domestic abuse survivors

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    *TW* Abuse and the Cone of Silence

    I’m watching the Jimmy Savile documentary. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse myself, the thing that intrigues me is how many signs there can be about a person, and even more shockingly, how often society ignores such red flags.

    As an example, I reported our garden landscaper to child services for endangering his children some years ago. He had brought his young child to work on our property with an open industrial cutting blade in operation… and as we later found without any insurance. I was deeply uneasy about the child essentially working on our property and eventually my husband asked him to take his kid home because though he was ‘spending time with dad’, he was also doing so unsupervised and anything could have gone wrong. When it became clear that he had no intention of completing our garden, I started to gather screenshots from his social media to pass on to the authorities as evidence. It was then that I found pictures of both kids from when they were even younger regularly ‘helping dad with work’. He even bragged about one of them getting better with their garden skills, amd that is when I decided to raise my concerns with child protective services.

    Because if I know one thing to be true; whatever questionable material someone is willing to post online, is the merely tip of the iceberg in terms of what they’re actually willing to do, or have done.

    In our guy’s case it turned out money laundering, was also something he was willing to engage in—yet he isn’t in prison or on probation, he’s out there possibly looking to line up the next victim because I think conmen seldom know how to do anything other than con. Manson, Bundy, Zodiac, Madoff, Ponzi, Delvey, Holmes, Shkreli, Epstein, Maxwell, and Savile are all united in the sense that the accumulation of power and a desire to wield the hammer of power is at the heart of all acts of abuse. As the saying goes: absolute power, corrupts absolutely.

    Though our conman has been reported via the appropriate channels, the wheels of justice in a country that is supposedly a first world nation, move painfully slow. And I’ve learned by baptism of fire, that the wheels won’t move at all unless you make enough noise—in my case I was forced to act as an unofficial coordinator amongst the victims at the urging of government agencies. Had I not used up my own time in this manner, the case against this person would have never amounted to anything at all.

    And yet this is just a straightforward case of a cowboy builder… which begs the question of what hope do the victims of physical crimes stand? Or worse, those that are so vulnerable, that they cannot defend themselves?

    Whether it is sexual, physical, psychological, emotional or financial abuse, it seems to me that there are always enablers.

    For Jimmy Savile it was the BBC, the media, and his connection to public figures such as the Royal Family to all manner of celebrities, that likely stopped the CPS from investigating him several times throughout his career. For my conman I had every ‘bloke’s bloke’ in the village tell me off for “ruining” this man’s livelihood , including many verbally abusive messages from one of his mates undoubtedly with the intention of intimidating me. And yet I was not the one who had chosen to defraud members of our village to the tune of over £50,000, though I’m sure the true figure is likely much higher. And so many people who I got in touch with, told me that they’d simply written their financial loss off as a bad experience.

    Here is where I take issue. For if every person before me had reported this man, chances are he would not have been free to continue his grift for as long as he did. And, it seems people don’t give much thought to elderly people who if conned, cannot simply go out and earn more money—they go without basic things like food and heating during the winter. Which in my mind to have contributed in any way toward the suffering of another is frankly unconscionable, even if the link is not direct, our failure to act on knowledge is to enable someone.

    For my part I wish every person who looked the other way, was were forced to wear a Cone of Silence for upholding the Code of Silence that goes hand in hand with all instances of harmful conduct. If I witness a crime, flee the scene, and refuse to give testimony, then I would be perverting the course of justice (a fitting, yet unintentional pun).

    This is not to say that the person committing the crime is not solely to blame for their actions, or to shame the victims. I’m saying that for every Jimmy Savile; there is at the very least one person who knew something and failed to do anything about it. The look the other way mentality that allows many abusers the freedom to keep abusing.

    Abusers do not truly act alone, the Code of Silence becomes their co-conspirator and in my opinion those who areof sane mind who enable abuse of any kind should be held to account for their silence. And we as a collective society set the stage for perpetrators to more easily get away with abuse by upholding idioms and credos like “bro code”, “snitches get stitches”, “don’t tattletale”, “what was she wearing”, “stay in your own lane”, and that festering old chestnut “it’s a family issue”.

    It is for this reason in my opinion; that as long as society continues to justify looking the other way in this manner, abuse will be here to stay.

