“I am saddened and disgusted by false allegations conducted against me “, said actor Ryan Phillipe (allegedly). This after police examined his girlfriend’s injuries after she had checked into Cedar -Sinai Medical Center Emergency (New York Daily News Wednesday, September 20, 2017)
Similar words have been spoken. I recall one instance when the abuser said to me ‘My hands are for eating and not for hitting a woman”. Wasn’t this the man that used his hands to hurt me that very morning? My mind panned this way and that to make sense of his re-scripting of the narrative. I knew the truth. We both knew the truth of what had conspired that fateful day. Yet here he was causing me to question my sanity. Here he was, defining for me a truth contrary to the one I had experienced. The physical and emotional onslaught were too much for me so in what was an almost out of body experience I escaped to an unreachable space. In the fraternity of abusers, denial is the default response I subsequently learned. I became wise enough to recognize that the biases in the grand narratives these offenders produce are nothing more than products of distorted minds.
I also became wise enough to understand that in the aftermath of abuse, abusers wage an ongoing undeclared war to smear and to destroy. It’s a war in which like other re-writers of history they dare victims to vilify their freshly minted truths on pain of public shaming. Who then would be willing to defy the daring and risk public loathing, to expose the truth of their history and so expose revisionist tales? Only a handful are sufficiently courageous. The sobering truth is that lack of acknowledgement of wrong doing sears the conscience of the offender and paves a path to subsequent re-enactments.
My concern, however, is for victims, those whose lives would have been forever changed. I often loudly wonder: What about us, you abusers and re-writers of history? Are you aware that you have locked us into a perpetual inverse relationship with you one which we struggle our entire lives to reverse?