Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following letter from a reader whom we’ll call “Celia.” Names have been changed. Read Part 1.
His home loan
Out of the blue one day, probably two weeks after I had arrived, he had me sit on his lap, and was stroking my arm lovingly. He casually asked if when my home sold, I could put the proceeds into his home loan. I got the strangest twinge of panic inside me, and asked him why I would do that. He immediately threw me off his lap and became tense and argumentative.
To calm him down, I suggested we maybe buy a holiday home together along the coastline somewhere. He was not interested at all. Thinking back, he probably had a stinky credit record and would not be able to get a further home loan. He wanted to steal my money from me. No more was said about this but I am sure he plotted more revenge toward me. It began to feel like he hated me, but I did not want to believe that so told myself I was being silly.
A few days later he asked to sign up for internet banking, as I only did telephone banking up until then. I preferred to go into the bank to do business as a little old fashioned I supposed. I told him I was not interested in the internet banking thing and why I felt that way.
Once again I got the cold shoulder treatment. I think he was so busy scheming and plotting on ways to get my money. He thought by having my banking under his control, he could pilfer cash without me knowing, maybe even open up debt in my name.
He also acted very strangely when it came to myself having any privacy. I felt a little invaded, but did not place too much importance on it at the time. These are some of the things that he started doing:
Demanding to read my emails, by asking for my password and id. If I changed the password he would demand to know it. That is how I knew he was monitoring all my emails.
He would take my mobile phone and read all my text messages, and also take note of incoming and outgoing calls. He would ask me for details of all activity. I began to lie to him a lot. I am not sure why I did so, but I began to feel scared and that I needed to protect myself. I also craved a bit of privacy. I learned to lie with a straight face and I can almost guarantee he never suspected me of lying. I felt it was like getting the upper hand on him as I could feel, but not prove, that he was lying to me about a lot of things. But still I stayed.
One day he came home from work and asked for my car keys. Told me he needed to move my car so he could park. This was not true as I had parked with consideration for his car to get in. He then came in, pottered around for a bit, then casually asked what I had done that day. Told him I had started working on my CV getting ready to apply for jobs. He asked if I had been out that day. I told him nowhere special. He then asked why my odometer reading was higher than the day before. I froze inside and that feeling of fear came over me again. I casually told him I had gone to the local coffee shop for a cuppa.
From then onward, I knew I was being stalked and felt real fear rising.
He then told me he did not want me to work, as he wanted me to be available to travel with him to places for work. Yet, that never happened. He was quite adamant about this. But to appear kind and understanding he said I could hand my CV in to a few hospitals around home. Which I did.
Within a week I had attended an interview and was offered a job on a casual basis, which is what I had requested. I was so happy and he saw it. He told me to decline the offer, as it was not a convenient time to begin working again. He worked so hard and with long hours, needed me to be available to spend time with. After all … this is what he wanted for us, to spend quality time together enjoying life.
Dinner with friends
A few months after moving to Melbourne, Brian told me we were having dinner with his friend and his girlfriend. Of course I was excited to meet them. Throughout dinner that ‘friend’ criticized his girlfriend and she spent the night crying. I was horrified. I felt so sorry for her. I would have kicked his **** if he had done that to me.
On the way home I told Brian how upset I was to witness that type of behaviour. He seemed so nonchalant about the night. He told me I should be happy I was dating him and not the nasty friend. Little did I know, those two were made from the same mold.
I started asking about his family and if I would meet them in the near future. He told me he had a brother and his father was a few hours drive away. His mother was deceased.
Over the next few weeks he told me how his brother was moving in on their father’s assets and trying to grab everything for himself. Brian was angry that his father seemed to prefer his brother to him. He resented them both. It seemed I was never going to meet his small family.
Whenever tension between us was building up, he would bring up his bad childhood to invoke my sympathies, but somehow I never felt ‘it’. His stories never seemed sincere so I could never quite be fooled 100%.
He would tell me how he was born with hip dysplasia, and that his mother would wrap him up in a cardboard box, place him on the kitchen windowsill, while they all went outdoors to play. He would watch his brother running around in the fresh air, picking fruit, playing games with his parents … and so on. I did make a comment to the effect of ‘ your poor mother’ … his face was laughable. The whole story was a farce.
Drive my car
He started asking if he could use my car to drive into the city for work, as his was having issues. I gave him permission to use it on occasion, as I liked having my car for myself. He lived in the mountains so I would have been totally isolated without transport. He would take my car early morning and return around 11 at night with it. The tank was always on empty. The tyres were getting worn and it was time for a service.
I asked him when he was going to service it, and he told me that was my problem. That was the last time he got to use it. I thank our Lord he gave me fairly strong boundaries to use when needed, or Brian would have used me up totally.
Another after thought … bet he was on dates with other ladies! Don’t want to appear paranoid here, but in all probability, he was.
