A Letter from James to Jenny

“You were the abusive one all along, cheating and lying at will, and any pain you’ve suffered is not nearly what you deserve.”


The above passage was part of a much longer e-mail ever so lovingly crafted from James to me.  It was the very last communication I ever received from him and earned him a temporary order of protection.

The last part…not nearly what I deserve…haunts me even now.  It’s caused me not to sleep at night.  It’s caused me fear in my home.  It’s caused me fear at work.  It’s with me now as I sit in my favorite spot on the couch with my dachshund curled up next to me.  I have so much hope that it will lessen in time.  But for now, fear is my companion.

I’m left to wonder what exactly he thought I deserved beyond what he had already inflicted upon me?  I believe that he was going to continue to stalk me either covertly as he had done for most of our relationship (for another day) or overtly by showing up to my home and business, as he had also already done.

He went on to say that I was:

  • Pathetic
  • Emotionally retarded
  • Cowardly
  • Immature
  • The antithesis of what he wanted his young daughter to become
  • A compulsive liar

I am none of these things.  None.  I’m not even going to defend myself beyond that because I know my worth.  Those traits above?   All projection and all traits possessed by James.  By no means am I saying that I’m without flaws.  (And I’m not a slut, something else he accused me of in that letter.)  I’m the first to openly admit that I am nowhere near perfect.  But the monster in the room?  It’s not me.

What I would like James to know is what exactly I did deserve from him.  How about:

  • Compassion
  • Trust
  • Tenderness
  • Love
  • Protection

While James has a PhD, he is no doctor.  Otherwise he may have been familiar with this phrase, “Primum non nocere.” This means “First, do no harm.” This is not something James has as part of his internal structure.  James is the opposite, causing signficant harm and lasting trauma.

I’m here to tell any of you who may be facing your own James that there is help and there is hope.  Just as I deserve to suffer no additional pain, neither do you.

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