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Guilty Until Proven Innocent

This week finds me well and truly back on my soapbox. Because I am feeling suitably goaded to address the somewhat emotive subject of the lack of support and comprehension offered to victims of abuse. The fact that too many people in various circles (friends and family, law and order and other professionals) simply don’t ”˜get’ what it means to be held captive in a manipulative relationship.

I know many of us here in the Lovefraud community have already experienced the indignity of having to convince people of the validity of what we know to be true. I’m of course familiar with the remarks from well-intentioned friends and relatives that go along the lines of “he/she always seemed such a nice person!” “Surely, if what you’re saying is true, you’d have noticed something beforehand?” “You must have got it wrong, all relationships have their ups and downs you know!” “You’re saying he/she is a what”¦? A psychopath”¦? Have you completely lost your mind”¦?”

With the space and wisdom that hindsight offers, I guess those kind of comments are to be understood and even expected from people around us who care, but who simply can’t comprehend that psychopathic individuals live and breathe among us. Caring people who most certainly also struggle with the idea that it was happening so close to home and that, by association, they were duped as well!

To Understand We Must First Un-Learn

To put it in to context, the phrase “we don’t see things as they are, we can only see things as we are” is never so true when explaining a new concept to people. In order to take new ideas on board, the person doing the learning must find ways to understand what they are being taught. Puzzlement, questions and sometimes bewilderment are all perfectly natural responses in the learning cycle. Often, particularly in adulthood, this process involves shifting existing beliefs or long-held opinions — turning the previously ”˜unbelievable’ in to something that is appreciated and recognized. That’s all well and good, and it’s perfectly understandable too — goodness knows I’ve been there myself, both as student and teacher. The jury’s out on which role is the most taxing”¦

The thing is, though, this natural learning process becomes so very much more difficult to accept when the “unbelievable” relates to experiences that are being shared by somebody who has suffered from abuse and manipulation. At that moment in time, all that the ”˜victim’ needs is support and understanding. But when the subject in hand involves accounts of deception, gas-lighting, control, loss of self-esteem, and that feared word “psychopathic—¦ well, then it simply serves to make explaining the horrors that much more galling. That much more painful.

Because it’s hard enough for us to realize the truth ourselves. And even harder to come to terms with the fact we’ve been duped and manipulated. Harder still to then reach out and ask for help! When that request typically comes at our most vulnerable time, and is met by (understandable) disbelief, then those well-intentioned people we’ve chosen to share with end up creating further pain, deeper shame and more excruciating guilt within us — in short, the re-clarifying of what happened become a repeated process of public tarring and feathering.

You know what? I can live with that. I can accept that it’s merely ”˜not knowing’ on the part of friends and family who, at the time, caused me to turn the emotional knife once again on myself. At the time I knew no better myself than to respond in that way. Now, with distance, I can understand and empathise — and I’m grateful as well, because it’s highlighted the need to educate more people about the intricacies of this subject. So no, there is no axe for me to grind there. But then, this is only one small part of recovery. This is a part where we can feel confident that any hurts caused are unintentional.

Professionals And The Law

Then there are the other parts. The parts where the professionals step in. Where these qualified, respected, wise pillars of society are expected to at least remain open-minded. In many cases they are also expected to provide accurate useful support and guidance for our next steps — that’s why they’re professionals. Isn’t it? And yet this is the part which has once again prompted me to bring out my soap box. I am deeply concerned and angered by what I see as professional ignorance and ill-informed judgements. Ignorance that, in my opinion, protects the wrong-doers and in doing so continues to force abuse further underground. In this particular instant, I am talking about the law — or perhaps the interpretation of the law.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the idea of the law to protect the innocent, maintain a level of order and keep our society working for us rather than against us? Well, that’s what I’d always thought. I’m finding, though, that increasing focus on political correctness is steadily diminishing the effectiveness of our laws when faced with deliberate deception. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-political correctness per say”¦. I AM anti the fear-based interpretation of guidelines that result in too much ”˜covering of backs’ and losing site of what’s important.

What do I mean?

