Have you ever gotten involved with someone you shouldn’t have had a relationship with?
How funny, I was only talking about this to a co-worker the other week. I was telling her a story about a guy that I was casually seeing. We’ll refer to him as J.
I met J when I was in my early twenties. I was living in Malvern and life was great. J was an older guy (well, mid-late thirties, but I was about 23, so he was considerably older). J was just somebody that I really enjoyed hanging out with. Well, initially anyway.
My relationship with J was interesting. I wouldn’t even call it a relationship, it was more of a friendship. He lived in Fitzroy in this incredible 4-storey converted warehouse apartment which was just utterly breathtaking. I still remember the first time I went to his place, and when he gave me the tour, my mouth just dragged along the ground the whole time as we went from floor to floor. J was one of those people who always managed to find the good in people, and remind them of all the wonderful qualities they possess; identifying everything about them that makes them special and unique.
I remember one time he and I had agreed to just go for a drive, and we ended up somewhere in Port Philip Bay, and walked all the way out along a pier to a breakwater and sat there for quite some time just having this incredible D & M (Deep & meaningful). At this point in my life, I had distanced myself from G, and this night; this conversation, I opened up so much to this person who was still somewhat of a stranger, and he actually questioned my decisions; asked how I was feeling; and all I remember was bawling my eyes out for most of the conversation. As somebody who doesn’t necessarily reveal their emotional state, I had a lot of pent up emotions that literally came flooding out. It was as though such a massive weight had been lifted off my shoulders and off my soul. It was quite cleansing. I actually think it was one of the very very few times in my life where I’ve actually opened up so much and allowed myself to become so incredibly vulnerable.
After that, I realised that the time I spent with J was going to be quite safe and somewhat healing. Whenever I went around to his place, we would just hang out, watch a movie; have dinner; or just sit there for hours and talk about anything and everything. It was like therapy, without actually having to pay for it. Sometimes I’d even just go over there after a really shitty day at work, and fall asleep on his couch for a few hours, just to have a decent sleep. I really enjoyed being in such a calm and relaxing environment.
Then, he started acting a bit odd.
It began when he admitted that he had feelings for me. I’d be naive to say that I didn’t already have an idea that he felt like this, but those feelings certainly weren’t reciprocated – I made it quite clear that I wanted nothing more than to just be friends with him. He, however, wanted more.
One day I was at his place, and I had just woken up from a nap on his couch, and he was in the kitchen cooking some pasta for dinner. I layed there just observing, and soaking up my surroundings and revelling in this feeling of happiness and comfortable environment. Then it dawned on me that most of the conversations we’d had were about not just my issues and feelings, but regular topics as well… however I realised that although he now knew so much about me, I knew very little about him. Whenever I had asked him about himself and his life etc, he quickly changed topics, or avoided them completely. Realising that this was incredibly one-sided, and that for a friendship to actually work properly, both parties need to be open to the idea of sharing details about themselves. He couldn’t avoid the conversation forever – it just doesn’t work like that.
We sat down for dinner at his massive solid timber dining table (seriously, it was like a massive tree trunk, just cut in half lengthways, right down the centre. It sat 14 comfortably, and had long matching bench seats. It was such an incredible piece of timber… and naturally, cost an absolute fortune!!) and just began talking about whatever was being reported on the news, and then there was a bit of silence, and I took a deep breath and confronted him about his avoidance of discussing anything about him.
Well, had I known that he was going to react the way he did, I wouldn’t have said anything. He froze, was staring at his bowl of pasta, and I saw the skin on his neck instantly turn bright red. His grip tightened around his fork, and in a very calm voice, without making eye-contact, calmly said “I’ve already told you before that I don’t like to talk about myself. I’ve already told you before that we don’t talk about me”.
