Chapter 5, part 4: Fall to the Bottom

I spent Christmas in Thailand and New Year´s Eve in Abu Dhabi. I had to spend one weekend per month with Andreas in Kosice (mandatory), and every second weekend, I had to be with him in Thessaloniki. I was obligated to attend all fashion shows in Bratislava, Vienna and Milan. Simply I had to attend all projects on which he worked. I had to accompany him everywhere he went. He always bought me new dress, shoes, handbag and accessories for every occasion. I had to look perfect. I always had to stand and sit properly. I always had to smile but not laugh. I was not allowed to enjoy myself and be cheerful. I was supposed to be serious. I was permitted to speak with other men only with Andreas present and only when they asked me something. I answered from a set script. I couldn’t do anything spontaneous. I couldn’t even look at other men. If I looked at another man or I laughed at some funny story told by someone, I was punished. He knew that my innocent, childish laugh drew attention. He knew that men were excited by my congenial behavior and cute accent. He knew that my innocent look attracted other men as well, not only him. But I was only his!!! Nobody else´s. He was so jealous. Unbelievably jealous! He couldn’t stand the thought that somebody else might have me. I was all his. I was his property that no one was allowed to look at or touch.

After half year being with Andreas, I was completely destroyed. Everything was different in the beginning. I got used to a luxurious life very fast, and he was kind to me from the beginning. But step by step, he started to have his “moods.” He began to behave possessively and started setting boundaries. He was jealous about everything and everybody. I couldn’t even attend school anymore because he was jealous of my classmates. He arranged an individual study plan for me so I could, or rather had to join him everywhere he went. I had to be on all his business trips. I´m not saying it was all bad. Not at all. From the beginning I enjoyed travelling, the fashion shows, the new dresses, the shoes, the handbags, the jewelry, the new people, luxurious hotels and restaurants… It was great. Since I didn’t feel comfortable at home because my father´s wife cheated on him and the atmosphere was pretty rough there, I was happy I could escape from it.🏃‍♀️

But everything started to get worse. I had to obey Andreas completely. ☝ He turned me into just a piece of arm candy, a sex slave and woman without her own will or ability to make decisions. My self-confidence went down rapidly. I felt like nobody.👤 I was nobody without him. I was absolutely nothing. He was the one who knew everything, was everywhere, saw everything and who only let me peek into his world. He let me taste it. But without him, I was no one.👤😶

We were supposed to spend one weekend per month in Kosice. He knew that I didn’t want to, and that’s why he forced me. 😡He knew that I didn’t want my friends to see us. He did it on purpose. He purposefully walked with me on Main street in downtown Kosice. He liked to go with me to malls where we would always run into some of my classmates, professors, neighbors, or my sister with her girlfriend. He enjoyed when everybody gawked at us. He always held me around my waist with the expression in his eye, “Careful! Don’t touch!” And when we met my sister, he always gave her a superior gaze like she wasn’t worth anything. He is old school, and he couldn’t stand something so “disgusting” as lesbians.😡🤦‍♀️

At school it was getting worse and worse. I failed two subjects at the half term, and I had to do them again in my fifth year. 🤦‍♀️My future didn’t look bright. I wasn’t sure I would be able to even finish this term. But I wanted to. I wanted it so badly. I needed to finish this year, then one more year, and I would earn a Master´s degree in economics. 🤘 I hoped that after that I could get a job in Kosice or if not, I was also willing to move to Bratislava or Prague, where I had some family. I wanted to start living by myself and finally become independent. 🙌 I didn’t want to depend on anyone anymore. I was tired of fulfilling all Andreas´s needs. I couldn’t stand his arrogant and superior behavior around everyone. 😡 I couldn’t smile at him because I wanted to cry. I wanted to escape. I wanted to escape very much. But where? How? It wasn’t possible. I was sure he would find me. I knew that he tracked my phone since the day he gave it to me. He always knew where I was. We had already been through situations when I lied to him about where I was just because I wanted to go to some party or a chalet with my classmates. He figured it out, and then he punished me for lying.  😞

It was just impossible to escape. Not from him! He will find me. He will find me anywhere I go. Even if I left my phone at home, after few hours it would be suspicious that I didn’t move it at all. If I travelled somewhere, he would find me by my passport. He has contacts everywhere. I knew it. He would track me down. What would he do to me then? What did he do to that Russian model? I don’t know the details, all I knew was that she had no longer the career. No pictures, no promotions, no fashion shows. She doesn’t appear anywhere. What would he do to me if I left him? For sure I couldn’t finish college and I couldn’t get a job anywhere. What would I do? How would I live then? Either I put up with him and obey him, or I had to find an escape. There´s no other possibility. 🤔😟

What if I would go to Australia? After all, I fell in love with Australia when I had an affair with The Liar (see The Man Who Killed Me). I always secretly dreamt of studying and working there. It would be amazing!😍 I had to speak with Nela about it. It would be fine if Peter could give me advice, but I wasn’t in touch with him anymore. Since I started my relationship with Andreas, I was forbidden to meet any other men, even my male friends. I rather obeyed because I didn’t want to make any trouble for Peter.

