I recently created a Twitter account as part of my healing journey to connect with other survivors of narcissistic abuse and domestic violence. I tweeted, “A letter to my ex narcissistic abusive boyfriend,” which was an altered version of my victim impact statement I read in court, and have gotten a lot of messages and replies about how others can relate. I actually published that blog post a few months before court, so I wanted to share a more finalized version of it on my blog. I removed names, my sentencing input, and anything else that would identify me, such as details about his charges, but I hope you find this helpful along your healing journey.
My Victim Impact Statement
Love shouldn’t hurt, but G made it sting like salt being continuously poured into an open wound. I endured over two years of psychological, emotional, and physical abuse, which has destroyed my well-being. More recently G was arrested three times and charged with four crimes. Let me give you some insight into how these charges came about and the negative impact this has had on my life.
I hate referring to myself as a victim, but when I look back at how these domestic violence charges have changed my life for the worse, then yes, by definition, I’m a victim. G and I were together for over two years. Over these two years he slowly gaslighted, manipulated, controlled, isolated, and physically abused me so he could take full control over me. He essentially stole my brain and rewired it to make me believe I was worthless, unlovable, crazy, stupid, and delusional. Because of this I began to doubt my own self. He once even said to me, “I like younger girls like you because you’re much easier to control.” G would regularly tell me to “take my meds” because they’d “make me less crazy,” however I wasn’t the one in the relationship who was prescribed medication to make me “less crazy.”I was prescribed Xanax due to the anxiety and stress G caused me.
One time after G physically assaulted me he convinced me it was my fault and that I caused it because I “didn’t respect when a man was done talking.” G would leave bruises on my body on a regular basis and utilize my injuries to his benefit. He would always make a point to highlight the bruises and use them as a control tactic. It felt like he was threatening me when he pointed them out to let me know he was in control and what he was capable of. He once even asked me, “Do you think I don’t know it’s wrong that I put my hands on you?” Utilizing my injuries to his benefit, coupled with this question now make me realize G was very well aware of what he was doing and that he was wrong, but he knew he could get away with it because he had complete control over me. I never called the police to report any physical assaults because G told me they’d never take me seriously. He had THAT much control over me that I believed the police wouldn’t help me or care. If I ever brought a physical assault up in discussion, G would tell me the “abuse was in my head” or he would ask, “What are you talking about?” Implying that the abuse never happened. I thought I was going crazy.
If and when I reacted to his psychological, emotional, or physical abuse, as any normal person would, G would go into an abusive rage. I always had to walk on eggshells around G to avoid his abuse. I had to tiptoe around G’s insecurities and act as if parts of me – my needs, dreams, feelings, and desires – didn’t exist. I learned to diminish my own value and to accept utterly unacceptable treatment. The way G treated me made me unconsciously learn to be submissive and silent and to second, or even third guess myself. G never allowed me to get excited over any successes or accomplishments. When he saw my confidence increase, he punished me. He conditioned me to associate my interests, talents, and successes with cruel and abusive treatment. He conditioned me to fear success because I knew it would be met with reprimand and abuse. He always had to be the center of attention, and if I dare took one ounce of the spotlight from him, I’d pay the price in the form of an emotionally or physically abusive rage.
After removing myself from the abuse a few months ago and through almost two years of therapy, I’ve finally started to realize that G wasn’t undercutting me because he truly believed I was inferior, it was because my success and confidence threatened his control over me. G also always compared me, a woman in my early thirties, to a child and told me I didn’t add any substance to conversations repeatedly. I never understood why he viewed me as a child or inferior, as I own a house and have a successful career. Regardless of what I did, I couldn’t win and I was never good enough, but boy did I try hard to keep him happy. Despite the abuse, I always put a smile on my face and tried harder and harder each day to “be better.” But if I looked at G wrong in public or he didn’t like my body language, which was nine out of 10 times, he would always yell at me, saying, “YOU CAUSE A SCENE EVERYWHERE WE GO,” and storm out. I’d always be left behind trying to figure out what I had done wrong and profusely apologize to him and tell him, “I’d never do ‘it’ again,” without ever knowing what “it” was. He’d never accept my apology though. He’d just tell me I was the most dramatic person he’d ever met. I now realize G was using manipulative tactics to provoke me and project his own issues and insecurities onto me.
