Stranger Stories: An Anonymous Story About Being the “Other” Woman

a note from Mary: this story contains sensitive subject matter, please be aware. 

Like the author of the last fabulously-written anonymous story, I too reached out to Mary to be a guest writer on her blog. I have found that some stories are harder for me to share, and this is one few people want to hear let alone try to understand. This is the story about being the other woman. 

I know what you’re probably thinking, because I can almost guarantee I’ve thought the same things too. I’ve called those women numerous names and made assumptions about them, and then one day, somehow, I became the other woman. 

Four years ago I was entering my freshman year of college. I instantly became friends with this guy Scott (changing his name for the purpose of this story). Scott and I had many common interests and instantly became not just friends, but best friends. I knew I could call him at any second of the day or night and he’d coming running across the quad to my dorm and sit with me until the swelling of my eyes settled from crying so much. When I first met Scott I was still dating a boy from high school. The distance became too much for my little naïve heart to handle, and I soon started dating another guy, we’ll call him Mark. I knew from the start Mark was a bad idea. He was 3 years older than me and certainly more experienced than me. You know when you’re little and your mom tells you if something really makes you sad or uncomfortable that you don’t have to do it, that you should trust those feelings? Well unfortunately 18-year-old me didn’t listen to my mom’s advice. I wound up in an extremely physically and emotionally abusive relationship with Mark. It wasn’t until I was laying naked on the bathroom floor of my dorm room covered in bruises and blood that I realized I needed to get away, that I needed help.  

For the weeks to come, I distanced myself from everyone and everything and Scott and my friendship started fading away. It wasn’t until the summer after our freshman year that I told him the truth about Mark. This angered Scott. Okay so anger doesn’t even begin to describe how furious he was with Mark and the situation and how he wasn’t there for me, but somehow this turned into a conversation of Scott telling me he loves me. I told Scott I didn’t know how I felt. Looking back four years later I knew in that moment I loved Scott as far more than a friend, but I also knew my perception of love and life had been greatly altered by my relationship with Mark. 

So, Scott and I learned to live our lives separately. He loved me from afar and I hid under the covers of other men. Eventually we started dating other people and falling in love with them. Senior year of college came, and Scott was still in a very long-distance relationship with this girl (we’ll call her Emma) while I was single again for the first time in a long time. Scott and I quickly began to spend more time together. Scott would complain to me about how hard his relationship was with Emma being so far away and having so many differences, while I tried dating man after man, I realized I wasn’t happy and in love with anyone like I was with Scott. So one cold winter night, while I was crying over another boy, Scott comforted me, and we kissed. Right away we apologized, and said it was a mistake. I mean it was a mistake right? He had a girlfriend. I finally confessed to Scott how I felt and he said it wasn’t fair to him- he had felt that way before about me and I wasn’t ready and though he was miserable dating Emma right now it just wasn’t fair. So yet again, Scott and I drifted apart.   

Months went by without a single word shared between us, until one Saturday at 3 in the morning I received a phone call from him. The rest of that night is blurry. I’m not sure if it’s that I don’t remember it, or that I don’t want to. We ended up hooking up and then I just started hysterically crying telling him how much I love him. I told him to leave Emma. I told him if he wasn’t happy with her that he needed to break up with her, and be with me. He said now I knew how it felt, now I knew what it meant to have my heart broken, and I began to cry even more. He quickly apologized, and said that’s not what he meant. He said that’s what he wanted too, for us to be together, and we fell asleep. The next morning I woke up in an empty room, trying to figure out if the night before really happened or if it was all a dream. After a few days passed I called Scott and said we needed to talk. So we did, and suddenly I realized I was the other woman. Scott didn’t want to be with me, but he didn’t want to let me go. Scott told Emma what happened and I was suddenly blocked from all of her social media accounts and all of his. I spent my last few weeks of college walking around campus with puffy eyes and baggy sweatpants, keeping my head staring at the ground as people called me a “homewrecker” and a “Whore.” I started to believe those names people called me, and I started hating myself.  

