It’s been a difficult time for me. I’ve been waiting 90 days+ for the verdict in my family law trial. I’m experiencing a lot of triggers and finding it harder to stay positive and optimistic about the future.
Quite frankly, it is terrible for my mental and physical health to have contact with my abuser. It upsets me, it triggers me, it causes flashbacks and disassociation, it confuses me, gaslights me, makes me doubt myself, my abilities, makes me feel crazy and like nobody believes me.
Unfortunately, he is the father of my children and I can’t just go no contact.
It’s awful. It’s awful being told I have to “get along” with someone who treated me so badly. It’s frustrating being told by many institutions such as the kids school, the CAS and some doctors, that I should be more neutral, not let my past impact me, that he’s a loving parent and basically a good person.
Hold on a minute….basically a good person?
That’s what I told myself for years. It’s just sexual abuse. It’s just the sexual stuff, he’s otherwise “basically a good person.” Telling myself that kept me locked into the relationship for years longer than I should have stayed.
Someone who doesn’t believe in consent is not “basically a good person” they are an abusive person. He is an abusive person.
Privilege in society allows abusers to “pass” as basically good people. They know how to act, to charm, to make their victims look crazy or unreliable or unbelievable, they know how to discredit others, they know how to tell different lies to different people to suit their needs. Most abusers can make you think they are basically good people, but in reality, the signs are there that they are not good people.
The saddest part is that because abusers are expert liars and manipulators they can often convince everyone who might be able to help you, that they are good people! So the abuse they perpetrate goes unnoticed and unacknowledged by anyone who might be able to support or rescue you.
Suddenly, they are “basically good people” and you are perceived as mentally ill and crazy.
Abusers gaslight the system. That, combined with the societal privilege, rape culture, and patriarchy, allow them to pass unseen, and unnoticed through our world, abusing people as they please and not being stopped. In a parallel experience, the survivors are believed less and less, as a web of lies is spun about them by the abuser to those around her who might assist her in escaping.
This is what I’m experiencing in my life. It’s been 3.5 years since I left my abuser but I’m still locked in a web of abuse. Very few people within the “system” believe me, and those who DO believe me and my kids, are seen as biased! It’s an unbelievable, frustrating and maddening situation.
The more I protest, advocate and fight for myself and my kids, the more I am labelled radical, crazy, not neutral, too angry etc.
So what are my options?
I feel like the only option is to be my own hero.
At the end of the day, my ex-partner would like nothing more than for me to fall into a crisis and commit suicide. He wants me to kill myself so that he can be right. So he can prove that I’m crazy and that I don’t care about, and have never cared about, my kids. He won’t stop punishing us until he reaches this goal.
But it’s been 3.5 years, and generally I’m more mentally healthy than I was before. Generally, I take care of myself. I’m working full time. I’m becoming more confident in myself and my career. I have some supportive friends and a supportive family. I’m not falling into a crisis.
I won’t let him destroy me. I’ll stay alive as long as I can just to spite him.
I’ll be my own hero, if nobody else will step up to protect my kids. I’ll protect them and myself and do everything in my power to survive.
Survival is the best revenge.
If you are experiencing abuse, be your own hero. Believe yourself. Support yourself. The rest will slowly follow.