I think the best word to describe my husband is ‘broken’. Devastated and shattered don’t cover it.
Grief doesn’t cover it.
He has lost so much because of lies, and I’m not talking about the friends and family members who easily abandoned him, without ever asking him anything.
But more than that, he’s lost his ability to open up, to trust, to confide.
It’s not all that surprising, if you think about it; when a person is forced to choose – no matter what – it’s never going to end well, and as I was the only one who didn’t force Scott to choose sides, I’m sure you can imagine how heartbreaking it is. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter what I want if the ultimatum to him is that he has to choose between everyone else and me.
I didn’t put that ultimatum on him, and I’ve even suggested that I leave, if his parents are that convinced because of those people, but it’s gone past that.
That ship sailed a long time ago, because it stopped being about me. In some ways, for Scott, it never really was about me.
It was about how all the people that were meant to love him betrayed him and let him down, and the one person who won’t make him choose or force judgement on him is the one everyone says he has to give up.
So yeah, in some ways it has something to do with me, but mostly, it has nothing to do with me, because Scott can’t forgive what these people did to him.
Scott often now talks about how he doesn’t want to talk to anyone, because of everyone who betrayed him.
Scott was devastated to learn about the Munchhausen’s rumours, but what made him angry was how every single fucking friend he asked about it said, “Yeah, I heard that.” They either said they had believed it, or they hadn’t, but they all made it clear: Whatever was going on, they didn’t want to give either of us a head’s up.
Maybe you don’t see that as a betrayal, but my husband sure fucking does. He was distraught, because he’d begged, because he wanted to know. He’d begged his closest friends, because we didn’t have answers. Scott was terrified, and still, his friends and family either chose to flat-out ignore his desperate pleas, or to use them against him by contacting his emotionally abusive father.
Want to tell me how it’s irrational that Scott feels betrayed by that?
He turned to so many of you, and so many of you kept throwing it in his face.
We’d had to fight tooth and nail since those rumours started, with no idea what we were fighting against and why we were receiving so little help and support, because people cared more about protecting the people who were deliberately inflicting pain and intentional harm on us.
I remember the night he talked or messaged or whatever to his best man, and how John stated that he ‘didn’t want to participate in cruel gossip’ and Scott replied, ‘So, when I, too, contracted encephalitis because of ‘the cruel gossip’, was that just okay? Collateral damage? Because it feels a bit more than cruel gossip to me.’ (Obviously I’m paraphrasing. I don’t know most of what was said, just what was relayed.)
Scott tried to explain to a lot of his friends that the “cruel gossip” had had on us both.
He tried explaining that, because of their actions, we were still suffering consequences, four years on, because maybe if people would actually understand the long-standing consequences we had, that this wasn’t just a “friendship breakup” that had gone sour, that we had very real life-changing consequences that are still happening to us as a result.
He tried explaining that his parents’ behaviour towards me had dramatically changed, thanks to one of his friends called Emma. She’d been involved in everything up in Emerald, but she was from Adelaide – my husband’s hometown.
And she made damn sure everyone thought I had Munchhausen’s.
I think Emma is the only person my husband actually hates, because if I’d had a cataplexy episode while surrounded by people I didn’t know (one happened in Disneyland – I became to excited, and I was able to find a bench before I passed out. I don’t know how it is for everyone, but now that I know what it is, I sometimes have a small window to get somewhere safe.
He was furious that someone could be that malicious. He was furious that she helped ruin his relationship with his family.
Still aren’t convinced it’s a betrayal? Still don’t see how the effects are still going on for us four years later?
Do you know the look of devastation on my husband’s face when someone casually revealed to him his parents had disowned him, months before he’d had a big blow up with them and they’d issued their ultimatum?
Scott and I were both in a war we didn’t know had begun, fighting a battle we didn’t know we were in.
The only reason why the person casually mentioned it was because no one in their right mind assumed Scott would be unaware that his own parents had disowned him without, you know, actually telling him.
Just so it’s clear, that’s the type of people who Scott’s parents are. The genuinely seem to like inflicting pain on him when he isn’t doing what they want him to do, regardless of his feelings. Which might make sense if he was three, not almost thirty.
Scott’s parents messaged my parents, asking why I was defective.
Scott’s parents messaged my parents, telling them that if they didn’t force me to have children, they would be very displeased. My parents felt that that choice landed on us, and only us. Scott’s parents weren’t impressed.
To make my parents pay for refusing to manipulate anyone, they then sent my parents a lot of messages about travelling in business class, on their three month holiday, after telling my father that Scott’s parents couldn’t help out Scott (his car broke), because they had no money.
My parents are literally working class, need two-incomes to pay the bills, not for fucking holidays. But because my parents think that manipulation and blackmail is wrong, when Scott’s parents abandoned him, even though my parents didn’t have the fucking money and Scott’s parents wanted to make sure everyone in my family knew they did, it was MY parents that stepped up.
