What parents of abusive adult children don't want to hear: the truth
The best way to find out if parents are toxic, malicious and complicit in enabling their abusive children, is by telling them exactly what their child did to you or others. However, are you ready for the consequences, when you address things nobody wants to speak about?
Simon (fictional name) is a man I once cared about but now hope to never run into again. I have my reasons, and I have many. The man is someone I had to remove slowly out of my life once I realised he was poisoning it. Getting ‘out’ needed to happen gradually, because I know what Simon is like. He’s the type of guy that takes subtle revenge on people who are ‘disloyal’ to him and ‘abandon’ him. He does this, among others, by spreading lies about those who do ‘leave him’. E.g. if Simon owes you money, he will say you owe him money. If you don’t want to be with him, he says he doesn’t want to be with you. What Simon does is projection; he attributes his negative behaviour to someone else and refuses to take responsibility for anything. He plays a long-game and starts spreading lies about you - the moment he doubts your loyalty - in an attempt to influence and control your social network. If he ever apologises for his behaviour, it’s only to manipulate you and others further. If you fall for it, you will regret it later. Always.
Rejection means punishment
Simon is not the only ‘Simon’ I’ve met in life, unfortunately. He’s one of the three men I met who couldn’t take rejection, and he decided - just like the other two - I deserved to be punished for it. The Simons I’ve got to know are all men you wouldn’t guess on the outside to be physically, sexually and/or psychologically abusive. They are all educated, witty, and in the beginning they were incredibly nice and thoughtful to me, until I saw their darker sides and had to escape them.
They say bad things come in threes. In my case, it rings true (and let’s keep that number at three!). After the third ‘Simon’, fortunately, I’ve not run into another abuser, and I’m happy to say that I have many amazing male friends who’ve treated me with respect and kindness since the day I met them. When it comes to abusive men (and also women), by now I know all the red flags. I decided to start writing about abusers, in order to do something positive with the horrible experiences I’ve had with them, to share the lessons I’ve learned.
While I tried to cut Simon off very slowly because he’s a bomb you need to dismantle patiently, I found out that even regardless of my carefulness ever since I started the process, he already had spread lies about me. Simon started to do this the moment I called him out for his abusive behaviour in person. It seemed the lies escalated after I rejected him explicitly, over and over again.
It’s strange to hear from other people that they think ‘you want to be with Simon’ and that ‘he rejected you and you are angry about it’, while you have countless of messages showing evidence how many times you in fact rejected Simon, and how he treated you. Still, the asshat has the nerve to twist it around, and spread these lies among people that know you. When something like that happens, it’s difficult not to rant about it publicly, share the evidence and mention whom it concerns, especially when you don’t know how many people believe his lies or how many people he told these lies. Such lies affect your life and how others see and treat you. My personal situation doesn’t make speaking out easier. I have called out a lot of people publicly already: I’m making more enemies every day due to it, and death threats do get exhausting, trust me. Some battles I even know aren’t worth the pain that will come with it, especially not when it can mentally and financially ruin you. Morally, I wish I could expose every scumbag I came across (including the female scumbags), but the reality is that even I, as a scumbag-exposer, need to be very careful whenever I do this.
- TRIGGER WARNING -
This part of the article discusses sexual assault and domestic violence and shows examples of an abuser’s rape fantasy, which may be triggering to read/see for survivors.
Below, an example of a rape fantasy Simon described to me (he would write me in different languages regularly) in the middle of the night, which he sent me right after I had ‘The Talk’ with him and made it known I didn’t want to be with him anymore.
Simon is a special case and there’s more to him than I can share right now. I’ve not written about him before, and I only decided to do so today (while censoring his name) because he’s become a liability to me. To my name, my work, my safety, and the safety of others. If at any point I need to identify him to protect myself - I will have pages of evidence on him to prove his harassment and abuse, should I ever need it. Writing this in a way is me trying to protect myself as well: to let him know I have that evidence (in case he has amnesia due to hard drugs abuse and has forgotten what shit he sent me), so if he’s smart, he’ll stop targeting and spreading lies about me.
When it comes to reducing the harm Simon has caused to my life and the lives of others, I decided to confront his parents this weekend, in a final bid to try to ask for help, and to send them a message to acknowledge his toxic behaviour, hoping they could influence it.
