Sunday, June 23, 2013

All Apologies (Nirvana)

A few days ago I wrote a blog post about how I not only had been in an abusive relationship, but also survived and turned my life around. I didn’t do this to speak the victimese many writers and women’s activists do, but rather to make myself visible to a young woman, any young woman, who needed to hear that it was possible to have a life after dating violence. That they didn’t deserve to be belittled by anyone, man or woman (domestic violence happens in lesbian relationships as well). My reason for telling my story was to let people know that they were responsible for how they let others treat them. That also, we pick our partners, etc.

In my journey as an activist, I have gotten lots of responses in my sharing about my past as a dating violence survivor. The comedy has gotten laughs, which is the goal. But also, it has made me visible. It has gotten other young women to speak to me about their experiences. Of course there have been the gamut of male bookers who have accused me of being bitter. I laugh and give a shout out to the good dudes. How does that make me bitter? Of course there are those insistent that because I speak out on behalf of women I am either a man hater or a lesbian, or a lesbian man hater. Contrary to what those Neanderthals believe, most lesbians don’t hate men. It’s those of us forced to date them that despise them most. Finally there are those dudes who say, “Get over it.” Translated, I struck a nerve. Believe it or not that is the goal of every activist. So when I hear, “Get over it,” I know someone was made to look at his own behavior and didn’t like it. Note, never in any of my exchanges do I say I hate men. This is just a classic example of uninformed idiots putting words in the mouth of a woman with opinions.

The disturbing response I got this week was from some rando who felt the need to hijack my fan page. He told me I made some “accusations” against my ex, and technically if I could not back this up he could sue me for libel. And that I better play it safe and take the blog down and never again blog about my experience. Wait a minute…Why do I have to stand accused? Why do I have to prove my ex did these terrible things to me? Why are they even being called accusations? Oh and here is the best part, I didn’t use his name. So there is no law suit. I am a lawyer’s kid, I know about the law. This moron, on the other hand, was just a man who wanted to hear himself talk.

This feedback in particular upset me because I have no reason to lie about surviving dating violence. I have no pathological reason to make up a story about being stalked unless I am just that desperate to get back at him which I am not. I am also not that desperate for attention. A stalker is not a fiend of convience let me tell you. If anything, they threaten your safety to the point you have to change your routine. An abusive ex is not something you make up either. Instead, when you are with them you make up excuses about why you continue to stay and feed into the codependent cycle you have created together. Yes, a shit relationship is not an I project but a we project.

 That is not what made me most pissed. What a comment like this does as it not just puts me in a place that I have to be an apologist but it does this to all victims. It puts us in a place where we are standing with our backs against the wall and the proverbial gun to our heads. It puts us in a place of blame. Then when we dare speak out it makes us as if we are the architects of our misery. Of course it is basically telling us that we are bitter. Bitter is the wrong word. We are honest. It tells us we are at fault. Yes, we picked our partners. Yes, we chose to stay whether it was eight months or eight years. But eventually we chose to leave.

What was most outrageous, aside from the fact this obvious chauvinist put me in a place where I had to defend myself, was he suggested I take the blog down as not to cause anymore trouble. I endured a year of hell and two more years of a stalker who terrorized me, stalked me by-proxy, and harassed the men I dated. I invested in a separate mailing address just to keep myself safe. My mother had his name on the refrigerator in case I disappeared. Even during the stalking I was nothing but a lady. I didn’t respond to the behavior. While I didn’t feed into him, it killed me inside. Despite the fact he was a master manipulator, I did love the man at one point. So yes I have been to hell thank you very much!

I thought about ripping into that moron for his feedback about my “accusations,” as if I were making them up. For putting me on trial, as if I would be breaking my ass doing all the activism I do because apparently I just have mental problems, the ability to lie, and too much time on my hands. Of course then there is my activism, I only do that because I have nothing else to do as well and just want something to whine about. So I guess what I have really wasted page space saying was, “Go to hell, asshole.”

I thought about how to rip up this idiot with nothing to say. But instead I blocked him. So I will say this. I will speak out when it comes to violence against women. On the matter of dating violence, I will continue to tell people about the psychological and physical dangers. In addition, I will also continue to speak out on behalf of stalking victims and the enforcement of stalking laws. As well, I will continue to champion victim’s rights because they have none. I will also continue to be open, honest, and willing to be visible.  Yes, if you haven’t figured it out I will continue….

I am sorry if my identity causes some people discomfort. I am sorry if some men don’t like the fact I came through hell at the hands of one of their own and am doing amazingly well as a feminist and independent woman. I am sorry if some women who have been married to the only man I ever dated forever think I just need to lighten up. I am sorry my presence is such an abhoration to some people. I am sorry that I have been successful despite the fact so many people wrote me off because some guy was busy beating my head in. I am sorry….

But on that note if this is the way you feel please do not watch me on TV, I am afraid I will turn to stone. Please don’t buy my books, I don’t need your money laced with prejudice and sexism. While you are at it, please don’t support me in any way. Really, many more who want to support me will. Many more who need to see me and hear me will. I don’t need you, so please don’t….

I said my peace. Some will agree. Some will disagree. At the end of the day not much has changed since Amelia Earhardt. How incredibly sad….
I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
Paperback available on Amazon and 877-Buy-Book
E-Book available on Kindle and Nook, also through Brown and NYU Books
Audiobook available on itunes and Audible this Summer
Portion of proceeds go to Ali Fornay Center

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