There Are Some Things Only You Can Forgive

After my last post about my abusive ex boyfriend in April Told Me to Write”, the overwhelming reaction was 100% positive and supportive. I was scared to death to make it public. Right before, I had been texting my 20 year old sister asking her if I was doing the wrong thing, if everyone would just say that I was a stupid girl, and that I deserved what I got for the choices I had made.

But not a single person reacted that way.

18,201 people saw my tweet and and 1,305 unique people read my post. That is enough. That was enough for fellow victims of his, ranging from abusive to be scammed out of money, reached out to me to share their story with me. Other professionals in his circle informed me that they have shared my story to their colleagues. And after 7 years I spoke to his ex wife for the first time.

If you remember from my previous post, I met Pietro Filipponi in July 2011 when I was 21 and he was 28. I knew he had an ex wife, but she told me that they were not divorced until 2 years into my “relationship” with him. That he had not done 99% of the things he had led me to believe about his previous life experiences.

She shared how that she was a strong, independent woman and yet even she had suffered from his constant mental abuse. When I emailed her, her first reply was that she had sincerely wished that I was reaching out to tell her that he was dead. From her story, I do not blame her.

Myself, however, I am finally free. It has been almost 4 years since I last saw him, and yet I’ve had weekly nightmares about stalking me, using the FBI to hunt me down to kidnap and torture me. I would wake up at night, shaking, clinging to my boyfriend Steve out of desperation and relief. A weight and fear I ignored for so long, was let go after I spoke to his ex wife. It was a validation that Filipponi is a monster, but a spineless and powerless one. That he was wrong every single time he told me I was worthless, because he was simply using his own lack of self worth and projecting it on me – and everyone around him.

Kesha performed her breathtaking single “Praying” at the Grammy’s last night, with an army of women behind her. She poured her heart out on that stage, speaking out for every women who has ever felt reduced to nothing by a man. And how these men will never mean anything in history.



The performance here is profound because you can tell she means every word with every fiber of her being. But if you haven’t, check out the original record because god damn are those vocals insane (go to 3:15 for that high note). I think it would be have been too hard to go all out on the singing while on the verge of cathartic tears at the Grammy’s, so I don’t blame her.

For obvious reasons, I feel deeply connected to this song:

I’m proud of who I am
No more monsters, I can breathe again
And you said that I was done
Well, you were wrong and now the best is yet to come
‘Cause I can make it on my own, oh
And I don’t need you, I found a strength I’ve never known
I’ll bring thunder, I’ll bring rain, oh
When I’m finished, they won’t even know your name

You brought the flames and you put me through hell
I had to learn how to fight for myself
And we both know all the truth I could tell
I’ll just say this is “I wish you farewell”

The only difference, is that I don’t hope Filipponi finds his peace. I know he is reading this. He has not spoken out online since my post and I know he has seen this. He deserves to be tormented by the memories of all the people he has treated inhumanely. I don’t think a sociopath can change.

However, I let it go. In the past few days I have found that the anger, fear, shame, hatred, and desire for revenge slipped away. I am proud of who I am today. That man will never haunt my dreams or my conscious from here on out. This was never meant to be a “witch hunt” or a quest put this man in jail. This is the last time I will spend any of my time on that pathetic little man.

Some say, in life, you’re gonna get what you give
But some things only God can forgive

I don’t believe in God, but I do believe in the foundation of support my new friends that I have made. I believe in the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement, not for being a trend but a safe space for the rest of us to speak out.

If you are reading this, stay away from Pietro Filiponi, age 35, currently living in New York City. If what I went through can be saved from being meaningless; let this story be heard and save other

young women from him.

I have said my peace, and tonight I will sleep without terror.

2 Responses to “There Are Some Things Only You Can Forgive”

  1. Nathan Schulz says:

    I wish you the sweetest of dreams. In the home you built. In the peace you made. In the life you deserve. Very proud of you, Zoe. 🙂

  2. Hi Elijah,

    Yes I did speak with his ex wife about that particular matter and although he was physically abusive towards them, he did not molest them.

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