I met Chrissy in 1981, when she was 14 and I was 18. We both roller skated competitively. Even then I saw right away that she was a flirt and liked attention, but I chalked it up to immaturity. We both liked each other very much, but I saw the evil eye her mother gave me, and I recognized the age difference myself. I ended up leaving and going to another rink, and eventually went into the Marine Corps. That was 1984!
I had spent 13 and a half total years divided between the USMC and US Army, with a year spent in Iraq (2003-2004). There was also a 13 year gap in my military service. I was discharged from the Army in 2006 with a host of injuries that caused me to be 100% disabled. No one of these injuries was overly terrible, but together they made my life a challenge. Still, I took care of myself and didn't "look" physically broken. I bring this up because it plays a huge part later.
When she and I were reunited in 2011 via Facebook she was in a relationship so I kept my distance. In 2016 she came to skate at the rink I was skating at (I had come back to skating in 2014). Our reunion was magical! It was if the years melted away...In December of 16, at a Providence Bruins game, we really connected (unbeknownst to me, she was still in the end of a two year relationship with a man named Dave...his name is important to this fiasco). She and I started to spend time together, and we grew incredibly close extremely fast. We had the same connection we had when we were younger, but now there was no hovering mother to be disapproving of me, or so I thought. At this phase of life I was 53, she 49.
As I said we became very close, very fast and it was pure heaven, for both of us. The first time we made love, (her words, "make love to me") was heaven on earth, for both of us. In fact, our sex life was always amazing. That much at least, I know she wasn't faking. It isn't male ego that makes me say that. I won't go into details obviously, you'll need to take my word for it. From December through most of January it was beautiful; we talked about forever, marriage, we wanted at least 30 years together. I told her, "You're much more important to me than skating. We're bigger than this sport." She smiled and nodded. Not affirmation, just a smile and nod...Then one day she texted me, saying, "I need space, I'm so sorry. I feel overwhelmed and suffocated."
I was devastated, shocked, caught completely off guard. Now, I admit, when things get troubled in a relationship, I expect the worse, and react accordingly. This was no different. I panicked and knew I couldn't go to the rink, practice, and focus with her in the building distracting me with her beauty and sex appeal.
At 49, she was stunning (she had breast augmentation when she was younger due to one breast being bigger than the other...at least that was her story...they weren't overly large, just right!). But a lifetime of skating, Zumba, and fitness training made her very sexy, and she knew how to maximize that with the way she looked at you (men anyway).
As I said I panicked, and publicly said goodbye to our skating club on the club Facebook page. Didn't state the reason, just said it was unavoidable. When she saw that she texted me accusing me of trying to destroy her skating career. I reminded her that I had previously told her if we broke up I couldn't continue skating. She said, "Don't be so dramatic, I only said I needed space." Which truth be told, is what she said. But what she failed to tell me was she had just spent the weekend with her ex! On Monday of the next week we were texting and she told me, "I'm so ashamed of myself." I asked why..."Dave (her ex) came by on Saturday, we talked, and had some wine." I asked why was she ashamed of herself? "What happened? Did you have sex?" My heart was hammering in my chest, like it is now as I type this. I already knew the truth. She said, "It isn't that simple." I asked what the hell did that mean? So she stated, "he was really drunk and he forced himself on me." "You mean he raped you?" I asked. Her reply/lie confirmed my suspicion, "I don't like that word." I was flabbergasted, but didn't ask the obvious follow-up question (did he or didn't he). Instead I said, "I feel like killing someone." Obviously I wouldn't, it was pure emotion talking. But her immediate response stunned and confirmed without question it was consensual sex, "You stay away from my family, and especially Dave! Maybe I wanted him to force himself on me."
