The End of the Beginning

So when the book comes out, “Who the Fuck Does Rheta West Think She is Anyway”, there is a much more detailed story of how Pete and I came to be together, our up and down, how it ended. That chapter is “Rheta and Pete, a Love Story”. It might help for the purpose of this chapter, a quick low down …. Pete and I were friends with benefits for about a year and a half. We talked about things but he said he wanted to move back to New Jersey and find someone his own age to start a family with. But he wanted to hang out with me while he was still here. We did spend most of our time together but at some point I got to talking to someone, there was private text and video of a more experimental sexual nature, it weaned, Pete finally agreed to stay, I ended it telling the person Pete and I were going to try things out and that was what I wanted. Nothing ever happened again and we did not stay in contact. Several months later, Pete and I had an apartment together, he decided to take the house apart, find every old phone and charge them to go through my texts, went into my computer that I didn’t lock, bring back years of browsing history, bring back deleted emails. Needless to say he found out about the communication and decided that I was supposed to assume that “I am moving back to New Jersey to find someone my own age to start a family with” really meant we were together. And even though I had ended that adventure responsibly and honestly and gave myself completely to Pete and our relationship, he could no longer stand me. He asked me to move out and we stayed together for another 3 years while living in separate apartments but nothing was ever really that good again.

That brings us to this chapter: “The End of the Beginning” named so because in the beginning there was Hercules and Hercules was my life and it included Pete. It has ended and a new life has begun.

Pete had a girlfriend in November of 2018. Well, he called her a girlfriend. The rest of us called her Andrew’s girlfriend. Andrew is the guy she lives with in Colorado but I will leave that alone because it is an entire chapter of its own!! And not my story. As I said though, she didn’t live here. One night I went out and got drunk. Drunk, drunk, totally gone. At some point, for some reason, I called Pete. I wasn’t making a lot of sense and he came looking for me. To this day I say thank god because I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have even been able to call an uber to get home. And he searched several places looking for me before he found me. He brought me home, none of which I remember, but he says I hit on him hard core. I believe that, Pete and I were always very compatible sexually. The next morning I of course felt like crap, I called him and asked him if I could come to his place, he said yes. We both lived in the same apartment complex, he was in a building right around the corner. We went to get breakfast and he filled me in on the night before and told me how hard I had hit on him and what a saint he was for holding back. I apologized and I meant that apology!! But then he started asking me a million questions. Wanted to know how many people I had been with since him, who did I like, had I been with women, just a battery of questions. Obviously he had heard about things, he asked about if I had done muscle worship videos, I can’t even remember everything he was asking. I kept telling him none of this was any of his business and he claimed it was and just don’t lie and he did this thing I called bullying where he would just keep coming at me with same questions over and over until you are just screaming just to make him stop. So fine, whatever, I answered his questions. He talked to me too. About being nervous that Sam would be mad at him for helping me, he was avoiding her calls. He eventually thanked me for being honest and we left.

Pete called me later first asking if I wanted to come to his place then he said he would come to mine. We watched some TV and he talked about wanting to be my friend, a best friend, someone I could share anything with. He held my hand, he put his arm around me and honestly it was very nice. He talked to me about how he was having a hard time because he wanted to fuck me (I am now using his words). He had a certain date that he wanted Sam to move back by or he was going to break up with her. So if he waited for her he ran the risk of me meeting someone and I was already training with a guy he was utterly, obsessively, admitting it himself, jealous of and if she didn’t come back he could have been fucking me that whole time. But if he fucked me now he ran the risk of losing Sam who he really wanted to be with. He admitted to sometimes sitting outside of my apartment. He talked about hoping this evening would be warm and familiar with our favorite dinner and me watching How I Met Your Mother. He stayed the night that night and we slept together. In a lot of ways it was very familiar but it was still different. Especially when he said things like …. You can be my slut but you can’t be my girlfriend …. Ya know, romantic shit like that. The next day he was really upset with himself. He had been ignoring calls and texts from Sam and he felt guilty. I felt so bad for that. I have always been the stronger of the two of us, I should have said no. I told him I felt bad and I would never let this happen again. He made me swear not to tell anyone and of course I said I wouldn’t!! I did send a text to a friend of mine saying that this had been the most bizarre weekend of my life. I couldn’t tell him everything but I could give him a gist later.

