Should I speak out?

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lucy2893

Guest
#1
I recently divorced my partner of 4 years due to physical, sexual, and verbal abuse. We had many mutual "friends" who I did tell about his abuse, but who have continued to be friends with him anyway (despite assuring me that they believe me). Some of the abuse, and things that I shared, were him telling a man to rape me (in those exact words) and then blaming me for it after he did, holding a loaded gun to my head, destroying my property, publicly humiliating me, convincing me I was mentally unstable, name-calling, etc. I'm infuriated by the fact that he gets to go on with his life as though nothing happened, convincing everyone that I'm crazy and he's the victim.
I am still friends with many people we both know on my Facebook. I am not interested in keeping these people as friends, as they've proven themselves to be abuse apologists. However, I want to make a public post about his abuse-- to force them to read it, and to force him to know that I've put it out there (whether or not anyone ends their friendship with him over it, his image is the most important thing in the world to him, and just knowing that I've spoken out will torment him). I'm so tired of protecting him with my silence and lying, as I've been doing for years. I want it to be out there. I want all these pretend-progressives to grapple with the fact that they are in the wrong.

I'm concerned, though, that I might regret making something so personal public (my account is private, so not actually public, but something that will reach all 350 of my Facebook friends, at least). That I feel humiliated later on and wish I hadn't. That there will be blowback on me. I feel like speaking out is important for healing, but I don't want it to derail my life either.

I would love to hear from other abuse survivors who have gone through this dilemma- what did you choose? Why? Was it worth it?
 

Manya

here an there
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#2
i hear what youre saying :rs

ive chosen to speak to law enforcement, my therapist, and anonymous survivors online. law enforcement - so as not to continue pretending everything is fine, protecting the abuser, lying, covering up, etc. was sick and tired of it, just like you are saying. so i went to police. therapist - cuz i needed help with the aftermath of the trauma. and anonymous survivors online - cuz it helps to talk to people who are in the same boat. helps both to talk and to hear others talk too.

ive choosen not to talk to friends/family about it, especially not to such an extended circle as a few hundred people. some knew, some didnt, some didnt wanna know - but i didnt feel that me speaking up would change much, aside from putting me at risk for slander/harassment charges. plus increasing amount of gossip of course. i dont like gossip, and if i introduced the subject - of course everyone would start talking about the guy, but they would also talk about me. and i dont really care what they would be saying, i wouldnt like it either way. i.e. whether they called me a drama queen or a poor victim - i wouldnt like it. id rather people didnt talk about me behind my back. so i filed a police report, instead of posting on facebook. that seemed more productive.

was it worth it...
well, telling my therapist was definitely worth it, its hard to work through a trauma without disclosing what that trauma is. talking to survivors - yeah, worth it too. i received (and continue receiving) good solid support, and i hope im paying it forward as well, giving support to others. sharing thoughts/feelings/experiences is an invaluable thing imho. and telling the police - yeah, i think it was worth it. it didnt result in the guy getting charged, unfortunately, they just didnt have enough evidence to go through with it - but it was still worth it, to me. if only cuz i feel i done the right thing, i spoke up, broke the silence, didnt chicken out, and also - i done my part to protect the society from the guy. i think if i didnt do it - id keep regretting it.

hope this helps :bf
 
L

lucy2893

Guest
#3
i hear what youre saying :rs

ive chosen to speak to law enforcement, my therapist, and anonymous survivors online. law enforcement - so as not to continue pretending everything is fine, protecting the abuser, lying, covering up, etc. was sick and tired of it, just like you are saying. so i went to police. therapist - cuz i needed help with the aftermath of the trauma. and anonymous survivors online - cuz it helps to talk to people who are in the same boat. helps both to talk and to hear others talk too.

ive choosen not to talk to friends/family about it, especially not to such an extended circle as a few hundred people. some knew, some didnt, some didnt wanna know - but i didnt feel that me speaking up would change much, aside from putting me at risk for slander/harassment charges. plus increasing amount of gossip of course. i dont like gossip, and if i introduced the subject - of course everyone would start talking about the guy, but they would also talk about me. and i dont really care what they would be saying, i wouldnt like it either way. i.e. whether they called me a drama queen or a poor victim - i wouldnt like it. id rather people didnt talk about me behind my back. so i filed a police report, instead of posting on facebook. that seemed more productive.

was it worth it...
well, telling my therapist was definitely worth it, its hard to work through a trauma without disclosing what that trauma is. talking to survivors - yeah, worth it too. i received (and continue receiving) good solid support, and i hope im paying it forward as well, giving support to others. sharing thoughts/feelings/experiences is an invaluable thing imho. and telling the police - yeah, i think it was worth it. it didnt result in the guy getting charged, unfortunately, they just didnt have enough evidence to go through with it - but it was still worth it, to me. if only cuz i feel i done the right thing, i spoke up, broke the silence, didnt chicken out, and also - i done my part to protect the society from the guy. i think if i didnt do it - id keep regretting it.

hope this helps :bf

Thank you, I really appreciate you taking the time to give me such a thoughtful response. What you say makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately for me reporting to law enforcement is not an option at this point, but I imagine that would be really helpful if I could. I feel the same way about not wanting my name out there on that scale... which is why I haven't done it yet. It's just infuriating that I'm the one who is being painted as a villain, after everything he's done and all the times I've protected him when I shouldn't have.
 

