Sunday, May 29, 2016

A note on Amber Heard

I don't think it's any secret that I have some very intense and personal feelings towards the Amber Heard/Johnny Depp story that's been going around. The actual story itself is so sad and truly a horrifying experience to go through. What I find even worse is the reaction coming from the media and even some of my friends as this story develops. I am sickened to see people dismissing Amber’s story because of a narrative they've created of her being a “gold digging whore.” I am sickened by the immediate response to defend Johnny Depp, reminiscing in the gold old days of his relationship with Winona or director Paul Bettany feeling the need to remind his followers on Twitter that he's  “known Johnny Depp for years and through several relationships. He's the sweetest, kindest, gentlest  man that I've ever known. Just saying.”  I am sickened that people are so quick to say “look at this picture of her out the next day with her friends! She looks like she's having a great time and not like she was abused at all. “
Well let me tell you a quick story. The first time my ex put his hands on me was when he became irrationally furious after I made a comment about not liking a girl he knew. I told him I knew he didn't cheat on me and I wanted to move on but he berated me with nasty words and tried to throw me out of the apartment until it escalated and ended with on his knees straddling me while his hand gripped my throat and I fought to breathe. The next day, a friend asked me to tell him everything that happened. I was so ashamed and scared so I kept it simple. “We just got into a big argument. I was being stupid. It's not big deal.” Half a day after that, my ex and I went to the plaza hotel for one of my best friend's birthday. Surrounded by friends and photographers, we put on happy faces and enjoyed the night. My ex was a little off, unsure of who I told and who might know his terrible secret. I went into overdrive to make sure I told him I loved him and that everything was just the way it had been before the incident. “It won't happen again” I remember thinking to myself “if we just forget it ever happened we’ll be normal again.”(Spoiler: it was never normal again and it did happen again.) I asked a friend of ours to take a few photos of us on the beautiful porcelain claw foot bathtub. Two days after I was terrified for my life I was photographed with this man with nothing but smiles, love and praised him on social media, assuring myself and everyone who follows me on Instagram that we were great and stronger than ever. No one knowing that his hands were around my throat two days before. Later on he would deny it, telling everyone I lied while friends rallied around him echoing Paul Bettany’s sentiments. “***** is one of the sweetest, kindest most gentle guys I know. There's no way he could do this.” Or “Emma's got a little crazy in her and ***** is like the most grounded dude I know. She's making it up, he said he didn't do it and I believe him.”
Later, a friend came forward and sent me a message with a screenshot of him admitting what he had done. In his own words, via Facebook message, he admitted to choking me. That screenshot gave me the courage to post A Letter to a Girl That I Once Knew”

I don't know, I've been surprisingly triggered by watching this Amber Heard story unfold and it has brought back intense nightmares that I haven't had all year. I found myself doing dishes a the other day and breaking down for no reason in particular except it popped into my head and my body reacted as it had in the past, panicking. This whole situation shows how truly terrifying it is for a woman to come forward and say “that person that you all know and love, that person I thought I knew and loved, hurt me. And I need to stand up for myself and say something.” I applaud every woman who has come out, spoken out,  and been able to do so regardless of what everyone else says. I applaud future women who will unfortunately go through this and at some point, find the courage to get out of the relationship and speak out against their abusers. I use to feel really sorry for myself, constantly guilt tripping myself for my part in what made him hit me. Wrong. Some people pleaded with me to take my blogpost down because I should think about how it would effect him, his relationships and how saying something like that could damage his reputation. Wrong. I took back my life. I spoke what I know to be the truth and fuck everything else. I am one woman who is proud of Amber Heard for speaking her truth and not being afraid to speak up about a man that everyone loves hurting her. I am proud of every woman that gets the courage to speak up and as cliche as it may seem to say, it does get better. It really does. Take back your power, take back your life. Know that there are people and groups to help you make it to the other side. I know it's hard but it is possible. It is very possible.

This may seem like a long rant and I guess it is but it's hard to watch someone go through something you went through. Even harder to watch that person be scrutinized even more and on a much broader field because they're a celebrity. This is something that stays with you no matter how great your job is, how wonderful your friends are or even how happily married you may end up. It is a trauma. Anyway, I don't really know how to end this except to just say I stand with Amber.