Anatomy of a Date Rape & Its Aftermath

I have written the following account hastily – I wanted it out of my head and onto paper before midnight, before this stinking hellhole of a year breathes its last, shitty breath. I want to start 2017 by not carrying this around.

It is, perhaps surprisingly, not a terribly heavy burden – it’s just an annoying one. I had mostly left it all behind until the individual in question began getting weird with me again this past week.

So. Here we go.

Superfluous trigger warning: Sexual assault; rape; societal bullshit; gaslighting.

In autumn of 2015, I was date-raped by a co-worker. I say “date,” but we were not on a date; there just isn’t really a better term for it. We were hanging out, watching a movie.

“Rape” is the applicable legal term, but I feel saying “I was raped” somehow lessens the experiences of women who have had to endure the more classical definition of violent, forced intercourse.  So, I say I was date-raped, which sounds somewhat akin to “Rape Lite.” Thankfully, I was unconscious or otherwise so altered during the event, I only remember two very brief moments.

Before I continue, let me say this: I’m ok. I’m not scarred, I’m not traumatized, I’ve not lost a piece of myself I’ll never recover: This was not that sort of incident. I don’t feel “brave” for telling the story.

What I am, though, is angry.

People are surprised this person is still in my life in any way shape or form – but he is, and I doubt he’s going anywhere anytime soon. People have said to stop tolerating him, to shun him, et cetera, but given we work together? Sadly, that is not completely possible.

Important backstory: I am a supervisor at my place of employ, and the man who date-raped me also works there. He is not a supervisor.

This automatically creates a power dynamic in my favor that could be used against me.

For that reason, and for many others, I never came forward with this story – except to three trusted friends. I’ll go into some of those reasons in a bit.

Too, I know I could have (and should have) done things differently, both before and after the event. However, immediately after the incident, and for a fair amount of time thereafter, I didn’t realize I had been drugged; I thought I had been irresponsibly drunk. Because there was a slight tinge of attraction between us, I thought I had gotten really, inexplicably drunk (which I never do,) and came onto him – because that is what he told me had happened, and I believed him.

This caused me to respond very differently than I would have, had I been in complete charge of my faculties, and not riddled with self-doubt.

I want to say again – I really am ok. The support and compassion which erupted on FaceBook yesterday was so touching, so overwhelming, and I am very fortunate to have these people in my life.

Let’s get started.

When this person began working for our company, I liked him. He is interesting, and talented, and very good at his job. He is reasonably attractive on the surface. The underlying instability didn’t reveal itself for some time.

I am an outgoing person at work, and I am typically direct. I make a lot of eye contact, and sometimes I use touch to emphasize a point with people who are comfortable with that level of contact. I hug. I swear a lot when riled. I wear my heart on my sleeve. Sometimes, I flirt a bit as a way to connect with people, and to break down initial, awkward barriers (please note – the “flirting” in the sense I’m using here with people I don’t know well is very mild, and stops fathoms before one can even begin to see sexual harassment on the horizon.) It is mostly the direct, unflinching eye contact that seems to break through the most, which unto itself may not seem like flirting, but can be.

All these things work both for and against me, depending upon circumstances.

Were I to go to Human Resources, or to the police, and report this event, my character and comportment would immediately be called into question. I get it – one must determine the legitimacy to any claim of wrongdoing, and, right or wrong, part of that determination is going to come from assessing the character of the person bringing the allegation.

Let’s look at a few potential outcomes of going to HR:

1.) He denies the claim, they investigate, they find the accusation without merit. I could probably lose my job here for several reasons: Michigan is an at-will state.

2.) He admits the act. He would probably lose his job, and the company would lose a valuable employee (no really – he’s very good at what he does; that’s separate from his predatory sexual behavior.) I would be viewed as someone who put herself into what some might consider “a vulnerable position,” given the circumstances of the event itself (more on that later, of course,) and I would actually lose credibility as a leader on a number of levels with some people. I could also potentially be labeled as a troublemaker. Women who report sexual harassment are often vilified – this should come as no surprise to anyone. I would love to think no one at my company would respond that way, but it’s possible.

3.) He denies the claim, they investigate, they find the accusation to have merit. Pretty much all of the consequences of #2 above, with the addition of who knows what level of outrage he would feel, and who knows how he would retaliate. We need employees with his talent very badly.

These are the broadest strokes, leaving aside the myriad ripple effects on an individual level with people I know. I think most will see why I was unwilling to rush to action.

Couple that with my initial assumption of self-guilt, and I didn’t report it; I’m sorry that disappoints people, and I understand why it does. “He can just keep doing this to other women,” they will say; “are you ok with that?” Of course not. But there are very real, very pragmatic concerns at play here with my life.

What Happened

This person and I got to know each other, became casual friends, and there may have been a very slight undercurrent of mutual attraction – which I ignored. I ignored it mainly for professional reasons, but there was also something odd about him I couldn’t put my finger on, something that made me keep him at more of a distance. Thus, I interacted with him like I do with people in general.

He would text me often about random things. This unto itself was a source of some contention, even before the assault, because he uses his phone to text (like most people do,) whereas I type texts on my computer and it sends them over SMS. I hate typing on my phone – it is slow, tedious, inaccurate – all the things. I would rather chew off my own legs than type on my phone for an extended period of time. He exhibited some paranoid tendencies during some exchanges (“can you see what I’m typing while I’m typing it? you’re responding so fast,” that kind of thing.)

I need a name for him, so I don’t keep referring to him as “this person.” I’m going to call him Harold, which of course is not his real name. I explained to Harold many times that my texts come in quickly because I am typing on a real keyboard. You’ll see why I specifically mention that later on.

Also of note, Harold and I had hung out together in groups of co-workers, but not on our own.

Harold was texting me on his night off while I was at work, chatting about random stuff. The conversation turned to movies.  I mentioned “The Cook, the Thief, his Wife, & her Lover,” a beautiful film very few people I currently know have seen. Harold has seen it, and loved it.

I’m going to include a lot of our text conversations in this post, because it is the only way to fully understand the confusion and consternation Harold causes me. My lines will be italicized, and narrative will be [in brackets.]

Harold: I dig foriegn films. Sorry. A sucker for them.

