Disability / Emotionally Present / Lived Experience/Memoir / Time-specific

Let This Be A Lesson To You

On December 13th (just passed), I fled the house where just the day before, I had just been called an ignorant cunt, where my face had been spat all over, and where a man reached out and grabbed me by the throat before turning me against a wall and squeezing. I did this because, though he was escorted away by officers of the law and assault charges against him petitioned on my behalf by those officers, a second man remained in the house who was reporting my every movement over the phone with the first. I was picked up by a friend who had distanced himself from me over some political differences we both take quite seriously, and he took me to where I finally ate for the first time in nearly two days while my entire life sat unattended in the back of his pick-up truck in the basement parking lot. When I finally received confirmation that someone was around to let me in at my final destination that day, we got moving again, and an hour later, I was shifting my personal belongings around the condo I was told I could live in from January 1st. That promise had been made to me in the middle of November by the woman who was renting that condo, who also promised me that if the lease would not be renewed there, we would find a place to be together. This was critical, because I trusted her — and her alone in that moment — with my safety.

She had filled out my disability paperwork in the end of November, claiming the otherwise easy-to-deal-with and pleasant landlords would get “really sketchy” about doing it themselves, so I told her how to fill out the paperwork so the cheque would be issued directly to her. Instead, my full disability benefits were dropped directly into my account, and I was trusted to sort the rent out with her myself. She told me that if it was needed, she could provide me with a signed letter from the landlords, authorizing her to sublet, and that she could provide me with receipts as well. I declined, stating that these are probably not necessary (and I didn’t say it then, but I may as well say it now: neither social services nor the residential tenancy office buys that type of shit and neither do I). I knew that I would be a mere occupant in the condo, which meant that I would not have the rights or responsibilities of a tenant, but I trusted her because I believed she was my friend.

I trusted the wrong person, and this became overwhelmingly apparent to me on December 14th, when I found out through a third party that she had made all of these promises to me with absolutely no intentions of ever fulfilling them. She had clearly already made up her mind about leaving by the time she was filling out that paperwork, and she would be departing with Third Party on January 1st, leaving me to find a way to live with someone I barely knew at all. Someone whose confidentiality she had violated by making disclosures of an intimate nature to me about him — disclosures that are grossly inaccurate in some respects while very sincerely unsettling me with regards to what was actually accurate. Especially now that I had to find a way to live with and trust this person, while carefully navigating around what what had been disclosed to me months before, when he was probably in much the same state of mind I found myself in after the assault on December 12th. You know. The kind of delicate tip-toeing around and taking up as little space as possible, as I had already been doing for the six weeks prior to the assault from which I needed a safe place to begin my recovery. Not exactly the social location I would like to once again find myself in so immediately after such a traumatic event. Certainly not when, as I laid my head to rest on December 13th, not yet knowing what I would find out within 24 hours, I was sobbing through flashbacks of being strangled. And no more so after the overwhelming news of how I had been betrayed and lied to for nearly a month, on December 14th.

I burst into tears when she finally told me herself, that her promises (made under fraudulent circumstances) meant nothing. I thought of every time she had told me how loyal she is to her friends, and I felt my heart turning to ice for her. She attempted first to placate me with physical affection. I was a fucking train wreck. I didn’t want to be touched. Then she explained to me about how much “notice” she was giving me before I had to find a new place to live and be safe in, as if she was doing me a favour by breaking her promises to me and rather boldly violating my sense of trust when I most needed to know exactly who I can trust. I told her, as she must have known herself already, that it took four (and a half) months (and an assault) to get to this point, where I was met with betrayal (by someone who has sworn up and down to her undying loyalty). I told her that two and a half months isn’t enough time. I just know this is going to happen again, because I don’t know who I can trust. I told her that I have a magnificent talent for bringing out an entire other side of people that no one has seen before and that most people just can’t or won’t believe because it’s so out of character for them, and that’s what puts me in danger every time. She tried to soothe my concerns by telling me how she can connect me to genuinely good friends of hers who are looking for roommates. I said I would have to think about it. I said no matter what I do, she has forced me into a position in which I have no choice but to trust her (when she has already violated my trust).