The idea about my escape to Australia crossed my mind in the middle of May. It was the end of the school term and exams were starting. I spent the first week of exams in Thessaloniki in Andreas´s apartment. He couldn’t wait until school term was finally over, and I had to spend every second with him. He couldn’t even wait until I was finished all my exams. So I had to study at his place and fly back to do my exams. Fortunately, I had only 4 exams to pass.

Honestly, I didn’t feel like studying at all. I couldn’t find any peace at his place and couldn’t concentrate on studying. I was permanently under stress. Only when he went somewhere and left me home alone, then I could relax and actually learn something. But as soon as he came back home, I was supposed to give him all my attention. He constantly took me out somewhere, and those events required hours and hours of preparation. I would spend half the day twice a week shopping. I went to the hairdresser every other day. I spent hours in the beauty salon every week for a million procedures. That all took a long time. I know that you might say that I am stupid for complaining about shopping, the hairdresser and beautician, but honestly, it was really exhausting. I lived that kind of life for half a year already, and I couldn’t handle it anymore. I couldn’t pretend that I was perfect. I wanted  my irrelevant student life back!

One day, I was off. I didn’t have any procedures, no events in the evening, and Andreas was supposed to stay out for whole day. So much good luck for one day!😁 So I went to the beach and thought about my complicated situation. Yes, I wanted my poor student´s life back. 🤓I didn’t want a luxurious life anymore. It wasn’t worth it. I knew that I was not going to finish that year at school. I didn’t have a chance. In that moment, thoughts about Australia crossed my mind. I thought, “What if I finished a Master degree there?” Thinking about the freedom, I felt like I had butterflies inside my stomach. 😍I was so excited about it that I needed to call Nela. I walked back to the apartment, turned on my laptop and called her on Skype.

I was so stupid when I thought I could actually escape to Australia.😓 That evening, when I called Nela and told her everything, Andreas hit me for the first time. Until then, he punished me in other ways, but that time I obviously crossed the line, and he couldn’t hold back his anger. It was my mistake. I was stupid when I thought that he would be too lazy to translate all my phone calls. I knew there were cameras in the whole apartment but I really didn’t think that he was so insane to hire someone to translate everything I was talking about with my friend in Slovak. There were no cameras in the bathroom of course, at least I didn’t know about them, but there was no signal either so I couldn’t make my calls in there.

When Andreas came home, he said with very a calm voice, “Forget about Australia fast. You are not going anywhere! We have a deal. You will be with me until I want it. You don’t want your beloved Daddy to know that he brought up a slut.”
“I am not a slut!!! You know that very well! You know how it was!”, I answered.

He stayed cold and calm. He didn’t say anything. He just stood there and smirked. His arrogant expression and superior attitude drove me crazy. I couldn’t stand it anymore. I blew up. 😤👿 All my pent up emotions went out. The disappointment of my unsuccessful plan was the last drop and the glass of my patience overflew. I let out all my anger and despair. I felt so helplessly, so alone, so unskilled. I had nothing. I didn’t have free will, any possibility to decide for myself, no dignity and no purpose in life. I had absolutely nothing. I had only anger and despair. Only that was left.😞

I cried, yelled and cursed. He came towards me and slapped me. He slapped me with no emotions. He gave me a cold slap and said, “Go to your room and calm down.”

That scene happened 3 weeks ago. The slap changed everything. Suddenly, I knew exactly what to do.💡 The slap woke me up. Finally! I got up and realized that I couldn’t live like this anymore. I realized that if I didn’t escape, it would get worse and worse.

I started to search for a job abroad. I googled and googled until I ran into an advertisement posted by some guy. He offered a job and accommodations in New Jersey. It wasn’t for free, of course. It was necessary to pay a fee to him for arranging a job and a room. I was afraid to rely on some stranger but I didn’t have a choice. I couldn’t go anywhere through an agency because Andreas would find me like that. My only chance was that some stranger, who is far away, would help me. And that was it! I had to go somewhere very far; the farthest possible place. I already had to cross Australia off my list since that would be the first place he would search for me. Hmm, so why not America then? 🤔 What if I would stay there for a year, earn some money and then I would go to Australia and finish my studies there. I supposed that after one year, Andreas would give up. It sounded like a good plan. I felt hopeful again.😊

I needed to solve one “small detail,” the passport. I couldn’t travel with my original passport. But I got an idea! 😏 What if I change my name? 👤 Fortunately, my cousin worked as a prosecutor in Prague so he was capable of arranging the whole process about name changing. He also helped me with editing the new passport. The whole process lasted very long. My cousin told me that it would take 2 months at least. “Oh my God! Two months? I can´t handle two more months with Andreas!” I told myself.

