Hi. This is Sarah Snitch. I’m posting this on a new Tumblr for personal reasons, but there’s no reason for me to be anonymous. I planned to post this yesterday, but, knowing Alex Carpenter really well, I expected him to release a comment that would, in some way, try to discredit what Rosianna has said. I was waiting for a post like that so I could address the things he’d say and back Rosi up. I no longer feel like waiting around for that. I have Rosi’s back and she has given me the courage to share my story too.
When I was 16 I was a big fan of Alex’s. Our earliest interactions included messages on Myspace, IM’s, and eventually texting. He would invite me to parties that I would clearly never be permitted (by my parents) to attend, but, being completely infatuated with the attention I was receiving from this older man (he was 24), I continued to talk to him on a regular basis. Early on he would say things to me like, “why do you have to be 16?” and “you’re so cute, I wish you were older”, but those clear red flags in his mind were not enough to stop him from pursuing me, and, me being 16, did not have the capacity to understand how dangerous the situation really was. Let’s get something straight here: when you’re 16 and insecure and also very used to being teased by boys for being so nerdy, you’re obviously going to revel in attention from a “nice”, charming, guy who has the same interests as you. It’s the responsibility of the person who knows better (which, by the way, is always the 24 year old and NOT the 16 year old) to know where lines are drawn and not cross them. In this way, I was taken advantage of.
We lived in the same city, and, after awhile, we would see each other frequently for milkshakes or coffees. We would sometimes kiss, but things didn’t get sexually intense until I was about 17 and he was 25. We did not have sex until I was 18, but the things that went on between us were definitely still illegal and I am not sure he knows that. I need to say that I do not feel like I was sexually coerced, but I was also 17 years old and it is difficult for me to think back and be absolutely sure of what I wanted. I absolutely felt the need to be sexually adventurous in order to keep this man’s attention, which isn’t the best reason to lose your virginity, in my opinion.
I was always very serious about him, but being 16/17, I was unable to be in any sort of committed relationship with him until I was legal, but I was always holding out for that idea. I wanted it so badly that I didn’t date or hook up with anyone else from ages 16-20. While I believed that he would also want to be exclusive with me when I was legal, he actually held out for much longer than that under the pretense that it would not be good for his image to be in a relationship. In reality, he wanted to be free to have sex with more people than just me.
At first he would tell me it was happening. He would confess that he’d slept with someone in the same way someone confesses to cheating on his or her partner, but it wasn’t cheating. I wasn’t his girlfriend. Eventually, it happened enough times that I was looking for the evidence. I would see enough tweets between him and another girl that I was positive they were seeing each other. Later, I would accidentally see (and eventually look for) texts that popped up on his phone while we were together. They were always from the same 5 or so girls and always sexual in nature. I was in limbo for years, not feeling able to demand him to be exclusive to me (at first because I was 16, and later because I was too afraid to lose him), and not being allowed to be mad when he strayed from me.
On one occasion, before a convention in San Francisco, I begged him to only hook up with me while we were there because he had no reason to go to anyone else because I would be there, too (how sick is that?). What’s ridiculous is that he didn’t even refute the fact that he was interested in other girls, but he did agree to only be with me that weekend. Unfortunately, it became obvious one night in SF that he had messed around with Rosi and he tried to excuse his behavior by saying that “someone told him I had hooked up with another guy” so he thought he was now allowed to.
In this instance, as with many others, I am unable to recognize the type of person that I was back then. I would never stand for this type of behavior today, which only furthers proves how easily manipulated I was a teenager. Alex is charming. He is able to quickly make you believe you are the most important person in his world. Funny how today I am able to discuss his favorite choice phrases with other girls he was with – phrases he said to make us all believe we were special to him.
Eventually, I gave him an ultimatum. I was in college then, probably 18 and he was 26. I told him that I couldn’t put up with him being with other girls. I told him that if he loved me (as he claimed) then he shouldn’t want anybody else and that his inability to commit meant he didn’t really love me. He responded by telling me, “If you walk away from this, you know you will never find someone as good for you as I am.” We ended our conversation saying that we’d take a week to think about it and decide after that. A week later I was his girlfriend.
We were very public. Our relationships status was on Facebook, we appeared in each other’s videos, and he’d tweet at me telling me he loved me. These were all things that, in some way, made me feel very secure. That’s all I’d ever really wanted, honestly. Looking back, I wanted to be with him from the start, but really fought for a commitment and a “title” because I thought he would be faithful to me if I got that from him. That was not the case. He continued to text girls and flirt with them via Direct Message on Twitter. On one occasion, while I was on tour with him, we had a mutual female friend with us, and he texted her; “I just saw you on your bed and wanted to take you right then and there. I want you so badly”, all while he was lying in bed with me. At this point, I was looking at his phone whenever he was texting. I was doing things that I never would have done if not given explicit reasons to distrust my partner. To this day, I feel nervous and insecure in relationships because of how long I was faced this type of behavior and need tons of reassuring to be able to trust my boyfriend. It was such a big issue for me that I brought it up with him constantly. On every occasion he would ask, angrily, “You don’t trust me?! Maybe we shouldn’t be together if you don’t trust me”. Every time I would back peddle, tell him I trusted him more than anyone, and let the conversation die because I didn’t want to lose him.
I was “with” this guy for almost 5 years. There was a consistent pattern of disrespect, belittlement, and unfaithfulness- along with hundreds of fucked up moments. Like the time he nearly bit my lip off because I wasn’t being “active enough in bed” and he wanted to “shock me into feeling some passion” (really I was just inexperienced and needed to develop a solid comfort level in order to be sexual in any way). Or the time he asked to go on a break with me, really just so he could have sex with a girl he’d be seeing in London the next week (the break ended when he returned). Or the numerous times he would be mad at me for not wanting to have sex (because it’s a real turn on to know your boyfriend was just texting a girl how much he wanted to fuck HER). After we broke up, I started tweeting very vaguely about harmful relationships. Alex would text me and say “Don’t tweet things like that. It makes it seem like our relationship was something it wasn’t”, (actually Alex, it makes our relationship seem like what it was: damaging). It was all a mess and there’s too much to include in just one post. What I want you to take away from this is the following:
- If you are a minor and are being pursued by someone over 18, please know that their behavior is wrong. You are not at fault for liking the attention. Especially if you are a fan of that person – of course you’ll be in heaven thinking you are special to them. Please know that they are taking advantage of you.
- Don’t put up with someone who is going to take you for granted. You deserve commitment, you deserve respect, and you deserve someone who actually loves you.
- The personality vs. fan dynamic comes with a very unequal balance of power in a relationship. As does any relationship involving someone who’s a minor and someone who’s not.
There are a lot of girls speaking out about what they’ve gone through right now and too many people are disregarding what they’re saying in order to protect the person who victimized them. So many people are surprised to hear these things about Alex because he “stands for” great things and is “so nice”, but there is a huge difference between what someone says and what someone does. Nice people don’t cheat on their girlfriends. Nice people don’t manipulate underage girls. Nice people don’t purposefully avoid their fans saying, “Don’t make eye contact with her, if she knows I saw her I’ll have to stop and take a picture”.
If this type of situation has happened to you, please remember that there are also so many of us here to support you and back you up. I was very afraid to post anything about what happened to me, but talking about it is the only way that anything will change. I can’t let him sit around thinking that his behavior was ok. I can’t let him just get away with it.