Me: i like film in general
i’m a sucker for a good story, presented well

Harold:
The days of film snobs are almost gone, but plots will always need more.
Youre making me want to watch a movie instead of unpacking…
😀

Me: mission accomplished, returning to base

Harold: And i want hard liquior now.. errr
Have you ever seen “Baraka”?
Its a 70mm art film, made just to say “can you make a film that is asthetically beautiful without a plot”

Me: that’s two movies no one ever knew
pretty cool
i saw that when it came out and was blown away

Harold: Im going to watch [Baraka] right now actually

Me: jerk 😛

Harold: HEY, ill wait.

Me: really? i don’t want to inconvenience you.

Harold: Yea. If course.
Of
Sure comon over

[At this point, I should tell you guys – Harold likes to drink. A lot. I didn’t realize how much of a problem this was until after this event, but I now know Harold is an alcoholic. I didn’t know that on the night I went over to watch Baraka, so, being a polite guest, I offered to bring something. However, I wasn’t going to be able to bring either of his two favorites, Fireball or Jagermeister (hork,) because … well, I don’t buy them, and I was going to bring stuff from my own stash, rather than stop at the store.]

i’ll bring some booze – any preference? i, um, don’t have any fireball or jager…

Just bring what you like to drink.

i can do that

If you can get a shooter of fireball, that would be enough.

i need to run [home] and let the pooch out, but that’ll just take a minute
i can stop and get some fireball, sure

Im tipsy so be warned
Kk

[At the time, I didn’t realize the implications of that statement – “be warned.” I mean, who would? People say stuff like that all the time.]

i can’t wait to see this again. i have no idea why i haven’t watched it since .. decades ago.

Its so good!

hokay, home to pick up booze and feed the pup, then will head over.

Kk

[End texts for now.]

Thus concludes our pre-date-rape relationship.  I went home, grabbed some whiskey, stopped at the Quality Dairy to pick him up his stuff, and drove the ten or so minutes to his house. I wasn’t nervous, per se, but I was a little worried it might be Awkward. I worry about that a lot, because that is part of what social anxiety does. I figured if nothing else, I’d get to see that amazing movie again, which would be awesome unto itself. Maybe get to know him a bit better – which is not a euphemism; I had no intentions of doing anything other than having a drink or two, talking, watching a movie, and going home.

I arrived, and he gave me the nickel tour. It was a nice little rental house. We chatted a bit,  and then I went with him outside while he had a cigarette. We talked about painting, and he said he’d love to teach me what he knows about it. He said he would love to cook me dinner sometime. We talked about some health thing or another, and he brought out his Physician’s Desk Reference [PDR] to consult. I remember chuckling and thinking, “of course he has the PDR; why wouldn’t he?” He seemed quite pleased with himself about it.

It was all pretty normal conversation for people getting to know each other.

Back inside, we poured ourselves a small glass apiece of spiced holiday brandy and sipped it in the kitchen before pouring our next drinks and getting the movie started. We each sat on opposite ends of his very large couch – we were easily five to six feet apart.

If you’ve not seen Baraka [link goes to official site,] it is a very visual movie. There is no plot, per se – it is just a beautiful accounting of our world and its inhabitants.

During this time period, I was going out to the bar at least once a week, and I had slightly more tolerance for alcohol than I used to: I could have three drinks in a couple of hours before feeling like I was unsafe to drive or make important decisions. Yes, that is still a lightweight, I know: Cussing like a sailor doesn’t mean I can drink like one.

I had a drink with, at most, two shots of whiskey mixed with Coke and ice. This is not a volume of alcohol which would incapacitate me.

We watched the movie, mostly in appreciative silence, with the occasional commentary here and there.

This is the last scene I remember seeing:

Somewhere in the middle of the Monkey Chant, I remember getting very dizzy and sleepy, and I think I started to lie down on the couch. Then, I was out like a light.

I woke up with my face in his lap and his penis in my mouth. I was only conscious for a few seconds before slipping back into blackness.

I woke up with him on top of me, and inside me, again, only for a few seconds. I didn’t even have enough time to be confused or angry or scared before crashing out again.

I don’t know how long it was before I actually fully “woke up.” The movie was over, or had been turned off, and I had my pants back on, though unfastened. There was no mistake I had had sex.

I have no memory of the first words we exchanged upon my regaining consciousness, but the parts after I started being able to remember things now seem surreal after the fact.

Reading the following, please rememberI was not in a lucid, rational state of mind: I was heavily altered by whatever was in my drink.

Also, I am a person who takes care of other people, who respects their experiences, and who has seen sexual assault victims be re-attacked by the people they tried to get help from. I have been sexually assaulted in other situations. If someone claims sexual assault, I believe him or her first, and ask questions later – to me, the greater evil is assuming someone is lying when they are not. I would rather believe and be made a fool than to disbelieve and be proven wrong.

Those two things caused me to say things which could easily be used against me as admissions of guilt. It wouldn’t even take a sneaky reading of the remarks – I straight-up said I was guilty, because I believed him. I never said I remembered any of it, mind you.

I remember kind of coming around as if through deep sea waves, with Harold sitting on the other end of the couch again, shaking his head and saying, “I don’t think that was a good idea, edar. I feel like you took advantage of me. I wasn’t ready for that.”

At that point, I burst into tears. I remember feeling humiliated, violated, confused… and now, apparently, I was the instigator? Shit! I’m a terrible person! I tried to untangle my own thoughts while still respecting the things he was saying to me.

“Oh, don’t cry, don’t cry,” or words to that effect. “It’ll be ok. It’ll be great, actually!” He went on to compliment parts of my body, and various aspects of the sex he’d had with it.

I was reeling – he was claiming I was the aggressor, that I took advantage of him… while saying things like, “you have a really pretty pussy.” What the literal living hell? Even drugged, I knew something wasn’t right, but, ever the only child, I have to take responsibility for everything, even if it isn’t my fault.

So, I apologized.

I apologized to someone who date-raped me.

Saying that makes me want to vomit.

I couldn’t stop crying as he spoke of how this was just not at all what he expected. Yeah? Me either, Harold. This wasn’t what I signed up for here, pal.

At least he had used a condom.

I got ready to go – I had to leave, to get away from him and from his house, the scene of (apparently) my crime. I was most definitely not okay to drive, but that was the least of my concerns at that point in time – I was envisioning my job crumbling out from underneath me after Harold went to HR and claimed I assaulted/raped him. I was wracked with guilt for (apparently) forcing myself upon some unwitting soul. I was thinking about the fact that I’d just had sex with someone I had absolutely no intention of having sex with… but apparently attacked and coerced into sex. It did not occur to me I had been drugged until the following night.