    #Abuse #AbuseSurvivors #DomesticAbuse #DomesticAbuseSurvivors #EmotionalAbuse #PsychologicalAbuse #SexualAbuseSurvivors #SexualAbuse #ChildhoodSexualAbuse #ChildhoodEmotionalAbuse #Trauma

    1 reaction

    I bought a star projector for my dissociative heavy days

    I think I accidentally hacked #ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder
    This is about to make my dissociation so much less distressing
    #CPTSD #ChronicMigraines #Agoraphobia #PanicAttacks #DomesticAbuseSurvivors

    5 reactions 3 comments

    Client rights and self advocacy

    Hi friends
    Things have been weird. I’m getting a little more support outside of the help I gratefully receive here. But I’m feeling really detached and alone.

    I’m still finding it hard to be believed. It’s getting a little easier but it’s tiny steps and when something like this happens, I feel discouraged.

    I had one of the worst attempts at advocating for myself because the person just constantly told me I was wrong about what I said I was experiencing. She did not let me complete my sentences. The condensation was so clear in her voice. She could hear how much I was struggling to talk and think. I had to stop her and say “ you hear how upset I’m getting, why are you continuing to argue with me?” I had to point out so many obvious things like “as the client advocate of this agency, you are not listening to what I’m saying.” Or “you continue to interrupt me and ask me questions which is why you are not understanding. Let me finish.” (She couldn’t understand why I was bring up something from five years ago… ummmmm if you let me finish you would hear because it’s still not resolved. So trust me- I know it was a long time ago.)
    She even found a way to tell me it was my fault that the agency hasn’t been helping me because i only just recently I told the case manager that I’m trying to figure this out. That was last week. I’ve been without services for over a year. Before that, I was getting not even the minimum of what is on my plan. So me saying something this one time doesn’t let them “off the hook.”
    She repeatedly said “I just can’t keep this straight.” with the implication it was my fault. I said “as I said before I have ptsd and struggle to communicate, remember, and think clearly.” When I would tell her about things she said “I find that hard to believe,” and “I’ve never heard of that.”
    She cut me off at one point and said “are we talking about housing or medicine because you keep switching back and forth” yes- when one doesn’t have access to their basic needs for years, that happens. And since both are equally important for survival it’s hard to not intertwine them. I wish I would have said “I am talking about my basic needs.” Period.
    Also- she kept switching back and forth and so I said it back to her.
    I’m dissociating more. My flashbacks have been intense. I was having them over the phone while talk to her. I said “I am having flashbacks I am trying to remember.” And she didn’t even acknowledge it or alter her approach. It was like I never said it.

    There is so so so much left. It’s weighing so heavy. I have a plan moving forward to… well I guess just get louder. It’s concerning that these individuals are the client advocates for my state’s department of mental health services.

    #ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder #CPTSD #ChronicMigraines #Migraine #Agoraphobia #PanicAttacks #ADHD #WritingThroughIt #CheckInWithMe #DisabilityAdvocacy #DisabilityRights

    21 reactions 9 comments

    SNAP benefits/EBT/food stamps & SSI

    I’m confused.
    Like- actually legitimately confused…
    Am I missing something?
    I just found out my snap benefits are being reduced 🤦🏻‍♀️
    Because they adjusted for cost of living
    So since we will be “getting more money in disability” because of “inflation”, snap benefits will be “reduced” because our “income increased” again- because of cost of living. So, things are more expensive, they increased disability payments because of this, but now they are taking away money? Am I missing something?
    Shouldn’t we also be getting more money in snap since food prices also increased?
    I already don’t have the things I need to survive. I have agoraphobia and I cannot access food banks. I also have slightly disordered thoughts that can prevent me from eating entirely. If there are too many ingredients or packaged foods, I won’t eat it. Especially when stressed. And this is going to put me in more stress.
    #Disability #ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder #DomesticAbuseSurvivors #Agoraphobia #PanicAttacks #ChronicMigraines

    27 reactions 18 comments

    I’m not feeling okay

    Today was really hard
    I don’t usually struggle with #SuicidalIdeation
    It usually only occurs when I’m in the most desperate of times.
    I’ve been housing insecure for two years, homeless for a year and a half.
    People have truly stopped caring about what happens to me. I can’t even process all of the trauma that is happening around me.
    I have no where to go.
    I have reached the top of all of the agencies with absolutely no one giving me help. All I hear is “there has to be options.” No one is helping me deal with the reality of my situation. They just keep wanting to talk about what it should be.
    I am being given no avenues for hope. I have tried so so so hard to plant these seeds. But I can’t keep doing it while being trampled.
    I don’t want to live this life any more. I don’t know how to get out.
    #DomesticAbuseSurvivors #ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder #Agoraphobia #PanicAttacks #ChronicMigraines