My family does a thanksgiving dinner on an off weekend and that was the weekend we were doing it. He asked for a ride to a bar he was going to and he was going to take an uber back. I checked on him later and he had made it back home. It was getting late and I was tired but he asked me to come over. I did go. I was so tired, he had a movie on but I was dozing off. Pete kept telling me to just go ahead and go to sleep. I wanted to just go home, he kept saying just sleep. In fact, sleep, when I woke up I could come to him in bed to fuck him before going home. I told him, really? That isn’t happening again. He asked, why not?? I reminded him of how torn he was about what he had done to Sam. He kept insisting I just give in and doze though. He even sat on the couch next to me and held my hand. I did start to doze and I would start back awake and it seemed every time he was right in my face. I asked him what the fuck he was doing?! He would just tell me to go ahead and take a nap. I finally crashed. When I woke up I was alone in the living room, I looked over and my phone was gone. I got up, he had locked himself in his bathroom with my phone. I had locked it because he was acting so weird but he knew me well enough to figure out what I had used and had already made his way through texts, facebook posts and messages, pictures. And he was furious. What??? Dude, we are NOT together, I will talk to whoever the fuck I want, I will do whatever the fuck I want, nothing I do is any of your business. And taking my fucking phone and going through it. Lulling me to sleep with talk of friendship knowing you were going for my phone the second I was out hard enough …. That was fucked up bullshit!! But he was furious. Yelling at me, screaming to get out of his house. He saw the text to my friend and was sure I was going to tell him everything, wanted to know why I locked my phone …. Are you absolutely fucking serious???? You broke into my phone and are furious at why I locked it???? He said it was world war, he was coming at me for the gym, the last time was nothing, he was going to destroy me. Yelling about how I used the herc IG for selfish reasons only. I posted about Blair because we had the same coach so I was just being selfish. I shared a lot of Blairs posts. I said, I share everything anyone tags us in!! And Blair was getting his IG going and tagged Hercs because he was one of the longest most loyal supporters. Pete said, “Fuck Blair. What has Blair done for US?” …. But I’m the selfish one?? Then he started yelling at me so hard his body was shaking and threatening to call the cops on me!!! So I leave.

I couldn’t do this again. He had told me way too many things for me to believe anything could ever be normal with us, ever. I couldn’t go through the fight over the gym again. The first fight is for another chapter but it was so bad. So fucking bad. I went into the gym to talk to Joe and I told him everything. Joe shook his head and said, “You know you’re going to have to just leave. He’s never going to stop” …. I knew that but Joe had asked me to fight the first time. I needed Joe to let me go this time. So Joe helped me come up with a few options to go to Pete with. Pete let me in his place, we sat on opposite sides of the room and I laid it out …. 1. You sell to me, 2. I sell to you, 3. I stay and you get help because you are being crazy and I will not work with you like this. Pete agreed to buy me out.

He talked to me more, he and I had a very dysfunctional but very close relationship. He told me about how he loved me but I was more than just independent and I should tell people that when they get with me because it’s more intense than you would think. That I was supposed to be his protector (I’m still not sure from what) and I had turned out to not be what I was supposed to be. Pete knows more about me than anyone (mostly because of violent arguing where he demanded to know every little aspect and secret of my entire life) and he knew I had been with an abusive man who once said that to me. I had turned to this person and said “I am exactly who I’m supposed to be” and that is tattooed on my arm. I mentioned this to him, that he knew I had been through shit with someone who would say that to me. He just did his soft laugh thing and said, “I know”. He finally sat in his chair and asked me to sit in his lap. Ok, ok, ok …. I know!!!! But I had an unhealthy attachment to him too and so I did. He laid his head against my chest with tears in his eyes and I held his head and he told me how he wished things had been different. Even now he just wants to fuck me one more time. …. Oh my fucking god!!!!

That was it. I left and we started the process of separating things. Basically he wanted everything. Everything I asked for he would say no, he wanted it for one reason or another. Even the projector I used to run meets with. I honestly believe he was being insanely ridiculous hoping I would just say “fuck you, I’m not selling” then we would fight but at least I would still be there. But I didn’t fight anything. I just wanted out. I NEEDED to get away from him.

