Breaking the silence………

Breaking the Silence -- Bowing out from narcissistic power

breaking the silence

THE CRACK IN THE MIRROR

About 3 years ago, I met my friend Michael, a gentleman living abroad. He seemed like a respected businessman and I really came to respect him.

Michael approached me because he wanted to license my cosmetic products and have worldwide distribution and manufacturing rights for the company he was with. He first sent me a message asking about my products. I responded and pretty soon he asked if he could call me. We ended up talking on the phone and he explained what he was looking for. I would need to sign a  Non Disclosure Agreement and he would send it right away……..

 

During our first conversation, he talked a little bit about his fascinating past.  I did not know much about his personal life really, which was perfectly fine, since the main reason he contacted me was for business.  He explained to me the concept he wanted to implement. At first I did not really see what he was trying to do, so when he told me that he would start with daily overviews, I decided to join.

After a couple of times explaining the concept, I realised that there was a huge gap between Michael’s concept and the execution. He was bragging about how well he was with basically everything, the results however did not show for that.  I asked him about the timeframe he was thinking of launching this, he did not have one. I started to see that Michael had a strange way of looking at life, he called it peculiar. 

 

 As time went by , I could see Michael was struggling to make a connection between his concept and the implementation. He asked me to help him, and I did. He promised that, once the whole business was launched and we ehre in soft launch, I would get paid for all the work done.  started to help him out. started to help him with building his business.

Regardless of his “huge network”, Michael  did not seem to  succeed in engaging a developer to build the system he needed for his business. To help out, I asked my own developer – Ray,   that has been working with me for almost 3 years, to help out.  The first conversation was great, and Michael was very enthusiastic.  Michael explained his requirements and what Ray would need to build. Ray, in his turn, drew up a document with the requirements and discussed this with Michael. It was agreed on and Ray stated his price. Michael started to promise Ray the moon and the stars, telling him he would offer him an executive position in the company. Ray would be the head of IT.  In the meetings that followed however, Michael kept adding new requirements to the list. At first all he wanted was one website with a database. At the end of the tirth conversation, it was 100 landing pages and a whole new database.  Ray  noted them all and a couple of weeks later came up with a new price( in the meantime, Ray had already started to work on the project building the website). Michael got furious! He started to accuse Ray of being dishonest and a thief. That day, Michael showed a very different side of himself, one I had not seen before, but one that alerted me. He kept accusing Ray and refused to listen to what  Ray had to say. And although we both,Ray and myself, tried to explain to him that the new price was due to the fact that he added a bunch of new requirements to this first order, he said that this was not true. All the new requirements were discussed in the first conversation and according to him he never added any new ones. The accusations toward Ray were very disrespectful and he eventually decided to just leave what he had already built and quit the project.

Months passed by and the project got stuck. On the outside, Michael would pretend as if nothing was wrong.  On the daily online meetings where people came to hear about the business, he would constantly say that “we will be in soft-launch pretty soon).. He would have meetings on a daily basis attracting people to his new venture. Don’t get me wrong, the concept was a well thought one, the execution however was far from that.  I decided to get more involved to get this thing going and I involved another developer, Kevin. 

break the silence

Kevin was a dedicated young developer and very eager and anxious to start the project. Again, I initiated the first meeting for Michael to explain what he would need, and with the experience I had with Ray, I advised Kevin to draw up a document stating every requirement asked by Michael. Kevin’s price was way below Ray’s price.  Michael paid Kevin an initial USD800, promised him an executive position in his company and told him he would pay him for all his work done once his business was up and running. As soon as Kevin started on the project, he alerted Michael about some things that he needed to change in his account. For starters the hosting plan. Michael waved it zway telling Kevin that he had the highest and most expensive plan the company had to offer. After a while, Kevin would  alert him about the same thing. This went on until one day, Michael called me upset telling me that his “whole system was down, and it must have been something Kevin had done”. I reminded him of the many times Kevin alerted him about his hosting plan, but of course, Michael refused to listen to any of this. 

