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.
Once upon a time, in a past that both seems impossible to forget a minute of, whilst being the same thing I spend most of my life actively trying not to think of, I met a man.
I’ve discussed him multiple times before. There’s fourteen versions prior to this one of The Ex Files, not counting the ones that answer questions about “why doesn’t she just leave?”
The event I’m referring to happened just before our one year anniversary – and, to be honest, if I’d seen his manipulation for what it was, I probably wouldn’t have almost reached our second anniversary (we broke up a few weeks before it).
Before the “event” that almost broke up our relationship, my ex “dabbled” with drugs.
At the time, as far as I was aware, it was only pot (a fact I was increasingly unhappy about, for varying reasons. My first experience with pot was my boyfriend’s excuse that it made him really happy, just also really paranoid, angry and jealous, too. If he hadn’t been an abusive bastard, I don’t know if I’d have been so hung up on his pot-smoking at the time.)
It was continuous.
And he was always angrier, more aggressive, and extremely paranoid when he was high. Not a great mix when dealing with an abusive partner. But, I guess, all abusers have an excuse. For many, like my ex, drugs and alcohol are the reasons they use.
Perhaps the drugs he was taking (not just limited to pot) had nothing to do with his behaviour.
Perhaps he was just that way and always will be (at least, he would have been with me. I can’t speculate on other relationships he’s had, though I know I wasn’t his first victim, which suggests that there’s a likelihood there’s another one).
It’s impossible to tell.
However, I later found out – after our very bad break-up, he did far more than pot – including actually dealing drugs. (Yes, I dated a charming man.)
But I digress.
He convinced me that his temper was directly related to his pot addiction.
Not wanting to end a relationship over pot (or, at least that’s how it seemed in my mind), no matter my personal feelings on the subject, and believing his excuses, I trusted him.
That trust, for more than one reason, was seriously misplaced.
A few weeks after we’d had this discussion, when I was cleaning his room, I found more pot.
I was furious, to say the least.
I genuinely considered leaving him.
And, I know that for some of you, you don’t think pot is a big deal.
And I get that.
You don’t, at all, have to justify what your reasons are or why. Your feelings are your own, and I trust each and every one of you in regards to whatever your views and position on marijuana may be.
However, imagine it’s not a drug you support, especially because your partner is telling you that he suffers from paranoia after doing said drug – and he’s still fucking doing it.
Imagine it’s something that has been a continuous problem of contention between you and your partner.
Imagine, when he does it, it always causes you to have asthma attacks because your lungs can’t even handle the smell of smoke (that includes the smell on his body/clothes/hair after he’s finished).
Imagine he knows this, knows he’s putting your life literally at risk, and continues to do it anyway. (And get mad at you when you start having an asthma attack because you can’t breathe.)
Imagine he gets angry at you all the time when he’s high.
And this continues for days after (worse than his behaviour normally is).
Imagine you never know where or when his outbursts will happen.
They happen because you didn’t run fast enough while playing soccer.
They happen because you twisted your ankle and don’t have a car and can’t walk up multiple hills to get him beer.
They happen because a guy talked to you.
They happen because of so many reasons, many of which proceed with no explanation.
And, when he asks you to forgive him, to trust him, he blames his addiction. He’s going to give up pot and be a better boyfriend.
He promises you everything will change.
And then you discover that he lied straight to your face.
When you confront him, however, after discovering his life, he turns the disagreement around.
It took me six months to realise that I’d been manipulated.
He was so good at it, that by the end of the fight, I was begging him not to leave me.
He gaslit me.
He made me feel crazy.
If your partner does the same, you are not in a healthy relationship.
No one should make you feel crazy. No one should make you doubt yourself.
And you need to get out if that’s the case.
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.