About my abuser Mikey Pham, known as "CrackPr0n" TW : rape , manipulation
I was manipulated, abused and raped by Mikey Pham, known as “CrackPr0n”.
Before reading on, I want to say that this does not excuse Mr. Wizard or anyone that was involved in that callout post. This was not meant to discredit/invalidate that experience but to only share my personal experience with Mikey. The reason why I wanted to share this is because I have been seeing his name this past week and it has been very triggering to me.
I met him when I was just 16, he was in a position of power for a volunteer group I had just joined. At the time, I didn’t have friends to share my hobbies with and was very socially awkward. I had a past of being bullied by different groups of people, and so I was excited to find a group where I could “belong”, especially around people who also liked anime and other things I was interested in. I was active on IRC and forums that were popular at that time and Mikey was active in those places too. This led to us talking more frequently. Even amongst the other girls, he was known as an older brother figure and I treated him the same way. I would sometimes talk about my insecurities or anything really, it was a relaxed relationship where I felt like we could be good friends. Something really important to note here is that he is about 10 years older than me and was aware that I was a minor at this time.
He had a reputation for being outspoken in the anime community and it was well-known among our peers that he liked to talk about inappropriate/sexual topics and even had a reputation for exposing his genitals at hotel parties/rooms. There was a situation where I went to a small party with him present, but he would not let me stay unless I drank alcohol. Even though I felt very reluctant and I really disliked the idea, I also didn’t want to lose friends or be the “party pooper” so I drank whatever he had asked me to drink. This was when I was 17. He made inappropriate comments about many people that night and would subtly touch other girls on their butt or legs. I was very uncomfortable, but also naive at the time and just thought this was what it meant to have a social life and go to parties. This was first of the many other times I saw this happen and soon was groomed to think it was acceptable and normal.
Around the same time, he had split with his SO and I felt that it was right for me to help him out as a friend since he had listened to my concerns before. I also visited their house right when it happened (coincidentally I had planned a trip with others to go visit them, others couldn’t go so I went alone) but I tried to stay out of their business. During the time there, he also came to where I was sleeping and hugged me even though he was nearly naked because he wanted to thank me for visiting. I felt so uncomfortable but could not go home or run away because my home was a plane ride away and cried for the nights I was there.
Months passed and I had gradually accepted that the things he did were normal. I believed that any uncomfortable feelings I had were just me making a big deal out of nothing because I was socially awkward and hadn’t experienced anything like this before. He talked to me more and gave me life advice which I didn’t realize at the time was all grooming and manipulation. He isolated me from other men because he said they were not good people and even bad mouthed our friends’ boyfriends. I became reliant on him since he knew my complexes and concerns and told me that I should talk to him about anything that came up.
In February 2012, I went to a convention and stayed with him in a hotel room along with other close friends. I felt safe. We spent time at the convention and returned to the hotel to enjoy the rest of the night talking. Most of the room (except me) was drinking and when everyone turned in, I slept next to Mikey because our other friends were both couples. I already knew that he was touchy and would do things like spooning, but I was groomed to think this was normal behavior and platonic cuddling. I would just push him off if it felt too uncomfortable. In the middle of the night, he moved closer to me and I heard him whispering in my ear. He told me disgusting things and whispered that he really wanted to touch/have sex with my close friend who was sleeping right next to us on the ground. He asked me things like “why do you think I’m not trying to fuck her even though she’s perfect and perfect for me?” Not knowing what to say, I just asked him why he was telling me and he responded that since he is a “good person” and he could not touch my friend who was taken, he had decided to choose me instead. He then proceeded to put his weight on me, hold my hands over my head and touched and kissed me. I was so shocked and asked him to stop but he only smiled and said I was enjoying it anyways. He fingered me and I was afraid he was going to do penetration but thankfully he suddenly felt too sleepy, let go of me and then went back to sleep. I felt so disgusted, so uncomfortable and so confused about what had just happened. I went out in the hallway to cry but did not tell any of my other friends to prevent any discourse or conflict. I was only 17 and all I wanted was a group of friends so I could not bring myself to say what happened to anyone. Not sure what to do, the next day, I asked Mikey through text if he had remembered what happened during that night. He said he barely remembered because he was drunk, but added “I’m pretty sure I wasn’t holding your hands that tight and you still didn’t break away, so that means you must have wanted it”. That text made me feel very confused, “Isn’t that true because I didn’t call for help or resist harder? Maybe I’m making a big deal out of nothing”.
