The Papershield

August 21, 2010

Where the truth lies…

Filed under: Child Abuse,Domestic Abuse,Self Help,Survival — papershield @ 11:18 am

feather in the sandI keep hearing the myth that the truth lies somewhere in between two versions of a story. This discredits the truth teller and gives more credibility than due to a liar. The truth only lies between the statements of two people if both people are telling the truth with just slightly altered points of view. If both people are lying then there may be no truth in their words. If one person is spilling their guts and opening their heart and the other person is a pathological liar, only telling watered down versions of the truth when the entire truth cannot be denied, then the truth is nowhere near the middle. Telling a domestic violence survivor that their story is only half right because the abuser denies his actions provides a deep feeling of invalidation. Of course an abuser is going to lie, deny, and minimize his behavior because that is what abusers (with few exceptions) do, it is a primary characteristic of a controlling person. The lies of an abuser do not mean that the victim is lying or exaggerating.

I do understand how difficult it is to comprehend the experiences of an abuse survivor, I didn’t understand it myself until I personally experienced the manipulation, fear, guilt, and emotional trauma. But even if you do not believe an abuse survivors plight, please refrain from expressing this to the victim. Abuse survivors already have enough self doubt and loss of confidence due to the abuse and being blamed by the abuser. Being told by everyone that you know that you are not telling the truth about the abuse, as hard as it is to talk about the abuse at all, only pressures the victims to keep silent.

I almost dropped the case against my abuser, after struggling with the courage to file for a restraining order in the first place. My abuser told me that nobody would believe me. This was further reinforced by the people who stared at me in disbelief as I told my experiences. People told me that “the truth lies somewhere in between” and “if this happened then why did you stay?” I stayed because of the many reasons that other victims stayed; children, finances, fear, and I was plain ol’ beat down and had no confidence in my ability to rebuild my life. I gave up all hope. An abuse victim is in the middle of traumatic circumstances, it is difficult enough to survive in those situations let alone to claw your way out of them. Society can step up and report abuse, when known or strongly suspected, to help break this cycle. Someone could have reported the abuse and sent an officer to investigate my situation, I was too terrified to expose my abuser. Neighbors certainly heard the screams and yelling on many occasions. My mother knew some of what was happening, she even witnessed a few of the tamer incidents (which were enough to frighten her and damage her wall.) My in-laws knew of the abuse and they are registered nurses, mandatory abuse reporters, yet they said nothing to the authorities (because they firmly believe in protecting the abusers in their family.) My in-laws even testified in court that they knew that there was something wrong (they would not admit to the extent that they knew of the abuse), they testified that they are mandatory abuse reporters and have reported people who were not members of their family for abuse. Yet, they lied and covered for their family (there are many abusers in their family.) Too many people still believe that violence in the home is a private matter and too many women and children are left to defend themselves because society tells them this.

Abuse victims need more understanding and better safety nets to escape, they need a little more support than being told that they chose this for themselves and their children.

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2 Comments »

  1. Dear Friend,

    I recently read some entries from your blog that was featured on “The Courage Network.” My heart goes out to you, and please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I admire your courage and strength throughout your trials and I thank you for voicing your frustrations and your journey for others to realize that domestic abuse is *NOT OKAY!* It takes a strong woman to voice her story, and I truly commend you for it.

    With love,
    Kathy

    Comment by Kathy Bakes — October 6, 2010 @ 8:03 am | Reply

  2. a great note thanks for sharing.

    Comment by kim Poppleton — October 6, 2010 @ 8:10 am | Reply


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