Then Third Party started asking what my perfect outcome would be. I said there is no fucking “perfect” for someone with my collective disadvantages. If there was even a slim chance at “perfect”, would I be sitting there acutely aware of just how vulnerable I now am? Again! So he started rephrasing himself: “What would be your ideal outcome?” he said. I said to him, “You don’t get it.” Third Party and his soon-to-be housemate both started talking, as if to each other, about how it’s just in their nature to try to fix everything. They both wanted to hug me again. I still didn’t want to be touched. I felt like a fucking porcupine, and I wasn’t sure who I was defending any more — was I defending myself from being hurt any further, or was I defending them from the hurt they would pick up by touching me? I needed distance but didn’t have anywhere to put myself. Then she started asking me if I had ever fallen in love. She told me that she has to follow her heart, as tears began to well up in her eyes. She told me she is going to marry Third Party (they had only been seeing each other for about a month). I told her I’d like to be happy for her, but I have to put priority on my own safety first. I couldn’t believe her arrogance, trying to convince me to put my concerns for my continued safety aside so that we could all share gushy warm feelings over her finding the love of her life. It made me furious.

The next morning, she packed up a suitcase full of her personal belongings and didn’t come back until more than two weeks later (leaving her cat behind without so much as asking first if either of the two of us remaining would be OK to take care of it), the night before an inspection she only told me about while she was on her way back with Third Party. She told me that I couldn’t smudge, even on the patio outside, because she attributed “sketchiness” to the property owners and claimed that my smudging could leak in through the sealed bedroom window, which would then leave the smell of smoke and result in an immediate eviction. I said that this isn’t legal. She started going on about a damage deposit totalling more than half a month’s rent (also not legal). I couldn’t care less about a damage deposit I have no stake in getting back. I got my things together and smudged in a park (in the rain) two blocks away instead. The next morning, I was told I had to leave the building while the landlords conducted the inspection. I knew deep down what this meant (i.e., that the landlords didn’t know about me and weren’t supposed to find out, either), and I was not pleased in the slightest.

She offered me a favour on-demand and asked if we’re “still friends”, as I have often been asked when I discover how persistently someone has been lying to my face for an indeterminate period of time. I realized in that moment that she’s not trying to “fix” this. She’s looking for a way out of this. She told me she’s “not pleased” that I feel like I’m receiving the shit end of multiple power imbalances. I told her that either her landlord is a bully or makes her feel and act that way — that this isn’t the portrait she was painting when she was telling me how pleasant and easy to deal with they are, while she was filling out my papers. She answered this by telling me she gave me “2 weeks free rent” in December, and Oh So Much Advance Notice. Believe me, if I wasn’t angry before, that made me want to pick everything up that very moment, and walk out without explaining myself.

I paid my share of the rent in the end of the month and began preparing to get myself out of there. Everything that could stay packed up remained that way at all times. I found two sympathetic friends with a spare room, and we agreed that I would be moving on March 1st. While this was going on, the woman to whom I was paying rent moved out, abandoning an entire kitchen full of cookware and flatware, and a number of large pieces of furniture, as well as two bathrooms, a storage room, and two closets full of personal effects, without giving any impression of what she intended to happen with anything that she left behind. For the sake of perspective, three of my previous flatmates did this to me, all in the same flat, all over the course of one year when they left, and I was on the hook to clean it all up myself. I was not pleased to see this happen again for a fourth fucking time. So for a little longer than two weeks, I had been living in this woman’s condo with her things (and her cat) while we were supposed to be living together there, and after the inspection, I was living with what was left of her things. I felt closed in and simultaneously too small to take up the enormous bedroom I was left in.

