“You are telling one side of a very powerful and painful story for both of us. There are two sides to every story.”
It was a typical evening at home. I was checking my personal and business email while watching TV, when there it was – in black in white – taking up space in MY email. It was a message from Travis and it was sent to my “Contact Us” form via survivorhood.org. Though I have him blocked on all social media, my phone and email, I still find it ironic and appalling that he had the audacity to contact me through my blog. The majority of his message is provided below. I removed pieces to protect innocent parties.
***TRIGGER WARNING – While he does not threaten me in this message, a lot of abusers say similar things. If you feel you might be triggered, please do not read this.***
I am truly sorry to see how our relationship has affected you. I want you to know that it still affects me too. I never intended to hurt you. We both ended up getting hurt and scarred. It added more scars to my long list of pain. I wish we could have treated each other better. We both made mistakes and I apologize for mine. I support you telling your story and helping others. I would have expected nothing less from you. You are telling one side of a very powerful and painful story for both of us. There are two sides to every story. I would never ask you to stop doing what helps you heal and to stop helping others. You are naturally a great person and I hope you can continue to help others.
I do want you to know that I did learn from what happened and I have changed. I am heavily involved in charity work with the Big Brothers and Big Sisters, LLS.Org, local food pantries, and school programs to help feed children in need. I work for a great company that is very engaged in our community. I feel very blessed to have these opportunities to give back readily available to me. I am the sole organizer of a two week charity drive for LSS that starts on Monday. It’s a lot of work but it’s great to give back. I have learned coping skills to learn how to handle a relationship. I put most of my stress into exercise. I am out hiking, biking, or kayaking almost every weekend [removed excerpt to protect innocent parties]. It’s a great release and [removed excerpt to protect innocent parties]. When that isn’t enough, I walk away and take a walk or read a book to calm down. I still struggle heavily with emotional attachments. I fear that this will always be a struggle for me for my entire life. That is hardwired from the trauma from my childhood, which you are fully aware of from our counseling sessions we did together.
I don’t expect you to take my word for these things. [Removed excerpt to protect innocent parties].
I must ask that you stop using my name on this website and in all other places. You are putting my family and me at risk of physical harm. That is not okay. [Removed excerpt to protect innocent parties]. Please remove my name immediately and cease from further use of my name. Beyond that, I fully support you telling your story to heal and help others. If people can learn and grow from what happened between us, at least some good can come from that.
[Removed excerpt to protect innocent parties].
I will say, for the first 5 minutes or so after reading his message, I went into shock. My heart started racing, I was having a hard time breathing and my mind was all over the place. I told myself however, that he longer has a hold on me or my life. I did what I needed to do to get grounded again. Luckily, I’m blessed to have several highly supportive people in my life. I reached out to them to help me process everything. A few conversations later, I was calm and had a plan devised.
I will write my response to his message after I share everything from this point up through the restraining order hearing. What I have to say about this message will make the most sense after everything is laid out.
Photo: Flickr – Timothy Vollmer