I sat back and apologised, and tried to explain myself, pointing out that all we’ve ever done is talk about me, and that it’s becoming quite one-sided – he knows so much about me, and yet I barely know anything about him…
“HOW MANY FUCKING TIMES AM I GOING TO HAVE TO TELL YOU TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU GET IT THROUGH YOUR JUVENILE FUCKING MIND, THAT WE. DON’T. TALK. ABOUT. ME!! WHY IS THAT SO FUCKING DIFFICULT FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND? I FEEL LIKE I HAVE TO KEEP FUCKING REMINDING YOU, BECAUSE YOU SEEM TO KEEP FUCKING ASKING ME ABOUT IT? WHAT IS IT WITH YOU? ARE YOU JUST COMPLETELY FUCKING STUPID OR SOMETHING? IS THE MESSAGE NOT GETTING THROUGH? DO YOU THINK I JUST SIT HERE AND SAY THIS FOR FUN? PERHAPS IF I WANTED TO FUCKING TALK ABOUT MYSELF, THEN I’D FUCKING DO SO, NOT JUST BECAUSE YOU START TO DEMAND THAT I DO SO. IT DOESN’T WORK LIKE THAT.”
I don’t actually remember what else was screamed at me after that. During that initial outburst, he had picked up his bowl and thrown it across the room, sending pasta all over the floor, and smashing the ceramic bowl against one of the kitchen walls. In all honesty, I thought he was going to kill me. The rage in his beady little eyes was simply terrifying and I knew that I was on the second floor of this building, so racing out and jumping over the balcony wasn’t exactly an option.
I didn’t really know how to react. I think I was just far too terrified to even look at him, so I just sat there, staring into my bowl of pasta. His tirade continued for several minutes, but it felt like an eternity. I just wanted it to stop long enough for him to catch his breath so I could just grab my stuff and run downstairs. My heart was racing and my palms were sweaty. I really had no idea what to do. This was the moment I realised that something was so severely wrong with this guy, and I began to understand exactly why we never talked about him. It was like Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with this guy. I couldn’t believe that somebody who was so completely comforting and relaxing to be around, would completely flip out like this.
I didn’t want to stay any longer.
I waited until the screaming stopped, and I apologised for upsetting him, clearly not knowing that it was such a severely sensitive issue for him. I walked over to get my backpack and my jumper and headed towards the hallway. As I got close enough, he pushed the timber bench seat across the doorway, “WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING? YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING TO LEAVE? DO YOU SERIOUSLY THINK THAT YOU’RE FUCKING LEAVING NOW? YOU’VE UPSET ME SO MUCH, YOU’RE NOT FUCKING GOING ANYWHERE, YOU CAUSED THIS AND NOW YOU’RE GOING TO FIX THIS!!”
I told him again that I was sorry and that I had no intentions of upsetting him whatsoever, and that I thought it would just be better for both of us if I left. I offered to help him clean up, and he screamed at me some more, so I said that I should just leave so he can calm down and when he’s had some time to think about it, we can talk about it later.
“HAVE YOU LOST YOUR FUCKING MIND? DO YOU SERIOUSLY THINK THAT I’M GOING TO LET SOME STUPID CHILDISH LITTLE CUNT LIKE YOU FUCKING TELL ME WHAT I’M GOING TO DO? WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? NO, REALLY, WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? BECAUSE ALL I SEE IS SOME FUCKING INSECURE FUCKING PRETENDER, WHO LIKES TO ACT ALL SMART AND INTELLIGENT AND ALL TOGETHER, BUT WHO REALLY IS SO INCREDIBLY FUCKING INSECURE WITH HIMSELF THAT HE MAKES HIMSELF OUT TO BE SOMEBODY HE ISN’T BECAUSE HE’S NOTHING BUT A FUCKING WANNABE. YOU’RE FUCKING NOTHING. YA HEAR ME? NOTHING. YOU ARE THE FUCKING SCUM OF THE EARTH AND I CANNOT EVEN BELIEVE THAT I EVEN LET YOU INTO MY LIFE, WHEN ALL YOU’VE DONE IS TRY TO FUCKING DESTROY IT, BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT CUNTS LIKE YOU DO… DESTROY PEOPLE’S LIVES, SO FUCK YOU!!
