Anonymous Story: He Still Thinks It’s Okay

Anonymous Story: He Still Thinks It’s Okay

I am a music producer. I worked in the industry for years as a musician and finally reached a point where I was running my own label. I endured a lot of crass comments, and had been asked out and bothered by numbers of guys. I wasn’t taken seriously in the industry as a female, and my past boyfriends always seemed a bitter or jealous that men seemed to constantly make passes at me… as if this type of misconduct was wanted or flattering at all. But I finally was in a position of authority. I just ended a relationship where I was constantly given the third-degree every time I so much as spoke to a male client. I was not naive to the industry, the snakes in the industry or the perception that followed women around.

I thought I was free. That was my first mistake. After my breakup, I went to my vacation home across the country for some rejuvenation before beginning the next step in my career. During my vacation I ran into a musician there who I had seen perform at various festivals and local venues. I knew very few people where I vacationed, so I figured it’d be nice to get to know more about the music scene. We chatted and made plans to meet up the next day for a hike. All was very platonic. We talked about music and of course collaborating since our styles were similar. He admitted he found me attractive, but had always had a girlfriend when I visited. I thanked him for the compliment and told him very clearly that my focus was on my career and that collaboration with me meant we would have a professional relationship only. He agreed.

Months went by and we collaborated on an album by phone, since we were 2000 miles from each other. He would send instrumentals to me, I would add to them, we would trade back and forth. Our phone conversations were friendly, but professional. Finally, nearing the end of our album, I told him we needed to record some sessions at a studio. He offered to come to my studio since he didn’t have one nearby. I made the travel arrangements and secured an engineer and session musicians for each session. I thought I was being smart, making sure we would not be alone during his visit.

Everything starting to unravel when he arrived … first, he called saying he didnt book a car correctly. Honestly, he acted completely lost… for a man in his 40s, that struck me as irritating but not predatory. I ended up having to pick him up at the airport myself. Then he said he could not go to the hotel I arranged because he suffered from severe anxiety from the flight and wanted to get right to work. His flight arrived at an odd time, and nobody was at my studio… I’d HAVE to be alone with him. So I called some friends to meet us for late night happy hour while my engineer made his way to my studio. My friends assured me the guy was maybe a bit of a burnout, and not very bright, but he didn’t seem dangerous.

After happy hour I was exhausted as was he. My engineer didn’t show up and I told him he’d have to just go to the hotel. Wouldn’t you know… he never confirmed his room. He had nowhere to stay. At this point I was exhausted and said he could stay at my guest house. I figured it was still not my main house, and I was just too tired to deal.

The entire week went by flooded with weird little mishaps, but none were actually threatening. Still my colleagues and friends assured me he seemed stupid, not dangerous.

When it came time to release our album, we set up a tour… this time I decided we should tour in HIS side of the country. I had a home there, he had a home there. There was no reason we would have to be stuck together. I brought my guitarist and bassist (very good male friends) with me. Luckily I arrived early to scout the venues this artist had booked for our release tour. NONE of them heard of us. Not one venue was booked. I looked up the artist’s schedule and noticed he was hosting an open mic night nearby and decided to surprise him that I arrived early… then read him the riot act that he used our album to get me to come to town for some reason.

When I got to the open mic, I found that the owner and several of the artists performing HAD heard of me… as this man’s GIRLFRIEND. The guy said we had met 15 years prior to us working together (I only knew of him for about 3 years, and we barely spoke). He said he had plans to take me to his home country where we would live. He also made up a fantasy story that he actually had saved me from an abusive relationship in the past, I had ptsd, and that I was basically a nutcase, so not to trust anything I said. On my way to confront him, with my two guitarists/friends by my side, the man’s “best friend” congratulated us on our engagement. I was really creeped out.

My bassist, a big guy and former Army Ranger approached the artist about his lies. It’s then that the artist showed my bassist several naked pictures of me in MY BED… I’m still completely baffled. Was I drugged? Did he creep into my house while I slept and take these pictures? DID HE DO THINGS TO ME? I remembered back to the first night he visited me… that I was so tired after happy hour, I couldn’t even argue about him staying at a hotel. I brought him to my house, showed him the guest house and passed out. I had a knot in my stomach every time his name even came up after that night. Everything in my body felt sick when I had to work with him. I thought I was SO smart. I thought I was doing everything right. This person violated me in ways I couldn’t even imagine.

After all this was revealed, I couldn’t go to authorities. Who would believe me? My community at my vacation home, who I was just getting to know, saw me as a crazy person and this man’s long time girlfriend! With the help of the local sheriff, all I could do was demand no contact with him. But since I live 2000 miles away, they literally laughed in my face. A couple people from my studio understand what happened and cringe at his name, but in his area, he remains a respected artist. I know he has worked with several female artists before and after me. After doing some research, I see that NONE of them worked with him long or keep in touch with him. He’s a predator. I’ll never know exactly what he did to me… I don’t want to think about it. But my serene vacation town, where I would go to relax, is tainted. I’m mortified to give my real name or let my family know what happened. It sickens me that he could do this to another woman.

I hate myself for not being able to come forward with my real name, shouting from the rooftops who this guy is and what he did. I hate him for existing. I know hate is toxic, but it’s there. The anger is still there. It makes me sick.

Author

WYR

WYR

When You're Ready.org is a community for survivors of sexual violence to share their stories.

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