Harold begged me to stay the night, to cuddle up with him, to “heal” the wounds caused by the night’s events. To “bond.”

No thank you, please.

As I was gathering up my things in the kitchen, Harold scooped me into his arms, tugged at the v-neck of my t-shirt, and made a “rowr” sound as he tried to kiss me. “Why did you have to wear this shirt,” he purred, smarm pouring off him, almost tearing the fabric.

I’m fairly sure I pulled away and walked out the door, but there may have been more words at that point.

I drove the short distance home, and found he had texted me. We had a long text conversation, during which I tried to be respectful, to fully own my (alleged) actions of “having attacked him,” while coming to terms with everything.

Reading this a year later, it is easy to see these are not the words of someone who was just taken advantage of sexually. Yet I couldn’t bring myself to 100% conviction he had drugged me; what a horrible, horrible thing to accuse someone of, only to be wrong. Surely it is better to assume he did not, right?

—————-

Did you get home safe?

yeah, just dejected

Yikes.sounds gruesome.. glad youre home safe 😉

i feel like a predator

Lol

with the past i have, it’s so not ok to pressure anyone.
and yet i apparently did
i’m really having a hard time 

Ease up on the predator talk so I can feel normal, Im sure that will make us both feel ok
Try to think about what you liked.

[Yes. I shall try to think about what I liked about having sex whilst unconscious.]

…i legitimately feel like a complete piece of shit
but we carry on, i guess
12/27/15, 4:59am

[The conversation ended, and I went to bed to sleep off the rest of the drugs and the night. I don’t even remember if I showered. When I woke up, he was back, chipper as anything:]

Good morning sunshine!
How you doing?
12/27/15, 11:01 AM

Didn’t really sleep, feel like ass. I don’t get hung over, but the sleep thing is kind of killing me

Aw hun 🙁 next time Im in [his hometown] I’ll find out what meds I used to use which seemed to help.
Didnt you think that was funny that I plopped down that PDR last night!
12/27/15, 3:22 PM

i have stuff i know will work, 100% – but it’s the stuff i really don’t want to take anymore.
some nights are better than others, last night was just one of the bad ones.

That really sucks. Also dont forget to start thinking about what might be going on for new years eve
• 12/27/15, 3:54 PM

[Ah yes – New Year’s Eve. Prior to these events unfolding, I had told Harold I would be happy to take him out on New Year’s Eve, because historically, he has had a completely shitty time. And why wouldn’t he want to spend the last night of the year with someone who had taken such advantage of him? Of course, we could turn the tables around here and ask me the same question – but I wasn’t in the mindset of “this guy date-raped me” yet – I was in the opposite mentality.]

[Now he still wanted to do something? Ugh. I was still in recovery mode, trying to make sure not to further offend him so he wouldn’t go to HR or press charges or any other damn thing, since I had apparently attacked him, and not the other way around.]

[By this time we were back at work. We do not sit near each other, so we were mostly conversing over text still, though he had stopped briefly by my desk when he arrived.]

[“I got stuck in some thorn bushes last night,” he said, laughing.]

[“What?” Very confused.]

[Harold lifted his shirt to show me dark red scratches along his chest, sides, and back.]

[“Holy shit!” I exclaimed, “did you fall or something when you went out to smoke?”]

[He stared at me in amusement. “Erin – those are from you.”]

[I was mortified. It didn’t occur to me that, even drugged, I was trying to fight him off however I could – by scratching the shit out of him; I assumed I just got carried away.]

That really sucks. Also dont forget to start thinking about what might be going on for new years eve
• 12/27/15, 3:54 PM

it’s your [NYE thing] – you pick.
in all seriousness tho, i was apparently way, way drunker than i’ve been in probably 15 years last night. that big drink plus the brandy must have done me in. i haven’t ever had memory lapses from drinking before. it’s just not like me. i don’t know what went wrong.
so sorry about the scratches, good lord.
12/27/15, 5:00 PM

Yea I was too. Its all good 😉 😉

i think i failed on every possible level last night.

Nah. I was sad that you were crying though. I wouldnt worry about anything.

i am really worried about all of it tho.
i mean, you seem pretty ok with it all, and i’m glad about that, but you felt taken advantage of, and that’s 100% nowhere near ok to me.
i didn’t go over there with the intention of getting thoroughly obliterated and doing that 

You shouldnt worry about it. Bc then you will start to not act like yourself and Im much more worried about that then anything.
I like you being yourself

i have no choice but to be myself

Good 🙂

Nice hat today btw
• 12/28/15, 1:46 AM

Https:/twitter.com/imternetofshit/status/680753875247345665
12/28/15, 2:36 AM

ha
the hat i had forgotten about, dug it out of an old bag

It was good!

you’re too kind

Never saw you wear it before
• 12/28/15, 3:00 AM

Just a question, when you message me from your google number to my phone do you use your computer to send that message or do send it by typing it in your phone?

i’m on my desktop, i can’t stand typing on my phone

So its open knowledge then.. whether you decided to send earlier texts to my number vs sending them to chat. They still went through chat. Just wanted to know.
No biggie.
I felt much more worried than you think today even if I am presenting myself as collected. I was totally worried about you
• 12/28/15, 3:39 AM

[To this day, I have no idea what “it’s open knowledge” means, or why he is worried about them going to “chat” instead of “text.”]

don’t worry about me, i’m pretty good at it.
i’m sending to your phone via sms on my desktop, thanks to google voice
i’m really upset about last night still, but time heals, etc

Well I am too.
And the only thing that heals is trying to understand one another.
Will you let me know about you? Can I let you know about me?

i do need to know more about you so i can process what happened and where everything went off the rails

It didnt go off rails. But ive seen this before. So thats why I notice this

[“I’ve seen this before,” he said. I bet that’s true. I would be surprised if there isn’t a slew of women who have had these conversations with him over the years.]

what went wrong was me apparently not paying attention to what you wanted or needed.
and i’m really really not ok with that.

[Still really wanting to vomit about taking all the responsibility for what happened, Just In Case it was, indeed, my fault.]

No no, how could you know.
I didnt think you drank too much. But we did.. it was youthful and fun. That was great!

