Do you ever feel like you shouldn’t have said anything?

Honestly

New Here
Hey - this is my first post.

My trauma comes from a bad - I suppose abusive - sexual adult relationship, and the very difficult fallout that came after I spoke up.

He was my boss, we were in a very power imbalanced, age gap relationship.

When I spoke up lost my job, nearly lost all my life savings, nearly lost my career completely. Lost my physical and mental health.

I guess my question is, does anyone ever feel like they shouldn’t have ever complained / asked for help?

I sometimes think I should have done anything — numbed myself with benzos, taken an extended holiday — anything but speak up.

My life felt like it imploded when I asked for help. And at my most lost I feel like I made the abuse up, that he was in the right, that I am vindictive and bad.

I was told that I had lied by all of the very powerful people who rallied around him, and basically took any abuse he had directed at me and just magnified it beyond my worst nightmare. They interrogated, humiliated, isolated and threatened me for the year that I stayed at the company before they fired me, and made my life living hell.

They basically threw the entire legal might of the company at me, a 28 year old junior employee — and just so, so so much vitriolic male anger. It’s like if ‘me too’ hadnt happened, they wouldn’t have cared as much. But now was a PR disaster, and honestly I think they just thought they could bully me until I was so totally incapacitated I’d never function again in my career — and I’d disappear.

At my lowest I think should have done is just been happy with my lot, found ways to cope better with his behaviour, to please him and appease his jealously and demands. Because I was addicted to his love, and maybe years later still am.

Sometimes I look back now and I think I “what a young, stupid, naive and idealistic idiot — you didn’t know how bad it could get.”. My life with him was a compromise, but god knows now I’ve had to make horrific compromises to survive since.

I feel ancient now. I’m gagged under an NDA. I think I look ancient. My abusive ex/boss used to mock women who were 34, saying day were fat and middle aged. I’m 30 now. I look in the mirror and I look broken.
 
For sure. The worst mistake I ever made in my life, bar none, was divorcing my exHusband.

Which doesn’t mean I should have stayed.

Leaving was the right thing to do.

HOW I left, is what I did wrong.

I should have either killed him in self defense, and stars above, had plenty of opportunity for that… he tried to kill me 3 times in the last year of our marriage… or taken my kid and fled the country to somewhere that doesn’t have extradition treaties with the US.

Instead? I tried to do it the “right” way, and filed for divorce, protection orders, full custody, etc. All that accomplished was trapping my 9yo 6 months out of the year with his abusive father, for years, to -then&now- reap the consequences of that abuse, with no one to protect him; and consign my own self to years of my kid being held hostage, not being “allowed” to work or go to school (my ex had faaaar more control over me once I divorced him than he ever had whilst married, because unless I laid down and took it? My kid would end up in the hospital. Over and over and over again, until I learned my lesson); years of stalking, and harassment, poverty, & fear.

It was the DUMBEST thing I ever did, involving the courts and legal system.

I should have handled things myself.

But I didn’t.

So I have to live with that.

Also that by the time my kid was 18 and his father no longer had him to threaten or hurt or use the law to f*ck with us? Covid. Brick wall. Bang head. 2 more years of fighting for finger and toe holds, trying to climb back up into a real life, again. A life I love, and can be proud of. Every little setback weighing like 10 years of pain, hitting.

Still pushing on, though.

I refuse to quit, this f*cked up. That would be even stupider than my last mistake. Which has a wicked high bar, already.
 
For sure. The worst mistake I ever made in my life, bar none, was divorcing my exHusband.

Which doesn’t mean I should have stayed.

Leaving was the right thing to do.

HOW I left, is what I did wrong.

I should have either killed him in self defense, and stars above, had plenty of opportunity for that… he tried to kill me 3 times in the last year of our marriage… or taken my kid and fled the country to somewhere that doesn’t have extradition treaties with the US.

Instead? I tried to do it the “right” way, and filed for divorce, protection orders, full custody, etc. All that accomplished was trapping my 9yo 6 months out of the year with his abusive father, for years, to -then&now- reap the consequences of that abuse, with no one to protect him; and consign my own self to years of my kid being held hostage, not being “allowed” to work or go to school (my ex had faaaar more control over me once I divorced him than he ever had whilst married, because unless I laid down and took it? My kid would end up in the hospital. Over and over and over again, until I learned my lesson); years of stalking, and harassment, poverty, & fear.