I was crushed!! I knew then it was anything but rape. I don't recall the next few days very well. It was my first foray into the world of over-drinking. The biggest red flag of them all. I blocked her from texting me, but she reached me through my youngest daughter, who really liked her at first. I called her and she proclaimed her deep abiding love for me, and explained that "nothing happened between me and Dave. You just assumed it did but what I said. Dave tried, I pushed him away and he fell into a drunken sleep." I wasn't placated. "He slept with you on the mattress we picked out, and made love on?" She said "yes, but that's all we did." And because it was all so plausible, even though I knew in my heart she cheated, I caved.
The next two weeks she turned on the charm, as only narcissists can, and reset the hook. I still didn't know what I was dealing with. I knew she had issues, like all of us do, but I soon realized she had deep-seated issues, because within a month, in March of this year, she was spending more time with him. But there was absolutely no evidence (other than I KNEW) that she slept with him. And the criticism of me began (I didn't know this was the devalue stage). And it still caused a rift, and now our problems became common knowledge within our club. I needed someone to talk to, and a very dear friend within our club, of many years, we'll call her Rachel, reached out to me. I talked to her and I was told that Chrissy left a trail of destruction wherever she had skated. She never lacked in admirers or boyfriends, both married and unmarried, made no difference to her.
Meanwhile Chrissy had just about fallen off the map. I hadn't heard from her with anything more than one word answers via text in three days. When I finally did hear from her, she said work was so stressful she didn't have time. I didn't realize I was being driven toward the discard stage...And this went on...I finally couldn't take it anymore and broke things off with her. I was so upset about it, and missed her so much I reached out to her, only to be rebuffed. "No one had ever broken up with her in her life (so she said)."
I finally got her to talk to me, and she agreed to talk to me, as friends, at practice that Sunday. When I saw her I told her I missed her. She said, "I miss you too, please don't make me cry here." But she did cry, for a long time, and missed her private lesson as a result. That's one of the times I was sure she loved me. Why would someone cry like that if they didn't feel love? Even though I trusted Rachel implicitly, Chrissy insisted I blabbed about our issues, but the reality of it was that she was very talkative, because all of a sudden people were mad at me!! Did they all just assume it was all my fault?
But I pulled out all the stops to get her back, and it took patience and lots of groveling, but still she wanted to try being friends first. I had no choice but to agree, and we'd only see each other at the rink, or maybe afterwards we'd go for a drink or a bite to eat. But we'd never see each other on weekends. In the middle of May (Mother's Day to be precise) I checked her ex boyfriend's Facebook page only to find a picture of her and her sons at a luncheon, with her ex tagged in the photo. I shouldn't have know (she had asked me to block him weeks ago, stating he'd stalk our pages). I unblocked him to check his page, and sure enough.
I sent her very angry and decidedly mean emails. I told her she was a narcissist, (even though I didn't know what that really meant) a cheater, she's never be anything else but that. She called me a "sore loser" because she didn't choose me. I informed her it wasn't for love she chose him, but money! And I was right. Several times in the past she had told me that. I decided I needed NO CONTACT with her. I was very angry and hurt, and for the next six weeks I refused to even look at her at the rink. Not as a punishment, but because it hurt too much.
