Survivor Series: A letter to my abuser
Four months. That’s how long it’s been since I asked you to leave. That’s how long it’s been since you sat on the couch, looked me straight in the eyes and told me you were going to continue to see your affair partner. That’s how long I’ve been living a life free of your abuse.
I want you to know that I never loved you. I fell in love with the person that you created just for me. You watched me. You studied me. You knew my wants, needs, insecurities and used those to your advantage. You created my soulmate in yourself. But that wasn’t you. You don’t even know who you are at your core. You adapt to your surroundings like a chameleon. Because you have no personal identity, your interests, likes, dislikes, passions, and insecurities are reflective of your victims and others surrounding you. In a lot of ways, I feel pity towards you. I can’t imagine simply existing in this world, being so insecure with sociopathic tendencies.
Discovering your affairs and multiple affair partners felt like someone ripped out my heart and soul. It felt like the world around me and everything we had built had just crumbled around me. Little did I know that pain would be nothing compared to the torturous pain of the emotional abuse I was about to endure for the next 16 months. Your mask was slipping. And I was about the see the real you. Day after day, I remember looking into your eyes and thinking I didn’t even know you anymore. It wasn’t until later that I realized that was actually the real you. You were in the discard phase of narcissistic abuse and had already moved on to a new supply, lovebombing your affair partner just like you did to me 9 years ago. Just like you did to the mother of your children 16 years ago. And just like you did to your ex-wife 21 years ago.
While in the moment, I thought you broke me, and I’m sure you arrogantly thought so too, I want you to know that you didn’t. You no longer have that kind of power over me. I am stronger, smarter, and more empowered than ever because of your abuse. I am a better person, a better mother, a better daughter, and a better domestic violence advocate. And someday, I will be a better wife. Your infidelity and emotional abuse taught me so much firsthand about healthy relationships. I’ll be bringing all of this with me to future relationships, while you will continue on your path of destruction and abuse, no doubt leaving behind a trail of abused women and children as your history shows.
I’m using my story for good. Your past victims may have wanted nothing more than to just walk away and to never hear your name again. But, my story was meant to be shared from the beginning. I regret nothing from October 15th, 2011 to today. I will continue to use my voice to reach more survivors of infidelity and domestic violence. I will continue to speak for those who feel they can’t speak for themselves because people like you have silenced them.
Sharing your story like the survivor above can be empowering and freeing. You may choose to leave your abuser and never speak of him or her ever again. And that's ok- it's your choice. But you may decide your story needs a voice. Speaking your truth or writing it down helps you process the trauma and see your own strength. It gives you back some of the power your abuser stole from you.
If you do decide you'd like to share, we're here to listen. Our advocates are available 24/7 to hear your story and support you. You can call 1.800.770.1650 or text "IOWAHELP" whenever you would like to talk or need help.