By: Michael H
The photos of us being intimate together were supposed to be for our eyes only. I ended up losing my job because he wanted revenge.
It was late in 2012 and I was getting myself ready for work. I just started the job about a year earlier after being unemployed for nearly six months.
As I used the trimmer to shave my beard, my cellphone started to ring. It was my supervisor’s personal number. I knew something was seriously up because he never calls me on that line.
I wondered if it was an emergency because it was only 6:30 am. The sun was just starting to come up.
Concerned, I picked up the phone immediately.
“Hello – what’s up?” I asked. His response was quick.
“Please come into the office at 10:30 am. When you arrive at the front desk, give the security guard your name. You will be taken to human resources to meet with the HR manager. He will explain everything.”
Click. There wasn’t so much as a goodbye.
My heart started to race. I had no earthly idea what was going on but I knew it wasn’t good.
It seemed like forever until 10:30 am rolled around. I checked in with the guard at the front desk as requested.
I felt nauseous and sick as he took my company identification badge clipped to my shirt and handed me a “Visitor’s Pass” sticker. He then walked me through glass doors and into a conference a nearby conference room.
“Please sit down,” said the manager, her hands clasped together, replete with an expressionless face. In front of her on a boardroom table was an iPad with a black screen.
After taking my seat and nervously adjusting the height of my chair, I braced myself for whatever was to come. At this point, I can honestly say I was almost ready to hurl.
She got right to the point.
“Michael, do you know anything about this?” she inquired, looking straight into my eyes with extreme intensity. “Does any of this seem familiar?” she added as she depressed the iPad’s button, making the darkened screen flicker to life.
As I looked down, my heart was racing.
There it was – a picture of me on all fours with my face in full view. Behind me was my ex-boyfriend, Christopher, smiling into the camera and giving a thumbs up with one hand while held the back of my neck with the other. He was inside me.
“And there’s more like these…” said the HR manager. “In fact, there’s lots more but I’m starting with this one now.”
Somehow, she had come into possession of my private pics with my ex. I closed my eyes and let my mind wander back to the previous summer.
I was 34 and head over heels in love with Christopher. We had originally met on Tinder and at the time had been dating seriously for about six months. We couldn’t seem to get enough of each other.
As our relationship continued and our level of trust increased, we did things together – you know – things couples sometimes do.
I remember that the both of us had been drinking at some lame event one Saturday night and ended up at his place.
Christopher had joked around about taking pictures of us before but I never took the bait. I knew better than to allow him or anyone else to snap those kinds of photos – particularly with everyone living on social media.
But we were both drunk off our asses and it must have just happened. I can’t honestly say he took advantage of me because I was awake and aware of what was going on the whole time. He didn’t hypnotize me or anything.
And if I am honest with myself, I probably got a little turned on by it. It’s still a little foggy though.
A few days after that particular weekend of “fun”, he texted several reminders to me and included smiley face emoticons of different sorts. “Fun times!” he added to one of them. I remember messaging him back and laughing, telling him that we looked like goofballs.
Unfortunately, our relationship didn’t last. He was too controlling and I had my own issues with his need to dominate. No offense to anyone but Scorpio men can be like that.
“There it was – a picture of me on all fours with my face in full view. Behind me was my ex-boyfriend”
I initiated the split and he didn’t take it well – at all. I remember during one uncomfortable exchange that he said: “You really don’t want to do this – I’m not the type of guy who handles being dumped real well.”
Did Christopher do this for revenge? It kind of seemed unthinkable that he would but a part of me couldn’t help but recall the vague threat he had made after our relationship dissolved.
It just seemed all so surreal.
I opened my eyes up again and in a flash, I was back in the moment with the HR manager.
What followed next is a bit fuzzy. She told me that I had two options: 1. Resign my position or 2: Be terminated. I was a complete mess but I do remember I broke down and cried.
She pushed a piece of paper towards my direction to sign. “Control your emotions and do this,” she said, using a steely, monotone voice.
I can’t describe the amount of pressure you are under in a moment like this. It’s not like you feel open to explaining anything – let alone negotiating. I’m sure the scenario she had set up was designed to intimidate me – and it worked. I just wanted to scurry out of there.
I grabbed the document and signed it. She told me that my belongings would be overnighted to my home and that I didn’t need to stop by my desk or say goodbye to anyone.
As I started to get up, she motioned towards a security guard through a glass door. He had been standing outside the whole time.
Apparently, I was such a threat that I needed to be physically escorted out.
By the time I got to my condo, I was beside myself. I was in a state of shock but also angry and confused. It just seemed crazy that Christopher would do something like this.
My phone was blowing up with voicemails and texts too from friends. “Why did you put all of that online?” asked everyone.
Immediately, I went to my computer and tried to sign into my social media accounts. Each time I tried to log in, I got a denial message that indicated I was using the wrong password.
All of them did this – Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. I had tried to so many times to login that Pinterest actually locked me out.
It took me forever but I was able to get the passwords reset on the accounts. Once I signed in, I could see what had been done.
The night before, someone gained access to them and posted a series of photographs – the pics Christopher and I had taken when we were together. Most had a # on them with the name of my employer.
It then dawned on me that Christopher did have access to my accounts because he had my passwords.
Call me stupid but when we were together, I gave them to him when my computer crashed and I needed help with a restore. I’m one of those people who uses the same passwords for everything.
I know – you are not supposed to do that but I’m just telling you the way it was.
And worse, I never bothered to change the passwords to something new after he fixed my laptop.
Did I mention that Christopher is a self-employed computer guru and IT tech? He is and he even has his own shop. It was all starting to make sense to me. He used to brag about how he could break into anyone’s account and how great he was at hacking.
While I sat with my rage, I also kept saying to myself: “This is why you broke up with that crazy jerk!”
I had no way of proving he posted the pictures to my accounts but my gut told me it was him. Nobody else had them except Christopher. And who would be motivated to do such a thing anyway, you know?
There wasn’t much I could do about it anyway. I had been pushed into resigning my job, humiliated and dehumanized. It wasn’t long before I started running out of money.
You see – I was already heavily in credit card debt.
I did try to make reports with each of the social media accounts but honestly, their collective response was nothing more than BS. All they did was send me a form letter on how I could better protect my accounts.
Even if I could prove he did it, there was no law broken. I was in the pictures with him doing what we were doing.
Plus, Christopher was too smart to be caught. I later found out from someone that he likely used a website cloaking tool to mask his IP address for signing in. Kind of sucked for me, huh?
A friend of mine suggested that I not bother to call my ex on the phone to find out why he did what he did. He said it would just give him a giant sense of satisfaction and that he’d never admit to doing it. I agreed. And I was just too depressed and angry to confront him.
Thankfully, it would only take a few weeks to find a new job. And I was up front with my new employer that my ex-boyfriend may try to cause problems. Luckily, the new company was fairly progressive and showed genuine concern for my welfare.
I don’t wish Christopher any bad karma. It’s just not who I am. In fact, I hope he has found someone new and that he got some counseling from a professional. I pray he hasn’t tried to hurt anyone else.
Since that time, I’ve deleted all of my social media accounts and signed up with new usernames. The process sucked big time but it was the only way to make absolutely sure that my information was secure. And I make it a point to change my passwords every couple of months.