It was the DUMBEST thing I ever did, involving the courts and legal system.

I should have handled things myself.

But I didn’t.

So I have to live with that.

Also that by the time my kid was 18 and his father no longer had him to threaten or hurt or use the law to f*ck with us? Covid. Brick wall. Bang head. 2 more years of fighting for finger and toe holds, trying to climb back up into a real life, again. A life I love, and can be proud of. Every little setback weighing like 10 years of pain, hitting.

Still pushing on, though.

I refuse to quit, this f*cked up. That would be even stupider than my last mistake. Which has a wicked high bar, already.
We didn’t know that by reporting we were handing them a system to abuse us with — and we weren’t to know.

I’m still very unclear on what happened to me; it’s easier to believe that he was right and I was wrong. But I can see the parallels here. I’m so sorry this has happened and is happening to you.

Much caring for all you've been through.

I've felt I'd have been better off not telling every time I wasn't believed starting age 11. Not being believed compounds the damage such a lot doesn't it.
Yes, it really does. And it makes it so hard to trust yourself, and know what’s real. You were telling the truth and they should have believed you. I’m so sorry you were so unforgivably let down from such a young age.
 
I'm sometimes grateful that I learned at an early age to never ever trust a police officer or official person. That these gangs of law wielding thugs group up to abuse lesser civilians and many of them are rapists and pedophiles themselves and cover for one another.

If they don't kill you themselves they will organize a campaign of psychological warfare designed to utterly dismantle your very existence until you question the nature of reality.

I am not, however, regretful to have waited and bided my time and now can add my voice to the discussion on police brutality that is being held globally. I feel like I gained an advantage over them by playing it smart and watching and waiting. But the thing is, yknow, will I ever receive justice? Absolutely not.

And i don't really have an advantage. After all I live in Canada and now whenever I am hospitalized for psychiatric problems I am encouraged to kill myself. There is no way that is accidental when I get psychotic I trauma dump and expose these people.

Only those who have the courage to stand up directly to these people even have a hope of doing so. And it isn't wrong that you tried. You lived in a world that taught you if someone hurts you that is wrong and they will be held accountable by the law. I just happened to witness for myself at the age of eight that this is not true and is a trick designed to weed out any problematic victims.

But I don't need justice, I just need safety. Safety to speak my truth from the shadows where not one of them can get me. They can pretend that it's a product of insanity all they like but the corruption in our government is a festering rot that is now evident to all but the most cripplingly privileged.
 
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i have had isolated incidents of regret for having said anything, but i solidly believe i am only as sick as my secrets. holding those secrets in sets up a toxic chemical reaction that can daisy chain ad infinitum. i don't keep my herstory a secret from anyone, but i practice much discretion on to whom, when and where i tell my stories. my trauma tales are not ready for pg prime time or cartoon time. they certainly aren't fit for wedding banquet small talk. i especially practice discretion around family members in denial. there's not much sense in needlessly stirring a hornet's nest.
 
I couldn’t possibly wish more that is just left it alone. For me speaking up meant going through the courts and that was 3 years of absolute hell.

Also speaking up meant telling my family and that didn’t go well either.

As far as asking for help…depends on the day. I wish I’d done it differently that’s for sure. I wish I’d gone to therapy and told my T at the time that I didn’t need to tell my family and I didn’t need to report it because ultimately him pushing me to do those things made things worse for a really long time. They didn’t get better until I stopped going to therapy and boxed away the abuse of the past.

Of course that couldn’t last because it was traumatic enough to effect pretty much everything. So eventually it stopped working and now I’m back in therapy having learned that there’s no way I’ll be talked into reporting something (I could there’s more that could be done). And my family is better off not knowing because they won’t help they’ll only harm.

Honestly I don’t think it’s possible to live your life with a trauma big enough to cause PTSD and. It deal with it, not without having some very understanding people in your life because you probably don’t see most of the harm your causing when you leave it untreated.

So I don’t regret getting help but I do regret choices made after that.
 
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