You’ve seen the headlines and many of you, like me, have been watching the live trial footage. We’ve been captivated by the inside perspective of those who live in Hollywood.
For reference, let me first say, that I was a neutral party. What I mean by that, was that I was neither a Johnny Depp nor an Amber Heard fan. Although his movies were legendary, I have not seen them. Edward Scissorhands, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Pirates of the Caraibbean… these are all huge blockbuster hits and yet, I have never seen any of these. Mainly because the genre just never interested me. In fact, I had often confused Johnny Depp and Keanu Reeves. Amber Heard… I really don’t know what she has been in with the exception of Aquaman. However, my attention was solely focused on Jason Mamoa…. I do not recall the relevance of her character in that movie.
I’ve established my neutral observation. However, I was gripped while watching the trial. A little backstory about me. I was a survivor of SA and held those scars close to heart, even after many years. I do not wish to relive those memories but they manifest themselves in many aspects of my life, my personality and general mistrust of most people. As a victim and survivor of SA… I remember my mind taking me to a different place? Why? Because it is the only way the body knows to dissassociate what is happening to you physically. The mental state is so powerful that it stands to try to protect you from these horrible circumstances that you are not in control of. I have battled with physical vs emotional state of my well-being for most of my life due to this. I’ve learned to disaccociate because it was something that my mind did automatically.
As trauma would have it, some tend to navigate towards the familiar toxic aspects of our life. Unknowingly, I experienced dv while simultaneously trying to escape my SA trauma and ultimately falling into the hands of someone who was unable to control their anger. I left one abuse and swapped it for another, essentially. It started with, you’re not going back to high school to get your diploma, what if you talked to other boys? I don’t like your clothes or crop tops, so I’ll destroy them so you can’t ever wear them again. Control. I thought this was a form of caring and love.
My Dv experience left me with broken ribs and a broken heart. The reason for this? I called him an asshole. Plain and simple, I called him an asshole, which seemingly, was a good enough reason to slam me against a wall, which resulted in 5 broken ribs. For the record, I weighed no more than a 100 lbs at the time. I was teeny tiny! I couldn’t breathe, the pain was worse than being in labor with both my children combined. I was crying and he said “you shouldn’t have called me an asshole.” I believed it.
I had to get medical assistance immediately, I knew something was dreadfully wrong. The hospital staff, instead of isolating me from my perpetrator, asked me how I injured myself. I lied… I said that it was a result of me hitting the sidewall of a swimming pool. I didn’t even have a swimming pool. Even then, they side eyed my story. Never once did anyone from the nurses, doctor, X-ray tech pulled me aside to say that my pool story didn’t make sense. “Are you ok? Do you need help?” But not once, was I showed compassion or a discreet hand held out to me saying that they knew I wasn’t being truthful.
Why did I lie to protect my abuser? I was afraid for my future. I was scared of the inevitable of what my tomorrow would hold. How would I provide for my children? I never should have called him an asshole, it was my fault. I was a young teen mom, I didn’t know or have the resources to seek help. This was during the 90’s… times were different then.
Flash forward to this trial. I watched Amber Heard describe the moment when she was first assaulted. She clearly remembered the dirtiness and filth of the carpet. The breath in the window of her car as she recalled what happened to her. I didn’t recall these moments. I remember the physical pain, fear and the disbelief that someone that I loved would hurt me so bad. I regretted my actions for a long time, as I was told that my words (calling someone an asshole) could bring upon physical actions. I was admonished for not filing a police report because if he was truly in the wrong… then why didn’t I have him sent to jail? My authenticity and morals were questioned. I was ridiculed. No matter what I did, I was in the wrong. By protecting others, I inevitably punished myself.
The victim blaiming and shaming kept me from seeking help. The lack of help and cold demeanor from medical professionals made me distrust these type of institutions. These are the words from the heart from a true survivor. I have fought my own self for years of self hatred and learning to love myself. For this I can proudly say, I’m a fighter. I’ve battled through insurmountable pain and tears and self hatred. I’m still here… and living my best life now, to the best of my abilities. The demons still haunt me now and again, but I have learned to fight back… against myself…. For myself? Years have past and some days are better than others. I have shown myself compassion which has led open the door for healing.
I watched Amber embellish stories and I felt so angry. Her words were not consistent with what people like myself have been through. The anger and shame of oneself… all I saw was someone who was seeking revenge for a broken heart.
As we await the jury’s verdict… i hope that justice is truly served. I don’t support abusers., let me make that clear. But I can spot someone who is using their voice wrongfully . When someone who is a farce behind the domestic violence and #metoo movement, I was deeply saddened and disappointed. This is why I stand with Johnny. #justiceforjohnny