I saw my friend Hermione yesterday. I call her this because she reminds me of the Harry Potter character- brave, smart, stands up for what’s right and is a loyal friend. It was a gamble, a massive one.
Well, she went to a different school after primary school, and she ended up meeting my ex there and becoming his friend.
So, as you can imagine, I’ve tried not to say anything really too revealing on Facebook for fear he might still be friends with her and see it. I have been frightened that he could spy on me through her.
When I posted on Facebook that I had been in an abusive relationship and that it had put me in hospital, so many people commented and told me I was brave. I felt it, and I suddenly noticed I had a message. It was my friend Hermione, asking me if I was ok, that she felt awful that I’d gone through what I had, and that was it the person she thought it was.
Yes. Yes it was.
I told her I was sorry for not being able to talk to her properly for so long, as he’d been there interfering and making life that much harder. She said it was fine, it didn’t matter, and could we meet up? I was so pleased. I said yes, and I met her yesterday outside a building I used to sing in with primary school.
One of the first things out of her mouth was, “I can’t believe he tricked us all like this. His best friend is going to go crazy.”
There it was. He hurt and manipulated me so badly I was convinced that no-one would believe me: yet, here she was, someone who had called herself his friend, on MY side and telling me that she believed me. I’d not given a scrap of evidence to her, hadn’t begun to tell her of the horrors I’d gone through, but she BELIEVED ME.
I can’t get over how I feel about that. I feel more powerful. I feel supported in a way I never thought I’d have again. She was so angry that he’d lied to her like that, and the other two he used to call his friends. I realised that I still have the power of the truth with me and that I am believable.
We discussed his lying, his smear campaign that I only just realised existed that he mounted against me without my knowledge. We talked about how long his front of an innocent victim had lasted, and how long I’d been split from all the things and people I love. She was one step ahead of my desperate words, understanding and believing and just being there. The forthright ten-year-old shone through and I realised she had seen through his lies.
However, she sparked a memory in me that I’m going to have to process slowly because it still disturbs me, and I don’t know what happened next. Hermione said that she saw me and my ex walking down the road near my mum’s dance school handcuffed together.
I’d forgotten all about that and it frightened me to remember it. I wanted to erase it again, because I remember being frightened by his insistence that we do it and frightened in case the cuffs didn’t come off and humiliated. It was still when all my schoolfriends were in or around my home town, so any of them could have seen. As it happened, it was Hermione and her mum who saw. She said she knew that it wasn’t something I’d do, and she apologised for frightening me. She’s kind like that.
I told my therapist today about it. Dr K was concerned about that, and she was concerned about me telling her about the weird cult-like thing the ex made to trap me and my friend B. She said he sounded dangerous, that he was like Charles Manson in a way because of his controlling and his charisma. He’d bewitched the teachers at his school and he bewitched me, too. She said if I feel bad at any point, I should call her and we can fit in another session before I go and see J.
I also told Dr K of the fear that I have other things like that hidden in my head that I have blanked out. She said she was worried about that too, and that it was also a very brave thing of me to go and see Hermione like that. Dr K asked me whether I still felt frightened of him, and I said yes. I am still frightened, because I met a man who could lie his way out of any situation where he was guilty but still have everyone believe him. As J says, and wisely so, sociopaths use a tiny grain of truth to base their lies upon, so that they sound believable. Dr K agrees with this. She says it’s a common tactic amongst abusers.
She also thinks that I can bring a case against him. She’s not the first to do so- the other person was a man in the RAID team who took all of my ex’s details down and told me that because of the nature of what I had disclosed to him, he was going to have to pass it on to the appropriate channels. Good. That means that if he does anything else, it will appear on the system. Anyway…
Dr K said that I could ring the Domestic Violence hotline and talk to them to see if I could bring a case against him, and I went home and found the leaflets. I want to ring the DV hotline as soon as I can. I want to keep talking. My silence is broken.
“It’s not over til it’s over, and it’s never over…”