I took a deep breath and asked him to move out of my way. He refused.
I asked him again, and he pushed me down onto the bench seat.
I asked him one more time to let me leave, otherwise I would call the police. He refused.
I exhaled, spun around on the bench seat and walked over to the kitchen to pour myself a glass of water.
“WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?!”
Well, J, I’m taking a moment to pull myself together, because I’ve asked you three times to let me leave, and you’ve refused. You have just pushed me down onto the bench which could be classified as physical assault, and after the last 25 minutes of you screaming at me, that’s just verbal abuse. You’ve left me with no option that to contact the police and inform them that you’re holding me here against my will. So if you don’t mind, I’ve got a phone call to make.
From the look he was giving me, and the colour red his face had gone, I literally thought his head was actually going to explode all over the doorway. He began to climb over the bench. I’m warning you, J. I’ve got the number ready to go. I showed him the screen with 000 ready to be dialled. So, now we can do this the easy way, and you can let me leave, or we can do it the hard way and involve the police. And I don’t think that police charges involving haloing somebody hostage and physical assault will look too good with your peers, will it?
“ARE YOU FUCKING THREATENING ME?”
No, I’m making you a promise. If I wanted to threaten you, I’d tell you that there’s a third option, it’s called ‘take another step towards me, and I will literally beat the living daylights out of you and put you in hospital’. So you tell me, how do you want this to play out?
Suddenly, there was a Mexican standoff. He was standing on the bench in the doorway, and I was standing in the kitchen… literally surrounded by a multitude of potential weapons. Without losing eye-contact with him, I felt around the bench top for the rolling pin, and picked it up with my free hand. He climbed down off the bench very slowly, and stood there. He was so full of rage, and I was backed into a corner. Even I knew that I was all talk, but I knew that if it came to the crunch, and I had to defend myself, I’d do a pretty damn good job of doing so, and I’d do a bit of damage in the process.
“DO YOU REALLY THINK THAT I’M SCARED OF YOU? YOU’RE NOTHING BUT AN INSECURE LITTLE CUNT! YOU WOULDN’T DARE TOUCH ME!”
I WARNED YOU, ONE MORE STEP, AND I HIT DIAL.
He thought I was bluffing. So I hit dial.
‘Emergency services. Police, Fire or Ambulance?’
“YOU FUCKING CUNT!!”
Yes, Police please…
I was connected to an operator and explained the situation. J kept inching his way further, as I tried to explain my situation. Screaming out the whole time that he was going to kill me. I put them on loudspeaker so I could throw things at his head in an attempt for him to keep his distance. They asked me if I needed police assistance with the situation. J screamed out no, and I said yes. They said they’d send a car to the location of the call and would be there within minutes.
I kept the line open and jumped up on the kitchen bench as he charged towards me.
“WHAT THE FUCK HAVE YOU DONE YOU FUCKING CUNT? THOSE FUCKERS ARE GOING TO BE HERE AGAIN! YOU’RE FUCKING DEAD. I’LL FUCKING KILL YOU, YOU HEAR ME, I WILL FUCKING KILL YOU, CUNT!!”
‘WELL DONE, THE POLICE JUST HEARD ALL OF THAT. I’M GOING TO ATTEMPT TO LEAVE NOW!!’ and leapt off the kitchen bench and made a dash for the hallway. As I leapt over the bench seat, I looked back to see how close he was and he had slipped on the pasta. I kept running down stairs, to the entrance and waited to hear him come after me.
I opened the doors and walked outside into the freezing winter air. I could hear a tram in the distance, and the temptation to just jump on the tram and go home and never look back was so incredibly appealing. However, something in the back of my head felt concerned. The fact that he had slipped and didn’t get up to come after me was of concern to me. What if he was hurt? What if he was badly hurt? Oh my god, what if he was dead? I’d be charged with murder. Oh god, I’d go to jail. I can’t go to jail!