After enduring his abuse on a daily basis for over two years, I started to see myself through G’s eyes and believed all of these terrible things: I actually thought I was worthless, unlovable, crazy, stupid, and delusional. As a result, I became so isolated that I lost all of my friends and family – my entire support system. G conditioned me to believe he was the only one I could trust and the only person who cared about me. So, when the police put a criminal bail protective order into place after his first domestic violence arrest, I had no one to turn to but G. At the time, I had no idea I was in an abusive relationship, which was why I continued to go back to him, even when the police and court made it a criminal offense. I didn’t know the psychological, emotional, and physical violence I endured on a regular basis was wrong, as it had become such a normal part of our relationship. And, as you can see, G controlled me so much, to the point where he knew he could violate the criminal bail protective order repeatedly and I’d never turn him in for it. G texted me during the “no contact” period continuously. He even texted me and told me that his attorney said if I didn’t show up to court then his charge would be dropped. I didn’trealize any of this was criminal, I was just scared of retaliation and wanted this charge to be dropped. I feared that my safety would be in jeopardy if G walked out of the courthouse with a domestic violence conviction on his record. To be honest, I never would have turned G in for any of these additional criminal offenses because he had full control over me, however after his first domestic violence arrest the abuse began to escalate to an entirely new level and I was scared I was never going to be able to escape safely.
My brain began to shift back to the evening of G’s first domestic violence arrest, where one of the responding officers explained to me that it’s unacceptable for anyone to put their hands on me except in self-defense. He also told me I didn’t deserve to be treated like this. At the time, I refused to process what the officer was saying because I was under G’s control to believe I was dumb and always wrong, and terrified of retaliation due to his arrest. I continuously defended G and begged the police not to arrest him. Since G conditioned me to think I was dumb and always wrong, I thought the arrest was my fault. Anything that ever went wrong between G and me was my fault according to him. He never took responsibility for anything. I didn’t understand why three police officers disagreed with me at the time. Now I’m beginning to see what they saw – a person with Battered Woman’s Syndrome. One thing I didn’t mention to you earlier was G and I had a complicated relationship – so complicated that very few people knew about it. This is why a few weeks later when I was able to start processing what happened in my mind from the night of his first domestic violence arrest, that particular officer’s words began to have a huge impact on me. Over the next few weeks post G’s arrest, I kept what that officer told me in the back of my mind and forced myself to view this relationship from a different lens. I forced myself to see what others were now seeing: That the abuse, stalking, control, violence, witness intimidation, whatever you want to call it, was all so incredibly wrong AND criminal. G even demanded an apology for “getting him arrested.” He went on to tell me, “Any man would have killed you already,” and, “I can see why you were beaten as a child.” As G continued to put me through the cycle of domestic violence, the cycle I had unknowingly been going through for over two years, he began taking the abuse to an entirely new level to see how far he could push me and how much he could get away with. He pushed me so far past my limits that I couldn’t handle it anymore and these actions led to me filing a restraining order against him. I knew I had to file it if I wanted any kind of future for myself, especially one free of domestic violence. Filing the restraining order was another event that took an emotional toll on my well-being. The process of working up the courage to drive to the courthouse and fill out the paperwork all by myself was terrifying, especially because at the time, I was still in love with G and I knew this would ultimately be it. The end of our relationship. Having to face G several more times in court for restraining order related hearings added more trauma to the situation.
Due to the abuse I’ve suffered, I’m traumatized, severely depressed, and can hardly remember who I was before G entered my life. I’m working diligently to break the trauma bond and get my life back to what it was prior to meeting G. I continuously think of what “could have been” if I never crossed G’s path in the first place, and am having a very difficult time processing what I encountered was abuse at the hands of the man I loved and trusted. My recovery is also coming at a huge cost. I’m in therapy 1-2 times a week and I pay out of pocket for my sessions, which has equaled out to be thousands of dollars. I had to pay to hire an attorney and pay for doctor’s visits for headaches and chronic pain related to the stress and trauma from the domestic violence. In addition, I’ve missed countless hours of work to attend therapy sessions, go to doctors’ appointments, meet with my attorney, meet with my victim advocate one-on-one, and attend weekly domestic violence support group meetings. I’ve also had to pay to install video cameras at my house. And although I’m working diligently to get my life back and starting the recovery process, I’m lucky if I get out of bed in the morning, show up for work, and get one task done. I’m in actual fear of losing my job because of the impact this has all had on my life and the hours I’ve been spending trying to recover.
What I’ve read to you today is only a little insight into the endless cycle of psychological, emotional, and physical abuse G put me through. [My request for sentencing].
And, despite how terrible G has been to me and the fact that he has ruined my life, I still care a lot about him and want him to get help so he can learn from these crimes and better himself. G needs help and he’ll never get this help on his own. This is his only chance. Without facing the proper consequences to the crimes he committed against me and receiving proper treatment, it’ll be impossible. Please help put an end to his pattern of domestic violence.