    47 reactions 20 comments

    I’m feeling really disconnected lately

    Things have kind of been okay recently. Well that isn’t necessarily accurate. But I’ve been talking more and feeling slightly more in control.
    But I am still missing that fundamental social connection.
    I try really hard to manage my expectations for support. I’ve been basically deprived of reliable, appropriate personal support for years despite trying to manage my expectations, make them clear, and adjust my relationships with those as necessary.
    There are just some people who are never going to be able to provide me compassionate support and I am trying to remember that when I reach out for help. They are the friends who can stay in my life as long as they respect my boundaries, as I don’t need “support” from everyone. There are some people that are truly just the fair-weathered ones. If I still hold value for our relationship during those fair weathered times, then I’ll keep them.
    But I am experiencing massive amounts of trauma with continuing reduced supports. It is coming down to me arguing with insurance companies for months just to get a prescription filled that I’ve been getting for a decade. Actually two prescriptions now.
    I talked to a friend and she said she would be more supportive. And she was. For about two days. This has happened before. So I’m internally navigating that relationship. We have been friends for over half of my life. That does not mean that i owe her a place in my life.
    I also think I need to get better at accessing the mighty and reaching out for support here.
    I appreciate any ideas on reaching out specifically on the mighty.
    Thank you 💗☀️
    #ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder #Agoraphobia #PanicAttacks #ChronicMigraines #DomesticAbuseSurvivors #PTSDSupportAndRecovery #ADHD

    4 reactions 1 comment
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    Front page news in front of “friend’s” home that I was kicked out of recently

    Her husband is currently letting me stay.
    She went off on me a few weeks ago because of nothing to do with me. To say she victim blamed me is understatement; she became completely accusatory and told me I need to call the shelters again (which are unsafe and I can’t because of my medical needs and are full) and I need a new therapist etc etc. it was the absolute worst and she hasn’t said anything to me about it since then. #ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder #DomesticAbuseSurvivors #Agoraphobia #PanicAttacks #ChronicMigraines

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    Triggered by my neighbors #DomesticAbuseSurvivor #CPTSD

    I am a lifelong abuse survivor. A year and a half ago I decided I needed physical distance from my current abuser and locations of previous abuse situations. I got rid of 9 truckloads of my stuff and packed up what fit in my car, kissed my dog goodbye and gave my ex a hug and drove away to a state I had never been for more than a week and knew 2 people. It was rough. Hardest thing I have done. Fast forward. I found a place to live after over 3 months of crashing at a friend’s and here I am. On my own. Alone. Oh crap I have to actually be with myself. I found an amazing therapist and have really been trying to find a self worth and esteem. Well, I live in a basement apartment on a property with 3 homes. Both my upstairs neighbors and the other couple on the property are in abusive relationships. Today I was not feeling well and was at home when the neighbors began fighting and yelling in front of my door and windows and I was trapped in my own home and of course my phone strangely stopped working and I had no way to call anyone or receive calls. Triggered doesn’t describe it. I experienced the most severe ptsd response I’ve ever had. I was in fight or flight or both. I couldn’t call for help, or even leave safely. I feel really angry that even though it’s not currently happening to me, it is still affecting me and my life in a way that is very much impactful and not okay. I’m on disability and don’t have the resources to live somewhere else. My demons of abuse have found me.

    9 reactions 3 comments

    Going out

    I used to stay in the house for days at a time as a stay at home mom for 6 years. My ex didn’t want me to work or go places. He moved us to the country where we were pretty secluded. My ex worked and did the majority of things outside the house like picking up groceries, necessities, etc… He always drove when we went places. Now since he left us last month it’s all on me. I’ve become scared to drive over the years especially with my kids because it’s the pressure of literally having their lives in my hands. My anxiety goes crazy and I mentally picture the worst scenarios. I had to go pick up my medicine because I was all out of it today. It was raining I was dreading it. I cried a little but I got in my car put my 3 youngest kids in their car seats and I did it! I got my medicine and even stopped and got the kids a pizza. I guess I’m just saying sometimes it is scary to do something but don’t give up on yourself. I hope over time I can become the person I used to be. #Anxiety #Depression #DomesticAbuseSurvivors

    25 reactions 5 comments