There’s Always a Siren Singing You to Shipwreck
|"In a Lonely Place"|
The FKA Twigs story was dominating headlines last week. It was a big deal. Shia La Douche used to be a pretty prominent celebrity. We all grew up with him, he’s known millennial fodder, and the fact that Tahliah Barnett, this empowered woman, who no one could imagine as “a victim”, came out and accused him of abuse, it was a big deal. She didn’t go the criminal route, which would have forced her to rely solely on a prosecutor’s, and the police’s discretion, she went civil. Up until now we haven’t seen that move. Someone that high profile doesn’t make it so public.
As someone who has written about their ex, and the abuse in that relationship, it was something I took notice of because I understand why she made it public. I asked Christian to take accountability. He refused, and so I refused his request to remove my story. Since then he has tried to paint me as a criminal, as mentally ill, as a psycho ex intent on ruining his life, a whole a slew of falsehoods, but all I have ever asked for is ch. Instead he accuses me to make himself look better. Fed up with being called a liar, I tried to affirm my claims (in the form of our text messages), but he prefers gaslighting.
I love him, and care about him deeply, I am sad it came to this.
Christian only ever hit me once. Only once did his temper scare me. I know the limits of his anger, getting physical is not in his nature. He can blow up on you, but his anger is mostly silent treatment/stonewalling. He doesn’t seem to have any emotions, despite the crying videos he sent when I tried to walk away, I don’t even think he can love. He negged me, gaslit me, stole my confidence, manipulated me, fucked with my head, and the emotional and psychological damage is much more insidious than any physical punch he could have swung at me.
He accused me of criminal acts by writing about him. They’re not criminal. At best they can fall under civil. Civil court is interesting because it gives you the ability to sue anyone for anything. For those that aren’t American, the gist of civil court is solving disputes between parties, and putting a monetary value on ‘damages’ incurred.
This FKA Twigs case will set precedent in some ways. What falls under ‘emotional distress’, what should the value of damages be, what falls under “emotional abuse”, how is it validated, etc. States already have their own laws set in place, but in such a high profile case it will go down in public record, which means that it can be used as a model going forward.
It’s important because emotional and psychological abuse have never really been seen as harmful, or as harmful as physical abuse. The truth is it can be worse. Wounds heal, but psychological trauma does not. Psychologists are realizing how big of a part it plays in altering people’s lives. As someone who has not moved on from their “trauma”, I know how fucked I am, and how, if two little years had not happened, I would not be in this predicament today. I’d be ‘normal’, instead of suicidal and in a deep depression I cannot move on from. I look back on the person I was and ridicule myself for being unable to be that person again. I have dated so many people and never had a problem moving on. I was never attached. I constantly question what is wrong with me, why can’t I get out of this place? Why can’t I be normal? Why has this affected me so much so that it has debilitated me? Psychological trauma is being a prisoner to your own mind.
Most people took notice. Like Harvey Weinstein, or Johnny Depp’s defamation loss in pro-libel Britain, these are moments that define a sociological shift. They will alter the fabric of society. It will no longer be an ethical issue, it will be a legal one. It will open the door for more women to go to court.
Of course I say this not about France. Domestic violence in France is years behind domestic violence in other countries. As someone who has had to speak to the police and go to Hôtel-Dieu, France’s views are backwards and incapable of progress. The police don’t even consider it.
It was while discussing the Barnett, Margret Qualley, and Shia La Douche situation with other women, women who had been in gaslighting/manipulative/abusive relationships, or women who didn’t quite understand the pull of these types of men, that I learned about another story. Also making waves, but for another reason. Whereas Barnett was getting an immense outpouring of public support, this other woman was being publicly bullied and savagely ridiculed.
What made this other story so bizarre was that this woman doesn’t quite realize she’s in an abusive relationship. The entire story is written as a piece on a woman’s life, but the undercurrent is there. As the reader you’re questioning what is wrong with her. Who falls in love with someone like the Pharma bro? The Guardian even wrote “that she called love was someone coldly intuiting her need for drama, and exploiting her conditioning.”. All of the venom for her, but none for him? Is it so expected from men that we ignore their part all together?
In a way her story boggles my mind, she gave up a husband and a career, but on the other hand I can empathize with her. There are moments where I still can’t believe Christian is gone. I would give anything to have him back. I expect him to be there one day because it’s what he always did. He always promised. I look at my phone and wish his name would pop up like it always used to. It’s hard for me to grasp that he’s no longer there, that he is someone I will never know, that I meant so little to him that he could just walk away. And with these weird Covid times, where time has stood still, it still feels like I just saw him last week, and I’ll see him soon, and we’ll pick up right where we left off like we always have. I still miss him everyday.
When you love someone like that, you will willingly destroy yourself for them. You’ll call it sacrifice, and you will fight tooth and nail to defend them, to care for them, to show them how much you love them. Because you do, and that’s why you will choose them over yourself every time.
It’s hard to comprehend the negative with the person you think you knew. Most people don’t understand it. How can you expect them to when neither can you?
I’m going to include the story here. I know it has nothing to do with Paris but it’s an interesting story. It’s pretty tragic. At the end when she’s confused and processing, it’s just so sad. I completely understand her because I know what it’s like to be her. My relationship ended when Christian chose to block me. It had nothing to do with me speaking about it publicly, but it’s a convenient excuse to use it as some form of betrayal of trust, and a reason for total banishment.
I’ll be curious to know her thoughts a year from now, 3 years from from now, however long it takes her to have reality sink in. She’s getting savagely attacked, but people should not troll her. Have empathy for those you cannot understand or situations you cannot comprehend. At least she still has some hope, and love. When she loses that, then it will be really dark for her, and as someone in the darkness I don’t wish that prison on anyone (except for maybe Christian).
*Published here, original edited version appears on the Huffington Post