— Trigger and Content Warning —
As this topic is of a sensitive nature, and many of you may have questions or stories you’d like to share or have answered, please feel free to drop a message in my Facebook inbox or DM me on my Instagram, @thingscarlaloves. You do not have to share your story in the comment section (or anywhere else) if you do not feel comfortable.
As always, there will be a list of helpline services added, if you need help. I strongly urge that you confide in someone you trust in order to help you heal.
A long time ago, in a post I can’t even remember, I wrote about how, since my abusive ex, I’d made sure everything, in every form, was kept.
I can’t remember what I was talking about when I wrote it, but the answer was as true then as it is now: Leaving an abusive person isn’t easy.
You’re naturally questioning your entire reality, because there’s a good chance there’s a fuck ton of gaslighting happening in your situation. It’s common, because it’s how abusers work.
And, contrary to popular belief, police aren’t always helpful.
Like I’ve said before: The first time I tried to make a complaint – and this was with evidence and a fucking witness – the police didn’t even take me inside the station.
It was the first time I realised I was effectively alone; that despite appearances, it didn’t always matter if you were genuinely afraid for your life.
If you weren’t in a situation that the police were likely to take seriously – which is the vast majority of all stalking related cases – you weren’t likely to get helped.
Learning that society, the people who are paid to protect you, see you as a pathetic little girl who’s having a domestic dispute and being silly, and nothing more, is dehumanising in a way you cannot understand unless you’ve experienced.
There’s nothing like the police telling you they really don’t care that your stalker ex has been repeatedly turning up in places he’s not even supposed to know about.
There’s nothing like receiving a photo of how you look from your abusive ex while on playground duty, and that not being good enough for the police to even consider speaking to you in a separate room.
There’s nothing like the humiliation of being shown just how worthless you are that you’re forced to say all of this at the crowded, front-counter of the police station.
As a result, I learnt that I needed to keep everything.
And not just everything at the time – everything from the past, future and present.
If something serious ever happened with my ex, I knew I’d need evidence, and I’d quickly learnt that sometimes evidence wasn’t always what you thought, and you didn’t always know what you’d need until you needed it.
As a result, I’ve kept everything since. I’ve kept all my old phones, I always pick the option to save conversations, and those conversations are then added to a cloud.
If we’ve talked, there’s a conversation of it somewhere.
Which, I know, sounds creepy as fuck, because you’re like, You’ve got all my conversations bitch?
But it isn’t because of you. Chances are, I have no idea what you said to me last week, let alone what you messaged three years ago.
It’s always been in preparation for the worst – including if I ever ended in an abusive relationship again. I wouldn’t have to suddenly worry about what I’d saved or hadn’t saved; if that was my immediate go-to, I’d always have the option. I’d be less likely to be stuck again, and maybe I’d be less likely to question my judgement.
So when Amber Heard’s testimony was revealed, along with photos of text messages, of the fact that he’d hit and kicked and punched and strangled her, that her body was permanently scarred by Depp’s abuse, I knew, when I made that decision to keep everything all those years ago, I wasn’t wrong.
I don’t believe Depp’s claim that this is a hoax framed by Amber Heard, and if you’ve read or heard Amber’s testimony, I’d like to hope you’d think about it logically, instead of arguing about Depp’s innocence because you like him.
And I imagine that Amber has some satisfaction, keeping all those documents. I’m certain she did it deliberately, and if I was her, and I was prepared the way she appears to be, I’d relish the opportunity to be able to prove to everyone that my abusive partner was abusive.
You don’t always know what evidence you’re going to need.
Sometimes you won’t even know that you need evidence, or even if you start realising you need evidence, abusers don’t have a tendency to admit that they’re fucking abusing you.
And if I’m wrong? If Johnny Depp’s allegations prove that Amber abused him, too? That she was also physically violent?
Well, then it’s just as lucky if he deliberately kept everything, for the exact same reasons.
I’m not saying become paranoid and trust no one; what I’m saying is, smart phones have ridiculous storage units, and picking up SD cards is no longer expensive. On top of which, a lot of phones have options for most things to be sent to some magical cloud, so what I am saying is this:
If you’ve got literally nothing to lose, if you eventually give up/chuck away your old phone, five years later when nothing’s happened, will it matter? Has anything changed? Because I don’t go through my old phones. I don’t even know where they all are. I mean, I know they’re in boxes, but there’s been nothing needing them to link to each other, so it’s not like I have a box marked ‘phones’ in my house.
They sit there, and they do nothing, like they’re supposed to. Eventually I’ll wipe them and hand them in to Telstra, especially as some of the other models age and therefore aren’t needed (I’m talking several years, like how you keep tax for seven years), but I like the security of knowing that, no matter what, I’ll never be trapped like I was before.
I will, somewhere, hopefully, have gotten so used to keeping and recording conversations I’ve had will somehow protect me (in the event that it’s ever deemed necessary).
God forbid something awful happens to you.
God forbid something awful happens to you, and you’re scrambling to work out how to save yourself because society’s intent on letting you drown while blaming you for not knowing how to swim.
— Sources —
Bachelor of Education: English and History
Diploma in Criminology and Profiling
Diploma in Forensic Science
Background in law and psychology
Teacher 7+ years
Background in special needs, learning support – other specific teaching fields that required hands-on development.
NB: This is a declaration of the background of my personal knowledge, collected over the years via a professional form of education and development. Some of these take the form of actual degrees and others come in the form of necessary professional development. When doing your own research, you should always try and verify the person’s credibility. My credibility, nor anyone else’s, is not with their education. Everyone has biases and no one is infallible. I am deliberately including some of my background education to highlight this, because you should be questioning information you are receiving.
Is the claim credible? Is the author writing biased? Is the author credible? An elite education doesn’t make someone more or less credible, so you often have to look beyond a person’s education background.
Do the claims fit in to an accurate timeline? Do the claims made by the author reasonably stand up? If you’re seeing a lot of inaccuracies, especially against the timeline the person is creating, you need to consider if the claim is accurate. Context is often key.
Mostly, this comes down to whether or not the person is clearly creating a bias. Obviously, everyone has biases. I try and declare mine at the bottom of every post that I think would benefit from extra sources. I freely admit that I definitely have biases, prejudices and will obviously write in a way that conveys what I believe is the truth. That doesn’t mean I’m always right – which is why reasonableness is so important. Everyone is biased, and it’s virtually impossible to not impose your belief, in some form, while sharing. But if the person is deliberately manipulating facts, or omitting information, then they are an untrustworthy source (here’s looking at you, Fox).
Basically, this comes down to whether or not you can find “support” for the claims made. In anything professional, like an essay or journal article, references are essential. However, information can come from popular media sites, or from TV shows/movies, that might require YOU to do some work. I know that conservatives, in particular, seem to detest this as they seem to believe that the other person needs to do all the work, but that’s not how you actually learn. You learn by taking the information and researching it yourself. If you refuse to do this, which is an important part of the process, you will never truly progress in your own education. Out of everything here, I honestly believe this is the most important. If you are unwilling to research things on your own, and instead demand someone else to do the work for you, you have no interest in learning or understanding a different position. You are looking for confirmation bias. The reason I know the Cassidy Boon thing is a hoax is because I looked it up. It took less than a second on my internet connection for Google to say “Yeah, this shit is a fucking hoax”, and by then, I had seen at least ten people share this fucking thing on fucking Facebook, which means the only difference is that you’re willing to put your intelligence in someone else’s hands, instead of learning for yourself.