I can keep going, but I think you can see my point.
Still thinking his feelings of betrayal and mistrust are irrational?
He tried explaining that, to everyone, it was ‘just stuff that happened in Emerald’, but for us, the effects had been continuous and constant, and we received little to no support because either people were too busy trying to be neutral while coincidentally accidentally siding with others, that because I hadn’t been believed, irreparable damage had been done to my body.
I will never, ever be the same person I was, because of those people.
So yeah, my husband gets really fucking pissed when people dismiss it as ‘so long ago’, because he’s not been able to talk to his parents for a fucking year because of you.
My husband literally never wants to return to his home state.
He is disgusted with almost everyone from his past life; he can’t understand why his friends wouldn’t just say anything, especially when he kept asking for answers. He doesn’t want to open up again, because he thinks one of two things will happen: Best case scenario, everyone ignores him and refuses to listen to him, which is what he’s fairly used to, or you’ll run to his father and he’ll get another abusive email filled with things that aren’t true, sending him spiraling further.
Does that make it seem like his devastation is irrational? Or does it align with something someone might experience after several years of having people either not listen to you, or flat out betray you, even after he begged for help?
He’s depressed, and he doesn’t know who to talk to, apart from me and his therapist.
Because of cruel gossip, he doesn’t have the ability to trust the way he used to.
He refuses to reach out to friends, because in his mind, they didn’t care enough about him to even consider talking to him about maybe his fucking life could be in danger if they weren’t full of shit and actually spoke to him about my health and their “concerns”.
If they had, if they had even tried, they’d have learnt that Scott almost died because of them.
It’s not uncommon when you get encephalitis.
If they had tried to listen, then maybe they’d understand that everything that had been labelled as ‘cruel gossip’ had had detrimental effects on both of us.
He hoped they’d understand that just because it ended for some of them in Emerald, it didn’t for us.
I’m still sick, and now I have PTSD.
I can’t get better, and we have to now manage an entirely new and different life.
He doesn’t have a family, because his family prefers blackmail, emotional manipulation, gaslighting and emotional abuse, because of the lies you put into someone else’s head.
If you’d asked Scott, he could have shown you the results from the five MRI scans I’ve fucking had.
If you’d asked Scott, he could have told you about all the times he was with me with sleep studies in hospitals.
If you’d asked Scott, he could tell you who my neurologist was, because he’s met her.
If you’d asked Scott, you’d have learnt that everything they were saying was so easy to disprove.
Well, now, Scott doesn’t really want to speak to pretty much everyone from his old life.
Why would he want to?
He’s tried pointing out the vicious attacks others have made against me, but no one wanted to listen, because ‘we were both being mean’. (I literally was not doing anything. And I can prove it. I’m pretty certain my husband wasn’t doing anything mean, because he doesn’t have a mean bone in my body, but if anyone wants me to prove it, I will. I will post everyone’s conversations online, and I will prove that I never did anything – unless you count asking ‘Why?’ anything. I literally made it my mission to ask friendly questions about people I didn’t like at times, because that’s what a good friend does. I didn’t want mutual friends to feel like they could never speak to me. Apparently, that courtesy wasn’t extended back.)
I remember when John said that to Scott, and Scott just broke. I’ve only seen him THAT angry towards a few people in my life, and that was one of those times.
He was beyond shattered – how could everyone keep doing this to him? Why was everyone refusing to acknowledge the very real-life consequences we were facing? More than anything, he just wanted people to start understanding the gravity of what we’d been through, and why it fucking mattered.
Because, if you ask those people, they’ll tell you it’s just cruel gossip. They might even spin something more colourful. But it’s not true, and it never can be true, even if they believe it, because we are still dealing with the consequences of this four years later.
Don’t you think if either of us could get out of this shit, we would? Who wants this hanging over their shoulders? We’ve literally moved twice to try and make sure these people aren’t in our lives, but even when these people have no connections to us, that doesn’t mean the effects of those rumours are now nullified. We still have to battle against them, and I’ve stopped going to the doctor as regularly as I should, because I’m scared if I go in too often, someone else will do the same thing, and I can’t afford that, because at the moment, my doctors know something is seriously wrong, they just don’t know what yet.
So I keep letting situations get worse, because I’d rather hear, ‘You fucking idiot, you could have fucking died’, than the fear of maybe dying because of what these people have put me through. And before that sounds like an exaggeration, that literally did happen on more than one occassion. Because of their refusal to consider that maybe invisible illnesses are tricky, I literally almost died.
On top of which, he couldn’t understand how everyone thought I had Munchhausen’s, but was perfectly comfortable showing up to our wedding in the hopes I’d poison him or some fucking shit.
Do you know how that makes someone feel?
