I can feel the healing at last.
It’s not as if the pain and hurt are all gone, never to return. I do still feel pangs from time to time, when something reminds me of happier days of friendship with Richard (and there are a lot of reminders).
But several major things have happened to bring this on:
1) I confronted my abusers. Even after they made fun of and threatened me, I never backed down, kept writing the truth, kept confronting them through my blog, kept pointing out that they are abusers/bullies not just of me but of each other, others and their children. I kept confronting them through my blog since they kept coming back to it.
They could have ignored the blog, but didn’t, so I kept writing whatever the heck I felt like writing about what they did. The well-being of four beautiful children–and of any other people they may befriend, get to care deeply about them, and then betray, since they have done this to others besides me–was at stake.
2) I told many others, who believed me. I told them what Richard and Tracy did to me, and about the abuse in their household. This was long before Richard and Tracy even found my blog. Then after they found my blog and threatened me, I told the police–and told the same people as before, all about their stalking and threatening me.
All these people became allies. Some even wanted to carry out elaborate vengeance which would make R and T’s names and crimes public in this city, but I told them NO, because that would just make things much worse.
I never had any intention of some kind of public exposure on the blog or in the newspapers including names etc., since that isn’t in my nature, and was amazed at just how inventive and vindictive these friends could get. Their scheme actually brought on an attack of PTSD. But it was touching to know they would do such a thing for me.
(I haven’t a clue how or where, but Richard and Tracy seemed to have gotten some crazy idea that I had threatened to do such a thing. But no, I never did. And the newspaper already exposed that Richard choked his daughter.)
The irony is that, as you can see in the above linked post, Richard and Tracy threatened to sue if I went public to members of the church/community. But I had already gone to members of the community (friends who live nearby, and CPS) with my story, and had already gone to members of the church (my priest and a few friends in the church) BEFORE Richard and Tracy ever found my blog.
Reporters to CPS are immune from lawsuits, unless it can be proven that the report was deliberately false; my report was the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. We don’t run in the same circles here in town; I don’t even know who employs R and T these days, if anybody; they won’t lose income because of me.
Richard can’t become a priest no matter what, because my priest told me (in October 2011, BEFORE R and T found my blog) that Richard cannot be ordained, because he choked his child. The police told me that no, R and T CANNOT sue me for talking to my priest, and they also cannot sue me for an anonymous blog with changed names.
3) I used my blog as a toxic waste dump, a healing device, to remove all the anger, hurt, pain, and the various time-bombs Tracy had tried to plant in my brain (damaging messages which keep coming back over and over long after the relationship ends).
Once they were removed onto the electronic page, I could begin to replace them with brighter things, so that one day, forgiveness and letting it go could be possible.
4) When I finally got the chance, I blocked them from my blog, which–after a couple of months in which they kept trying to find the blog’s new location but were blocked–led to them finally going away at last. I saw them check the service schedule and possibly the Greek Fest page on my church’s website (I’m the webmaster), but they have not come to my church since August, did not come to Greek Fest two Sundays ago. They just seem to have vanished from my life. FINALLY.
The third anniversary of our friendship breakup is in just a few days. For much of these past three years, healing has seemed like an impossible dream. But I’m here to say that it’s not. Even if it takes a long time, if you purge the toxicity, and if you let it, healing will come!
[Update 6/11/15: As soon as I posted this, they found my blog with a new IP address and computer. But all they ever do now is look. I rarely see them around town anymore, either. Their threats were nothing but bluster.]