Bad Days, Healing Stages

What I want to say to those who make us feel shame.

Someday soon I’m going to make my medical records public so everyone can see the amount of damage my abuser caused.  Someday, everyone will read the hardships he inflicted upon me because I refuse to be shamed for having been abused.  My hope for the non profit I am establishing is to bring awareness so that victims of abuse aren’t victimized a second time around by society, by family, friends and those we think we can turn to.

Until then this is what I would like to say to those who victimized me, a second time around.

Hi,

I don’t expect a response.  Really, it’s okay.  I want to share a couple of things that has been bothering me. All of you were so nice to me at one point, but after I became a victim of domestic violence some of you chose to ignore me.  It’s okay. I don’t have anything against your decision.  I wanted to reach out to let you know what I’ve been going through because I think it’s important.  I even attached my last progress report from my neurologist.  If you google him, you’ll see he’s a rock star who takes difficult cases of brain trauma. People from all over the country come to see him so I’m lucky that his office is down the street from my house since I’m there 6 hours a week trying to repair the damage Vince caused when he lost his temper and threw me against the wall.
It’s okay for me to say that, isn’t it.   I’m sorry if that’s caused discomfort but it’s reality.  Read the doctor’s notes and look through the test results and see the deficits I still suffer from 18 months later.  Don’t take my word for it.  I think it may be hard for you to think or say it out loud that someone you know, Vince, could have possibly committed such a violent act.
I know I lied to myself about my happiness when I was in the relationship with him because I was embarrassed and couldn’t face myself to admit I was with someone who was so emotionally abusive that I thought I was going insane.  Sadly, the emotional abuse turned into violence, and on December 21, 2016 he attacked me.  He threw me against the wall and put his hand on my neck and wouldn’t let go. He then slapped me. I had to fight to get away from him.  It was a nightmare.
In addition to the brain trauma, cognitive deficits and back problems I also have PTSD.  I have done many sessions of exposure therapy so I could look to my left without having a panic attack or not fall apart when my son bounces the ball off the wall because it reminds me of my head hitting the wall and breaking the glass of the frame that was hanging.  It’s been 18 months and I was told not driving at night may be something I have to wrap my head around.  I still can’t run more than a minute without getting nauseated or dizzy and  I hate grocery shopping because it’s too much.
I had no idea the inner working of the ear played such a major role in our ability to function.  I still can’t get on a bike.  I can’t stand on bleachers during my sons baseball games and I can’t see 3d movies.  The list is long.  I think the point I wanted to make is that you all seem so liberal and not the type that would blame the woman for having been assaulted but I am here to tell you that some of you did just that.  You blocked me, you stopped talking to me and ignored me, but you went on giving Vince kudos for his rides and planning cycling trips with him all because he’s male and carried himself much better than I did.  I guess I failed for not offering cookies like Joan Cleaver would have after sustaining brain trauma.  I mean, COME ON!  Silly me.
I guess I want to be in your head the next time you see him or go to give kudos or engage in how great he did climbing that mountain or trekking through gravel, that you stop to think about who you are talking to and the choices you’ve made in how you treated me vs him.  I’m not asking for friendships or that you choose.  I just wonder why is it that women are the ones who always get the shorter end of the stick. Especially, the women who are reading this.  You come across so strong.  Some of you even told me to press charges and couldn’t believe he was capable, but in the end you chose what you chose, which is fine, but as someone who was for the first time a victim of domestic violence, I now have a deeper understanding as to why so many women stay silent.  Our partners drive us to the brinks of suicide yet we are expected to act as if nothing is wrong.  We are looked at as though we are jilted lovers when our anger and shame has nothing to do with being a jilted lover.  For me, my anger towards him stems from him having robbed my children of their sense of safety and destabilized their sense of security.  When you go to give him those kudos think of my 10 year old who refused to go to school because he was worried Vince was going to come to the house to hurt me.  Think about him telling me he wants me to sew his butt to a chair and then put him outside of a window and cut the thread.  I’m angry because Vince is out there planning trips and riding his bike, and I can’t even plan a long weekend with my kids because I still can’t drive outside of Mclean.
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Oh, the man lying on the couch is my ex husband who has Cutaneous Adenosquamous Carcinoma.  Look it up.  He’s going through chemo and radiation and once he’s done with that he is going to have surgery to remove something on his lung.  So enjoy that beer with Vince on your next gravel trip, talking about all those wonderful places in the world you’re going to go cycle together, and be sure sure to tell him how strong he is for climbing those hills and how great his selfies are while I go to my 11 doctor’s appointments while raising two young kids who love their dad but will most likely lose him sooner, rather than later.  Put on your fake smiles and act like you are something so special because you can climb a fucking hill while I  wonder how I will ever be normal enough to get a job so I can have health insurance for me and my kids after David dies.
You can never ask again why women don’t come forward or why this person or that person committed suicide.  Why did they feel alone?  You can’t ask those questions if you are part of the problem because you do what’s easier and turn your head and pretend the good guy you are talking to hasn’t done anything wrong.
Take care.
Vesta

 

2 thoughts on “What I want to say to those who make us feel shame.”

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