…Yet they still don’t know the deal. I am still completely confused and utterly annoyed at people who have the nerve to try to give me the “how could you not know” talk. Funny that they seem to forget at one point, too, they were as misled as I was! Abusers are able to do what they do because they excessively excel at manipulating and lying. And why wouldn’t they really, seeing how everything for them depends on it?!
They have it down to an art. They are proud of it. At least Kevin was. Ever so smug and arrogant, he was always talking about how he was “from somewhere” and how he was “somebody.” He had quite the resume to back up a lot of his talk. He was good at his vocation, but had so little sense that he never sat for his license. I figured out how he could be that good and not feel any motivation to go any further: he was chasing the money solely to smoke. He loved his rock so deeply, in fact, that everything he did was a part of his plan to fund his habit including getting the girl. His line of work wasn’t particularly steady or dependable, so he needed someone with a steady job. It couldn’t be just anyone, though, because everything had to appear on the outside that he had everything going. Including the trophy girlfriend. Imagine my disgust to hear that he had referred to me as a “cute, little piece.” Yet one more reason I refused. To answer your question before you ask: yes, I was punished for that, too.
He was looked at by many others as an exception to the rule. He only showed them the parts of himself that he wanted others to see, so the few times I did make a comment about how he would talk to me, for example, no one believed it could be true. After all, if this were the case, how could such a cruel, evil, under-handed person be so successful, working for several large companies? How could he run his own business and have so many well-respected friends? Kevin simply lied to all of them. He pulled out his “good guy” mask and strutted around, putting on however long of a show he needed. To this day, several of those “well-respected” individuals are still being fooled by him, I am sure.
I used to care that this is most likely the case. In fact, I was probably obsessing about it for a while before I realized that I was giving him power by allowing this to bother me. He doesn’t deserve to occupy my brain that way. If they want to continue to allow themselves to be misled by him, then so be it. The important thing is that I am no longer, nor are most of the people who live in our area. Because believe me, I told everyone and their mama his business.
And when they found out just how bad he is, they had a hard time believing it. Most of the time, this was because they couldn’t reconcile the good guy and how the bad guy was stuffed in there somewhere out of view. Did they think I was lying? No. But the two images didn’t mesh, and of course, this produces thoughtless questions that they still haven’t figured out they shouldn’t ask. They made ridiculous assumptions and assertions …. and in some cases even tried to excuse or justify his behavior. Of course, once I told them the entire story, they went back to being in shock. Which led to more questions.
Eventually, they create their own answers and throw them in my face like they know what they are talking about. I have to smile and shake my head at them, because I can see many of them in the same position I was just in. And not that I want that for anyone. They just unknowingly prove my point that it can happen to any of us. Check Mate.
Just one little request of you “experts” out there. If you have not been through it personally or know someone who’s been through it, you have no right to judge, criticize, critique, or advise. By knowing someone who has suffered through it, I don’t mean your baby mama’s sister’s uncle’s friend’s wife. I mean you were there to watch them suffer, you saw their pain (even if you didn’t know what it was at the time it was happening, because we hide it as long as we can), or they actually opened up and confided in you. Personal and direct second-hand experience are the only ways you can see into the depths of the horrors domestic violence victims suffer. They are the only ways you can know what it really is all about. So if you lack this, please show consideration and compassion. Think before you speak. Clarify what you don’t understand without blaming us or excusing them.
If you want help talking to someone who has struggled with domestic violence, seek advice from a professional. More often than not, they have been there, too.