Finally he gave me an agreement from his lawyer. I had to be out by 12/31 (we agreed to that date) with all my things and anything I didn’t have out by that point became his. This gave me a month except I was going in for shoulder surgery in 2 weeks. So I wouldn’t be able to move anything after that! So I had 2 weeks. I had also agreed not to tell any of our members what was going on until the papers were signed. So no one knew what was about to happen. We got together to talk to the accountant and discuss things and at this point I asked him, “Pete, I’m giving you everything, I haven’t fought you for anything. If I’m going to ask for anything, it’s this. Just leave me be to be in my corner, do my PR thing, be with my members, continue to support the gym.” He tried to say not now, maybe after things calmed down. I interrupted to say NO! Life does not stop moving waiting for him to change his mind. Life goes on, I need to move on. He said, “In that case, I will always want to fuck you or fight you. So you can’t be here anymore”. I did tell him that his mental issues were not my problem and didn’t give him the right to ban me from my own gym. But that was it. I said lets sign. Oh! And he wanted to kick out anyone that had anything to do with me. I begged him to just stop. Becki had her entire practice there!! (he wanted her office) ... he so graciously said they could stay as long as "they didn't start shit". So when I told certain friends I had to also tell them to just be quiet and behave or he was going to kick them out. It still makes me grit my teeth his fucking mental fuckery.

He got the papers to me and I signed them. He then literally asked me if I could still watch the gym because he was going out to be with Sam at her powerlifting meet. Of course I would watch the gym! He left the next day. Now, I had 2 weeks to get my shit out, no one knew what was in the works, and I was there alone. I could wait for him to get back in a week leaving me one week left. Or I could do what I did do. I started packing and started addressing all of the members personally telling them the same generic things …. Pete and I have come to a point of no reconciliation and I have agreed to sell my half so that the gym would stay open. For his own personal reasons, he doesn’t want me there anymore so I am leaving. I told people that everything would be ok, Pete would be back soon and could answer any questions about the future of the gym. I had no plans or direction yet but that I would stay public and if I found anything I would announce it and people were always welcome to check it out. But they should just plan to stay where they are because it was still the best gym in Syracuse. The members were affected way more than I expected. When Pete got back I told him they were not happy and he should start talking to people. He was mad at me for making such a vague statement. I mean, I would have been happy to have told them exactly what was happening and why!!!! But I told him well, if he thought I was going to let anyone think I was leaving of my own free will, he was out of his fucking mind. People’s problem with the whole thing wasn’t so much the split but that he wanted me gone and with no explanation.

I’m not sure exactly what he has told people. I don’t ask anyone to tell me. I know it makes people uncomfortable and I hate that anyone would have to feel like that. But there have been some that have offered up at least that he has painted a picture where I was the bad guy and that he literally considers anyone that comes to Blood Iron his enemy. Not only does that sound extremely juvenile kind of gay, it is insane. I suppose he may have hoped I would just leave the area. I don’t believe Pete has ever had to accept responsibility for his actions. He considers me and my gym his enemy, but he created it!!!

It took me a long time to tell the story because first, I didn’t want to involve our members in the middle of anything. I always protected his behavior with me from the members. Then it just felt catty to say anything. Like I would just be a bashing ex-girlfriend, plus I had no desire to bash Hercules itself. Then I was just too busy with getting Blood Iron started. But I have come to a point where I have found the strength to accept everything that has happened. To know that I will never ever be able to understand his actions or how he thought he had the right to stay with Hercules. To get over wanting him to realize what he did was wrong and to apologize even if nothing changed. Just apologize for being such an asshole. I am over all of that. I’m also over hating him. I mean, I’ll never like or support him, but I just don’t care anymore. I blocked him, Hercules, and Weaver so they couldn’t watch me, I couldn’t watch the gym, to actually just move on and take care of my gym. The last step, after some wise words from a friend, I changed the name of my LLC and let go of the final grasp I was maintaining on the Hercules name. And now I am telling the story because it did happen. It happened, I went through hell, HELL, and I do NOT have to just keep it all to myself in order to “take the high road”. You can’t tell me it is wrong for me to say what he did because its just childish of me, because that makes it ok that he did it and no one ever has to really know. At this point, he could be anyone, this is just the story of what this person did to me.

I do still feel guilty for leaving Hercules. I feel like I gave in and was weak and should have kept fighting for it. But things would never ever have been right. Now I am in my own place doing all the things I used to do for Hercules and more. I am better able to actually help more people and sorry if it sounds selfish, but I am happier even for me. Both my successes and my mistakes are my own and all is right in my world. And that my friends, is my last Pete revelation until the whole book makes its way out.

#CLOSURE