Before I begin this post, I want to make it clear that I do not blame anyone but Kevin for what was done to me. He was and still is the only one who can control what he does. However, I want to put this out here for all of you who speak without thinking to remind you that what you choose to do and choose to say can have very real and painful consequences for those (men, women, and children) who are being abused. I really cannot do anything to change what I went through, but for those who are still trapped, I will take this opportunity to speak. Because they cannot. At one time, I could not, and now that I can, be assured that I will use every chance I get.
Once upon a time, what feels like eons ago, a lie was brought out into the light that affected a large group of people. Out of respect for the family, I will not reveal what this is, because I do not have a right to speak to them. I apologize for the vagueness, but they have been through enough pain, and I am not going to put them and their pain under a spotlight and render them vulnerable to a world of strangers.
Obviously, Kevin is the central figure in this, because it was his lie. After it was brought out into the open, an individual started contacting members of my family, having several conversations related to him. This person twisted things, left out certain facts about themselves, and in some cases told outright lies. In turn, some in my family did the same. I am no fool. I know this was done because they did not like Kevin by this point, and they were doing it out of spite for him. However, in the end, it was me who felt the repercussions in a very scary way.
This person would email him very pointed and specific details about these conversations, and once he read the email, I would be called into the room. I was forced to sit and read the emails with him standing over me. Then I would be interrogated, accused of telling others what was going on, screamed at, threatened, and then thrown out of the chair. Nothing I said ever calmed him down, and he failed to see that it was impossible for me to tell anyone, because he had control of everything, including whether or not I was allowed use of the phone. And when he left, there was always a snitch somewhere watching the house so he could get reports of what I was doing while he was out blowing all my money.
Since I could not answer him the way he expected me to, and I could not control any of these people, this simple email always, ALWAYS, ALWAYS escalated into abuse. Now, the severity of it largely depended upon how strung out he was and how many days he had been out (it still happened when he hadn’t been using), but they happened none-the-less. I have to wonder why it never occurred to any of these people to simply stop and ask me the truth before they opened their mouths. I have to wonder why people in my own family who saw random bruises, who witnessed me walking with a cane for a while, never stopped to think their words would come back to affect me.
No, what Kevin did was not their fault, but they do bear some responsibility for it. And it was a repeated incident. Even in cases where they would pick fights with him or flat out tell me that they were going to confront him about something. I would literally beg them not to, and consequently, become visibly agitated when they refused to listen to me. How could they not listen? How could they not see? Ah, friends, but they did. I remember a few specific cases where I was told they were going to say what they wanted to say, and they didn’t care if I liked it. They didn’t care if he liked it.
And he didn’t. So I would get thrown around, pushed down, punched, kicked, have things thrown at me, dragged around by my hair, beaten with metal bars, wood, cans… anything he could get his hands on. He was a nasty person on average and a monster caught up in his fits of anger, and I was his release. For everything. For every word, lie, partially true, or true word that came out of everyone else’s mouth. I was tortured for this. I was violated and humiliated repeatedly for even the smallest of innuendos. And when he was done, I still wasn’t safe. He would go back and read the email again, and I would get confronted about something else, and the whole incident would begin again. He never relented, and neither did you.
It’s bad enough to think your family would do this to you, even when you specifically asked them not to. What’s worse and most painful of all, is that when I approached several of them on multiple occasions, I was lied to. You know why they lied? They knew what they did was wrong, or at the very least, had come back to smack me in the face. But if at this point, I had found out they were one of the people, there is no reason to continue the lie; their secret was out.
Friday night, certain individuals involved in this were confirmed, and I was thrown into a tailspin. I felt betrayed all over again, and I felt the knife snap off in my back. It wasn’t enough that you twisted it around when you stuck it in; you had to leave it there, too. To know that they are still lying about it to this day devastates me. I already know who you are, I know everything you said. It was on display for me after every conversation you had. This lie makes everything that he did to me sting that much more.
I detest liars, reason being I spent four years of my life with one of the biggest liars on the face of this earth. In fact, I have more respect for people who can come up to me and flat out tell me, “Yeah, that was me that stuck that knife in there!”
I will leave off there. Am I still agitated? Yes. I was agitated last night, for example, I had someone up late on the phone talking about it. I am confused. I don’t really know how I should handle this, but I know how it’s making me feel, and I do not like it. I feel betrayed. I feel anger, hurt, sadness. I feel like I was thrown under the bus and left to die. Frustrated, because these people had several chances to be honest about it.
So what’s the lesson here for those who personally know someone being abused right now? Simple: your words can hurt. In fact, if you use your words carelessly with the wrong person, they can kill. When you fail to keep your tongue under control, it is not YOU in these cases who will be forced to bear the consequences. It is the victim. It is the victim who takes the brunt of their anger. The abuser feels the person they are abusing has been telling secrets, and they will do anything they have to do to keep this secret quiet. When I say anything, that is exactly what I mean.
If you feel the need to open your mouth and say anything at all, I implore you to do it away from the abuser and to the victim directly. If their abuser is anything like Kevin was, you may not be afforded many opportunities to do this, because they will be watched like a hawk for fear that they will break their silence. Never do it in writing, and do not allow yourself to pulled into conversations with others about the abuser. I guarantee you, it will get back to them, and punishment will be meted out accordingly.
Please do not play roulette with our lives.