In June (before the regional championships) she reached out to me via email, but it went right to spam so I never saw it. Our coach asked me if I had heard from her, and I said no. So I checked my email and sure enough, she wanted us to "mend fences," so there would be no awkward moments during the championships within the club. Deep down this was what I wanted, and I finally agreed to talk to her when she said it was about skating. She asked me if I'd like to skate with her the next year (this coming year). She knew that was what I wanted, but as far as I knew she was still with Dave, and I asked her, "wouldn't your boyfriend have an issue with that, knowing our history?" She explained "he knew we had contact at the rink." But she could see I was unconvinced, and she sweetened the pot. "Maybe we could still fly to nationals together?" We had booked our flights together months ago to get lower rates. But I told her, "that would totally inappropriate." She went in for the kill..."what if I'm not with Dave anymore?" I explained in no uncertain terms, "there has to be an immediate breakup and NO CONTACT at all." She readily agreed and we agreed that we would keep our reconciliation to ourselves, that as far as everyone else was concerned, we were just friends. But they weren't fooled, and we didn't do a very good job of it. We were inseparable, and finally we decided to just come out completely. Screw everyone else. We both won the regional championships and qualified for the national championships in Nebraska. Shortly after that, while at practice, she fell and badly broke her wrist, requiring surgery. She required screws and a plate. This is where her mother's control and negative influence showed through for the first time. When Chrissy asked the doctor if she could still skate nationals with a cast her mom spoke for him and said, "absolutely not!" The doc said he wouldn't recommend it, but yes she could. Her mother insisted on going to all her appointments, but Chrissy finally said no, she wanted me to go, because I give her strength to speak up to the doc. But her mom somehow spoke to the doctor, and at Chrissy's next appointment he didn't put a cast on her, but only a splint, and said she absolutely could not skate. She was devastated, and I assumed she'd go off the deep end and discard me again. But she didn't...in fact I practically moved in with her for the next two weeks. I thought she didn't want to be without me. But it was more practical than that. She had never broken a bone in her life, and couldn't do things for herself. We still managed to have amazing sex during this time, albeit not as often. But then she decided she wouldn't go to nationals because she couldn't skate. She knew I was dependent on her going because we were supposed to share the expenses. Her argument? "Why would I go when I can't skate? And waste all that money?" I told her, "because the man you say you love would have to go without you, and I'd be screwed financially." She seemed unimpressed, and I couldn't wrap my head around the fact that she'd just leave me high and dry like that. Not to mention, I knew she'd definitely be back with Dave if left home alone. She CAN'T be alone. She eventually tried and found out she could skate, so she decided she'd go to nationals, and her whole demeanor changed. It was about her again. She'd be able to shine. We had a very good time at Nationals, and we're very successful, with one seriously red flag episode.
When we were separate for those past six weeks, I had confided in another person, Jaylee, who had warned me away from Chrissy at the outset, but since Jaylee and I had dated, and I had broken it off, I thought maybe she was just being petty. Anyway, when Chrissy and I reconciled I made the astronomical mistake of telling her about the conversations Jaylee and I had had. She was very upset that this other person would say such horrible things, (about Chrissy nearly breaking up a marriage by having an affair with her skating partner) true things, it turns out. And Chrissy was upset that I would still talk to Jaylee while she had said such bad things about her. So I compounded my mistake by no longer talking to Jaylee. Well she confronted us at Nationals about why we weren't talking to her. Chrissy answered that she didn't like the things that Jaylee had told me. When Jaylee asked me what I had to say about this, I said, "I told Chrissy everything we talked about." (That's the truth...I thought I was doing the right thing being loyal to the woman I loved) But Jaylee saw it otherwise. She called me a coward because I didn't throw Chrissy under the bus right then and there. But I had told Chrissy about everything I'd said, including calling her a narcissist. Even so, Chrissy had an emotional melt down afterwards. But not toward me...she decided she'd fly home the next day. She couldn't face this person again. "And how come you didn't have anything to say in my defense?" So much for the United front! But I told her, "If you go home now, you're proving her right, that everything she said was true!" For the first time in our relationship we went to sleep angry. But the next day she changed her mind (actually, I believe she never had any intention of leaving. It was all about getting me to lobby for her to stay, which I did, in a sense).
I'll fast forward through all the non essentials, we both won big at nationals...I won three gold medals in all three events I skated, she a gold and silver. We had fun and the sex was earth shattering for both. The one truth in the entire 8 months.
