To help with understanding why it’s not as easy as people think to “just leave”, I will be writing a few memoir collections on my abusive ex.
From here on in, I will refer to my ex as Ben, after Ben Affleck, because I have an irritational hatred for Ben Affleck.
There’s a lot of reasons to hate on Ben Affleck, like how he ruined Batman, and that time he sexually assaulted Hilarie Burton on live TV, or the millions of times he chose to protect Harvey Weinstein instead of the women he knew Weinstein was assaulting.
But I’ve always hated him, even before I knew all of that, and he ruined Batman, and it’s become a running joke with my husband, because I hate that I love his brother, Casey Affleck, as an actor so much (even though he’s problematic as fuck), that for a while I used to say that it wasn’t fair that Ben Affleck deserved so much hate from me for no reason just because he was really bad in Daredevil, but there was literally a reason to dislike Casey Affleck, but I actually thought Casey could act, and then I learnt that Ben Affleck is trash, so my ex’s new name will be Ben.
After Ben Affleck.
Hate that guy.
These posts will come with a lot of trigger warnings following all aspects of domestic violence. As always, there will be contact numbers at the bottom of the page. I urge you to reach out, to anyone, if you are concerned about your relationship.
There’s more than one type of abuse.
I know most of ya’ll reading this are going, “No fucking shit, Sherlock,” but it’s also not true.
You understand that there’s more than one type of abuse, and when it’s placed in front of you, it’s horrifying.
You, like most of society, know this. You know, logically, that psychological abuse is just as bad – if not worse – than physical abuse, because the mind’s a fragile thing, and it’s easy to break it.
And yet, society’s still obsessed with physical abuse, as if it’s the only type of abuse, despite people acknowledging and understanding that there’s more than just one type of abuse.
For example, watch the video Amber Heard secretly filmed of Johnny Depp:
A lot of people who, like me, watched this video.
Millions, in fact.
And millions are quick to point out that Depp doesn’t actually hit Amber in the video – instead he simply throws and breaks things, kicks and punches walls and doors, and violently yells at his clearly terrified wife.
But the thing is, screaming at someone and throwing things is abuse.
Depp screaming, “Motherfucker!” repeatedly, and then refusing to answer Amber when she asks him, “What happened?” is designed to scare her.
I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it before, but Ben is Italian.
I never used to eat much; couldn’t. To be honest, while I definitely eat more than I once did, my family weren’t big eaters. We could be, and we weren’t starving, it’s just that Ben’s family would eat, for one serve each, what my entire fucking family of four would eat.
Before I met Ben’s family, he told me repeatedly that his family would be offended, and would grow to dislike me, if I didn’t eat all my food.
That fear of disappointing people – because I disappointed Ben all the time by not finishing a meal if I was, you know, full – I wanted to win over was terrifying, and no matter how worked up I became, Ben continued to remind me how much his family would dislike me if I couldn’t finish my food.
I remember, one time, Ben and I were out to Chinese – one of Ben’s favourites, and something I mostly despised – for lunch one day, and he’d ordered steamed pork dim sims.
I had to sit at the table, trying not to vomit, as I had to force the dim sims down.
My body was rejecting it so much I almost threw up repeatedly.
At the table.
In front of him.
And despite the fact that it’s obvious as fuck when someone’s dry reaching, and you cannot mistake the glassy-eyed salivary-mouth giveaway of someone who’s seconds from vomiting, he still made me eat everything.
Imagine being so fearful of someone that you’d rather dry reach at a table in a restaurant so your boyfriend won’t abuse you later.
And let’s not forget all the comments he was making while I was trying to finish my meal, and the consequences if I didn’t.
He didn’t need to hit me.
But give it a thought, a moment: How scared would you have to be?
To sit at a table, and know you’re moments from vomiting and you’ve got to try your fucking hardest because you’ll never hear the end of it if you do, and your partner, instead of offering sympathy, is threatening you if you don’t finish your meal, how scared would you have to be?
Think about what it would take.
Are you sure that doesn’t sound abusive to you?
Did you know that once I stayed at Ben’s family dinner table for over an hour because I hadn’t finished his Nonna’s gnocchi, which, as she was for-reals Italian, she made from scratch.
Including the fucking sauce.
I’m not going to lie, it was fucking delicious.
But if you’ve ever had gnocchi – or any Italian food for that matter – you’ll know how fucking dense it is, and no matter how delicious it is, some of us only have certain sized stomachs that just can’t fucking handle it.
But, as Ben had known his Nonna was flying up, he’d had plenty of time to warn me of the consequences of not finishing my meal.
What would make you stay at a table for over an hour, shaking with pain from eating far too much, and with fear of what’ll happen when you utter the unthinkable: That you just can’t finish. It’s cold now, because it’s been over an hour, and it was hard when it was hot and you were full.
But now it’s cold and you’re full.
What makes you stay?
What makes you so afraid of what you will happen that you don’t get up?
That you don’t say no?
Because the answer isn’t always a fist, and if you’re watching the Depp video and saying that “well, he doesn’t hit her so therefore it’s not abuse” argument, maybe you should rethink it.
Maybe you should remember what you should’ve been thinking in the beginning:
That abuse isn’t always physical, and what I saw was physical violence (just because someone isn’t beating you doesn’t mean it’s not physical; the banging is to remind the victim of what could happen, and Depp isn’t in a bad mood. He’s in an abusive one, deliberately taunting Amber) merged with psychological violence.
Your partner should not, at any time, be throwing, banging and swearing in a deliberate attempt to frighten you.
Abuse isn’t black and white.
It isn’t just being beaten an inch from death.
Don’t forget it.
In Emergencies: 000
Lifeline Australia: 13 11 14
MensLine Australia: 1300 78 99 78
— 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.
And if in doubt, please use CARS, because you’ve got to start learning what information to trust and why you’re trusting it. Also, if you want more sources than provided, fuck off and learn how to use Google. I’m not your fucking mother.
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.