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To the 'Friend' Who Took the Side of My Abuser

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A letter to those who blamed me for the abuse I went through:

It’s been months since we have spoken. I removed myself from your life so suddenly, without explanation. I am sure it hurt your feelings and confused you. There have been many things I wish I could say to you during this difficult time. I think one of the most important things I have realized is how wrong you were and still are. You took his side. You took the side of the man who abused me.

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In the years leading up to me leaving him, you always told me you would support me and you’d be there if I left. You lied. Sometimes it’s hard for me to think back to the day I left. It was traumatic and the memories still haunt me today. You made the situation worse, though. You blamed me almost immediately. Sure, you wouldn’t say it directly to my face, but I could tell in your tone — and I heard you blamed me behind my back. You would make comments to me like, “I wasn’t strong enough to deal with him.”

When I reported the abuse, you continued to blame me. If only I hadn’t involved others. If only I had blocked his number when you told me to it wouldn’t have escalated the way it did. Anything I did was wrong in your eyes, as you continued to make excuses for him.

After the relationship ended and I left to live with family, not once did you ask me how I was really doing. It wasn’t about me; it was about him and all that he had to go through now that I left. You even talked about me with other people, turning them against me. I remember the last straw with you. I heard how you had been gossiping about me, turning the story in his favor, leaving out important and necessary details. I was done. I blocked you and removed myself from your life. Now looking back, it was one of the best decisions I have made.

I think one of the hardest things from this whole ordeal was I considered you my family. I spent holidays with you, special occasions and birthdays. I loved you. I believed when you said you would always be there. At the end of the day though, you took his side. You covered for him and perpetrated the abuse. That’s right. By covering for him, continuing to support him and make excuses for him, you are enabling him to do the same thing all over again to someone else.

I loved you truly but I had to move on. Continuing to communicate with you was making me sicker, and it made me feel stuck. By letting go of you and your toxicity, I have started to see the truth of the situation. I am getting stronger now. I laugh more and I am moving on. I am finding my voice again. I am realizing that as hard as it was to leave him and then cut ties with you, it was the healthiest thing I could do to find myself again.

Getty Images: kieferpix

Originally published: August 27, 2019
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