In June 2017, about one year after leaving Kevin, Michelle and William contacted me. They had discovered my journal about my experience with Kevin on the internet and wanted to contact me because Michelle suspected that Kevin was stealing money from her. Her suspicions were right. Over the course of two years, he had stolen a total of about €2000. Michelle had trusted him with her bank card and often gave Kevin her card and pin when he went grocery shopping and she wanted him to pick something up for her. What Michelle didn’t realise was that Kevin was also using her card to pay for his own groceries, petrol, car insurance and withdraw money for himself. She had never checked her banks statements carefully and Kevin took advantage of that. It was only when she randomly decided to have a closer look at her most recent bank statement that she discovered transactions that she did not recognise. She was able track these unknown transactions back two years.
When Michelle confronted Kevin about the money, he panicked. She then arranged a time to speak to him and used the time in between to prepare copies of the transactions to present him with. However, the time in between also gave Kevin time to prepare himself for the second confrontation. When Michelle met with Kevin to speak to him about the money he had stolen from her, his demeanour was strangely calm. He even accused Michelle of asking for too much.
Eventually, Kevin paid every cent back. His repayment was accompanied by an apology letter that victimised himself and how he had finally realised his actions and had a “wake up call” – bullshit that I had heard before (Chapter 68). He couldn’t even get his age right. He said that he was raped by his much older cousin when he was nine, and had kept it hidden for twenty-one years, which he revealed for the first time to his family the week he wrote the letter. That makes him thirty years old, when he was in fact thirty-seven when he wrote the letter. He couldn’t even lie well. I believe he was able to pay every cent back to Michelle but not a cent back to me because with Michelle, his false self-image was in danger as everyone in the community had become aware of his actions. And as a result, everyone had cut contact with him. No one wanted anything to do with him. Since everyone had discovered his true self, he fled back to France and now resides in a village called Villerupt. But I question how he was able to obtain the money to pay Michelle back. Did he steal from someone else to be able to do this? The surprising thing is that nobody was in the least bit surprised by his actions. He had managed to manipulate everyone, yet somehow everyone could still see through his mask to some extent.
From this event, a whole lot of truth was spilt and discovered. Michelle had read my journal about my experience with Kevin online and explained to me everything she understood from her side. The more she read, the more she recognised him because some things had happened to her too and there were many similarities. It also turned out that my suspicions of Kevin’s smear campaign against me were entirely true, and worse than I had thought. I had always suspected that he was smearing me, but finding out that my suspicions were true generated a whole new wave of emotions in me. I felt shocked and disgusted.
Throughout the next few weeks, Michelle and I compared our stories. I learnt that during lunchtimes, Kevin was always so quiet when I was there. Yet when I wasn’t around, he would be the outgoing Kevin everyone believed him to be. He said that I would make a scandal if he spoke to anyone, when in fact, he was projecting his own behaviour onto me. It was exactly the same with his other ex-girlfriends. He would isolate his ex-girlfriends but made them out to be controlling and crazy, and he successfully managed to get everyone else’s sympathy as he always behaved differently in their presence. For me, if I ever came across as “too friendly”, he would yell at me later on in private, and that was how he was able to silence me. I never really spoke much to anyone for that reason, however, he was behaving as if I was the one controlling his every move. It really is so sick.
Kevin also told me that before I started working at the school in Belgium, he used to hang out with the other teachers in the canteen in the evenings. However, during the time that I was with him, he never hung out in the canteen. I questioned whether he may have used this as part of his smear campaign to support his claim that I was controlling and that I did not allow him to hang out in the canteen, when in fact, he was “teaching” on Skype every evening (Chapter 78). My suspicions were entirely correct. Michelle clarified that before me, it was true that he used to hang out with the other teachers in the canteen every evening, but when I was there, they never saw him. Kevin was telling everyone that I would never let him out in the evenings, when in fact, he was “teaching” on Skype. He wasn’t even hanging out with me in the evenings either. Then when I left for Spain, he was back to laughs and drinks every evening in the canteen and told everyone that he finally felt “free”. I had never stopped Kevin from hanging out with anyone. It was he who always claimed to have to “teach” on Skype every evening. In fact, I was disappointed that we never got to spend evenings together. What was so sickening and so cruel was how he constantly told me how much he missed me and how depressed he was without me when I was in Spain, yet he was going around telling everyone how “free” he was without me. What kind of sick game was he playing!? Only a sick person could get off from this. Then the exact same thing happened with Vanessa, his next girlfriend. When she was in Belgium with him, suddenly Kevin disappeared from evenings in the canteen with the other teachers. That was when Michelle started questioning who really the manipulative one was.
