“Sorry, you were just collateral damage”
That’s all He could say.
A relationship that was obsessively persuaded onto me, to then only waste 11 months of my time and rip my world apart in the process. It began intensely and complicated. Complicated through acquaintances, the past, present and future. Complicated enough for a hard decision to forget all that I knew.
Collateral damage is an understatement.
I was as much collateral damage as I was an image of a normal life. His trophy to show while he hid away the secret skeletons, only for them to come falling out of the closet later while he was busy playing lethal games.
It began knowing He was in fact linked to a dangerous path with old allies of mine in a world I was completely ignorant about.
I didn’t want to know the truth if I thought I knew the person.
I have a weakness of trusting the words of persuasion, wanting to believe that there is a pure goodness about everyone. In my idealistic world, a dark evil doesn’t exist, so why would it for anyone else?
I didn’t choose to fall in love with a drug trafficking criminal. I made him swear on both our lives that it was his past and not our future. What he didn’t realise was while he swore on our lives, my life was the price he nearly paid for that lie.
The tangled web began before we met. Dangerous friends, being an acquaintance of people that maybe I shouldn’t be, only to meet their enemy. And start dating him.
What did I know about Him before we met? Nothing. I refused to believe he was the evil, others portrayed. He wasn’t evil to me. He was vulnerable. He was introverted. He wasn’t his past version with the reputation of the man I was warned about. He deserved a rewarding future as much as anyone else who once made mistakes in their life. I didn’t want to hear him bragging about the drugs, money, torture or schemes. He knew exactly what to say for me to believe he was better than anyone else, an alpha that would protect me. He knew what secrets to hide, what little lies to unravel and to be sorry for, so he could sneak around with the bigger lies while looking directly into my eyes and saying, ‘I love you’.
It began in March 2017. He was quiet, calming and introverted. I was immediately drawn to the sense of silent masculinity.
Not long after meeting him, I received a message.
It was a short two weeks of continuous messages back and forth until we planned to see each other again, meet each other’s friends, enjoy our own company. For anyone who saw us, being in each other’s company was naturally comfortable.
A weekend away was all too exciting and new, but there was an unease as well. There was a moment we both should have disappeared from each other’s world but I decided to ignore that worry instead.
“Dakota, something is on your mind.”
“Yes, there is. Are you who I think you are?”
We both knew the person I was talking about. I knew, even though I hoped it wasn’t true and He knew he had to think of an explanation for all of the questions that are to follow.
“Dakota, you have to choose. It is me or them.”
I had to choose to believe one person’s lie over another. Today honesty is one of the rarest forms of communication. People aren’t honest. Their intentions aren’t honest, their past isn’t honest, and they will tell you any sort of ‘little white lie’ to convince you of their innocence.
You hear lies roll off the tongue of the person courting you, you see it through filtered images of dazzling brands, you notice it when someone has a slip of the tongue and forgot what they previously said. And once you start questioning the truth, their defence rises. Questioning anything immediately places the mirror in front of themselves and they’re not always going to like what they see.
Confused with the choice I had to make, without the rush and expectation He already had of me, I followed my heart.
I just had one more question, “Ok, as a relationship, is there anything I should be worried about?”
“No.” He replied, followed with a line that should have sent me walking out the door. “Well yes, I guess I’m a bit possessive. You’re mine.”
It soon wrapped us up in a perfect world of falling in love. He treated me like a princess, chivalry followed him, he was loving, caring and protective. A few months into a magnetising connection and an inseparable love, suddenly I was the only one left at the party.
I become his saviour, his ears, his counselling sessions and his fucking rehabilitation centre. He exhausted every emotion and physical energy I had. To me, and everyone around him, he was perfect. He was building a future, however with doors closed and everyone asleep the only comfort he searched for was the glass pipe.
That’s when it all began, with a man that would tear up every time he saw me after a week away at work, a man that would serenade me with Elvis Presley and slow dance in the middle of the drive way. To a man I never met. A complete stranger.
He went sliding down the icy slope while dragging me along.
A person with an altered state and headspace of pure meth induced dopamine highs shadowed by devastating lows doesn’t feel the same emotion again. Their actions will never match their words.
