Open Letter Concerning My Abusive Ex-Boyfriend
This is not what this blog is for, but I need to put this out there, and he got me banned from Facebook for simply describing my abuse and naming my abuser. So pardon the interruption...
I used to really believe that William was just in total denial about the fact that he has a problem and needs help. But he has just made it clear that he is in fact SO SHADY that he would go out and just replace me with another beautiful, much younger woman with a kid, only one who doesn't know what he does...
...so that he can do it all over again. Because that's what narcissistic abusers DO.
So, I'm going to be so loud now about what he is really like that when he INEVITABLY does the same thing to her, at least people are going to BELIEVE her... the way that they did not believe me because William Murray had already spent the previous couple of years lying about me behind my back, to everyone who would listen, to paint me as an unreasonable, psycho girlfriend who Just Couldn't Be Pleased By Anything He Did. (Yes, this is a fact: I saw some of these conversations IN WRITING. Unlike William, I will not say anything that is not a fact.)
First let's get the most obvious thing out of the way:
William Murray should not be living with a minor.
This is the man who threw my ADHD six-year-old son's backpack AT him because, as an ADHD six-year-old, he had "embarrassed him in public."
... The man who called my son a "WORTHLESS PIECE OF SHIT" TO me, RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY SON.
... the man who agreed to watch my child so I could go to the doctor, and then while I was out, sent me multiple voicemails that were minutes long that were just the sound of my 5- or 6-year-old son, hysterically crying and screaming.
... who shouted "STUPID JEW!" at a Hasidic man crossing the street, and when I told him that was unacceptable, instead shouted at me, "OH, I'M SORRY, STUPID *FUCKING* JEW!" with my small son in the back seat of the car!
... who loudly said, "Isn't that the name of one of the girls in his class?" followed by something like, "Otezla, sit down now!" again IN FRONT OF MY CHILD every time a prescription drug commercial came on tv that had a weird name (all of the girls in my son's class were black.)
When I took him aside out of my son's earshot and told him that was racist, not funny, and not to say things like that in front of my kid, he didn't speak to me for days. YES, DAYS.
... and, this is the man who told me that Carly had a teenage trans child, while referring to said child alternately as a son or daughter, and when I asked him to clarify for me whether she had a trans son or a trans daughter, his response was, AND I QUOTE, "Oh, son, daughter, whatever IT thinks IT is."
I seriously wish I were making this up. He said extremely similar things about a trans model he was shooting, right after they had left.
And the black family who were on Section 8, and who stayed in our old building after he took a shamefully small buyout from our criminal landlords and gave me no choice of whether or not to move into an apartment twice as expensive? When I told William that I saw them and they said we should have stayed, everything turned out great and we would STILL be paying $1400 a month, William said, and I quote, they were "just too lazy to work." ...um, they had jobs.
Whenever I told him that any of these things was unacceptable, I was told I "make a big deal out of every little thing," "need to grow a fucking skin" and I was given the silent treatment, for days or even weeks, to hurt me. The silent treatment started before I'd been living with him for a month.
I deserved to know about these things before moving in with him with my kid. She deserved to know these things before packing up her life and moving in with him across the country with her kid, and she still deserves to know them before he does everything to them that he did to us.
William's unwritten, unspoken rules of being in a relationship with him are abusive and would kill a relationship with ANYONE:
There is NO DISCUSSION ALLOWED in a relationship with him. Ever, of anything. He is absolutely convinced that any kind of a discussion is a confrontation and all confrontations are BAD. He is totally incapable or unwilling to discuss anything more in-depth than small talk, current events, movies, or anything you both agree on 100%. If I tried to talk to him about ANY of the normal things that you might need to talk to your boyfriend about, he would avoid the subject and simply do everything in his power to make me as angry as possible as quickly as possible. Insult my ex-husband, insult my family, insult my son, mock me for having depression and ADHD and for going to doctors and taking medications...just say NASTY, cruel things to me for no reason whatsoever, to try to get me upset and therefore end the conversation as soon as possible, by any means necessary.
I told him that no relationship could survive the complete refusal to ever talk about anything, ever. He acted like he recognized that fact. Then did the same thing over and over.
