Is there a time and place to NOT speak up about misogyny and abuse? eg facebook and the like

(83 Posts)
alltoomuchrightnow Mon 02-Sep-13 18:50:44

To try and summarise.. i left my alcoholic and also extremely misogynistic and abusive fiance this summer. I fled everything and am in the horrible position of being back at my parents, in a complete mess, traumatised and with a life to rebuild.
I have tried to keep my head down and just get on with things, but ex's abuse and harrassment still reaches me. I'm waiting to see my DV advisor and will probably have to get an order against him as he's stopping me from moving on.
Ex is continuously spreading vicious lies and rumours about me, inc on public forums such as facebook and a podcast he does. So far i've tried to keep dignity and ignore it all, though it's hard. But it all came to a head last week.
I know Facebook isnt the place for it,but it's all i'm on , apart from Mumsnet. Even then, i did not lower to his depths..and did not mudsling at all . I put (on my status) that i was sick of the lies and having to justify and explain myself all the time.. and felt i was being punishing merely for having left abuse. I did not name him personally, just referred to as my ex. And warned others against him..with good reason..he was harrassing my friends and family right then. That is all i put.
I should explain that when he puts vicious rants about me, there's very few that stick up for me. Most people just ignore..i guess by now, they know what/ who he is. (i have blocked him by the way, but people keep telling me what he's put) Sadly, some people actually support him..enablers..and send him money to live on, as his now slashed benefits all go on booze. He is very charming and charismatic so is very good at pretending to people he's in the right all the time and will make up lies as to why i left..eg i had affairs or whatever...he will tell people i'm mentally ill and lie about abuse (when he himself is mentally ill, and I am not, though i have bad anxiety and depression over all this)
When i put my statuses saying i thought the lies were unfair.and to warn people.. my inbox was flooded. Strangely enough..it was male friends offering sympathy and support. It was some women... who were the opposite. Telling me to take down my statuses as i was doing myself no favours . That i was laying myself too bare and vulnerable (but unlike my ex, id given no specifics about anything)
They said i'd be laying myself open to more attack from him.
I took down all my statuses.
But he's still kicking off at me and spreading muck
I'm angry i should be told to keep quiet and not speak out. Why should i try and protect him ? Pretend it never happened?
I realise FB is not the place..but i wasnt mudslinging, merely warning others that he was harrassing my friends and it could be them next..and not to believe any lies.
So..should i have removed them ? After all, others make a stand for things on FB be it something they're promoting, or something they believe in.
Why shouldn't i promote anti misogny, if i wanted? And be empowered that i left him?
why is it women telling me to keep quiet as it's airing dirty laundry (and i emphasise again..unlike him, i gave NO details)
HOw is me talking about him , letting him win? (that was their accusation) He's stripped me bare, there is nothing more he can take from me.
Why should i pretend DV doesnt happen, so people can go on ignoring it and burying their heads?
I'm not trying to be a victim..I'm a survivor. I'm happy I left. Why are other women warning me to keep quiet?
I would really appreciate views here but please go easy on me! i'm still reeling from what he's put me through and the damage he's still causing.

SoWhatSoWhatSoWhat Sat 07-Sep-13 14:33:37

Rootling around, here's someone with a similar problem to yours (abusive partner, gulliable friends): www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/dec/16/left-abusive-boyfriend-mariella-frostrup

DON'T take any notice of Mariella Frostrup's ridiculous advice (she practically tells the poor woman she's being a drama queen); I only found this article because it was linked to by an article I was reading about how crap some Agony Aunts are.

Instead, scroll down and read (most) of the comments below the article, who strongly disagree with Mariella's attitude and offer more useful advice; most of them are quite helpful (apart from the odd twerp).

alltoomuchrightnow Thu 05-Sep-13 17:36:26

SoWhat.. very embarrassingly, I'm early 40s but feel about 12 right now, in the immaturity stakes,especially being back at my childhood home. new guy is a few years younger, and has a had a sheltered/ trauma free life, until this year when he was dumped for a woman just before his wedding (if anyone recognises me or him in real life, please keep this in confidence). Before her, he only had one serious partner and that was very long term.

SoWhatSoWhatSoWhat Thu 05-Sep-13 17:29:11

OK perhaps Mirtazapine (AD with a slight sedative - you take it at night and it helps you sleep as well). Or a mixture of Mirtazapine and Venlafaxine (finally did the trick for my anxious mum). Even though you have a history of benzo addiction, you know the dangers now, so your doc might still give you a short course. I got addicted once as well (yes, thanks to a crap doctor too!), but my present doc is still willing to give me a few a month in case of anxiety attacks, as they're being prescribed on a sensible basis now and we all know what we're doing.

