A letter to my abusers family…

Dear _____,

When I first met you guys, I knew your family was different than mine. My family is very involved in each others lives, loving, and outgoing. I thought maybe the emotional disconnect was because R was your son, maybe it was the way some addicts keep a wall up before letting someone completely in, or maybe it was because you knew what your son was capable of.

I don’t blame you guys for the abuse. R’s mother has reached out to me and made her peace, which I completely respect and appreciate. She even told me that my speaking out is helping her heal from the damage that monster caused. She let me know “As the mother of your abuser, I believe you.” That for me was HUGE!  When she reached out to contact me, my parents were very hesitant on what she had to say. Her email couldn’t have been any better or more genuine. It meant the world to me to hear that someone from his family actually believed me and supports my mission. This letter isn’t for her. Its for the other two.

I do blame the two of you for so much more. I blame you for not trying to help your alcoholic son more. I know the addict needs to want the help, but with the two of you being sober I thought you would have tried harder. I blame you for treating him like a cash cow when he came home from Afghanistan, that made me pity him. I blame you for being the fakest people on the planet. You sat there and watched my mother and father sob after being told that their daughter was going to possibly die due to the abuse your son inflicted and you didn’t do a damn thing. You didn’t comfort them, you didn’t apologize, you didn’t try to help in anyway. You just stood there. My mother fought for you to be able to see my son in the NICU. My father gave up his opportunity to see Beau in the NICU in order to give you a spot to see him and that is how you repay her? I had the nurses caring for my premature son call me and let me know how uncomfortable you were making them feel. You made them feel unsafe because you were throwing fits over my child having my last name.

You then had the audacity to text me and ask to see my child. Against my better judgement I allowed you to. How did you thank me? By serving me custody papers. All I asked of your son was to be sober for a period of time longer than the usual 5 days. Then, in court while I sat there frozen in fear with my attorney, you sat up next to that monster of a child you raised as if you were his legal help. Last time I checked you have a cosmetology  certificate, not a law degree. You coached your son on all of the right things to do. Go start in parenting classes, go to AA, and use his PTSD as a way to make the judge pity him.

One would think that you would have caused enough damage, but you didn’t stop there. You decided to tell this whole town that I was a liar. I understood at first, who would want to admit their son was such a piece of crap, but at some point you should admit I am telling the truth. Its been 3 years. You say that I don’t allow you to see “your grandchild”.  You have never asked. I even asked you for R’s address to have him served and you responded with calling my son “drama” and “that mess”.

So don’t you dare try and tarnish my reputation or my families reputation. Unlike your family, mine is supportive. They welcomed me back after the alienation your son caused. They love Beau. They are extremely proud of everything I have accomplished and getting my story out. They are proud of how far I have come with healing from the damage R caused and most of all they are proud of the mother AND father I am.

The truth will always prevail. The good guy will always win. My family has won and most of all, Beau and I have won.

-Alyssa

Dating an Abusive Man.

I know I said I would be sharing the answers from my family this week, and I know this blog post is late. The truth is my family is still so hurt and affected by the abuse that it is hard for them to relive it. They need some more time so HOPEFULLY I will have their answers next week for you guys.

All of this has made me realize a few things, some I knew already and some I didn’t. I already knew how much this monster hurt and ruined the old me. I knew how I lived in fear everyday, how I walked on egg shells, and how I was always afraid for the next blow up. I didn’t realize how much what I went through hurt my friends, more so because I didn’t tell them.

When you are dating an abusive man you are manipulated to believe that every abusive incident is because of something you did. I am sorry I lied to all of you. I am sorry that I didn’t reach out and ask for help. I was in denial of my own life. I would walk into work and put a smile on. I would see my friends(when I was able to) and I would say everything was fine, they had no idea that the night before there was a huge blow up.

When you are dating an abusive man you are constantly told how ugly and worthless you are. You’re groomed into believing that you are a horrible person. You start to believe that even if you did come forward, nobody would believe you, or that you would never have the chance to get help-he would kill you first. I can’t even begin to explain the brainwashing that goes on.  R made me into a different person. I probably will never go back to the girl I was before, which I am almost thankful for. I will never be a victim again, I will never be controlled again, and I will never lose myself again. I look back at pictures of me when I was with him and you can just see that there is no light behind my eyes. I was dead inside.

When you are dating an abusive man you are dating a coward. You don’t realize this because they gain control of you by taking away your self worth, self confidence, and self respect. I would never have been with someone who loved a bottle more than he loved me. I was abused multiple times over throwing out alcohol or getting caught pouring it out. I wouldn’t have ever stayed with someone who called me the horrible names he did. Someone who threatened my life, threatened my unborn child’s life, and someone who physically abused me on a regular basis. He felt like such a coward that he  had to ruin me to make him feel better.

When you are dating an abusive man you question everyone around you. I don’t trust very many people now. I don’t believe the words people tell me, only actions. I don’t put up with any crap from anyone, which is good and bad. Good because I know that I will never be hurt again. Bad because it can get exhausting, being so skeptical of every person that comes into your life. If you cross me once you wont get a second chance to. I look for red flags in any man I date. Any signs of addictive behaviors, I look at how they act when they are frustrated, how they treat others around them, how they treat their family.

However, dating an abusive man made me stronger. It made my family closer than ever. I lost a lot of friends, but realized who my true friends were. I have been in counseling for over 2 years, forced to relive the abuse I endured in order to overcome it. I had to build myself back up. I am getting me back. My smile, my happiness, my strength. Of course I am still afraid to go to certain restaurants and places in town, but every time I conquer those fears I feel empowered.

Because of that abusive man I realized what my reason for living is. I have a mission to change the stigma of who domestic violence victims are, change the laws and protocols there are on domestic violence, and a mission to change lives.