In 6+ years of being with him, I was never ONCE comforted. In any way. Is a hug, a pat on the head, an "It's going to be okay, I'm here for you" from your boyfriend at some point in over SIX YEARS too much to ask? Well, it was. It did not matter if I was in pain, overwhelmed, getting too much shit from my son's dad or if William himself had done something to make me cry. I would ONLY get so much as a hug if I was in a great mood. I would only be spoken to if I was in a great mood. If I was the slightest bit upset about anything at all, he WOULD NOT EVEN SPEAK TO ME. It was as if I was a ghost, trying to speak to the living and they didn't hear me at all. He pretended he didn't even hear me.
I told him that no relationship could survive a partner who will only deal with the other person at all when they are in a great mood and would actively do things to hurt them if they were already upset. He acted like he recognized that fact. Then did the same thing over and over.
He is an abusive man with expectations from relationships and other people that are unrealistic and unhealthy. I was not unreasonable. I bent myself around backwards first to fit into his world and accept him for who he is, then to let him know that I accept him for who he is, but that some of his behavior was very hurtful and inappropriate, then to make myself into some kind of unofficial junior psychologist trying to figure out how I could approach him, how I could word what I needed to say, how I could simply get my basic needs met.
He convinced me to move in with him with promises of help raising my son, lowered expenses, stability in general. It was an absolute bait and switch. He promised to put me on the lease, and he never even tried to. Then he decided to move into a frivolously expensive apartment less than a year later and gave me NO SAY in my housing situation, he gave me NO SAY in choosing the new apartment, then followed that with a nonstop spending spree that saw the $85,000 the landlords gave him to sell out our future totally gone, spent, in less than two years, and he then spent the following years introducing every kind of instability into our lives.
When I finally decided that his abusive behavior was not going to stop, and that I had to leave, he "let me" have $10,000 of the $85k that he had received in exchange for making it so that I would not be able to find an apartment I, or even we, could possibly afford, ever again.
He then went behind my back and made it out to others as if I had decided to leave him because he just "wasn't good enough" for him and that he was giving me this sum of money to go on with my new life without him, out of the kindness of his heart. In reality, what he had done by taking us out of our original apartment cost me many times that amount of money over again, and will cost me more and more into the future.
He consistently blamed me for his actions, even literally turning the actual sequence of events around backwards to try to rationalize his actions and blame my reaction to his action for causing the action itself. When confronted with the obvious fact that nothing had taken place in that order, so it was impossible that I had caused his actions, his response was, "It doesn't matter."
Yes, it does matter, because that is what narcissistic abusers DO.
He would take things that HE said about ME and tell other people that I SAID THEM ABOUT HIM. He did this right in front of me! And when I said, "Those were YOUR words, YOU said that, not me." and recounted the entire exchange exactly as it happened, he waved his hand at me and said it didn't "make a difference" and he "wasn't asking for my review."
Within a year of my moving in with him, he was online late at night getting sympathy from other hot goth girls much younger than him by lying to them about me and about what he'd done, WHILE TRYING TO SHAME ME FOR TALKING TO MY OWN MOTHER ABOUT THE PROBLEMS I WAS HAVING.
Yes, he tried to make me feel as though I was the crazy, unreasonable one, then went telling scene acquaintances really detailed, long diatribes about our "problems" that were unfortunately only about 10% true and 90% utterly fabricated from nowhere... and then tried to isolate me so he could more successfully make me feel like *I* was the one fucking everything up... by telling me I shouldn't be talking to my own mom about it.
If that sounds familiar, it's because that's WHAT NARCISSISTIC ABUSERS DO.
He assigned malicious intentions to everything I did or said from the START, and just would not let go. I tried everything to reassure him, to let him know he was my dream man, to let him know that everything was from a place of love.
I ended up literally asking him if he would take just ONE to TWO nights a week and not go straight back to work after dinner, staying at his computer until well after I was asleep = he told me I OBVIOUSLY DID NOT RESPECT HIS WORK.
I told him he'd clearly been blessed with good genes, but that he WAS still pushing sixty, sat at a desk in the dark most of the day, didn't eat healthfully and had high blood pressure, so I worried about him and wanted him to come to the gym and exercise just to keep him the epitome of sexiness that I thought he was. I paid for a gym membership for him. = he told me he obviously just wasn't up to my "standards".
I ended up spelling out exactly what he was doing that whether he realized it or not was doing harm to my son and me, and I needed to ask him to stop, that I wanted to be with him forever and ever but I couldn't if he was going to say and do things that created and unstable, threatening environment for me and that literally made my health problems worse = he told me I just didn't love him.