I waited for the police to turn up, and I introduced myself and explained the whole situation. I told them about my concerns that he hadn’t followed me, and I requested to go and check that he was okay. One of the officers remained in the car and called for an ambulance, and the other officer went into the apartment. A few minutes later, he radioed to the other officer that everything was okay. The ambulance had arrived by this stage, and we all went into the apartment and upstairs to the kitchen.
As I walked down the hallway towards the kitchen, I could hear J crying, whilst trying to talk to the officer. I let the other officer and ambo walk in whilst I stood out of sight to listen to what he was saying. I peeked around the corner and saw him sitting up against the wall with his hands cuffed behind his back; squashed pasta and sauce all over his top and face, and blood coming from his face. Turns out he was okay, he’d cut his face on broken pieces of the ceramic bowl he smashed against the wall earlier.
I walked around the corner and let him see me. The person sitting on the floor was a completely different guy. This wasn’t the rage-fuelled monster threatening to kill me only minutes before. This was the J that I knew.
He felt so remorseful, and couldn’t stop apologising for whatever he had done. He hoped that he hadn’t hurt me, and was so sorry if he did. I stood there, and gave my statement to the police in a play-by-play making sure not to leave out any detail. I just glared at him the whole time, and watched him sob uncontrollably. When the ambo’s had finished cleaning up his cuts, they left and I was escorted out of the room so they could interview him. Turns out he had absolutely no recollection of what happened. He completely flipped out, and it’s not the first time it’s happened. According to him, it happens from time to time, he has these fits of rage where his memory goes completely blank and he has no recollection of anything that happens.
The police asked if I wanted to press charges, but to demonstrate that I’m not the monster, I refused and simply told him that he needs to get professional help. I could no longer be his friend, and wanted to have no further contact with him. The police even suggested taking out a restraining order, but I said that it wasn’t necessary. They escorted me out of the building, and got me to see the ambo’s to be treated for any injuries. I just said I was in shock, and then the police drove me home.
A few weeks later I received an email from J, who happened to write in detail all about himself. His issues, his personality disorders, his medication… anything and everything I had ever wanted to know was there in black and white. I couldn’t believe that he was actually detailing all this highly personal information and sending it to me. I was amazed at what I was reading, but acknowledged just how much it must have taken for him to get to this point. I figure this was his way of making amends or a way of apologising to me.
Soon afterwards, he began calling me again. And then calling me constantly. Wanting to meet up and talk. Wanting to hang out again. Asking if I’d like to come over to his place. I ignored all his calls, until I saw him parked outside my apartment one night when I arrived home from work.
I couldn’t believe it. After everything that had happened, he was still behaving like this. I wasn’t standing for it. I walked over to his car, and belted my hand on his window and started yelling at him. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? YOU’RE STALKING ME NOW? DO YOU REALLY WANT TO TEST ME AGAIN, BECAUSE YOU KNOW BETTER THAN TO CALL MY BLUFF. I WILL HAVE YOU ARRESTED… SO I SUGGEST YOU DRIVE AWAY RIGHT NOW, AND NEVER SHOW YOUR FACE AROUND HERE. I HAVE NOTHING TO SAY TO YOU, AND I DON’T WANT TO HEAR WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY TO ME. NOW, PLEASE LEAVE, OR I’M CALLING THE POLICE… SERIOUSLY… JUST. GO.
And on that, he didn’t even wind down the window. He nodded, started the engine, and drove off. That was the last time I ever had any contact with J. It’s a shame that it turned out the way that it did, but unfortunately that’s just how it played out. I actually haven’t even thought about him until now. I wonder if he ever managed to resolve any of his issues?? Oh well.
People come into our lives for all different reasons. I like to think that J came into my life to get me to experience the true feeling of vulnerability. Which might explain why I’m so heavily guarded now?