The affection and feelings that I experienced will only mask the deceit and suspicious behaviour that I noticed later. His altered state is unpredictable and better left alone without questions.
The past was starting to resurface around his life. My life. Our life.
There are consequences for choosing to live your life after following an illegal trade and getting caught twice before. It was hard enough to have others judgement cast down upon him, but to live the life that he dreamt for us, maybe wasn’t a possibility and that was starting to be proven to me.
It was easy for him to be hidden away when I was at work. My long days behind a computer were made all the better when I got to spend each night staying up late talking to him, playing music and daydreaming about the future. I fought through every yawn and had as little sleep as I could just to enjoy reality. He was full of energy, laughs, love.
Unsure why, the nights got longer although I was getting comfortable with more seep, he seemed to be getting less. Of course, until each Sunday.
His paranoia started and so did my exhaustion. I felt like I was living a life blindly and missing most my days. His paranoia even started to convince me that things were taking place because of his intense surety and my memory lapses from dissociation and tiredness. He started to believe I was saying things behind his back, he was being tracked or fooled. He made me second guess myself and walk on egg shells trying not to trigger suspicion.
My phone data was downloaded, all of my social media logged into on his own device and male friends were messaged who I hadn’t spoken to in years, for the proof that I was cheating.
Facebook Messenger was the tool of trade for a fake profile for the only purpose of framing someone else with threats to my family. It took me 6 months to realise he was sending threats to himself from a fake account, for us all to worry.
He was convinced. Certain I was lying, suspicious that I was keeping dark secrets. I was convinced he was just previously hurt. Each Sunday was his depression comedown of a meth induced week off work. Self medicating with Xanax would help him sleep through his ‘worries and pain’.
Little did I know the addiction was not only harmful to him, but after the threat of breaking my arms, or wrap hands around my neck, when I tried to take away that vice, it also became harmful to me.
It wasn’t long before two became three.
I had already heard about the wrath of his ex companion – I was never a fan. I never understood the obsession. That wasn’t the present, it was a past that did not involve me. Until suddenly it did.
The days now included His glass pipe half full, the dark web and dark personalities.
Two did become three. But two became three when I entered the picture in March 2017. I was starting to wish I never took the chance on him.
Their relationship wasn’t over. I was caught in between a cat and dog. She was not happy I lived a life with him. I had to go, and this became one of her favourite games.
“Be careful not to burn your bridges with me, sweetheart” was the first threat she sent to me.
He swore on our relationship that he would have nothing to do with his ex. But I could see their obsession with each other. Something I will never understand.
I listened to him cursing and insulting Her and how much he hates her to everyone around him but behind my back the obsession turned against me. A strange unhealthy toxic fantasy between two people continued while they calculated plans against one another. Their pornographic affair kept secretive. He was in a serious relationship with me, spoke nothing but loving words, and she, she was in a public famous eye and role model for New Zealand posting anti bullying posts, strong women and about the degradation of abusive relationships.
But whilst hiding behind a fake personality, the insults and threats still rolled off her tongue through to me. It was easy for me to throw an aggressive response back and demand to not contact me again and ridding all possibilities of contact from this self-proclaimed queen.
Unfortunately, her game just began.
Then, a message request.
“If I was you (I’d) be asking what *** was doing at ***house when she was (in) Brisbane, while you were at work… and I’d recommend you not doing anymore sex videos with him either because they’ve clearly been sent into the wrong hands…”
He denied everything. Denied the possibility of such personal property being sent. Denied the meet up between Him and Her. I believed him. I believed this because I couldn’t wrap around my head that someone, who is meant to love you, could continue to do so wrong. I couldn’t understand why anyone would ever want to humiliate and degrade their girlfriend the way He did to me.
Denial soon became guilt and sorrow. Three days later I received messages from a friend.
“Dakota, *** messaged me. Just be warned she has sent videos of you to me. I’m so sorry.”
While I was begging for my life to be over, she was begging for the attention from the public and He was begging for forgiveness.
Their obsession was dangerous, their obsession was harmful
and I was just collateral damage.