"I would rather someone abandon me in my hour of greatest need, then believe they are my friend and discover otherwise." ~St. Thomas
One of the hardest truths in life to accept is when someone you love betrays the trust your relationship was built on. I have always been very black and white when it comes to trust, believing that if someone messes up, they deserve a second chance. After that, I usually disconnect from them, forgive and move on with my life. The reason being is because I spent most of my childhood watch my mother forgive my stepdad, over and over regardless of how abusive he was. My personal vow, was to do the exact opposite and set boundries. Throughout my life, it has steered me free and clear of any type of emotional or physical abuse in my relationships, until my partner and I passed the four year and seven month mark in our relationship. Something went terribly wrong.
On Valentines evening, 2/14 I sat with my partner Williams at the rooftop bar at the Empire Hotel. The flickering of the fireplace behind us made her hair glow a golden color as she said to me;
" I think I am polyamourous. This situation isn't new to me. When I was engaged to my fiance, I was in love with Fury at the same time."
Not exactly Valentines conversation, at least not in my mind. Was this supposed to make me feel better? We had broken up on February 1st, a week before my birthday but were still being intimate up untill the night before. It was confusing. I gave Williams a Valentines gift anyway, a card and a giant chocolate pair of lips that looked like mine. There was no point in going all out when we were at the end of our rope. Breaking up, getting back together. The boundaries were blurry, we still loved each other but 'we' were no longer working. We had agreed that one, if not both of us would be moving out by March 1, 2011. One month shy of our 5 year anniversary.
I responded to Williams, "When you were engaged you lived an hour away from your fiance and you two saw each other once a month. You dated Fury for a month or two and then you broke up. That is not necessarily being in love, it's lust or attraction. Love is what is left when all the hormones disappear... So in essence you are saying that you are living with me and in love with..."
Dead Silence. Williams choked back her tears. My heart started to play an internal song of Cry Me A River by Justin Timberlake.
After all the nightmares I had about her cheating over the past three months, she was telling me nothing my intuition did not already know. Whoever it was, was close enough to burn their way into my dreams and my partners life.
The mental stench of Alexander reeked off my partner like early morning fog lingering over a dirty pond. They had spent the night of February 2, 2011 together, my partner came home a little after 1 am that night. She lied about where she was, but I saw the text messages they had sent to each other. He had obviously fucked his way into her brain and was now the latest addition to my partners, Obsessive Compulsive, shiny-and-new fan club. Alexander worked in the sex industry as a 'manager' of a sex and drug den that prostituted about two-hundred women in Midtown Manhattan. I think that would make him a 'pimp,' not a manager. Either way lady luck was on his side, because right before he was facing seven years in prison for 'managing' a hooker house for lap dancing swingers, he walked free because he helped nail his boss for tax evasion. When we first met him, Alexander told us "he was a nice guy" and that "he didn't get prosecuted for managing the lap dance club / hooker house because all his girls swore to what a good guy he was." (Insert finger in mouth here-gag.) I wasn't buying any of his 'story' but my partner was eating it up like a attention starved cactus thirsting for porn water.
Williams wanted to work as a professional model but I knew that unless her desire was to be a porn star or grace the covers of Penthouse and Playboy magazine, Alexander was going to lead her down the dark and twisty road of the sex industry. A little too much alchohol, or some other substance and one morning Williams would wake up on a internet porn show. Williams was naive to a fault. She valued words over actions. So it was easy for someone like Alexander to seduce her with words, act the part of a friend to get close to her, but to him she was a fresh piece of ass for his entertainment. Until a new, cuter model came along. A story as old as time to anyone who knew the modeling business and the sleeze that syphoned sex from any model who was an easy target.
Alexander and my partner began a daily habit of chatting on AIM, through email correpondence and she was even talking with him on the phone at Redcats, often staying after hours to keep their conversations private. Alexander was married, he worked as a heterosexual drag queen who moonlighted as a unlicensed hairdresser and his wife was a retired dominatrix, turned editor of a porn magazine. Strange is an understatement, but my partner was fascinated with both of them and their open, 'swinger' lifestyle. I however, wasn't a fan of their lifestyle or atheist beliefs at all. I thought it was interesting that Williams had told Alexander that we broke up before she had even told her mother. Intentions? My ex now had the hots for a pimp...sex manager... Nasty. Mine as well go to the AIDS clinic and get a regular scheduled appointment. My close friend even said to me, "Williams lacks the gift of discernment, she can't tell a rat from a princess." It was clear at the time that I would be confronted with the fact Williams was absorbing and integrating Alexander's 'swinger' belief system to justify her new polyamourous lifestyle. All of it was completely out of character for her, I felt like I was genuinely dealing with a split personality.