Kevin worked for 5 months without getting another  cent! Michael kept attracting people to his business promising them executive positions and even announcing them in his  daily meetings. Meantime, none of them, including yours truly, actually signed a contract. 

In the meantime, I got more involved in his personal life. The first was when he invited me to join his weekly online spiritual teaching class, the fellowship as he called it, where he and some like other people would study the scriptures. I got introduced to the people in the fellowship.  I was attending more and more. I noticed that one of the members was not happy.  She, Dianne,  looked like an angry woman with a blanket of sadness over her. She would sit there for the whole hours and only spoke when she was asked to speak. She looked so miserable, but at the same time, everybody was acting as if nothing was wrong. I was wondering if It was just my imagination. I never asked about it, since I just joined the fellowship and did not know the “rules” . I decided it was my imagination and whenever I would attend the fellowship,  I would just  greet her and try to make friendly conversation with her. As time passed by, we spoke more and more and I found out that the angry woman was actually a woman with a heart of Gold. A heart that was hurt once too often.

breaking the silence

It was somewhere around September, Michael  announced  that he was going to get married to his Fiance Ivy. It came as a surprise, since all this time, Ivy was never mentioned before. I also never saw her attending the fellowship. Ivy was a young lady ( I found out later that she was in her 20’s) living in an African country.  Michael was very excited. The wedding would be in December and a couple of the members in the club were promised plane tickets including hotel stay for the wedding. 

breaking the silence

The wedding would take place in South Africa where Michael would also have to fly to, to  meet his fiance. After the announcement, he never mentioned anything about the wedding again. With December

rapidly approaching, I was curious about the wedding. Since Michael never said anything, I did not know how to bring it up. I did not want to start – what might be a painful topic to Michael, so I never asked about Ivy or the wedding. Michael never mentioned anything about the wedding again. And life went on……..

Mid  January however, Michael announced his wedding to Anny. Before the announcement, I had never heard about Anny. Anny, according to Michael, was a successful business woman living in South Africa. Suddenly she was there. My first impression after we got introduced was that of a woman that was a little bit too eager. She would repeatedly say how happy she was to have found “a family” and that she loved us – Diane and I- very much. Although she had siblings, she never had sisters that loved her. To me, this sounded a bit over the top. 

Anny was very much in love with Michael. She and her children started to attend the fellowship. Michael announced that he and Anny would do an “online wedding” and that we would be witness to it. He would do it during the fellowship.  Mind you, this was the third week after Anny started to come to the fellowship. Michael revealed to us that he did not have any identification. He hung up some story about the state confiscating his passport. He would however let Anny travel to his birth place, the Bahamas to arrange for his papers. Then she would fly to the USA and together they and the children would go and live in the Bahamas. Anny was over the moon. She was telling us how she has been praying for a good man and a father to her children. She was so happy she got more than she could even imagine………..

Again we were all invited to his wedding and of course all expenses paid, this time however, the real wedding would take place in the Bahamas Now, tell me, who would not want to go to the bahamas? All expenses paid! After the announcement I cautiously asked, what about Ivy. Michael said something about Ivy not being fit and was having a lifestyle that he did not agree with. And Ivy was never discussed again.

Anny seemed more his type and she was very pleased and eager to get married. So pleased that short after, she agreed on funding his business. Michael appointed me CEO and Anny became the executive communication officer. Additionally he appointed Charles the VP for communications, Kevin the CIO and Kenneth became the first Master certified agent. None of these people actually received a written contract, all were promised to get paid after we got into the soft launch. 

Michael started to announce that Anny would fund the so called IT department with USD100.000 by mid March. The money would be to hire more developers since the project was simply too large for Kevin. Michael started to count on the funding and even went ahead and told others that by the end of the month of March he would bring in USD2.3 million. Mind you, Michael had been living on Diane’s couch for the past 3 years. He did not contribute in paying the rent or anything for that matter. He even conveniently forgot to tell Anny that he could not legally marry her, because he was already married to Eden.

