I’m an abuse survivor. I don’t know if I’ve ever shared the stories of my experiences on my blog. I know I haven’t gone into detail about it. My experiences aren’t special. Many people go through abusive situations, either as children or adults. Those of us who have lived through it tend to empathize with other victims. We understand the pain of being berated for having the audacity to be who we are or because we have feelings or because we’re not exactly perfect. We know that, yes, cruel words from someone you love can cause deep, painful scars. We remember that strength and healing can come from knowing someone out there actually cares.
I lived with emotional abuse during my most formative years. As a young adult, I believed that physical abuse was normal and violence was to be expected. It took me a long time to understand that normal people don’t hurt the people they love intentionally. Normal people don’t say things like “You made me this angry. You knew what would happen, but you did it anyway.” That’s what abusers say to control their victims. And then after they’ve been shown the tears or seen the broken heart they apologize with words like “I’m so sorry, but if you hadn’t done what you did I wouldn’t have done what I did.” They like to see the control they have over their victim. Maybe, in some deep recess of their tormented and broken brain, they actually do feel bad that their victim made them so angry. I don’t really care about their reasoning. I have no compassion for abusers.
If only you’d have stopped making me angry.
If only you’d have not been yourself.
If only you’d have realized that I’m capable of such things.
If only you’d have stopped before you let it get this far I wouldn’t have to put you in your place.
I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of both emotional and physical abuse. And, as such, I’m not one to sit back and pretend that I don’t see it or it’s not my business or, maybe, the perpetrator of such acts just needs a fucking hug. I’m not one to see something like this or hear something like this and act like it’s not really a big deal.
I’m not going to pretend like I know the whole story. I don’t need to because I heard the audio. He said this to her:
You did that on purpose, and don’t pretend you didn’t. Yes, an intolerant cunt. You don’t like it? Too fucking bad. You did that on purpose. I even gave you signals that you did it to me, and you did it anyway, because you’ve decided to be a passive aggressive bitch with me for over a month. Admit it! Stop making it my fault! Stop drumming me up, and…stop driving me to this level of anger and pretending that you’re not aware that you do it. You know that you’re aware that you do it.
He’s screaming at her. It’s her fault he’s screaming at her. If she hadn’t ignored his signals he wouldn’t be driven to such anger.
Then to make it even better, he apologized with this. Here’s the apology to her. Don’t worry, though, it’s still her fault.
I can forgive you for doing that to you and to us. I hope can forgive me for my inexcusable tone and words in that final voice mail. It was loud, intense, and used words I deeply regret. I am so sorry for them, and I wish I could take them back, but I can’t. I was furious. No, that’s wrong. I was totally and completely hurt and angry at you for taking our private matters into a public venue like Twitter as you had. And I was also quite drunk.
[..] Again, I am very, very sorry for my choice of words, and that tone. There was no excuse for my channeling my anger in that way, other than that I am human and make mistakes. But you know that about me, as I know it about you.
[...] You did that before my voice message. And you’re now still doing it long after. But none of that excuses my message at all. But neither does my message excuse humiliating us in public for no rational reason that I, nor anyone else can understand. Still, I will not retaliate for that. That is a promise. I will not share details of your life, just to “get even.” There is nothing to be gained but more pain, and I care about you too much to hurt you more than you already are
He says this on his blog:
Shoq stalks and harasses women (variant: he DMs them for “cybersex.”).
Try finding some of these women. You can’t. It’s just one of these things trolls will say because it sounds so controlling and dangerous.You’ll generally just run into dozens of women who know me personally who will point out that I am rather popular with women on twitter.
He goes on to point to this blog as an example of someone trying to railroad him (though in his post he intentionally adds the wrong url). It quotes anonymous women telling of what his tactics with dealing with women. Tactics that have now been shown to be true. So much for trolling, huh?
Ah, so now we have proof that he’s an abuser. Recorded proof and an admission. Considering that other women have anonymously confirmed that he’s done this type of thing before, I guess we can call this a pattern.
At this point I should admit that I’m not fond of vdaze because of the way she behaved toward some folks in the past, in defense of him and prior to seeing the real side of her abuser. She hurt some people that I care about and went on crusades against people who she felt were causing harm to him. She was what we called a “mean girl”. Some would say that she was a bully herself at points. But she does not deserve this. No woman does. I don’t give a fuck who they are. I know what that kind of shit feels like and she doesn’t deserve to know it too. When I say I stand for women’s rights and I’m a warrior against the War on Women, I’m not just talking about keeping the government out of our uteri. I’m talking about standing with other women when men– with or without any modicum of power– attack them. I won’t stand silent because I disagreed with her. I won’t pretend I don’t care what happened to her because of some bullshit Twitter drama. I read that post and heard that recording and it infuriated me for her and for any woman who has ever been on the receiving end of that1.
