I have been raising funds for the charity that organises my counselling for my birthday.
I’m on my way home from work when I check the notifications and realise that my abuser’s mother has donated a significant amount of money.
You might think that it’s a bit odd we’re still Facebook friends but I got on so well with his mother. She’s a wonderful, kind woman. When I visit his family we go out alone to a bar and we have such a fun evening. We go together to buy her a dress for her niece’s wedding and she tells me how she would’ve loved to have a daughter to do these kind of things with.
If I could be with anyone and still keep her as a mother-in-law, I would.
I message her. We haven’t spoken for a long time. I tell her I hope she hasn’t donated out of guilt. I’ve told her after we broke up that my relationship with her son was abusive.
Her words echoed in my head when we first messaged each other after the breakup.
“I hope my son wasn’t too horrible to you.”
A little niggle stayed at the back of my head after that.
We have stayed friendly since. Sent each other birthday messages.
I don’t expect a reply. She lives on the other side of the globe. It’s a completely different time of day. I might hear from her tomorrow.
The reply comes minutes later.
She tells about the progress he has made, how he understands how he was abusive.
I can’t handle it. I just can’t. Something breaks in me. I can’t handle anyone defending him anymore. My hands are shaking so badly that I can just about type.
“I’m sorry Sandy but I don’t think you completely understand. I go to counselling because your son raped me.”
Sent. Now it’s been said. I can never take that back and now it’s been said.
I am both terrified and incredibly relieved because there aren’t secrets anymore. What on earth is she going to say? I’ve accused her son of the single worst thing you could accuse him of. I have no proof, it’s his word against mine.
Nothing would stop her from turning around and saying I’m lying. Not even because she would genuinely believe it but because her first instinct would be to protect her son.
When she replies, my heart stops.
“I do understand Ida, and I’m so sorry.”
I don’t think she will ever truly understand what she did that day. What she did was a laud to humanity. That blessed, wonderful woman gave me the only resemblance of justice I’ll probably ever have. Police had failed me. The justice system had failed me. He’ll live his life free of the consequences of his actions in the eyes of the law. I had resigned to the fact that I’d never have justice. An absolution would never come.
She didn’t need to give that to me, but she did.
It rings in my head like the voice of god.
She believes me. She believes me!
It was mercy.
There was only one reply I could’ve given.
“It wasn’t your fault.”
We haven’t spoken since.
Sandy, if you’re reading this.