I always said, “A desperate situation needs a desperate solution.” Do you know how I resolved my hopeless situation?☝ I infected myself. Yes, exactly! I needed to be sick for about two months so I didn’t have to be with Andreas, and the best would be if I spent the whole two months in a hospital with no visitors! It would mean I would be put in quarantine. 🙌 Do you know what kind of disease I needed? Hepatitis!☝ Hepatitis seemed to be the ideal disease that would help me wait for my new identity. I googled it, and I found out that it was pretty easy to get infected. The treatment usually lasted 4-8 weeks. The important thing was that hepatitis is not so serious disease that I could permanently harm myself. So I decided that I would do it.✊

One evening we were sitting in Andreas´s restaurant, and I went to the restroom. What  I´m going to tell you now is pretty disgusting so if you have a weak stomach don’t read the next two sentences. ✌ Well, I went to the restroom and I touched everything I could; the sink, the hand dryer, all the handles, and I even convinced myself to touch the toilet seat. After all that, I licked my hands. 🤢 I swear, I did it! It was disgusting and I almost threw up, but I had to do it. I just couldn’t spend two more months with Andreas. It was summer vacation and that meant that I was obligated to be with him all the time.

My plan actually worked. 👏 I was surprised that everything went according to plan. Three days after my “bathroom experience,” I went to Kosice for an exam at school. So far I passed one exam of four and I had one last chance to pass at least another one because it was the last day I could do the exams. Honestly, I didn’t care if I would pass or not. I wanted to go to Slovakia because I hoped that the disease would break out. I preferred to stay in a hospital in Slovakia than in Greece. And it happened exactly like that. I did it! I infected myself with hepatitis and I ended up in quarantine. Hooray!🙌😁

When I told Andreas about it, he went crazy. 😅I felt really bad. I vomited, I had a fever, diarrhea, and overall, I felt weak. 😷🤒🤢But it was worth it! Despite all those difficulties, I was happy. I hoped that I would never see Andreas again.

My dream became reality. I never saw Andreas again. 😀A week before I was released from the hospital, my cousin called me to say that my passport with my new name was ready. He also made an appointment for an interview at the US Embassy in Bratislava for me to get a visa for my journey to America. If I hadn’t changed my name and passport, I wouldn’t have had to do any interviews. It would be enough just to fill out some online form and that’s it. But I wanted to be sure that I wouldn’t have any problems with customs once I landed in the US. So I went to the US Embassy and received my official permission to enter the United States of America.🙌 After all, the name change could be seen as a bit suspicious. 🤨I couldn’t risk the immigration officers in New York sending me back to Slovakia. It would be my end. 🔚 Andreas wouldn’t forgive me, and I didn’t want to even imagine what he would do to me then.

So I went to Bratislava for the interview. Everything went according to plan, more or less. I finally held the name-change document, the new passport and my visa to enter the United States. I couldn’t be happier! I went straight to Prague from Bratislava. I slept over in my cousin´s place, and the very next day, I flew from Prague to New York.✈🗽

Do you wonder how it´s even possible that my plan worked and Andreas didn’t run after me as soon as he found out that I travelled to Bratislava? Ha! Because I had a thoughtful plan. Or I was just lucky. 😉 After my recovery, Andreas wanted to take a small vacation in the Austrian Alps.⛰ He rented a beautiful cottage surrounded by nature with a stream and mountains very close to it. 🏞I saw pictures and it looked magnificent there. I would love to go there because it really looked amazing but you know how it is, “It´s not important where you are, but who you are with.” ☝ And I didn’t intent to spend another second with Andreas anymore.

I was supposed to change the train to Vienna when I came to Bratislava. We agreed to meet in Vienna and the rest of the way, we were supposed to go by car. But I didn’t get on the train to Vienna. I only left my phone there and I got off right away. I bought some time, manage all paper work and then I was on my way to Prague.

I don’t know how he reacted when he found my phone on the train but not me. I don’t even know what he did next. I don’t know what he did to try to find me. All I know for sure is that he didn’t succeed.😂🙌✌

I arrived to America alive and healthy. I couldn’t believe it. I really did it! I escaped! 😄😄I could start new life in new place with new people and with a new name. I could start all over. I left Klara in Europe and I came to the US as Barbara. 😉

Word to the wise:
Don’t let anyone treat you like shit!!!
Sometimes you need to go beyond your limits if you want to make a change. Don´t be scared and just do it!







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