TW: sexual assault, domestic rape, drug addiction, Facebook drama. Don't freaking mainpage, for the love of sanity.
At the beginning of the Cute Boy Person saga, I mentioned that I hired someone to help me clean my apartment and instead, he repeatedly sexually assaulted me. He was my friend's husband and the specific things that he did made me realize that this was experienced behavior, and thus, he may have been abusing my friend, especially sexually. I looked back at their Facebook interaction and how extremely affectionate it was in a way that seemed calculated to control relationship issues— on both their parts. I suspected that he might be on meth or maybe cocaine: he seemed to be wired; he was skinny to the point of looking sunken in; he went through a lot more money than he should need; his technical equipment and phones kept getting "stolen."
For ease, I will call them Alice and Bob.
I had to make a decision: do I unfriend him, tell Alice what happened and take the risk that she faults me for "tempting him into unfaithfulness," tell other people and expose the potential abuse of my friend, make my friends choose between me and their friend? Or do I stay silent, watch how things progress, and try to stay in good graces with my friend so if they do break up or she confides in people, that I will still be there to back her up, to say that yes, he is an abuser? I decided to stay silent.
I was dating someone at the time and he knew who I hired to help me clean, so I couldn't tell him what happened. It didn't contribute to the breakup at all. I just put it in a box and put a label on it so I didn't have to deal. I still haven't told anyone the details of what happened because the idea of processing it is super icky still. I mean, it would gross me out even if it wasn't triggering.
Continuing to have Bob as my Facebook friend, especially without anyone knowing, turned out to have upsides and downsides. The main upside was that if I thought about going out dancing, I could go to the Facebook RSVPs and easily spot if he was in the RSVP list, then decide if I wanted to risk dealing with him. I went out once when they were out so I could keep up appearances and he had me take a picture of him for his profile. If he saw me out, he would hug me far too long— if his wife couldn't see; he'd only wave if she could see. He held me tight and asked me if I missed him; I played along. The downside was that our friends in common keep putting their feet in their mouths because they don't know.
The first time it happened, Bob said something on Facebook that sounded extremely depressed, saying that he was worthless. And of course, my friends jumped in to tell him what a good person he is. A friend of mine who really means a lot to me (I'll call him Chad) chimed in to discuss his virtues at length. He said "you've made some mistakes but deep-down, you're a really good person." (I beg to differ.) This friend would be devastated to find out what Bob did to me, and of course, Bob would deny it. It would turn into he-said/she-said and make him pick between a woman that he knows is credible and someone that he has cared about a lot, for longer than I've known him.
A few days later, Bob was RSVPed to a club that I had told friends that I was going to. I made a Facebook post to a very select group: people who run in the scene where I know this guy and other people that I know go to that club, omitting several people to continue hiding this from Alice. I said that I know that I've been absent for a while and I promised to go out. However, someone who sexually assaulted me is RSVPed and I don't have the energy to smile and nod for the camera, that they should remember when they go out that there are predators everywhere, predators that they may be friends with, predators who seem innocent to them, so be careful and don't even let your friend hold your drink.
Several women thanked me for the reminder, said that they were sorry that this happened to me, and said that they wished that I could tell them more but they understood the need to hide such things sometimes. Chad chimed in too, telling me that he would believe me if I told him and if I ever want to talk about it, that he and his wife are there for me.
I invited Alice and Bob to my birthday party because I had to keep up appearances and I wanted Alice to be there. They didn't come.
Eventually, Alice started posting distressed messages to Bob on Facebook: "Please tell me where you are! I just want to know you're ok!" "I don't understand why you're doing this to me!" "What did I do to deserve this?" It seemed like he'd left her and she was desperate to get him back. I didn't know what to do because I don't know if he told her that I "fooled around with him," something that I really wouldn't put past him to do. He may have poisoned the well so she couldn't come to me. I thought about asking Chad's wife, since she's good friends with Alice. I couldn't figure out if I should tell her, so I decided to be a chicken and wait for confirmation of divorce. He changed his profile pic from the one that I took of him to one with him and a woman who isn't his wife, a woman that I don't know so for all I know could be his sister.
There's another guy. I'll call him Dave. Dave has repeatedly posted messages to Facebook that if any of his friends has been sexually assaulted, raped, or drugged by anyone, to please tell him because he will make sure it is taken care of, that those people need to be eliminated from the scene and he will do it if that's what it takes. Someone that we know had her drink spiked recently and he insisted that we all investigate so whoever it was could be arrested or at least banned. Dave is also extremely protective of Alice.
Today, Dave wrote a post about how wonderful and supportive Bob and Chad are. Bob said something in the thread and I wanted to see if it would give me any hint on what to do. Then I saw someone congratulating Bob on number of days sober.
There are so many things that I want to say, like "it would have been nice if he'd been sober that summer that he assaulted me; maybe he wouldn't have" or "why are you congratulating an experienced sexual predator on being a sweet and awesome dude? Again." Instead, I have to come here, where most of our friends don't know to look for me.
But... he's not the only one. There's another guy that I'm Facebook friends with who wants to get me in bed, who I have heard several bad reports about, including one time that he got someone drunk and stoned after he got turned down, then tried again when she was impaired, and several people from the kink scene have told me that he "doesn't believe in safe words." I stay Facebook friends with him so I can keep my eye on him, because I know. There are two others that I'm keeping my eye on as well.
I know and I can't act on that. I can only watch for times that I can step in and warn someone. I have to play along, hoping that playing along will put me in position to save someone, anyone. If I want to keep other people's secrets, that's all I have.
Obviously, if this gives you enough information to figure out who Alice, Bob, Chad, or Dave are, do not contact them or others about this. If you wish to contact me on Facebook because you are my friend there, do that, but don't share this with people who could figure out their identities.