Then another inspection was going to take place, only this time, it was on the premise of selling the condo. I would have to leave for this one, too, and once again give the appearance in the room I was occupying that I was her. I made plans to just not be around, and came back long after the condo was sold on the spot. But just days before the second inspection, I learned that February should be a rent-free month, because she was entitled to receive a two-month eviction notice (due to the fact that the condo was being sold) and one month rent-free. I asked her if she was aware of this, and instead of answering this question, she informed me that she submitted written notice when she was told about the condo being sold. My jaw dropped. Was she fucking kidding me?

Why the fuck would she do that when she is legally entitled to one month rent-free because the place is being sold?

I talked to the flatmate whose privacy I felt I had to tip-toe around thanks to her violation of it a few months ago. He was not happy to learn about her decision. It did not matter how satisfied she was with it. He seemed to hear about it through Third Party somehow. I told him how unhappy I was sneaking around the property owners, because she had told me that she was an authorized landlord. He told me that’s not his understanding of it. I told him about the letter she said she had, authorizing her to sublet. He said that the reason I couldn’t be around whenever the landlords were there is because me living there is basically a violation of the lease.

What… the fuck?!

So now here I find myself, fully aware that not only have I been merely an occupant this whole time, taking a huge fucking gamble with my own safety and security, given that I have neither the responsibilities nor the rights of a tenant, but I’m an illegal one at that. I am a walking material breach of the lease, and that means that if the landlords should catch on to the fact that I’m living there, everyone gets evicted — only I get escorted out by police with no notice whatsoever. We’ve been living for the past month and a half under conditions of fraud, and this isn’t at all what I was consenting to. Had I known this, I wouldn’t have stayed longer than a few days at most. I certainly wouldn’t have fucking paid to be there, either. I made out alright even though the rent was far too big a burden for me on my limited income, but only because I had a lot of help that month. I anticipated with dread just how much help I was going to need for a second month, and who I would have to ask. But for what? To sit around waiting for the moment the landlords walk in unannounced, figure out what’s going on, and throw us all out?

Why would someone claiming to be my friend and claiming to be doing me a favour be lying to me this fucking much? What is she getting out of this that I don’t yet know about? And does she really think I’m that fucking stupid, that I won’t figure this shit all out myself?

While I weighed the decision to ask my March 1st flatmates if they would accept me as their flatmate a month early, I thought of how much this decision is going to fuck up the other tenant’s plans to stay in the condo until March 1st. I thought that what I was preparing to do was awful for him, but that it wouldn’t be this way if the woman I was renting from hadn’t decided for all of us that we needed to pay that extra month of rent when we were legally entitled to a month rent-free. I thought that if I stayed, he is in danger of being evicted faster than if I leave — that if I leave, and I leave as soon as possible, he still has a chance to find somewhere else to go, or at least has some time to scrape together the remaining portion of rent that would be missing in my absence (before the 10-day eviction notice for non-payment of rent can even be filed or issued against them). I thought at least he has a chance to get out of there quick while he still can, or to pull in some favours and pool it together between them, to buy himself more time to find somewhere else to go.

I also thought of the third person whose name is on that lease (oh yes, him too!), and who will be on the hook for my missing share of the rent — one of the original two tenants, who couldn’t bring himself to return to the condo even long after he had left it and she wouldn’t be there.

I thought of how angry she would be with me while I also thought of how constantly she has been lying to me over the past six weeks when I most needed to be able to trust her. I thought of every fucking thing she did to manipulate my emotions as much as possible, and hold me accountable for shit that doesn’t impact me in any way, no matter which way it plays itself out. I thought of every fucking instance in which she demanded sympathy from me for decisions she and Third Party made that had absolutely no bearing on me at all, and the consequences of which aren’t mine to deal with either. And I thought, “None of this is my problem. What the fuck is keeping me here other than me?”