The first crack in the mirror came after Michael and Anny had their first fallout. This was only four weeks after the announcement of the marriage. I knew nothing of this fallout until Michael

called me and asked me to contact Anny. He told me she refused to take his calls and he asked me to convince her to come back. 

 

The reason for the fall out, to my suprise, was me! Michael told Anny that he asked me to marry him before he proposed to her, but that I refused to marry him because he was  too old for me. I was very surprised hearing this, since Michael and I never even had a spark ( well, at least not from my side).

After hearing about the so called marriage proposal, Anny, according to Michael became very jealous. He forced her to admit her jealousy, and when she finally did, he commanded her to contact me to “repent and reconcile” with me.

break the silence

He called me to tell me “I instructed Anny to repent and reconcile with you”. This whole situation gave me a very awkward feeling. Why on earth would the man that is supposed to love her, tell her a lie that he asked some other women  to marry him? And if that was not enough, why would he then command her to call this woman to repent and reconcile? Why would he want to humiliate her like this? And why was she willing to go through this humiliation?  The conversations that followed with Michael became even more disturbing! I felt as if I was in the twilight zone. Michael started to talk about “the evil” that Anny showed him, an evil that he had never seen before. I just assumed that the evil would be her anger. But then he said something very disturbing.”She wanted me to punish her. She begged me to punish her’. …………..

One or two days later, Anny did call me to repent and reconcile.

During my conversation with Anny, she told me a couple of disturbing things that I did not know about Michael. Being the victim of a narcissist not too long ago, I recognised some similarities that I went through in my previous relationship.  Anny opened up and told me that Michael would send her pictures of his ex girlfriends, pretending not to know who they were and asking her about them. He would then turn around and reveal that they were ex girlfriends and would express to her how gorgeous he thinks they looked.  

 

 I explained to Anny  that this behaviour was so familiar to me. I told her that I could not tell her what to do, but that I could only tell her my story. I told her about my past relationship, that he would do the same thing with” the ex”……trying to make me feel less. Accusing me of sleeping around, or having affairs. I told Anny that based on her story I recognised the signs. But, she did not have to worry about me wanting her fiance, since I was in a relationship and very  happy so. I also told her that this was confidential, since I did not tell Michael about my personal things.  We ended up laughing at the joke that Anny was telling. That Michael was so damn weird that she imagine him jumping up during sex, while she would reach climax and tell her to repent. After a good laugh, we added Diane to the call, of which Michael had asked to act as a “witness”.  The days following the conversation were quiet, or so I thought. After repenting, Anny got back to Michael and I went on being my innocent self…………until….

Diane called me because she had a couple of questions. Apparently during making up, Anny decided to spill the tea and tell Michael all that we discussed. The difference however was that she changed the order, telling him that I was the one asking her if he was showing her pictures of his exes too like my ex did. According to Michael, after his conversation with Anny, he came to understand that I tried to take over his business and that I tried to keep Anny away from him. He took this to Diane and asked her if she thought this could be true. After hearing this from Diane , I picked up the phone and called Michael. I told him that I was very upset with the way he had been handling things lately. I expected from him that,  if he would hear something, that he would come to me and ask me about it, and not go to Diane. Michael took a deep sigh and promised to arrange for a call so that this all would be discussed and settled that same sunday. A couple of hours later, the four of us, me, Michael, Anny and Diane were on a zoom call discussing the matter. At the end of the call, we all agreed that it was ok. 

In the days following, again, silly me, I thought everything was ok. Just like we discussed at the end of the conversation. Yes, the conversation was a heated one in the beginning. I was very upset with Anny to take every personal thing I told her during our conversation and tell it to “her husband”as she would call him. She told me she had to tell Michael everything, because she was his wife. Even the stuff that had nothing to do with him?  Mind you, they still had not met in person yet. I told her during the call that I think she is a hypocrite. To me, she broke the “women code”. There are things that you simply do not tell your man about another sister.  Apparently Anny does not know that code.  