Graduation came, the summertime came, and I thought I was free. But, life never works out quite that way does it? Soon it was October, and I received numerous phone calls from friends in the area saying that Scott was talking about me. So I finally worked up the courage to go sit down with him face to face and talk about everything. Amongst the awkward silences were a lot of “I’m sorry” and “I want you to be happy” and “let’s try to be friends.” So we did, try. Four days later of us “trying to be friends” landed us both in my apartment bed, cuddling, and you guessed it-me crying. I told him I didn’t want him to leave this time, I wanted to wake up the next morning and see him. By some miracle I did, which of course was when he decided to tell me that him and his girlfriend were on a break and he needed to figure out what he wanted. Although they weren’t together at this point, a part of me still felt guilty, like I was trying to weave myself into someone else’s story. I decided this time to trust that gut instinct. After a few weeks of back and forth arguing, I’m not sure if I’ll ever see him again. 

So here I am, writing this, finally typing up my story. If you’re still reading this, you’re probably wondering what I want you to take away from it, why this story is important. It’s important because it’s not just a story, it’s my life. I am not THE OTHER WOMAN, I am A WOMAN. I have a heart and a conscience and a mind and soul. I do not have “bad morals.” I fell in love with a guy who had always been there for me. I fell in love with my best friend and he fell out of love with his girlfriend, and I thought that by some miracle we could be happy together. What I have come to realize is that it will never happen, us. So often I read stories about how much it sucks to get cheated on, and trust me I know, I have been there too. But what hurts even more is being “the other woman,” the one who always saw the good in people, the one who put up with people calling her a “fucking whore” and her supposed best friend telling her “you have no morals and you’re a homewrecker,” all because I believed that Scott really, truly did love me and wanted to be with me.  

“I am not THE OTHER WOMAN, I am A WOMAN.”

My mom used to tell me, “once a cheater, always a cheater.” She warned me about heartbreak and loss, but she never quite prepared me for this empty, disgusted feeling with yourself. So, here I am, trying to move on and live my life, without Scott. Believe it or not, I was the one who ended things. I don’t care if him and Emma were on a break or broken up or whatever the hell you want to call it, but I was and am done with being a part of his life. I am learning to forgive myself for the mistakes I’ve made, but more importantly, I am learning to love myself again. Sometimes we invest so much of ourselves into someone else’s potential that we forget who they really are and who we are and what we believe and what we want. I want someone who wants me, and only me. Emma, if you’re reading this, I’m so sorry how things happened, but I really did love Scott. And Scott, if you’re reading this, you need to make up your mind. I would’ve/could’ve loved you with everything that I had left to give, but I realize it was never really me that you wanted. Maybe it was all just a game to you, and you were reaching to feel something again, but it was always so much more to me. To my audience, I’m not sure what you think of me, and frankly, I don’t care. I am learning to love myself again. I am learning that no one is perfect, myself included. I am learning that we all make mistakes. I am also learning that everyone is deserving of love. One day, I will find the love meant for me. 

So before you go around calling people “homewreckers” and “slut-bags” and whatever witty things you think you can come up with, know this: We are each just trying to find our way in life, trying to find love and all deserving of love. And yes, I “the other woman,” have a heart too.  

Also, to those who are in abusive relationships, or have been assaulted or raped, I hope you find the courage to tell someone. I hope you find the courage to leave and to seek help. I still have moments where it is hard for me, but I am so thankful to have family and friends who love and support me and will never make me feel alone again. Surround yourself with people who make you happy to be alive. Those are the friendships worth having, and never settle for anything less than that.  

If you have a story that you would like to share, anonymous or otherwise email me at marysaverageadventures@gmail.com.

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Sexual Harassment and Sam Pepper

So in case you weren’t aware, over the weekend Sam Pepper, a popular YouTube “pranker” received a very negative response of touching/grabbing women’s asses. I found out about the video because Jack Howard tweeted not to watch it due to the fact that it was offensive, and views are essentially part of Sam’s paycheck. I took his advice and did not watch the video because I did not want to contribute to Sam’s “success” with an inappropriate video. I was never actually subscribed, but I have seen some of his videos, I don’t think this was his first offense at sexually harassing women in the streets.

Sexual harassment is not taken seriously enough, our culture has recently been defined as a “rape culture” which is essentially a culture in which rape doesn’t affect us like it should because it is seen as a normality, while I don’t think this is quite true, it is far too common and is often shrugged off and made a joke, when it’s not remotely funny. Sexual harassment can be as simple as saying something inappropriate in a sexual manner towards a MALE or FEMALE. I think a lot of people fail to realize that sexual harassment can happen to males as well as females, and that’s just something important that should point out as well. What Sam Pepper did was sexual harassment, unless the women gave their consent (which they really can’t when a stranger walks up to you and grabs your butt) and people can support him, because he has potential to be genuinely funny, however he made a career mistake.