Well, there have been a couple of episodes over recent times that have rattled my cage. One is a very public news story in the UK about Tina Nash, a young mother who had her eyes gouged out by her psychopathic partner — Shane Jenkins. The sickening attack in her own home lasted 12 hours. She describes it as “silent and prolonged”.  He attacked her while she was sleeping, knocking her unconscious and trying to strangle her, before blinding her in the most horrific way. He was sentenced this month to a minimum of 6 years in jail, and is currently being held in a mental hospital. Yet he has been allowed to tell his story, blaming his victim for prompting the attack, and telling people he’s “not as evil as everyone has made out, I’m actually really chilled””¦! The attack happened in April 2011, but Tina says she feels he’s still controlling her, even now that he’s locked away. She says he deliberately chose to tell his story on her birthday just to spite her.

Soap-box And Fury

Surely, that in itself is wrong? How can society allow the twisted delusional bragging of a convicted thug to be printed in our newspapers? What effect will it have on the victim — in this case a 32-year old mother who will never see her children again? That, alone, was enough for me to dust down my soap-box”¦. But then I read these words that this brave woman had said a few days earlier and my blood started to boil:

“My life has been in limbo as I have not been able to have the treatment and counseling I so desperately needed whilst Shane has had a team of experts, professionals and psychiatrists assessing and ensuring his wellbeing and that he received the treatment that he required”¦”

WHAT? After surviving everything she endured, she has not been given any treatment or counseling, while her ex-lover (held on remand since the attack) has had a team of professionals ensuring his wellbeing”¦? My heart bleeds for her. Has the world gone crazy”¦? Well, I’m saddened to say that I believe in many cases that yes, it has. I believe that we’ve lost our ability to judge what’s important over our need to tick boxes and ”˜do the right thing’ to prevent being sued by the wrong-doers.

Is it any wonder that so many victims stay quiet while the bullies continue to get away with it? We’re protecting the wrong-doers, and pushing the truth underground.

My other, very tiny, but very personal gripe is around the on-going shenanigans with the legal eagles finalizing my book. I was going to disguise this part of the story by introducing it as “a friend who is sharing her story”. Then I thought, no, I won’t do that. Because if I do, then I too become one of the faceless crowd who suppress the truth. And that’s not who I am.

Libel

So, my gripe in this instance is to do with some professional opinions detailed in a libel report. This is a document prepared by lawyers for the publishers, checking whether they may be open to any kind of libel claim as a result of the book they are publishing. Fine, I understand that. But what I don’t understand or agree with are many what I believe to be ill-informed comments, most of which I am not at liberty to share for the moment. There is one, though, that is innocuous enough to repeat, but the message behind it burned in to my soul. It is in relation to my ex-guardian. In the book I talk about one particular evening where this person slapped me across the face. This occurred more than 30 years ago, but I am being asked what proof I have that this actually happened — together with the implied advice that if there is no proof then the story should be removed. Why, you may well ask? Because it’s so far fetched? Because these things don’t happen behind closed doors? No. Because it’s possible that the individual concerned might one day read my book and, even though names and places have all been changed in order to comply with privacy laws, this person might take offence and try to sue me or the publishers.

The law, it seems, has become grotesquely skewed, and is now protecting the bullies and questioning the victims. Innocent until proven guilty may well have been the starting mantra”¦. I fear that in the case of victims of abuse, the mantra has shifted, and guilty until proven innocent is becoming the new reality.

Well this particular ”˜victim’ is sick and tired of staying quiet, bottling up emotions, and being a ”˜good girl’ in order to keep the peace. So listen up you army of ”˜do-gooders’ and ”˜politically correct’ professionals who have lost the gumption to stand up for what is right. The tide IS turning… And I will continue to do everything within my power to speak up for true justice.


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48 Comments on "Guilty Until Proven Innocent"

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Okay….rant continues. My housing situation is such that I rent a room in a colleague’s home. The homeowners have cable television in their living room and their bedroom. So…the programming that the missus is interested in and constantly watches consists of: My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, Bad Girls’ Club, Teen Moms, Sister Wives, Dance Moms, Jersey Shore, and every other screaming and demeaning reality program known. And we have the nerve to wonder what’s wrong with people? The missus is a preschool teacher that believes there’s nothing wrong with porn, reality shows, or teenaged pregnancy.

And I either expose myself to this barrage of pure sociopathic negativity or remain isolated in the room that I rent. YAY for Generation Shit!

Truthspeak,

Yep, and I made “choices” and career sacrifices to stay home with my kids and took part-time (rather than full-time, career) jobs when they were in school, to be able to raise them myself…this impacted my current financial situation profoundly. But I did want to be a strong, positive influence in their lives (another reason why the CPS investigation was so horrid and weird!).