With each of his ex-girlfriends, the scenarios were always the same. Michelle would always start off well with each of these women, but then one day, suddenly, they became cold. And it was because Kevin would smear Michelle to his ex-girlfriends, and also smear his ex-girlfriends back to Michelle. First it was with Bianca, then the exact same shit happened to me. Then after me, it was a Belarusian woman called Vanessa. This always created tension and conflict. For example, he had told everyone that I did not like Anna and Michelle and that I did not want them coming to the supermarket every time we needed to do grocery shopping. This was completely false. In fact, whenever we were about to head to the supermarket and they weren’t around, I always asked if they were coming, but he always said that they didn’t need anything.
Another example occurred one night when Michelle happened to overhear an argument between Vanessa and Kevin. Vanessa was upset about the fact that Kevin had told her off because she was looking at her phone whilst having dinner with everyone else earlier on. As the argument continued, he didn’t hesitate to say that Michelle had agreed with him and thought that Vanessa’s manners were really rude. That was when Michelle realised that he would falsely use other people to form a triangulation to support his arguments. Since then, Vanessa stopped talking to Michelle. It was the same cycle with all his ex-girlfriends. At some point, they all stopped talking to Michelle. He wanted to create the conflict. The control made him feel powerful. He wanted girls to fight over him. He wanted to be at the centre of attention. Ironically, Vanessa using her phone during mealtime was one of those things that Kevin used to always do himself. It was perfectly okay for him to do whatever he wanted but unacceptable for these independent women to do certain things that did not put him at the centre of attention.
When Vanessa was around, it was too much for everyone to take. She stopped talking to everyone and hid in her room all day while Kevin continued to complain about her, insulting her and calling her a bitch. He even accused her of cheating on him, saying that she had someone else back in Belarus. For a while, he managed to make everyone believe that she was just another “crazy girlfriend”. However, Michelle quickly took a step back when she realised that it had happened too many times. However, just like he did with me, Kevin refused to leave Vanessa. When she left Belgium, everybody had turned their backs against her. Shortly afterwards, Kevin said that they had broken up, but he still went to see her at the end of June 2017 in Berlin. However, something happened and he came back covered in bruises on his legs, arms and eyes. He said that Vanessa went crazy and hit him so he left her in Berlin. I’m certain he loved having those bruises to show everyone. I don’t know if she did it to him or perhaps he did it to himself. You never know. However, if she did do it to him, it would have been because he drove her crazy enough to do so.
As Michelle and I compared our versions of events, we also discovered that Kevin had already started a relationship with Vanessa while he was still with me. He told Michelle that he had met Vanessa in March 2016 after I had visited Belgium over Easter and that he had left me two weeks later. That’s why when I had tried to apologise to Anna and Michelle in June 2016 for the incident when I had slapped Kevin (Chapter 29), they were very aggressive and fed up because they saw me as the “crazy ex-girlfriend who couldn’t let go of Kevin”. I, on the other hand, had no idea about any of this. From my perspective, we were still in a relationship, if you could call it that. When I was in Spain, during the period from when he started a relationship with Vanessa until my return to Belgium, I had tried to leave him so many times but he kept pleading, sweet talking and guilt-tripping me to stay with him. Sometimes he even threatened suicide! Not only that, he also kept accusing me of cheating on him when he was the one cheating on me! He was already with someone else, so why on earth did he keep pleading me to stay with him? It’s crazy! He wanted this drama to unfold. He wanted things to go out of control. When I returned to Belgium in June, he was still asking me to accompany him to the supermarket and watch the Euro Cup with him. I wasn’t interested in watching the Euro Cup but he insisted I be there with him. However, when I was watching the Euro Cup with him and the other teachers, he didn’t want to sit next to me. He ignored me most of the time. Whenever I got bored, I left. Then he would send me a message or come looking for me using “coffee break” as an excuse. Now I know why. He wanted to frame me to make me look like the crazy stalker ex-girlfriend who couldn’t detach myself from him. He has a million faces. The fact that he was able to change his mask in a split second depending on who he was around creeps me out and makes me sick to my stomach. I get goosebumps imagining how much he appeared to be suffering from me in front of everyone, yet with me he kept saying how much he missed me and how he was so depressed without me. It really is disgusting.
