled at me. He said he felt like he was unwanted and unneeded. He said that I did not ask him for help, that I asked my mom. He said he felt like chopped liver. He said I did not even say good night to him, when I clearly did say good night to everyone there in the room, including him. But he ignored me. He made me feel crazy, like nothing I said was true. Everything was a contradiction to what he saw and felt. I was so frustrated with him. I was angry. I had never been so angry as I was with him. He hung up on me and I did not hear from him for a week. This, just following my surgery, when I told him I really wanted him to be there for me. I felt guilty for even asking him to help me! He later sent me a break-up note through email no doubt, that said my current of negativity and anger was too much, and I was still not ready for a relationship.
We “made up” in May after he asked me to lunch, then cried and cried and cried, putting on a big scene, telling me how sorry he was and that he wanted forgiveness and he wanted me back. He said he’d go to counseling with me. He began to brainwash me more, telling me what I should think about the world, my problems, us, God, etc.
I didn't realize he was abusing me only because I thought abuse involved physical hitting. Around this time the sexual conversations began to turn more intense. He started asking me more often if I was going out with other guys behind his back. He began to use some very frightening terms and continually manipulated me into discussing sexual stuff I was very uncomfortable with. If I didn't agree to do it, we couldn't have a real relationship, according to him. A real relationship involved this kind of passion, he said. He began to question why my phone was always on ‘lock.’ I told him it was because I did not want to accidentally dial someone when it was in my purse, that it was an automatic function of the cell phone, it did that on its own. But I wondered how he even knew it was locked. He obviously had picked it up when I went to the bathroom to search through it. No wonder I got the silent treatment so often after bathroom visits.
Our relationship turned into a hopeless cycle of me trying to change myself and please him and then him complaining about something that made me 'never quite good enough.' Conversations were filled with tension. I read so many relationship books, did the counseling, everything he said he needed to make the relationship work, but there was always something else. I never knew when he might snap. His accusations would come out of nowhere and I felt helpless as I tried to explain that I did not do the thing he said I did. He eventually said it would not bother him if I did those things, he just wanted me to tell the truth and the fact I could not tell the truth made me a sick person.
I told my friends, he really loved me and was watching over me to ensure I got better and became a better person, that he wanted the best for me and was unbelievably committed to us. I told them he forgave me and that meant he loved me so much. I thought he was supporting, loving and a man of God doing his Christly duty to be a leader. But by this time, it felt like he really was watching my every move. He had twisted my mind, and everything I did was filled with this doubt, “would Robert approve?”.
When I was at his house one day, checking my email, I noticed that adultfriendfinder.com, an online porn swinger site, was in the address bar. I asked him about it and he said his friend was involved in that ‘filth,’ not him. I left to go on a business trip that week. While I was gone, he sent me an email saying we needed to talk about serious life changes if we are going to work out in the future. It struck me by surprise as he had been so loving and sweet before I left, and just days later I was getting yelled at again. When I got home, he said he did a search on adultfriendfinder.com, and passion.com, and found a woman that looked like me, and that the sign in dates corresponded to dates we argued or I acted strange. I told him it was not me and thought that was that.
Only the next day, he emailed me pictures of this woman. I looked nothing like her! But he was convinced it was me. He used all types of religious words and told me to ask God for courage to tell him the truth about my lifestyle and he would change. I told him again it was not me and I was offended he would even think that. I grew up in a family of abuse and adultery and I had no desire to repeat those mistakes. He again apologized profusely and said he’d never bring it up again.
Weeks went by where he flattered me with love and devotion and prayer and totally acted the part of a loving supportive boyfriend in counseling. I thought for sure this was the man for me. I thought I had seen the most beautiful commitment. I had been so horrible to him and yet he was there for me because he saw my soul, he said.
The last time we spoke was mid July. He was at my house spending the night. We had a romantic evening watching the sailboats at sunset, talking long in the night, giving each other massages and sweet good night kisses. Everything was fine. We had big plans that weekend to meet his siblings (finally after 8 months of dating!). And on the very next day before our trip out of town, we were going to play hookey and take my niece to the beach. Only he never made it to the beach with me. At midnight that night, he stood over my bed shaking me, yelling at me, hitting my face, telling me-‘wake up, wake up right now. Wake up immediately. You need to be awake when I ask you this. Is there anything, anything at all you need to tell me? Wake up Heather. Tell the truth.’ I was so confused. I said ‘No, I don’t think so.’ He yelled at me, ‘you are a horrible, disgusting, wicked liar or the victim of a very cruel joke and I am tired of it.’ Then he grabbed his bag and stormed out of my house. I was so confused. I got out of bed walked outside and asked him what was wrong. He yelled, ‘cut the crap Heather. I’m tired of it.’ I called him and asked him what happened, if he wanted to talk. He said ‘I don’t ever want to talk to you again. Do not come see me.’
I thought it was absurd, totally crazy and maybe just maybe finally my strange feelings were beginning to make sense. This guy I had allowed myself to fall in love with was nuts, and maybe I was not nuts for not being able to ‘accept his love.’ Maybe deep down, my soul knew what was going on. I went to the beach that weekend with friends to get my mind off of it.
When I returned home on that Sunday evening, he sent me a very religious, loving letter declaring that no one could ever love me as much as he did, that he could never love another as much as he loved me, that we were meant to be but I was simply not ready. That I had not come to terms yet with my sins, that I was in denial and lying to him. In the letter, he accused me of modeling for the porn sites, same sex, group sex, animal sex, weirder sex acts. He even said he was sorry I did not see him that way. He said the sadder thing is it would not bother me so much if I did those things, but the fact that I ‘lied’ to him hurt him the most. He said he was done with me and I never heard from him again.
Just two weeks later, I was curious and checked his MySpace page. I was so confused. How could he accuse me of that stuff? What kind of person does that unless they are the ones doing it? It was so sick, so confusing and I felt like life had been a blur for most of 2006. On his page, I noticed he already had a new girlfriend, just two weeks after his emotional outburst at my house and accusations. Surely he met her before that outburst? But I don’t know.
I hope I get better soon. I am still feeling inadequate, hopeless, like something is truly wrong with me since I attracted him. I am anxious and I am depressed, but I am working through all these things and I have faith I will get better in time. I just may never date again! This experience has totally repulsed me.
I do want to know the truth about what happened deep down, but I realize I never will. I don’t want to cause ill will or hurt him or his family. I have no desire to ever see, or talk to him again. I do not want any contact with him. But what I do want is for no woman to ever go through this period of confusion and crazy-making by a serial cyber predator. I want women who have to know they are not alone and it is not their fault. I want to learn and help others learn how perverts like him operate and how to see the red flags.
My job is going well. I keep getting promotions and opportunities to travel across the country. I have a beach house now and have been going down twice a month with a large group of friends. I know I am loved and I know I am going to be okay. It does feel good to not be controlled by someone, to not feel trapped, or caged. It feels good to not think my soul-mate is making me feel terrible ‘for my own good,’ and because he loves me. I don’t feel as much pressure. I am working on me and in time I know I will truly enjoy freedom.
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