[“YOUTHFUL AND FUN??!!”]

ideally, you’d tell me if you weren’t ok. 
i wish you didn’t feel taken advantage of
that is not great at all.

Huh?
Previous

you said last night you felt taken advantage of

I did

yeah that’s not ok with me at all
that’s what i feel the worst about

This is placating, but you really shouldnt.

there really isn’t anything you can say that’ll make me feel ok about it.
i’ve been really taken advantage of like that myself, many times, and it’s not in any way ok.

Would you just come over sometime when I want to test a gourmet meal and we can try cooking together?
I just want some honest partnership, a good friend, so if youre okay with that.. that would be relaxing.
So… is that something that I said that you are okay with?
cooking, friendship, companionship
Jk
. Just fuckin with you
No yes.. that is right!
Yes that would be a nice start to a good friendship
Is that okay with you?

sure

[Anything so you don’t get me fired]

Me too.

those were my intentions last night before whiskey got involved

Well, I got wind of that while talking with you longer and I thought it would be right to not make assumptions and to learn more about you.
Btw I told my dad what happened. Lol

[Because that is a totally normal thing to tell your father.]

what?! and he said, i assume, “you idiot.”
i meant my intentions last night were not what happened
they haven’t been at all
i don’t make a habit out of having sex with [people at work], yknow?

[Dad] said… “good luck at work” very sarcastic like im a stupid idiot and should have known better.
Yea I got ya

well, 2 different kinds of people and this would be a recipe for disaster

Do you mean IF this was? Or just if this was another type of person?

if either of us were a different kind of person, i think we’d be in a truly shit situation right now. but apparently we’re both adultish

True. We care about each other. Thats what counts

[“We care about each other?” That’s where we are now? Sincerely? Fuck off.]

But a recipe for disaster… I dont know about that.
Haha
WHOA THORNS!

truly a facepalm moment; i am so embarrassed.

You shouldve seen the other side.

yeah that’s just not ok. that’s tacky as fuck.

I was really shocked this morning.

i can certainly see why

Looked in the mirror and was like holy shit! Haha
It was nice. Made me feel wanted. Very cool

[THESE ARE NOT THING THINGS SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN SEXUAL ASSAULTED WOULD SAY!! “Made me feel wanted?” Please!]

you must have such a skewed sense of who i am now

[There is more to this statement than just this incident. At our bar gatherings, I would often pick up the tab, and I would sometimes do the same for food. Harold took that to mean way more than it did, thinking I was picking up his check to express interest in him. NOPE! I just do that sometimes for my friends. He also took my inviting him to the bar as a come-on, which it most definitely was not; it was a way to help a person new to the group feel included.]

No

pissing you off paying for your food and whatnot too often, taking advantage of you, and scarring your ribs.
who the hell is this person?

I am taking you at face value.. granted Ive seeb this before so Im trying to not let you embarrass yourself mixed with how unusual I am. But I just want you to feel good.

lol. “trying not to let you embarrass yourself” is not congruent with me feeling good.
i feel like you think i’ve had these untoward intentions all along, and that’s not the case. i’m just an open person, a friendly person, a flirty person.
yes, you’re attractive, but i had no plans to do anything on that front.
but thank you for not writing me off as a complete shitshow

Yea but I just saw some simalar things and I didnt want you to get caught up in it.. advanced level secret kinda thing, I just wanted you to be yourself again

i’m not parsing “advanced level secret kinda thing.” how do you mean?
but please don’t apply what you’ve seen previously seen in similar situations to me, because i guarantee something else is the case. i am not those people.

Huh? Did you mean “previously sent onto me”?

sorry, “previously seen,” as in, behaviors and patterns you’ve seen in others likely will not apply to me.
i think you are likely a person worth knowing, and that we have some communication style gaps to cross
plus, we’ve been informed by vastly different life experiences
i’m ridiculously naive and trusting, and you’re more wary and cautious. both serve purposes, both have drawbacks.

Its like mario bros.. you can either play all the levels or have someone tell you which tube to take. I JUST figured I would let you know which tube to take to get closest to my heart. Sorry.

nonono – don’t misunderstand – “getting closest to your heart” is not my end goal here.
i appreciate direct and honest communication – that’s what i want. 100%
i think text-based discussions like this are probably causing some misunderstandings, too
especially since you have to type it all out on your phone, ugh

Absolutely.

very sincere question – what do you think i want from you?

I dont know at this moment. Seems like a question like “how & when” did my website get hacked? I understand youre trying to be sincere, which I assume but what if I dont pick up on social ques whether vocally or textually. So I dont know? What do you want from me?

that’s fine – i just want to make sure you don’t think i have some kind of agenda. i don’t. what i want from you is to get to know you better, develop a solid friendship, and have fun hanging out with a group or without. that’s all – no intentions otherwise.
i was afraid for a moment you might think i was looking for a boyfriend

Haha. I dont know what you want, I figured you wanted a girlfriend earlier on, so a guy wasnt really in the picture but it doesnt change anything.

not looking for any kind of committed partnership with guy, girl, animal, vegetable, or mineral.
but ok. air cleared. fresh start.

[Subtext: Please don’t report me to HR]

Fresh start was there all along
Youre a great woman. What can I say.
• 12/28/15, 5:17 AM

[The next day, I had lunch with a good friend of mine. I told her what had happened, and asked for her opinion. At that point, I was beginning to suspect something was not right – I had regained a clear head, and a better perspective, and nothing was lining up.

I relayed the events, and showed her some of the text messages. “Edar. Those are DEFinitely not things he would say if you’d attacked him. Those are things he would say if he wanted to date you. This asshole thinks you’re his girlfriend now. I’m not even joking.”

Hearing her echoing the thoughts I’d been mulling around in my head made me feel so much better. Validated.

Later, Harold texted me, asking what my plan was for our NYE outing. I offered a few options, but said I remembered he had said he didn’t want to go to any parties.]


I did say something similar but it wasnt exactly that. It was that I wanted a party but everybody at the last minute, changed plans and went to another party bc on nye every new party seems better. Hard to describe. Yea I wanna go to a party
I just want it to be a good one!

ah ok – i misunderstood or misremembered. what’s a good party for you?

Oh my.
something that is not approved of.. a little bit crazy, a little bit silly, a little bit sexy? Tough question.

these parties are fairly tame

Thats cool. Going to bed. Night
• 12/30/15, 6:10 AM

[We did go out for awhile on New Year’s Eve, and had an awkward time, thankfully most of it with friends (one of my most favorite people even came out with us the whole time to chaperone at my desperate request,) and he behaved himself.