It’s never them, it’s always you
I confronted Simon’s parents explicitly after worries concerning hard drugs abuse (of which there is evidence) and because someone told me a few days ago his now-girlfriend said he had done 'bad things' to her at a drugs/sex party. The person who told me this was afraid Simon had sexually abused his girlfriend. Not a strange claim - considering I know Simon, and what he’s capable of. Among others (I’ve left out the worst), Simon has been bothering me for quite some time with unwanted sexual telephone calls, and he has kept doing this, even though I have rejected him many times. It has been close to impossible to avoid Simon due to our mutual social network, or to simply block him (which I have done now however). I hoped if I would just keep rejecting him, he would eventually stop, but he wouldn’t. I received a phone-call from Simon in the beginning of this month, where he said how ‘good he could make me come with his tongue’ while saying I was ‘probably wet now’, etc. All while he apparently has a new girlfriend now. While I keep saying no and call Simon out for his behaviour, he’s been telling people I’m the one who’s interested in him. It’s incredibly humiliating when the opposite is true, which I can prove, easily. All the above, the harassment, drug-abuse and sexual abuse claims, were reasons I reached out to his parents. I’m simply done with Simon: I want him out of my life and to stop spreading lies about me and to stop mistreating me or anyone else. I know going to the police will do close to nothing or will take months if not years. I hoped talking to his parents would help. Was I mistaken, oh boy.
On Saturday, I knocked on Simon’s parents door, with documentation I wanted to give them, proving my concerns. I wanted to leave after handing the ‘file’ over, but his mum invited me in their house to ‘talk’. I thought it was a gesture to sit around the table. Very naive, as you will soon find out. Once inside, Simon’s parents started checking I wasn’t recording anything. They read the newspapers and know I have recorded rapists - I guess they see themselves in the same category as abusers and dangerous people or corrupt systems, since they were suspicious I would collect evidence of our talk, while I only record scumbags.
I proved to Simon’s parents I wasn't recording anything. They checked this multiple times, and every time I showed them my phone and which apps were turned on, proving I wasn’t capturing anything. After the fifth time, I got suspicious. That gut-feeling turned out to be correct. When Simon’s parents found out I really wasn't recording anything, they flipped their attitude towards me instantly. They became verbally abusive, tried to humiliated me, and made fun of me. As most malicious people do, they made sure I wasn't recording, before they did this.
I was shaking when they started their tsunami of demeaning remarks. My body was crying because I felt trapped in a box of abuse I walked in blindly, but I refused to show my tears. When the escalation suddenly happened, his parents started cornering me and his mum pointed her finger at me and came close to me. I got scared, so I did start recording at that moment: right before I left. They called me a liar and refused to look at the evidence I had of anything I said. They belittled me and tried to humiliate me because I tried to warn them and voice my concerns. They even used my own rape for it too (the one the news has published about), anything that would distract me from the topics I tried to discuss: their pos of a son, who’s made a name for himself as a scammer, manipulator and abuser, and has been trying to ruin my life.
Any evidence I tried to show Simon’s parents, they laughed at. They twisted everything I said, claimed the documentation was all 'copy and paste' evidence, and again, claimed I was a liar who was ‘trying to ruin their life’, while their son has been ruining mine.
Right before I wiggled myself out of their house (we were standing in the hallway), I pointed my phone at Simon’s parents and recorded their faces, so it would be known from the footage who the people were who were being so horrible to me because I tried to warn them about their son. I said: ‘I did record that last bit’. They freaked out. They started shouting that I wasn't allowed to do anything with that footage and could face a criminal complaint - footage I made after they first checked I wasn't recording, after which they instantly started their verbal/psychological abuse, after which I started recording (because now I had a reason; to protect myself).
I now have a video where you can hear Simon’s parents try to humiliate me and laugh at me, which in the end shows their faces, looking at me in disgust. Probably because I dared, as a woman, to be a messenger of bad news. I say woman specifically, because Simon’s parents have a problem with feminism, and pretty much seem to believe feminism exists to ruin men. They see me as a feminist (I prefer to call myself a humanist), and thus, I am dangerous. Simon’s parents have a very traditional household: the man is the boss and breadwinner, the woman is the submissive housewife. They are the type of people who care about money, looks, and especially how others perceive them. His mother had plastic surgery to her face, his father had a hair transplant to hide his baldness. They change cars almost every year, to always drive the newest model. They don’t like evidence that discredits anyone in their family, and will even say you faked evidence, just because they can’t accept any blemish to their family’s name. It turns out these people are absolutely fine with the fact that their son harasses and mistreats women, abuses hard drugs, and through it has put other people in danger.
Having a recording of his parents bullying me is pretty useless when you can face criminal complaints for warning others about these scumbags. Releasing recordings that prove someone is a rapist, is something different than proving psychological abuse and bullying. For one I can morally justify the risk of being sued, for the other, I can’t, unless I feel like I have absolutely no choice and need to protect myself. The reality of situations like this is that abusers and those complicit are more protected by the law than their victims. People can psychologically abuse you privately, and if you make it public for example because your abusers spread lies about you, you as a victim can be sued for releasing private recordings. Your abusers will tell you this, which is why you rarely see victims releasing such evidence. In case you do as a victim and get sued, you might win the case, but it will cost you a lot of money and time, and if you don’t win it, you’re fucked like the United Kingdom and their Brexit disaster. The only thing such a recording is good for, is for your own archive, in case you are publicly targeted by your abusers, and need to defend yourself or file criminal complaints against them.
