When it first started I answered a couple. Then more came and I decided to wait until he was finished. I popped over to his blog and did some reciprocal reading.
Nothing about this journey has been easy. I have found a great deal of support here. I have found others with the same experiences; some are at the beginning, some are at the end, most of us don’t really know where we are.
I’ve been called brave by a few. Today it had to kick in. A new reader, “a British sinophile who lives in Victoria, Australia”, was greatly disturbed by the content of this blog. He left comments on five posts.
Post #1, Access to Adult Material
I think you are being horribly unreasonable to this guy. It’s “private information”, not “adult material”. Besides, you maintain a hate-blog entirely devoted to him!
And in the hula-hoop incident, he didn’t hurt your daughter. She hurt yourself.
Your blog posts, if they’re genuine, make you look mentally ill, which will weigh strongly against you when the courts decide custody for the children.
Be brave and approve this comment on your blog.
Gross generalities carry no weight with me. The entirety of this blog is not hate nor devoted to Donkey. Angry Reader didn’t even read the entire blog. There are 182 publicly published posts. By the time his lunch hour was over there were only 59 total views.
Plus, rants are much more respectable with correct grammar. Yeah, I went there; low blow.
I did approve this comment, but not to be considered brave by this man. I approved it because adversity, disbelief, and disrespect are what domestic violence victims and survivors encounter more, I think, than we encounter support. We support each other here, but out there is bigger, angrier, and blamier (I made up that word – blame – ee – er).
I did reply to this comment, but not to convince this man: He was horribly unreasonable to me. The blog posts are genuine which is why they are important. The courts have already decided custody for the children, and I’d wager to think you’d agree with them.
So he answered:
I feel very sorry that living as a loving family hasn’t worked out. At least, not yet.
If that really is too difficult for both of you to manage, then judging from your blog posts (and nothing else), the kids are better off with the father.
How are the kids going to learn how to love, and how to start their own families if all they learn is from you two?
I was one of those kids. Trust me, you are both hurting them more than both of you could possibly imagine.
Living as a loving family? If that really is too difficult to manage? At least, not yet? Is he suggesting Donkey and I need to reconnect and become a loving family? Fuck that. Donkey crossed the point of no return. I left, and though I have regretted that at times it isn’t leaving that I regret, it’s leaving without a police report, it’s leaving before he put me in a hospital or a coffin, that I regret.
Then he left two more comments on the same post:
By prolonging and intensifying the battle, you’re hurting your kids even more. They will one day resent both of you for this.
You said… “I will never get custody again. Because the judge decided I lied about being abused and used that “lie” to limit their exposure to Donkey, I am detrimental to their well-being and unfit to raise them. It isn’t a lie. I had a bad lawyer (horrible, shouldn’t be allowed to practice law).”
It’s right there. Black and white. Please admit that you’ve done wrong. Correct your mistakes and slowly work your way back towards being a loving mother. The kids want that.
Taken out of context, anything can me made to sound like whatever you want. What Angry Reader is quoting is an answer to the question “What did your lawyer say?”. Pretentious, me thinks.
Post #2, Behavior in front of the children
Angry Reader said:
Do you realise how much all of this (the courts, the videotapes, the blog, the book…) is hurting your children? My comments probably sound like lunacy to someone in your position, but if you’ll be kind enough to let me explain, I think you are both making some seriously selfish errors.
Be kind. Email me.
So I answered:
Do you realize my children are 5 & 3? Do you realize the destruction ripping them out of their home and sending them away from the only family and home they knew? Do you realize the pain from keeping silent about all of this?
I understand how this can feel threatening to some people, but I’m not being selfish with this. This is not an error. This is breaking the silence on domestic violence. This is sharing my story so others can feel less alone. It’s showing how terrible it is. It’s showing that there is life after abuse.
So he questioned and judged:
Did he actually ever violently abuse you, as you say? I’ve trawled through your blog and still find zero evidence of violent abuse.
So I suggested he keep reading. There is a comprehensive list of what I have discussed thus far on the “What he did” page. Clearly Angry Reader trawled, but worse, this particular comment demonstrate his ignorance on the dynamics of domestic violence.
Being abused doesn’t require violent abuse and it doesn’t require physical attacks; it requires using fear to control another human being. There are 7 forms of abuse recognized by the Courts of the United States: physical attacks (includes rape, though rape usually gets its own treatment), emotional abuse, control, intimidation, stalking, neglect, and economic deprivation.
I did not engage him any further except to ask him to stop reading. I felt like it would be pointless because his point was made.
How is this “abuse”? The only thing being abused in this story is the poor old tub of ice cream.
This is what they call a “frivolous lawsuit”, i.e. wasting the court’s time.
You’ll get punished for using this in court.
Stop wasting your kids’ university fund on acts that give them immense emotional pain.
Not that you care, but I have spent a total of $3,250 in legal fees. Compared to some totals I have read out there, this is pennies. There have been two lawsuits: the Custody Determination/Dissolution of Marriage (filed by Donkey) and the Motion to Amend the Final Judgement (filed by Donkey).
For another grammar low-blow, I won’t necessarily “get punished for using this in court”, because using this in court is part of presenting my evidence and it’s up to the judge to decide if presenting evidence is punishable. I could get punished in court for using this, this being the public display of the email exchanges between Donkey and me. It was at this point that I considered saying, your grammar is deteriorating; please calm down.
Post #4, Smash the Mental Glass
If this is true, then he sounds like an ass.
It is true, and he is an ass.
Post #5, Another lesson in the learned book
The act of putting these messages online is despicable. Private problems deserve a private response. Only public problems (e.g. what the President says and does) can have a public response (e.g. being discussed on the internet).
To which I responded Donkey can take that up with his attorney. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.
This is where the benefits of a supportive community come in. Three people have added their voice and responded to Angry Reader. This isn’t to say this is the only time I have felt this community come to my side. I have heard from several readers that they appreciate this effort, this exposure, this honesty.
Despicable, eh? You don’t think abuse is a PUBLIC problem then? Only a private problem? In case you haven’t been paying attention here, James Kennedy, Donkey is abusive in more ways than just physically. What you have here is abuse, plain and simple. You also have her response to it, as it unfolded. Suggesting this kind of thing be kept private makes YOU just as much a part of the problem as Donkey.
You comment on her discussion yet you read it. Obviously you do not really have a problem with this being on the Internet. She is right don’t read it if it is a problem.
Melanie, get it out. That is the only way you can ever get on with your life. I sympathize with your plight and apologize for this species of male. If I may make a suggestion, allow yourself a set amount of time each day to get this venting out then try meditation. Sending you love and light.
Wife Goes On
Never stop speaking your voice and your experience. Violence and intimidation and hurting children will never stop until we make people listen – especially men politicians and judges – the world is not a nice place and neither are most people in it.
Six months ago something like this would have paralyzed me, but I have spent the last couple of months in intense personal reflection, and this will continue for many more months. The result is a resolve to continue to fight domestic violence, to understand my position in this battle, to see my mistakes then and now, and to grow into a stronger and feistier me. I got boots, baby.
I have put Angry Reader into the comments moderation box. I know I have the option to blacklist him, but I don’t know that we, or he, would benefit from being cut out completely. This kind of reaction to domestic violence is common. Refusing to acknowledge that here is cutting out a big part of our battle, but I don’t want him to have the freedom to release his wrath on my readers without first considering the value and implications of his comments.
And now, I think it’s time to put up the rest of the 3,498 word list.