Because there’s one of two things at play here: 1. You’re right, I have Munchhausen’s, and you think it’s okay if Scott’s life is in danger or 2. You know you’re wrong, you know what you’re doing is cruel, and you’re telling yourself it’s something like Munchhausen’s because otherwise you would have to deal with the fact that you’re a shitty person.
As every single fucking doctor I’ve ever met, including all the ones that don’t like me, can prove that I have three autoimmune diseases.
Three. Autoimmune. Diseases.
Yeah. I hit the fucking trifecta.
So when my husband doesn’t want to talk to you, doesn’t want to confide in you, and doesn’t trust you, ask yourself why.
Did you know about the cruel gossip and decide you didn’t care enough about him to say anything, even when he begged and pleaded?
Did you take the time to openly listen to him?
When he explained that it wasn’t just cruel gossip, did you blow him off, or did you listen to the actual consequences we’d both faced?
If you were apart of what happened, to both of us, did you offer any real apology? Did you stop and think, “Okay, it’s been four years. Maybe when Scott said it was more than cruel gossip, we should be listening and trying to understand what he’s trying to tell us.”
If you were directly involved, did you try and reach out, and say that you were sorry, and really meant it? Did you put yourself in our shoes, and think what that must have been like for us both? Did you empathise with everything that has kept on happening, or have you been too busy going out with the people Scott can’t trust, refusing to admit that maybe, just maybe, you failed him, and you were wrong?
(If you weren’t involved, and don’t know what I’m talking about, then it’s not about you. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, or if you do but we know you get it, this isn’t for you. It’s for the bystanders who didn’t want to get involved, because they wanted to be neutral; and it’s for those that deliberately and intentionally hurt both me and my husband.)
Because in his mind, that’s a huge fucking betrayal. He’s cut off pretty much everyone that knew, with the exception of a couple of people he genuinely believes in.
He doesn’t want to know your excuses, or your justifications. They’re bullshit. You cannot justify what you’ve done to this man. You cannot excuse why it was worth breaking a person who was optimistic, loving and trusting, because you hated me. You cannot explain why you thought it was worth it, because none of this possibly could be.
You just wanted to cause and inflict pain and harm, regardless of the consequences.
Chances are, with some of you, he doesn’t want your friendship. I remember when one of his groomsmen started working with him again, and he asked Scott if he wanted to catch up, and Scott wanted to seriously slug him, because he was like: WHAT THE FUCK MATE? ARE YOU JUST GONNA PRETEND LIKE YOU DIDN’T FUCK ME AND MY WIFE OVER EVERY CHANCE YOU GUYS GOT?
No. He wants you to understand why all of this has mattered.
He wants you to understand that just because it’s over for you, doesn’t mean it’s that way for us.
Our consequences are still going.
Even if my husband’s parents decide to give in, to apologise, do you know how many hurtful things they’ve said to Scott?
They’ve lied to him.
They’ve lied to me.
They’ve lied to my parents.
They’ve lied to his sister, so when he tried turning to his sister for help, she flat out refused to believe him.
You, and his parents, wanted to make sure that all of his avenues were cut off.
Can anyone truly come back from that?
I mean, I’d never, ever want to stop any relationship with his family, but I’m also not an idiot.
There’s certain things that you can say that are absolutely horrible and you can come back from them, if you work on what happened and you genuinely try to apologise.
Scott hasn’t heard any apology.
He’s only been faced with more abuse and lies, and every time Scott’s dad tries to rewrite the actual story, and Scott stands up to him and says, ‘Well, actually …’ Scott’s dad gets very pissy and is all like, ‘Let’s not play the blame game!’ except, it’s totally cool to play the blame game if you think you can convince the other person that what happened didn’t happen.
Fortunately, the more Scott’s parents try to rewrite history, the less likely Scott is going to fold, because, strangely, he doesn’t like being fucking manipulated.
Crazy, that is.
Our emotions and our reactions to this situation are on us.
But the reason why my husband is so fucking depressed is that not a single one of his so-called friends or family have any understanding of the gravity of their consequences.
They’ve never tried to apologise meaningfully.
They’ve never sat down and gone, ‘Wow. At the time, it just seemed bitchy and harmless, but I had no idea that this could happen.’
After all, it’s not always about intentions, but it does matter if you’ve fucked up.
And I think admitting that you fucked up, badly, and accepting the consequences of your actions – no matter whether you expected it to end up like this or not – is the only thing that can be done.
Sadly, however, trust isn’t magically fixed overnight, and I somehow doubt a genuine apology would wash away his deep-seated trust issues have now developed.
Unfortunately, taking accountability and responsibility hasn’t happened, and Scott was left feeling like he had no one to turn to (which was, in many ways, is true), and I think things like these events change people who they are.
So yeah, my husband isn’t in a good place. He hasn’t been for a while.
Because some of you put him there.