Anyway, after the conversation, I honestly thought we were good. So I joined the Sunday meeting like nothing had happened, and the next day, I sent a short “Goodmorning, hope you are well” message to Michael like every morning. He responded and this continued the following days. However, on Thursday Michael all of a sudden called me and demanded me to repent and reconcile to him. Was this guy serious?

After the first call, I explicitly told Michael that I had no intentions of repenting. He hung up the phone the minute I told him I was not going to repent. Two days later, he sent me an email 

Jane My Beloved Sister,
You are probably thinking that it was wrong for me to have ended our call so abruptly. I am very happy to tell you that I have not done evil by abruptly ending our call. The Holy Scripture commands not to company with a brother or sister who is disorderly and you overwhelmingly have displayed such disorderly behaviour. Furthermore, you’ve stated that you will neither reconcile or repent which was my cue to exit the call without saying bye. I or no other brother or sister can never bid you Godspeed unless you repent and reconcile.
I hope that you will not continue to allow you obvious pride to dictate your actions, it will only result in further hardening your heart against me. Please know that your behaviour is quite serious and is considered murder and no murderer has eternal life abiding in them.
I hope that you will repent and reconcile.

stating that “ I would not even know what to repent for. He told me that I dealt with him in a horrible way and that I MUST repent to him. Michael started to sound a lot like Jim Jones, the cult leader to me. He tried for days to make me repent.

I decided not to even waste my energy on this. Apparently Michael could not leave it, so 2 days later, he called me again. This time he decided to bring witnesses,   Anny and Diane-, telling me to repent. If I would not do so, I would have no salvation.  In the days following Michael would act like a spoiled child that wanted to get what he wanted.  I sent him a message telling him that I decided to separate business and personal. From now on, I will no longer have personal discussions with him. He could however still licence my products. I just want to know how we would continue business wise, since I have been working on that for 18 months. Michael responded “ I  cannot consider anything unless you repent and reconcile with me, the Holy Scriptures commands such.”

For my own peace of mind, I decided to block all access and connections to Michael. 

Unfortunately, the peace of mind I was hoping for did not happen. Before I blocked Michael, I officially informed the group that I would no longer be a part of the business. That was that!…….so I thought.

 To my surprise,  right after I left, a couple of ladies started to contact me, telling me even more disturbing things about Michael.

Apparently Michael has been very busy looking for someone to get married to. Ivy and Anny were just the tip of the iceberg. I came to learn that Michael has been asking young ladies old enough to be his grand daughter to marry him. He would pick young ladies from African countries, send them some money to “help them out” to then try to control them. Michaels pattern has been to ask them for marriage, but would roll over to the next as soon as it seemed that the current one is not “obedient enough” for him.  Right after “breaking up”w ith Ivy, he asked Denise to marry him. Denise, a 23 year old was shocked. She told me she respected him as a father figure. He sent her USD150 to help her out, after she confided in him that she had a financial problem.

The wedding would take place in South Africa where Michael would also have to fly to, to  meet his fiance. After the announcement, he never mentioned anything about the wedding again. With December

rapidly approaching, I was curious about the wedding. Since Michael never said anything, I did not know how to bring it up. I did not want to start – what might be a painful topic to Michael, so I never asked about Ivy or the wedding. Michael never mentioned anything about the wedding again. And life went on……..

After Denise told him she was not interested in him, she got very upset with him introducing one of his friends to her. This guy, James,  started to sweet talk Denise. Denise was quite upset with Michael giving his friend her details without her consent.

Anyway, I blocked Michael so that he could not have access to me to disturb my joy. In the meantime Anny, who I tried to make see the signs of what she could be expecting, decided to stand by her man. She believes that  If she loves him enough, he will change. 

During this whole period, Diane was the one trying to keep the peace. And after a while,she started to tell me her story. I was shocked to say the least, but I will let her tell you herself.

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