This is all I want to say.
All I can do is hope this won’t happen again.
I am doing this not for me. I am doing this to save future women that could have the possibility of being manipulated by him. I am doing this in an attempt to inform people of his dedication to grooming the people in his life. The person I am speaking of is someone I thought was my best friend, someone I trusted to care for me and keep my best interests in mind. Instead he used my deepest fears and knowledge of my past trauma to manipulate and groom me into believing he was my only true friend. That only he was the closest thing in my life, even other that of my own roommate. That man is Jeremy Black, or Arcadum.
I want to preface from this point onward, that most of these are the testimony of things we said to each other in voice calls or in VR Chat. Others are screenshotted accounts of grooming (a form of abuse that involves manipulating someone until they're isolated, dependent, and more vulnerable.) that he instilled in me as my friend. I trusted him so deeply, that I was blind to his treatment, and blind to the impending trauma I would have.
May of 2020 started our dms, but Arcadum and I knew each other from mutual friends in the VR Chat Ascension Academy discord. He and I became friends swiftly, through the camaraderie of music, games, and common interests. We even shared stories of our childhood living in the same place. We grew close very fast and soon we were spending an immense amount of time together. About a month later he asked me to join him in VR Chat to hang out and watch movies. After that night he got very comfortable with me and that began his sharing of his personal relationship with his Girlfriend.
In my past I have dealt with many forms of physical and mental abuse from many unfortunate circumstances in my life. So when someone comes to me expressing their forms of abuse, I am almost immediately invested and willing to be as supportive as possible, because having experienced the things I have, I would never want another person to feel that way.
I unfortunately made the mistake of letting Arcadum know that. From that moment forward, I cared so deeply for this man and his hardships, that seemed to keep coming, more and more. My heart wrenched with empathy for him and my judgment became clouded. It is only now, that I have gone back and experienced those DM’s again, that I see it. Even now, I feel sympathy for him, when I should not. He twisted me to always believe his words, no matter what we talked about.
Which leads me to the next part of Arcadum and I’s friendship where he began to groom me into believing other people, other friends of mine, and even my closest people in my life, might not care for me the way I knew they did. He would suggest things to me, analytical hyper complicated scenarios where he would digest the things my friends did on social medias, their streams, everything. He would prey on my doubt and instill in me that it was my idea to talk about it. That it was my idea that they were shutting me out. This started my spiral of creeping depression where I began to think none of my friends were really my friends, that they were just using me, or tolerating me. It is not until now, that I realize, he was projecting his own feelings onto me, so that we could share in the turmoil he felt. Everything was always about him.
Through Arcadum, I met some really wonderful people, incredible and brave people that inspired and still inspire me, even in writing this. As my friend circle grew, including the people he introduced me to, his behavior would change when we spoke about them. When I would spend time with other people, it began to feel like he was watching me everywhere I went, and if I did not invite him, he would lash out at me with jealousy and anger that soon turned into sympathy that he knew would pull on my heart.
Please bear with me this is really difficult for me, I know there are a lot of screenshots, but I do not want to take him out of context, nor myself.
I had been hanging out with our mutual friends until it was time to go to my VR Chat roleplay called Ascension Academy. At the time I had adverse feelings towards the RP due to my own interest levels being low. Arcadum asked if we could hang out, but I had AA. He then told me that was fine, and that he was needing to work with his artists in their discord. Soon thereafter this ensued:
That night, I remember questioning if I should continue to hang out with this group of friends because I made him feel like this. That it was my fault he felt his friends didn't want to include him. That it was my fault that my new friends enjoyed being around me, and not around him. I was confused and it would only continue to get worse to the point where I stopped talking or really hanging out with that friend group all together. Arcadum and I’s friendship became stressed after this point, even more so than it already was, so much so that even when reading his messages they warped and became miscommunicated. He would lash out at me, yet again, with the same cycle: angry, jealousy, sympathy farming, and reassurance of his stature.
I regret letting him control how I felt about my friends, but he had a way of always making me think it was my idea. I realize now that the ways he influenced my perception of my friends and other people, was simply to make sure that I would be around when he needed me, then when he got his bolster of support he would leave.
Thursday night, August 26th, Arcadum called me and told me that somethings had happened with his Girlfriend, and that he was going to block, and ban all the girls he had been involved with or close with. He asked me to leave the discords we had in common, so that he could salvage the relationship with his significant other, and I obliged, devastated that I was going to lose my best friend, but I wanted to support him in his choice to work on his life. It was not until later, when I was approached by the other women who he had forcibly removed, that he was simply trying to sweep all his wrong doing under the rug, to salvage his reputation with his community. This broke my heart, hearing all the things he had done to them, made me feel sick, as if this was all some horrible dream, that I would wake up, and I could go back to believing he was an incredible man. That unfortunately was not true, over the last few days I have had to face unsurfaced trauma with 10+ other women, all in the realization that he was not a good man.
I am writing this, not to garner sympathy, I do not want people to feel bad for me, I just do not want for this cycle to repeat down the road. I want to know that without a shred of doubt I can recount my experiences with the intent to prevent them from happening again, of how he groomed me and how he manipulated me so deeply, that it began to affect my life outside of our friendship. I no longer want him to have the ability to disguise his predatory actions with the comfort of camaraderie and care.
I want to apologize to all the friends I made along the way, that I thought ill of or pushed away, as I now understand I was only doing so because I was gaslit to believe it was the right thing to do. I hope that in the future I can start the healing process of our friendships.
Goodbye Arcadum, be good, be better.