Although Kevin told Michelle that he had met Vanessa in March 2016, I believe he knew her way before then. I used to see Vanessa’s name pop up a lot in Cyrillic writing on his Skype. She might have possibly been the Belarusian woman he was “teaching” every night whom he called Anastasia (Chapter 47).
Michelle also confirmed that to her knowledge, Bianca (Chapter 90) and Kevin were still together up until January 2015 at least, one month before my arrival in Belgium, and, contrary to what Kevin had told me, they had not broken up six month prior to Kevin meeting me.
Just like me, Michelle often had to pay for Kevin whenever his card apparently blocked or whenever he had no money. He never returned a single cent until the very last incident when his false self-image was in danger. Furthermore and just like he did to me, Kevin had also sometimes called Michelle in the middle of the night telling her that he wanted to commit suicide and that he should not have been born. What kind of sick pleasure was he trying to get out of this?
Michelle further clarified several more uncertainties that I had mentioned throughout this journal. When I had told Kayden in confidence that I was moving to Spain (because he had lived in Spain before and I was interested to find out more about what life in Spain was like as a foreigner), Kevin found out and got angry at me for “disobeying” him and not keeping it a secret like he had told me to (Chapter 24). Later on when I was in Spain, he told me that everyone knew that I was in Spain and implied that Kayden was telling everyone. He made me feel guilty and bad that I had trusted Kayden to keep it secret but he didn’t. However, Michelle told me that Kayden did not say anything. In fact, it was Kevin that had told everyone, but to me, he blamed Kayden to make me feel like shit. This was Kevin’s way to isolate me. He wanted to make me feel that I could not confide in anyone.
During the time when I was preparing to leave Spain to come back to Belgium in June 2016, Kevin said that he would come to Spain to help me pack and we could drive back to Belgium together (Chapter 26). As time got closer, I kept reminding him to book his ticket to Spain so that we could start planning. However, he kept saying that he first needed to confirm the dates of the school spectacle so that he could book his ticket for after. Each time I asked if the spectacle dates were set yet, he kept saying how everyone was so disorganised and that there was still no set date yet. This went on for an incredibly long time. Eventually, ten days before the spectacle, Kevin said that the dates had finally been set. However, this was a complete lie. Michelle told me that the dates for the school spectacle were set months in advance because William was going to the UK for his father’s birthday on the second weekend of June and had a wedding in Malta in the fourth week of June. This was known months in advance and that was why the school spectacle had to be done in the third week of June. Kevin was just too fucking lazy to keep his word and help me move.
Since being found out, Kevin has runaway to Villerupt to deceive new friends, new colleagues and new women… until he is found out again. He will keep running away for the rest of his sad life. It will be a never-ending cycle.
I used to feel angry at Kevin for ruining my time in Belgium. I didn’t make any friends while I was there. Sometimes I wonder how my life in Belgium would have been different had he not been there. However, I have to thank him for opening my eyes to such evil. Had I not met him, I would be the same gullible, naïve person I was before.
I keep in contact with Michelle regularly and I am very grateful to her for reaching out to me. I am satisfied that the truth has come out. For me, it was a huge step forward in my recovery. I was still experiencing anxiety and panic attacks just before Michelle and William contacted me. However, after we made contact and compared our stories and cleared up all misunderstandings, the anxiety and panic attacks suddenly subsided. A huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I felt a huge sense of relief and satisfaction. I was able to put the past behind me. We both have learnt and grown so much from this experience and we are now both much stronger women.