On to him
I think he knew I was on to him, but I never let on that I was beginning to see him for the horrible person he was. I was determined to leave on my terms. I also had a feeling he would hurt me really bad if I tried to leave while he was present.
I would catch him gazing at me with a puzzled look on his face. He could not understand me now; the tables were turning, as I was not the easy open target anymore. Someone who he could manipulate and take advantage of.
Oh he tried to rattle my cage and get a response, i.e., when we drove into town he would park at least a 45 minute walk from the city centre and say we had to walk.
I love walking, I do a lot of sport … or used to before I moved in with him. But here’s the catch … he would suggest I wear my lovely high heels as it made my legs so sexy, that we might bump into his friends or clients and I had to look good, and so on … blah … blah.
I fell for it once. The blisters were so bad my feet were bleeding. Plus he purposely walked at a slow jogging pace so that the pain was increased. From then onward, I had my flats packed in my bag. He was always trying to stay one step ahead, but I was pretty quick to match his speed.
By now I was beginning to anticipate his nasty moves.
1) Always pack flats in my bag.
2) Never give him my car keys to check my mileage.
3) Never tell him who phoned me while we were apart. I always deleted the call register. Also told my friends about how he was not the same man anymore.
4) Made sure I visited my daughter at boarding school and spending time with her as much as I could. I knew his schedule pretty well by this time. I had also learned to lie with a straight face to him so that he could not anticipate or stop me seeing my daughter.
5) Before I moved in with him, I had asked the bank to stop posting me bank statements. I told them I would use telephone banking or come into the bank if I needed any help. Looking back now, at a subconscious level, I must have been concerned that something was not right with Brian.
6) I opened another email which he knew nothing about, and contacted all my friends to let them know I was planning to return home to my house.
7) Also contacted the real estate company privately and told them to take my home off the market. Asked them to stop discussing the sale with Brian, as it was not his concern anymore. Brian had taken over the sale of my home and he was the one calling the shots with pricing etc. I was ‘not allowed’ to accept any offers on my home without his approval. I think he wanted my home not to sell as a large portion of my money was tied up in the home. He was angry because if my home did sell, I was not going to hand over the proceeds to him. He wanted me penniless and totally dependent on him.
8) I could not get to my boxes of home items locked in his shed, so one day asked him if I could bring them into the spare bedroom to sort. Told him I was donating most to a charity and the rest I was throwing out. This seemed to please him. Why I have no idea. I appeared to place no value on anything locked up, so maybe my possessions in there were no longer a ‘hold’ on me staying with him? Who fully understands the mind of evil!
9) I also contacted my previous place of employment and managed to get my job back. Thank you Lord. I have always needed to work, to support myself, and to be useful in the world. I did not tell him of course.
While he was at ‘work’, I sorted through all my boxes, and donated, chucked out, and also reposted a few boxes to my home without him knowing. It felt so good to be doing something positive in my life. I had to keep it all secret, as I strongly felt afraid of him and what he would do to me if he knew I was leaving him.
I could not start on my items in the house at that stage, as he would have noted stuff missing, and that would have alerted him that something was up. So I waited a few weeks, as I knew he had a business trip up in Brisbane and would be gone for a week.
I now think he was meeting his next victim there. And I think that is what he does. He meets girls online, picking those that live a fair distance away from him. He then goes through the motions of sweeping them off their feet, and asking them to move the far distance to his home. He encourages them to bring home items with them to have some sort of hold on them. Most people would take items that meant something to them, and they would not want to have to run in a hurry, only to leave those items behind.
I now remember how he wanted to lock all my paperwork in his study, plus my photo albums, jewellery etc. Very sneaky! It was to have a hold on me so that I could not leave without him knowing.
I bought my own small safe and locked up my important items in it. I did not feel comfortable with him locking my items away from me. Of course he wanted to know where I kept the safe key. No privacy for me.
When I left his home, I dragged that safe into my car and sped away, not looking back. My belongings were oozing out the windows. I was leaving nothing behind except skid marks. The feeling as I drove away was of peace and happiness. I was smiling and laughing to myself all the way home, and that was surely the happiest 6 ½ hours I had experienced in the 6 months I had known him.
When I got home I discovered he had actually stolen one of my safe keys, and my home front door key. I had all the locks changed the next day.
I never contacted him again. I went 100% silent. The distance worked for him, AND it worked for me now.
He sent me emails, text messages, and made numerous phone calls. I told him at the first phone call that it was over and that I was not returning. I just told him I was over relationships. No more than that. I did not go into all the details of why and how. I was not going to arm him with more skills and know how to use against another of his victims.
For a few months after that, he sent emails and texts, telling me how ill he was … blah … I changed my emails, and all my phone numbers. I now have a silent phone number so that he cannot reach me ever again. That was June 2008. It is now February 2017.