He then manipulated me to think that I actually wanted these things, I became his “little sister” that he could do whatever he wanted to. He gave me a nickname that basically meant “erotic little sister” that he would call me in front of everyone. When we met in person and we were in a gathering with our friends, if it felt like I was going against him, he would hit me in front of everyone. Things that were small and pointless, like if he wasn’t sure if he wanted to eat a certain food item, he would angrily slap my face in front of my friends and shout at me saying “how dare you question me”. It shocked a lot of my friends, but I didn’t want it to be a problem so I told them everything was fine even if it wasn’t. He took my virginity after manipulating me to think that it’s what I wanted. I felt empty as it happened. I was so dependent on him and thought no one else would want me anyways, so I should be thankful that he wants to have sex with me. He made me reject and cut ties with men that seemed like they wanted to pursue anything with me because they were “disgusting” and “not good people”. The night of my 18th birthday, right when it turned 12AM, he wished me happy birthday and reminded me that “if anyone asks, this is the first time I’m fucking you.” He did things like upskirting me/pulling my shorts down to expose my underwear in front of my friends and explained to my very shocked friends that I wanted to show off anyways. I even visited him in his home and acted like his maid for a week by cleaning and cooking for him.
One day, he suddenly told me that he was going to try pursuing other people as well. These people were also my friends and it made me very upset… I didn’t feel comfortable knowing he was trying to do the same things to other people and at the same time, I thought I wasn’t desirable anymore. I would cry when he tried to do something to other people or when he mentioned it, but each time he said I needed to get used to it because I would not be the only person in his life. During this time he also told me that he was doing all these sexual acts to me as practice. He said that he would think about keeping me around when he gets a girlfriend and that he would make sure she understands as well. This thought scared me and I started to actually open up to close friends about what I should do.
I was only able to finally escape when I met my ex. I secretly met up with my ex and Mikey would bombard me with messages and calls. He would get upset that I didn’t call him before I went to sleep or text him back right away. He would even get upset that I was going to the bathroom without his permission. I pretended that I had just fallen asleep, but he didn’t believe me. He would ask my other friends what I was doing. When I started a relationship with my ex, I had to tell Mikey and ask him to stop harassing me. I still saw him as a close friend so I asked if we could just stay close friends without any of the intimacy. He agreed, but still harassed my ex saying that everything needed to go through him and he had to know everything about our relationship. Mikey spread many lies and rumors to my friends saying I was a “cheater” even though we weren’t in any kind of relationship. He turned my friends against me and manipulated everyone to believe I was being sleazy and he was the victim. It felt like everyone I knew turned against me, I couldn’t trust anyone at the time.
Then later in 2012, at a convention that was far from my home, Mikey was still there hanging out with me and my friends because I had tried so hard to not make more conflicts and keep our friendship. I was obviously uncomfortable, didn’t want to talk to him and tried my best to avoid him. One of the nights, he pulled me away from my friends, took me to a hotel room to have a talk with me. I was scared about what would happen, but could not escape. He forcefully kissed me and begged me to come back, that he actually realized he loved me and said he could not be friends with me unless I dumped my ex who he said was not right for me. I refused and tried to break away, so he told me that it was goodbye and he couldn’t be my friend anymore. From there we stopped talking. I was relieved but also horrified about what was going to happen with our friend group.
From there, here is a summary of what happened after that incident. None of these behaviors are ok. He kept spreading rumors about me to friends and manipulated them to spy on my social media to report back to him. He had a public diary/blog and other public accounts where he wrote about what he “missed about me”. In these, he exposed that he had been having sex with me and other private matters that I didn’t want to be shared. He would write things like “I thought she was too good for me so I didn’t even try to start a relationship and now it’s too late” which caused a couple of friends to misunderstand what had happened. Later on in 2014, he would wait around for me at a con/stalk me and told other friends that he wanted to talk to me. At one point I had to wait in a hidden area for 2-3 hours because he would not leave. I had to hide to make sure nothing happened.
These are mostly just my experiences. I have other stories of what he did to others but I will not share them for the sake of their privacy and to not hurt them/remind them of what happened. I spent years and years reflecting and regretting my past decisions, thinking they were my fault for being dumb and young. I didn’t even realize I had been raped or harassed until years later when talking to another friend about it. It’s been about 8-9 years and I still am affected by all the things he said and did to me. I did not write this for an apology or because I want anything from him. No one should ever be excused for abusing someone because of their past. Unfortunately this trauma will stick with me forever and I wish that no one else ever has to go through what I did. For anyone that has been through similar experiences either by him or anyone else, you are not alone.