At the end of the night, however, he was very well into his cups. I hadn’t had anything but a sip of homemade spiced rum all night, because I wanted no chances of a repeat occurrence. I had dubbed myself the designated driver to avoid being heckled into drinking.

I dropped off our chaperone, and drove Harold home. He wouldn’t get out of my car. No, we instead had to have a very long, confusing, many-vectored, fork-bomb-like “conversation” which mostly involved him whining and begging for me to come inside, “just for one drink,” “just for a minute,” “just for a kiss,” “just to spend the night and cuddle, nothing has to happen.” Needless to say, my resolve stayed firm.

After about 30 minutes of this asinine back-and-forth, he started getting Cranky. Harold turns into a belligerent drunk after sufficient time/drinks have passed. The 180-degree turn is radical, and, if you’re not prepared for it, it will take you by surprise.

He went from trying to hold my hand to vicious, snarky remarks about how he’s seen “my kind” before – older women targeting him to be their boyfriend. I assured him that was the farthest possible thing from my mind, but he wouldn’t listen. Instead, he went off the deep end disparaging both me and himself for another 20 or so minutes – before circling back and wheedling some more to get me inside.

I got really firm and ordered him out of my car, moments from either punching him in the face, or driving to the police station. He finally complied, and I went home to find this text:]

It was very special to met you before the year ended and also after the year began.
• Jan 1, 6:23 AM

[I was too pissed off to reply.]

Haha. Thank you for taking me out. I had a really fun time and appreciate what you did for me.
• Jan 1, 3:16 PM

you’re welcome. how are you feeling today?

I have a huge hangover.lol I just woke up a bit ago. Was on the phone with my dad
• Jan 1, 4:35 PM

sorry about the hangover. i’m glad i don’t get them.
do you remember the stuff we talked about in the car?
Jan 1, 5:02 PM

Barely. Actually not at all.
Which probably really sucks. I’m sorry.

it was all important stuff, but no worries.

Im sure It will come back to me though.

we can cover it again sometime if need be

Okay.
I would like that.
I just hope I didnt say anything to hurt your feelings.

you did, but it was also a good talk in many ways – or at least, it would’ve been if you remembered it.
i think i may have gotten through to you on the whole “no really, i don’t want to date you, i didn’t ever want to date you, and i never had intentions of having sex with you but that happened and let’s just move on” front.
you seemed very convinced i was out for you from the moment we met
which is 100% untrue
but we’ll rehash it whenever
altho, even after that talk, you were still badgering me to spend the night.
you were so fucking drunk.

Okay now I remember. Ah yes. Yes it was a good talk. I dont ever want to hurt your feelings. And yes I was.. Thank you again. You made it great.

[Pretty sure he doesn’t remember shit, because from his perspective, the talk was not “good,” let alone “great.”]

Got a question for you. Do you remember holding hands?
• Jan 3, 2:42 AM

i remember everything from NYE – i wasn’t drinking. i remember letting you hold my hand because it was proving to be pointless to get you to stop trying, and holding your hand was harmless. why.
Jan 3, 4:30 AM

Oh the jabs… well i remember all of it too, with some help.
Memories are always in a place, you just need the trigger to get them back.
Thank you for being patient enough to give me a tidbit to get it back. I Dont normally get to have a New Years so doing something that everyone else has done for years as their nye was really special.
• Jan 3, 4:46 AM

[Thus concludes the text surrounding incidents and NYE. However, in the following months, the onslaught of bizarre accusations and rambling thoughts continued.]

[Days pass, random unimportant texts do, too.]

Btw I really like that site whydoesedardrink. That was really cool. I had no idea but I think I need to get you some fine whiskey… and at some point you should tell me your bday so I can reciprocate.
• Jan 18, 2:44 AM

thanks for the compliment on the site

It was nice to see another side of you that everybody cares about.
Whens ya bday?

[Then… shit gets slightly weird weird.]

I sometimes (past two nights) get the feeling you can see what Im typing before I press send.. kinda like chats. If so thats ok just let me know if so.

lol, i can’t see what you’re typing

[Paranoia?]

My favorite was Jacks <spit-take> combined with your love of using <anal-fisting> hilarious
Yea fucking great people!!
It always seems like everyone is better at making humor/comedy via message. I am not so good at that because Im literal most of the time
Oh well

i do much better over writing than i do in person
when i try to tell a story or say something funny, i stumble all over myself
i had this long story about an impromptu boat ride in the gulf of mexico that was part fiasco part “what the fuck was i thinking,” part dumb luck, and it usually comes out, “i saw a boat once.”

I think youre good at it. But thats just me understanding what you say.

that makes one person who gets it
cuz even i do not

I still think you can make some art though. Also I was thinking but afraid to ask. Would you be up for a trivial pursuit night some time?
I dont want it to be a big group thing, just something light.

Whens the last time youve thoughr of something that has made you completely relaxed and went and did that?

i don’t even remember what that feels like.
i am bad at relaxing.
there are things i enjoy doing, but they don’t relax me, per se.

I am too. I just realized that idea while we were talking, and thought… when was the last time I was relaxed, and then asked you too. I dont know.. I dont know.
Me too . But they are imaginative.. like I think they would make me relax.
Phfew.. i dont know either.. the regularity of work, the problem solving gets my mind off of the fact my life is not the greatest. A warm bath, talking, falling asleep next to person I was talking with, waking up with them, continuing the conversation. Not thr answer, but the start.

<nod> sounds like a good start indeed. 
Feb 5, 5:15 AM

Erin, how are you doing? You seem to be absent as leader figure. Are you ok? What is dragging you down? You are a pinnacle , pure relaxment, pure fight, pure balance. A lot of people need you. Yes you. But balance it.
• Feb 10, 4:44 AM

I dont think you realize, that who I am is all because of Red.

i couldn’t realize – i never met him, and i don’t know much about your past. i’m really sorry you’re hurting.

I didnt think that you would, but thats why I said that. So you knew. This is really really bad. He was the glue that IS “the family” not to mention the only friend I had that knew how alone I was. We were both confidants of lonelyness. Not something you strive for but it happens when you purposely do nice gestures to people in need. He was so much better at it than I was.

it’s always so hard to try to come to grips, to be able to move forward, when suffering a loss like this. he can still be the glue, though – you all hold him in your hearts, and remember him. and, if you believe he might still be around and watching, you can still talk to him and perhaps find comfort there. it sounds like you’re a better person for having known him; carry that legacy with you, strive to live up to it.

