T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 95707
posted 02-24-2013 09:49 PM
Hi all again,
I know this may be a bit wordy..but I could really really use the support.. I feel so stupid and ashamed and pathetic..and posting this here with some response would really make me feel much better.. So about 2 years ago, I met an older man called Brian. He was about 65 years old at the time, and he was very kind to me and for those reading, this post is NOT sexual. We were good pals and played guitar together, I treated him ever so slightly like a dad. I knew not to get in too deep because I was burnt that same way before with another friend/mentor I had. Anyway as time went on, we shared a lot with each other. He told me about his war stories, family and he had an open-door policy, telling me I could come over whenever I wanted. I felt very safe with him, and he even let me bring his oldest photo albums and army certificates home. Awhile went by and I noticed he was somewhat rude to his wife, and often snappy. I thought well, he's a man of a different generation, perhaps that's how they treat each other? Then came his oldest son. He had tattoos everywhere, and was very quiet. He kept to himself a lot and didn't like to talk when I came over. After a few of his appearances, I happened to bump into him outside his condo and came to find that Brian used to abuse him and he often disagreed with the things Brian spouted. So we met more frequently and I questioned the legitimacy of Brian's kindness. His son, Terry, said his kindness was genuine but never towards him. Long story short, Terry invited me into a business he was running with his dad. It was just selling used computer parts and repairing computers as well. I had a full-time job so I told him I could only help on the side, and he said that was fine since he was only open on Sundays anyway. As business started, in that first week, I found out more about Brian. Brian was a pretty tyrannical person underneath it all, and he was paying his son a measly $1000 a month! I know it may "seem" like a lot, but the son was devoting all his time to two of his father's shops, and while they made close to $20,000 most months, Terry only got a fraction of that! And it wouldn't be so bad except out of that $1000, he still had to contribute to the rent of the shop as well as his father's bus fares and groceries! Terry spent the next week pouring out to me, and at one point even broke down crying. I felt so bad for him. Here was this 40 year old man crying in front of me..completely broken. I was getting no pay for helping them out on Sundays even though it was a "part-time job", but I didn't mind because it was simple tasks and I was very well equipped to help. Terry said it was wrong and Brian should be paying me, so even though I refused, he said he was going to give me some of his cut for the week, $50. I felt it was purely out of good faith but still, I refused. Instead, I took him out for some simple food and we talked about it a bit more, and he told me he had a girlfriend in Australia. She was dying to see him, and he too. They had only known each other through the phone but she had also mailed him pictures of her, money and even her confirmed resignation slip because she promised she was coming over to Singapore to marry him. His eyes were gleaming the whole time he was telling me about her, and I told him this was what he had to do.. He had to get his life on track and amiably resign from his father's businesses and take up something proper so he could support her when she came over to Singapore. He told me he had other plans. He said he was getting money on the side, selling some parts without recording them and pocketing it all. He asked that I play along but I said it was madness and while I won't aid in it, i'll just keep quiet. He was fine with that but then one night, things went really wrong. He told me his dad confronted him and while already also senile, was also getting paranoid that some of the receipts were missing. His dad threatened to separate him and his soon-to-be wife if he doesn't stay in the business. This was a viable possibility because they met through Brian, and Brian had a fair amount of influence on her. Terry was trapped, and he felt completely lost. I told him he had to make this break, Brian was getting too much, and he's already 40! If it's not now, it's never! He agreed but another night came along, and I got a call at around 4 in the morning. Brian had been yelling at Terry and possibly beating him too, threatening to take him to the police because Brian was an ex-officer in some very prestigious embassies here so his word would be final against Terry. The call was from Brian, and he said he knew Terry was abusing the business and stealing from him with me. He found out because Terry was so scared he came clean to him. I immediately refuted it, saying I had in no way done anything of the sort, and I was still groggy so I asked he explain himself. He started cussing at me and threatening to dip into his connections and corruptly sue me on false grounds. Having known him all this while, I knew he was bluffing because he had burnt most of his connections already and at that age, most of them were retired, ill, or on their death beds. After all, we're talking about people in their 70s and 80s. I hung him up and sent a text to Terry, saying he shouldn't have tried to stick it to me too. He replied saying I was a false friend, and when times were good, I was there but when it was bad I ran. I told him he did a very stupid thing, and if he wanted to get himself killed and this stupidly, he shouldn't expect even his closest loved ones to follow. Fast forward to about 3-4 months after, my friend in their neighborhood told me he bumped into Terry and he had a message for me. Terry told him to ask me if I had removed my name as a manager for the company, and I told him to reply yes. He then asks for proof, I told my friend to ignore him. I then told my friend not to be the middleman and to stay away from this because it'll drag him in. Terry tells my friend he searched up where I live, but then adds that he thinks i'm a horrible person and he and his father want nothing to do with me anymore. A day after that, I went to file a police report, fully explaining my concerns about them possibly showing up or harassing me and my friends, and they assured me if ever I have a bad confrontation with them, I could call the police. They also added that if they try to pursue this matter by taking the law into their own hands, it would be considered Intentional Harassment and is a criminal offence. I felt much better after that, even having a copy of the report