This little stunt that Sam pulled, again, isn’t in my beliefs his first case of video captured sexual harassment that have titles such as “Instawhore Prank”, “Licking Strangers”, “Fingering Strangers”, “How to Make Out with Strangers” and “How to Pick Up Cougars” I think just capture the type of person Sam is. While he may make interesting content otherwise (not that I would know) these titles really just put me off, and it makes me even more upset that most of his audience (like most YouTubers) is teenaged girls, this is not what they should be seeing as acceptable behavior, it’s not. No girl should see this and think that it’s okay for a guy she doesn’t know to sexualize and touch her, because it’s not.

Those in support of Sam point out things like “he uses a fake hand/finger” that doesn’t make it okay, he is still controlling the fake object. If you put a knife in a fake hand and use it to stab someone, you will still be charged with murder, and if someone wanted to press charges they would still go against Sam, not the fake hand.

Let’s think about our actions towards others, and let’s not give our time and support to someone who sexualizes women he sees on the streets. Let’s find people who take a stand against these actions, this isn’t appropriate and no one should view it as appropriate. Thankfully Hank Green has released that he will not be invited to VidCon, however, let’s see if he sticks to it. His video has also been removed from YouTube, he has yet to release any kind of statement, and rumor had it his channel was suspended, but that was either not true or was only temporary. It’s sad to see someone supported through this, he was the one in the wrong, I guess we can only help that he changes his way. Only time will tell.

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#YesAllWomen

The quality of posts lately has been absolute crap and I am apologizing for that right now. I’ve been in a real pissy mood because of the aftermath (I can’t really explain because it has to do with work and my boss and a bunch of crap like that) of burning my hand, and I’m afraid that this has definitely impacted the clarity of my thoughts and ability to write well. I’m one of those people who always let stupid little things like that ruin my day, and I have now let it ruin three days so that’s fun. Let’s just say I almost quit on the spot on Saturday and the only thing stopping me is my better than minimum wage pay and the fact that I need money all keeps  me there. Today I am apologizing for my crap posts and I’m going to give you a better post because I’m writing it (mostly) before work so I’m not in a terrible mood.

Yesterday #YesAllWomen was trending on twitter. This was used to promote the rape culture and how we shouldn’t be teaching women to defend themselves, but we should be teaching men to not rape. Before I get into my thoughts and opinions on this I’m just going to give you some of the tweets that I found just by searching the hashtag on twitter.

 

To be honest, yes I think it’s important that we teach men and women not to rape, however, are we teaching murders how not to murder? No, if we’re worried about that we buy guns, take self-defence classes.  So I’m not saying that we should stop teaching women about how to prevent rape because there will always be deviant people, but that doesn’t mean in school we shouldn’t talk to boys about boundaries and what no means.

I think we also need to teach people that it is NEVER  the fault of the woman who was raped. A women should be able to wear whatever she wants in public, if she wants to wear a bikini to the store, to each their own, if she wants to wear a dress that goes to her ankles, to each their own. It doesn’t matter what she is wearing, unless you asked her if she wanted to have sex and she said yes, it is not her fault. Also, if you ask her that and she’s intoxicated, it’s not the same thing as saying yes.

I believe schools should teach more of what rape actually is rather than just teaching that it can happen to everyone. I mean it’s more than just men raping women, it is possible for men to be raped, I think people need to know that. It should be taught not only how to protect yourself, but what else other than “no” means no. If someone is unsure about sex in any relationship or hookup situation it’s best to just say know because “blurred lines” do not mean “yes” it means talk about it.

Just because you are in a relationship or even marriage does not mean you owe someone sex. Ever. If your personal decision is to wait until marriage, wait until the third date, or whatever your decision is don’t let someone else change it or pressure you into something else. Also, don’t try and pressure someone to change their mind either. Don’t try to make blurred lines. If you are in a situation that you don’t want to be in say NO. Scream it if you have to, no matter how many times you have had sex before you don’t have to have it again. Once you say no and someone ignores your wishes that is rape, no matter their relation to you.

If you think you have been in a sexual abusive relationship or are or you have been sexually abused here are some helpful resources:

  • America– This site is really good if you’re at home because at the bottom you can click leave this page and it redirects you to Yahoo, making it easier to hide if necessary.
  • Internationally– This site has a directory of every country and their resources. So you can go here, find your country and find how to report it.

I hope that if you need help you seek it. Thanks for reading my views and opinions on all of this!

XOXO,

Mary.