Talk to him?
Copy pasta? Admit it. If so.

what?
i mean you can still talk to him, as if he were still here. i’m not copying/pasting anything, i’m typing.
but now, i am also going to bed.

ERIN, your messages came in out of order bc of hangouts. Dont go.
I have no one to talk to.

i’ll try to stay awake a bit longer
i’m sorry you don’t have anyone to talk to… your dad isn’t of any comfort?

Is your Dad up right now?

i didn’t mean right now, specifically, but yes – he is. i wouldn’t expect anyone else’s to be, though.
i thought you meant you didn’t have anyone else to talk to in general.

Sorry for bothering you.

you’re not bothering me, Harold.

I know, but I wanted to talk with someone that knew me better, and you do. In little ways, but still, you do.

i can talk to you

I appreciate it. I really do. ‘

please forgive me if i fall asleep, though – i really was just getting settled for sleeping. i should be awake a bit longer, but just in case, etc.

T for sure! Go to bed.
Well.. your g shit always is delayed. So there is a relay in there somewhere.. thats why you will always get 3 messages that are sent from hangouts that are always less than the charachter count,but still send in 3 messages.
When you could send it in one text
BUT sending one text in hangouts actually sends 3 and 2 are noticed
Anyway
Have you ever been hit on at a funeral. I have, it was from someone my grandmother really respected too.

Yikes, that would be terrible

I am exagerating what happened. That was just my perception. I dont think that was planned
It was awkward though.
Laugh about it later kind of shit
Just super weird at the time
But right now. This is way serious. Yea got plenty of stories like that. Oddities, unknowns I guess.

Hey Erin! Do something dirty and non-authoritative in respect of my grandfather, whether it be doing something you shouldnt do, or just having a scotch tomorrow. Thank you.
I really stayed at work today bc that was something that he was proud of. He was very happy that I was working at Liquidweb even though he didnt know exactly what it was. He was happy that I worked hard even though it was easy for everyone else.
• Feb 25, 5:21 AM

it will be a pleasure to have a drink in red’s honor later on tonight.
i’m sure he was really proud of you; that should make you feel good.
Feb 25, 1:08 PM

Thank you Erin and thanks for talking to me last night.

i wish i’d been able to stay awake for you longer, but i was knackered.

Its okay. I just cried a lot more.

that’s good tho
Feb 25, 3:29 PM

 

And Erin, you have been so kind to me. You try to understand me. Thank you
Its just Ive lost my only friend that I was able to comiserate with on how lonely I was as well.
• Feb 26, 12:59 AM

you’re welcome – i’m happy to listen. i don’t feel as if i’ve been able to do much for you, but do let me know if you need anything.

Okay. Thank you.

i’m sorry you’re still feeling lonely. you have many people who like you.

how was the service today?

Service. There was no service. It was burial. We buried him the way he wanted. Face down… so the rest of the world could kiss his ass.

he sounds like quite a man

 

Pic would be apreciated too

of?

Just you being you. Thats all.

nope. 

Ok. Well I am going to go to sleep so if you find it, it would be nice. Nite Erin.
• Mar 12, 5:12 AM

cone over and drink.
Come

sorry, no.

You shoulda just came over.
I do know that you have not been vocal/chat or otherwise.
It’s been a weird 6 or so months
Maybe your good leadership has been to gather and support, keep together, the people that want to move forward. I could see that.

That’s often the case with me. I’m a catalyst.

I really wish you could have came over, we could have talked about all this.
“The thing you do”
Jk
You are less than 10 blocks away. Come o er.
Missed the v

Pretty sure it’s father than that, but regardless, sorry, no.

I think its less
Yes. Next time of course. Okay.
Btw I thought it was funny last week when I asked you for a pic and you were expecting me to ask for some puss shot and I just said show me a picture of what you see and I thought it was nice.

Didn’t think you were asking that

I wasnt. But got the impression you thought I was … at the time..

Nope
You read so much into me. Stop it.

What? What am I doing?

Over-analyzing what you think I’m thinking

I do, but now Im wondering if I should have expressed that sexual side..

I’m not following. If you’re talking about the clusterfuck from December, yeah – you should not have “expressed that sexual side.”

[He immediately tried to call. I didn’t answer.]

Voicemail
Hey, Erin, This is Harold. I was just giving you a call. You’re not available to take my call. I just call and leave a message.
00:00/00:11
Mar 18, 4:58 AM

Btw, I just was asking because I am still down. Just wanted someone in the house. You could have sat and read a book for all I cared… I dunno, Im not settled with this loss yet.

it would be surprising if you were fully settled with it – it was a huge loss, it’ll take some time.
i’m sorry i wasn’t fit for human consumption tonight.

Well a spot on the couch could have been claimed and I would have been okay.

Are you joking with me right now? 

You could have done your own thing it wouldnt have mattered.

Jesus, you’re being serious. Harold, I will not be coming over to your house alone at any point in time, now or in the future.

Still up? If not could you call me before you go to work tomorrow? I need a huge favor, for someone to pick me up anything that helps with anti inflammatory as I have nothing at the house and can barely walk, definitely not drive.

i’m up, but i have the supervisor meeting at 1400 😞
if i have time after that and before work, definitely can
they’ve been shorter lately, so i should be able to

Anything. Im really in a lot of pain right now, if anyone has old antibiotics ( i know thats really bad) i dont care.

why would antibiotics help?
if it’s inflammation, they won’t do anything except fuck up your intestinal fauna

Antibiotics can help with inflammation sometimes

i feel like that’s untrue. they only help with infection, afaik.

I dont know, i dont care

well before you start throwing pills down your throat, how about a doctor?

I dont have a doctor right now

if only there were a way to fix that.
i know eric craig will come get you if i can’t

i’ll text you either when the meeting is done, or sometime after 1500 if i can’t get away in time

Okay. Thank you.

K thankyou
• Mar 24, 4:59 AMvia Project Fi

Made it to a doctor, no need to call.

good! what was the diagnosis? if you don’t mind sharing – if you do, is totally ok.