These kind of people - who would deny a tornado in front of them even if it would destruct their own house - can privately ruin your life by spreading lies about you in your social circle, and there's very little you can do against this except collect evidence of it. It’s recommended by professionals actually to do nothing about it. Everyone will tell you: just run, and don’t look back. If you are autistic like me and injustice eats you from the inside out because it’s a ‘danger to the system’ or are a person with a moral code, that might be problematic.
I only warn people with an anonymous letter, now. never in person. never in private. no one is worth your safety. as they say on the airplane, place your own oxygen mask first— laura lake An Impolite, Arrogant Woman (@lauralake3) March 23, 2019
They see it as an attack on their parenting. I usually “fib” and say I’ve caught our teens doing something similar or being interested in it to keep them from feeling like shit, though once they used your assault as a reason to discredit you, they deserve a good kick in the face.— LennieMennie (@lennie_mennie) March 23, 2019
The best advice I can give is that if people refuse to listen to you - let alone look at evidence you can provide concerning abusers - they are toxic people who you should 100% not trust or help, in any circumstances. I’ve learned from these situations that if you find out someone has spread lies about you for ‘future damage control’ in case they ever need to discredit you, few people are clever enough or willing to see through it or are ready to listen and go through the evidence that rectifies your name and/or proves abuse. Those who do listen, are usually people who have experienced (psychological) abuse themselves and aren’t under control of an abuser or complicit of an abuser. Those who don’t listen and are complicit in enabling abusers, will point to the neighbours when they notice that awful smell a moose left after shitting in their beds. They’re in denial, and the abusers have manipulated and gaslighted them for so long, when you enter the picture with the truth, they cannot accept it. Or, they are being abused themselves, and cannot acknowledge any abuse, for their own safety. It’s the cycle of abuse, and how toxic people in our society get away with it.
In my case, I'm just glad these ‘parents’ (can you call them that if they raise a pathological liar and abuser and refuse to acknowledge it?) know I recorded part of their verbal diarrhoea and psychological abuse, where you can hear them laugh at me and make fun of me. If this ever turns into a bigger defamation campaign against me, or a criminal case concerning their son, I will have the evidence of how these parents treated the person who sounded the alarm. That doesn’t make me sleep better at night, but at least it’s something.
Even pathological liars and abusers can be abused or falsely accused
Sickenly, Simon’s parents also said that if he abused his now-girlfriend she wouldn’t be still with him - which just shows us how out of touch with reality they are. Many victims of partner abuse don’t leave their partners instantly. Go to a domestic shelter, and you will find women and men and their children hiding from their partners and parents, escaping their abuse, after going through it for years.
There is a chance of course that the ‘girlfriend’ made up the abuse story, which she told her ex-boyfriend about around the time she was having sex with Simon. At the time, Simon didn’t want to ‘go steady’ with her and wanted to sleep with other people (which he told me about; he called her annoying). During that time Simon sexually harassed me via text/phone, kept approaching me to ‘get back together’, etc. Strangely, soon after his now-girlfriend spoke to her ex at the same time I rejected Simon (again), Simon and the new girl ‘got together’ officially (again), and the accused abuser took her on a bunch of holidays in a very short time. This could be an ‘apology’ for the abuse - or just because both Simon and his girlfriend love to show a luxurious lifestyle on Instagram. A reason the girl could’ve lied about the abuse could be because Simon has way more money than her (her ex told me he paid for all her things too), and in an attempt to coerce him into a financially profitable relationship, maybe she made things up. I do know both Simon and his girlfriend regularly lie about things (and have spread lies about me!), so that doesn’t help much either in making a judgement call. Even a woman who is a pathological liar though, can be abused however.
Of course we should also consider the ex-boyfriend could be telling lies, but he seems happy with his new girlfriend and seemed genuinely worried about his ex. Furthermore, he isn’t the only person who has spoken about Simon ‘possibly’ being an abuser. I know for a fact Simon is one. But even abusers can be falsely accused occasionally, and the now-girlfriend in question I know to be manipulative and a liar too. Just like Simon.
But again, considering my own experience with Simon, I have reasons to be worried. Why of all people though, am I the one worried about what Simon does to other human beings, and not his parents?
Please smack me in the face if any future adult-child of mine gets accused of terrible things and I decide to not look at the evidence but instead, target the victims. I know I will thank you should that ever happen - but let’s hope I can do a better job at raising children, than Simon’s parents.
Those who target people who sound the alarm, shouldn’t be surprised when a meteor falls on their rooftop and they didn’t get a chance to get out safely.
I know I’m not that meteor. I’m just the person who got shot, survived, and got out.
Simon is a non-chronological series on domestic violence, sexual abuse, and complicity and enablement of third parties in abuse. All names in this series have been changed because the stories in this series are autobiographical.
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