I asked my doc what we would do if I ever needed a letter from them to get a job and all this would be on my record, and he said "SoWhat, we think work is great therapy, and it's the best thing for our patients to be in employment. Don't worry.. come and see me, and we'll write a letter together, in a way that won't harm your job prospects."

As for your pain at not being believed, I must say you are coming over as being very believable on this thread. Your friends and the NG who don't believe you are probably immature, or have led sheltered or limited lives (like being lucky enough to have the one lovely partner all their life and don't know anything else) or are still too young to have a wider experience of life, or lack imagination and empathy, or are arrogant ("well, it's never happened to me/he's never behaved like that towards me, so you must be making it up"). Charming. Makes you feel like bloody slapping them, doesn't it?

I'm not sure how old you are - I was 29 at the time of my little crisis, and although I thought I was quite an experienced adult, looking back, I can see now that I and my friends from that time weren't really, and young people can be very hard on each other just because they haven't been around for long enough to discover that not everything is black and white.

Funnily enough, in the end, it was the best thing that could have happened to me. Because I couldn't bear to not be believed and had lost all respect for the unbelievers, I moved away from the area (so no more reminders/triggers) and in my new town I met a lovely bunch of new friends - and DH!

Unfortunately I have to go now because DH wants his laptop back, I'll be keeping up with your thread, and wish you all the very best. The Unbelievers around you are just stupid buggers, and you ain't gonna let them ruin the rest of your life, are you?

alltoomuchrightnow Thu 05-Sep-13 16:27:23

it's Venlafaxine i'm on. They dont like giving me sleeping pills as i was addicted to Zopiclone in the 90s (long story, but doc's fault). Valium didnt work and ihave tried Temezpan. (however it's spelt). It definitely doesn't help me sleep, but does make me feel a lot calmer so if i'm not sleeping i'm lying there awake but not so panicky. I can rest while awake if that makes sense

SoWhatSoWhatSoWhat Thu 05-Sep-13 16:19:22

Don't let worries about what might end up on your health record prevent you from seeking medical help. Your doc will not think you are 'mad' for getting upset over a nasty and messy relationship breakup with an abuser. You generally have to be very mentally ill (like, having serious delusions/hallucinations!) to be 'sectioned' these days - anyone worrying about, or having an abusive partner threatening them with 'being locked up' should remember the mental health service is chronically underfunded and they don't have the beds! (And even if someone does need to be taken in for their own safety, they'll be kicked out at the earliest opportunity for the same reason).

Perhaps your doc could try you on an AD like venlafaxine - tried that one? - which has an anti-anxiety component in it, and a perhaps a prescription for a week's worth of effective benzodiazepine type sleeping pills (not addictive as long as you only take them for short periods) would be good as a temporary measure, so you can get some restorative sleep.

No, don't send the email at the moment. It does help to write things down (I do it) but it generally hasn't been very helpful if I've actually sent things on while in a state of stress. Wait until you are calmer (and have had a night's sleep) before you decide what to do about it.

alltoomuchrightnow Thu 05-Sep-13 16:10:02

i meant, email to the new guy for letting me down/ betraying me/ doubting. He doesn't rant about his ex.. My ex fiance rants about his though! and me!

TheFallenNinja Thu 05-Sep-13 15:52:58

Disengage. Your playing his game by his rules, the pen may well be mightier than the sword but don't play his game and he's just a tool ranting about an ex.

alltoomuchrightnow Thu 05-Sep-13 15:48:43

but i have been warned by a few friends.. if i go back to docs.. and they ask the usual stuff..have i thought about self harm or suicide... if i say yes, i'll be sectioned (?) and then it will be on my record for life. I have thought about those things, yes, but i won't do them..i can't do it to my parents. What do i say..that i'm ill and feel i'm cracking up, but not suicidal? (even though i feel it at times)

alltoomuchrightnow Thu 05-Sep-13 15:46:51

Please someone talk me out of sending a nasty email to new guy! I wrote it (not sent) to try and make myself feel better, my counseller told me to write stuff down. I don't see the point if i don't send it and get my point across. I can't bear injustice. How dare new guy think i deserved the living hell i went through, in some way. This very same guy who said he loved me only last week.
I know what you'll say..let it go..he's not worth it.. why do i care what he thinks anymore..but i can't bear lies and injustice after all i've been through . I know if i send it it will just spark off more crap though