...and then didn't speak to me or acknowledge my presence for days, maybe a week.
I asked him not to TEXT and FACEBOOK on his phone WHILE driving my car, WITH my son in it, and I offered to write out whatever he needed to say, and if not, could it wait ten minutes until we get there? He became angry and then he didn't speak to me or acknowledge my presence for pretty much the rest of the day.
Same for asking him not to aggressively drive dangerously close to pedestrians as they were crossing in the crosswalk. In MY CAR.
I was told I could just fucking drive, myself, then.
He would do things to help me, of course! But ALWAYS on the condition that I be made to feel guilty about it. Every time.
He would throw money - the landlords' money, that was supposed to be our rent for years to come - at anything, for me, rather than listen to me, talk to me, or make any attempt to actually not do things that objectively, materially made the situation worse. Before he got money from the landlords, he didn't throw money at me because a lot of the time I was paying his rent for him so he could keep his apartment (before I even moved in there with him.)
But, as soon as he was offered a huge sum of money to trade in our future, I was suddenly supposed to shut up and accept his authority to make huge financial decisions that would affect us both - no, all THREE of us, permanently.
I was told that by telling him his behavior was abusive, I was the one abusing him.
I was told that I was THE crazy one, the one with all of the problems, and the one causing all the problems, and that there was nothing wrong with him, simply because he mocked the psychiatric profession and refused to seek any kind of treatment himself.
He went around telling people that I was "making him out to seem like some kind of precedent-setting mental case on a bad self help channel." Yes, that's a quote. I saw it IN WRITING. He didn't tell them that I had calmly explained why his behavior was hurtful, where it would lead and how, as someone with my own psychiatric diagnoses, it was clear to me that he had very similar issues to my own and it was important to me for him to get proper treatment.
...you know, the conversation you have with a loved one who has revealed serious, possibly neurological issues that you can see interfering with their life and yours, and you desperately do not want to lose that person?
He lies about things there is just no reason to lie about. Over and over. While you're standing there with the proof. Then he just sits there and looks at you until it becomes really, really uncomfortable.
He always told me it was clearly me who did not want him near me, when I would tell him how much the days-long silent treatment and the pointless, irrelevant nasty remarks hurt me and ask him why he would do it when he sees how much he's hurting me. He told me obviously I didn't want him around, so he stays away from me, right after I asked him why he would never come to bed anymore, would not even hug me, with tears in my eyes.
He did the exact same things over and over again, and actually expected me to believe each and every different excuse he came up with every time for why he did it.
He cut me off when I was speaking and talked over me, almost constantly. When I simply asked him to not do that to me, I was told it was just "the art of conversation."
He would carelessly (or not?) break my belongings and get angry at me for being upset or even mentioning it. Normal people move sunglasses, a hat or a piece or artwork that are on a chair they'd like to sit in or on a table they'd like to put something heavy down on... William Murray simply crushed, broke or tore the object, and then said, "Well, why was it there?" Again and again and again.
If I accidentally started to say something that I'd said to him before, even just in casual conversation, several times he cut me right off, shouting "YEAH YEAH YEAH OKAY OKAY."
I am an insomniac. It affects my health and my ability to function normally during the day. I also needed to get up at 6:30 each day to get my son to school. William would not let me sleep. He would choose his times to work or do noisy tasks around the house to be while I was trying to sleep, rather than during the day. When I tried to speak to him about this, he literally said, "You can't sleep anyway, so it's fine."
He literally TOLD me, yes in so many words, that because I suffer from Depression, he could do things to make me sad, it didn't make a difference because I was already depressed, so it was just fine for him to do and say upsetting things to me. He fucking ACTUALLY SAID THIS. There was no misunderstanding.
When I finally became so upset that I wanted to do myself harm, he took my phone, called my mother and as soon as she picked up he said, "COME GET YOUR DAUGHTER BEFORE SHE KILLS HERSELF."
"The narcissist surrounds himself with people who will tell him what he wants to hear, reassure him of what he wants to believe and wants others to believe, and not call out his own actions or question his story."
Once you aren't just one of those people, and/or don't have anything he needs, he just throws you out. Cuts off love, affection, even acknowledgement of your presence. He ghosted out of the relationship while I was living with him. He discards you.