Upon return to Massachusetts August 6th, everything began to change. I had been her arm candy at Nationals, as Rachel informed me recently. Her ex, Dave had reentered the equation. Chrissy had things of his and he wanted them back. Her story was, he'd told her he wanted them back. I believe she reached out to HIM, not the other way around. One night, she called me in tears, almost delirious in her sadness, because of all the mean things Dave had said to her that night. She had gone to his house to bring all of his things to him. Whoever is another story is that she waited at his house for 45 minutes, before texting him and parading him because he made her wait so long. He informed her that he was out with his new girlfriend and Chrissy was not going to screw this up for him. She also said that she had intended to rent a hotel room in Hull, Massachusetts that was right on the beach and she was going to swim out as far as she could and then let herself drown. This was all relate to me and her sobbing phone call, she was so distraught that she could not even tell me where she was, she went on and on about how she had hurt Dave, she had hurt me, and she was just a horrible person. To be honest I was hard-pressed to tell her she would not a horrible person, but that is exactly what I did. She seemed very close to the edge and I was not going to be responsible for pushing her over that edge. I told her exactly what I knew she needed to hear, that she was not a horrible person, she was a person who had made mistakes, and she was also the person who could change her future, with therapy. I convinced her to head toward my house and I would meet her halfway, so we ended up coming to my house and she stayed here with me. Nothing sexual happened, because that would be crass of me to try. But I admit, I wanted her so badly. The truth is however she had gone to Dave's house with hopes of rekindling something with him. If someone was going to rent a hotel and then walk into the beach to drown her self she's not going to bring a bag for the next day, which is what Chrissy did as I was too later learn. And I confronted her with this information. "Did you go to Dave's with the hope of spending the night? Why would you bring a bag?" She answered that she was not thinking clearly, which was obviously a bold face lie…Yet again I did not press the questioning with fear of "upsetting her" in her fragile state.
There are other things within the past few weeks that sent up red flags; when around other people in our social group she tended to agree with whatever the popular theory was. Our coach, Tony, (he is also a friend of mine, as I've known him since 1983) was also her skating partner. He is gay, but that didn't stop her from using him against me, saying things like, "Tony and I really bonded this weekend," (during a competition in Connecticut, in May). When asked how did they bond she'd say, "I don't want to talk about it." I asked Tony about this, and he said "Joe, you know I have no interest in her that way. We skate together, we're friends. That's it!" I believed him without question...but realized Chrissy was very damaged, and I still loved her immensely!
There are so many instances of her true nature, but honestly, this would end up being a book in itself. Her mother was at the center of it, with her over indulgent, and controlling ways (Chrissy was an only child). Chrissy was the same way. But also seemed to derive pleasure at devaluing me at almost every turn; I couldn't drive very well, she corrected my speaking grammar, and the big one...why didn't I have a higher paying job. As I've said, I'm disabled. I can work, and do part time, but with my VA pension, and SDDI, and part time work, I make over $50,000 a year. Not rich, but I'm not a pauper either. Our incomes combined was over $120,000 a year. But that wasn't enough for her. "I want a nice house, I want to travel. We just don't have the same lifestyle or ambition/goals. I'm not going to change how I think just because I met you!" So I determined to find a job I could do, so I could earn more. I was willing to change things in my life, change ME, for her. But it WAS. NOT. ENOUGH!! It would NEVER be enough. Her devaluing ways were almost constant, and I knew things would never change.
Chrissy is so damaged, an angry, sad woman, but I thought I saw the core of her and never wanted to give up on her. I knew where the damage came from and I wanted to be her rock. I cherished her! I still do, though I know it can never work because she is entirely incapable of really fully loving any one man. I found that out the hardest way possible, when I recently saw a video of her on Facebook with another man…they were hanging out with Tony in Newport, RI...And this was only days after our break up. She was acting as though she had been with him and not me for the past year.
I felt completely betrayed by Tony, enabling her behavior, but mostly crushed by her callous disregard for my feelings while she carried on with this new man… It was Labor Day weekend, and I know she had spent the entire weekend with him. The pain is excruciating, and here I am at 7:30 in the morning, already three shots in to dull the pain, and anxiety. If this piece seems rambling and a bit disjointed it is because there's so much pain and confusion as to what, and how this could happen, that it is hard to keep it straight.