She’s afraid of him. She knows him so well that she felt the need to inform her employer about a possible retaliation2. She feels like she should get a restraining order. She’s protected her twitter account so he can’t see her (though he gets reports and possibly has a sock account to watch her). The other women mentioned in the other blog are so afraid of his retaliation that they wouldn’t even use their real name. She knows what he’s capable of and it scares her. She shouldn’t be afraid to break up with someone. She shouldn’t be afraid to move on with her life.
According to this blog post, that also has a recording featuring our perpetrator, he has political connections and is willing to use a private investigator to get information on anyone he sees fit. These women have a reason to fear him. They fear this so-called Progressive man who supposed fights for women’s rights. Who uses women, abuses them and then intimidates them– while sitting on his Twitter account all day playing like he’s the knight-in-shining armor.
Here’s an example of his support system, which was posted after it became known what our Chief abuser is capable of:
— Van Jones (@VanJones68) September 1, 2012
This bothers me. It bothers me a lot. It bothers a lot of people3. It bothers her the most though. Because he’s got her in his sights and is pissed at her and wants her to feel sorry.
I’m not writing this for myself, but for other people and for her. No one should be afraid some anonymous4 asshole on Twitter is going to ruin their life. If this was done by anyone on the right and we caught wind of it, we’d be screeching far and wide. “Look what they’re capable of! This proves that the right hates women!” We ignore it when it comes from out own side though, don’t we? Not all of us, of course. Some have stood up for her and offered to be there for her. Others have offered advice to help her in dealing with this person. No one should be afraid of standing against him while offering her support.
But there are plenty of Progressive men and women who are pretending it’s just a “family” issue. One even had the gall to say she felt like a child in a divorce. He made clear that particular “feminist” was spending time helping him through his difficult issue. As if this kind of silly little argument is ok and there’s nothing wrong with what he did to her. When we ignore it from our own side, while shouting about it when it’s from men on the other side, then we what does that make us?
I’m frustrated because 1) hearing that recording triggered me, 2) he was able to call this a “mistake” and compare himself to mentally ill artists and 3) the people DMing me to tell me what’s going on aren’t making this noise themselves. He still sees nothing wrong with what he did and he still gets accolades from Progressives. Even Progressives who can’t stand him haven’t stood up to say “Hey, motherfucker, you’re sick and need to shut the fuck about women’s issues. Get your own fucking self in order before calling out anyone else.” Because of my own frustration I decided to write this post. Why? So later, when someone says “Oh, he’s a good guy with lots of good ideas and blah blah blah” I can point back here and ask “Does a good guy do this to someone he supposed loves?” No, good guys don’t do that. Good guys don’t create such havoc that a woman breaking up with him gets verbally abused and feels the need to protect herself against intimidation and retaliation. Good guys don’t show a pattern of this kind of behavior. Good men possess the ability to let shit go and not feel it’s ok that someone they love is afraid of them.5
More importantly: Good people don’t ignore it or excuse it.
Some folks call this damage control. Rational, sane and normal people call this a threat.
I could drop 2 details about this “ex” and everyone’s perceptions would do a 180 in seconds. But I won’t do that.
— Shoq Value (@Shoq) September 2, 2012
There’s a lot of talk about this post, vdaze’s experience and Shoq’s abusive personality on Twitter. He’s pissed. He’s now decided to threaten her. She should know that we’re not going to let him get away with this. Not again. Not this time.
And, no, motherfucker, I’m not anyone’s sockpuppet. I’m someone who you can’t scare and you can’t threaten. You have no power over me. If you didn’t want the world to know what really happened, then maybe, just maybe, you shouldn’t have done it.
The ol’ “There’s two sides to every story schtick. Sorry, buckaroo, too late. You’ve already admitted that you did it. We’ve heard the audio. It is not her fault.
My ex knows my ethics prevent me from sharing details of her life, or ours, and what happened. So she tells A side, knowing I won’t rebut.
— Shoq Value (@Shoq) September 2, 2012
I just want to point one thing out. Shoq “apologizes” to vDaze, which you can read here (along with her response to his post), but mistakenly thinks the voice mail that she uploaded was recent. She notes that the voice mail we’ve heard is from January 25, 2012. I don’t know how many of these drunken, enraged voice mails he’s left her, but since he’s confused about which is which, I’m guessing more than one. Think about that.
- If you know me at all you’ll refrain from coming into my comments or my Twitter mentions to say that she earned this for whatever reason. I have no use for that and if you feel the need to voice that then you can fuck right the fuck off. [↩]
- He basically admitted something of the sort in his “apology” and has been shown to do such things. [↩]
- Many of whom have DM’d me privately that I should gather up Progressive women to rain down fire on this asshole’s head, while not doing the same from their own accounts. [↩]
- Not really anonymous, but he likes to pretend. [↩]
- Full Disclosure: I haven’t liked this man for a very long time. He’s a bully and a liar. He likes to take credit for ideas other people have had. Usually I just like to mock his ridiculous, narcissistic behavior and I had a field day when he actually threatened to sue another Twitter user for something someone else said. He doesn’t like me either, so there’s that. [↩]