Speaking up to Protect Others
Content Warning: Sexual assault, Sexual situations, Cheating, Mental Abuse, Emotional Abuse, and Stalking.
This is my story about my experiences with Greg Spence, the CEO of The Broken Token. I am finally speaking up after over 10 years because my silence has allowed others to be hurt as well. I will not be disclosing the names of any other individuals who have been hurt by him. That is their story to tell. We cannot allow predators to continue doing this.
I first met Greg over 10 years ago. I was the very first employee of The Broken Token. Greg and I worked out of his garage before we moved on to a warehouse. In the beginning Greg and I were a great team and worked really well together. That all changed on the first International Table Top Day. We were in route to a game store to share some product with local FLGS’s and he confessed to me in the car that he was in love with me. At this time, he was married and I had just ended a 6 year relationship. When I did not reciprocate the same feelings, he got upset and clearly agitated. He then angrily accused me of embarrassing him. His entire demeanor changed from that point forward during out trip. It was at this time that I quickly learned I had to keep him happy in order to keep my job. This decision is what started 5 years of sexual, mental, and emotional abuse.
While we worked out of his home, he chose to use many opportunities to put his hands on me and sexually assault me. If I did not allow him to do what he wanted he would get increasingly angry and mentally abusive. He made it clear that my job was on the line when he was not happy with me. I tried looking for a job elsewhere but I was unable to find anything that would financially support me. This was increasingly frustrating and I felt stuck. My mental health started to decline and I did what any workaholic would do and I dove into my work. I loved the brand and the company I was working for. To be a part of such an amazing success was exhilarating. I decided to tough it out and stay. No matter what that meant for me.
Once we moved into a warehouse location Greg left his wife. He made it very clear that he did this for me. I didn’t want to be in a relationship with Greg but I felt stuck with no way out. He kept a tight reign on my wages and decided one day that he no longer wanted to pay me so he proposed an idea. If I was to become his girlfriend then I would want for nothing but I would no longer get paid. I declined. This outraged him and for the next few weeks he would be combative, manipulative, disrespectful, and downright cruel. I eventually gave in to him and started to do as he wished in order for the abuse to stop. I was downright miserable at this point. I now fully understood the game that he was playing and I didn’t have a way out.
If I ever went against him my job was on the line. He expected me to be with him sexually or my job was on the line. He expected me to work all hours of the day with no extra pay or my job was on the line. I had to always abide in everything I did. I finally had enough and despite the constant threats I started to fight back. At one point he went through my Facebook and contacted other guys I was talking to and told them we were together and to leave me alone. This was a gross invasion of privacy and it was clear there was no line he wasn’t willing to cross.
Once he realized that I was no longer willing to abide he decided to go back to his wife. I thought that this would help me but in reality it made things worse. Thankfully the sexual assaults ended but the mental and emotional abuse had just begun. Every single day I felt like I was about to get fired and he backed it up by berating everything I did. He would do things to upset me by how he spoke to me or things he said to me. I was so broken at this point so all I did was lash out with crying and getting upset. Every day I worked incredibly hard to keep my composure and make sure that I just focused on my work but it turned in to some sort of sick game for him to get a reaction from me. Then, of course, it got turned on me when I would react negatively to his abuse.
My mental health was broken, I was broken, and my will to care was slipping at a quick rate. I am forever grateful for the good people that I worked with at that time. They saw the abuse and did what they could to support me. They literally kept me alive during these times. I owe them everything and they know who they are!
I finally found a job at an amazing company that took me in. I am eternally grateful for their love and compassion because I was a broken mess when I started with them. I was finally free from his grasp, or so I thought. I attended GAMA a few years in a row and each show he would stalk me at my booth. I had to have someone walk me to my room, walk me to get food, and stay with me in the circle bar. I was still not free from him! I have spoken with GAMA about these issues so they are fully aware.
The reason I am stepping forward today is because I had a chance to let others know and I stayed quiet. Then it happened… my worst nightmare came true and it happened to another woman. I am still devastated to this day that I didn’t come forward sooner to prevent this. So this is what I am doing now. Greg is a predator and a true narcissist. He thrives off of control and mental games. This has to stop! I never thought this would happen to me and especially from someone I had truly trusted. We cannot allow predators like this in our industry.
My story is my own. There are so many more things that have happened to me and I am still working on becoming a stronger person despite everything I went through. However, my healing process is between myself, my therapist and my support network. I don’t owe answers to anyone about my trauma or healing. If you feel the need to contact me, my partner will be filtering all communication to me and we will choose when to respond. Please be patient as this has been a difficult process to step forward.