I was riding high on a wave of performance and good work. I was about to post the amazing things that have been happening since my last blog.

Supremely amazing things that I will not recount in this post. Things I would rather tell you about. But, I know that I will not sleep tonight if I don’t express my thoughts on this one clearly. Why blog it? I think that it’s something that needs to be shared. I am bit by bit sharing my experiences, and might share more, but for the fact that they keep being minimised.

“You have to put aside your differences”, just one of the frequently heard comments when I object to working with a man that abused me in several ways. I invited him into my home, he started being a shit and I asked him to leave after 6 weeks. He refused to leave and finally moved out after 4 months. I was too poorly and in too much emotional and physical pain to do anything about this.

When I finally got him out he continued to make life difficult for me. I told everyone it was partly my fault (laughable that prior to our relationship I did not play the blame game). I was very broken. It took me a further 6 months to have him remove his things from my home, I think he thought that he had me that good, that he would be able to move back in. Eventually a friend of mine intervened. The police, as ever, fucking useless.

I was still accepting responsibility for some of the abuse that I was suffering. He was that adept at playing the victim that even I believed him. Another of the reasons that people didn’t believe he was abusive is his charming manner. He was mostly well liked. Even those that saw through the act did not think him malignant. Not even when I started to tell them, I was wrong, he is a very unpleasant person. They are starting to see the chinks now, but it’s taken time.

A year and a half on, I am whole again. I did not ever believe that after the first psycho I would land straight into the lap of another. Ten years of living in a cave to avoid Psychopaths and fuck me, if it doesn’t happen again. Who could be so unlucky. That would be me. Strangely, it was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I am more myself than I have ever been, now I am whole again.

My inner and outer worlds look pretty similar, where once they used to be the source of real and deep depression. I am. I am also frustrated at not knowing how to make people aware that the reasons I don’t want to work with this man are more profound than a personality clash or a bad break up. I want to do this without revealing the hideous time I had with him, not to protect him, but to protect me.

I wish he’d fuck off out of my home town to be honest, go back to where he came from and leave me in piece. I very much doubt this will happen. I stood my ground with the last nut job, so I could complete my degree. I don’t think I have the stomach to do it again. And yet. How many more times will I be advised to “put aside [my] personal differences” before I blow up. Literally, spontaneously combust.

This is all back ground to the real reason for blogging this. The real reason is to make a request of all the decent people out there, male and female. If you are told that someone is abusive, believe them. If you see someone having a shit time, you can guarantee this is only a fraction of what is happening behind closed doors, and if it is safe to do so, name it. Let the person know that their behaviour is unacceptable. If someone tells you that someone is an arsehole, do not think “oh but s/he’s ok with me”. Chances are that is because you are not the type of person that they like to abuse.

Some arseholes are very good at making the victim look like the abuser. They are called Gaslighters. Look it up!

Nice people don’t abuse other people, but people who like to abuse other people ACT NICE. That is how they get away with it, over and over again. Please. Be part of a community of support. Even if it’s just having a quiet word in someones ear, even if they are unknown to you (ie my friend had a shit time with this person, be careful). This is not gossip, this is saving lives. You have the power to stop abuse. All you need is a little bit of courage.