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.
Today’s post isn’t about Ben.
It’s about B; my best friend, and how she helped me.
It’s about how you can help your friends, in small ways, with acts of kindness that can come in the simplest, least overt way.
Just before I left Ben, I was struggling.
I was struggling with my worth as a human.
I was carelessly trying to fill a void, hoping I wasn’t crazy, and unlike Ben suggested, actually lovable.
And then I convinced B, my best friend, to dress up and star in a photo shoot with me.
I’ve always loved photography – I love taking photos, playing with different photography angles and filters, and I’d recently bought a bunch of new clothes. I wanted to dress up and take photos and have fun.
B, knowing how despondent I’d been despite my unflinching resolve to remain “bubbly” and “happy”, reluctantly agreed to volunteer as tribute.
And we had the best time.
We changed outfits, borrowed each other’s outfits, played with our hair, messed up my room, and took a million photos. We took selfies before we even knew what selfies were:
We laughed, told stories, cracked jokes – and for a few hours, Ben didn’t enter my mind. For just a short period of time, I was free.
B gave me a few hours of freedom, a few hours where I wasn’t a victim, where I wasn’t scared, where I was just free to be me.
Do you know why, despite all the photos with all the friends I’ve ever taken – including so many with B – this “photo shoot” sticks with me?
Because it wasn’t a photo capturing something fun that we were already doing. It wasn’t a photo staged, to make it seem like I was having fun, though Instagram hadn’t been invented yet.
It was something so much more.
It was more than silly photos, and gossip as we lay on my hard bedroom floor.
B inspired me.
She reminded me of who I was.
She reminded me of who I could be.
She reminded me of what my life could be.
And, without really discussing Ben at all, she evoked a confidence in me that was all but lost.
Sometimes it’s not what we do.
Sometimes it’s not about knowing exactly what to say, and when to say it.
Sometimes it’s just about being there, talking about nothing, and lifting up your friends.
Sometimes you really do say it best when you say nothing at all.
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.