William popped back into my life several times after I finally had to rip my heart out and leave him. And, I freely admit that I called him desperately back into my life for an emergency, for which he came through. But the rest of the time it was either that he needed something from me or that he was apparently lonely (because during all the years I lived with him it was clear to me that I was the only person who he saw and spoke to really regularly, he had no close friends or family of any sort that he saw more than a couple of times a year. By the time I left, he wasn't visiting anyone nor was anyone coming over to see him. He was always just working.) and said he missed us so much. But every time, whether we had a happy week or a happy month, the abusive behaviors would start right back up. I would say, I love seeing you again, I miss you so much, I want you in my life, but if we don't address the issues, the same exact thing will happen. I need to see you really do something differently than before, and you have to be willing to talk to me without attacking me. This can't last if you're still not going to talk with me, about anything.
And then WHAM, the lying, the gaslighting, the making promises and then when asked to make an effort towards keeping them, rationalizing why he didn't need to do that anyway, more gaslighting.
I could keep writing all night long without repeating myself, I have barely scratched the surface of the many things that were done and said that made me feel like it was a horrible nightmare where your most loved and trusted person becomes someone else overnight, someone who doesn't love or care about you, someone you don't even recognize. There's more, believe it or not, so MUCH MORE. He withheld all love and affection at will as punishment; tried to keep me off balance, guessing, at all times; acted out of touch with reality, lied; used money in place of sincerity; tried to use unspoken threats of what he will or won’t do if I said anything he didn’t like, to control my behavior. But this has been long enough and I feel like it gives at least a bit of a picture of what I dealt with starting within weeks of moving in with William, first in very small ways and then doubling and doubling down the more I tried everything I could think of to just have a human relationship with this man that met both of our basic needs.
I made art and had plans for the future too, before I'd lived with him for a while.
My stomach worked before I'd lived with him.
I didn't have daily panic attacks, before I lived with him.
I had never been suicidal before I lived with him.
I did not bring these things to the relationship in my own baggage.
Do I wish I was still with him? Every single day of my life, I wish that he hadn't made it totally impossible for me to stay with him.
Am I jealous? Hell NO, I am not jealous of what she will be dealing with pretty soon. You can not ask a sane person to believe that this person has rehabilitated himself and is no longer an abusive boyfriend, when as of this past June he still insisted that he had absolutely no problems whatsoever, the whole mental health field was a fraud that I had been stupid enough to subscribe to, and that he didn't have to change anything he did.
Do I want him back? Every single day of my life, I want him back, but I can never have my William back, because my William doesn't exist and probably never did in the first place. It was all a show which you, Carly, are currently being treated to. I don't recommend sticking around for act 2.
Back then, Carly, when you left from hanging out with us that one day, he talked some shit about you that I thought was utterly crass, that I now know is probably a lot like the shit he's talked about me to you... definitely to others. He made a comment about your child that I have already covered and don't wish to repeat. You'll notice these nasty comments about other people that seem so out-of-character for him, and if you're anything like me, you'll eventually start to worry about whether he talks like that about you to other people.
The answer is always: YES, HE DOES.
I had to hear it all, the racist shit he would spew even while editing a rap video, I had to sit there and smile while meeting with some Hasidic Cantors he was making a video for, after listening to him say, "Stupid fucking Jew" and "Shmuley." I wrestled for a long time with whether it would be right to expose him to his clients as an abuser, a racist, and antisemitic, and that choice was only made today, October 15, 2018. But apparently asking him not to subject my small child to it was a step too far, for him.
I was someone who once said things like, "It's not like he hits her or anything, but..." and, "Why doesn't she just leave?!" Well, I now know how it becomes so difficult to leave and for how many reasons, and how they rely on that and contribute to that; I now know about the physical damage that emotional abuse inflicts on your body and how even the lasting effects of it on you psychologically limit your options in life and all of this combined can be far worse than many physical injuries.
I didn't want to know about these things, I wanted to have a happy life with the magical man I adored and keep calling each other "Greatest Love Of My Life", but William Murray, through conscious choices, made me someone who knows these things, now.
Everything he did indicated his priorities clearly. He is a snake in the grass who will tear you down, not build you up, then imply there's something wrong with you for feeling torn down.
Here was the last text I sent him, last June, after the gaslighting and crazy-making had started popping up through the 'I-Love-You-I-Miss-You-Can-We-Live-Together-Again's.
I never heard from him again.