Tuesday, March 3, 2015

I Did the Unthinkable!

This is a real picture of me taken in May 2010. Peter finally left the house at the end of August. During those months, I slept in closets and in a downstairs office; I was truly scared of him; he was escalating with my increasing self-esteem. I have bruises in my ear, on my lip all over my arms. I had the sense to take pictures a couple of days later knowing I would be divorcing and remembering all of his threats. I am thankful he did this so I could be validated for my real pain; physical abuse is really the only abuse society recognizes. The outward anger is about the only thing that gets the perpetrator identified, not the subtle, controlled, most wounding manipulations.

Following the divorce trial Peter, then representing himself, started to use free state systems to continue to abuse and harass me. I was on a work trip in Orlando Florida when I received the call alleging I was physically abusing Warren (I have told this story in a previous post). My line was crossed...just like that....for my and Warren's sake I needed this to stop. What did I need to do to stop being victimized? Could I do anything? Could I stop fearing Peter and the Waltons? I realized it was my own thoughts and fears that were giving Peter and the Waltons power over me. It was me. How could I overcome my fears and take back my power? I could do the exact opposite of what I had been abusively conditioned to do and think. 

I "friended" anyone I could think of that had been or was currently in both the Walton and my social circles. I friended hundreds of people from John Walton's past congregations, Elaine's former co-workers, friends of Peter, Jack, Mary Ellen and Ben. I was going to use social networking to expose them. I was going to be the opposite of a victim: It  was going to take a great deal of strength, I would be criticized so I needed thicker skin, I was going to take back my power, stop being afraid and make my story public. Perpetrators thrive on their victims' secrecy and embarrassment so their explanations and stories are the only heard. I posted the above picture on Facebook with a comment something like "I plan to spend the rest of my life fighting domestic violence," and thinly veiled the fact it was Peter. 

Sure, I was criticized and critiqued by some, but the support was unfathomable.  Friends reported that some of the Walton's were posting scripture versus that could've been interpreted that they were the victims of my vicious attacks. If they would've simply left me alone and not try and take everything they could from me, I never would've said anything, I would've just moved on and not looked back. 

The next day I took it down, I was still scared. Then I posted it again and left it. The fear and anxiety lessened and when Peter tried to hurt me, whether it be emails or false allegations, I would post that picture again. I don't think it occurred to any Walton that I would say anything..... much less do the unthinkable.