(but yeah, CPS… now I’m starting to finally see that as another sociopathic, upside-down, backwards and totally opposite-who-I-really-am projection — but with governmental authority “teeth” to do real damage to me and my family… well, more lessons for me to learn, I suppose).

One thing I do know is that even if I think my kids are not listening to me… the actually really ARE listening AND watching. They just pretend not to (teenagers!). So… that keeps me pressing forward, knowing that I still remain a strong (positive!) influence in their lives.

They have found a crowd of very nice kids who have healthy personal goals. I feel very grateful for this…. though I know it is not “over” yet (my job is not quite done yet).

So as for your fantasy about reproductive licenses (love it!)… I also think it is important to keep getting the message out that parents still do matter, and I even if we cannot be at home to raise our kids, I still think there is a lot we can do during the hours (and days) we do have them.

The main thing is to teach kids the difference between the seductive, fake, shiny “nice” mask (spaths as well as societal temptations to misbehave, and tolerance for misbehavior) and the deeper, more enduring qualities of character. And to help guide them to form a strong, personal identity. The fine difference between “It’s all about ME!” and “This is who I AM.” This is not easy work. I wish parents could receive better guidance and support — as well as respect.

I have felt for many years that the work I have done, raising my children, has been minimized and invisible; that it has not been apparent HOW HARD I have worked at this, how SERIOUSLY I have taken this role, and what a GOOD JOB I am doing. I’m not saying there aren’t screw-ups — of course there are! But it’s an honor and a duty to be a responsible parent. Very, very hard in a co-parenting situation with a spath ex-spouse. Very hard if you are a single parent. (hard anyway!)

And it is not by any means all within a parent’s control, how their kids turn out. They could have the spath genes, or the influences of a spath society/the wrong crowd/unhealthy media influences, etc. could trump all of your loving efforts.

Truthspeak,
LOL Generation Shit! You got that right. It’s scary how these young people act. One of my nieces I’m sure is a sociopath and the other one is questionable. The were brought up by my sister (their aunt) because their parents were to busy using heroin and alcohol.

They both act like their gradmother, who I’ve known most of my life. So that gene went from grandmother, to daughter, to grandaughters UGH!

The way they act you would have thought the socio grandmother or socio mother brought them up when in fact they had NC with them for over 14 years. It just blows my mind. They lie, cheat, steal, smear people, are promiscuos, and the list goes on. My sister and bil have been nc for about a year and peace is finally settling into their home.

Truthspeak, my sympathies! There is a lot of extremely bad television out there these days.

My kids watch some of it (The bachelor — ick!). But at least “Bachelor” and shows like it do give me opportunities to point out to them some pretty obvious red flag behaviors to them…

I am too old for reality television. I still remember reading Stephen King’s “The Running Man” and being absolutely horrified… and here we are, just about living that, today. Life is too appallingly strange for me, sometimes.

So grateful for your site; so few understand what it means to be a victim of narcissists/psychotics. This site allows for compassionate understanding amongst fellow victims and offers such excellent advice. thank you all.

Mel –

Your post has left me speechless and so boggles my mind that I can’t think. The only response my mind and body can muster is to cry. People are looking at me strangely. I’m sitting in Starbucks and crying.

JustBree

20years, I think it just doesn’t register with people to understand that some people are truly dangerous. I know for me, it did take a little while for me to realize my ex was a dangerous and malicious person. That type of person wasn’t really in my frame of reference. I wasn’t exposed to those types of people growing up, they were only on TV.

Plus, many people (until something happens that proves otherwise) run around with the mindset of “that can’t happen to me.” Of course we all know better because it HAS happened to us and we are believers now, but I really think until something like this happens to you personally, you just aren’t going to believe it.

Beware of lawyers. The profession attracts psychopaths. They actually use the system to gratify their needs. I was married to a psychopath. Law school only made him worse and taught him how to use the system. I got to know a lot of his colleagues, the psychopaths outnumbered he normal ones ten to one. Perhaps the numbers are exaggerated because they were the ones who accepted him. I have also known some wonderful people who are lawyers, just not that many. I believe the same is true in many positions of power…politicians, police, etc.

The inmates have taken over the asylum.

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