alltoomuchrightnow Thu 05-Sep-13 15:44:38

Both my ex and 'new guy' were friendly acquaintances i guess you could call them. Ex was supportive to him when his marriage got called off this year, and he thought they'd 'bond' over having lesbian exs. hmm When i started seeing new guy.. ex didnt have proof but suspected, and did something to him. Now NG despises my ex..but also ironically thinks ex might have had a point/ good reason to drink, be so abusive etc..even accused me of having wound my ex up to have done what he did (no, i refuse to talk to him..i'm scared of him!) NG is lashing out as he's so hurt by what my ex has done to him..i'm getting the brunt..he takes it out on me not my ex.. like i said, he grilled a mutual friend of his and my ex's to find out more about mine and ex's relationship...totally inappropriate and disloyal. I was put under the microscope eg 'well you werent entirely blameless' etc.. and that maybe i'd pushed my ex into the abuse somehow. No.. my ex did the same to his ex wife, she fled to a refuge and got a restaining order. Since i've left, my ex has been harrassing several women, not just me. My ex may have had the odd few dry years (very few) but he's been an alcoholic since his teens..i was a small child then..in no way am i ever responsible. He was a journalist and hung out with the likes of Ozzy etc..it went with the territory. I am not taking the blame anymore

GetYourSocksOff Thu 05-Sep-13 15:34:27

PS getting the care you need has nothing to do with your ex 'winning'. It's taking the steps you need to be strong again without him in your life. That's a big win for you x

GetYourSocksOff Thu 05-Sep-13 15:32:41

How bizarre! It could have something to do with it, if they each know it happened to the other.

You poor thing, I'm sending you a big cyber hug. I wish you had more support in RL but you can do it, you can get yourself out of this. And when you're in a better place yourself, you'll gradually start to find better people, too. It does sound like you need to get back to the docs, it doesn't sound like they've got the medication quite right yet.

alltoomuchrightnow Thu 05-Sep-13 14:42:47

Both my ex fiance, and this 'new' guy, were both left by their exs, for women. In my ex's case.. his wife. In new guy's case..it was only May, and it was a week before his wedding. I'm just wondering if both these men have some weird bond now, of misogyny (ex fiance is very homophobic, new guy isn't though, he hates that ) despite new guy not liking my ex..but has definitely fallen for some of his bullshit

alltoomuchrightnow Thu 05-Sep-13 13:15:42

i think i do have PTSD. im crying constantly and shaking and cant eat/sleep. my support comes from MN and Facebook , usually from friends far away, or people i havent met. which im blessed with..but i dont have it so much in real life and i find the isolation tough. I just want to be believed. i can't believe that mutual friends will often take his side and believe his lies.. and turn the other cheek.

SoWhatSoWhatSoWhat Thu 05-Sep-13 13:11:07

Yes, it is sickening to be only half-believed (at best) about being abused and you are quite right, it can be the worst thing about being abused. It can even be a cause for someone ending up with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. And it can be very hard to find 'friends' in RL who will listen, as I've found as well! Thank goodness there is a resource like MN, where you can come and get some reassurance and sensible advice.

alltoomuchrightnow Thu 05-Sep-13 11:46:58

im going away tomorrow for a few days and it will mean away from computer, phone, facebook etc... i'm sure it will help

alltoomuchrightnow Thu 05-Sep-13 11:46:22

GetYourSocksOff, I'm on anti depressants but I don't feel they're working right now, but then again it's normal I feel this upset right now. It would be strange if i wasn't. I was on v low dose a/d's but they got doubled in Feb when i left him the first time. I had about 2 months of side effects before they kicked in.. i'm really not sure of again upping the dose , I would feel like 'he's won' (ie ex) and again i'm stuck with the side effects. I did get some Valium the other week but they honestly did nothing for me. They made no difference whatsover, so I stopped. I do agree I need to go back to doctors though. Going to Al Anon and 50 mins a week counselling at the Women's Centre isn't enough right now.
I hear what you say about move my focus away from those who hurt me. I need to rebuild my life but it's so hard when i'm crippled by feelings of pain and betrayal. Yesterday that guy said to me 'well you weren't entirely blameless' as if he was implying i deserved some of the abuse! I can't get over that.
I can't bear the injustice and sense of betrayal.I dont know how to release my anger and pain

GetYourSocksOff Thu 05-Sep-13 08:53:54

OP I think it's really, really important that you move your focus away from those who have hurt you. I don't mean that the feelings will go away, but you need to stop thinking only about the hurt and anger and start thinking about the steps you need to take next.

'New man' was not new man. He was another step on the road to your freedom. Count your lucky stars that you found out so early on that he is no good for you.

I wonder if you need to make a GP appt? You've gone through so much, it's normal (and healthy!) to be hurt and angry and anxious and a million other things. But you also sound as if you feel a little hopeless and the fact that you're not sleeping properly either makes me wonder if you might be becoming depressed to some degree? If so, it will make things much easier for you to tackle if you can get that treated too. They might also arrange more counselling for you or at least something to help you sleep so that you can start thinking about work again.