Polyamourous in my opinion is just a code word for rationaly making cheating 'acceptable,' so you can have your cake and eat it too. Three way partnerships in my opinion are like having three heads driving the steering wheel of one car, you might have fun at first but eventually the car will run out of gas due to personality conflicts or crash and burn altogether.
I am a serial monogamist for various reasons and my moral guns are loaded, I wll give you the shirt off my back if you need it but I won't share my lover. Nor do I cheat, I would rather break up with my partner or whomever I am dating first then intentionally wound them. Cheating in my opinion, is intentionally wounding someone because you are perfectly aware of what you are doing in the moment. People that 'swing,' often believe in 'anything goes' in their relationships and throw their car keys into a bowl so that they can pick their sexual entertainment for the evening. Yuck. I disagree with the belief that 'guest stars' in the bedroom add to the success of a relationship, if anything it degrades true intimacy and a loving partnership. To each their own in life, but I have never been a fan of the energy people in the sex industry emit, to me, it feels like dirty psychic ooze from a used car salesman. It's nothing personal, I just don't like the vibe. So I avoid people in the sex industry altogether. The same way I avoid people with serious drug addictions, it's nothing personal, it's just not my crowd or my lifestyle. I prefer to surround myself with people, whom are positive influences of inspire me to be a better person.
Being polyamourous means the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge of everyone involved; an emphasis on ethics, honesty, and transparency all around is widely regarded as the crucial defining characteristics. This was a problem because in the past year I painfully discovered my partner was anything but honest about her affairs, emotional or otherwise.
We had agreed to break up amicably, our relationship had been unraveling for the last year, there had been too many breaks in trust. My partner had also been suffering with mental instability, she had tried to commit suicide twice in the last year. I stopped her both times. It was then that I realized her psychological problems were much bigger than me and she needed to get professional help and find her happiness, with or without me. I was limited in what I could do for her.
In December, unknown to my family I went to a Domestic Abuse center to get help to create a 'safety net plan' to move out of my home and get counseling. In my family I am the one who normally has it together; the rock, the one people come to when they need help or support. In the chinese zodiac, I am a female tiger and often live up to my protective and loyal reputation. How could I tell them I had been in a healthy relationship for four years and seven months, until it suddenly broke and became physically abusive? I had spent my life avoiding any form of abuse in my relationships until now. The more intimate my partner became with the dirty mistress starting in early November, the more her repressed anger, guilt and temper escalated; punching me in my torso, in my shoulders, on my chest, slamming the laptop closed on my hands and the last straw, punching me in the face for the first, and the last time. It was then that Williams vowed to leave before hurting me again, because we agreed that it was unacceptable that our relationship had reached this point when it had never been physical before. Emotionally I was officialy disconnected and in shock. To cheat on me is one thing, to hit me is another. Financially, I did not have the extra income to just pick up and move but I would have if I could have. When I reached out for help, it often fell on deaf ears. I discovered that even the NYC shelters had a ten year waiting list for survivors of domestic violence. Finding a solution was not easy and I really did not want to tell my family out of embarassment and shame, I knew it would hurt my mom, she had already lived it. She wanted better life for my sister and I.
Valentines night, my heart grew heavier when Williams also confessed to me, " I have thought about committing suicide so many times I lost count." It broke my heart to hear how unhappy she was but that it was in my and her best interest to let go of our relationship. I had to fight back my tears, the emotional damn was breaking, and I could not save her, only God could heal her mind and her heart. It was then that I tried to encourage her to be excited about her new place, she had just put her deposit down the same day and it would be a fresh start. We both needed one. I had already suffered so much loss in the past year, I was doing my best to manage the storm and not drown in the emotional abyss. I was in need of a life raft, to just have the time to rest in a safe space. I had accepted the process of grieving all the loss and started packing our belongings, selling the furniture and clearing out the house. The hardest part was reliquishing a relationship that you have invested five years into, it is never easy to let go of someone you love but I knew it was for the best and I needed to have enough faith that brighter days were ahead.
A part of me resented Williams for turning what could have been a great few days, into a emotionally draining series of events. There was no more space for happy moments with her, the guilt and anquish of her infidelity was eating her alive by the second. She had become a master at lying to my face and then telling me how much she loved me. Betrayal is difficult because you can no longer believe in what your partner is telling you to be the truth. Once the seeds of doubt are planted it is hard to turn back from any form of deception and dishonesty in a relationship.