Manya

here an there
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#4
It's just infuriating that I'm the one who is being painted as a villain, after everything he's done and all the times I've protected him when I shouldn't have.
i hear you.
sometimes it helps me to stop and think of whether i actually want/need approval of the people who are disapproving of me. i mean, im human, of course i want to be liked, i want people on my side, etc - but the question is, whom do i want to be liked by, whom do i want on my side. cuz people who engage in facebook drama, discussing my marital affairs behind my back instead of talking to me directly (if they need info, for whatever reason), and judging me based on some gossip they heard - idk that i wanna associate with such folks all that much. i want someone on my side, sure, but not just anyone, if you know what i mean. not trying to bash your friends, obviously, sorry if it comes across this way. just sharing how i personally handle such conflicts. cuz some of your 350 facebook friends might believe that youre a villain - but some of them surely just ignore that stream of bs that comes their way, cuz they like and respect you enough not to get involved in it. i mean, if someone approached me to tell me that my friend X cheated on her last bf, and falsely accused him of dv, and is overall psych unstable, and idk what else - i just wouldnt listen to that. i would take a mental note of it, sure, but the mental note would be "this person who approached me is a gossiper, i should watch what i say around them, if i have to be around them at all." it would be about this person, not about my friend. know what i mean?
 

Jane

Lark Ascending
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Jun 19, 2013
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25,910
#5
Hi :hi Lucy read your post and can relate to your thoughts about outing your ex's ways...blowing his cover. Had lots of similar ones when I first left my ex...dreamt of publicly exposing him - hurting him as much as he had hurt me. Was a phase of my coming to terms with things - my grief related anger (yep, sometimes I convinced myself that my motives were driven by an autruistic desire to warn and protect others...but on retrospect I can see that was just a story I told myself to save than facing my rampart desire to get my own back - to see him punished).

Resorting to fantasies helped. Big and over-blown ones, like taking a full page newspaper ad, or sky writing that "Xxxx Xxxx is a partner beating bully" - broadcasting to the world what he did...imagining how shocked his family and friends would be when they saw it. Can now see that these fantasies acted as a safe and effective release valve for the justifiable pain and intense emotional hurt I was feeling at the time.

Although I sometimes idlely mused about turning my fantasies into reality... taking some irl action to expose the shadow side of my abusive ex...I didn't go there - was very aware that doing this had a high chance of back-firing on me...could end up with me being not believed, being called a liar, or even sued for defamation. Given this I limited my story sharing (and revenge fantasies) to a few trusted friends and my therapist.

Now ( a good few years down the track) I look back and cannot conjure up even the slightest interest in exposing my abusers 'not ok' behaviour. With time and work have moved well beyond this point. Am now much more interested in focusing on myself than revisiting the 'wrongs' of my ex.

Hope what I have shared helps. :rs:rs
 

Tasha1701D

Fort Security Chief & Stargazer
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8,328
#6
I relate to wanting to figure out a way to speak against what happened to me, but wondering how to do it. I'm of the same mind as Manya is on this. I couldn't go to the police about things for various reasons, like the statute of limitations and such. However, I have chosen to talk about it with my therapist and on online support groups. If friends ask, I'll say yeah I experienced abuse, details don't really help them much, though, and my abuse experiences aren't the focus of our interactions. They're a third party, are helpless in the situation, and abuse details don't really enhance our relationships and stuff.

it would be about this person, not about my friend. know what i mean?
For me, making a post online "denouncing" someone who is a part of our friend/acquaintance circle, seems to be viewed as saying more about me than about the person I'm trying to "reveal" things about. So for me, it has been a lot better if I limit my sharing to therapists and support groups mostly, and maybe a friend or two who ask me specifically about stuff. :rs for you.
 
L

lucy2893

Guest
#7
Thank you all for your feedback. I decided to remove everyone associated with him from my contacts so that I can start my life over with people who aren't his apologists. I decided not to say anything publicly, although I did share with some friends. I think this will be the best decision for me in the long run.
 
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