opinion

Today I got a text from my abusive ex. 'You remind me of Amber Heard,' it read.

This post deals with domestic violence and could be triggering for some readers.

The author of this story is known to Mamamia but has chosen to remain anonymous for privacy reasons.

My ex broke into my iCloud on my son's iPad a few days ago.

He’s using private information he read to blackmail me into taking a lesser settlement.

He sent me a text message today saying, “you remind me of Amber Heard”.

Regardless of the fact Johnny Depp was found guilty of abuse, this is an out for every man who has abused their partner.

We are all liars now.

A man who has told me to kill myself regularly, choked and financially and emotionally abused me, likens himself to Johnny Depp.

Just another man wrought by the system.

It’s the noise I can’t handle. 

How loud the whole process has been.

Two actors in court decimating one another.

As I sit here typing, I think about how much I’ve lost. 

No one wins when it comes to domestic violence.

And in my experience, it’s not a deafening roar, it’s a whisper followed by silence.

You keep your mouth shut to avoid judgment and opinions.

To avoid being labelled a liar.

This trial has made a mockery of it.

I’m a shell of who I used to be.

My boys tell me they hate me often, and the words from my ex don’t stop. 

Telling me to kill myself. How disgusting I am.

And I stay silent.

Because every time I open my mouth, I lose more.

I’ve damaged relationships with people I love, I’ve lost friends, and I’m more alone than I was living in a house where I was berated daily.

Could I have been stronger?

Could I have left sooner, before it became dangerously toxic?

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Did years of emotional and financial abuse result in me drinking too much? 

Doing things I’m ashamed of? Without doubt.

Was I a perfect partner? No.

Did I let my ex down too? Yes.

When I was growing up, I didn’t know what I wanted to be.

I knew I loved laying on the porch, in the sunshine, pretending I was a cat.

I loved climbing trees, riding my bike, playing cricket with the boys at school.

I never dreamed I’d grow up to leave an abusive relationship.

I’d marry the wrong person and lose myself trying to love them.

That my boys are now from a broken home.

I struggle to label myself a ‘survivor’.

I’d say I’m just existing and wish it wasn’t my reality.

It feels like I know nothing.

I’m void of feelings.

Words don’t hurt me anymore, but I hurt others with mine.

I don’t have the capacity to maintain friendships or the time.

I don’t want to take out an AVO, because the abuse comes in waves.

I can’t talk to anyone about it anymore.

It’s gone on too long. I have nothing positive to bring to my family, just heaviness and heartache.

A permanent black cloud over people I love.

And when I go into work, so I can afford to be alone, they’re all talking about Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.

It was already proven Johnny abused Amber.

And now it’s proven they defamed one another.

The damage the trial has done is unfathomable.

Watching people put together montages of 'Johnny’s funniest moments in court.'

His lawyers eating candy, people labelling Camilla the new ‘it’ girl.

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Listen to The Spill where the hosts talk about the one missing crucial fact about the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard case. Post continues after podcast.


The whole thing made a mockery out of how soul-destroying domestic violence is for everyone involved.

Is anyone a winner?

This trial has set back any progress within society about how confusing, disorientating, and overwhelming it can feel trying to get out.

How grey it is, nothing is black and white.

There are so many complex layers, and it’s case by case.

People have watched the trial like it’s a reality TV series.

They’ve trivialised something that’s taken so much from people, and so many lives.

I don’t know if I will ever be who I used to be.

People are rejoicing that Johnny has been liberated negating in a previous case. He was found guilty.

Because she’s not an ideal victim, the abuse has been overlooked.

Her movie contracts are cancelled, I’ve read that the public opinion will be detrimental to her for the rest of her life.

Maybe we need to start focusing on putting better supports in place.

Help address abusive behaviours, or help people recognise they are in fact being abused.

We need to work on legislation and programs to assist people to get out of damaging situations.

Provide somewhere for them to go.

Support for abusers wanting to seek help.

Start talking about it in schools.

Stop normalising casual sexism.

It’s a disheartening feeling you must prove you’re a victim.

Because you feel ashamed, sad, and riddled with self-doubt.

The world destroyed Amber labelled her a narcissist and a liar.

Amber chose to speak out, and we’ve seen the consequences.

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I’m a writer, but I don’t want to be an advocate for domestic violence.

I don’t think many people do.

You expose yourself and your loved ones.

And you can never fully expunge yourself from any wrong doings.

It’s an awful space to reside in.

For anyone affected by this trial, I understand.

I hope it doesn’t dishearten you in doing what’s right for you, your happiness, and the best path forward for you or your children.

We all deserve to be safe and respected.

Our truth doesn’t always need to align with another’s, but getting out of relationships that harm those in it is non-negotiable.

If you’re not living it, this trial has been entertaining, but for people whose world it’s a reality, it’s triggering.

Domestic violence isn’t funny, it’s sad.

My ex is using this as vindication that women can falsely accuse men.

In my heart I know the truth, and I might not put my real name on this story, or advocate for others in my position, but I know his behaviour isn’t normal.

I know he has been cruel, beyond others' comprehension, and has eroded all the light and goodness that once resided in me.

I’m just not willing enough to put myself and my life on trial to prove it.

And if Amber Heard isn’t evidence enough, what is?

If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.

You can also call safe steps 24/7 Family Violence Response Line on 1800 015 188 or visit www.safesteps.org.au for further information.

The Men’s Referral Service is also available on 1300 766 491 or via online chat at www.ntv.org.au.

Feature Image: Getty.