There wasnt really a diagnosis, I told them what I thought it was, and let them know what I took last time to fix it and they precribed it. Its probably a severe case of gout.

right on. i hope it clears up soon!

Hopefully.
On a scale of pain last night 1-10 that was an 8

that’s brutal
really glad you saw a dr tho

Yea well it was hard since my driving foot was the one that had the problem.

yeah that’s miserable
Mar 24, 10:33 PM

Hey come on over.
You can bring pets inside. Only you though.

we’ve talked about this, harold.

Oh okay..
Just come over and sleep.. if you stay awake.

Harold. NO.
Mar 31, 5:15 AM

Its not an offer. Its an everyday thing. The “no drive” thing. Understood. I was hoping you would have brought your pets, and I could have made beds for them too. No worries.
I cant expect you to transistion this late at night.
I am still kinda stuck to playing a game of trivial pursuit, just you and I. You might wonder why I keep bringing it up. Sorry.
I cant do anything but wish you well if you are not here. And if not here to wish (try to fix ) , but you dont tell me so how can I know? Goodnight. Last couple weeks you were adding to your attire. Looked stunning!
• Mar 31, 5:36 AM

Haha that was alot
• Mar 31, 2:41 PM

thanks for the compliments on the clothes – am trying to make myself feel better by trying to look better on the outside, i guess.

Well youre doing great at it. I found trivial pursuit at barbes and noble but it was 60 bucks so I didnt really feel like buying it.

ouch, yeah – that’s a bit steep.

Well if youre not doing anything later let me know.
• Mar 31, 5:17 PM

whoops, sorry – just saw this. do have plans after work, alas.
Mar 31, 6:23 PM

You should come over and chat after work to vent, I want someone to talk to as well…
• Mar 31, 10:24 PM

[And here… here is where we go off the rails.]

So are you stopping by for friendship?
Are you scared to visit?

[“Stopping by for … friendship?” What?!]

i was planning to call you in a bit so we could talk over what you wanted to vent about

No. I wanted to talk to you in person. I didnt want a call to subverse that.
As well I didnt need to vent, you do! I’M trying to help you out but you wont let me.

i’m not coming over. when i’m done here, it’s going to be close to or after 4.

All of that is ok. I know youre not coming over. Knew that before the original request. Was not expecting it, but I’m really worried about you. Give me some leway in a way that I can atually care about you.

i’m going to be ok, promise. i’m a very difficult person to help, but i do appreciate the offer immensely, thank you.

[The next day]

Erin, you promised that you would call me. You didnt. There is something important about you
You flaked

Harold. i said i was going to call you – you told me not to, that you wanted to see me in person. i did not flake.

That was quick and like you saw it before I typed it.

i’m typing on a keyboard remember.
do you think i work for the nsa or something?

Don5 bullshit me.

i don’t even know what you’re talking about right now.

I dont care if you do. Good d3al
Erin, just go to bed.
You still flaked
No legitemacy to her promises
Dammit, can you extract yourself? Can you lighten things up for a bit? I’m afraid youre taking everything so literal thats it causing you stess. Dammit we needed to talk.
If you get to point of doubting yourself then somethi g is wrong

You are highly variable, and that stresses me out. You ask me to lighten up after accusing me of lying to you.
I think we should just plan on seeing and communicating with each other at work and nothing more.
Apr 1, 3:49 AM

You did not lie to me and I would never think that you would. I TRUST you implicitly! And that is why we need to talk, because ypu dont know how I feel about certain tjings and I think you should. Im just trying to levee your added pressure and trying to find a way to alleviate it for you. You did so much for me in the beginning. The highly variable stuff will be very static, I was giving plently of oportunites to know but it seemed that you didnt care to.
Rains are there. Just grab them.

I want to be clear I’m not angry or upset. If you read through our conversation history when you’re sober, I think you’ll understand why I have to keep my distance.
Heading to bed. Nite.
Apr 1, 4:10 AM

Who said I wasnt sober, ( judgement) waiting for your call like you promised. Sleep well. Yea its txt, everybody can read through it. Next time just stop by like a normal friend.
Goodnight E.D.
And bottom line. I care about you. I do. I think about you every day. I dont know if that matters or not to you. If you dont think that is okay then fine. I was just trying to make something that is more advanced than topical.
And now I feel like total shit. Thank you very much.
• Apr 1, 4:43 AM

Because you feel that my conversations are not stable(but who’s should be? Its communication) but yet you leave it at topical, rather than personally talking to me. Stop by…, borrow some sugar …like a normal person. Youre still worried about something but I dont know why or from what? And last night I started to feel like it was my fault for your problems… your problems are not mine.I have taken on caring about your problems, you dont know that,… but I do. I feel like youre so scared of me because youre worried about telling me about your life. Fine. Whatever. Ps dont ever tell me “when youre sober” in another text again. I choose when I want to talk to you and so do you. Stop cutting me down.
Not only are you worried about your career, your motherly instinct isnt working and you might need advice… or people that are friends that care about you.
You should have stopped over.
• Apr 1, 5:17 AMvia Project Fi

Just a side note, I have no idea why you think you need to prim & proper yourself. Who are you trying to impress? Is someone looking for something more?, dont change just wait it out .patience my friend.
• Apr 1, 6:09 AMvia Project Fi

Eh that was horrible. Sorry about that.
Apr 1, 6:15 PMvia Project Fi

Thank you for calling me out on that today. It helped. I needed some self reflection and I appreciate you for noticing. I really do.
• Apr 7, 3:23 AMvia Project Fi

And I understand youre doing the best thing. But , how you did it was super polite and it made me respect you more. And made me grow. I am trying to become a better participant at work. There are things that I want to do but there are technical topics that I am limited to , but Im pushing myself by not hanging out and studying instead.
• Apr 7, 3:51 AM

Erin, I understand that you are under a lot of pressure to change things. Do it. Take hold of the team you have. Strongest team there is. Someone must have decided to give you that in the first place… whomever decided that… thought that you could use that to change the company. Noone gets so many power players on the first round…to see what they can do with them. They gave you the cards!
Stop worrying and start accepting your empowerment.
And then do something about it! . Be the person you wanted to be at home, and care and nurture your team.
I am limited. I am alone. So dont trust my ideas. But maybe I could have some relevance.
• Apr 7, 5:12 AM