On Tuesday 2/15, in the afternoon I went to an appointment with a headhunter around the block from Williams work. I called her to see what was going on and she asked me to wait for her, to go with her to sign the paperwork for her new apartment on Herald Square. I waited about 45mins for her and then I met her new roomate, who happened to be a music producer. Not much of a surprise since Williams had become quite the social climber lately. After meeting with him, we hopped on the train home and Williams ordered Mexican food for dinner. We started packing, during which we got into an argument. While sitting on the sofa I reached for her phone on the bar and briefly teased her about the "dirty mistresses," she flipped out and flew into a rage. I started laughing because she completely over-reacted, her cell phone had a key pad lock that I did not even know the code to. She however did not find it funny at all and started lunging at me and hitting me in my chest, so I put my hand out and my foot up to create some distance, " Stop hitting me or I am going to press assault charges. I mean it." In response she picked up our coffee table, lifted it into the air to the ceiling and slammed it down on the ground. It broke and splintered. "Here, take your phone. It's not that big of a deal, it's locked anyway." Williams only freaks out like that when she gets caught in a lie or is guilty of something, like hiding text or aim messages from her newest dirty mistress. Williams
then slammed the door and went into her room. A hour later I knocked on the door to see if Williams was alright, she was laying up against the door like a two year old having a temper tantrum. So I told her goodnight and went to bed. Within the hour Williams came in to sleep next to me. She told me that she had put down the deposit and paid for the last two weeks of February so she would have the option to leave early. Code for the 'dirty mistress and I are hooking up.' She had already packed a bag so she could start staying between our place and the new apartment. Vowing to come back and help me pack the rest of our belongings. None of which never happened.
On Wednesday morning at 2/16 I started picking up the pieces of our broken table, I swept and packed a few things. I took out our recycles and brought the table she broke to the curb. She rolled behind me with her black bag in hand. I said, " Don't leave me to clean up this mess and pack by myself." I did not speak to her all day. It wasn't until almost 2:50pm that afternoon that I received a suprise phone call from Williams telling me she was at the apartment with the moving truck. I asked the movers as I walked up to the apartment, when Williams had booked the moving truck. They told me, "48 hours in advance," which had been Valentines day. No wonder Williams was such an emotional wreck. Her plan was to move out two weeks early, opposite of our original plans to move out by March 1st. She set me up and had been making other plans behind my back the entire time. We had a major breakdown about the fact that she kept making major, life changng decisions without any consideration to how it effects my life too and that her obsession for creating drama is never ending. It was an amicable break up but I suppose I should have expected nothing less than a dramatic ending from Williams since her ex finance received the same treatment. He however, walked free with a clean break... (See Part 3: Miscarriage of Justice)
In the midst of all of the court proceedings and drama, my home needs to be completely packed by April 1 in order to move out according to the lease. I am under enough pressure as but I am grateful for the advocates at the domestic abuse center who are supporting me in recovering from this difficult transition period. The pictures and evidence from them states a truth Williams can no longer deny, which brings me comfort and peace as my case continues on and my life begins to heal.
If I am delayed from my packing endeavours any further or deal with anymore fake allegations or wasted jail time. Williams will be paying the rent next month due to our belongings still remaining at our current residence. Williams left me a mess to pack by myself, left our pets unfed for a week, and even though she promised to help me pack has instead chosen to dodge any responsibility concerning our apartment. This is accomplished by once again playing the lead role of 'victim' so she could go lay with the dirty mistress guilt free. Unfortunately, the truth is the truth no matter how many lies are told to cover it up. Unfortunately, once a cheater and a liar...a tiger never changes their stripes. Although I do feel the need to take a bow, because the show may get very expensive for both of us if it continues on the current path and these childish games continue. I just hope I can find someone to care for my pets in my absence, since the person I once relied is no longer reliable.
What I am left with as the smoke clears, in retrospect is I cannot help but ponder over the early events surrounding when Williams and I first met and why on earth Williams best friend and mother Lori did not side with her over the rape or believe that she was telling the truth. What did they know that I did not? I think it was because they knew the man Williams accused of raping her (which I discovered years later) she had already had consensual sex with him about a month before the supposed incident occurred. Two people who knew Williams, both doubted her word. In doing so, when I look back at the course of events that unfolded during that time; Williams never filed charges. Never prosecuted him. Williams rapist walked free. If anything occurred, a dramatic divide was created between their mutual life long friends, some who believed it had really happened, some who did not. They questioned the truth because Williams rapist was her fiance, and she was telling everyone that she was waiting to have sex until she got married. Looking back and in light of my current situation, I cannot help but wonder what was the real truth if she lied about having consensual pre-marital sex with her fiance in the first place? From what I can gather the truth is not a pretty picture actually; by Williams accusing her fiance of something so dark, she could call off the wedding guilt free, she would get to play the role of victim and start a new life unencumbered. While her fiance would become the 'evil outcast,' she in turn would break free from the past completely and never look back at the mess she left behind, all while garnering sympathy from family and friends.