Make a plan for today - you cannot spend every day waiting in for the police. Could you aim to get to CAB and the docs today? Or call the police and arrange to go down there yourself?

I'm rooting for you grin

alltoomuchrightnow Wed 04-Sep-13 23:36:20

It just makes me so utterly angry. It's such an insult to injury. As if the abuse wasn't enough.. you are then questioned, let down... open to further abuse... i will google Freedom Programme as not heard of it

scallopsrgreat Wed 04-Sep-13 23:26:24

I agree with GetYourSocksOff your focus needs to be on yourself at the moment not other relationships. What you say of this new man could be abusive behaviour. Your radar for spotting that may be a bit off (I don't mean that horribly btw, just that it could be understandable given the messages you are receiving from family and friends). nameequality mentioned the Freedom Programme which could be good for you when this is over or less fraught.

Blaming the victim is all part of taking the focus off men's behaviour. It is also effective in keeping women within abusive relationships, prevents them reporting abuse and generally helps to keep women in their place hmm. It is a silencing technique, basically. Just like your friends were trying to silence you when you were speaking out. If women are silenced society doesn't have to do anything about it. Look at the furore when women do speak out - as in the Jimmy Savil case for example. Lots of people victim blaming there. Plenty of people trying to shut women up. Thankfully more and more women are coming forward. Abuse is beginning to look systemic shock.

Good luck with the police tomorrow. It is dreadful that they have done nothing since you reported it. And you are right. It is just another reason why women don't report. They fear not getting treated seriously.

alltoomuchrightnow Wed 04-Sep-13 23:10:36

to the point where he had to ask their mutual friend to 'back up' my story or give his version of the relationship i had with that evil man. And the friend gave his version..which of course..are the lies my ex fed him. This friend never saw the real abuse! He saw my ex's happy jolly smiley side, 'oh she's a liar and making it all up..of course she's not being abused.and i'm in control of my drinking.'.. that side.
I think this is way way harder for me than what my ex did , as i dont care about him, and he is ill. but for this new man to grill this friend about my relationship to try and catch me out or find flaws. Im so angry and i cant do anything about it. I can't make people believe. I know i shouldnt care about those who dont , but i do. i'm so shocked. I feel like i now have to give a 'character reference' to everyone.. never should i have to justify myself or why the abuse happened! why is my integrity in question?
I can't handle this. having 50 mins counselling at womens centre isnt enough. How can i feel empowered again and release this anger and know i was not to blame in any way? im exhausted always having to justify..my self respect is gone..

alltoomuchrightnow Wed 04-Sep-13 23:05:58

why do men do this? victim blame? think the woman could be somehow to blame or somehow asked for it? i can't get over this.

alltoomuchrightnow Wed 04-Sep-13 23:04:59

thank you GetYourSocksOff. today was a real struggle. I will ring police again in the morning.
I am so angry this almost new man doubts me and wonders if my ex had any justification for the abuse. Im so offended and so furious. I was falling for someone who could now feel like this! There can never be justification for what he put me through. And im not an angel..just a normal human with flaws..but i was loving , tolerant and supportive and took all the abuse. I never got him arrested.. i stood by him. I knew he was a sick man. But i know i shouldnt have stayed and taken it..but i was kept by fear.
The anger is helping me to cut ties from this new one. I don't want anything to do with him ever again. He questioned my past,and doubted my integrity, with a mutual friend of his and my ex. He actually bases things he knows about my abusive relationship, on who i am now and trying to see if stories match up etc. I find that very offensive and abusive in itself. It still hurts though. I can't just cut off feelings but the anger overrides everything else.
My ex has been quiet today but of course i don't trust that either.

GetYourSocksOff Wed 04-Sep-13 22:56:20

Angry is good. Use it to fuel change. You need to be really strong, don't think too much about new relationships for now (or even old, useless ones), just focus on getting this dickhead out of your life and yourself to a place where you can relax and call home.

Get down to citizens advice and find out what you are eligible for in terms of housing and benefits. You don't need to be living with your parents, if you start now you may be able to get something organised for when you finish house sitting. Definitely get back into a daytime routine. Get back into work of some description. Keep calling the police until they see you. Ignore your ex but keep a record of everything (including documenting phone calls from him or relevant calls from friends). And plenty of fresh air. Eat well. For now, you need to focus on you.

alltoomuchrightnow Wed 04-Sep-13 20:12:48

there is one thing worse than the abuse. and its not being believed. so, this new bloke now doubts me. I had a lucky escape there but i'm so angry and hurt

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