physically with me, but the officer also emphasized that they will not take any action based on this report because there has been no action on Brian and Terry's end. And if they do not act on their words, then there is nothing to investigate. Now a few days later, here I am.. I feel horrible for my mother because in this whole mess, she had also signed her name briefly into the company (it's withdrawn now), and I feel so guilty because i'm afraid they'll try to legally screw with her. I know it's not possible and Singapore's legal system for such things is incredibly costly and slow..but still, i'm worried for her. I'm also worried for my own safety though I know it's silly.. They have no more reason to come after me, the amount we're talking about is $50! And also, Terry made it clear to my friend he simply did not want to have anything to do with me, and that made me feel much better. Along with that, I have this police report under my belt and my closest friends have been alerted to collect evidence should they try to harass them. Everything is in place, they have my mom's, best friend's and girlfriends numbers and addresses but though they've had ample opportunity, haven't taken much action. Along with that, my girlfriend also says she's met them a few times and they just ask her how things are for her and then they leave, with no inflection, no questions about me and not even slightly implying anything about what happened. Though when things first exploded, they DID tell her she should consider breaking up with me to which she said it's really none of their business and they laid off but now, nothing! Typing this has already made me feel a little better It's just..things like this happen..and in spite of all the reasoning to prove otherwise, being that one victim in it isn't always easy to cope with.. And a lot of the time, emotions would get the better of them..just like me now. I know things will be fine, legally our names are out of the company, they've expressed they want the cleanest break, the police have been alerted, everything's case closed. Maybe I just need some support, or some backing..I don't really know. All I know is I feel kinda scared, and I feel pathetic for feeling scared, and I feel guilty that I let this happen a second time..and that I didn't gather more evidence, and overall I just feel awful for not really doing enough to have avoided this.. Anything you guys have to say will be really helpful :*
Member # 95707
posted 02-25-2013 02:07 AM
Another important detail I can't believe I forgot to add..
Both of them have clear gang affiliations here and they've both expressed very violent tendencies in front of me before.. By reasoning I can deduce they'll never do it to me (motivation not strong enough, penalty too severe, not worth the price, inconvenient, etc.) but it's still kinda jarring to get over..
Member # 101745
posted 02-25-2013 05:03 PM
I feel like this is a little outside the scope of our services, but I certainly hope you don't hear from these people again. It sounds like the sort of bad situation that is much easier to identify as a problem in hindsight than it did at the time!
I can certainly understand you feeling scared and stressed by this, but hopefully having the police aware of the situation will help.
Member # 79774
posted 02-25-2013 06:12 PM
I'm so sorry to hear these people did this to you! But I'm glad that you seem to have handled this as best you can now, and that you have friends and the police on side, and have got yourself out of the business connection with them. I don't think it's pathetic to feel scared of people who have made threats. How else are we going to feel? Please know too that it's not your fault. In situations like this, we'd be just fine if the other people had only been decent people. Them not being decent people is not our fault, and it's not our fault that we don't have magic-perfect-radar for not-decent people. Sometimes when we have a history with abusive, unhealthy or exploitative people, particularly when we're young, it can make it harder for us to recognise those things in people and to get away from them. Again, that's not our fault - it's the fault of the people who were originally abusive etc. It can help us, though, to recognise that we might find this harder than most people, and to try to deliberately learn what kinds of behaviours we should treat as red flags in the future, what kinds of behaviour are healthy and which aren't. It's ok that we can't learn all of this immediately. It takes time, and we're not going to get it all right all the way along. Any people who mistreat us or take advantage of us while we're still trying to figure it all out are just not pleasant people, really. You're far from the only person to have this kind of thing happen more than once, and there's nothing you need to feel bad about for not doing better.
Member # 95707
posted 02-25-2013 10:30 PM
Thanks so much the both of you!
Yeah..I was thinking about it the other night and I think the similarities between Brian and my own father may have rubbed me the wrong way. I study psych too and I think maybe my negative feelings are amplified because I may have projected my expectations of my dad onto Brian.. I also did some soul-searching and I think a lot of my fear just came from feeling alone, yknow?.. Like, i'm dealing with all this, but I can't keep telling my mom how I feel because I don't want it to worry her any more in her current state (her job's been very rough). I can't fully rely on my girlfriend because she's just starting college and I don't want it to mess up her schedule and studies.. And besides the two of them, I can't count on anyone else in my life.. I never made a whole lot of friends in school..so I didn't have anyone to rally around me when this stuff started to happen.. Maybe this whole incident just brought out this realization in me that I've always been so selective with my friends and now when I need them most, I wish i'd taken more chances and went for more parties.. On the bright side, college for me starts in 2-3 weeks! I'm sure getting to know new friends and having a fresh start is what I need.. But that brings about another concern, Should I confront Brian/Terry over the phone or something and ask them to leave me alone amiably? I mean..it doesn't seem like they'll try to contact me again, and i'd really much rather just leave it in the past. And while I want peace of mind and maybe more closure by hearing it from either of them that they'll leave me alone..I think I might be taking an unnecessary step that might hurt me more. For all I know, they've deleted my number already and if I call, i'd just open that up again for no good reason..