AND.. thats why this isnt personal in the first place because its just a link to some fake phone number that is redirected to chat client that you may or may not pay attention to… DNA it was personal to me. You were important to me even though you persisted on me. Do you even remember how many nights you tried to talk to me? A lot. And now .. i have a question, who am I supposed to look up to, it was you.. but my questions go unanswered. So who is the leader? Is it you anymore?
• Apr 7, 5:27 AM

I respect you more than you know. When you tell me Im fucking up I listen. We both know that. Btw trivial pursuit was not about the challenge.. it was about the chance that you could have a possibly embarrassing time without worring about be embarrassed… you didnt like the one on one, which is my most helpful trait. I wanted to show you so much as well. I will never hold these regrets as they can always be settled. But youre backing off I know that, so just say that…
Youre stopping talking. So say that. Define your point. You are one of only a few people that has this kind of strength.
Its hard that I honestly like you in a way that wouldnt matter what you did. Just like you. I know youre backing off because you know that too. Dont think about it too much, we both have exciting lives to live and sharing that is what makes it special. Care about you. Sure you care about me too in your own way. Ty
• Apr 8, 3:33 AM

Ps. Youre not a nun, so dont try to be one, no perfectly straight legging are going to show that, and only someone that was taught that would understand it. This is our time, not a time for regret. ANY impression to a group of sales people will not work. Unless you make them desparate. This type of people are very nice, but we are different.
• Apr 8, 3:55 AM

Stop trying to be someone youre not.
I like you just the way you are.
• Apr 8, 5:18 AM

Harold, please stop texting me.
Apr 8, 5:44 AM

Im not stupid, youre the one that sucked me into talking to all the time… now that you dont want to, or are tired of it.. i hesitated for good reason.. because I had seen people that create novelty out of their own want and then… thier own curiosity bores them… thanks alot for making me your plaything. I still cant understand how you couldnt make the time to drop off ibuprofin. You were the only one I trusted and you made me go through all that pain. That hurt. Not only physically, but mentally to know you lacked the courage to help when it was really important, and basically I was disipointed because you had made me look up to you… i dont know what to say…
Okay. I just saw that. I’ll stop texting you. Removing your number now.
Fattening Frogs for Snakes, Sonny Boy Williamson & AnimalsFattening Frogs for Snakes, Sonny Boy Williamson & Animals
One last thing. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-b-UF0FlZjo
• Apr 8, 6:04 AM

I’m not going to respond to anything further. You are not rational.
• Apr 8, 6:08 AM

[He left me alone after that – our interactions were strictly and thankfully professional only. Until this past week.]

Erin, I just got off work a while ago, but I wanted to wish you Merry Christmas belated. I hope you had relaxing time and enjoyed every bit of it.
• Mon, 2:50 AM

Thanks Harold – Merry Christmas to you as well 🙂
Mon, 11:13 AM

So another year has went by, but I wanted to let you know that my last birthday was very special to me and thank you for being a part of it because you truely enriched it and made my life happier. Thank you so much!

have a wonderful evening with your friends 
Fri, 10:39 PM

I just went out with my family. Youre going to have a great year. . I can feel it! You have a special place in my soul, friendship, and heart for everything you are and have done. I hope to return it with the same warmth youve given me.

thank you for your kind words
Fri, 10:58 PM

Well you are.we can talk more about ark at work.. And you will always be highlighted in my mind as someone that genuinely cared about me. So the kind words are insignificant compared to how much I appreciate you. Even though youre busy most of the time. You are appreciated and awed and looked up to so much more than you know. I Hope you feel cared about… because you are!
Ok. Enough words. Good night. And have a very happy new year.
But as “short round” (temple of doom)once said… lets hope for
“Fortune and Glory!”
• Fri, 11:16 PM

Hey would care to do me a huge favor on your way home?

[ARE YOU FUCKING JOKING WITH ME?!]

i really appreciate all of that, and thanks harold. what do you need?

Its a horrible request. And I did not spend and hour trying to tell you all that.. just for a thought of how to enjoy my bday before it happens a day later, but 4 tall boys. Miller or bud.

[YOU’RE BEING SERIOUS. YOU WANT ME TO BRING YOU FUCKING BEER?!]

i’m sorry, but i have plans.
Fri, 11:57 PM

[Aaand then we’re off to the races again.]

Thats great. Dont let me bother you with “on purpose ideas that are not sexy on purpose” and ” well I just dont know you well enough, but I want too ideas.” Im glad you denied the beer run girl idea.. i realized after about 30 minutes of what I had had said, I had no choice but to ask you, but my initial reation was just to thank you. Got all screwey. Sorry, but not sorry. Love to learn about what you think sometime!
Eh. I try. I care about you. Thats the simplified version of it.
Have a great time then. Cheers!
Just out of curiosity, why did you skirt, knowing you had plans.. for a simple drop off favor?

i didn’t know what you wanted – you didn’t say you needed to have something dropped off.
your house isn’t really on my way home, so i thought maybe it was something else.

It wasnt something else, I know better to know when Im not wanted but to just be casual.My house is a straight shot east, then south to your house. We can work on the frienship thing, I know I already am. Sorry if I have caused you doubt about that strong part of our relationship.
12:37 AM

Its okay. Have fun. Never a worry because I know we can always talk about it if we are confused about descrepancies. Thank you wonderful.
• 12:55 AM

You are amazing in my eyes, and dont let anyone tell you different.mucho lovo googly goo and all that messy unconfortable stuff. Big hugs and slopply wet kisses. Youre my favorite! Good night sweet uncomfortable princess. Wish you the best, just like you treat me all the time. Thank you again!
1:36AM


That’s the end of things thus far.

To anyone who read the whole thing, thank you – I would love your input, anything you would like to share.

 

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3 Comments

  1. Holy fucking hell.
    I’m so sorry you have to deal with this. This is *exactly* what an abusive relationship looks like. Holy gaslighting. Fuck.
    I’m literally sitting here holding my phone speechless.
    I just keep thinking that I want to kill this guy.

  2. Words don’t do the feelings justice. You have my eternal apology and KNOW that it’s not your fault. If I could rescue you from that fate, or any of those similar in your past, there are no limits to what lengths I would go to do so.

    You’re beautiful inside and out and you always will be. Always remember to keep focused on your dreams, your desires, your life, and your happiness. Let such treachery and tragedy wash off you as only someone with your strength can manage. Your infinite goodness and innocence will always shine through in the end. Peace be with you airynd. <3

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