I knew she would look for ways to blame me (even though literally every problematic component of this situation is her own doing), and I knew she would guilt trip me. I knew she would be angry, and I knew she would say I owe her. I knew she would start immediately gossiping about me to other people, and I knew I would receive hateful messages from her and any willing party in her little gossip posse. But none of it fucking matters to me.

Let this be a lesson to you. I’m a Satanist, and this is no secret. If you lie to my face, I’m going to do the same to you. If you treat me like shit, I’m going to return the favour. If you try to “hex” or guilt-trip me for your own lies and fuck-ups, it’s going to blow up in your own life — not mine. If you try to fuck me over, I’ll fuck back so fucking hard, it’ll follow you for the rest of your days if I can do anything to fucking help that along. If you try to blame me for this, as Third Party did when he sent me a message declaring that “bad things happen to [me] because [I’m] a bad person” and I “should be ashamed” of myself, you are only going to show everyone around you what a fucking sack of shit you are for blaming a very recent victim of domestic violence (not to mention a survivor of an entire fucking lifetime of trauma) for what happened to him.

It’s only been six weeks, for fuck’s sake. She didn’t honestly think I could just magically wave a fucking wand and make that event, which is representative of a nearly 30-year-long repetitive cycle of domestic violence and trans-generational abuse among my own blood relations, disappear, did she? She is aware I’m on long-term disability because of this fucking lifetime of trauma, is she not?

Bad things happen to me when I trust arrogant, shitty, two-faced, manipulative fuckfaces like this woman and her brand new fiancée, Third Party. And why do I trust them? But because I have few other options (all of which seem less comfortable or desirable), if any at all. I get fucked over because I was already vulnerable to begin with — something that seems to attract a fucking flock of sociopaths into my life. It’s not because I’m a “bad person”. It’s because they are a “bad person”. The woman at the centre of these events told me that my “karma” will “know what to do”. Well this is the fucking Rule of Three. It’s her threefold penalty for all the shit she’s been pulling over the past six weeks (ten weeks, really, since that’s when I know the lying about this arrangement started — much longer if you count all the other lying). I have absolutely no reason to believe my decision is the only aspect of the threefold law that’s coming to her. But that won’t be because of me. This piece of writing is the last thing I’m doing to acknowledge these events any further.

I live by the principle that people are not mere tools to be used at my whim and fancy to get me closer to the things or people I want. That’s why I don’t lie through my teeth whenever I think I can get away with it, or make false promises (in fact, I don’t make any promises unless I know I will do everything it takes to keep them). It’s why I’m fearlessly honest, even when the truth stings. It’s why I treat people with respect — because I respect myself enough that I’m neither afraid to face my own reflection in other people nor afraid of the consequences for how I treat them. I can’t say the same for her or for Third Party, but I can say those two are definitely made for each other. And they deserve everything they give each other. Let this be a lesson to you. It’s not going to be fucking pretty.

2 thoughts on “Let This Be A Lesson To You

  1. Wow, that’s some vicious stuff you went through. I wager they last less than a year before they turn on each other. Marriage after one month of knowing another is just insane. Clearly they are not the picture of stability.
    Promises seem, to me, as just sincere lies.
    Hope all works out well and I was somewhat fearful as being typecast as one of the sociopaths for commenting.
    Nonetheless, I find your writings interesting.

    • Yeah, the guy who wrote me to tell me how I should be “ashamed” of myself and how all the bad things that happen to me are essentially my own fault, also asked me two days after I was strangled, exactly how this keeps happening to me.

      It’s called victim-blaming and it seems to me that his new fiance is wilfully ignoring this behaviour for the time being, and probably will continue to do so until it’s punching her in the face (metaphorically speaking — it was metaphorically punching me in the face in the middle of December and the day after they figured out what happened in the end of January).

      Just you wait until you see tomorrow’s post. I think you’ll do back flips if you think this stuff is interesting.

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